When To Pay For Your LinkedIn Membership

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.


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!



  1. My question is:

    Being new to LinkedIn, can I “invite” anyone / unlimited number of members to add me to their network? I am debating a paid membership, but I am not sure I need it.



  2. Ken,

    As a new user, you should get comfortable with the system before going with a paid membership. (See the specific reasons in this article on when you would want to consider a paid membership)

    You can invite anyone you want – but if you follow my advice, you’ll be judicious with those invitations… Only to people you know and trust…

    You will be capped at several thousand invitations so while they are plentiful, they are not infinite. I don’t know of additional invitations going to paid members, so that should not affect your choice.

    Best success,

    Steve Tylock

  3. I want to cancel my business membership on linkedin , cant understand how to…

  4. I made the mistake of joining the paid membership on LinkedIn!!

    First of all, some of the things they promise such as priority customer service do not exist.

    Second, once you realize that you don’t need the paid service, their is no way to undo it. I have been trying to cancel my subscription for about 3 months now. The only way to cancel is to send them an email. The problem is they don’t reply. So they keep charging your card month after month.


  5. Hello Mr Steve Tylock,

    Maybe I’m missing something… I’ve a free account.

    You wrote this in a previous post:
    “You can invite anyone you want”

    I believe this is not entirely true. I tried to contact somebody but can’t do that by InMail because I have a free membership.

    If you want to contact that person you can send them a message to invite them as a contact, but only if their email address is given to you at their page. This unfortunately is not the case, the person has settings probably to prevent just everybody to send messages or invites.

    So is there another way to invite the person or is the only way to upgrade my membership?

    Greetings, thank you in advance for your answer.


  6. Peter,

    You’re missing a step. The invitation to connect is to invite people you already know and trust to join your network of connections. It isn’t for meeting people. (but has been used that way, and could be in a pinch I suppose)

    And you can invite anyone you want – there is no filter on who you invite. (but you might need to supply their email address – but if you know them, that shouldn’t be too hard to do… And it keeps people from harassing others when they don’t know them)

    InMail is a paid service, correct. Being able to use it just requires funds, not any approval.

    And individuals don’t need to give out their email addresses – who wants to invite spam?

    There is no other account upgrade – either pay for some version of premium service, or not.

    Lastly – perhaps you’d like to try an introduction. Check out the archives for advice in that regard.

    (For other readers – I believe Peter is from the Netherlands and there might be a couple translation issues related to his phrasing of items)

  7. as i am starting my business, i would like to know that if i go for the paid membership will i be able to get the contact details for big corporate houses and also how much the membership will cost me?

  8. Nikhil,

    No, you never get corporate contact details from LinkedIn because profiles are for individuals.

    You would get “InMail” and can use that to contact individuals directly.

    Memberships run from about $20/month to $100/m. just click on the “Upgrade Your Account” link found at the bottom of the screen.


  9. I’m trying to make contact with senior managers regarding job opportunities. I believe that I will have more success with them than the lower level people that are looking at my resume. The only way for me to make those connections is through a paid membership. Maybe a month to month contract versus paying a full year in advance?

  10. Mark,

    I’m not sure why you say the “only” way to make those connections is through a paid membership. Any member can invite any other member to connect.

    You only want to do that when you know the other person, so what you might be saying is “I don’t know these people, and the only way I might get their attention is by sending an InMail.”

    Now that could be true, but remember that an InMail is not an invitation to connect, it is merely a communication method.

    I agree that it is better to find the hiring managers than the HR jockeys.

    So do that – through an introduction.

    Read up on those articles (see the archive categories in the right column).

    I think that would be the better action – and save your membership money.


  11. Does LinkedIn offer a “group” subscription of any kind, rather than just for individuals? I’ve been asked to look into this for a staff of 8 people, and it would save me a lot of billing headaches if this is possible. Thanks in advance!

  12. M,

    For recruiters – yes. For sales, job seeker, and professional – I have not heard of one.

    Example – I’m still fairly certain Microsoft has a corporate account. It’s probably for the recruiting dept, but if they’re smart, they give the sales-folk access;-)


  13. I am in the process of starting a business, I have had the basic membership for a long time. Am trying to decide if it is worth upgrading to a paid membership. As my business is very cashflow sensitive at this point, I do not want to spend unneeded money. Is there any particular reasons other than to see who is looking at my profile why I might want to upgrade to one of the basic Sales or other memberships?

  14. InMail…

    If getting a note to a specific prospect that you don’t otherwise have a good way to reach would be valuable, then you could consider the paid membership.

    Seeing who is looking at your profile isn’t particularly useful. (IMHO) (And notice – you don’t see better information, you see more people instead of the last 5 or so)


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