There are a handful of very different LinkedIn Premium membership levels out there, and finding the one that is ideal for you can be difficult. Luckily, Social Selling Coach is here to help you understand the different LinkedIn Premium options!

In this article, you’ll learn about LinkedIn Premium and everything you need to know about the three LinkedIn membership levels, Free, Premium Business, and Sales Navigator.

We’re dedicated to helping professionals and entrepreneurs learn how to properly use LinkedIn, especially when it comes to improving your social selling index (or SSI.)

Being able to sell to people on LinkedIn is a touchy process. If you can’t sell to consumers in a “human” way, you’ll likely see little results. Consumers want to relate to, believe in, and trust the brands they support. Thus, it’s so important to use LinkedIn to connect with leads instead of spamming them.

It all starts with choosing the perfect LinkedIn membership option.

Our guide is designed to outline every nook and cranny of each LinkedIn membership plan so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not a certain plan is ideal for you. If you want a condensed version of this guide in the form of a handy and easy-to-read chart, click below to claim your free LinkedIn membership option comparison guide!

LinkedIn offers the following membership plans: Free, LinkedIn Premium Career, LinkedIn Premium Business, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and LinkedIn Recruiter Lite. Each of these plans is significantly different from one another. And most of these plans can be quite costly, so it’s important to decide which one fits your business needs before jumping in.

At Social Selling Coach, I’ve been asked by numerous colleagues and clients which LinkedIn membership is the best one. To be honest, it all comes down to your unique use cases.

A tech startup with a couple of employees will require a different plan than a large enterprise with a massive established reach. So which one should you pick? Which plan will serve your needs and help you reach business goals, networking needs, and lead generation?

The truth is, it depends SIGNIFICANTLY on what your brand does, what your products or services are, and who your target audience is.

To help you decide which one is right for you, the team at Social Selling Coach has created an incredibly comprehensive comparison guide that will describe all of the features, tools, fees, and benefits of three of LinkedIn’s most popular membership levels. Let’s take a look!

Plan #1: The Free LinkedIn Subscription

Here us out. We get that it’s free and a bit limited, but there is a lot to enjoy about LinkedIn’s free membership plan. With the free LinkedIn membership plan, you can do the following:

  • Build up your professional identity online.
  • Build and manage a large professional network quickly.
  • Request and give out recommendations to your colleagues.
  • Search for profiles of other LinkedIn members that you want to connect or reconnect with.
  • Receive unlimited InMail messages with ease.
  • Save up to three different searches and get personalized alerts on those three searches.
  • Find and reconnect with colleagues, classmates, peers, and coworkers.

The free plan is great (and, well, free) but unfortunately, many of the features that used to be available in the free membership have been cut. It’s a bit hard to get around the lost functionalities of the free plan, and it’s also hard to avoid going over the monthly commercial use limit with your searches.

A lot of people use LinkedIn for lead generation for a while but will then upgrade to a paid LinkedIn membership for a few different reasons:

  • A feeling that they are missing out on serious work and networking opportunities without the bells and whistles of a paid plan.
  • They would like to accomplish more with the platform with less time spent.
  • Not getting the full potential of LinkedIn for their brands with their current Linkedin membership level

Even with the limitations of the free membership plan, LinkedIn is still a great place for many entrepreneurs, professionals, B2B companies, and sales pros to find and connect with their ideal clients. It’s also great for posting status updates and articles, which can help professionals engage with their connections and target audience.

The purpose of LinkedIn is to provide an active and interesting social platform for businesses and entrepreneurs. It’s certainly worth spending time on with over half a billion members, even with the free limited membership.

Understanding The Linkedin Premium Options And Pricing

LinkedIn offers several paid membership levels. While Premium Career and Recruiter Lite are handy for specific people, this guide will explore the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Professional memberships and the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Professional memberships.

These two memberships are definitely the most useful for generating leads on the platform.

When paid monthly, LinkedIn’s premium costs are priced as the following:

  • Free – $0 per month with limited functionality
  • Premium LinkedIn Career – $29.99 per month
  • Premium Business – $59.99 per month
  • Sales Navigator – $79.99 per month
  • Recruiter Lite – $119.99 per month

The premium LinkedIn costs can be a bit pricey. If you choose to pay annually, though, you’ll receive a discount. Premium career is usually offered to free LinkedIn users as a month-long free trial.

Enjoying this in-depth guide to the best possible LinkedIn memberships? Download our free useful condensed guide to see all the pros and cons of each membership option, so you can make a more informed decision when it comes time to choose your own membership plan.

Plan #2: The LinkedIn Premium Business Membership

If you want a little more than what the free membership offers but don’t have a use case for the Premium Career option, LinkedIn Premium Business is a great choice.

New users can get a feel for this plan with a free month-long trial. After your free month to explore the platform, you will need to pay $59.99 per month when billed monthly, and a little bit less when you pay yearly.

Who’s Viewed My Profile

This handy little feature is one of LinkedIn’s most liked because it shows the different types of people and businesses your profile (and your skillset) is catching the eye over, which often can uncover some seriously viable potential leads.

Essentially, the Who’s Viewed My Profile feature lists all the users who have viewed your profile over the last three months. With the free account, you can see only the last five or so people who have viewed your profile.

Through this unique feature, LinkedIn will provide you with a few basic filters to help you find the location, job title, and source of the viewers. You can also enjoy the Interesting views filter, which is useful if you regularly view profile views.

The Extended LinkedIn Network Access Feature

With Extended LinkedIn Network Access, you’ll no longer have to manage commercial use limits. You won’t lose access to search results after a couple of weeks, which could hinder your lead generation searches.

There are a few behaviors that LinkedIn will count towards the Commercial Use Limits:

  • Searches for LinkedIn profiles on the LinkedIn website and mobile app.
  • Searches or browsing behaviors on LinkedIn profiles using the People Also Viewed section can be found on the right-hand side of a user’s profile.

Activities that will not count toward this limit typically include:

  • Search for profiles by name using the search form at the top of the site.
  • Searches or browsing activity on your first-degree connections directly from the Connections page.
  • Searches for job keywords on the Jobs page.

Plan #3: The LinkedIn Premium Sales Navigator Professional Memberships

Like the previously paid plan, LinkedIn provides a free month-long trial of the Sales Navigator plan. After your free month to play around with the membership option, you’ll be required to pay $79.00 per month or a little bit less when billed yearly.

With the Sales Navigator Professional plan, you’ll get all the pros of Premium Business plus a ton of additional (and handy!) features.

The Sales Navigator Advanced Search features

The Advanced Search function in Sales Navigator is crazy useful if lead generation is your main priority for your brand. This is because it makes it simple to find your preferred clients and prospects.

The platform’s Advanced Search function is technically available with free membership and can help find your ideal clients. However, the detailed search filters that you’ll find in Sales Navigator’s advanced search function will offer a whole other level of detail.

You can easily search for your preferred clients with detailed filters, and then save those individual searches in order to receive new search results on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It’s all about automation!

Automated leads and accounts recommendations for brands

Sales Navigator can also make locating prospective users a breeze with its unique Recommended Leads & Accounts feature.

To break it down easily, Sales Navigator will suggest leads that are based around two specific parameters:

  • The overall similarity to leads that you have recently saved in the search function.
  • Individual sales preferences that you have saved under your Sales Navigator settings.

You’ll be able to see, interact with, and save suggested profiles. This can be quite useful for networking and lead generation. Go to the home page and look for the Recommend Leads and Recommended Accounts options, which are usually listed on the page’s right-hand side.

With this feature, you can draft a more detailed targeted list of leads or accounts by using the search lifters to narrow down your search results.

LinkedIn Premium Notes and Lead Lists features

With Sales Navigator, you’ll gain the ability to add notes to each of the LinkedIn profiles of your prospective clients or colleagues, as well as the businesses you want to follow.

You’ll also be able to add these users to individual niche Lead Lists that you can create. This is actually an ingenious strategy if you want to keep your account organized when social selling.

Each time you connect with someone or identify a prospect, add them to a Lead List based on important demographics. For example, if you come across an existing client, add them to the Existing Client lead list.

The LinkedIn Learning Center

The useful LinkedIn Learning Center is a web-based educational platform that can assist you in discovering and developing business or creative skills. This is done via expert-led course media.

There are over a whopping 5,000 courses on this platform. You can easily discover and track different courses that are related to your industry and personal interests. If you want to show off the fact that you passed these courses, a badge can be added directly to your profile.

LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI Score)

At Social Selling Coach, we’re obviously excited about the processes involved in social selling for businesses. This is why we’re so excited about the fact that you can see your individual SSI score with LinkedIn!

LinkedIn’s SSI score will weigh your business’s performance (or, rather, your individual performance) in four different important areas that are called LinkedIn SSI pillars. These areas include:

  1. Establish your brand
  2. Find the right users
  3. Engage with insights
  4. Build relationships

This score aggregate is available in all of the paid LinkedIn membership plans, not just Sales Navigator.

Deciding on the perfect LinkedIn Premium membership for you

These three plans are great, but who should pick them? LinkedIn is always changing, so it can be a bit of a pain to decide which one is the best plan for your brand.

The good news is that whether you opt for Sales Navigator, Premium Business, the basic free LinkedIn membership, you’ll still be able to keep your social selling processes very organized. While it can be rough setting up your lead generation system. You can compare Linkedin plans here.

While it may seem like it’s a lot more work to set up a lead generation system at first, keeping that system organize will save you time and effort, keep you from drowning in your own lead generation mess, and help you generate leads with more efficiency.

  • save you time and effort
  • prevent you from getting overwhelmed
  • enable you to generate leads more efficiently.

Being disorganized can be a pricey mistake as an entrepreneur. You might accidentally send the wrong InMail message to the wrong person. You could accidentally lose a prospect permanently. Using any of these three LinkedIn plans can help you socially sell and generate leads with a bit more organization.

Get Connected with Social Selling Coach

We hope this in-depth comparison guide to LinkedIn membership levels helped you make a more informed decision! Since LinkedIn paid membership are a bit on the pricey side, it’s so important to know the pros and cons of each feature that each plan provides.

If you need some guidance when it comes to improving your unique lead generation strategy, check out our online training pages and tools today!

Ready to learn more about how to use LinkedIn more effectively for social selling? We’re ready to help! Please take a look at our article LinkedIn Social Selling – Does it work and how to get results, where you can discover how to build up your personal brand, pull in leads, and become an authority in your niche.

All it takes is a little bit of know-how about LinkedIn and its various features. Our tried and true strategies will help you take your LinkedIn accounts (and brand presence!) to the next level.

Do you want more business from LinkedIn?

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