LinkedIn is a highly useful tool for many in the business world. For job seekers, it can help you find open positions, explore potential employers, and connect with contacts in companies you want to work for. Once you're in a position, it can help you stay in touch with colleagues. For companies with job openings, it can help you get the word out and find quality applicants.
For business owners, it can serve as a platform for promoting your brand and help you find new customers or clients. It can also help you to find services you need from all over the world, such as translation services, design experts, and South America software outsourcing services.
Like many applications, LinkedIn has a free version and several paid options. The free version has numerous useful features but, if you want to make the most of this platform, you should consider paying for an upgrade. Is it cheap? No. Is it worth it? Maybe. Here are some facts to help you decide whether LinkedIn Premium is right for you.
LinkedIn Premium Plans
Unlike other services, which provide the same basic functionality with more features with each successive plan level, LinkedIn bases its Premium plans on what you want to do with it:
● For: Jobseekers
● Features: Gives you three InMail message credits per month so you can send messages to people (such as recruiters) you're not connected to. Enables you to compare your profile with other candidates applying for the same jobs. Includes interview and recruitment resources.
● Cost: $29.99 per month paid monthly (you get a discount if you pay annually)
● For: Business owners or marketing professionals
● Features: Includes 15 InMail message credits. Offers additional information regarding other companies. Allows you to view an unlimited number of users on the site.
● Cost: $59.99 per month paid monthly (you get a discount if you pay annually)
● For: Business owners or sales professionals
● Features: Includes 20 InMail message credits. Provides insights on potential companies and contacts you might want to do business with. Allows you to create lead lists to keep track of your sales activities.
● Cost: $79.99 per month paid monthly (you get a discount if you pay annually)
● For: Recruiters and headhunters
● Features: Includes 30 InMail message credits. Provides unlimited advanced search with recruiting-focused filters and candidate suggestions. Offers integrated hiring functionality and candidate tracking.
● Cost: $119.99 per month paid monthly (you get a discount if you pay annually)
From the list above, you can see that the Premium versions do provide helpful benefits. But what do they really mean for you? Say you're a job seeker. You've discovered a company that you really want to work for. You've applied for a couple of positions with no response. You decide to be more proactive and reach out directly to hiring managers, but they haven't responded to your requests to connect.
Without Premium Career, you've done all you can do on the platform. But, with it, you get InMail credits that you can use to message those managers directly, even without a 1st-level connection. Furthermore, being able to compare your profile to your competitors can help you make positive changes to yours that will give you a better chance with future applications.
Similarly, if you're a business owner or sales professional, you might find that you eventually run out of the number of people LinkedIn allows you to connect with. But you know sales is a numbers game, and the more people you can connect with, the better. Sales Navigator allows you to connect with more people, meaning the likelihood of more sales.
Disadvantages of LinkedIn Premium
While the paid versions of LinkedIn do have some very good benefits, they also have drawbacks. To make the most of your paid subscription, you need to have time to maintain your personal or company profile. Additionally, the more you interact with the service, the more you're likely to get spammy connection invites. Finally, the service isn't cheap. If you're used to paying $5, $10, or even $20 per month for a service, LinkedIn Premium will seem like a steep step up.
So, Is It Worth It?
So, is it worth it to spring for a paid LinkedIn account? There's no one answer for everyone. It depends on the value you think you'll get out of the additional features. One indicator that it's a good fit is if you keep running into a certain problem, like not being able to write messages to people you're not connected with, or not having a good way to keep track of your sales leads.
Another way to think about it is to calculate what your salary might be from a new job or how much business you think you can generate with the extra boost the service will provide. Is it equal to or more than the amount you would be paying for the upgrade? For example, let's say you're a business owner and you expect to make $5,000 in additional sales after upgrading. You'll pay around $950 per year for Sales Navigator, for a net of $4,050. Is it worth it? Only you can decide.