Just a few years ago, it felt like the only reason to be on LinkedIn was if you were recruiting or trying to get a new job. After all, this was the primary activity that happened on LinkedIn. People promoted themselves, but the network wasn’t much of a place to exchange ideas. However, the role of LinkedIn has blossomed over time. These days, it is a place to see and be seen, and also talk about business. Now, recruiters, jobseekers, and most other professionals hang out here.
This isn’t surprising: all of the older social networks have matured, and their purpose expanded. And for professionals that need jobs or use LinkedIn as part of their jobs, LinkedIn Premium accounts are increasingly important. With 39% of LinkedIn users leveraging Premium, it’s natural to ask ourselves, “is LinkedIn Premium worth it? The rest of this post will analyze the answer.
What is LinkedIn Premium?
LinkedIn is unique among social media networks. While Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks only give you the ability to advertise, because of LinkedIn’s importance as the center for professional social networking, they offer a monthly service to give your professional profile a boost. As an added benefit, LinkedIn has far fewer advertisements while benefitting their members to a greater extent.
The exact services that LinkedIn Premium offers from time to time, but currently they offer several premium plans. These include Premium Career for job seekers, Premium Business for business development professionals or leaders, Sales Navigator for salespeople, and Recruiter Lite. Each of these has different value-added features that are tailored for the needs of different user subsets.
Here is a snapshot of the current LinkedIn Premium offerings. Because “LinkedIn Premium” is only attached to the Career and Business products, those are the two products that will be the focus of this article. I am assuming that the reader of this article already understands the value of Sales Navigator (Sales) and Recruiter Lite (Hiring), but it’s the Career and Business level that I get asked the most questions about.
What is the difference between LinkedIn and LinkedIn premium?
Before telling you is LinkedIn premium worth it, let’s look at the reasons why you might want it. This involves understanding the features of standard versus premium accounts. If you are like most people, who mainly use LinkedIn for casual networking and building your personal brand, then the free account is usually enough. After all, you can meet people and participate in discussions for free.
However, a paid account gives you some added benefits depending on your choice of plan. For standard Premium Business ($59.99/mo), you get 15 InMail Messages per month, full access to the Who’s Viewed Your Profile data for the last 90 days, and access to 15,000+ LinkedIn Learning Courses. Premium Career ($29.99) gets you 3 InMails and lacks unlimited people browsing. Career, of course, is mostly worthwhile when actively job searching.
Then, there are the specialized plans. Sales Navigator($79.99/mo) grants 20 InMails, advanced lead search filters, lead recommendations, a standalone user interface for salespeople, custom lead and account lists, realtime update alerts on job changes and recent company growth statistics. These help you decide who the best prospects are. Similarly, Recruiter Lite ($134.99/mo) allows 30 InMails, special recruiter-specific search, separate user interface, hiring tools, and suggestions that help find talent.
What are the General Advantages of LinkedIn Premium?
Regardless of what kind of LinkedIn Premium account you get, deciding is LinkedIn Premium worth it depends on the advantages. As I mentioned above, some tools are highly specialized for particular use cases. However, all of them include certain minimal advantages.
It is nice to have the ability to send a message to anyone without being connected to them. They are more effective than a cold email because it’s coming from within LinkedIn showing that you are a real person. Your target also knows that you paid for the privilege to reach out to them. Spam isn’t economical, and using fake profiles isn’t tolerated. A LinkedIn InMail, according to LinkedIn, is 2.6X more effective than a normal emails.
Who’s Viewed Your Profile
If you are reaching out to other people on LinkedIn, you don’t know if they are active on the platform or saw your message. Being able to see who viewed your profile is an excellent way of confirming if they checked you out or not. It also gives you the ability to see how has been checking out your profile that you might want to proactively reach out to.
You can learn something new or hone your skills with over 15,000 expert-led courses. Every professional needs R&D in keeping up with old as well as learning new skills, and LinkedIn Learning can support you regardless of your job function. This makes it a relatively cheap source of professional learning. If you’re considering a career change, LinkedIn Learning is also a great place to investigate other avenues and can help you answer is LinkedIn Premium worth it with an affirmative.
Access to Additional Searches
With Premium, you can view any profile (up to 3rd degree connections) from search results or while browsing similar profiles. LinkedIn has been working hard to limit the amount and volume of search data to free users, so if you tend to do a lot of searches for work on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Premium is a time saver. Plus, you’ll see more relevant results. No matter what kind of professional activity you perform on LinkedIn, this is a bonus.
Open Profile option
This option allows any LinkedIn member to see your full profile and reach out to you, without InMail credits. This makes you more contactable so people don’t have to go out of their way and use an InMail to contact you if they are not connected to you. Certain professionals, such as consultants, might find this especially beneficial. You never know when a potential client will want to inquire about services.
LinkedIn Premium for Sales Professionals and Leaders: Premium Business
Premium Business is focused on the needs of sales professionals. That’s because it helps you find decision makers in key companies, then try to connect. For a professional like myself, this means people high up in corporate marketing departments, as well as the owners of expanding small businesses. Especially in the B2B space, it’s critical for sales professionals hang out on this platform: in fact, studies show that a whopping 80% of global B2B leads come from LinkedIn.
In addition to the benefits in general advantages, you also get access to Premium insights on LinkedIn company pages, which is a new tab on any company page that gives you access to total employee count over time, employee distribution and headcount growth by function, new hires, notable alumni, and total job openings. This data could provide a lot of value in researching the organizations of your potential customers or actual competitors to determine where companies are investing resources.
LinkedIn Premium for Jobseekers: Premium Career
Are you looking for a new job? The answer to is LinkedIn Premium worth it is often “yes.” That’s because Premium Career is focused on jobseekers, and a lot of opportunities are listed on LinkedIn. All users have access to LinkedIn Jobs, but this doesn’t necessarily go very far: it’s just a listing. To land a job, personal connections are often valuable. It’s no wonder, then, that 72% of recruiters were using LinkedIn to find candidates last year.
Another thing that you should keep in mind is that LinkedIn remains a popular place to find a job. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s internal statistics, 40 million people look for jobs on LinkedIn every week, and 3 people a minute find a job there. Being a Premium user lets you reach out directly to recruiters much more easily, giving you a leg up against the competition.
Be a featured applicant.
In addition to the benefits in general advantages, one killer advantage of Premium Career is the Featured Applicant feature. This helps you stand out more than a killer LinkedIn profile. If you apply to a job on LinkedIn as a LinkedIn Premium member, check the “Featured Applicant” box at the bottom of the job application page on LinkedIn. Your application will be displayed in a highlighted row at the top of the list of applicants seen by the job poster, putting your job application ahead of others and boosting the chance of its being viewed.
You get information about your competition.
Another advantage tied to applying to jobs on LinkedIn is the ability to get access to competitive intelligence about other job applicants for each unique job posting. You will be able to both compare your skills to the qualifications required for open job as well as see how you stack up against other applicants. You can use this information to help craft your own unique story and prep for your interview. In particular, answering the “why you vs. your competition” question will be much easier to answer.
Gain detailed salary estimates.
LinkedIn also provides Premium Career members access to salary data. You can sort job listings by salary range and see detailed salary estimates for all jobs in the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia. You will also be able to see a detailed breakdown of salaries by job title and location, and explore how the data varies by industry, company size, education level and field of study. Leverage this information next time you’re up for a promotion or negotiating your compensation.
Get your resume read.
You also have the ability to improve your resume with keyword insights. You will be able to create a resume based on your profile and get full access to keyword insights that help pass application tracking software (ATS). The ATS has been difficult for many applicants to bypass, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why some applicants apply for a lot of jobs they’re qualified for and get poor results.
Conclusion: 5 Reasons Why LinkedIn Premium is Worth It for Every Professional
While people who aren’t actively looking for a job and don’t need to reach out to people all the time might not need LinkedIn Premium, many do. For them, the answer to is LinkedIn Premium worth it is almost always yes.
1. InMail is a lifesaver.
If you’re in sales or marketing, the ability to reach out to anyone with InMail, whether it is a potential customer, partner, influencer or employee, is a no-brainer. Almost everyone in these professions will want to reach out to prospects directly through LinkedIn at some point. While the monthly allotment doesn’t allow for a ton of InMails, you can definitely use them for key prospects.
2. The ability to access LinkedIn Learning pays for itself.
Professional development is important for most people’s careers, especially at higher levels. And with LinkedIn Learning, you can get information for free. Plus, topics don’t have to be within your specialty. Because of this, the possibilities are much less limited than professional development obtained by more traditional routes.
3. You can easily gauge your effectiveness.
Who’s Viewed Your Profile is a nice way of knowing if your outreach efforts, regardless of objective, are working or not. For sales professionals, an increase in the number and quality of profile views can help you know if you’re becoming a better recognized brand. Job seekers can find out how often recruiters are checking out their profile. Besides this, they’ll know if recruiters from a company they’ve applied to are checking them out.
4. Unlimited searches are invaluable.
Getting unlimited searches is a potential time saver, and in business time is money. This is true whether you’re looking for the next star employee, the person that’ll help you land your dream job, or an important decisionmaker for sales. Not only does this save time and money, but it makes you more competitive as a result.
5. LinkedIn Premium is a smart investment for your professional future.
If you carry a sales quota of, or are looking to make or maintain a 6-figure salary, a small investment of $60 a month is excellent career or sales insurance. Sales professionals can cut through the noise and quickly reach the right person. Jobseekers can ensure that they only apply to jobs that meet their standards – and get an advantage over the competition through better visibility.
What are you waiting for? Are you now ready to invest in LinkedIn Premium?
Hero photo by Ben Sweet on Unsplash