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Photo by phanlop88, www.freedigitalphotos.net

By Sarah Santacroce at Simplicity

Should I pay for a LinkedIn Premium account? This is a question I get asked on each & every LinkedIn webinar. It’s of course a very valid question, since the monthly investment is not exactly peanuts.

Let’s see what you get more when you pay:
Full list of ‘People Who Viewed Your Profile

As a free member you can only see the last five people to have viewed their profile. Premium members on the other hand get the full list of people from the last 90 days.

I often reach out to people who view my profile to see if they are interested in connecting. Often times they were just too shy to ask. If you’re on LinkedIn every day like me, then you don’t necessarily need to see the full list since you’ll always see the last 5 people who visited your profile.


You might be aware that on LinkedIn you can’t send messages to other members you’re not directly connected with. Well, with InMail you can. According to LinkedIn, InMails have a much higher open rate compared to that of email.

LinkedIn also guarantees a 7-day response rate, meaning that if the person you sent the InMail to doesn’t respond within 7 days, LinkedIn will ‘reimburse’ your InMail.

Free users can purchase InMails, but Premium members receive a number of free InMails each month (number depends on the type of LinkedIn Premium membership you purchase, see overview below).

linkedin simplicity

Better search results

If you want to use LinkedIn in a pro-active way, search for prospects & reach out to them, then you’ll be a big fan of the LinkedIn Advanced Search. Users of the free version have access to the section on the left, which includes several fields such as keywords, location and company. If you’re a Premium user however, you also get access to several other search features which can be found on the right hand side of the Advanced Search (see visual).

They include Groups, Years of Experience, Function, Seniority Level, Interested In, Company Size, Fortune & When Joined.

Those are valuable search factors when you want to use LinkedIn to conduct searches to create pro-active social selling campaigns or of course if you’re an independent recruiter to conduct targeted candidate searches.

Premium account options

The different premium options available are:

  • Business- for general business users
  • Job Seeker – for job seekers
  • Sales Navigator – for sales professionals
  • Talent Finder – for individual recruiters and employers
  • Recruiter – for enterprise recruiters

Sarah, do you have a free or a paid account’ ?

I have a free account and it’s enough for my needs for now. I’m on LinkedIn every day, several times per day so I always see the last 5 people who have visited my profile. If I want to reach out to a person I’m not yet connected with then

I find other ways to reach out

For example I see if we have any groups in common, and if we don’t I join a group that the other person is a member of. Then I go into the ‘Members’ section of the group, find the person I’m looking for and when I hover over his name a tiny link shows up on the right hand side saying ‘Send a message’. This works 90% of the time! It won’t work if the person has turned of the option to receive messages from other group members or if he/she has not joined any groups.

In my opinion this works even better than InMails since I can state that we are on the same group. In my experience InMails have been misused for promotional purposes too many times, and now influencers won’t even open them any more if they don’t recognize the sender.

Why I would consider getting a Premium account

One really good reason for which I’d consider a Premium account is the Advanced Search. In order to get very targeted search results, save these searches and then reach out to those members individually, the premium member has many more features to his disposal and will be able to dig much deeper. So for clients who are planning a pro-active social selling LinkedIn campaign I highly recommend getting a Premium account.

So to summarize, I think you (the Small Business Owner or coach) can do well on LinkedIn even with the free option. If you want to use LinkedIn actively to search & reach out to prospects, then I’d recommend a business plan.

That’s my opinion. Read below what other LinkedIn experts think. Premium or free account?

Viveka von Rosen – Should you pay for an account on LinkedIn?

Melonie Dodaro – 3 business reasons to upgrade to LinkedIn Premium

Andy Brandt – LinkedIn Basics: should I upgrade to a Premium account?

Author's Bio

santacroce_webSarah Santacroce is a certified social media, internet marketing, and virtual event specialist. She enjoys every aspect of small business marketing. It is her mission to help other small businesses and solopreneurs increase their visibility and use social media tools as part of their marketing strategy.

Sarah draws on 12 years of experience in Business Administration, in fields ranging from Employee Training to Public Relations at big and small companies. She became interested in Online Marketing and Social Media to promote her own business and after lots of research and numerous classes and webinars she is now offering that knowledge to other small- to mid-sized businesses who struggle to find their place on the web.

This article is the second in a series of regular contributions that Sarah will be making to her guest blog on knowitall.ch.  You can see more articles from Sarah on her own website at: www.simplicityadmins.ch

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