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LinkedIn premium is not cheap, that's a fact. But, is LinkedIn Premium worth it? Well, it depends on your situation and the strategy you are following on LI, if you have a strategy at all. I'm going to tell you in this post, the exacts situations when you should pay and you shouldn't pay for LinkedIn premium.

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Is LinkedIn Premium Worth It? —How to get the most out of it in 2021

is linkedin premium worth it?
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Have you ever considered paying for LinkedIn premium features? Well, before you consider upgrading to a premium account, please read this guide.
This is the most common question I get from people reviewing LinkedIn features.

It’s a fair question, though. If you put your money into something, you want to get the most from it.

Having the premium badge on your profile is kind of cool. It gives you a higher status than other profiles.

But what else?

You’ll get superpowers (or something like that) and the people in your industry will be dying to do business with you?

Let’s figure it out.

What is LinkedIn Premium?

Here’s the main question: if you’re paying for a premium service, what will you get from it?

The strategy used by LinkedIn to market their premium features has been highly criticized over the years, basically because they didn’t create new features to include in the premium plans.

What they did, in a very smooth way, was take features from the free plans and include them in the paid plans.

So, here are some of the features that used to be free:

  • Tag profiles
  • Add comments to profiles
  • Statistics
  • Who viewed your profile
  • Profile visualization

But the objective here is to figure out whether those differences are worth US$79.99 a month for the Sales Navigator subscription (2018 pricing).

In this post, I will focus on LinkedIn for business development purposes. So you’ll probably be interested in two plans: Business and Sales.

Let’s look at the different plans available right now:

linkedin premium worth it

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LinkedIn Premium Business: a great option to get started.

Let’s say you’re paying the $47.99 a month for LinkedIn Business.

In that case, with your premium account you’ll get extra features such as:

LinkedIn premium plan

You have 15 InMail messages every month, which means that you can send a direct message to anyone on LinkedIn (even someone not in your network).

Is that useful?

It depends.

Let me tell you something. You can send direct messages to ANYONE on LinkedIn for FREE. I showed you how to do it in another post. Seriously, I sent a message to Tony Robbins. You should check it out.

Why should you pay for something that you can do already for free? Clearly because not too many people are aware of that they can do it for free.

But if you’re considering paying for LinkedIn Premium Business just so you can send InMail to prospects, maybe you’re not using LinkedIn correctly.

You’ll get the most of LinkedIn (free or premium business), by sharing relevant content, building relationships, helping others and positioning yourself as an authority in your industry.

When you do your “homework” on LinkedIn, you don’t need InMails to get new prospects.

LinkedIn insights, online video courses and career insights are totally prescindibles, in my opinion. I definitely don’t want to pay for them.

If you want to develop your business (or your personal brand, startup, freelancing,etc…), the truly useful features are unlimited people browsing and who has viewed your profile.

Having unlimited searches is an essential feature if you want to get the most of LinkedIn – and to be honest, I’ll pay for the Business plan just for this one feature. But also, you’ll get access to the advanced search filters which is a powerful way to target your searches.

This is especially important if you are starting your project and you want to gain some traction developing your online business idea, connecting with the right people, and having access to decision-makers.

Unlocking the ability to see who’s viewed your profile is a very interesting feature if you want to follow up on those profiles.

Why? Because if they checked out your profile, they have a legitimate interest in what do you do, who you are, who you work for, or some other reason.

To follow up on that, an easy but useful tactic is to send an invitation to those people and say something like:

“Hi, I noticed that to you checked out my profile today. I thought that we might connect and chat about what brought you here. Thanks, Fran.”

Simple, but efficient. Try it if you want to expand your network.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator: The most that LinkedIn has to offer

So far, so good. But should you pay US$79 a month for the Sales plan?

Let’s take a look at the key features you get with the Sales Navigator plan:

linkedin sales navigator

As you can see, there are some new things in your premium account:

  • Advanced search with lead-builder
  • Lead recommendations and saved leads

Should you pay the extra money for those features?

Again, it depends.

  • Do you have an optimized profile and company profile?
  • Do you follow a content strategy that matches your marketing persona?
  • Have you defined your marketing persona/s?
  • Do you have a clear strategy for LinkedIn groups?
  • Are you following up with your prospects to share value before selling them anything?
  • Are you an active job seeker? —I need to mention that in this case there is another plan for this purpose.

If your answer is a clear YES for all those questions, then pay for LinkedIn Sales Navigator. You’ll get a lot of business from it.

In short, LinkedIn Premium Sales Navigator is a perfect solution for sales professionals users that need advanced search filter options and send direct InMail messages to other members.

Otherwise, I recommend that you review your LinkedIn strategy and marketing goals on this social network before paying a dime.

Is LinkedIn Premium worth it if you are a job seeker or a recruiter?

LinkedIn premium career offers a plan specifically for helping people with their job search process.

Basically is a LinkedIn premium account focused on giving you more visibility and easy access to a recruiter. This is mainly possible because of the inMail credits that are included in this plan which allows you to send a direct message to ANY professional to boost your network.

InMails are more effective than a regular email if you are contacting hiring managers and recruiters, also, if you upgrade to LinkedIn Premium will benefit from detailed analytics and job insights from your job searches.

Now, the question is, what if I am a recruiter, is this is a good option for me? Well, LinkedIn has a premium service for recruiters.

What is LinkedIn Recruiter?

This is basically what you need to find the best member profiles and more talented professionals. Where you are in-house recruiter or you are hiring for a client the specific search filters will give you access to the best candidates.

Of course, you will have InMail credits as well to contact as many members as you want.

This LinkedIn Premium plan is perfect for hiring managers, recruiters and members that are managing teams.

Are LinkedIn InMail messages worth it?

I want to spend some time clarifying this question, which I hear a lot from people considering upgrade to LinkedIn premium or not.

Your premium subscription will give you access to send a certain number of direct InMails to other LinkedIn members, whether they are connected to you or not. This is great to contact LinkedIn users that you don’t have their email address.

You need to be aware that the amount of InMails is limited, many people think that they can send unlimited messages every month.

Before deciding if this is worth make sure if you need to have an idea of how many direct messages you need to send to other users or members. For example, if you are a sales professional you probably need to contact many profiles each month, but to achieve that is a much better option Sales Navigator than Business Premium.

When is NOT worth to pay for LinkedIn Premium

At this point, we’ve seen the different features and pricing for both the Business and Sales plans.

But here’s something I really want to tell you, just so you can be sure you’re ready to pay for LinkedIn services or not.

As we’ve seen, the main benefit of paying for LinkedIn is that you can develop your business and expand your network.

Especially on Sales Navigator, whose search engine has very good filters that help you connect with highly qualified profiles.

On the other hand, you can share remarkable content, publish on LinkedIn Pulse, attract key contacts, expand your network, and ultimately build your authority using the free basic plan.

So, to pay or not pay – that’s the question.

Here is my recommendation: don’t pay for LinkedIn’s annual plan.

Why not?

Let’s say you’re running a campaign to promote a new service and want to fill your pipeline with as many qualified prospects as you can.

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Anyway … if you do it well, after running your campaign you’ll get a lot of new connections – and more importantly, potential clients.

That means that you’ll have a lot of sales nurturing and follow-up to do!

What I recommend – and it’s something I do myself – is concentrate my campaigns in specific months, then pay for LinkedIn premium for a month or two.

The next month, I cancel my subscription and focus my efforts on attending to those new connections.

This is a more sensible approach. You won’t pay for premium features you won’t really use, and you can focus your efforts on converting new clients.

And clients will give you the ROI to evaluate in your particular case whether LinkedIn Premium is worth it or not.

Does that make sense to you, too?

Conclusions: Should you pay for LinkedIn or stay with the free version?

Ok, enough talk about features, searches, strategies and so on. Should pay for it or not?

I’m so sorry to give you my “default consultant answer” again, but…

It depends.

It really depends of your LinkedIn strategy, if you have one. It depends on whether you’ve optimized your profile. It depends on your offer. It depends on your knowledge of LinkedIn features.

Or maybe you are actively looking for new professional opportunities and want to get access to LinkedIn premium for job seekers to find your next job.

But here’s something very definite:

LinkedIn premium gives you access to a worldwide network of potential clients. Not just clients, but key connections that will bring you new business opportunities, partnerships, collaborations, talented collaborators and employees, and much more.

You have basically two options at this point:

First, pay for LinkedIn Premium and add the golden premium badge to your profile.

LinkedIn premium profile

If you don’t mind spending that money because you have the budget, cool.

If your company pays you to have an annual LinkedIn premium subscription, cool.

But the truth is, you won’t sell more just because you have a golden badge.

If you want to see a return in your investment, you must have a solid LinkedIn strategy in place, take action, share relevant and valuable content, connect wisely with other profiles, help others and build your authority.

Then, and only then, you should consider to pay to get access to the premium features.

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