LinkedIn Costs and Benefits
Signing up for LinkedIn is free, and many of its functions are open to all account holders, so you can take advantage of most of the opportunities that LinkedIn can create. You don’t have to pay a setup or registration fee, but you can pay a monthly fee for a premium account to get additional functions or communication options. Finally, tailored solutions are available for corporations that want to use LinkedIn as a source for hiring quality candidates.
Your free account with LinkedIn allows you to use most of LinkedIn’s most popular features, including:
Building a network of connections with no limits on size or numbers
Reconnecting with any member of the LinkedIn network, provided that he knows you and agrees to connect to you
Creating a professional and detailed LinkedIn profile on the Web
Giving and receiving an unlimited number of Recommendations
Posting up to ten questions (and answering an unlimited amount of questions) on LinkedIn Answers
Joining or creating up to 50 different LinkedIn Groups
Requesting up to five Introductions at one time. (After someone accepts an Introduction, you can request a new Introduction in its place.)
Performing an unlimited number of searches for LinkedIn members in your extended network
If you want to step up to a paid account, you can perform the following activities:
Sending a message to anyone in the LinkedIn community, regardless of whether she is in your extended network, through an InMail messaging service
Sending more Introductions out at any one given time than the basic account allows
Viewing more LinkedIn profile information of people not in your LinkedIn network when you do Advanced searching
Seeing more LinkedIn network profile information when you do advanced searching
Seeing exactly who has viewed your profile
Performing a Reference Search on someone
LinkedIn offers a few levels of paid accounts, each with a specific level of benefits. For the most up-to-date packages that LinkedIn offers, check out LinkedIn's Compare Accounts Type page. You can also click the Account Type link at the top left of your screen, next to the LinkedIn logo, to see a comparison of the paid accounts.
Every premium account comes with the following benefits regardless of the level you choose.
Unlimited one-click reference searches
OpenLink network membership
Unlimited OpenLink messages
Access to premium content
One-business-day customer service for your LinkedIn questions
As of this writing, LinkedIn offers three premium packages targeted at individual users: Business, Business Plus, and Executive (formerly Pro) accounts. Each account level comes with a specific level of benefits:
Business: $24.95 per month or $249.50 per year. This account includes
Three InMails per month, with a seven-day response guarantee that states that if you don’t receive a response to your InMail within seven days, you will receive that InMail credit back.
Expanded Profile views and a total of 300 search results outside your network when you search
Five folders to save LinkedIn user profile information and notes in your Profile Organizer
Business Plus: $49.95 per month, or two months free when you pay for 10 months. This account includes
Ten InMails per month, with a seven-day response guarantee.
Expanded profile views and a total of 500 search results outside your network when you search
Twenty-five folders to save profiles and notes in your Profile Organizer
Executive: $99.95 per month, also reduced when purchased on an annual basis. This account includes
Twenty-five InMails per month, with a seven-day response guarantee
Expanded profile views and a total of 700 search results outside your network when you search
Fifty folders to save profiles and notes in your Profile Organizer
There’s not much difference between a free account and paid account on LinkedIn. And the basic account is anything but basic in usage.