Yesterday I left off discussing how LinkedIn endorsements are out and if you really want to share some LinkedIn love, write a recommendation. In about a 4 hour span after that post went live, I was flooded with LinkedIn recommendation questions, people venting about the recommendation limitations, and some people had no idea what a LinkedIn recommendation meant.
So today we are going to focus on why LinkedIn recommendations are important, how LinkedIn is trying to get more money from you to show your recommendations (and how to keep it free), and how to ask for a recommendation.
Why Are Recommendations Important?
People trust other people’s opinions about you WAY MORE than they trust YOUR opinion about YOU. Follow that?
I could tell you that I’m the greatest thing since the invention of wine slushies (yum), but it does not mean nearly as much as if three other people publicly confirm that I AM the greatest thing since wine slushies (I’m thinking about making that the tagline on my website). Ever wonder why a sales page or an infomercial spends as much time focusing on testimonies as it does on product information? It is because our human brains are wired to follow what others recommend.
(Related: LinkedIn Prospecting)
LinkedIn Is Smart….and Sneeky
Knowing that recommendations are extremely important to your professional career, LinkedIn was smart enough to include a place for people to share their testimonies/recommendations on your profile. LinkedIn also likes to make money (sigh). Therefore, if you have a free LinkedIn account, only 1 or 2 recommendations will be shown to anyone else who has a free account. For those who have a premium account (paid account), all of your recommendations will be shown. Plus, if you have a premium account, you can see all of the recommendations on any profile (even if the profile you are viewing has a free account).
- free account=limited access to what can be shown and viewed
- paid account=full access to what can be shown to everyone and viewed
Free Account Blues
Many times people decide they do not want to pay for a LinkedIn premium account, so they “give up” on getting recommendations. Maybe not the best idea…
1. Recruiters, human resources, and business executives typically have a premium account. (If you are a recruiter, in human resources, or are a business executive and do NOT have a premium account, you should seriously think about upgrading. You can upgrade for as little as $24 USD/month.) Keep in mind, premium account holders have access to all of you recommendations (even if you have a free account).
2. There is a work around some people have used. When you view your own profile, you are able to see all of your recommendations. Therefore, some people have taken a screen shot of their LinkedIn recommendations, created a .PDF, and attached the document when sending out resumes or a link to their LinkedIn page. Ideal?….not by a long shot.
As an entrepreneur, I understand WHY LinkedIn charges for their premium account. As a user of LinkedIn, I dislike the fact that this is supposed to be a professional platform to create connections and people have to pay in order to share recommendations from others.
Whether through LinkedIn, email, or a typed old-fashioned letter, getting recommendations is important for your professional career. But how do you get them? It’s pretty simple…..you ASK.
You guys would think that this does not need to be stated, but it does….ONLY ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS FROM PEOPLE WHO YOU KNOW. I have previously received a LinkedIn message stating, “I wouldn’t mind a few words of recommendation from you if you know me.” What?!? Obviously the person DOESN’T know me if they think that I am going to write any sort of usable recommendation from a one line email like that.
(Related: Generating Leads With LinkedIn)
Step 1: Make sure you are connected – you cannot ask for a LinkedIn recommendation from a person you are not connected with.
Step 2: Go to your profile, click on the down arrow, click on “Ask to be recommended”
Step 3: Fill in the information in the boxes.
Step 4: DELETE THE DEFAULT INFORMATION THAT LINKEDIN PROVIDES IN THE MESSAGE. You have to make it personal and specific. The more specific you are, the better recommendation you will receive. Try to include:
- A warm greeting.
- A reminder of when/how you worked together.
- The request for the recommendation.
- The specific attributes and results you would like that person to mention.
- Thank them, and offer to help them in return.
Step 5: Approve and Send
Again, I have to mention that if you want to learn how to best build your business via LinkedIn please take a look at Linked Prospecting. It was created by Kimberly Bohannon and Viveka von Rosen two fabulous gals who are the world’s leading experts in building your business through LinkedIn. Love them! Check out their quick video >>