There is a long-standing debate about whether or not LinkedIn’s premium services are worth it. For most recruiters and B2B salespeople, the paid tools are a great option, but most casual users probably don’t need to shell out the money each month.
I’m not a huge fan of cheating the system, but I’m always up for capitalizing on a “loophole” to save a little cash. I’ve tried all of the LinkedIn hacks I’m about to suggest, so I know that they work.
1) Avoid paying for inmails to people you aren’t connected to.
Many people pay for the premium service for this one feature alone because it’s really annoying to know that somebody viewed your profile and not be able to see who it was.
LinkedIn does allow you to contact 1st and 2nd connections, but anybody outside of that is off-limits. The only way to reach those folks is if you already have their email address or you pay for an Inmail (you get zero Inmails with the free account).
So how can you get message somebody who’s not a 1st or 2nd degree connection without their email or paying? It’s easy, just follow these steps:
- Check out what groups they’re a member of on their profile
- Apply to one or more of these groups
- Wait for acceptance / get accepted
- Click on the members tab in the group
- Search for them
- Find the person you want and hover over their name – you now have an option to ‘send message’
- Feel superior and super sneaky
Tip of the hat to Travis Lee Street for the hack.
2) Find anybody’s full profile.
This is where your well-refined Internet stalking skills can come in handy. As annoying as it is that LinkedIn holds back information for its free customers, there is a simple workaround that utilizes Google to access hidden information.
1) Begin your search with the target position and company. I used “Sales Director at Pfizer” as my example.
2) “Caroline R.” came up, but I need to find out her full name.
3) Do a Google search using her position title, city, and company.
4) There you have it! Click on the name and view the full profile.
Tip of the hat to Andy Foote for the hack.
3) Save 66% on LinkedIn’s basic premium service
Okay, so this isn’t actually free, but it can help you save up almost $150 each year if you want LinkedIn’s basic premium option.
If you were to click on the Upgrade tab on the top right of the home page to subscribe to LinkedIn’s Basic Job Seeker service, you would pay $19/month. What most people don’t know is that there is a cheaper option called Spotlight (formerly their Personal Plus option) that they don’t advertise.
The Spotlight option is only $7.99/month and provides features such as Who’s Viewed Your Profile, Open Profile to allow anybody to see your full profile and message you, and the Premium Profile feature that gives you an enlarged profile photo.
Click here for a more detailed description of the Spotlight service and how to go about finding it.
What other LinkedIn tricks have you heard about or used?