Today, we continue our dive into LinkedIn on the blog with the importance of social proof. Social proof is one of the big keys to any kind of marketing, on or offline. Businesses have been soliciting testimonials ever since the existence of commerce. On LinkedIn, recommendations are one form of social proof, and they are very, very important. Yet, most users have few if any of them! We’re in the same boat and social proof will be the next thing we focus on in building our LinkedIn presence. Let’s talk about getting more recommendations so that you can beef up your profile and start making LinkedIn work for you and your career or business interests.
In general, you need to first give what you want to get. It’s likely that you’ve heard the saying: if you want friends, you have to first BE a friend! That’s great life advice, and it’s great advice on social media – especially on LinkedIn. But, what does this mean? Well, it means that if you want more recommendations, you have to start recommending people!
Here’s the deal, though. Although LinkedIn might change this, at the moment, you can only recommend people who are your first tier, or direct connections. To do this, just go to their profile page, and click the “More” button. You’ll see where to recommend them. So if you want more recommendations, you’re going to have to consistently start recommending other people.
I wouldn’t just recommend people you don’t know, though. Most of the people you’re connected with you probably don’t actually know that well so recommending someone out of the blue like that just isn’t, well, recommended! It looks fake, probably because it IS fake. This means that you’re going to need to either sort through your connections and find people you actually know and can actually recommend, or you’re going to have to go back to step one and get more connections. Either way, if you want more recommendations, you’re going to have to do this! That’s the bad news. The good news is this…it doesn’t take many outbound recommendations in order to receive one back. And, quite frankly, you don’t need a ton. Just a few good ones!
So today’s assignment: log into LinkedIn and find just 1 or 2 (more if you can, of course!) people you could sincerely recommend and do it.
If you know them very well, shoot them a note asking if they’d recommend you back. Or, you could just simply let them know you did and give them a compliment by telling them why. It won’t be too long before you get some back and with a few good recommendations on your profile, you’ll be on your way to building that powerful social proof.