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In a recent email, David asks: “What are the main advantages of paid membership?”

What he didn’t ask, and what I figured was implied by his question was “Should I pay for a membership?”

Marketing in 2008…

LinkedIn works on the basis of good / better / best for memberships. The basic membership with no cost is a good tool. It does all of the things you need it to do (at a basic level) A business account is better, and a corporate account is “best” (if you’re a corporate recruiter).

LinkedIn will benefit if you use the service at any of those levels – and so the decision is up to you.

Free accounts

My membership is at the basic level – because that level permits me to do all of the things I need to. The additional features are not central to what I need.

Account upgrades

If you’d like to:

  • Send InMail – to directly contact other members that are not “in” your network
  • See who is looking at your profile
  • Get “more” results when you search
  • Send more simultaneous requests for introductions
  • Work with LinkedIn customer support

Then a paid membership is worth considering.

Recruiters

And as I said at the top, if you’re a recruiter, LinkedIn would like you to consider their set of hiring tools as the best option. LinkedIn has done well with access to individuals who are not looking for new jobs, and it is no secret that recruiters use the site to reach them.

As I’m not a recruiter, I can’t tell you what that uber-account will do for you, but you might want to check it out.

You can find out all the details on that LinkedIn account as well as the business accounts on this link.

Should you upgrade?

Back to the unspoken question – do you need to upgrade? Probably not, but I don’t know about your situation. Consider it – if you find that those features would help you – and decide if the value is there.

If you have a paid account, we’d all love to hear about your experience – please leave a comment!

steve