The value of recommendations and testimonials cannot be underestimated or taken for granted. Recommendations are similar to testimonials of your good name, good product(s), or expertise. Recommendations enhance your credibility as an expert similar to how quality content, quality presentation of that content and frequency of content enhances your page rank and authority status for your website. Recommendations also raise your credibility.
Recommendations in LinkedIn are social proof. They tell a LinkedIn candidate that the person is qualified or recognized as a valued colleague that has or will add value to your business. As you interact with connections, you become more familiar with their areas of expertise and perhaps are able to use this knowledge in your business execution. Once you can recommend a connection, you proceed with some expectation that they will reciprocate. However, do not expect that all people that you recommend will in turn write a recommendation for you. As you proceed in building your connections, keep in mind that your connections are the source for your recommendation and focus on those contacts that have the potential for directly (or indirectly) enhance your business or expertise. After all, one of your goals in LinkedIn is becoming a recognized expert in your field. A good place to find contacts that will give you outstanding recommendations are your satisfied customers. Go through your customer base and connect with everyone who has purchased your products; multiple sales recipients are better.
The best way to ask for recommendations is not to ask, i.e., the best recommendations most often come from a good recommendation that you have written for someone. Recommendations are the next step of engagement after you connect with someone on LinkedIn. It is a quid pro quo of sorts, but don’t write a recommendation for someone just to get a reciprocal recommendation. Be sure that you can personally vouch for them. As such, be very clear about what you’re recommending. Don’t forget your keywords when you are writing recommendations!! Search engines love keywords!
As you evaluate your LinkedIn strategy, make sure you include a profile of your ideal connection and how you can get a recommendation from them. Make sure that your have clear goals and objectives. A good review for being successful using LinkedIn can be found in Wayne Breitbarth’s best seller, The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success or by purchasing the replay of Joan Stewart’s webinar, Your LinkedIn Power Formula