LinkedIn – Free or Pay for Premium?

By on Jun 9, 2016

I am convinced that LinkedIn is one of the most useful and most underutilized prospecting tools available to a commercial insurance salesperson. I have written quite a bit over the last few years about how to utilize the many services provided by LinkedIn to give you a prospecting edge.

In talking about LinkedIn as a sales tool during presentations, one of the most common questions I receive is: “Should I pay for the LinkedIn premium service?

It is a great question. Following are some points you should consider to determine if the expense is worth the potential benefits.

A LinkedIn Basic account is available to anyone who wants to create and maintain a professional profile online. A LinkedIn Premium account allows you to access additional information on others that is available on the platform.

There are several different types of premium accounts: Job Seeker, Sales Navigator, Recruiter Lite, and Business Plus. There are some differences between versions.

Some of the additional information available beyond the Basic includes:

Who’s Viewed My Profile: The free version shows you the last five people who viewed your profile. The Premium version shows you everyone who has seen your profile in the last 90 days. You also have access to rich data insights like the keywords that lead people to your profile.

How You Rank: The free version allows you to see the top 10 most viewed people among your connections and colleagues as well as the five people above and below you. The Premium version lets you not only see a full list of the top 100 most viewed people among your connections but also how you rank among your industry peers with the “Professionals like You” tool.

Search Listings: Premium users stand out and have more information displayed on their profile with an Expanded Search Listing whenever anyone searches for your name.

Keyword Suggestions: Get help with Keyword Suggestions for the summary section of your profile.

Advanced Search Filters: Premium users get up to eight additional filters to fine-tune and expedite your search for potential prospects. These include groups, years of experience, function, seniority level, interested in, and company size.

Unlimited Profile Search: Premium users have an unlimited number of profile searches available. This can be an excellent way to expand your network and identify individuals within your targeted industries and/or companies.

Inmail: This is a Premium-only feature that allows you to send direct messages to anyone on LinkedIn.

Premium Business Plus

LinkedIn Premium

Subscribers to Premium Business Plus now have access to a new service for company unique insights to aid in research and analysis. These insights are located on each Company Page and include:

– Total Employee Count: The total number of LinkedIn members employed at the company over time.

– Employee Distribution by Function: The distribution of company employees by function over time. Under Summary, change refers to the percentage of total employees that a given function accounts for over the entire period listed on the graph.

– New Hires: Trending count of newly hired employees over time. Senior management is defined as employees with previous or current titles as Vice President or higher, but could vary by sector.

– Notable Alumni: Former employees with past titles of Vice President or higher who have a previous position with the company that ended within the last 12 months.

– Total Job Openings: The company’s total job posts available on LinkedIn, segmented by seniority and function, trending over time. New posts are less than 30 days old, while “Existing” posts are greater than 30 days old. Keep in mind that this module will only appear for companies based in the U.S.

LinkedIn collects, organizes, and develops insights on companies based on profile information of LinkedIn members. Any page with less than 30 employee profiles on LinkedIn will not have Premium Insights displayed.

The monthly cost varies depending on the type of plan you choose. LinkedIn does provide a free trial. So you can experiment to determine if the additional access is worth the price. It is also easy to add a premium service for a few months and then turn it off if you don’t want to continue to use it.

Make sure you understand and utilize all of the benefits available in the Basic Plan before you consider paying for the Premium service. Having a plan in place with help you maximize the benefits.

Have you upgraded to a LinkedIn Premium Plan? If so, has it been worth it? Let me know in the Comments section below.


  1. Linkedin Premium is a great resource for us.

    I’d encourage users to check out the “Sales Navigator” plan available . It has a lot of “social feature” and lead tracking optons.

    Starts at $59 per month.!

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