LinkedIn may be the largest professional pool by far, but accessing the entirety of that pool is not a free-for-all.
With 830 million members spread across over 200 countries, Linkedin is absolutely the largest network any professional can access. But for salespeople, recruiters, and marketers using it daily, the platform doesn’t come without a catch: limits.
If you’re trying to use LinkedIn for recruiting or sales, you’ll have to find ways to circumvent search and prospecting limits.
Let’s buckle up and go through all the search limits you’ll need to know 👇
Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer to this question. LinkedIn limits are actually determined by your own actions on the platform.
Simply put, limits can increase or decrease depending on the intent you have when using LinkedIn.
While networking is strongly encouraged, activities that are related to commercial use - searches that indicate sales or recruitment purposes - will be closely monitored and capped.
Actions that are considered commercial search activities include:
Frequently searching for profiles on desktop at mobile
Searching for specific job titles
Using the ‘People also viewed’ section that shows similarities in job titles and industries.
Frequently viewing and searching for profiles that are not 1st-degree contacts
Searching for specific companies, or people working at a specific company
Note❗️The search limits reset 1st of every calendar month, at 00:00 UTC.
The reasoning behind the commercial search limits is quite clear: to push the paid packages they offer such as LinkedIn Premium, LinkedIn Recruiter, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Even so, in reality, paid plans also have prospecting limits.
On the other side, here are some activities that you can do freely, and do not count towards your limits:
Searching for profiles by name with the search box
Browsing your 1-st degree connections
Using your connections page
Using the jobs page to search for jobs
Receiving unlimited InMails
Request and provide recommendations
In a nutshell, anything a regular, independent user might do for personal betterment, like checking and contacting your own network or looking for jobs.
Regardless of having a basic or paid account, the above actions will not be included in any quota.
If your outreach needs are not regular and you only need to have these campaigns from time to time, the paid plans might not be worth your while.
In this case, you might be able to get some results with a basic (free) LinkedIn account.
Especially if you’re mindful of limitations and are willing to do a bit of extra planning.
First of all, the search bar and filters are your best friends.
The main limit you’ll face is the number of results that will be displayed. With basic accounts, you’ll be limited to 1000 profiles (10 profiles per page across 100 pages).
That makes the filters quite important. Despite not having the pool of filters you’d access with a paid account, you still end up with some decent options to include information about your prospects:
You can even add some keywords to make the results even more relevant.
But all these searches will go towards your monthly quota.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the perfect tool for sales teams and comes with 3 different options: Core, Advanced, and Advanced Plus.
Sales Navigator searches are unlimited, but display up to 2,500 results across 100 pages, significantly more than the free options.
However, the results you’ll extract will be increasingly more relevant as you’ll be using advanced filters, saved searches, recommendations, and alerts.
Keep in mind that searches are meant to streamline 2nd and 3rd connections, similar to Premium accounts.
LinkedIn Premium subscriptions are split between two options: Career and Business.
One of the main reasons companies opt for Premium Business is the ability to get detailed business insights, while also expanding their prospecting.
In fact, LinkedIn advertises Premium as a way to ‘search without limits’. Catchy.
However, unlimited searches only include browsing up to your 3rd-degree connections.
While that gives you an ample pool of prospects, one might argue that it is not completely unlimited.
Recruiter was built as a management platform for the entire recruitment process, with advanced search options and suggestions, pipeline management through shared projects, smart to-do lists, and notes.
It also works as a network, providing access to hundreds of millions of LinkedIn members, as well as some search analytics to improve the prospecting process.
Sounds great, right? Well, it’s also worth mentioning that if you opt for Recruiter Lite, which is a bit less expensive, there are a few limits to keep in mind.
With Recruiter Lite, you can explore up to 2,000 unique candidate profiles per day. Luckily, the limit resets daily at 00:00 UTC.
You’ll be alerted once you’ve hit 90% of your quota, as well as after you’ve reached your limit.
The limit is only applicable for new profiles, and you’ll still have access to profiles you’ve viewed previously.
While limits can be disruptive and infuriating, they don’t have to stop you from doing your job. All you need to do is to plan ahead and find tactics that work in your favor.
Here are a few hacks that will help you play by the rules, while still getting the most out of your prospecting.
Having limited searches means you have to be strategic and intentional on every search. Don’t run any unnecessary searches.
Plan and outline your exact target audience for each search. Define which filters you’ll use, what information is valuable, and which keywords will help narrow down your prospects.
For example, you might be looking for sales executives from English-speaking countries, who speak English and work in IT or finance.
You’d first search for ‘sales executive’ under ‘People’. Add all the filters about location, language, industries, and fill in some job-related keywords as well such as ‘sales account executive‘ or ‘sales manager’.
Depending on your outreach goals and messages, you might split this search into two different searches by, let’s say, industry: keep all previous filters and choose IT-related industries for one search, and the finance industry for your second.
The overall search results will decrease with every extra filter you include.
By going about it strategically, you’ll make sure you’re not getting duplicated results throughout searches. You’ll also only need to run each search once, and then collect and save the results.
You can gather the prospects from search results manually if you have the time, but you can also use automatic LinkedIn outreach tools that can collect the data for you.
Icereach made prospecting easier. After you create a campaign, you’ll need to choose an audience. All you need to do is paste the search URL into the designated field, and a prospecting list will be created for you, contact details included.
Try automating outreach for free!
When using Sales Navigator, you can also create custom prospecting lists and save your contacts with a simple ‘Save to list’ option.
You can then go to ‘Past Lead and Account Activity’, and select ‘Remove saved leads from search’. This will free up your search limits and let you start prospecting again.
Simple enough, right? Instead of reaching too far outside your network, scroll through your 2-nd degree connections and start sending connection requests to people you find relevant.
The more requests are accepted, the more prospects won’t go towards your quota. Not to mention you’ll expand your 2nd-degree and 3rd-degree connection network as well, and new leads will pop up.
Your 3rd-degree connections become 2nd-degree connections, and your acceptance rate grows, which makes your response rates likely to grow as well.
These types of actions are really important not just because of the obvious first contact with prospects, but also because LinkedIn sees it as a reason to increase your limits.
What’s worked for our Icereach campaigns is keeping the acceptance rate above 30% and only sending out invites on workdays.
With those stats, we’ve been able to send out between 25 and 35 invitations per day. This roughly comes down to roughly 150 invites per week, exceeding the regular 100 invite limit.
Professional LinkedIn groups are huge. If you haven’t tried group prospecting, you’re missing out!
Everyone could use some extra advice and fresh ideas from like-minded professionals. That’s why you’re likely already part of a few LinkedIn groups.
Well, good news! You can contact anyone who is in the same group as you, without counting towards your search quota or your InMail quota for that matter.
Make sure to join highly active groups that are relevant to your core target audience, and then start searching through members.
You can also automatize this step. Speed up the process with outreach tools that will gather all the members’ info and neatly arrange it into a prospecting list.
If you have a big team, you could always split the outreach prospecting efforts with your teammates.
Making use of multiple accounts you’ll access thousands of prospects without giving limits a second thought.
However, if you’re flying solo, you could always create multiple LinkedIn work accounts and use them to meet your needs.
But remember, LinkedIn keeps track of account activity. In your browsing, switch between accounts regularly, to make sure all of them are active.
When all else fails, do the obvious and upgrade to a better plan for your needs. When outreach is your bread and butter, choosing a paid plan will help in the long run.
Depending on the reason for prospecting and the search volumes you need to access regularly, the Premium, Recruiter, or Sales Navigator plans will save time and give access to quality leads, making the return on investment worth it.
When doing prospecting on a daily basis, search limits can be intimidating. But they don’t need to force your efforts to come to a halt.
Knowing the limits imposed on all types of LinkedIn accounts will help you plan your outreach strategy more efficiently, as well as understand the extent of what the platform can provide for business purposes.
Choose the right option for your needs and start searching!