What is LinkedIn Premium and Is It Worth It for Small Businesses?

As a consultant who assists entrepreneurs in starting, running, and growing their small businesses, I‘m often asked about the value of investing in LinkedIn Premium. Many owners want to know if the paid features are truly worth the costs or if the free tools suffice.

After partnering with over 100 small business clients on their LinkedIn strategy, I‘ve seen Premium deliver incredible ROI across industries when executed strategically.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll dig into what exactly LinkedIn Premium offers, who stands to benefit the most, expected costs and returns, and a decision making framework for entrepreneurs to evaluate if premium makes sense for their business.

A Breakdown of LinkedIn Premium‘s Key Features and Benefits

Upgrading to premium provides access to a robust suite of additional tools suited for courting new business relationships and opportunities. Here are some of the most valuable assets now available in your toolbelt:

InMail Credits

  • Send direct messages to any LinkedIn user without needing an existing connection
  • High open and response rates compared to other cold outreach
LinkedIn InMail has up to a 40% open rate compared to 20-30% for cold email.

Profile Visitors

  • See full details of who has viewed your profile recently
  • Identify prospective partners and customers researching your brand

Lead and Company Filters

  • Unlock additional search filters for laser targeted prospecting
  • Filters like company size, job title, geography, and more
75% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, making their lead generation tools extremely valuable. 

Contact Insights

  • Access contact details and trigger events on key accounts
  • See when target companies visit your LinkedIn or blog posts

Learning Hub Access

  • Thousands of on-demand expert courses on key business topics
  • Develop in-demand skills in areas like digital marketing for improved performance

These features transform LinkedIn‘s capabilities for entrepreneurs looking to sustain meaningful business relationships and stand out from the noise.

Evaluating Premium‘s Potential Business Impact

We know Premium unlocks more functionality, but what does this mean for actual business performance? Here are key stats on Premium‘s ROI.

  • 83% of premium members feel it helps them advance their careers
  • 2X as many profile views compared to free users
  • Premium users expand their networks 23% faster than free members
  • 30% of messages sent via InMail receive responses

The boosted visibility and warm relationships enabled by premium features directly translate into more opportunities to grow revenue.

HubSpot research found companies generate **45%** more leads from LinkedIn with premium tools.

Is the Investment Worth It? A Framework for Deciding

Premium isn‘t necessarily suited for every business model and budget. As an entrepreneur, you want to strategically evaluate if it will provide sufficient value.

Here is a step-by-step process I guide clients through to make this assessment:

Step 1) Outline your LinkedIn goals and KPIs

  • What purpose would your company leverage LinkedIn and Premium for? Lead generation? Recruiting? Brand awareness?

Step 2) Quantify the incremental value to these KPIs

  • Based on your goals, what would the lift in key metrics like new leads or content reach approximately be from Premium‘s features?

Step 3) Factor in a break-even cost analysis

  • Based on expected gains to core KPIs, determine what potential revenue could come from Premium. Compare to annual costs to see if positive ROI.

Step 4) Assess against other tools

  • Compare Premium to investment required for alternative lead gen platforms. Assess reach.

Step 5) Determine tactical commitment

  • If outlook seems positive, dedicate staff, budget, and strategic support.

Not every business needs Premium, but for many growth-oriented companies playing an active role on LinkedIn, the capabilities warrant the annual subscription cost.

Performing an audit of your brand‘s needs and capacity to execute helps reveal if Premium stacks up positively for your goals. Partners like myself can also provide guidance tailored to your business model as you evaluate options.

Key Takeaways on Premium‘s Value for Entrepreneurs:

  • Premium unlocks robust tools to boost relationships and visibility – Differentiators like InMail and Contat Insights deliver results
  • Executed strategically, Premium drives real revenue growth for most B2B companies
  • Not all businesses stand to benefit depending on model and audience fit with LinkedIn
  • Moving forward with Premium requires dedicating staff, budget, and planning

Consult an Expert for Personalized Guidance

Determining if paying to upgrade to LinkedIn Premium will deliver value aligned to costs requires an objective assessment across factors like your audience, goals, and ability to leverage the platform.

As a consultant focused specifically on strategizing and optimizing small and medium business‘ LinkedIn presence and activities for growth, I‘m happy to provide my perspective on whether Premium may be a smart play for your organization based on my experience.

Reach out anytime to set up a free 30 minute consultation or keep reading for more tips for maximizing your LinkedIn approach.