Like everything... if you can try before you buy... you should.
There are benefits in having an upgraded LinkedIn account, however if you aren't working the 'free version' to its full capacity why upgrade. Master the platform and then when you get hungry for more functionality then upgrade.
There is so much that can be done on the "Free" version that I would advise mastering it first before upgrading.
The benefits of the Upgraded Account
With a paid account you have access to unlimited searches via the advanced people search tool. This is a big advantage if you’re a sales person or a recruiter. LinkedIn has recently introduced the ‘commercial search limit’, which means that after a certain number of searches (estimated between 60 and 100) you will be blocked and no longer have access to the full list of search results.
More search filters
If you are using the ‘Advanced Search’ window regularly you may have noticed that on the right hand side you see additional search fields that are only accessible to members with paid accounts. So if this is a functionality you use often, you might find it necessary to get the paid account.
A great work-around on this is to also search in individual Groups.
More saved searches (5 instead of 3)
With the free account you can only save up to 3 searches, with the paid account you can have 5 searches saved.
When you have a paid account, anyone on LinkedIn can send you a message, whether you are connected or not. The work-around on this is to make sure you have your email address visible in your Summary section.
You have access to inmails on an upgraded account (you get none with a Free version of LinkedIn). Unfortunately in-mails have a bad reputation as most people are contacted by sales people wanting to sell stuff... which I suppose is a valid purpose.
However, I believe that you would get better sales response if you a. connected b. built brand awareness and then created a business opportunity by having a conversation outside of the LinkedIn platform. There are other ways to send messages to people you are not connected with.
So in a nutshell, make sure you know the basics of LinkedIn well and use the platform to it's full potential before upgrading. The main reason for paying for the upgrade will be when you get sick of hitting the monthly search limit... If this is happening to you regularly, then yes maybe it is time to consider purchasing a premium account.
Come to one of my workshops to learn how to use the LinkedIn platform to its full potential.
- How to optimise your profile so you will get found on LinkedIn
- Training on how to strategically grow your network
- How to promote yourself and be seen as an industry expert
- How to build a company page and nurture your community