If you’ve noticed, LinkedIn is quickly becoming the social networking site for professionals to connect and do business. Maybe Facebook is better left for your family and friends? Just wondering… I’ve invited Chris Buffaloe of SerenityVA.com to share tips on using the LinkedIn recommendations feature. (photo courtesy jannoon028)
The value of referrals, recommendations, or testimonials cannot be underestimated. Recommendations are similar to testimonials of your good name, good product(s), or expertise. They 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. They also raise your credibility.
Recommendations in LinkedIn are social proof. They tell a LinkedIn (LI) 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 have recommended will in turn write a recommendation for you. As you proceed in building your connections, keep in mind that your connections are your referral sources – focus on those contacts that have the potential to directly (or indirectly) enhance your business or expertise.
After all, one of your goals in LI 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 receive a recommendation is not to ask, i.e., the best recommendations most often come from a good one that you have written for someone. They are the next step of engagement after you connect with someone on LI. It is a quid pro quo of sorts, but don’t write one 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! 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 you have clear goals and objectives.
Christine Buffaloe of Serenity Virtual Assistant Services provides a wide range of administrative support services specializing in social media.