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3 Tips for Using LinkedIn’s New ‘Endorsements’

3 Tips for Using LinkedIn’s New ‘Endorsements’ | Entrepreneur.com (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js=d.createElement(s); js.id=id; js.src=”//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1&appId=279152967822″; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Follow Entrepreneur on FacebookFollow Entrepreneur on TwitterFollow Entrepreneur on LinkedInSubscribe| Mobile|BookstoreEntrepreneur HomepageStartupsStarting a Business HomeHow-To GuidesStartup BasicsBusiness IdeasBusiness PlanningStartup FinancingSuccess StoriesHome-Based BusinessRun & GrowRun and Grow Your Business HomeHuman ResourcesLeadershipInnovationGrowth StrategiesBusiness ManagementTravelAutomotiveMoneyMoney HomeFinancingTaxesAccounting BasicsPersonal FinanceMoney ManagementPayments & CollectionsMarketingSales & Marketing HomeMarketing BasicsSalesOnline MarketingFinding CustomersSocial MediaBrandingTechnologyTechnology HomeYour WebsiteApps & SoftwareSecurityMobileOffice TechSEOFranchisesFranchises HomeFranchise 500HomebasedLow Cost Top NewFast GrowingTop GlobalBiz OpportunitiesFranchises for SaleFranchises for SaleFranchises for Sale: Food | Health Care | Retail | Sports | Travel | Part Time | More »The ‘TrepsThe ‘Treps HomeThe Innovators’Trep TalkProfilesLifestyleProductivityYoung EntrepreneursAnswersAsk Entrepreneur HomeStarting a BusinessFranchisesSales & MarketingTechnologyMoneyHome Based BusinessOnline BusinessLegal IssuesHuman ResourcesGrow Your BusinessHave a Burning Buesiness Question? Ask Your Question Now MagazineOn Newsstands: October 2012Current IssueSubscribeTablet EditionPast IssuesStartups MagazineVideoMarketing BasicsSalesOnline MarketingFinding CustomersSocial MediaBranding Entrepreneur Daily Dose Blog3 Tips for Using LinkedIn’s New ‘Endorsements’ BY |September 25, 2012| Comment Tweet submit to reddit 3 Tips for Using LinkedIns New Endorsements

In case you missed it, LinkedIn has a new feature called “Endorsements.” It allows users to endorse skills or expertise of any members in their network — including skills they haven’t listed. This allows potential networking partners to quickly identify your strengths.

So, how should you take advantage of this new feature? Before you send a mass email asking your entire network for endorsements, remember that networking — first and foremost — is about connecting people with value. Whether it’s through your expertise, or someone’s skill, your goal should always be to bring value to your network.

Consider these three tips for using endorsements on LinkedIn:

1. Endorse others first and endorse fairly.
Begin by endorsing your network first, before asking for endorsements from others. By doing this, you’ll equip others to see where their strengths lie. But this also means you have to be brutally honest.

Don’t just click on all the skills someone has listed. Really think about it and only highlight those areas of expertise you’d be willing to put your reputation on the line for. As a bonus, the people you endorse will be notified about your actions though LinkedIn, which means they may return the favor.

Related: 7 Ways LinkedIn Can Drive More Traffic to Your Website

2. Keep it easy for your ‘inner circle.’
Everyone has a professional inner circle of about 10 to 20 people we can call at any time to ask for a small favor or advice. These are the people we should be approaching first, but it should be personal and easy.

Send your inner circle a personal e-mail, or give them a call and ask if they’ve heard about the new endorsements feature on LinkedIn. Then let them know that you’ve already endorsed them (step No. 1) and you’d appreciate it if they could pick one or two skills of yours to endorse. Not everything — just one or two. That’s how you can keep it personal and easy.

3. No mass e-mails.
The last thing you want to do is send an e-mail blast to everyone on your list. A mass email asking for a favor is likely to feel like spam and be ignored.

If you’re going to send an e-mail to multiple recipients, try segmenting your network into different lists according to how you met them or what industry they’re in. You can then write a personal e-mail to a specific group, telling them that their in your (fill in the blank) group of people and feel they best understand your expertise in (fill in the blank) and would appreciate an endorsement — if they feel you deserve it. This kind of approach demonstrates you’ve taken the time to consider them specifically.

Related: 5 Underutilized LinkedIn Marketing Tools

Have you started using LinkedIn’s Endorsements yet? Let us know what you think so far in the comments below.

Read more stories about: Social media, Networking, Linkedin, Social media marketing, Tools

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A former professional athlete, New York City-based Lewis Howes is co-author of LinkedWorking (418 Press, 2009) and creator of the LinkedInfluence training program. 

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This damn feature has turned itself on and I don’t want it. Anyone know how to turn it off. It’s an embarrassment

I am very disappointed in the LinkedIn “Endorsement” option. What happen to true Testimonials or Recommendations. I have worked very hard to achieve my Recommendations and am very proud to know what people say about my services I am now receiving request from people I do not know or have never done business with asking me to endorse them. Honestly, I do not do business this way and if I endorse these people, my crediability will also be devalued. I also have received messages requesting me to endorse them but then say, “if we did not do business together, disregard this message” . If we didn’t do business together, why are you sending me the request? Basically, I believe they are just sending out a message to all of their contacts in hopes of getting endorsed regardless of whether they deserve the endorsement or not. LinkedIn was on the right track and now I am questioning their crediability….. http://www.adamssocialmedia.com

I view the new Endorsement Tool as a “Push” to better networking. I even gave a nickname  to the new features LinkedIn have been rolling out.. I call it “The LinkedIn Push”(I just wrote blog post on it) Thanks for your tips.. It will not mean much to endorse if we do not do it fairly. Allow The Push to take you to make deeper networking connections.

I don’t like the new Endorsements! I’ve now been endorsed by multiple people for skills they’ve never experienced from me because they don’t know me – other than via our LinkedIn connection; I completely agree with Juliet Johnson that these endorsements dilute and cheapen the value of recommendations! I’d far rather have only a handful of true recommendations over lots of endorsements. Maybe this is a good reason to stop accepting connections from people I don’t know?

Great post! We are always looking for new and exciting ways to boost social media. I think I forget about linked in too often.

Here is a question on endorsements; what if you accidently click the endorsement..can you reverse your actions?

While LinkedIn Recommendations (those brief little snippets of nice things that people say about you) add “social validity” to you as a person and tell others how you performed at a specific job, they don’t tell the whole story.  Should you care about LinkedIn Skill Endorsements?  If you want to give people a better sense of what you know and get found by people who will want to pay you more money than what you’re making now, the answer is “absolutely.”  I just wrote a blog entry to maximize endorsements to get you more visible to recruiters.  http://jobcircle.com/blog/?p=2839

Good things to know. I’m still getting used to all that I can do on LinkedIn-thanks!

I think — these endorsements are of the same value as the recommendations. Firstly because; how many times are recommendations actually read by anyone?  Who has that time? The endorsements are much more quickly read.— and they might be even more valuable IF, an individual is a specialist as opposed to a generalist. If we list but 1 or 2 skill sets that are endorsed by many . . . ?— and, if we endorse someone, are we really prepared to explain why we did so? Neither endorsement or recommendation carry a lot of value.  They are both indicators.  The endorsement method is faster to read.

The wheels are off the wagon over at LinkedIn. The once sober, businesslike – and reliable – directory of professionals has gone the way of Facebook and the “Like” button. Whereas LinkedIn endorsements used to require some thought (the writing of a statement backing it up and explanation of the basis of the recommendation), you may now effortlessly and thoughtlessly “endorse” the credentials and competence of anyone – including people you barely known – while seeking to shame them into returning the empty “favor.” It was bad enough in the old days….when few endorsements were truly spontaneously generated and came mainly in response to requests to “PLEASE endorse me….” Not sure I’d use a doctor who was “recommended” mainly because he/she had begged some people into saying nice things about them…..;-)

As a job seeker and networker, I use Linked In extensively – these endoresments are meaningless and annoying to see.  They fill up my home page unnecessarily – the biggest question is how to suppress / hide them.

I agree with Juliet, this diminishes the power of the recommendation. Beyond that, in their attempt to be user friendly the UX is really displeasing  4 head shots are served up and you are asked if that person has those skills, you can choose to endorse or not. What I don’t like about that is three things: 1. It’s a random skill from a set of many, instead of your primary skill. You should be able to set your skills in the order that you find this most applicable and most directional to your career path. Example I have been endorsed by a handful of people recently, all for social media, which is a very small part of what I do on a daily basis, yes I know how to do and have done it to great success, but I mainly work in new business and a more comprehensive overall digital strategy that includes social media as a part of a great whole, so being endorsed for SM because it was randomly served first is not really valuable to me, if anything it goes against the direction of my career path, which is not good for Linkedin users.2. Once you click this random skill to endorsed one of your contacts, a few people latter the same person will pop back up with a different skill. Which is annoying for a couple reasons, you are constantly endorsing or re-endorsing the same random group of people, and each time you endorse them, they get another email alert from LinkedIn, so imagine if I endorse you for 20 different skills you will get 20 different emails from myself and LinkedIn. Then times that by the number of people who might choose to endorse you. The endorsee is annoyed, I look like a stalker and LinkedIn becomes spamy. Not a great cocktail for success. 3. There are lots of skills I have from making a perfect omelet to knowing how to build a strategy for a company that will not only be successful in media/pr ROI, but also improve the bottom line, but what skills am I actually going to key into LinkedIn, (none so far, but if were to do so it would be the more product based ones such as: I can code, I can work in most to all of the Adobe suite, I can do analytics etc., but I use those skills .05% of the time and none of that really adds up to what my true skills and strategic advantages are as professional. Never is this more obvious then when you see “skills” listed for people when you know that it’s a bit of a stretch. Meaning you have worked with them and you know that they don’t have those skills (this is especially true of buzzword skills). With your logical mind and gracious heart you hope that LinkedIn “scraped” that info from within their bio as to the things that they know about and work around, but the reality of it is that after seeing the millionth mention of another person proclaiming to have your skill set when you know they don’t it starts to look bad for that person. They could be resented, or even loose a bit of standing for seeming to stretch the truth a little bit too far. And ultimately this bad for LinkedIn. On a positive note what I have learned from using it that will make your life easier and more digitally slick is that when served up with these 4 head shot you can actually click through to the person’s profile and endorse them all at once for the things you know they excel at. They get one email, instead of 10 and you spend less time with the interaction.

Lewis, Your suggestions are spot on but I am still trying to figure out the point behind this feature. As many others have already stated, it seems to have limited value. Less so than the recommendations. I envision members soliciting endorsements even more than they have solicited recommendations.How valuable are endorsements and/or recommendations that are insincere? My answer: Not very.However, I will remain positive and let the jury decide what does/does not make sense.Cheers,Marc

I actually think this is rather negative and a bad move on LinkedIn’s part. I think this will make LinkedIn be perceived as less “professional” than it could have been, due to the fact it is hard do decide how many valid endorsements there really are – and it will likely fill up the news feed with useless info/clutter. Anyways just my $0.02 – one who is originally super excited about LinkedIn.

Foolish LinkedIn feature. Do not like it. 

Great minds, Eric. I just released a similar post, LinkedIn Endorsements: Another Meaningless Validation? (complete with Klout reference) :-)It’s early so I won’t totally write it off, but it seems rather silly to me. My 2 cents. 

This new feature diluted the whole recommendation power for me. It’s so much more impressive that someone thought enough of you to write a few sentences. The one click endorsement takes no effort at all. Like a +1.

Finally, Lewis- the voice of reason on this rather foolish new LI feature!

Thank you for sharing these useful tips, Lewis. Very timely as I was looking to get my Linkedin profile some endorsements too.I personally think this is a good move for Linkedin. For B2B marketers and talent hunters, this will help them in qualifying shortlisted individuals in terms of skills and expertise that they have.

Good points, and ones that would apply to any request for recommendations. The problem is, without context for the endorsement, it isn’t possible for people viewing your profile (potential clients, employers, recruiters, etc) to differentiate between endorsements that should carry real weight and ones that are empty. Unfortunately, that leaves people to judge based on the quantity, not quality, of endorsements and opens the door to a new breed of LinkedIn spam.A quick Twitter search will already uncover a number of people asking for endorsements (and others deriding the feature), here is one of my favorites, it shows where this feature could be headed:”If I have ever helped you with something (client/consultation/blogging), could you endorse me please?” The tweet included a link to the individual’s LinkedIn profile, and this was an individual with a profile that appeared to be active and robust, not a spam-filled account.If this trend takes (and I believe it could), the implications go well beyond endorsement spam, it affects connections, traffic profile and eventually advertising.I like LinkedIn and I hope I’m wrong. Here is more on how I see the downside playing out, I would love to see someone point out the positive (as I’m not seeing it): http://b2bdigital.net/2012/09/25/linkedin-endorsement-klout/

Mass mailing is spamming. For me it is pathetic to e-mail everyone especially those who are not in your network and ask to recommend you.  Thanks for these tips Lewis. Really helpful.

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February 27, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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