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How to Ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation
LinkedIn Recommendations are a key element of a powerful LinkedIn profile.
It’s common knowledge that the first impression you give to people could very well be formed from viewing your website or online social media profiles.
Having 2 or 3 recommendations for each role you have held over the last 5 – 10 years is one of the best ways to build credibility within your industry, and attract more opportunities.
When someone gives you a LinkedIn Recommendation, it is like getting a vote that is publicly displayed forever. Social Proof is one of the ways to win over new clients. Getting a LinkedIn Recommendation is much more powerful receiving the same message through email or by phone.
The problem that alot of people have thought, is getting them.
The very thought of emailing or ringing up a client and asking for a recommendation gives us a feeling of awkwardness that most of us would rather not have to face.
Here is our 4 step process for requesting a LinkedIn recommendation:
The Four-Step Process For Requesting Recommendations
Now that you’re inspired to enhance your profile with recommendations, it’s time to strategize so that you can make the most of them. Because recommendations are so visible, you can’t afford to take a scattershot approach. Here’s my process for asking for recommendations and adding them to your profile:
1. Develop Your Hit List
You want a list of 5 to 10 people that you can ask to recommend you. When thinking about who to ask, think about who can vouch that you did great work, and perhaps exceeded expectations.
Ideally, they will have held a more senior level position than what you did, and they can give an example of how you added value and helped to generate a positive result.
2. Make Contact By Email or Phone
The next step is to get in contact with your list of people and let them know you are building your online presence, and would really appreciate a recommendation on LinkedIn.
If you haven’t spoken the these people for a while, it might be a good idea to touch base a few weeks before you ask for the LinkedIn recommendation.
To help them provide a good quality recommendation, it may help to let them know what you had in mind, you can even create a draft recommendation for them to tweak, so it makes it super easy for them to complete the task within a short timeframe.
Here’s an example of what this email might look like:
It was great catching up with you on the phone last week. As I mentioned, I am building up my LinkedIn profile, and would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to create a recommendation for me.
When I worked for you, I was able to build up the major accounts to generate a 27% increase over the first 3 quarters of 2016. As Sales Manager, I also created the strategy to penetrate 2 new markets, which further increased sales revenue by 34% overall. Finally, I mentored 3 of the entry level sales representatives to develop stronger relationship management and persuasive selling techniques, which helped them to achieve their sales targets on a consistent basis.
If you could please create a recommendation within LinkedIn mentioning my ability to meet sales targets, sales management and leadership style, I would really appreciate it.
As you know, I am considering new opportunities in the new year, and am keen to go to the next level in my career as a Senior Sales Executive within the Technology sector, so I believe your LinkedIn recommendation will help build credibility because I have a proven track record for success in these areas.
I know you are really busy, so I’d be happy to send you a draft recommendation you can edit (or of course, just ignore).
Thanks in advance for your support.
When writing the draft recommendation, be mindful to use the language that your contact would use. Speak in their words, and ensure you are stating facts within your draft, so the contact will feel comfortable to put his name to it.
3. Send The Request for a LinkedIn Recommendation
Once your contact has accepted your request, you can then go into your LinkedIn profile and send a formal request.
Here are the 7 steps on how to send a request for a LinkedIn recommendation:
- Sign in to your LinkedIn personal profile.
- Click the down arrow to the right of the button near your profile picture.
- Click Ask to be recommended from the dropdown menu.
- Identify the person you want to recommend you (from your connections). You can add up to three people, but it’s best to only include one person, customizing each request.
- Identify your relationship to them and what their role was at the time.
- Write your message. In the message you send, include your draft for them to edit. Even if they ultimately decide to start from scratch, reading your draft will likely influence their content.
- Click Send.
You can request a recommendation from up to three connections at once. There’s no limit to the total number of recommendations you can request or receive.
4. Thank Them and Return the Favour
Most senior level managers and C-suite executives don’t have much time in their day to do these types of recommendations, so when someone creates a recommendation for you, send a big thank you to show your gratitude. Sometimes it will feel right to send a thank you card through the mail, or other times you can think outside the box on ways you can help them in return.
Now you know how easy it is to take the steps to initiate and request a LinkedIn recommendation.
Aim to get 5 – 10 recommendations from well respected people within your company, or key customers and clients for whom you have delivered outstanding work to. It’s one of the most powerful elements of your LinkedIn profile, and it will help you attract new opportunities when you’re not even looking for them!
This FREE video steps you through the powerful secrets we have been using for the past 8 years to help our clients be seen as a strong candidate for roles they are targeting. Watch this 15 minute video and discover how to leverage your online network for career success.
Transcription of Video is below, if you’d rather read than watch / listen:
Hi there, Bonnie Power here, so we are returning back after step one of the career success video series, which identified your career goal. So if you haven’t watched that video, go back and watch it now and this video is a continuation of the training program that I am creating for you.
So the four areas that will help you achieve your career goals are listed here.
• The first one is your personal branding strategy.
• Second is the LinkedIn profile and online reputation.
• The third is your resume and your cover letter.
• And the fourth is your network of people.
So we will go on to personal branding. So once you’ve identified where you want to be in 2 to 10 years time, you need to think about how you are going to get there. More to the point, how you’re going to create your personal branding strategy to help you achieve the goal.
So, I love this model, it shows you what definition of personal branding is; the common denominators of how you see yourself and how others see you. Now I don’t really like the word “personal branding”, but it’s a term that’s getting used more and more these days because social media platforms like LinkedIn are causing an urgent need for its attention by professionals like senior level Managers, Executives, Coaches, Consultants, anybody in the sales industry, anybody in the IT industry, anyone who is a contractor definitely needs to listen to this on personal branding.
So as the diagram shows, the common denominator is your personal brand, it’s a combination of how others see you and how you see yourself. So as a professional, you want to be seen as like a well presented, well known, highly knowledgeable within your industry. You want to be really respected, like if somebody googles your name, they will see a professional LinkedIn profile probably as the number one search result and on there they want to see your LinkedIn profile, and we’ll talk about this and more in detail, gives your professional headshot and an overview of your career achievements in a style, like in a writing style that’s conversational. We don’t use this stilted professional tones on our LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is about connecting with people; it doesn’t have to be stilted like a professional bio.
So you want to be seen, your personal branding goal is that you want to be seen as well known, well trusted, well presented, well informed within your industry. A lot of people make the mistake of not being well presented; so they can be well known through having for example a Blog or LinkedIn profile and being active on LinkedIn with the groups and discussions, or being active with their networking and etc., etc. they can be well known, they can be definitely trusted but they are not often that well presented. And that’s not my opinion, that’s an opinion of a lot of the Australian Personal Branding experts. They just say that people, like the guys look a bit scruffy and tend to wear suits that apparently are a little bit too small for them. And women don’t take the best care of themselves, like they could take up their image up a notch and it would really help them with their career and with the opinion of what others believe in them.
And I really don’t subscribe to being focused 100% on looks and things like that, but it’s so important to be well presented, so it’s about image and we’ll talk little bit more about that in the future, blog posts; but definitely worth having a look at in the mirror and say, what can I improve. Yeah, so that’s the goal of your personal brand, you want to be known for being well-known, well trusted, well presented, well informed within your industry.
So, your assignment with your personal brand is to have a think about:
1. What do you want to be known for? So, in terms of say the top, I would say five things, like the five pieces of advice that you would give someone or if you’re in customer service, or if you’re a subject matter expert, what do you want to be known for? And if you want to be a thought leader within your industry, then I would recommend you have like a model, a diagram, that illustrates what you believe to be true and correct, like something that you’ve been working on the within your field over the last few years. If you can develop some sort of a model or a diagram to really clearly illustrate what you know, then that will really help you and your personal branding. There’s other terms like “Authority marketing”, “Thought leadership” and they’re all pitched at making you look like you’re really well informed, like you know what you’re talking about, you’ve consolidated your thoughts, you know your stuff.
2. How can you quickly show people that you are trustworthy? Now a lot of people, just answer this question, if you’re an employee, you can be transparent with showing people what you have achieved in your last 3 to 5 roles, everything that you’ve helped attain, helped achieve the company’s goals, you put them there in generic language, you don’t have to go specific with the numbers. If you’re a Coach, Consultant or like a business owner who needs to promote their products or services, then you might have a website that will offer like a free report or a cheat sheet or a checklist or something like that, that really helps your prospective clients to make the decision to say, “Oh yes, I’m going to download that and check out how helpful she is, straight up. And then I might subscribe to the e-mail campaign, like the e-mail offer that she’s got on her blogs/websites and start to get a feel for the type of person that she is and the type of information that she has.” So that is the answer to question two, but you might have something else; it can be networking, it can be a whole host of other things.
3. How should you present both yourself and your intellectual property to achieve your goals? So have a look at yourself in the mirror and think, “If I wanted to be the best person in my industry and be known to be an industry leader, what can I change about my personal appearance so that when people are told that I am the number one, they believe it because I look like I am the number one in my industry?” And that’s something that you could get help with as it’s really hard to criticize yourself and to really look genuinely at yourself and say, “Well, how can I improve?” Sometimes it’s good to get an image consultant in or go for a shopping spree with someone who knows how to dress, or go and get a great haircut; going on a fitness campaign so you feel fabulous within the next three weeks, can really lift your spirits; all those little things to really help you present the best version of yourself that you can.
The other part of the question is intellectual property and this talks about your IP’s the model that you have for your knowledge, so when you’re communicating your best tips or you’re communicating the services that you can offer, you need to present it in a really professional way. So that’s like infographics, yes of course, and it goes back to your logo and on your web design and everything like that, like if you’re a Coach or Consultant or business owner, people are going to judge you by all of those first appearances, you know, with your website and how you present your blogs and how you present your content on your page.
4. What methods will you use to stay updated about the industry and global trends? So like for you to have a personal brand, have a reputation where you are well informed, which was one of the key points, you really need to know that you’re going to be up to date. So I could say join an industry Association or become a little bit more engaged on LinkedIn so you get updated by others, which is the easy way and you can stay on top of the global trends and then you can also comment on them and really use that in your career/future business goals, if you are a Coach, Consultant wanting to improve your business.
So that’s it for personal branding. If you’ve got any questions, get in touch. We will see you in the next training video.