If you've ever used the internet to try to network with professionals and companies that share similar interests as yourself, by now you've probably heard of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a website that allows employees, employers, and everyone in between to connect with each other as they build their careers. Anyone can make a basic account through their service, but it's hard to see what all the service has to offer without a LinkedIn premium account.
LinkedIn offers tier-based premium accounts which are suited to the needs of different types of members. Whether you are looking for a job or recruiting for a job, there is a membership level for you that will unlock all sorts of features aimed at helping you achieve your goals. You may not have even realized that LinkedIn has a premium service, and if that is the case, it's worth checking out. In this article, we'll look at some of the key facts and benefits regarding the LinkedIn premium service.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM LINKEDIN PREMIUM
If you are serious about connecting with others in order to build a strong inner circle and open doors as you go down your career path, then a LinkedIn premium account is perfect for you. Premium accounts are able to use all of the same features as basic accounts and much more. With a premium account, the basic experience is enhanced in many ways, as certain limitations you have under free accounts will be lifted. For example, you can connect with more kinds of people and view more information about them.
In addition to enhanced features, you are given access to tools which are not available for basic users in any capacity. You can make more accurate searches and locate the specific people you are trying to find. You also get perks which improve your own visibility and give you insights into the type of people that are viewing your profile and finding interest in you. Overall, with a premium account, you can expect an excellent experience that will show you how LinkedIn can change and improve your professional life.
HOW TO UPGRADE TO A PREMIUM ACCOUNT
The process to upgrade your basic account to a premium one is very simple. On their website, at the very top right of your user homepage, there is a link which says "Free Upgrade to Premium." Click this link, and your browser will take you to a page which lists Linkedin's premium tiers. Here you can look at a description of each tier as well as the pricing plans for each. You have the option of choosing to upgrade based on if you want premium features as an employee, business, salesperson, or hiring agent; each of these tiers gets a little more expensive as the benefits increase.
Once you have read over each tier's plan and have decided which one is right for you, click the "Select Plan" button. The browser will move to a page which will either ask you to sign in or one which will prepare you for checkout. On the checkout page, you can enter a payment method and select whether you want to be billed monthly or annually. Once this page is filled out, you'll be able to click the "Review Order" button at the bottom of the page. This should take you to a page where you can review the details of your order and confirm them.
MANAGING AND CANCELING YOUR PREMIUM ACCOUNT
Managing/canceling a Linkedin premium subscription is just as easy as signing up for one. To cancel your account, begin by clicking on the "Me" icon which is located at the top of your Linkedin homepage. Once the drop-down menu appears, click on the link which says "Premium subscription settings." On the next page which appears, click "Account type" (located on the left) and then "Cancel Subscription." You will come to a page which asks you to choose a reason for your cancelation. After you have done so, click "Continue" and then "Cancel my subscription."
SEE MORE PROFILES WHEN YOU SEARCH
With a premium account, your LinkedIn searches will find you 35x more profiles than that of a basic account. This is especially beneficial for recruiters and salespeople looking for the perfect candidates. You'll feel comfortable knowing that you are not missing out on people and are able to perform a thorough search. In addition to the surge in profile numbers, you are also able to see much more information about people than you would be able to otherwise.
SEE WHO'S BEEN VIEWING YOUR PROFILE
Both the basic and premium versions of LinkedIn allow you access to information about those who have been viewing your profile; however, LinkedIn premium accounts get to see and learn much more about those who are checking you out. For example, basic members only have the opportunity to see the 5 most recent members who have viewed their page within the last 90 days; whereas, premium members can see everyone who has viewed their page within that same timeframe. In addition, premium members get access to a ton of other insights and graphs concerning those who visit their page.
ADDITIONAL SEARCH FILTERS
If you choose either the LinkedIn Recruiter or Sales Navigator packages for your premium plan, you get the option to use extra search filters which basic, career, and business members cannot. The search tool is one of the key functions of LinkedIn, and these filters will help narrow down your searches and allow you to find the people with the right credentials.
These premium filters allow you to search using the following criteria:
- Years of Experience
- Seniority Level
- Interested In
- Company Size
- When Joined
Premium members are also given the ability to do a "reference search" which searches for people who might have worked with or are somehow related to potential candidates. By clicking on the "Advanced" link which is located next to the LinkedIn search box, you can access the reference search tool. This capability lets you verify potential candidates' references with ease. You can quickly find people who have worked with them in the past and find out if what they have listed on their resume is factually correct.
One of the greatest aspects of premium LinkedIn accounts is that they are able to facilitate a lot more introductions than a basic account. While a basic account is allowed 5 introductions per month, premium accounts can make up to 25 introductions per month (in other words, 5x what is allotted for a basic account). This is a huge advantage as one of the fundamental reasons people use LinkedIn is to link up with other people. The raised introduction cap premium members receive gives them a lot more flexibility and way more opportunities to meet new people.
INMAILS / PRIVATE MESSAGING
Anyone on LinkedIn can send private messages to their connections, but in order to send messages to those who you are not connected to, you must be able to send InMail. The InMail feature is exclusive for premium members, and depending on your premium tier level, you are given a certain number of credits monthly which are used to send InMail messages.
In order to access LinkedIn's mailing tools, click on the "Messaging" button which is located on the toolbar at the top of your homepage. You can compose messages, check your mail, and perform all other mail-related tasks via the messaging page.
EARNING A GOLD BADGE BY YOUR NAME
A final benefit of having a LinkedIn premium account is the prestige and power that the gold "In" badge gives you. Spammers and impersonators are everywhere on the internet, and this unfortunate fact makes it difficult for people to know who to trust when they are meeting strangers online. However, with the gold badge, those who see your name will know you are serious. Those who are looking at candidates through the searches will choose your first. It's almost the equivalent of having a check mark by your name on Twitter.
As you can see, LinkedIn premium accounts can accomplish much more than basic ones. Premium accounts are easy to sign up for / cancel, have extra search features, give you more statistics, give you more credibility, and much more. In the end, going premium gives you more chances to connect with and find the right people. If you are truly serious about using their service as a way to network and further your career, then there is no reason to turn what they are offering down.
LinkedIn is offering free trials of their premium features to those who have never had a trial before. If you are skeptical as to whether the extra benefits will prove useful for you or not, you can always try them out and see before you take on a full membership. For professionals, this is the best networking service out there, and you can try it all out for free. And, after you have explored the features to their fullest, you'll be fully prepared to decide if it is right for you.