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Elevate your Personal Brand with LinkedIn Recommendations

LinkedIn recommendations are probably one of the best forms of social proof you can get. A well-written recommendation on your LinkedIn profile contributes to proving you’re a credible source who can be trusted.

One thing is for sure, you can’t have too many LinkedIn recommendations on your profile.

The more recommendations you have the more credible you will appear and the easier you will find it to develop trusted relationships with your prospects.

The more the merrier!

The great thing about LinkedIn recommendations is that they’re seen as the one of the most authentic testimonials you can get.

Why is this the case?

Well unlike with a standard testimonial that you might find on a website, LinkedIn recommendations have a direct link back to your connections profile who left the recommendation.

A well-written recommendation will probably offer some insight into what it’s like to work with you. It will likely contain details about how you have helped one of your connectiond to solve a particular problem.

So, when your prospects read your LinkedIn recommendations, they will hopefully get a sense of reassurance.

Recommendations on your LinkedIn profile work very similar to the reviews you see on Amazon. Before you buy a product on Amazon, you tend to check out how many 5 star rated reviews it has.

How many good reviews the product has influences you buying decision by offering you complete peace of mind.

LinkedIn recommendations have EXACTLY the same effect.

How to ask for LinkedIn Recommendations

So, now we understand why gaining recommendations is so important, we now need to know how we go about getting them.

As with most things on LinkedIn, there are right ways and wrong ways of gaining recommendations.

The wrong approach could potentially damage your personal brand if you don’t go about it in the right way.

Let’s look at the best practices when trying to grow your LinkedIn recommendation portfolio…

1. Only get recommendations from people you know

Now I don’t want to teach you to suck eggs but you would be surprised at the amount of people who make this rookie mistake.

Believe it or not, some people on LinkedIn send unsolicited LinkedIn recommendation requests to people they have never met or done business with.
In a bid to improve their social proof on LinkedIn they think nothing of clicking on the ‘Request a Recommendation’ link on a strangers profile and requesting a recommendation.
The quality of your LinkedIn recommendations count for so much. When you read a recommendation from someone who has truly experienced your service you can tell it’s authentic.
In comparison, a recommendation from someone who has never had any dealings with you whatsoever, stands out like a sore thumb.
This can be so risky and damaging to your personal brand because it causes you to lose all credibility.
So, my top tips for requesting recommendations are as follows:

  • If possible, forewarn you client by phone or email to let them know you will be requesting recommendation on LinkedIn.
  • Only ask for recommendations from people who appear credible in the eyes of your ideal prospects.
  • Before you ask for a LinkedIn recommendation, check to make sure they have a completed LinkedIn profile.
  • Do you due diligence to make sure the person you ask is trustworthy
  • Only request recommendations from clients, colleagues, co-workers, previous employers and thought leaders in your industry.

2. Transfer your Testimonials to LinkedIn

A good way to get off to a flying start is so visit existing testimonials. You might already have lots of testimonials on your website.

If this is case then by re-visiting these happy clients, you can convert their testimonials into a Linkedin recommendations.
Obviously, they will need to have an active profile on LinkedIn but if they do, you can ask them to simply copy the original testimonial and paste it in as a recommendation for you. 
TOP TIP: Make it as easy as possible for your connection to approve To do this:

  • Click on the ‘Request a Recommendation’ link
  • Copy and paste the original testimonial into the message box
  • Ask your client to approve it

3. Personalize your LinkedIn Recommendation Requests

When you click on the ‘Request a Recommendation’ link, LinkedIn first asks you who you want to request a recommendation from. So, you simply enter the name of the connection.

Then LinkedIn asks you to provide what kind of relationship you have with the connection you’ve named.

Finally, you select the position you held at the time of knowing the connection named.

Once this is completed, LinkedIn generates a generic recommendation request as shown below:

Hi NAME, could you write me a recommendation?

Please make sure you don’t use this standard, default message! You MUST, MUST, MUST personalise it.

Here is a template that has always served me well in the past:

Hi Client Name,

I am currently trying to build my trust and credibility on LinkedIn.

Ideally, I would like to build a portfolio of recommendations from clients who appear credible in the eyes of my prospects.   

Could you help me by writing me a short recommendation?

Just a few short sentences about the value you received from the service I provided you would be much appreciated.

Thanks so much in advance

Your Name

Feel free to use this template as a guide and amend it to suit your own purpose.

4. When to Ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation

So, when is the ideal time to request a recommendation from a client? Basically, whenever you received praise, positive feedback, a testimonial or when you know for sure you’ve delivered exceptional customer service.

You take this opportunity to thank them for their kind words. Then, almost as an after-thought, you ask if they would be prepared to provide you with a LinkedIn recommendation.

The way to do this is very similar to the recommendation request template I provided above.

Take the time to stroke their ego a little. Explain that you’re trying to gain recommendations from those who appear credible in the eyes of you prospects.

If they agree, then send them a request from LinkedIn.

If your client declines to provide you with a recommendation, don’t take offence. Just take it professionally not personally.

5. Make it Frictionless

When you’re sending a request for someone to leave you a LinkedIn recommendation, you need to make it as frictionless as possible.

You need to remove as many barriers as possible that may prevent you receiving the recommendation.

Think of it like this, writing a meaningful recommendation takes thought, effort and time.

Your clients are no doubt very busy people and you’re your recommendation request lands in their inbox, it’s added another task to their day.

It’s not uncommon for clients to agree to leaving you a recommendation and then completely forgetting to do it. It’s just not on their priority list.

They have the best intentions but with everything else they have on their agenda, it can simply be overlooked.

Other clients may fully intend to leave you a recommendation but don’t know where to start. They’re not sure what to write.

They might be worried that their recommendation might not be good enough and they don’t want to offend you so they procrastinate.

To alleviate these problems and remove these barriers, you can offer to write the recommendation yourself. So basically, you provide your connection with a recommendation template. 

All your connection now needs to do is proof-read what you have written, make any edits as they see fit and then approve. This really increases your chances of getting a timely and well-written recommendation.

Reference your Recommendations in other Content

Once you have a few decent recommendations, you can really capitalise on them by referencing them in other selected content.

For example, if you ever do a sales post on LinkedIn, you can ask people to check out your LinkedIn recommendations for complete peace of mind.

TOP TIP: Pick out a couple of your best LinkedIn recommendations and convert them into eye-catching ‘Featured Content’ on your LinkedIn profile.

You can do this for free by heading over to Canva and designing a unique recommendation images that really grab attention.

If you’re adding two recommendations, each one will need to be 850 x 700 pixels for them to display correctly in the ‘Featured Content’ section of your profile.

Here’s an example of how I’ve used Canva in to design eye-catching social proof that ties in perfectly with my personal brand.
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How to Send a LinkedIn Recommendation Request

So now I’ve shared some of my tops tips in relation to LinkedIn recommendations. It might help if I actually explain the process of requesting a recommendation step by step.

1. Navigate to the 1st degree connection on LinkedIn who you would like to acquire a recommendation from. Click on “More” in the top section of their profile. Then click on “Request a Recommendation”.

2. In the pop-up window, select your relationship to this connection. For example, ‘Was a client of yours’. Now select which position you held at the time of working with this connection.
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3. You will then get another pop-up window where you will be required to enter your personalized note (See Template Above). This is also your opportunity to copy and paste a testimonial for your connection to approve.
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4. When you have completed this section simply click on “Send”.

5. When your connection has completed and approved your recommendation, you’ll receive a notification to review and accept the recommendation. You can either accept it or request that they amend it. Unless there are lots of grammatical errors then I advise that just accept it. As soon as you accept it, it will then become visible on your LinkedIn profile.

Conclusion

LinkedIn recommendations are extremely powerful. They’re one of the most authentic forms of social proof you can get. When you grow your recommendations, you grow your authority, credibility and trust on the platform.

Following my guide and you will not only contribute optimising your profile but you will also elevate your personal brand on LinkedIn.

I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you agree or disagree?

Let me know in the comments box whether you’re going to start sending video messages on LinkedIn. Let me know what reaction you get too.

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