How to Ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation
LinkedIn Recommendations are a key element of a powerful LinkedIn profile.
We all understand the importance of having a strong online presence in order to attract our ideal type of client.
It’s common knowledge that people who are referred to us, or who hear about us will Google our name and chances are they will either come to our website or our LinkedIn profile, and sometimes will check out both.
The first impression we give to our prospective clients is usually formed before they ever get to speak with us on the phone, or meet us in person.
As a business owner, or key team member who is responsible for lead generation, and increasing business revenue, LinkedIn can help promote you as a credible, trustworthy professional who has a proven track record for delivering positive outcomes to your stakeholders.
LinkedIn recommendations are one of the most important parts of your LinkedIn profile to help build up your reputation and personal brand.
I suggest you aim to obtain 2 or 3 recommendations for each year that you have been in business, or for role you have held over the last 5 – 10 years. This builds a strong case to get in contact with you, because for someone to having publicly recommended you on LinkedIn is showing the world they believe in you, and have every confidence you will be consistent with your level of service.
Getting a LinkedIn Recommendation is much more powerful receiving the same message through email or by phone, however the problem that we may face is actually 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.
See below for our 4 Step Process for obtaining a high quality 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 positve results
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 lovely to see you again yesterday. As mentioned, I’m building up my online presence, and would really value a few minutes of your time to create a LinkedIn recommendation for me.
When I worked with you as a Consultant for ABC Company, I was able to identify and secure 3 new key accounts, which lead to a 27% increase over the last 3 quarters of 2015. I also mentored 5 of the mid level sales representatives with my exclusive professional development program for sales executives, and this lead to a dramatic improvement in their ability to secure new sales, as well as to maximise average transaction value with the current client base.
I really enjoyed my time with ABC Company, and I would really appreciate if if you could write a LinkedIn recommendation that will highlight my key strengths around sales consulting, mentoring and generating increased sales revenue.
As you know, I am building my business to grow to the next level over the next 12 months, and am excited to work with organisations similar to ABC Company, so your recommendation will be an asset to my marketing campaign!
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
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.
- Hover over your picture in the upper right corner.
- Click “Privacy and Settings” from the dropdown menu.
- Click “manage your recommendations”
- Choose a position, and click “ask for a recommendation”
- 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.
4. Thank Them
As you well know, most business owners 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!