Should You Upgrade Your LinkedIn to Premium?

Written by: Deshawn Peterson

For business development professionals and financial advisors, I get questions all around about LinkedIn. As business development professionals, we are faced with unlimited services, apps, templates, and more.

Here's a breakdown of the numbers:

  • Seven out of ten financial advisors use social media for business purposes.
  • Of those who use social media for business, nine out of ten use LinkedIn specifically, making it the dominant platform for financial advisors in the social media landscape.

One of the anchor platforms out there is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is my personal favorite social media platform because the algorithm hasn’t been warped with explicit and sensational content. (Yet).

The people here are business minded and it’s just cleaner. I will only speak about my experience with LinkedIn and the premium upgrades.

I will share my experience with three levels of LinkedIn and where I found the most value.

  • Free version
  • Business version
  • Sales Navigator

Free LinkedIn is like the window display of a store - you can see what's there, but you can't touch it.

If you aren’t focused on online business development or find value in building new connections constantly; then this might be the best version for you. The free version I think solves most people’s hurdles when prospecting, researching, and finding new avenues to connect. I’ve been a free power user and have pushed the limits.

With the free version, I reached a point where I was doing so many searches that my search results started to throttle and blur. The algo was telling me to upgrade to the next version. I recommend the free version if you don’t use the platform daily, are using it to gradually build new connections on an ad hoc basis, and casually browse the feed for business news, updates, and thought leadership.

LinkedIn Premium Business (USD 55/ month) is like getting invited into the store - you can browse freely and even get help from a salesperson (limited interaction).

This is where social status starts to come in. With the business version, you get the gold IN sign on your profile with some added benefits. I think for me this is the best version. You get unlimited profile views and searches, the new custom button is great because it was only at first for company pages. This call-to-action button just helps direct traffic to the person versus the company. It appeals to professionals who have personal brands, projects, or websites that exist outside their immediate company. Seeing who views your profile and the stats around your profile. This is my favorite measuring feature because it lets me know if my messaging is gaining or losing traction.

Are new people discovering me or even engaging in my content?

Sales Navigator Core (149 USD/Month) is like having your shopper - they help you find exactly what you're looking for and guide you through the buying process.

This comes in two versions. I’ve only used the regular version. This is a completely different tool. It’s the LinkedIn version of Salesforce in my opinion. This separate dashboard lets you go deep into your prospecting and research for professionals to connect with. There’s a feature that allows you to upload your ideal avatar and current client base to find similar people on LinkedIn.

Based on the price point, I never used Sales Navigator enough to extract its full potential. I think I would have to use it as my primary CRM instead of HubSpot/Salesforce. I think this is great for a quarterly engagement. Pay the monthly subscription for one month, go crazy on the research, and export the results. Work through that research over the quarter. There are so many features available that I am still discovering to this day.

All in all, LinkedIn is a great platform given its business nature and ability to build your presence in your chosen business community. Like any platform, there are pros and cons. For example, you can't escape the influencers who always give that hustle culture jargon or encourage you to become an entrepreneur because having a W-2 isn’t worth anything in their eyes.

LinkedIn can be a tool of productivity and engagement, or another weapon used to waste your time with an endless scroll.

I hope this helps you in your decision on whether to upgrade your LinkedIn subscription.

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