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Linkedin Premium: Is It Worth the Cost?

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Is LinkedIn Premium worth it?

This is the most common question I get from people reviewing LinkedIn features.

It’s a fair question, though. If you put your money into something, you want to get the most from it.

Having the premium badge on your profile is kind of cool. It gives you a higher status than other profiles.

But what else?

You’ll get superpowers (or something like that) and the people in your industry will be dying to do business with you?

https://preview.redd.it/96hmmij8upg41.jpg?width=1102&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=29f8f4a632b88558f7836059c453f857d9623601

What is LinkedIn Premium?

Here’s the main question: if you’re paying for a premium service, what will you get from it?

The strategy used by LinkedIn to market their premium features has been highly criticized over the years, basically because they didn’t create new features to include in the premium plans.

What they did, in a very smooth way, was take features from the free plans and include them in the paid plans.

So, here are some of the features that used to be free:

  • Tag profiles
  • Add comments to profiles
  • Statistics
  • Who viewed your profile
  • Profile visualization

But the objective here is to figure out whether those differences are worth US$79.99 a month for the Sales Navigator subscription (2018 pricing).

In this post, I will focus on LinkedIn for business development purposes. So you’ll probably be interested in two plans: Business and Sales.

Let’s look at the different plans available right now:

https://preview.redd.it/jrewsj4mupg41.png?width=1031&format=png&auto=webp&s=afa244b37c4b9034422733178e9c7e66db24890f

IMPORTANT: I’m assuming here that you have an optimized profile and at least a basic LinkedIn strategy in place. If not, you can check my guide to optimize your profile here.

LinkedIn Business

Let’s say you’re paying the $47.99 a month for LinkedIn Business.

In that case, you’ll get extra features such as:

https://preview.redd.it/ekdjil7nupg41.png?width=1010&format=png&auto=webp&s=fcde6eb6d6b8deff1b808b97d69fbae8cff9f71e

You have 15 InMail messages every month, which means that you can send a direct message to anyone on LinkedIn (even someone not in your network).

Is that useful?

It depends.

Why should you pay for something that you can do already for free? Clearly because not too many people are aware of that they can do it for free.

But if you’re considering paying for LinkedIn Business just so you can send InMail to prospects, maybe you’re not using LinkedIn correctly.

You’ll get the most of LinkedIn (free or premium), by sharing relevant content, building relationships, helping others and positioning yourself as an authority in your industry.

When you do your “homework” on LinkedIn, you don’t need InMails to get new prospects.

LinkedIn insights, online video courses and career insights are totally prescindibles, in my opinion. I definitely don’t want to pay for them.

If you want to develop your business (or your personal brand, startup, freelancing,etc…), the truly useful features are unlimited people browsing and who has viewed your profile.

Having unlimited searches is an essential feature if you want to get the most of LinkedIn – and to be honest, I’ll pay for the Business plan just for this one feature.

Unlocking the ability to see who’s viewed your profile is a very interesting feature if you want to follow up on those profiles.

Why? Because if they checked out your profile, they have a legitimate interest in what do you do, who you are, who you work for, or some other reason.

To follow up on that, an easy but useful tactic is to send an invitation to those people and say something like:

“Hi, I noticed that to you checked out my profile today. I thought that we might connect and chat about what brought you here. Thanks, Fran.”

Simple, but efficient. Try it if you want to expand your network.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

So far, so good. But should you pay US$79 a month for the Sales plan?

Let’s take a look at the key features you get with the Sales Navigator plan:

https://preview.redd.it/w5l4ul7oupg41.png?width=1001&format=png&auto=webp&s=f34e8806bdff01b69579a00a2f3ad1e17c58b2fc

As you can see, there are some new things:

  • Advanced search with lead-builder
  • Lead recommendations and saved leads

Should you pay the extra money for those features?

Again, it depends.

  • Do you have an optimized profile and company profile?
  • Do you follow a content strategy that matches to your marketing persona?
  • Have you defined your marketing persona/s?
  • Do you have a clear strategy on LinkedIn groups?
  • Are you following up with your prospects to share value before selling them anything?

If your answer is a clear YES for all those questions, then pay for LinkedIn Sales Navigator. You’ll get a lot of business from it.

Otherwise, I recommend that you review your LinkedIn strategy and marketing goals on this social network before paying a dime.

When is NOT worth to pay for LinkedIn Premium

At this point, we’ve seen the different features and pricing for both the Business and Sales plans.

But here’s something I really want to tell you, just so you can be sure you’re ready to pay for LinkedIn premium services or not.

As we’ve seen, the main benefit of paying for LinkedIn is that you can develop your business and expand your network.

Especially on Sales Navigator, whose search engine has very good filters that help you connect with highly qualified profiles.

On the other hand, you can share remarkable content, publish on LinkedIn Pulse, attract key contacts, expand your network, and ultimately build your authority using the free basic plan.

So, to pay or not pay – that’s the question.

Here is my recommendation: don’t pay for LinkedIn’s annual plan.

Why not?

Let’s say you’re running a campaign to promote a new service and want to fill your pipeline with as many qualified prospects as you can.

Anyway … if you do it well, after running your campaign you’ll get a lot of new connections – and more importantly, potential clients.

That means that you’ll have a lot of sales nurturing and follow-up to do!

What I recommend – and it’s something I do myself – is concentrate my campaigns in specific months, then pay for LinkedIn premium for a month or two.

The next month, I cancel my subscription and focus my efforts on attending to those new connections.

This is a more sensible approach. You won’t pay for premium features you won’t really use, and you can focus your efforts on converting new clients.

And clients will give you the ROI to evaluate in your particular case whether LinkedIn Premium is worth it or not.

Does that make sense to you, too?

Conclusions: Is LinkedIn Premium worth it?

Ok, enough talk about features, searches, strategies and so on. Should pay for it or not?

I’m so sorry to give you my “default consultant answer” again, but…

It depends.

It really depends of your LinkedIn strategy, if you have one. It depends on whether you’ve optimized your profile. It depends on your offer. It depends on your knowledge of LinkedIn features.

But here’s something very definite:

LinkedIn premium gives you access to a worldwide network of potential clients. Not just clients, but key connections that will bring you new business opportunities, partnerships, collaborations, talented collaborators and employees, and much more.

You have basically two options at this point:

First, pay for LinkedIn Premium and add the golden premium badge to your profile.

https://preview.redd.it/fz7dbc6pupg41.png?width=710&format=png&auto=webp&s=3aad09fec837437094a52dba61f77b7cebc1dd30

If you don’t mind spending that money because you have the budget, cool.

If your company pays you to have an annual LinkedIn premium subscription, cool.

But the truth is, you won’t sell more just because you have a golden badge.

If you want to see a return in your investment, you must have a solid LinkedIn strategy in place, take action, share relevant and valuable content, connect wisely with other profiles, help others and build your authority.

Then, and only then, LinkedIn Premium will be worth it.

__________________

If you enjoyed this content you can check my guide on How to contact ANYONE on LinkedIn (for FREE)

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Growing A Side-Hustle Into A Global Business with Lorraine Dallmeier

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This week I was joined on the She Means Business podcast by one of our amazing members from the Members’ Club, Lorraine Dallmeier.

As soon as she returned to work after having a baby, Lorraine soon realised that she was being held firmly back by the glass ceiling.

She had been dabbling with creating a side-income for herself, so when the opportunity came up to take over the online course company she had been enrolled in, Lorraine took the plunge. She had seen it simply as a side-hustle, but it turned into so much more than that.

Join Lorraine and over 5000 other incredible women in business over in our Members’ Club here >>

Join the Members' Club

A few years and a lot of hard work later, Lorraine has grown her business, Formula Botanica, into a global success, with almost 9,000 students across 161 countries.

Formula Botanica is an online training school for people who want to learn how to make their own organic skincare or haircare and how to then turn those products into a viable and profitable indie beauty brand.

In this podcast, Lorraine and I discuss:

  • How being held back at work after having a baby pushed her to start her own business.
  • Her journey from being a student in her own online education business to buying and taking over the company.
  • All the changes, updates and processes she had to put in place to revive and grow the business, the steps she took and the things she focused on.
  • The successful launch that helped her realise she could quit her job and work on the business full-time.
  • How she used customer feedback to change and improve the business.
  • How she juggled growing the business and raising two children and the lifestyle she has managed to create for her family.
  • The struggles she faced with getting herself and her business out there and what she did to overcome her fear of being visible.
  • Winning The Digital Achiever of the Year Award from Google among beauty industry giants.
  • How she got started with video and how her skills have improved over time.
  • The kind of success her students have achieved.
  • All the exciting plans she has ahead of her this year.

Lorraine’s top tips for success are:

  • Don’t be scared of being visible – just do it and keep doing it until you feel comfortable with it. It will get easier the more you try!
  • Be really consistent in whatever you do. Be realistic in what you commit to doing and then keep showing up!
  • Find what drives you and gives you your passion as that’s what will get you through the hard times.

Find out more or connect with Lorraine.
Website: https://formulabotanica.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FormulaBotanica/

Join Lorraine and over 5000 other incredible women in business over in our Members’ Club here >>

The post Growing A Side-Hustle Into A Global Business with Lorraine Dallmeier appeared first on Female Entrepreneur Association.



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How to Connect at a Networking Event (Without Saying A Word)

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by Latrice Cole

We all know it’s necessary for growth professionally or personally, but let’s be honest, it can be dreadful, intimidating, and downright awkward. What do you wear? Do you suck it up and wear the four-inch heels? How do you sell yourself? Do you humble-brag about your degree, or do you grit your teeth and smile until the very end? The most awkward part of networking is striking up the initial conversation with a complete stranger. But what if you didn’t have to? With just a dash of fashion-savvy, you can skip the stress-inducing walk-up and the whole boring introduction speech with this simple trick I teach all my clients: Wear an ice-breaking accessory that’s a stellar conversation starter. Below is a list of accessories that will get people approaching you now – and long after the event.

1. Scarves –Try wearing a unique vintage scarf or a scarf that you bought while on vacation with a great story behind it. This will allow you to share the story while taking the pressure off you. There are several ways to wear your scarf. Close to your face is best (around your neck), but if you’re not comfortable with that tie it on your handbag, but remember the key is for people to notice it. So, if you are going to tie it to your bag, make sure you can showcase it.

 

2. Pop of color with your shoe or handbag – Wearing a classic or neutral outfit to a networking event is a great way to look polished and professional (think Little Black Dresses, pantsuit/pants, and blouse combo).  However, show a little personality by adding a great pair of shoes or bag in a print or color that pops (like burnt orange or red). You will surely gain compliments that can ease into a conversation.

 

3. Jewelry – One of my favorite ways to top off an outfit. Try wearing a stand out heirloom, like a ring or brooch or handmade earrings that boosts your confidence. Last October, I attended a fashion networking event, and I wore handmade earrings. They were a hit! People started conversations with me based on my earrings. It broke the ice, allowed me to engage with others, and exchange contact information.

 

 

4. Eyeglasses – Those who wear them use it out of necessity, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Use your necessity as an advantage by stepping up your eyewear game with an interesting shape, color, bedazzle, or print, according to your personality. I wear glasses and depending on the type of event, I may switch my frames to make a statement. Glasses draw attention to your face making it easy for people to make eye contact with you.

If you don’t wear glasses you can always flip the script and admire someone else’s to get the conversation going.

The post How to Connect at a Networking Event (Without Saying A Word) appeared first on She Owns It.



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Not All SEO Problems Are Easy to Solve

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SEO can boost your search visibilityContributed by Jackie Carrillo, a content coordinator and contributor who writes on technology, marketing, business management and education. 

SEO is often touted as one of those essential business practices that are simple enough to do yourself. After all, you probably have the power to edit your business’s website, so you can stuff pages with keyword phrases, sprinkle links galore and alter other factors that could improve your performance on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Thus, you could conceivably save tens of thousands of dollars by going the DIY route — unless you run into some SEO trouble.

SEO is simple until it isn’t. Unfortunately, SEO can get exceedingly complex exceedingly quickly. To prove the point, here are a four relatively typical SEO problems that tend to be too complex for the average business leader to solve.

1. Your Website Indexing Is All Wrong

You can put all the care into optimizing your webpages—researching keywords, tinkering with metadata, etc.—but if Google can’t find your webpages, it is all for naught. Websites and pages don’t automatically join Google’s search. Google deploys digital spiders to crawl the web looking for new pages and content, and then the search engine indexes those new pages, or adds them to it search capabilities.

Some creators intentionally hide webpages from Google’s spiders or prevent Google from using those pages in search. In fact, this is a good SEO tactic if some of your content is lower-quality or non-vital to the user’s experience of your website, like archives of tags. Then again, many more websites accidentally prevent their pages from being indexed through shoddy coding. Unfortunately, you can’t tell your website developer to fix the problem because they don’t know what pages to index and what to leave hidden from Google.

If you are wondering what an SEO company is for, it’s knowing the difference between webpages that should and shouldn’t be indexed. You should work with an SEO agency to help you with indexing your website properly, so the right content has the chance to rank on Google’s SERPs.

2. Your Pages Are Competing Against Each Other

Many SEO DIY-ers use a tool like this one to research viable keywords, choose a couple relevant phrases and integrate those keywords into every bit of content on their website.

This strategy is called keyword cannibalization and it is not an effective strategy for getting multiple webpages on your site to rank. Instead of competing against other sites, your pages compete against one another, hurting the chances of all pages involved at ranking high on Google’s SERPs.

The solution is to create a keyword map, which will help you identify which keywords are used on which webpages. Then, you should strive to diversify not only your keyword phrases but also the topics of your content, so you avoid overcrowding. Again, you should work with SEO professionals to choose the best keyword phrases for your pages and compete with other websites, not only yourself.

3. Your Content Isn’t Structured to Google’s Liking

The number of backlinks to your website matters. The quality of your content matters. However, these factors matter a bit less if your content isn’t taking the right form.

Consider this example: You spend days developing a comprehensive, 3,000-word list of the best travel destinations for this year, replete with a few stunning, high-res images of a few destinations—but when you publish it, it doesn’t come close to ranking.

That might be because Google only deems content of this sort acceptable when they take the form of an image gallery with minimal text. You can determine this with a bit of research using keywords similar to your content, like “best travel destinations 2020.”

However, the differences in format between what you publish and what Google likes might be all but indiscernible to the average web user. Thus, you should rely on an SEO pro to perform thorough research on content styles before proffering instruction on content development.

4. Your Website Speed Is Embarrassingly Slow

Surprising to many SEO DIY-ers, website speed is one of Google’s top-ranking criteria. Google’s spiders don’t like wading through a slow website, and users hate waiting for pages to load, too. Thus, Google knocks points off websites that aren’t prioritizing haste and hustle, and that goes double for mobile.

SEO isn’t the only reason you should invest more energy into increasing your website’s speed on traditional and mobile platforms. Research shows that users will only wait about three seconds for a page to load before bouncing in search of a swifter page. Slower pages don’t just rank lower; they also are less likely to cause conversions because of their subpar user experience.

Yet, increasing speed isn’t as easy as it sounds. Typically, you need to tinker with exceedingly technical aspects of your site, like compression and code optimization, caching and content distribution. A simple speed boost comes from reducing the size of your images. Still, it helps to have a pro on hand to help you optimize your website for speed without compromising its quality.

Ostensibly, you can manage basic SEO on your own—but when your business encounters obstacles in its efforts to rank, you shouldn’t try to solve any problems without professional help. Your website is simply to valuable to harm with shoddy SEO practices.

The post Not All SEO Problems Are Easy to Solve appeared first on Octane Blog – The official blog of the Entrepreneurs' Organization.



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