We all crave social validation.
When we want to try a new restaurant, we instantly turn to Yelp and read the reviews. If a restaurant doesn’t have any reviews, we probably won’t go there. The same goes with clothes, technology, outdoor equipment and more. Basically, if an item is sold on Amazon, we take the time to read the reviews. And those reviews can have a real impact on our purchasing decisions.
The same goes with your agency’s services. Your potential clients want to read testimonials from your other clients and see validation for their choice to hire you. It’s one thing to see a portfolio of your work, but it’s especially powerful to read satisfied words from someone else who has paid you for your services.
One of the easiest ways to ask for public recommendation is on LinkedIn. Having recommendations published to your LinkedIn profile instantly gives you credibility and helps establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Plus, it seems a bit odd if you have hundreds of connections but no recommendations, and potential clients may be wary of working with you.
Here’s what you need to know about LinkedIn recommendations:
Tips: How to Ask for a Recommendation on LinkedIn
- Ask a diverse pool of people: It’s best to get a variety of people to recommend your work — clients, colleagues, direct reports, and managers. Asking a diverse group of people will allow you to highlight your diverse strengths. You don’t want all your recommendations to say the same thing; you want each of them to feature one aspect of your work.
- See their other recommendations: Before you ask people to write you a recommendation, check out the other ones they’ve already written. Go to someone’s profile and scroll to the Recommendations section. In the upper right-hand side of that box, you’ll see “Received” and “Given.” Click on “Given” to see all the recommendations he or she has already written. You’ll want to make sure he or she is articulate, thoughtful, and a good writer. If you don’t think the recommendations are strong, believable or clear, don’t ask.
- Be specific: Make sure to include some specific ideas to help the person write a powerful recommendation. Tell them whether you want to focus on your work on a specific project or if you want to highlight a certain skill. While you may feel like this comes across as pushy or overly-assertive, you’re actually helping the recommender by providing some parameters. Plus, you don’t want the fluffy, generic recommendation people tend to write when they don’t know what to say.
- Write it for them: Remove all guess work by writing the recommendation yourself. Some people prefer to edit an already-written draft than create something from scratch. Plus, this guarantees that you get the recommendation you want and it makes the process as easy as possible for the recommender.
- Ask at the right time: Don’t ask a bunch of people to recommend you at once. Why? The recommendations are time-stamped, so it’ll be pretty obvious that you scoured your network for recommendations if they’re all written in the same three days. Instead, ask for recommendations when they coincide with the end of a project.
Script: What to Say
So, what exactly do you say? Just like asking for client referrals, it can feel uncomfortable or selfish to ask people for recommendations. But, in reality, people are happy to give you a recommendation if they are happy with your work or if they enjoyed working with you.
Here are two scripts:
I hope you are doing well. I’m working on strengthening my LinkedIn presence and was wondering if you would be open to writing me a recommendation? I’d appreciate a few words around my work during the past year as your SEO consultant and the 30% increase in conversions [company name] has experienced since working together. I would be happy to provide some ideas or verbiage if that would make it easier for you.
Thanks in advance!”
I hope you are doing well. I’m working on strengthening my LinkedIn profile as I continue to grow my agency and was wondering if you could write me a LinkedIn recommendation?
I would value your comments that speak to:
- The increase in traffic [company name] has experienced since working together.
- My contribution to your overall conversion rates.
- My work ethic and timeliness of deliverables.
Thank you in advance. Please let me know what I can do to support you in return.
LinkedIn recommendations bring your profile up a notch. They turn your profile from an online resume and portfolio platform to a branding and thought leadership platform. Plus, you have absolutely nothing to lose. There is no way a client would decline to work with you because there were “too many nice things” written about you on LinkedIn.
If anything, it will speed up the purchasing process and bring new clients to your door.