I have always been fascinated by LinkedIn’s premium account options. For most people, the free account does enough to get by, but without niceties like seeing the full list of who has viewed your profile lately.
Recently, the business network tightened the screws on would-be Premium account subscribers. For a while the cheapest plan was the “Premium Plus” option at a mere $9.99 per month. Sometime in the last couple of months, LinkedIn quietly removed that account level. Now the cheapest way to get a premium account is the “Job Seeker” plan which will set you back $29.99/month.
I don’t know about you, but the ROI calculation gets a little harder at three times the price, not to mention that signing up for “Job Seeker” will make you look like you’re on the move away from your current position, cute brown suitcase icon on your profile and all. Explain that to your boss!
My gut feeling is that LinkedIn just couldn’t figure out a way to provide enough value at a low enough price to offer the Premium Plus plan anymore, although I bet it seemed like a good idea when first rolled out. Who wouldn’t want to capture a decent percentage of their vast user base with a low-price entry offer to “get ’em hooked?”
LinkedIn is profitable (EBITDA of $592 million for 2014 isn’t too shabby), but any business with 300+ million members would want to look at new ways to monetize.
Pricing is Complicated
All businesses from solo freelancers to behemoths like Google and Walmart have to figure out a pricing strategy that works, and it’s not easy. There are so many factors that affect goods and services pricing it’s a miracle when things go well.
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