business of freelancing

How I got LinkedIn Premium for free (no credit card details required)

By September 30, 2020 No Comments

Okay people, here’s some news. Last week I got a LinkedIn Premium account. For a year. For free.

You know how valuable LinkedIn is for freelance writers, right?

And you also know that I really, really don’t think that you need a premium LinkedIn account to find high-paying gigs there, right?

[Even LinkedIn guru John Espirian is with me on that one]

But – would you say no to a free premium account if you could get one?

In the past, whenever I’ve looked at trialling a LinkedIn premium account, I’ve been loath to hand over my credit card details.

Why?

Because I’ve heard horror stories of fellow freelancers unable to cancel their subscription once the one-month trial period ends.

And I’ve also had super success with LinkedIn, so to be absolutely honest, I was quite happy without the premium offer.

But I had heard that there’s a (non-sneaky or illegal) way for freelance writers to get one year’s access to LinkedIn premium for free.

How can I get LinkedIn Premium free for a year?

The answer is through the LinkedIn for Journalists program.

The focus of the program is helping journalists and freelance writers use LinkedIn as a resource.

LinkedIn for Journalists aims to help writers “contact the right sources, stay updated on trends, find valuable insights, and build readership”.

That’s a bit different from what some of us might use it for (e.g. connecting with potential clients).

But if you’re a full time or freelance journo writing articles for news organisations, you can apply to attend a webinar.

Yes, it’s an application form you have to fill out.

The introductory webinars run in March, June, September, and December.

And you usually have to apply to attend two or so months before the webinar date.

For example, for the webinar in December, applications usually open in early October  and close in mid-November.

I’ve applied to attend the webinar before, but haven’t been successful – I think because the clippings I attached weren’t ‘newsy enough’.

This year I applied in August and found out in early September that I’ve been accepted to watch the webinar.

The session walked me through the latest features on LinkedIn I could use for my reporting.

And for people who couldn’t watch the webinar live, you got access to the replay for 24 hours afterwards.

But I also know of people who didn’t attend the webinar or watch the replay and they still received a premium account code for a year.

So, although some people may call this a hack to get LinkedIn Premium for free, it’s really not.

Why?

Because you need to provide clips that you’re writing for news outlets.

Want to know exactly how to land high-paying clients on LinkedIn? Download my free guide here

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It’s only been a week or so since I’ve had the gold “in” next to my name on the platform, so I’m yet to fully explore the benefits.

So far, I’ve been able to see everyone who has viewed my profile.

Before I could only see three or four people.

So I’ve sent most of them a connection request.

I think I can also send any LinkedIn user an InMail message (no connection necessary).

I’m pretty sure I get 15, and I think I get to access additional company data and advanced search filters.

There’s a lot to explore now that I’ve got LinkedIn Premium.

To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s going to make a huge difference to my freelance writing, but I’m excited to have a poke around.

Because if you have an opportunity to try LinkedIn Premium for free, why not take it?

Do you have LinkedIn Premium? Have you tried it?

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