The LinkedIn Endorsement Smackdown
For years, I was brand evangelist for LinkedIn. For me, it was an ideal way to stay on top of my business connections (changing jobs, getting promotions), meet new colleagues (either through a mutual connection or using my LinkedIn credits) or learn more about individuals BEFORE engaging with them in any kind of email dialogue or face-to-face meeting.
I carefully built my profile and reached out to clients and colleagues for recommendations, smugly building it to over 700 connections. It definitely helped me establish my business presence for a larger audience, instead of carrying a long bio on our website.
But I was surprised when they introduced the concept of "endorsements."
On the surface it seems simple enough. You choose a series of "skills" and areas of "expertise" from a long list (or create them yourself).
Connected to somebody on LinkedIn? That must mean you know them and are fully aware of their skills, so you have the experience to give them a nod on a skill they've identified in their profile when presented with that question.
The problem is that all sorts of people have now endorsed me—some are people I barely know, and, to be honest, many have endorsed me for skills they couldn't possibly know whether I have or not.
Out of 700-plus connections, 68 have endorsed me for direct marketing. Fair enough ... I run a direct marketing agency and have worked in the business for 30-plus years, so it's pretty safe to say I have DM skills. But it seems strange to me that a sales rep for a printer (who I have no memory of ever meeting) or my personal realtor neighbor, would endorse me for this skill.
I realize that when I look at someone's profile, a little box pops up asking me if that individual has the skills or expertise they selected ... and I could just skip by and ignore the whole thing. But that's not my point.
A blog that challenges B-to-B marketers to learn, share, question, and focus on getting it right—the first time. Carolyn Goodman is President/Creative Director of Goodman Marketing Partners. An award-winning creative director, writer and in-demand speaker, Carolyn has spent her 30-year career helping both B-to-B and B-to-C clients cut through business challenges in order to deliver strategically sound, creatively brilliant marketing solutions that deliver on program objectives. To keep her mind sharp, Carolyn can be found most evenings in the boxing ring, practicing various combinations. You can find her at the Goodman Marketing website, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @CarolynGoodman.