One of the main reasons why it’s so important to be on social media as a business is because social media gives you authenticity. Your social media makes you transparent—other people don’t just see what you’ve touted about yourself and things you’ve chosen to highlight about your business, but they also get a chance to see what others are saying about you, how you interact with your audience, and what you are really like beyond the resume you pasted onto your website. And nothing says you are good at what you do like a recommendation from a colleague, client or customer on LinkedIn. Here are some tips to get you gleaning recommendations on LinkedIn and making you look like a rock star:
- Complete Your Profile: When you asked your college advisor for a letter of recommendation, you had to attach supplemental documents like your resume to help your advisor structure your letter. The same concept applies to LinkedIn. Before you start asking people for recommendations, flesh out your profile fully and completely. This will give your recommenders a foundation to work off of when they write about you.
- Decide Whom You’ll Ask: Come up with a list of people—friends, colleagues, customers, clients– who know your work and who can give you good endorsement of your professional capabilities. Cross check this list with your LinkedIn contacts. If you haven’t already connected with a person on LinkedIn, search for and add them.
- Craft a Message: Don’t use LinkedIn’s default message for sending out recommendation requests—It sounds impersonal, and your recipient will most likely send your request straight to the trash can. Instead, take some time to craft an original note asking for a recommendation. Try to write something personal for each person you’re asking. Keep it succinct, and also remember to come up with a catchy subject line (again, do not use LinkedIn’s default “Can you endorse me?” line!).
- Keep Track: Create an excel spreadsheet detailing whom you’ve asked, when you asked them, and if/when they responded with a recommendation. People are busy, so don’t expect an immediate response of recommendations flooding back in your inbox. Be patient, but also check up on this spreadsheet every now and then to see who and who hasn’t gotten back to you. If it’s been a while, send your contact another quick message to follow up on your request.
LinkedIn recommendations enhance your profile and give you even more credibility to your skills and expertise. And besides, who doesn’t like reading good things said about them written by others?