How to Write Powerful LinkedIn Recommendations
Receiving a thank you, word of encouragement, or testimonial means something to most people, but for those building their personal brand on LinkedIn, a recommendation makes the perfect gift—not just because of the feel-good buzz they’ll get, but also because of the long-term impact your endorsement will have on their business or career.
What should you recommend for?
Before just shooting off a message, take some time to consider what the person needs. A good recommendation
- Directly relates to how the person’s contribution has impacted your business outcomes, and outlines the results they’ve created for you, setting the scene so prospects get an accurate and realistic picture of the results this individual could achieve for them
- Hints at the person’s character and passion for what they do, and (within a statement of what they’ve done) layers in how they went about it and why you enjoyed working with them
- Drops in the names of services and products so visitors to the profile learn what the person does
- Outlines what the person delivers, to pitch the product without overtly selling it
- Puts the relationship into context by saying how you’ve worked with the person (e.g., on a short- or long-term project, etc.)
‘I worked with Amy throughout 2015, helping organise quarterly events for the Female Entrepreneur Network in Portsmouth. When Amy shared her vision for the network with me, I was instantly inspired to be a part of it. When we celebrated our first anniversary, all the attendees shared how much they valued the network and how thankful they were for the on-going business support the network provides. Working with Amy is a delight. She is organised, diligent, and always able to have a good laugh even under pressure.’
In this example, we quickly layered in the following:
- Amy runs the Female Entrepreneur Network in Portsmouth.
- It was Amy’s idea, and she is clearly able to inspire others to a vision.
- It’s existed for one year now, and people love it.
- The network supports people in their businesses
- Amy has all the qualities you’d look for in a leader, and has the ability to laugh even when things get tough.
- The relationship is a casual business one, outside of main work.
- The writer is an event organiser (an opportunity to subtly plug yourself).
‘I work with Charlotte every day. She is great to have in the office and always brings in cake.’
If Charlotte is building a personal brand, this doesn’t help. The recommendation is weak, and publishing it may have people raise their eyebrows. Given readers’ limited attention span, Charlotte wants short testimonials that make a quick impact. The best rule of thumb is to think is to consider: if the person wouldn’t publish the recommendation in a sales brochure, don’t ask them to publish it on their LinkedIn profile.
Taking the time to do a great recommendation really is a perfect gift.
If you don’t know someone well enough or haven’t worked with them personally,an alternative ‘thank you’ might be to comment on a recent article of theirs, feature it on your company page, or like and share it. Drop them a message to let them know you’ve done it as a thank you for being awesome this year.