One of the most frequently asked questions that we hear is whether you need to upgrade your LinkedIn membership to Premium. More and more, the answer is a resounding YES. Why?

LinkedIn is continually reserving their new features for Premium members and is, little by little, removing features from Basic. Remember, Premium Memberships are one of the three ways LinkedIn drives revenue. Incidentally, as of the Microsoft/LinkedIn acquisition announcement, only two million of the 433 million+ LinkedIn members have Premium memberships. To better understand the various LinkedIn Premium Memberships, check out my colleague, Lindsey Stemann’s overview on the various LinkedIn Memberships.

Please note, we are not referring to LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator here. If you have a basic LinkedIn membership it’s best to go to Premium before heading over to Sales Navigator.

I look at this small number as a way to get ahead of the curve and stand out, and do more to maximize your value and network. Premium membership only makes sense if you are on LinkedIn every day or, at the very least, multiple times per week and have one of the following roles or functions:

  • Business leader
  • Selling professional
  • Recruiting professional
  • Job Seeker
  • Career Opportunist
  • Young Professional
  • Subject Matter Expert

There are many, but here are 3 key reasons to upgrade your membership to Business Plus or Executive:

  1. You’re an early LinkedIn adapter and you’ve proven you know how to build a strong LinkedIn presence for yourself; your network is healthy and active, and your LinkedIn use has resulted in meetings and new business opportunities.
  2. You’ve thought about, have determined or are ready to hone in on a strategy for LinkedIn to boost your sales, recruiting, and branding efforts.
  3. Your business goals, quotas, and performance are based on increasing business, finding the right people and delivering value to your organization. You have no time to lose on outdated techniques and cold calling.

And, now that you’ve concluded you should upgrade, here are 3 ways to pay for your LinkedIn Premium Membership:

  1. Write up your LinkedIn plan with measurement goals, present it to whomever you report to and ask for their support and accountability. Ask if they will pay the monthly cost for each month you achieve your LinkedIn objectives.
  2. If your company provides any discretionary funds for networking, professional development or personal marketing, ask that your monthly LinkedIn membership comes out of that particular fund.
    Invest in yourself.
  3. Pick up the tab yourself. You will be more likely to use what you pay for and will benefit the most from the activity and network you build in LinkedIn.

Upgrading is well worth it if you log in and work it. It’s like anything else; you’ve gotta pay to play.