Elevating Your LinkedIn Game
A Guide to the Features and Capabilities of Free, Premium Business, and Sales Navigator Membership Levels
Unsure which LinkedIn membership level is best for you and your business? I'm frequently asked this question as the CEO of Linkability, Inc. Let's find the perfect fit together!
The truth is, it depends on the specific needs and preferences of each business. To assist in making the decision, I have created a comprehensive comparison guide that outlines the benefits, features, tools, and investment for each LinkedIn membership level so that you can make the most effective and efficient purchase based on your needs.
The free LinkedIn membership, while limited in its capabilities, still offers a lot of value. Users can build their professional identity, network with colleagues and classmates, request and provide recommendations, and search for and view other LinkedIn members' profiles. However, many features that were once available with the free membership are no longer accessible, making it more difficult to fully utilize the platform for lead generation.
Many people choose to upgrade from the free membership to a paid subscription for the additional features and ability to accomplish more in less time. However, the free membership, (even with the limitations) on LinkedIn remains the best place for professionals, B2B businesses, and salespeople to find and connect with their ideal clients, post updates and content, and engage with their connections.
LinkedIn offers several paid membership levels, including Premium Career, Premium Business, Sales Navigator Professional, and Recruiter Lite.
In this comparison guide, I will focus on Premium Business and Sales Navigator Professional, as they are the most beneficial for lead generation.
The Premium Business membership, which starts with a 30-day free trial and is then $59.99/month when billed monthly, offers several additional tools and features such as access to the "Who's Viewed My Profile" feature, InMail, and Extended LinkedIn Network Access.
With these tools, users can gain valuable insights into their Profile views, reach out to potential prospects, and avoid commercial use limits imposed on free accounts.
With the Premium Business plan, you will not have to worry about losing access to search results partway through the month, which can negatively affect your lead generation searches.
The Premium Business plan offers peace of mind with unlimited access to search results without the risk of mid-month cutoff, which can harm your lead generation efforts.
Please be aware that certain activities on LinkedIn are counted towards the Commercial Use Limits, such as searching for profiles on LinkedIn.com and mobile or browsing profiles through the "People Also Viewed" section.
However, other actions will not affect your limit, including searching for profiles by name using the search box, browsing first-degree connections from the connections page, and searching for job postings on the jobs page.
It's important to note that while the Premium Business plan includes the Extended LinkedIn Network Access feature, it is not available with the Premium Career Plan.
With Sales Navigator Professional, you will get all the benefits of Premium Business plus many additional features that are specifically designed to enhance lead generation. These include advanced search features, automatic leads and accounts recommendations, Sales Navigator notes and lead lists features, notification of job changes, and LinkedIn Learning Center.
The Advanced Search in Sales Navigator is incredibly valuable if lead generation is your priority because it makes it easy for you to find your ideal clients and potential prospects.
With over three dozen more filters in Sales Navigator, than you do in regular search, you can narrow your search, save time and create highly targeted search results on LinkedIn.
The Recommended leads and Recommended accounts feature makes it easy to locate potential prospects. Sales Navigator suggests leads based on similarity to leads you have recently saved and sales preferences you saved in your Sales Navigator settings. You can easily see and interact with the suggested profiles, as well as save them as leads.
A monthly subscription to Sales Navigator also gives you the ability to add Notes to the profiles of your prospects and the companies you wish to follow, as well as add them to specific Lead Lists you create. This is a crucial strategy if you want to stay organized using LinkedIn for social selling.
In addition, the Job change feature allows you to easily find out when one of your leads changes jobs. This can be useful in determining with whom you should be communicating at a particular company and can be an effective natural conversation starter.
LinkedIn Learning Center is another feature that comes with your Sales Navigator subscription. It is an online educational platform that helps you discover and develop business, technology-related, and creative skills through expert-led course videos. Boasting over 5,000 options and personalized recommendations, you can find, complete, and keep track of courses relevant to your industry and passions.
Lastly, Sales Navigator also gives you access to your LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI Score), which measures your or your company’s performance in four key areas, also known as the LinkedIn SSI pillars: Establish your professional brand, Find the right people, Engage with insights, Build relationships.
I hope this article has helped shed some light on the distinctions between the free and premium plans of Sales Navigator and its potential to boost your lead generation efforts. If you have any additional queries, feel free to reach out to us.
Additionally, we value your thoughts and would love to hear about your experience with basic LinkedIn, LinkedIn Premium, or Sales Navigator and how it has made an impact on your career.
What's your favorite and why?
The Moving Forward Newsletter is a bi-weekly advice column by Kim Peterson Stone, the CEO of Linkability.us where we give you a peek behind the curtains into what it takes to put together campaigns that help you grow your business and career on LinkedIn and in Real Life.
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Excellent overview Kim! I found this very helpful.