Comparing LinkedIn’s Free Account to Sales Navigator Or What Financial Advisors Taught Me About the New LinkedIn Interface (UI) This Week!

Another week in the field and another week of learning from a variety of Financial Advisors at the desk top. What’s top of mind with Financial Advisors this week? Sales Navigator, Sales Navigator, Sales Navigator! Did I mention Sales Navigator is top of mind?

The catalyst of course for this heightened interest in Sales Navigator is the LinkedIn Free Account has been basically stripped of most of its functionality. Think, the functionality that you used to get for free is now $560 a year up front or $79.99 per month.

The debate between whether you should upgrade to a LinkedIn Premium account is just that, should I upgrade? The debate shouldn’t be because most of the functionality has been stripped out of the basic LinkedIn account I don’t need to have a LinkedIn account. If I can’t find you by Googling you in today’s digitally connected world, you don’t exist!

Let’s dive into the LinkedIn’s Basic (free) Account and see what you get.

Basic (free) account

A LinkedIn Basic account is for anyone who wants to create and maintain a professional profile online.

  • Build your professional identity on the web. Your still allowed to create a complete and thorough LinkedIn Profile. The same rules apply as in the past: Professional Photo, Professional Headline (120 characters), Summary (2,000 characters), Experience, Education, Certifications, Groups (up to 100), Companies.

If you already have a LinkedIn Profile that’s been converted to the new format you will notice the deck chairs have been shuffled a bit, you lost your Interests, but your original information is there.

Two areas to check immediately, your photo and the first two lines of your Summary.

Make sure your photo is in the correct pixel configuration. What do I mean? Make sure you haven’t cut your forehead off in Anne Boleyn style. For example if you click on the link here, Jeff Weinerhe has a photo that is 1536 x 768 pixels, which is recommended.

If you want to discover what your profile photo is saying about you visit my friends at Photofeeler.

The first two lines or 210 characters of your Summary, including spaces, are the only description of your capabilities that appear on your LinkedIn Profile.

TDS Pro Tip: I’ve noticed that each LinkedIn Profile I’ve viewed has blank avatars where there used to be a company or school logo. Simply reenter the information and once you’ve saved your refreshed information the logo will again appear. Seems to be a glitch in the LinkedIn software.

  • Build and maintain a large trusted professional network

No change here. You have approximately 3,000 invitations so continue building your network as in the past.

For Financial Advisors, a quick way to build your connections is to connect with all of your clients first and then connect with their children. Think generational wealth transfer bridge.

  • Find and reconnect with colleagues and classmates.

Some changes here. Now instead of being able to click on” find alumni” you have to type in the name of the college or university your looking for in the search bar. For example, let’s say your looking for friends and fellow alumni from the University of Oklahoma. Type in University of Oklahoma in the search bar and these are the results you receive:

  • List your Skills

Check with your firm first to make sure they will allow you to include Skills in your LinkedIn Profile. As compliance officers have become more comfortable with social media I’ve noticed more and more allowing their FAs to post Skills.

TDS Pro Tip: You are allowed to post up to 50 Skills. Remember only the first three Skills show in the new LinkedIn User Interface, so make them count. You are allowed to reorder your Skills so from time to time you may want to do so.

  • Search for and view profiles of other LinkedIn members.

When you conduct a people search on LinkedIn you’ll be able to refine your search results by 1st, 2nd and 3rd+ degree connections using the Connections filter on the right. Your search results will be organized in this order as well with 1st degree connections appearing at the top. Keep in mind that filtering your search by 3rd+ degree connections will include everyone that falls in your search criteria.

As part of the new design, the ability to see the 2nd and 3rd degree connection count that falls within your search criteria is no longer available. In addition, the ability to see the number of members for groups you belong to and filter by this criteria is no longer available. These options can be accessed in either LinkedIns Recruiter or Sales Navigator products. My recommendation, if you’re going to upgrade, upgrade to the Sales Navigator product.

TDS Pro Tip: Use Search Operators and Boolean Operators when searching on LinkedIn. 

  1. Search Operators

 You can use search operators directly from the search bar to narrow your results. Search operators complement the filters found on the right rail of the results page, as well as the boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT.

There are five search operators currently supported by LinkedIn: 

  • firstname– Finds members based on first name
  • lastname– Finds members based on last name
  • title– Finds members based on their current job title
  • company– Finds members based on their current company (keyword search)
  • school– Finds members based on schools attended (keyword search)

For example, to search for current software engineers not named Doe, who have attended either Harvard University or Stanford University, try:

Title:”software engineer” NOT lastname:doe school:(harvard OR stanford)

title:”software engineer” NOT lastname:doe school:(harvard OR stanford)

Tips for using search operators:

  • Use quotes for multi-word search terms.
  • Use parentheses for AND, OR and NOT phrases.
  • Commas should not be included in between multiple search operators.
  • Spaces should not be included in between the search operator and the search term, such as lastname:doe.
  • Receive unlimited InMail messages.

Note it says RECEIVE unlimited InMail messages. The Free LinkedIn account does not receive a monthly allotment of InMails as the Premium accounts do. You can still send an InMail but it will cost you $10.00 per. 

  • Save up to three searches and get weekly alerts on those searches.

One of the most overlooked features of LinkedIn is your ability to save your searches. This feature was missing for a bit but brought back by popular demand. Whenever one of your saved searches profile is modified LinkedIn informs yo of the change once-a-week via email of the change. Nice way to keep track of your clients and prospects.

This week’s most often asked question:

  • What’s the Difference between the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Options?

LinkedIn is currently offering three Premium Options. Here’s a quick reference chart which identifies the differences:


P.S. As a thank you for your time we’re pleased to provide you a copy of our eBook: 9 To-Do’s in 9 Minutes on LinkedIn – A Daily LinkedIn Routine for Financial Advisors

Hi this is Jordan from Two Dogs Social! If you’d like professional help with your LinkedIn Profile, send me an email. I’d be happy to provide feedback on your existing LinkedIn Profile along with a firm price quote to strategize and write a new one. Plus, as a reader of this blog I’m happy to offer you a 20% discount. Just mention our Two Dogs Social blog in your email.

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