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I finally did it. After more than four years on LinkedIn, I'm now a paying member of the site.
 
Please don't take this news as my suggestion that you should pull out your credit card and upgrade. Most people still shouldn't do that...not just yet.
 
For a full discussion about paid vs. free, check out my article Are You Wondering if You Should Upgrade to a Paid LinkedIn Account?
 
Why did I finally make the move? I got tired of not being able to review the full list of people who had viewed my profile, and I'd been spending money each month to send InMails at $10 apiece.
 
During this journey from free to paid, I've come up with this learning point that should help everyone:
 
If LinkedIn limits something on the site, this is an area you should review and make sure you are taking advantage of. In other words, if LinkedIn thinks they can charge for it and we will pay, it must be goodie.
 
Here are some specific features you may want to reevaluate:
 
  • The maximum number of groups you can join is 50 (Paid or free, that's all you get)
  • Who's Viewed Your Profile shows the last five people who checked you out (An upgraded account enables you to see the full list).
  • You can direct message 1st level connections or fellow group members (With a premium account, you can direct message most LinkedIn members).
  • You can see a maximum of 100 people in search results (You'll see an expanded list based on which premium account you purchase)
Now it's up to you to decide how important these upgraded features are to you.
 
Have you found other reasons to upgrade?