“How do I know which LinkedIn Plan is right for me?” We hear this question all the time, and we find that many business professionals are unsure about which LinkedIn Plan is right for them. That’s why we created this simple chart to help you decide which LinkedIn plan is best for your needs.
Here are the plan options available for LinkedIn users:
Basic (free) account
Premium (paid) Plans
Premium Career for job seekers: from $29.99 to $59.99/month
Premium Business for business development: $49.99/month
Sales Navigator for sales professionals: $79.99/month
Recruiter Lite for job recruiters: $119.95/month
As you can tell, each plan has a specific audience and purpose. A great place to start, when deciding which plan is right for you, is to determine your purpose. From this perspective, it’s a pretty easy choice, because you know if you are seeking a job, in need of business development tools, mining leads, or recruiting talent.
But there’s still the question of paid vs. free. And the answer is not the same every time. Yes, it’s important to know what your purpose is for using LinkedIn, but you may not need a paid option. The thing is, many people don’t even fully use the free resources available, so the paid option doesn’t make sense.
Here’s what you need to consider when deciding whether or not to use a paid LinkedIn plan.
How many searches do you make? Are you hitting a limit and get a warning that you must upgrade to Premium to do more searches? If you don’t do enough searches to get the warning, you may not need to pay for Premium.
Do you need advanced search features? Sales Navigator has even more search features that allow you to dig deep to find targeted prospects. But try before you buy! You may be able to find the same connections using the basic search features. If you’ve exhausted your resources on the free version, then it might be time to upgrade.
Do you need to search a wider audience than your connected network? If you want to reach and connect with people outside of your network, then Sales Navigator is your key. But don’t forget the power of connecting and growing your network of connections organically. This should be a goal regardless of the free or paid option you use.
Are you finding it time-consuming to manage large lists of leads? Many people with sales roles often find it enticing to upgrade to Sales Navigator because it feels like it’s going to help produce more sales. But the reality is, for small volume sales, it probably isn’t worth the investment. Unless you have large lists to manage, you may not see the benefit in saving leads to a list. But if sales is your game, then saving leads is critical to efficiency.
Do you want to message someone outside of your network? That is what InMail is for. If you want to send a message, but are not yet connected, then InMail is the key. But be mindful of the limits. You can only send a limited number of InMails a month. You can purchase more, and if an InMail is responded to, you get that credit back and can send another. All of this is in place to keep us focused on sending InMails to only the most important connections.
Here’s a handy cheat sheet to help guide your decision on which LinkedIn plan is right for you:
The key to making the right decision is to be clear on your purpose for using LinkedIn, and be clear on the features that you need in order to be successful. Remember, there are no magic buttons and everything requires some level of expertise and time to manage. Always be mindful of your ROI and when you are clear on the return, you will be clear on the investment necessary in order to achieve it.