Even if you’re not a recruiter or sales person, upgrading to the LinkedIn Premium plan for business professionals may still be worth the investment. LinkedIn offers four types of plans: LinkedIn Premium, recruiters, job seekers and sales professionals. LinkedIn Premium targets business owners and general professionals who want to find and connect with the right people to promote and grow a business, form partnerships and find prospects.
Here are four reasons business owners and professionals may want to upgrade to LinkedIn Premium.
1. Connect with more people and those outside of your network
Premium members can send direct email through InMail to anyone on LinkedIn, even if they’re not connected. The number of InMail credits for sending emails varies based on the selected plan. InMail has a seven-day guaranteed response rate. If you don’t get a response within seven days, LinkedIn refunds the InMail credit. And if they reply on day eight, you still keep the credit. Members can carry over InMail credits, but they expire after 90 days.
Free accounts can request five introductions whereas premium users can request at least 15. They also find out what they have in common with the person they want to reach. This may offer a good conversation starting point. The advantage of introductions is that people tend to respond when someone they know does the introducing rather than you cold-emailing them.
Members can join the OpenLink network, which increases your profile’s visibility because it allows other LinkedIn members — basic members included — to view your complete profile and contact you with no penalties to them. OpenLink is an optional feature that needs to be activated.
2. Access more profiles and details for more thorough research
Premium users have full access to 35 times more profiles, including 3rd degree connections. Those on the free account are limited to viewing the full profiles of 1st- and 2nd-degree connections.
3. Learn more about the people interested in you
On the basic plan, you can only see the last five people who have checked out your profile. Premium users get a full list of people who have viewed their profile in the last 90 days and analytics on how they found you such as search keywords, industries and geography.
The keywords help you adjust and optimize your profile. Reviewing views by industries and location may reveal a potential market for prospects, clients and partnerships. When you contact the people who viewed your profile, start a conversation rather than sending a generic connection request.
4. Gain more search power and precision
All accounts have access to advanced search, but premium members can access more options to sharpen searches and get more targeted results. Premium adds eight search fields including LinkedIn groups (they belong to), years of experience, function (accounting, legal, etc.), seniority level, interested in (consultants, industry experts, deal-making contacts, etc.), company size, Fortune (ranges from Fortune 50 to 1000) and when joined.
Basic accounts view 100 search results. Premium accounts search results range from 300 to 700. LinkedIn saves your criteria and notifies you when new profiles meet your criteria. The notifications per week vary based on the selected plan in which the basic can get three and the others get more than five notifications each week. Premium members can also see a list of people in their network who can provide a reference for someone they wish to contact.
Premium features speed up and target your searches, widen your network and reveal more insights. It may be what the doctor ordered to grow your business and connections. Fees are charged by the month or annually, so you can try it for one month to see how you like it and how much you use it.