Unlocking Your Competitive Edge with the Power of LinkedIn Premium

December 18, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing Q&A series called the Inside Story where we sit down to learn more from the people behind the products at LinkedIn.

Q. As the product lead behind LinkedIn’s Subscriptions, can you tell us why someone should upgrade to a Premium membership?

Funny enough, when I tell people I work at LinkedIn, one of the first questions I always get is “What is the difference between a free and Premium membership?” This is before I’ve even mentioned my role on this specific team, so it’s something we are definitely working on to help our members better understand.

My “in a nutshell” answer is that a Premium membership aims to accelerate results by unlocking our most powerful features for our members. Whether it’s landing your next job, growing your network, securing a lead, or making a new hire for your business, we help you achieve these outcomes more quickly and efficiently.

Q. What are some examples of these “advanced features”?

I categorize Premium features into three buckets: tools, insights, and branding.

Our networking tools help you find and contact the right people – for example, InMail and additional search filters. Premium insights arm members with competitive intel like who is viewing your profile or how a particular company’s hiring is trending and how you rank among fellow job applicants. Lastly, branding refers to the features that help Premium members stand out and get found such as a 2x larger listing in search results.

Overall, these features give you a more powerful LinkedIn experience and a competitive edge to achieve your goals.

Q. What is in store next year for premium users?

Simplification is a big focus for us. We know members have been overwhelmed by the many different Premium offerings we’ve had in the past, so we have spent the past few months really focused on streamlining our portfolio. This means, today we offer just four Premium membership options that are aligned to specific objectives, such as job seeking, professional networking, sales, and recruiting. We want members to have a crystal clear understanding of the packages available to them and the value they get for each. This is something we will continue to focus on into the new year and will be spending time to evaluate the new ways we can add even more value to the Premium experience.

We will also continue to build on the features our Premium members have come to rely on. For example, we recently enhanced the jobs related insights we provide such as Applicant Insights and Company Insights to give insider access to information that can help you focus on the right opportunities, perfect your job search strategy, and ultimately land your dream job faster. You can expect to see more insights that give our members even deeper intel about companies they’re interested in, how they stack up against other job applicants, etc.

Q. What is your favorite LinkedIn tip that you would like to share with members?

One tip I always try to share with members is to make the most of the Who’s Viewed Your Profile tool. Yes, it’s fun to see the people who are checking you out, but it can also be a powerful networking vehicle. If you see that someone has viewed your profile, it gives you an easy “in” for reaching out to them. For example, if you notice a recruiter of a company you’re interested in has visited your profile, you have a warm lead to reach out to them and follow up on possible opportunities. The same idea applies for customer acquisition or hiring candidates.

Also, if you look at the full list of who’s viewed your profile in the past 90 days (my plug for a Premium account), you can get a very good sense of how you’re being perceived in the ecosystem. You’ll notice trends in the types of people that are viewing your profile and you can make changes to your profile if you realize you’re not catching the attention of your desired audience.

Q. What’s not on your LinkedIn profile?

Something a lot of people don’t know about me is that my name was not actually Gyanda for the first few years of my life. I was originally named Kanishka, but, as a toddler, I fell very ill and, during that time, a commercial airliner named Kanishka crashed. My grandparents thought this combination of events was a bad omen and decided to change my name. It was quite confusing as a young child to suddenly be called a completely new name!