Sarah Clay Social - LinkedIn Coaching

How to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation and why you should

LinkedIn recommendations might be at the bottom of your profile page – but it should be top of your list when it comes to perfecting your LinkedIn profile. 

This business networking platform currently has around 756 million members and is estimated to be 277% more effective at generating leads than networks like Facebook and Twitter.  According to a recent article on Business2Community, having LinkedIn recommendations made it three times more likely your profile would be viewed.  Clearly, LinkedIn recommendations can go a long way to help you connect with other members, put your brand in front of future clients and generate leads for your business. 

But before we get to how to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation, let’s go through what it is and why you should bother.

What is a LinkedIn recommendation?

LinkedIn recommendations are written testimonials of your work from people who’ve worked with you in some capacity. They’re not to be confused with LinkedIn endorsements which is a one-click way for your connections to endorse the skills listed on your profile. 

Recommendations are a bit like the references you get asked for when you’re shortlisted for a job, explaining why you’ve been a good person to work with and highlighting key strengths. 

The great thing about LinkedIn recommendations is that they’re placed at the bottom of your profile, easy for people to find without having to ask you for them.

Why bother with LinkedIn recommendations?

LinkedIn recommendations provide confirmation from a third party that you’re capable of working to a high standard.  When utilised properly, these recommendations are a powerful tool for increasing your reach and credibility.  They also show your prospective clients what others say about you and your skills. 

If you want future clients to gain an insight into your personality, then LinkedIn recommendations can let people know what you’re like to work with.  Good recommendations can persuade someone to get in contact with you, rather than reaching out to someone else offering the same or similar service as you do.

How recommendations differ from a website testimonial

A testimonial on a website has to be placed there by the website owner, which means there’s no way of knowing if it’s a real testimonial or not.  LinkedIn recommendations are given by other LinkedIn members who are happy to publicly vouch for you – with their name and picture displayed. 

In a couple of quick clicks, you can visit the writer’s profile, thus verifying the validity of their recommendation.  This type of social proof carries a lot more credibility and will have a greater impact than testimonials on your website and other social media pages. 

Read: Should you pay for LinkedIn premium?

When to ask someone for a recommendation

Asking for a recommendation can feel awkward, but it doesn’t have to.  Remember, a LinkedIn recommendation is arguably the most important part of your profile and if you’ve worked hard for someone, they’re usually only too happy to write a recommendation for you.  If your client was happy with the work you carried out for them or if you taught them something really beneficial for their business, then ask for a recommendation.

Where on LinkedIn do you ask for a recommendation?

Scroll to the bottom of your LinkedIn profile and click on “Ask for a recommendation”.  In this box, type in the name of the person you’d like to contact.

Then, click ‘select relationship’.  The menu options are a bit limited but choose the one that is most relevant.   Then, choose the position you held at the time you worked together.

Here you’ll be asked to write a personalised message.  If you’re unsure how to craft a message that will get a response, read on. 

How do you ask for a LinkedIn recommendation?

Remind them where you worked together

It might have been some time since you last spoke or perhaps you only collaborated briefly.  So your first step is to remind them of the time you worked together.

Provide suggested wording

You could suggest that they mention what made you so good at the job you carried out.  They might not know which aspect of working together they should mention, so providing this information focuses their attention on what you want to highlight.

LinkedIn recommendation request example

Hi Jane,

I hope you’ve been doing well. It’s been a while since you hired me as your business coach, so it was great seeing you on that group Zoom call.

I’m in the process of updating my LinkedIn profile and I feel that a recommendation from you would be invaluable to growing my business.

When we worked together, you expressed that you were impressed with my knowledge of how to make a business more profitable and you were really pleased with the value I brought to your business.

Out of all the services I provide, I’d like to emphasise my business coaching skills. If you could speak to that accomplishment, it would be especially helpful to me.

Of course, if you aren’t comfortable writing a recommendation, I certainly would understand that.

Either way, have a great day!

Kind regards,

Jenny

What happens next?

When you hit ‘send’, the recipient will receive notification that you’ve asked for a recommendation. You’ll then get an alert when the recommendation has been written. 

If you’re happy with it, post it up on your profile.  Then message the person directly thanking them for taking the time to write a recommendation for you.  A little gesture like this goes a long way.

But what do you do if they’ve written something that’s incorrect or if you’d prefer they said something else?  In this case, you can use the “ask for a revision” option which gives you the opportunity to ask them to reword the recommendation in some way.

Remember to follow up

If you don’t receive a reply after a few days of sending the initial request, then it’s a good idea to follow up.  They may have been busy, or not seen your recommendation request.

Why you should give a LinkedIn recommendation?

Aside from the fact that it’s polite to thank someone for their excellent work, giving a recommendation can benefit you.  There are four ways giving a LinkedIn recommendation can help you:

#1 – Reciprocity

Although you shouldn’t give a recommendation expecting that person to return the favour,  it does happen.  Receiving a recommendation without being asked feels great and it just might be their thoughts on your work that will convince a potential client to work with you over someone else.  

#2 – Reach

Your recommendation, along with your picture and headline is visible in the recommendations section.   This means that anyone checking out that section on someone’s profile will see your photo and headline and they may well check you out too – your profile, and your next potential collaboration,  is only a click away.

#3  – Awareness

Leaving a genuine, unsolicited recommendation will raise your brand awareness.  It means the person you left a recommendation for will be thinking about you.  Even if you don’t receive a recommendation in return, they will remember the time you took to write a genuine testimonial for them and might even recommend you to others in their network.

#4  – Trust

Let’s say you’ve left a genuine recommendation for someone who was a pleasure to work with.  Thanks to your recommendation, they were then hired for another project – and, once again, were excellent to work with.  The person who hired them will trust your judgment, and could end up connecting with you in order to collaborate in the future, even if they’ve never met you.

And finally…..

People often describe LinkedIn as a community.  That spirit of community is an excellent mentality to have when it comes to giving and receiving recommendations – and to craft yourself a LinkedIn profile that makes your brand stand out. 

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I’m bubbly and vivacious by nature, which you’ll find out in my presentations. 

I strive to appeal to those across sectors and disciplines, whether it be to those in more traditional professional roles, such as senior executive management, or those who are solopreneurs, freelancers or working in creative industries.

I ended up leaving my day job behind and achieved a diploma in Social Media Marketing. I set up Sarah Clay Social to help businesses promote themselves on social media. While using various platforms to promote my business, one stood out – LinkedIn. I seemed to attract new clients without really trying. All without a cheesy sales pitch and just by being myself. 

I was astonished by the success I had with LinkedIn and couldn’t get over how handy my childhood techniques had been. I realised that all the tools I’d learnt as a child were immensely useful! Soon after, I realised that other business owners weren’t using LinkedIn to its fullest potential. 

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