Thursday, August 18, 2011

How I went from 1 to 26 endorsements in less than a month ~ Linked-in 202 ~ Obtaining Recommendations ~

When I see a profile on Linked-in that indicates 500+ connections and zero endorsements - I question the quality of the connections. My personal goal is to have a five percent ratio of endorsements to connections - meaning that if I have 100 connections, then I should have at least 5 endorsements.

Mission accomplished. In the past month, I received 25 recommendations on Linked-in. These endorsements extend all the way back to my first job as a "loud-mouth" teenager.

Question: How did I go from one lonely endorsement to twenty-six in a single month?

Answer: it wasn't easy
  1. Be an outstanding performer (obviously), who receives thank you notes. Save the notes.

  2. Go through your file of thank you notes that people have sent to you over the years.

  3. Invite the people who have sent you thank you notes, to join your Linked-in cult (whoops, I meant fan club, whoops, I mean "network").

  4. After the person has joined your cult / fan club / network on Linked-in, make it real easy for them to endorse you by sending them the exact words that they already wrote on the thank you note that they sent in the past. Ask them to copy-paste their own words into a Linked-in recommendation. Make it mega-easy for them.

  5. Start writing endorsements for the people who you would honestly hire or work with again. Write lot's of them. Don't expect reciprocation from the folks you write endorsements for. Write endorsements for others because:
    • it makes you feel good
    • it demonstrates your writing style (the endorsements that you write are displayed on your profile as well as the recipients).
    • it demonstrates a cool-person attitude.
    • people who write endorsements are higher status than those who don't. They are the proverbial "class acts."

  6. Wait three weeks, then start round 2.

  7. Resend your endorsement requests to anyone who didn't respond. Point out how many endorsements you already have. Provide a link to your portfolio website. In a nutshell, demonstrate that you are a BAMF (bad ass MoFo - a.k.a. "A" player), who is worthy of being endorsed.

  8. Resubmit the endorsements that you wrote for others and weren't accepted. Re-write them. Don't ask why they didn't accept the original. They probably didn't know that they have to click "Accept" - or the phone rang and they never came back to the email. Point out that endorsements = credibility and it is in their best interest to have lots of them.

  9. After someone accepts your endorsement, you can ask for one from them, if AND ONLY IF, you deserve to be endorsed by that person. For example, I have written many endorsements for people who don't really have enough experience with me to reciprocate. Deaton Bednar, PM in Texas, is a good example. I hired her to be a project manager for Callidus and she did a great job. I wrote her endorsement spontaneously when I came across her on Linked-in. The only thing she can say about me is "Freddy is a cool guy. He was a pleasure to work for. I hope he hires me again." That isn't much of an endorsement, and I wouldn't want her or anyone else to write it. I can't stress enough, we must write endorsements for those who deserve it - without expecting anything in return. Do it because it makes you feel good, and it looks good on your list of endorsements that you have written for other people. When a champion reaches the goal, arriving at the top of the mountain, the first thing he or she does is turn around and reach out to help the person climbing up behind them.

  10. Moving forward, when someone sends you a thank you note, reply; "You're very welcome. Can you please copy-paste what you just wrote into a recommendation on Linked-in."

Question: how long does all that take?

Answer: it depends on:

  • how many thank you notes you have received
  • how many connections you have on Linked-in
  • and how many of those connections you can sincerely endorse

My collection of thank you notes contains well over 100 from the past 20 years. In the past month I have spent at least 100 hours re-connecting and asking for endorsements (using the copy-paste technique described in #4) - and another 100 hours writing over 60 endorsements for other people - without being asked.

Don't be discouraged by the amount of time I have spent. I am an old guy who is anal retentive enough to save thank you notes. Most people won't have to spend as much time collecting endorsements as I do.

Is it worth the effort? You tell me. In the past month I have received 25 endorsements. That's an approximately twenty-five percent response rate to my requests for recommendations - and approximately five percent of my total connections.

Is it  worth the time and effort? Would I do it again? Yes and Yes.

If you found value in this post, then please click the "+1" button (below) and leave a comment.

Rockin regards,


1 comment:

  1. Hey Freddy, this is Deaton. Thanks for your endorsement on Linked-in. Yeah, you may use my name is this blog. And BTW, I think you are a cool guy. It was a pleasure to work for you and I hope you hire me again. ;-)