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Going for Gold: Is LinkedIn Premium Worth It?


Written by Simon Geraghty.

We’ve been doing a series of training sessions recently for a client around making the best use of LinkedIn for businesses. The initial focus of the training was primarily for their board of directors and how they should present the top team outwardly.

Preparing for these sessions got me thinking about the value of LinkedIn Premium for myself and my client’s businesses, particularly in these cash strapped times, and our original aims at DotDash to keep this business as lean as possible.

LinkedIn Premium may add a certain arriviste cachet to your profile but is there real value in upgrading your membership?

What is LinkedIn Premium?

There are three levels of Premium membership:

  1. Business – costs €14.95 per month for a year
  2. Business Plus – costs €29.95 per month for a year
  3. Executive – costs €53.95 per month for a year

These can also be purchased on a monthly basis for a higher monthly fee see. There are also three further Premium accounts aimed at Recruiters, Job Seekers and Sales Teams that I won’t cover in detail here.

The benefits of LinkedIn Premium:

So what do you get for your outlay?

  • Additional search features in ‘Advanced Search’, such as the ability to search for someone by company size, number of years experience or their interests.
  • You get more detail on profiles that are outside your own network.
  • The ability to create folders on your LinkedIn profile, such as arranging them by prospects, clients, or early stage leads.

You can also see who’s viewed your profile and the keywords people used to find your profile, allowing you to tweak your profile if necessary.

Rest assured that upgrading to a premium account will not allow someone to see your profile detail if you have chosen to put your privacy settings to anonymous.

(This is when you go into settings and click the ‘Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile‘ option, and then select ‘anonymous’).

What do you get as you move up each tier?

  • Additional InMails 3, 10 and 25 respectively at each of the three tiers.
  • More results in your searches:  300, 500 and 700.
  • Greater number of search categories: 4 premium search filters, 4 premium search filters and 8 premium search filters.
  • Prolfile Organizer Folders: 5, 25 and 50 folders as you shell out more per month.

In relation to InMails, I think if you really wanted to get in touch with someone you could simply get their email address or phone number, particularly where an organisation that uses the standard ‘[email protected]’ convention.

While the response to an InMail is guaranteed, or you get credited back, if you are networking in your local area, selling something that is differentiated, that really solves a client’s problems, you are just as likely to create an opportunity by other means as by an InMail.

Our closing thoughts

Being able to see the keywords that brought people to your profile and organise profiles into separate folders definitely have merit, I’m just not willing to pay just shy of €15 per month for the privilege.

For those of you working in the field of Recruitment, Sales or Job Seekers, who are looking for their second or third job, upgrading to LinkedIn Premium is likely help you hit your targets. For the rest of us, the features available as standard with LinkedIn are plenty to keep us developing a robust network and set of connections.

They key beneficiary of upgrading your profile is obviously LinkedIn itself, the network hit the 200 million member mark at the end of 2012, and is now the most profitable social network on the block. Wired told us in November that:

“LinkedIn revised upward its guidance for full-year 2012, estimating revenues will come in at $939 million to $944 million, versus a prior forecast of $915 million to $925 million.”

According to Silicon Valley’s MercuryNews full revenues for 2012 were $972.3 million, 86% higher than the 2011 total of $522.2 million. The company’s stock recently broke the $150 for the first time. Certainly worth an investment punt.

And just because it works on a few levels in this post have a listen to Goldfinger! What are your thoughts on going premium?

While we are on the subject of LinkedIn, here’s an infographic summary of the state of LinkedIn as of December 2012: