Is LinkedIn Premium worth the investment?
That depends. If you are uncertain, you can always start with the free 30-day trial so that you can test-drive the features and decide if you can justify it. Just below your photo icon in the black menu bar, use the drop-down menu to “start free trial,” located near the top (I’m already a Premium user).
Once you activate the free trial, please contact me for a brief tutorial at www.calendly.com/dbwienke.
Here are top reasons to decide if you’re “in” or “out.”
1. Who Viewed My Profile
I believe one of the most valuable aspects of LinkedIn Premium is knowing who viewed your profile, especially within the past 90 days. Let’s unpack with a metaphor: before #WFH, someone knocked on your office door and chose not to leave a message. Missed opportunity?
Try starting a conversation asking how they found you, or how you can provide some help. Online networking is much easier with #WFH. Perhaps it could even lead to an informational interview, if you are currently a job seeker.
The free account shows only the last five people who viewed your profile. If you check in every day, there’s your work-around with a free account. It is time-consuming, but effective.
Here is the Premium graph showing how many people viewed your profile each week. Why does that matter? When you see a spike in viewership, figure out what activities you did that week which moved the needle upwards and then do that activity more regularly to increase the number of people viewing your profile.
2. Unlimited Searches
Perhaps the most useful feature you earn with LinkedIn Premium is the extended network access, which removes the search limitation tied to a free account. Commercial use limits can greatly restrict how many searches you perform across devices, including mobile and desktop searches. It will also limit the results that populate in “People also Viewed” along the right margin on your personal LinkedIn profile. Additionally, your searches may be restricted mid-month if you hit the limit–which is set at 1,000 searches as of this posting.
Premium offers unlimited searches when conducting advanced finds to discover connect with colleagues, recruiters, strategic professionals, and thought leaders.
Without InMail, you cannot send a message to someone that is not connected to you; you have to send an invite first, wait for their acceptance and then begin your networking.
InMail is possible only with a paid membership subscription. Based on your subscription level, you are given 15 (Premium) InMail messages to send every month, with the opportunity to purchase more.
InMail also gives you an additional character space of 1900 characters in the body of your InMail message, so your purpose in reaching out has more depth with a thoughtful “what’s in it for them.”
InMail messages are useful because they do not require a connection request. If you send an InMail to a decision maker, it is a great way to establish an initial connection without making the recipient feel obligated to accept an invitation from someone they don’t know.
LinkedIn Premium also gives you the option to send a message to others with Premium status. The benefit means you may network with any other Premium subscriber and ask a question or maybe share a particular problem and brainstorm solutions together.
Plus, your LinkedIn profile will receive the gold badge next to your name indicating to others that you are a serious networker.
4. Linkedin Learning
About three years ago, lynda.com was acquired by LinkedIn, bringing more than 13,000 courses created by industry experts to the LinkedIn Learning platform. These courses are available to Premium users.
You will find courses in a variety of categories. If you are furloughed or work from home and want additional training, these courses will help build on your expertise and bring new ideas to life.
If you don’t think the features mentioned in this post will be useful to you, a free LinkedIn account maybe all you need. On the other hand, if you are a job seeker or stealth job seeker, these additional benefits are well worth the investment to uncover all the full potential of the LinkedIn platform.
Be selective in how you use your Premium benefits to build a strategic network of connections who can open doors for you now, or in the future.