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‘Do I need a paid for LinkedIn account?’ is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive during training sessions… so I thought it was about time to put down the answers in a blog!
There’s plenty you can do with a free account; in fact until you ‘hit a wall’ with a free account and need additional functionality, I recommend that you don’t upgrade.
LinkedIn basic (free) account
A basic (free) LinkedIn account is for anyone who wants to create and maintain a professional profile online.
With this account you can:
- Establish your professional identity on the web
- Build and maintain a professional network
- Request and provide recommendations
- Search for and view profiles of other LinkedIn members
- Receive unlimited InMail messages
- Create and join LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn premium subscriptions
LinkedIn has a number of premium subscriptions, including:
- Premium Business
- Premium Career – for job seekers
- Recruiter – for recruiters
- Sales Navigator – for business development
LinkedIn’s premium business account will display a ‘premium profile’ badges on your profile and next to your name in search results (this shows people you are serious about using LinkedIn). The account also offers some additional functionality to the basic account:
- Unlimited people browsing
- 15 InMail credits a month to send direct messages to anyone on LinkedIn
- The opportunity to see everyone who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days (without premium, you can only see the last 5 people to view your profile). You’ll also see the keywords people are using to find you and the industries and locations of your viewers—insights to help you improve your profile and be found more often.
- Access to the LinkedIn Learning library of 10,000+ online learning courses (updated weekly)
- Access to business insights on Company pages
The Premium Career account is great for active job seekers. It includes the following features, in addition to those of the basic account:
- 5 InMail credits a month to send direct messages to anyone on LinkedIn
- The opportunity to see everyone who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days (without premium, you can only see the last 5 people to view your profile).
- Insights to help you see how your education, skills etc compare to a company’s current employees and other applicants
- Apply to jobs as a featured applicant
Recruiter and Sales Navigator
I believe that Sales Navigator offers more functionality to a recruiter, at a slightly lower monthly price.
Sales Navigator has advanced search functionality and a ‘Lead Builder” for saving searches and monitoring prospects.
Sales Navigator is essentially a relationship management tool. A Sales Navigator account has a separate home page only showing activity from leads (ie not your connections) therefore allowing you to focus your attention on those prospects (up to 1500 saved leads). You can also tag and make notes within Sales Navigator and receive alerts. Both Recruiter and Sales Navigator accounts provide additional InMail credits, over and above a premium business account. 30 for Recruiters, 20 for Sales Navigator.