LinkedIn is the B2B and professional networking site right now, especially for social media marketers.
It’s an invaluable platform when it comes to personal branding, whether you’re working as an employee or want to start your own social media marketing business.
If you want to find a new employer, start a business, find new clients, or even find employees, LinkedIn is a great place to be.
And as more users are flocking to the platform, many are asking the same question: What is LinkedIn Premium, and is it worth the cost?
We’re here to answer that today so you can decide whether you want to stick with the free plan or consider upgrading to a paid one.
What is LinkedIn Premium?
They have tools specific for job seekers (like getting free InMail credits) and for business owners (like unlimited search).
At the core of these features, job seekers can be found more quickly and have some new options for outreach, and businesses can find potential employees or contractors more easily.
You’re also going to get access to more in-depth analytics, get job search results tailored to you, and more.
How Much Does LinkedIn Premium Cost?
LinkedIn Premium has a free one-month trial for all users.
After that, you can choose from the following plans, which start at the listed costs:
- Premium Career is $39.99 USD per month
- Premium Business is $44.99 USD per month when billed annually
- Sales Navigator plans start at $79.99 USD per user per month when billed annually
- Recruiter Lite is $139.99 USD per month when billed annually
What LinkedIn Premium Offers Subscribers
LinkedIn Premium’s features will vary depending on the specific plans that you choose.
Let’s take a look at each, the features offered, and who they each may be best suited for.
The Premium Career plan is what many freelancers and job seekers (and some ultra small business owners) choose to use.
It gives you the following benefits:
- 5 InMail credits per month (which allows you to send direct messages to users even if you aren’t connected)
- See everyone who has viewed your profile within the past 90 days
- Open Profile (which tells recruiters if you’re open to work)
- Job and applicant insights (showing you how you measure up in search and applicant performance)
- Top applicant job recommendations, giving you better recommendations to find jobs suited for you
- Company insights
- Salary insights
- Access to 16,000 LinkedIn Learning Courses
- Access to interview preparation tools
These benefits are pretty significant if you’re actively using the platform to grow your network and find new, valuable work opportunities.
The Top Applicant job recommendation section is a personal favorite; it shows me which jobs I’d be a top applicant for, making it easier for me to find potential positions or contracts that would be a great fit (and more likely to hire me).
The courses are also great— whether you need help practicing interview skills, updating a resume, or finding new opportunities, these will help.
Now onto the Business Plan!
You’re going to get everything the Career plan offers, with a little more.
Unlike the Career plan, you’ll get:
- 15 InMail credits per month
- Unlimited people browsing
For businesses who want to find new connections (employees, contractors, or potential clients), this is a slight step up at an affordable price jump. The extra InMail credits can be worth it if you’ll use them.
Sales Navigator Core
The Sales Navigator is in a league of its own. Instead of being used to make a few connections here or there, this is focused almost entirely on lead generation and sales efforts.
There are things in the Career and Business plans that you won’t get at all.
Here’s what is included in the Sales Navigator Plan:
- Access to the Sales Navigator platform, which is designed around lead generation
- 50 InMail credits per month
- See who has viewed your profile in the past 90 days
- Unlimited people browsing
- Custom lead and account lists
- Advanced lead search and account search
- 10,000 saved leads
- Lead recommendations
- Open profile
- Real time alerts on leads and accounts
- Company and salary insights
- Access to the 16,000+ learning courses and interview prep tools
For sales teams, this is a great way to go, but this plan likely won’t be a great fit for most of our students who are social media marketers focusing on attracting clients or employers.
Recruiter Lite is another plan that likely won’t be a fit for most of our readers, but for the sake of being thorough, we had to include it.
This plan is, as you may have guessed, perfect for recruiters who are looking to pair businesses up with ideal candidates.
This plan comes with the following features:
- A specialized Recruiter Lite platform
- 30 InMail credits per month
- Access to 2nd- and 3rd-degree networks
- 20+ advanced search filters
- Candidate search alerts
- Candidate recommendations daily
- Search with smart suggestions
- Pereonalized outreach with saved templates
- Post a free job
- Projects for organization and tracking
- InMail performance insights
- Jobs analytics
- Company insights
- Access to the LinkedIn learning courses and interview prep tools
If you’re a recruiter, this is obviously an outstanding platform to consider and well worth the cost. For everyone else, the plan likely won’t be a good fit.
How to Sign Up for LinkedIn Premium
You can sign up for LinkedIn premium through your account, or you can click here.
When you do, you’ll see this chart:
We’ve covered everything in this post, but you can click on the option you’re interested in to learn more and get started.
You can then start your free trial. LinkedIn lets you know that they’ll reach out seven days (aka a week) before your free trial ends so you can cancel if you wish.
Is LinkedIn Premium Worth It?
LinkedIn Premium may not be right for everyone, but there’s a good chance that one or more of their plans will be an outstanding fit for many different social media marketers in a variety of situations.
The basic take: Yes, it can absolutely be worth it if you have a need for it. I’ve personally used it myself since 2016 for my own freelance business, and it’s helped me learn a lot, gain more visibility, and get a competitive edge.
If you’re going all in on the platform, even their lowest-cost plan of $29.99 can give you a ton of insights, useful features, and resources that can help advance your career.
There are a few specific scenarios where Linkedin Premium may be particularly beneficial. Let’s take a look at each.
When You’re Looking for a New Job
Social media marketing jobs are everywhere, but you have to know where to look if you want to snag one.
LinkedIn can help with that. Plenty of companies make sure their jobs show up on LinkedIn, and the Top Applicant search can help you find jobs that are a good fit for what you’re looking for and that you have a solid chance of at least getting an interview for.
Their interview practice and resume resources are also invaluable when you’re looking for a conventional job. You can make sure that you’ll be able to put the best foot forward to really give yourself a fighting chance, even if you know you already have the skills needed for the position.
Keep in mind that this is not an annual plan— you can use the Career plan when you’re actively looking, and end your subscription when you’re not. Even if you only need it short-term, it can help.
When You’re a Freelancer Trying to Find Clients
Many of our Diploma of Social Media Marketing students go on to become freelance social media marketing practitioners.
When you do work as a freelancer, it’s important to always have a steady stream of clients coming through the door. You never want to put all your eggs in one basket because there’s little to no job security, even with a contract.
As a freelancer myself, the Career plan has been exceptionally helpful. I’ve used the InMail credits in the past to reach out to prospective clients; the insights showing me how I stack up against other competitors in search is exceptional, and the Top Applicant feature can even help identify relevant freelance positions.
I also use the “Who’s viewed your profile” to see what industries my profile seems to be connecting with, and who is seeing my profile. Early on, I used this to tweak my profile’s keywords and see how it influenced results.
Freelancers can take advantage of these benefits on a month-to-month basis, especially when you’re actively working on building up a client base or building a brand.
When You’re an Agency Owner or Business Owner
Do you have or want to start your own social media marketing agency?
LinkedIn Premium may be a great option. It helps with your own visibility but comes with strong features to speed up the process of finding and reaching out to clients, opening the door for more cold-calling on-platform.
And when you’re ready to scale, you can use the Premium features to find strong, qualified candidates to work alongside you, either as employees or contractors!
If you are planning on using LinkedIn Premium to grow your agency, either the Career or the Business plans could be a fit for you. Our recommendation would be to start with the Career plan, see how often you’re using it and how you’re using it.
If you’re consistently using your InMail credits early on in the month, for example, consider upgrading to the Business Plan.
When You’re Establishing a Personal Brand
Building up your own personal brand, and using LinkedIn as a primary brand-building platform?
It’s a great use of LinkedIn, whether you’re happily employed and just want to be a stand-out name in the industry or you want to start a freelance or agency career. Anyone can benefit from building a personal brand long-term, regardless of their immediate employment status or goals.
The enhanced analytics features are fantastic when you want to work on branding on-platform.
See how your profile is measuring up in search, and how much activity your profile is getting.
The ability to see how many people are viewing your profile (and who!) over an extended period of time can also make it easier to assess performance, potential reach, and visibility.
If this is a goal you’re actively pursuing, it’s worth investing in. $29.99 a month is a relatively low cost for some extra insights that may make your efforts more effective.
As a note- if you’re invested in building a personal brand, check out our Personal Branding Course here.
LinkedIn Premium is not a necessity— the free version of LinkedIn won’t keep you from applying for jobs, building a brand, or getting basic insights like who has viewed your profile in the past few days.
The Premium account, however, can be beyond worth it in the instances that we’ve discussed above. It just comes down to how you’re using the platform, what features you need, and how you can benefit.
Looking for more ways to improve your LinkedIn marketing efforts and strategy, either for your own brand or your clients’? Check out our LinkedIn Marketing Course here!