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On LinkedIn, your professional reputation means everything and recommendations are an easy way to build your brand with social proof.
Why You Need LinkedIn Recommendations and How to Get Them
Other professionals on LinkedIn are looking for quality employees, employers, freelancers, and clients to connect with. LinkedIn considers Recommendations so important that your profile will not be “complete” without them.
Recommendations are how you set yourself apart from the crowd. They differentiate you from others and help to brand you for being an expert. Some people get jobs or new clients solely on the strength of what their connections say about them.
Recommendations are equivalent of references in a job search. If you are an Entrepreneur, the process of finding new clients most often does not involve the traditional exchange of resumes and references. You use your online brand (website, social media sites, email marketing) to build up credibility so people know, like and trust you before making a purchase.
On LinkedIn, recommendations give you a chance to let a third party tell everybody how valuable you are instead of doing it for yourself. This is the principle of “social proof”—if enough people swear by you, you must do an excellent job. However, this only goes for credible recommendations and there are fake ones everywhere.
TAKE ACTION: Pick one of your best contacts to reconnect with this week to ask for a recommendation from. Set aside time on your calendar to call them to reconnect, and ask for a LinkedIn recommendation.
Ask Your Best Contacts
Ask for recommendations from people you really know and have actually worked with – otherwise, you’re spamming people.
Imagine the ideal clients that you would like to attract, and ask for recommendations from like-minded individuals.
Seek recommendations from people that are well-respected, connected and ‘top influencers.’ Look for people that are especially active on LinkedIn where your recommendation will really mean something.
Avoid people who give recommendations to all of their connections because these won’t hold as much water.
Use the Personal Touch
Even though your recommendation will be online, why not use it as an opportunity to reconnect? Ask for it by phone and not by email. Make it as real and personal as possible. If phone isn’t an option email is fine, but make it a personalized message, and never send out a template.
The best time to ask for a recommendation is right after you’ve completed work for someone. Your abilities are fresh in their mind and their testimonial will reflect that. You can also ask for one after you’ve done them a favor or after you’ve recommended them.
Your recommendation should be short and concise. It should focus on results and value added. Try to avoid ones that say nothing but your most general characteristics. They should mention specific things you did for them and how you helped them.
Make sure you tell the person which skills, in particular, you’d like highlighted. Consider which skills are most important to your future ideal clients.