When did you last give someone a testimonial, review or recommendation? Social proof is a powerful gift that doesn’t have to take a lot of time but can make a big impact. Using the LinkedIn recommendation feature to show appreciation, support a colleague and help them increase their credibility, skills and values in a way that is visible and transparent.
How we speak about others shows a lot about our values and how we communication.
A recommendations shows up on the receiver and the giver’s profiles, with the first few lines shown as a preview. When you give a recommendation it shows your values, how you work with others and gives a preview into your own expertise, as your name, photo and headline show up with the words.
You can either wait to be asked, or decide to give a recommendation without prompt. But what you want to think about is what is important to that person, and how can your words help them along their career journey.
Just like asking for Recommendations, make giving them part of your workflow. Identify colleagues, industry leaders, connectors, problem solvers and solution providers, referral partners and event clients where appropriate to write a recommendation for.
Rather that talk about the end result, the person’s qualities or the event, talk about the problem and solution, how they helped you, what difference they made, how their style, skills or qualities made an impact to you or your business. Here are some example frameworks for three types of relationships;
- Start with how the problem was impacting you and your business.
- How did the person help or provide support.
- Why did you choose them, what are their unique qualities.
- What was the outcome, difference or impact?
- Why should others choose them?
- What expertise and qualities do they bring to the team?
- What impact does that make to the team, to your clients or to the outcomes?
- How does their personality and style benefit the team?
- Add a personal message to the team member.
- Why did you engage them / listen to them?
- What was the biggest takeaway from their session / book / interview / consultation?
- What have you improved / changed as a result of their expertise?
- What impact has that made to your business / relationships / systems / revenue?
- What would you recommend others do?
Tip: Research and discover more about the individual by looking at their LinkedIn Profile, Company Page or website for clues about the words to include to frame their skills and expertise.
Craft your copy, and send the recommendation via their LinkedIn profile. They receive a notification that there is a recommendation to review. They can then approve and add to their profile, or ask for changes. Also reach out via email or phone to let them know, just in case they miss it.
“When giving recommendations is it best to always write them in past tense even if you may currently work with the individual? And should you write in third person?”
Context drives tense.
Use past tense for experiences in the past, and current tense when talking about a person’s qualities, expertise, knowledge.
Purpose drives voice
Personification is another factor to consider. Are you writing about the person or addressing them?
Placement adds currency
Bonus tip to counteract a LinkedIn limitation. Relationships may be obvious to you now, but people change roles, and recommendations don’t update with the role right now. Mention your role / workplace and theirs to ensure context remains when either of you change.
Use a blend of tenses, include placements and personification if appropriate.
“Bob is a critical part of [Organisation]‘s X team. He brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and expertise, is a critical thinker with a curious mind and is always friendly and helpful. Our clients get so much extra value from Bob’s experience and leave with a proactive plan to work through their financial challenges, and are less stressed and optimistic. [present tense in the third person]
Grateful to have you on team, Bob.” [present tense and directed]
“If you want to achieve A then engage Bob. He is a master of B, so it made sense to engage him for ABC training for our team at [Organisation]. [present & past tense in the third person]
The sessions were X, he delivered with such Y and the team left with Z. We are looking forward to taking our X to Y, thanks to Bob’s guidance. [past tense + future tense in the third person]
“As an A [expertise/position] B is very important. [current tense] Bob came highly recommended by 3 different people, and after reviewing his profile, website and listening to his latest video, I knew he was the right C expert for us. After working with him over his 6 month program, we went from X to Y and as a result our team are more productive, connected and we have achieved Z. [past tense in the third person] If you want a B expert, Bob really delivers value. He has a wealth of expertise, speaks in inclusive language that the entire team could relate to and really listens to our needs. [present tense in the third person] Thanks Bob for sharing your wisdom and generosity.” [First person directed]
Identify who deserves a Recommendation in your professional world through a formal engagement, being part of your team or network or to simply express appreciation, and take action.
As Dr. John Demartini says “Whatever we think about and thank about we bring about.” Pay it forward with gratitude and LinkedIn.
To discuss your LinkedIn strategy for 2023, book a Discovery Call with the LinkedIn Demystifier.
Jo Saunders is a LinkedIn strategist, mentor and educator known as the LinkedIn Demystifier. She is on a quest to encourage experts, leaders and change makers to leverage LinkedIn to establish connection, enhance credibility and earn influence, to make a bigger impact.
A sought-after independent LinkedIn expert, Jo is internationally recognised with a focus on Australian business success. She is engaged to strategise and train teams of entrepreneurial thinkers and talented experts, making a difference in the world of their clients. Fuelled by curiosity, creativity and chai, she aims to inspire clients to find their voice, build their network and create a quest that lights them up and aligns with their purpose.
LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/in/josaunders Twitter: @JoSaundersAU