In every LinkedIn training I always ask participants two questions:
  1. Can you please raise your hand if you have ever received an endorsement on LinkedIn?
  1. Can you please keep your hand raised if you have been endorsed for a skill that is irrelevant to you professionally and completely off base?
In every training almost all the hands in the room go up after question one and stay up after question two. The LinkedIn endorsement feature is an extremely powerful tool when used correctly, but can also cause you to quickly lose your credibility and authenticity with a prospect or client when used incorrectly. Below are 5 tips that will help you maximize LinkedIn endorsements. KEEP YOUR CREDIBILITY The opportunity to endorse a connection pops up when you navigate to their profile. LinkedIn populates a box with 4 or 5 skills with a bright yellow button below saying “endorse”. The bright yellow button is an intentional visual cue designed to get clicks, but it is very important to actually read the skills you are endorsing a connection for before clicking. Endorsing a warm prospect for a random one off skill could make you look foolish or damage your credibility. You can prevent this by editing out the skills in the box and writing in skills you believe are applicable to your connection. Here is a 30 second video demonstrating this concept: [embed][/embed]


 BUILD YOUR OWN LIST OF SKILLS LinkedIn allows you to edit your profile to pre-define up to 50 skills. Once you do this LinkedIn will only suggest endorsements for these skills to your connections. Your connections can still write in any skills they want, but you have to remove skills from your list of 50 before they will appear on your profile. INFLUENCING WHAT SKILLS YOU GET ENDORSED FOR Until you edit your list of 50 skills, LinkedIn will auto-populate and suggest skills based on your profile and professional background. This is what typically causes random and off base endorsements. However, once you have edited your 50 skills, how do you get endorsements for the skills that matter most? One strategy is to include any secondary skills that contain the main skill. Example: My profile has 99+ endorsements for marketing, but I have also included multiple other skills that include the marketing such as: direct marketing, email marketing, LinkedIn marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, etc. By including multiple skills that include the word marketing, I have been able to register more endorsements for the broader skill of just “marketing”. INCREASING YOUR TOTAL NUMBER OF ENDORSEMENTS This one is pretty simple, you get what you give! The more endorsements you give out to your connections, the more likely they are to reciprocate. The major reason for this is the email alerts that go out to someone after you endorse them. This is LinkedIn’s way of letting someone know you have endorsed their skills and the email also asks if they would like to endorse you for anything. If you want to increase your total number of endorsements, you have to start by endorsing others. USE ENDORSEMENTS TO EXECUTE A SOCIAL SALES TOUCH Endorsements are a great way to touch warm or cold prospects via social media because it allows you to put your name, face, and headline in front of someone you want to do business with, while also acknowledging their abilities as a professional. When you endorse someone they will receive a notification they next time they sign in to LinkedIn, an email with your picture, name, and headline letting them know you endorsed them, and alerts on any mobile device or tablet where they have the LinkedIn app installed. This is a powerful way to touch a prospect or customer. Endorsements are a growing part of LinkedIn, so it is important we adjust our own profiles to reflect our skills while also maximizing their usefulness as a tool for touching our prospects and customers via social media. This post is the fourth part of our LinkedIn Profile Tips series. These posts cover various aspects of the LinkedIn profile and provide a wide array of tips and strategies designed to help individuals build a great profile. For more information on how AltaVista Strategic Partners can help your organization or business development team build and execute a LinkedIn sales strategy please fill out the contact form on this page, checkout the LinkedIn training section of our website , email us, or call us at 410-760-6680. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OUR E-BOOK ON HOW TO DRIVE MORE LINKEDIN PROFILE VIEWS

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