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April 18, 2013

Can an Upgraded Account Help Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile?

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Logged into LinkedIn lately? If you have, you might have noticed LinkedIn offers a free 30-day trial if you’d like to upgrade to a premium account.

An upgraded account can be a good option for job seekers, who can use an upgraded account to be “featured applicants,” or recruiters, who can contact users outside their networks. An upgraded account is also beneficial to anyone who wants more insights into his or her user engagement.

Curious as always — and never one to pass up a deal — I signed up, wondering if a premium account could aid in optimizing a profile.

Benefits of Upgrading

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You can display the gold “In” badge and the OpenLink badge with an upgrade LinkedIn account.

A LinkedIn Premium account offers expanded search results, the ability to contact users outside your network and a tool to bookmark and annotate profiles. This upgraded account also affords the ability to display an OpenLink or the gold “In” badge. As an upgraded account holder, you can opt in to the OpenLink network, which signifies that anyone on LinkedIn can message you directly at no cost. When you choose to use a gold “In” badge, it is displayed next to your name in search results and on your profile — another way to stand out in a sea of silver “In” badges.

linkedin screenshotWith an upgraded account, you can also see a complete list of who has viewed you with the “Profile Stats Pro” tool. Profile Stats Pro also shows your views by industry and by location. You can also monitor what keywords you’ve come up for in searches through Profile Stats Pro. I, for example, learned that my profile ranks for “Kristi Kellogg,” “Bruce Clay, Inc.,” “editor” and “CSUN,” among other things.

The Profile Stats Pro tool might be the most useful aspect of an upgraded account, as it allows users a deeper understanding of who is searching for them and moreover, how they’re searching for them.

In a post last week, I stressed the importance of promoting yourself (and therefore your business or brand) by optimizing your profile. Using the Profile Stats Pro tool, you can monitor how you’re doing.

Cost of Upgrading

The cost of an upgraded account varies. There are four types of accounts: Linkedin Premium accounts, job seeker accounts, recruiter accounts and accounts for sales professionals. Those account choices can be customized further, leading to differing price points across the board. The type of account I’ve been using and writing about here is the Linkedin Premium Business Plus account, which, after the free 30-day trial, will run you $49.95/month thereafter.

There’s No Harm in Trying It

The great thing about the 30-day free trial is it allows you to see if it’s a wise investment for you and your business without any risk (just don’t forget to cancel it before the 30 days if you’re not going to keep it).

Upgraded accounts are gaining popularity.  In an interview with Reuters, LinkedIn spokeswoman Julie Inouye reported that in 2012, premium subscriptions revenues totaled $37.9 million in the first quarter, representing a 91 percent increase from the 2011.

Has having the LinkedIn Premium Business account aided my campaign to optimize my profile? The gold “In” badge and the OpenLink badge certainly help my profile stand out, but the worth of the upgraded account is really found in the analytics and expanded search and messaging capabilities — and that comes in handy when I want to see if my optimization is working.

Have you tried an upgraded LinkedIn account? What was your experience? Share with us in the comments.

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One response to “Can an Upgraded Account Help Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile?”

  1. Alan Smith writes:

    I accepted the 30 days trial offer and then switch to it premium version. Just love to use LinkedIn in its premium version.



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