I appreciate referrals and testimonials from my clients, and I like to refer and recommend people and companies who have served me well.
If we have done business or even worked together in a volunteer capacity, feel free to ask me if I would recommend you. If I was satisfied (and you would know if I wasn’t), I’ll be glad to share my experience with others.
However, I don’t understand the requests I get on LinkedIn from connections that I’ve never worked with. “Can you take a minute and go to www.websiteiveneverheardof.com and endorse me for xyz?”
These requests are coming from people with whom I share some common interests, but I haven’t ever used their products or services. I’m sure they send the request to all their connections, whether those people have any real knowledge of the work done by the requester. However, I don’t endorse people if I don’t have experience with them.
In addition to asking me to endorse something I don’t know about, these people are asking me to visit a website I’ve never heard of. Although I’ve never clicked through, I suspect that I would have to register at the site in order to leave an endorsement. I wouldn’t join another site just to leave an endorsement for someone I don’t know.
The skill endorsements that LinkedIn solicits are different. LinkedIn shows connections with the question: “Does this person know about <this skill>?” It doesn’t ask if the person is an expert–just whether they know about it. If someone has published a book (whether self-published or traditionally published), I trust they know about books and publishing, and I will endorse them accordingly. On the other hand, if I haven’t worked with them directly, I don’t endorse them for Microsoft Office or editing because they could publish a book without those specific skills.
In short, when I endorse someone it’s because I have experience or knowledge on which to base the endorsement. So the next time you’re tempted to spam all your LinkedIn connections with endorsement requests, think about it. Can the people you’re sending the request to really speak authoritatively about your work? If not, why would you waste your time and theirs asking them for an endorsement they can’t legitimately give?