SOCIAL MEDIA

LinkedIn Endorsements Changes Everything. Here's Why

LinkedIn endorsements is to small business owners what the Facebook 'Like' button was to consumer brands: influential exposure.
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For years, LinkedIn has offered recommendations as a way to get support from fellow professionals and businesses. If you received recommendations from other individuals, you garnered credibility, and were more likely to show up in searches. 

But now, LinkedIn's endorsements are much easier to get. It takes someone seconds to vouch for one or more of your particular skills, versus the 10 minutes to 15 minutes a recommendation might take. In today's time-starved world, this is a critical difference. LinkedIn hasn't released numbers yet, but if you look at several profiles, it's clear that in just a few weeks, many users have generated way more endorsements than five years worth of recommendations. 

If you want to give an endorsement, go to the top of a connection's LinkedIn profile, where you'll find an endorsement box you can click on, or write in skills or expertise you'd like to endorse (like PowerPoint, writing, market research). Lower down in the profile, you can view all current endorsements that connection has already received, and if you agree with any, simply click the plus sign and you'll endorse that person as well. When you endorse someone (or someone endorses you), this will show up in your LinkedIn news feed (and spread the word).

LinkedIn isn't weighting endorsements in search results yet, but it will soon. This means, the more endorsements for your skills and talents that you get, the more often you'll appear in search results, the more trusted you'll be, and the more leads you'll potentially generate from LinkedIn.

So how do you get endorsements? There are two main ways I recommend:

1) Ask. Send out a dedicated email asking people you know for endorsements with a link directly to your profile. You can also send private messages via LinkedIn to your connections. Better yet:

2) Give others your endorsement. When you endorse others, they get notifications from LinkedIn, and will often reciprocate without your asking.

If you believe an endorsement is invalid, you have the option to hide it from your profile.

Remember, the more endorsements for your skills and talents you have, the more leads you can generate when people are looking for whatever it is you have to offer. 

How many endorsements do you have on LinkedIn? Do you think endorsements could be a game changer? Comment below.

IMAGE: sylvain kalache/Flickr
Last updated: Nov 8, 2012

DAVE KERPEN | Columnist | CEO, Likeable Media

Dave Kerpen is the CEO of Likeable Local. He is also the cofounder and chairman of Likeable Media and the New York Times bestselling author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business. Want to learn about how to grow your business using social media in 2 minutes? Click here.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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