Are LinkedIn paid accounts of any good? If they are, how should I best use it to get clients?
I am looking to buy Linked in Premium. Is it of any good to get clients?
Kindly share your experiences.
Hi John. I have used Linkedin's free service for years... to the point where I finally figured out how to earn clients. I just recently (Jan 1, 2014) signed on for Linkedin's premium account - I use their entry level business account. I love it... Largely for the unlimited view of people who view my profile, better search results and for the in-mail (I get 3 per month).
For me, as a business coach and speaker, this has been perfect web strategy.
Inmail will not get you clients... YOU earn them, Inmail is the tool to start the conversation.
I facilitate a Linkedin workshop almost every month (Alberta) and I tell everyone that Marketing does not get you clients... marketing builds awareness.
Linkedin is only a tool - a very powerful tool - which allows you and me to create presence, build influence... and when done right, the result is earned business.
Check out this link... http://www.vestedinterestgroup.com/live-events/linkedin-workshop-calgary/
My workshop will likely be a webinar in late May. Connect with me on Linkedin if you're interested in learning more.
I have the recommendations to prove that what I say actually works... just saying.
It depends on what and how you want to use LinkedIn.
If you are trying to network with those who view your profile, then it is useful to see who has viewed your profile. You should have your profile optimized for searches, so you can be found, and you should spend time viewing other profiles to get more views in return.
As far as INmails, I don't use them, but I do get them... just another way to send spam in my opinion! Of course, like any email, it's how you use them.
Hi John, I can't speak for everyone, but as for myself, I used LinkedIn as a paid subscriber for over a year with great satisfaction. After that, I began to learn more about LI and started to pull back, down-grading my subscription services one level at a time to evaluate its effect. I am now using LinkedIn's free subscription to the same extent as I used all the levels of paid service.
I hope you find this helpful. Linda Amerigo, Amerigo Consulting, Corp.
I have the same experience. I've been a LinkedIn Free member for years and recently upgraded. I went through a flurry of activity and have now scaled back. I would recommend finding the level of services that are working best for you like Linda and Jack said.
Personally, I am considering kind of a seasonal push, buying up, using it heavily and then canceling until next round.
Inmails can certainly bring in new clients. I would recommend that you should consider creating your profile so it ranks high when people are searching online. Google is in love with LinkedIn so you should consider "Social SEO". Once your profile ranks high, even though if you don't use paid services from LI. You will surely find targeted leads connecting and contacting you because they can find your profile first over other candidates.
Paid account only good in three conditions:
1. If you're aggressively looking for a job
2. If you're into sales
3. If you're really fond of that Premium tag on your profile
Apart from that linked-in has been really a powerful tool in establishing professional relationships and showcase your skills/ expertise. Premium services give you additional features like:
inMail, view full profile, etc.
I initially provided an answer/recommendation, but Mike (above) provided a more thorough response that mimics my thoughts exactly... so, what he said!
With a lot of dedication LinkedIn can be a valuable tool to the right person. Difference between the two has been highlighted well below. ROI on your time involved would be the differentiating factor. I have a Premium account, I have also found just as much success with a basic account. Depends on what OTHER tools you have at your disposal. If LinkedIn is your only tool, go Premium, if you have others, consider basic.
Over the past 2 years, LinkedIn Ads have been the #1 referral source for my B2B Clients. The premium service is nice however the best way to acquire new clients may be to get actively involved in discussions or groups surrounding your expertise.
I just signed up for the premium account for this year to see how it goes. The search capabilities with the premium don't even come close to the free version. With the free version you were very limited on how you could search for those in your target market. I also like having the InMails to be able to send an email to anyone that I choose. And if they do not respond within 7 days, the InMail is credited back to me. And...if I don't use the InMails for the month, it rolls over to the next month. So far, I have had some good success with both of these things and made some good connections. I've heard people say, though, that you should use LinkedIn as a springboard to actually set up a meeting with whoever you connect with in person. That way you have the personal connection. Feel free to send me a message personally on here for more advice. I have a set system on how I respond to people who accept my connections, etc.
If you do decide to do it, make sure you talk with someone on there first and ask if there are any discounts for trying it out. I got half off the first two months just for asking.
I've only ever used the Free version, I cannot see the reason for the paid version.
I have a plugin that allows me to see everyones hidden emails, so with that out of the equation, there is simply no need for me to pay.
It all depends on WHAT you are going to use LinkedIn for I guess.
Hey John, I have written two books on LinkedIn, and I can tell you that for most people the free account is sufficient enough. There is so much you can do with a free account that few people actually leverage, so if you think you have truly maximized the way that you can use your free account, then it would be time to consider a paid account. However, a paid account will only give you a few additional things, most notably a limited number of InMails, which don't necessarily give you business but can help open doors.
I blogged in more details about the potential benefits of upgrading some time ago, but I think the advice is still applicable today: http://maximizesocialbusiness.com/is-it-time-to-upgrade-to-a-paid-linkedin-account-3598/
Hi John, I never had much luck with LinkedIn paid accounts. It developed some traffic for us, but overall, we explored other opportunities.
Yes, the most valuable thing about a paid LinkedIn account is that you can view up to 50 people who have viewed your profile. Also, the Advanced Search is MUCH better. You actually have the ability to put in "manager", CEO etc. It is well worth the $200 or so you pay for it. I have gotten enough business from it to pay for the upgrade. My LinkedIn class this morning asked the same question and that was my advice.
I agree with Linda, I use it for networking and meeting up with other business owners to get my name out!!
In your shoes, I would not buy Linkedin..
The free version offers BIG opportunities for introductions, invitations and engaging.
If you are using Linkedin with an inbound marketing mindset, you most likely will use it to 1) listen 2) give help 3) ask questions 4) make invitations 5) give endorsements 5) make recommendations 6) connect others
By using Linkedin at the free level your activity is still public and people can watch in a public forum to learn of your true character and expertise.
If you walk into any room with a sign on your head that says: "I am here to get clients", most will avoid you. The same is true for social media platforms.
If you are interested in using Linkedin as a sales tool with "outbound marketing" as a primary strategy, then Linkedin Premium gives you more opportunity. You are able to send inmails to people you are not connected to. If you use this strategy, I hope you have a very seriously impressive product or service you are introducing where they will say "that is remarkable".
People each month tell me their story: "Mike, I was contacted via Linkedin and got a job, have a new client, was introduced to a new client", etc.
All of those with these stories is using the free version of Linkedin. Recently I added premium Linkedin to my toolkit. I did so to experience first hand any opportunities it provides, not because there was a need.
Choose your strategy first and then you will know whether to go premium and spend the $240 or more per year.
There is a great video at the very bottom of this article:
The presenter works for Linkedin and does not spin or hype the platform. You might find it helpful.
Best of luck,
The paid account is very good on LinkedIn because it gives you the ability to see who is looking at your profile and then connect with them.
With the free plan you will only see the last 5 people who have viewed your profile.
Here is a less expensive way to get the business benefits and pay less.
Sign up as a job seeker instead of the business plan. You save $10 to $50 per month and you will get all the benefits you need.
No one else see's the plan you are on so it works out well.
Next you can type in the type of business you want to market to in the search box at the top of the page and start viewing their profiles.
They will start viewing you back and it gives you an opportunity to connect with them.
Example: I saw that you were viewing my profile today and I wanted to connect with you because I help businesses/ people like you with ___ (whatever you are marketing)
Having the expanded paid LinkedIn account allows you to do this.
I have used the LinkedIn Premium accounts and they are truly worth the money. Most of the them, they can be used on a trial type basis, so you can get a feel for them to see if they will be worth the money in the long run. Also, if the Premium service isn't working for you, it can be cancelled and then if down the road, you find that a current project would benefit the Premium service, you may find a buy a month get one half off or even free promotion again.
I have been on Linkedin for years and currently have a premium account.
The answer lies in your business goals. What you're really getting when you pay is access to a bunch of features, including these three killer networking tools. The more you pay, the more access (results, stats, InMails) you get. I have three reasons why you should go with a premium account
1. With the free account you can do some basic searching. With a paid account you can perform detailed queries. This reduces your search time significantly and allows for clients according to your needs.
2. If you don't pay for a Premium account, you will only see profile information from contacts at the 1st and 2nd degree contacts. A Premium account allows you to have access beyond your network and be able to see expanded profiles of everyone on LinkedIn. Moreover, and this is available across all membership levels, you will be able to see who's viewed your profile, however, in the free account it is limited and so is the stats viewing, including views by geography and industry).
3. If you have a basic LinkedIn account, you know that you can't easily email someone beyond your network. But again with a premium account you can e-mail up to 50 people, which for me is important.
LinkedIn Premium accounts are great if you have specific people you're interested in engaging and no other way to get their attention. However, if you don't have a way to add value--without selling--you will turn people off.
I agree with Vince, LinkedIn is a tool to build your credibility and awareness. Joining groups and participating in conversations is a more effective--and free--way to build your brand and increase your visibility with potential clients.