You really want me to pay for LinkedIn?

paying for Linkedin I recently read yet another article about 8 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade To LinkedIn Premium.

Though I am not against paying for LinkedIn I believe you should be stretching it first to its limits before you do pay.  I find that a lot of people are paying where they shouldn’t or as they are not using the extra functionality.  Let me give you some insight into why I think you should not pay…

Additional Filters

I agree with the fact that the advanced search of LinkedIn is very powerful.  If and when you are working in a smaller type market (Belgium with 2.3 million members), these extra parameters are of no value.

Tip : just use the keyword search to get better results.  You will not be disappointed.

More Search Results

Okay, you can see more than 100 profiles which means that your search is not specific enough.  Let’s be honest you do not have the time or even energy to scroll through 30 screens.  You are not doing this on Google search so why would you do it on LinkedIn.

Tip: Be more specific in your search criteria.

More saved searches

There is something to be said about that were it not that few people (that I know or  have been in my classes) even know about this function.  It is very powerful to detect who in your network has changed his/her profile and now falls into your “target audience”.

Tip: set up your 3 saved searches

Do more reference searches

To my knowledge few people are even coming close to using this function.  Heck, most of them have not even discovered where this button is.  And let’s be real, in my neck of the world people ask you who to contact as reference.

Tip: Get some recommendations and endorsements of your skills. You could add to your summary that you are willing to provide references (if needed).

Inmails

Of course, this is one of the high flyers when it comes to paying for LinkedIn.  Is sending emails to someone you do not know really such a good idea or practice? And by-the-way, did you know that you can send an email to anyone for free?

Tip: Just join one of the groups that person belongs to and your email is free!

More Introductions

Yet another one of LinkedIn’s biggest secrets.  Like in real life you can be introduced by someone you mutually know.  The quality of the network of many LinkedIn members is very good so they can do this type of introductions. Great feature but rarely used.  I rarely get a request (which I gladly pass along – try me!) even though I do have a large network.   Since this feature is hardly known few use up the 3 introductions.

Tip: Use your monthly 3 free introductions and be open to pass introduction.

Free subscription

See full profiles of 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree contact

Yes, it can be frustrating not to see the details of your 3rd degree contacts.  However, these people have a public profile which can be easily found back through a simple google search.  All you have to do is enter the First name, initial and company and Google will give you the public LinkedIn profile.  Here you will find the full story.  Have you ever tried?

Tip:  Try a Google Search on one of your 3rd degree contacts.

Who viewed your profile

Yet another top reason to pay for LinkedIn.  You can see everyone who visited your profile in the last 90 days.  Do you have any idea how many people visit your profile on a daily?  I dare to tell me it is over 5 which is what you see when you have a free subscription.  And no, you will nog see more from the anonymous people who view your profile.

Tip: Check your “Who viewed your profile” daily and you will catch all viewers.

Open profile

Are you really waiting for unknown people to send you emails on LinkedIn?

Tip: Just mention you email address in your summary or make visual on your public profile

The gold Badge (Premium)

Well, what a vain person are you?

Tip: Be less vain!

Conclusion

Unless you are a recruiter or salesperson working in a very large community, it makes no sense to pay for LinkedIn.  Stretch the free version of LinkedIn to its limits  before you decide to pay.  Yes, I have recently signed up for a premium account for Sales Navigator.  As part of my social selling practice, I need to appraised of its functionality.  The jury is out whether this will actually bring me the so much awaited ROI.  Will keep you posted on my results!

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