7 steps to writing a standout LinkedIn recommendation
Being asked to write a LinkedIn recommendation terrifies most people. It is right up there with giving a speech on the fear and avoidance scale. These seven steps makes things easy.
You loved working with a fellow small business owner. You did some work together and the project was a massive success, and then … it happens.
You open your in-box and spot a request from your colleague: Could you please recommend me on LinkedIn?
This LinkedIn recommendation request isn’t the simple ‘Tick – they definitely know about underwater basket weaving and let’s move on with our day’ request. This is the ‘put pen to paper and string a few sensible words together about the person’ type request.
If you are like most people, you try to hide the email in amongst a deluge of Facebook updates and unread newsletters rather than deal with it.
Then you finally feel guilty enough to sit down at your computer and try to squeeze a few words out and you end up either sounding like a drunken uncle giving a wedding toast, or stiff and awkward as a teenager meeting the girlfriend’s parents for the first time.
"Following a template when writing LinkedIn recommendations you will reduce your stress while allowing you to create a valuable recommendation. "
There is an easier and stress-free way to write a LinkedIn recommendation. Use a word recipe! All chefs start to cook by following a recipe so there is no shame in you using the same method to write your recommendations!
Here is a simple LinkedIn recommendation recipe that will help you create a standout recommendation for your colleague and make you look warm, professional and intelligent at the same time.
Step 1: Why did you choose them?
Start by jotting down what prompted you to choose your colleague’s service or product. What problem were you trying to solve?
Example: I needed a new website I could update easily, was mobile responsive and didn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Step 2: What were you worried about?
Next, outline anything that you were concerned about or afraid about.
Example: I was worried about choosing XYZ as I had been burned by web developers in the past who charged me huge fees to create a site that constantly broke, was slow to load and was hard to maintain.
This step sounds strange, but it helps to humanise your testimonial and make it relatable. By outlining your prior concerns, you say aloud what other people or businesses may be feeling. You get the ‘nod’ factor happening – where people nod along with a ‘Yep – I’m worried about that too!’
Step 3: What happened next?
Every good story has a ‘what happened when you ate the magic beans’ moment. This is your moment! Outline what happened when you bought your colleague’s product or service. What specifically did they do?
Example: What I found was that XYZ were brilliant. They were not only reasonably priced, they met every deadline, and my site is fast to load and looks great on all devices.
Step 4: The Results
This is the step that turns a good recommendation into a spectacular one. Outline the specific results you achieved by working with your colleague. Extra bonus points for honest numbers and percentages as these carry more weight than simply ‘It was great.’
Example: The results were fantastic! My traffic increased by over 63%, with new clients phoning through orders almost as soon as the site was launched.
Step 5: Favourite bits
This is another area where you get to humanise your recommendation by highlighting the bits you particularly liked about their approach or service.
Often people don’t know what their clients really value. By doing this step, you are giving your colleague marketing gold in terms of insightful information they can use to market their business in the future.
Example: I particularly liked that they took the time to explain all of the options to me in a way that I could understand. They also included many little touches that other web designers charged extra for such as a favicon, a branded 404-error page, and a great header that I can use on my Facebook page.
Step 6: Recommendations
Finish on a strong note by outlining to whom would you recommend this product or service and why.
Example: I would recommend XYZ to other small businesses looking to have a website that not only looks good, but actually works in terms of converting sales.
Step 7: Spell check
Typos and grammatical errors can ruin the best testimonial. Do a run through with spell check before you post it.
So there you go, a super-easy, guaranteed to deliver template for the next time someone asks you to write a testimonial for them on LinkedIn. For ease of cutting and pasting, I have provided the ‘recipe’ for you below. Have a crack and let me know how you go!
LinkedIn Recommendation Template
- I needed help with (problem).
- I was initially concerned about choosing (name) because (things that worried you).
- What I found was (how they solved your issue).
- The results that I got were (describe the results).
- I particularly liked (specific feature).
- I would recommend (name) to (who you recommend them to and why).
What other forms of testimonials or recommendations do you struggle to write?