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Xcelerate Business on LinkedIn
LinkedIn recommendations add to your personal brand and your provide additional social proof of an individual’s competency, skills, and abilities.
While it’s tempting to natural think about the glowing recommendations you might receive, keep in mind that giving a meaningful recommendation is just as important and is a good business practice. We’ll cover both in this article.
Giving recommendations is a good practice on LinkedIn. I’ll cover two reasons why:
- It’s more appealing in business to lead with generosity. When you highlight others’ strengths and talents it reminds you of some great experiences you’ve had. It also strengthens your personal brand as a positive “Go Giver” type of leader and influencer.
- Humans are reciprocal. As you provide a quality recommendation, others are inclined to do the same. Don’t expect it if course, but it often happens.
While everyone will add skills and achievements on their profile, not everyone receives or gives recommendations. That itself creates a distinctive from many profiles. While a recommendation isn’t the most key element, having several relevant recommendations creates an additional level of authority to your online presence there. There is the fact that this is the only section of a profile that is given by a third party, so that creates additional credible and authentic than anything you write yourself.
Here are five best practices to keep in mind when writing a LinkedIn recommendation:
1. Be specific: Provide concrete examples of your connection’s skills and accomplishments. Explain how that skill, knowledge or talent made a tangible impact. This creates weight and credibility to your words.
2. Tailor your recommendation: Make sure your recommendation is specific to the clients this person serves. If there is a specific industry your connection is targeting, highlight skills and qualities most relevant to that field.
3. Focus on strengths: Shine the spotlight on where your colleague excels, and how that expertise or skill set solves problem and adds value.
4. Keep it concise on LinkedIn: Provide adequate detail to create a brief story in the reader’s mind and provide substance, don’t overwhelm with extraneous details. While letters are great for multiple examples, on LinkedIn, keep it to a couple of paragraphs.
5. Be authentic: Write your recommendation similar to a phone conversation. Use an anecdote or example to back up your statements. Professionalism is important, but avoid being formal, so the reader perceives it as genuine and thoughtful.
Here are two examples you can read to gain some of your own inspiration.
“Having had the opportunity to closely work with [Name] on several projects, I can confidently say that she is one of dedicated business owners I’ve encountered.
What sets her apart from competitors is her ability to build excellent relationships with clients and colleagues alike. She has interpersonal skills that are second to none and takes the time to truly understand client needs. That is a distinguishing characteristic in this [Specific ] Industry.
She nimbly adapts in the way she leads others at the firm. I’ve seen her continue to stay abreast of trends and explore ways to improve service. I do believe that’s been a key to their success in staying well ahead of the competition.
For anyone consider working with [Name], in my opinion, you’ll thank your future self. I know it’s one of the best decisions I made for our firm’s [ problem faced] marketing needs. “
“I’ve known Jim [Insert Name] as a valuable business partner and client for 8 years. Throughout all of our interactions, I have consistently been impressed with the attention to detail and his uncanny ability to skillfully direct multiple projects. Not sure how exactly he does that, but I will say I admire how he remains calm, supportive & focused on the end goal. This impacts the entire project.
I know when he calls, any project on which we collaborate, expectations are clear, timelines are solid, and deadlines get met. Basically, projects come in on time and at or slightly under budget. There’s no drama, just some hard work with clear expectations. I think that’s why I will always say “yes” when Jim reaches out. He’s a delightful professional that I consider one of the most trusted colleagues in the [name of] industry.”
Asking for and Receiving a Recommendation
When asking for recommendations, be selective in your choices. You want powerful recommendations that will support your professional expertise and personal brand.
Be specific when making requests on LinkedIn. The default message is generic and unimpressive, so it’s crucial to personalize it. Share exactly what you’d like and how the person can best help you. Don’t ask ten people at once – choose a few key contacts instead. When making requests, be gracious, thankful, and offer reciprocity if possible. It goes a long way in building positive relationships.
If you fail to personalize your LinkedIn request message, it defaults to a generic and unimpressive one. Therefore, it’s essential to craft a unique message that explains exactly what you want and how the individual can help you. Start by addressing them by name and thanking them for their time. In addition, outline your request in detail and specify your skills focus area. If you don’t provide suggestions on the elements to speak to, don’t be surprised if the recommendation is vague and disappointing.
If you fail to personalize your LinkedIn request message, it defaults to a generic and unimpressive one. Therefore, it’s essential to craft a unique message that explains exactly what you want and how the individual can help you. Start by addressing them by name and thanking them for their time. In addition, outline your request in detail and specify your skills focus area. Concluding with an expression of gratitude and reciprocation goes a long way in building professional relationships.
Here is an example to get your own creative juices started:
Sample request for a recommendation
“Hi Jill, I hope everything’s going well in Ohio! I’m writing to ask if you’d be willing to write a LinkedIn recommendation for me that highlights my crisis communications skills. Ideally, I’d love for you to outline the experience you had with me through the Def Con 5 initiative last year. I am now fully expanding the crisis communication service offered in my consulting firm. The impact we made with that initiative will be relevant to our potential future clients.”
You get the point. Make sure to be gracious and thankful in this note and, at the end, encourage this person to let you know if you may ever return the favor. Reciprocity is a wonderful thing.
Highlight your LinkedIn recommendations wisely. You can turn off or on certain recommendations and order the arrangement. Make certain the ones that are most visible are up to the task by speaking to the most relevant impact you deliver for clients. Ideally ask for LinkedIn recommendations while the “iron is hot” and details are fresh. Memories of specific contributions tend to decay over time. LinkedIn recommendations can boost your credibility with potential future clients. Don’t forget to return the favor!
Note: If you have turned on the “creator mode” feature on your profile and another individual has hired your/your business to perform that service, you can also now request a “review”.