UPDATE 8/25 a new version of personal plus called premium spotlight is now available. learn more here
if you are an active linkedin user, you have experienced the limitations of a basic account. if you’ve seen the frustrating “upgrade to premium” message more than a few times, you have probably thought about making the jump. linkedin sells an array of premium accounts targeted to business and recruiter users. however, you can get linkedin premium account features for less with a “secret” plan. read on for details on the personal plus plan and how to sign up.
I love the “who’s viewed your profile” feature on linkedin. it appears on the home page and on your profile page. clicking through with the basic plan can be a bummer. the information is for the past three months, and offers limited details. wouldn’t it be great to see all the people who viewed your profile?
another favorite is linked introductions – I’ve written about best practices for linkedin introductions. basic subscribers have a limit of 5 of these requests outstanding. if your contact or the target recipient isn’t as active on linkedin, it could be a while before your message is viewed or acted upon – and if either of them doesn’t reply through linkedin (more than likely), linkedin still consideres the request outstanding and counts it against your limit.
looking at a linkedin premium account?
ok, so how to solve these issues? linkedin is happy to sell you a premium account, but if you click on the “upgrade” link in the top bar and elsewhere, you are directed to a page with options for business accounts only:
the cheapest option is $25/month, or $20/month, billed annually. but wait a second – those aren’t the only options available. look at the page again, and you’ll notice another link for linkedin premium just below the “who’s viewed section.”
click on that link, and you’ll arrive at a page that looks a lot like the upgrade page you saw above. but hey – look again, and you’ll notice the “executive” level plan is missing and a new, “personal plus” page is there instead.
tell them what they’ve won
for $8/month ($10/month if you just upgrade for a few months during a job search) – less than half the cost of a regular business membership – you get the best features of linkedin premium! you get full deets on who’s viewed your profile – as long as the viewer is sharing their information – read more about in a post I wrote a few years ago about increasing your visibility on linkedin.
you get twice as many introductions, a great way to connect with someone you don’t know but to whom you are linked. as I noted in my post about the effectiveness of linkedin introductions, I have been able to jumpstart conversations with 3rd degree connections(they know someone who knows someone that you know) with this feature. I haven’t used it, but the personal plus account provides access to references. so the account might be effective for small business owners, too!
what’s missing? you won’t gain full profile information to all your 2nd and 3rd degree connections. you won’t get “premium” search, or in-mail messages. if you really want fulltime access the full profiles, linkedin offers a “sales basic” plan for $20/month ($16/month billed annually) that will save you a little bit.
in-mail lets you send a message to another linkedin user to who you are not connected – I think it’s worse than cold calling and would have a hard time justifying it under any circustances. but, if you need it, then the extra cost of the business account is your ticket. if not, however, I think this “hidden” linkedin premium plan is right for most active individual users.