The biggest appeal for a paid account is that you have the ability to see the profiles of those outside your direct network. This enables conversations that wouldn’t have happened inside your network. Getting to these contacts is easier, too, because a premium account has an advanced search option. With this, you can search for people within an organization. Users say that a premium account has allowed them to conduct better market research for their companies. Other benefits of premium accounts include being able to see statistics on who has viewed your profile and an increasing amount of InMail interactions as you pay more.
Summed up: premium accounts can help you go into a meeting well prepared with research, and helps to manage your profile more effectively.
But is this all worth it? Premium accounts aren’t cheap – the lowest option is $20 a month and doesn’t cover much of what is listed above. The truth of the matter is that you can do almost everything you need to network and make connections with the free version of LinkedIn. Most people think of LinkedIn as a modern Rolodex, and for those needs, a basic account is all you need. If you are a casual user or job seeker, there isn’t a need to shell out cash for the premium feature. If you are a heavy duty recruiter, you might want to look deeper into these premium options.