LinkedIn recommendations: it’s better (or at least just as good) to give than to receive

With my recent posts focusing on LinkedIn Endorsements and Recommendations, it seems like a good time to share one of my favorite quotes from Chris Brogan, CEO & President of Human Business Works:


“Chris Brogan” by beckyjohns7 on Flickr

Brogan wasn’t talking about LinkedIn specifically, but he may as well have been. While most people focus on how they get more Endorsements and Recommendations, it’s worth remembering that giving them has a lot of value, too. Why? Well, most of us want to work with people who appreciate and acknowledge good work, and being generous with Endorsements and Recommendations is an easy way to demonstrate that you’re one of those people.

As the old saying goes, “it’s better to give than to receive”–even on LinkedIn.

Quick Tip Tuesday: how to delete or reject Endorsements

Yesterday, I posted about a writer who predicted that LinkedIn Endorsements won’t survive past the end of the year. Unfortunately, she’s probably wrong, so the rest of us need to decide whether we want to play the game and if so, how to play it. One thing to consider is the option of rejecting or deleting skills (and, therefore, the endorsements that come with them) that aren’t aligned with the story you want to tell as a professional. My strong opinion is that if you claim as many skills as LinkedIn allows–50–it becomes very unclear what your most notable skills are (in other words, claiming that you’re good at everything makes it likely people will not associate you with any of those skills).

So, how do you delete or reject endorsements for skills you’d rather not claim? Watch the video below.

As always, let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to cover in an upcoming Quick Tip Tuesday.

Writer predicts the demise of LinkedIn endorsements


If you remove the first three words of this headline, I’d be estatic: “Why I Think LinkedIn Endorsements Will Be Dead By The End Of The Year.” Unfortunately, the author, René Shimada Siegel, is just voicing her opinion, seemingly based on wishful thinking. I keep hearing from more and more people, however, who wish Endorsements would be killed off.

My take is that Endorsements are absolutely here to stay. The reason is simple: while they’re clearly inferior to Recommendations, as Siegel says, Endorsements are quantifiable. That means they provide LinkedIn with data, and data is what makes LinkedIn so powerful.

So, don’t write an obituary for Endorsements just yet. Although if Siegel turns out to be correct, I’d be tempted to endorse her for being prophetic.

Hat tip for alerting me to the story: Jason Alba of the I’m On LinkedIn – Now What??? blog.

Which influencers are you following on LinkedIn?

In October of 2012, LinkedIn introduced a feature that allows users to “follow” a select group of influencers. Here’s who I’ve chosen to follow since then:


My selections are fairly limited, and most work in social media. The exceptions include Jason Fried, co-author of Reworka book that helped me become a lot more productive, and Richard Branson, whom I admire for his unconventional approach to business.

What about you? If you’re following anyone*, why did you select them? Share your thoughts in the comments.

*How do you know who you’re following? Once you’re logged into LinkedIn, go to the “Profile” item in the main menu and click on “Following.”

What’s in a name?

“Hello my name is” by maybeemily on Flickr

If you’ve never read the LinkedIn user agreement, it’s worth a look. It contains a lot of useful information about what LinkedIn expects from you, and what you should expect from LinkedIn.

One place where the user agreement provides specific guidance is in regard to the name field on your profile. While it might seem like a great place to insert contact information or a call to action, doing so will get you a slap on the wrist from LinkedIn. Here’s the official directive:

Do not include a link or an email address in the name field…Please also protect sensitive personal information such as your email address, phone number, street address, or other information that is confidential in nature

The user agreement also prohibits creating “a user profile for anyone other than a natural person.” So if you want to create a social media profile for your dog, you might want to consider Facebook instead of LinkedIn.

You might wonder whether LinkedIn actually pays attention to this stuff–and the answer is yes. A few months ago, I got a email from a contact who received this message:

Dear LinkedIn Member,

LinkedIn periodically reviews accounts on the site, and we have found that the first and/or last name on your account is not in compliance with our User Agreement. All LinkedIn accounts must be listed under your real first and last name.

We ask that you do one of the following to correct this issue:

Update the first and last name fields on your account
Merge two accounts together (if you already have another account listed under your real name)
Close your account

IMPORTANT: If no changes are made to your account before it is reviewed again, it will be subject to restrictions or termination.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

In this case, the issue was that his phone number was part of the name field. While the message above was vague enough to omit that specifically, it was serious enough to get the recipient’s attention–and rightfully so.

In the near future, I’ll share more nuggets of wisdom from the user agreement. As always, drop a note in the comments if you’d like me to answer a specific question.

New study reveals how to boost sales using LinkedIn


Author and sales consultant Jill Konrath recently published a study that’s a must read for anyone looking to leverage LinkedIn to increase sales. LinkedIn Sales Secrets Revealed highlights best practices gleaned from a study of more than 3,000 sales professionals. The stories in the study include examples of how LinkedIn can help companies win contracts, improve relationships, and supplement other sales efforts. Download the study for free here.

Quick Tip Tuesday – schedule status updates using HootSuite

The other day, someone asked me if you can schedule LinkedIn status updates ahead of time. There’s no way to do so from LinkedIn itself, but you can from one of several social media “dashboards.” Here’s an example, using HootSuite:

Do you have a question you’d like me to answer in an upcoming Quick Tip Tuesday? Just drop a note in the comments.

Have questions about LinkedIn? Get answers at this FREE LinkedInstitute event


Have questions about LinkedIn? The LinkedInquisition! is your chance to get answers. I’ll be making some brief introductory comments, and then I’ll answer questions from the audience. Bringing a laptop, tablet, or other device is encouraged, but not required. This event is free, but registration is required. I hope to see you there!

The LinkedInquisition!: Bring Your Questions about LinkedIn;
We’ll Have Answers
620 West Conference Center at Indiana Data Center
620 West Coliseum Blvd., Fort Wayne
Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 6 – 7 p.m.
Register here

The essence of LinkedIn, in a single quote

When Reid Hoffman founded LinkedIn, he was seeking to leverage the opportunities inherent in our interconnectedness–the truth behind the adage that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”–via social media. The end result is the opportunity for all of us to be a resource to others while also allowing them to be a resource to us. If you’re looking for the essence of LinkedIn, it’s as simple as understanding the power of mutually beneficial relationships.