is linkedin premium worth it

Is LinkedIn Premium Worth It? Comparing Different Membership Levels

March 1, 2018 - 15 minutes read - B2B, Business Growth

LinkedIn is one of the most underrated, yet extremely powerful B2B business platforms out there. Known by many as “the professional social network,” LinkedIn is replete with thought leadership and lead generation opportunities

And while the free membership plan allows users to engage in basic networking activities, at some point, business owners and B2B marketers come to find themselves asking, “Is LinkedIn Premium worth it?”

With over 575 million members worldwide and 260 million monthly active users, LinkedIn has the features and resources needed to tap into new markets and business opportunities. Where many B2B brands fall short, however, is not optimizing their use of LinkedIn. In order to generate demand and drive growth, businesses in the B2B world need to invest in LinkedIn Premium to truly make an impact. When utilized strategically, the elevated brand visibility and new revenue streams you’ll be able to tap into will ensure you maximize your return on investment. 

With multiple paid membership levels available, how do you pick the one that’s best suited to your needs? Below, we compare the different LinkedIn membership levels, highlighting the benefits of each.

Learn How To Become A Thought Leader On LinkedIn With Our Ultimate Guide

LinkedIn is also the perfect platform for executing an effective thought leadership marketing strategy. That’s why we’ve created the Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Thought Leader on LinkedIn

Rather than contributing to the conversation, thought leaders drive new ones. By establishing your brand as a thought leader, you can help your organization engage prospects and buyers at a multitude of strategic levels. Partnering with a thought leadership agency that’s proficient in artful brand messaging and demand generation will help empower the voice and credibility of your business – all while creating new opportunities for growth. 

Check out the full guide here.

LinkedIn Membership Levels

LinkedIn membership levels can be placed into 2 main groups: free and Premium.

When initially signing up, you’re automatically provided access to LinkedIn’s “free” features, which includes customizing your profile, posting updates, sharing articles, messaging your 1st-degree connections, and applying to job listings. This is a viable option for first-time users or those who have yet to utilize LinkedIn in a business capacity.

Once you’ve exhausted all the free features available to you, that’s when it’s time to consider investing in LinkedIn Premium. For example, if you’ve been using LinkedIn for lead generation and have identified a couple of leads, investing in Premium Business or Sales Navigator will allow you to take advantage of their Advanced Search functionality – an essential resource for identifying and connecting with a wider breadth of high-quality prospects.

NOTE: If you’ve been using LinkedIn for a while, you might have noticed that LinkedIn has downgraded its Advanced Search. This feature is now only available to Premium members.

If you want to strengthen #brandawareness, stimulate #revenuegrowth, and generate demand for your products/services, investing in #LinkedIn Premium is a no-brainer, says @MandyModGirl Click To Tweet

A free LinkedIn account is sufficient if you’re simply using the social network to stay in touch with your current connections, or to complete simple searches. Beyond that, you’ll want to invest in one of the 3 LinkedIn Premium membership levels in order to see real results.

The 3 Premium membership levels include:

  1. Sales Navigator
  2. Premium Business
  3. Premium Career

LinkedIn often invites new members using its free platform to upgrade to a Premium account (often with a free trial), but the question is — is LinkedIn Premium worth it?

When You Should Consider Upgrading to a LinkedIn Premium Account

Viveka von Rosen, author of LinkedIn: 101 Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand, advises users to continue leveraging their free account until they’ve maxed out all of the features available to them. She then goes on to share a few reasons why upgrading to a Premium account can unlock new growth opportunities for your B2B brand:

  • To utilize the Advanced Search feature
  • To see more than the last 5 people who viewed your profile
  • To create more than 3 saved searches
  • To send more than 3 InMail messages a month

READ: The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Thought Leader On LinkedIn

When opting to upgrade, don’t automatically select a lower-priced plan as a cost-savings tactic. Each plan possesses a number of various, unique features designed to satisfy the needs of a diverse range of businesses. In other words, if the cheaper LinkedIn membership level isn’t aligned with your business’s strategy and goals, you will likely be disappointed in the lack of results produced at this tier. 

In the same breath, you should also avoid opting for a higher-priced plan if you won’t be maximizing all the features to their fullest potential. For example, though Sales Navigator offers more advanced lead generation features than Business Premium, the latter is sufficient if you aren’t ready to dedicate significant time and resources to your lead generation initiatives.

Before upgrading, it’s imperative to optimize your account and devise an action-plan for strategically using all of LinkedIn Premium’s features.

In the short video below, we reveal why optimizing your LinkedIn profile is the first step to building brand visibility and expanding your reach on the platform.

An optimized LinkedIn profile will ensure you maximize the efficacy of the platform regardless of which membership level you choose. Grab my free LinkedIn Profile Optimization Checklist today to 10x your lead generation on LinkedIn!

LinkedIn Premium Features (By Membership Level)

  1. Sales Navigator

Best Suited For: Marketers, salespeople, and entrepreneurs

What You Get: The same features available to Premium Business, but with 20 InMail messages per month in lieu of 15.

Additional features included with Sales Navigator:

  • Lead Recommendations: Suggested leads and suggested accounts features based on leads you’ve recently saved.
  • Lead Lists: Keep track of the professionals you’re communicating with so that you’re never missing an opportunity to connect.
  • Real-Time Insights On Existing Accounts and Leads: Discover if individuals have changed jobs, if a startup has received new funding, and much more – perfect for starting a conversation with a dream lead!

As a thought leadership agency, Mod Girl® is passionate about helping B2B companies catapult their success to new heights by employing the right strategies on LinkedIn. Instead of trial-and-error, it’s essential to do things right the first time to ensure you make the biggest impact possible.

So, how can you make your content marketing efforts impactful and valuable? Developing a smart LinkedIn growth strategy designed to drive an increase in sustainable revenue, broaden your network, and position your B2B brand as a leader in your respective field.

Take a peek at the video below to watch our CEO, Mandy McEwen, discuss the one trick for uncovering the best prospects on LinkedIn:

Also incredibly valuable and worth noting is Sales Navigator Specialists are available to provide guidance for teams, allowing you to integrate your lead gen efforts with a CRM, save over 3,500 additional leads, and more!

  1. Premium Business

Best Suited For: B2B Businesses and professionals

What You Get: See everyone who’s viewed your profile over the last 90 days (not just the last 5 people), access to LinkedIn Learning courses, and 15 InMail messages per month. Additional features include:

  • More detailed company data, such as employee distribution, growth by function, and even notable alumni.
  • Unlimited searches in your extended network (up to the 3rd-degree).

With this Premium plan, you’ll have access to LinkedIn’s Advanced Search functionality. Advanced Search gives you the bandwidth to apply multiple qualifiers when searching for people, companies, groups, and more. This capability supplies you with the opportunity to identify and uncover the most qualified leads in your niche. Additionally, it allows you to execute an effective thought leadership and content marketing strategy by uncovering key industry players and targeted prospects that you can connect with on a deeper level. 

You can strategically address the questions and challenges of your desired audience by crafting articles, messaging, and content relevant to their specific needs. By doing so, you’ll expand brand visibility and enhance your credibility, laying the foundation for building long-term, profitable relationships.

Between the unlimited searches and advanced filters available for Premium Business users, this membership level is ideal for those just beginning to delve into lead generation efforts. While not as advanced as Sales Navigator, you can still gain access to the platform’s advanced academic courses that involve high-end technologies such as Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence etc. with xendesktop from CloudDesktopOnline and Apps4Rent.

  1. Premium Career

Best Suited For: Job seekers

What You Get:

  • See everyone who’s viewed your profile over the last 90 days (not just the last 5 people).
  • Display your profile at the top of the recruiter’s applicant lists.
  • See how your profile compares to other job seekers.
  • View salary insights when browsing jobs. (This is a brand new feature that came about after LinkedIn Salary was introduced in 2016. LinkedIn Salary gives jobseekers an idea of salaries, bonuses, and equity data for specific job titles and the factors that affect them.)
  • Send up to 3 InMail messages per month.
  • Gain access to LinkedIn Learning video courses, which you can use to beef up your LinkedIn profile (and job skills!).

Final Thoughts: Are LinkedIn Premium & LinkedIn Sales Navigator Worth It? 

LinkedIn Premium…LinkedIn Sales Navigator…are they a valuable investment? While a definitive answer will always be contingent upon individual usage and needs, 99% of the time, we will say yes

Ready to Expand Your Reach, Your Thought Leadership, and Generate More Leads on LinkedIn?

Try Sales Navigator Free For 30 Days

For years Mod Girl has been helping B2B businesses build brand awareness and thought leadership on LinkedIn, resulting in increased revenue and growth opportunities.

You can read more LinkedIn case studies and testimonials here.

By strategically customizing your LinkedIn profile, you’ll build a powerful personal brand, showcase your value, and make a greater impact in your respective field. 

Our free LinkedIn Profile Checklist is the first step to optimizing your LinkedIn presence.

If you are ready to take your LinkedIn efforts to the next level, and achieve significant growth like our other clients, Mod Girl has the growth tools and strategies you need to make it happen.

Schedule a FREE 15-minute LinkedIn strategy session with Mandy to discover how brand positioning, content strategy, and thought leadership can help your B2B brand make a strong and authentic impact  — contact us today.

Interested in learning more about how to successfully position yourself as a thought leader? Join Mandy on LinkedIn every Thursday at 12 pm PT / 3 pm ET for her live series, Ambitious Outcomes.

***Affiliate Note: Mod Girl® is an affiliate of LinkedIn’s unparalleled Sales Navigator platform. Following your free 30 day trial, if you elect to sign up through our link and enlist in a paid subscription, we will receive a small commission.

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