To Pay or Not to Pay for a LinkedIn membership – that is a question I am asked frequently.
My response continues to be that you should wait until your usage naturally leads you to that choice.
For example, you may find that you constantly need more than the five introductions per month provided free members. The first level of business membership, $25 per month, provides fifteen introductions per month.
Other reasons for paying for a premium membership include 24 hour customer service via email (it works!), one click reference checking, more complete profile views, a # of rollover InMails per month, larger search results and customizable, savable people searches. See a more complete comparison table here for the various types of LinkedIn memberships.
On October 1st LinkedIn added another premium service which might motivate you to give up your freemium membership, especially for people who sell for a living.
LinkedIn has added a Profile Organizer capability.
The graphic above appeared the first time I “saved” a profile. Thereafter the profile is saved without any additional prompting. As shown in the graphic, you access saved profiles under the Contacts Tab, in the left side personal navigation panel in LinkedIn.
You also can save contact information, limited notes and can organized saved profiles into named folders.
See this LinkedIn blog entry explaining the Profile Organizer feature in its entirety.
Free members can use it for a 30 day trial. After that you will have to upgrade.
This feature, while falling far short of a full blown sales force automation capability or a complete CRM solution, goes a long way in making LinkedIn a key tool in your sales or consulting bag of tricks.
Try it out and let me know if you agree or not.