LinkedIn’s Skills Endorsement Feature Has No Value
I certainly don’t mean to put down the talented engineers and programmers that developed LinkedIn’s skills endorsement feature, but in my opinion they wasted their time.
Don’t get me wrong, I think LinkedIn is a great site and full of potential for any business person looking to expand their influence and generate opportunities or get more business.
I say that even though I think they are woefully derelict in fixing the issues that plague the site and denigrate the user experience.
If some of the time they spent on this feature was invested in fixing the things that don’t work, I can assure you that everyone would have been a lot happier.
Okay, enough of my rant, back to the topic at hand the LinkedIn’s Skills Endorsement feature.
To make sure we are all on the same page I’ll start with the question: “What is the value of an endorsement?”
The answer should be that it represents “social proof” of one’s character or skills. And social proof has value because it is an external confirmation of what we say about ourselves.
As I am sure you would agree, it is far more valuable to be sitting at a table with a client and have someone at the next table turn to your potential client and say – “Listen to this guy, we did and it was very profitable.” than for you to spend a half hour telling the prospect how good you think you are.
In fact, with that kind of social proof your sale is nearly closed. If you are getting recommendations on LinkedIn, that should be your goal – getting powerful social proof of your value.
However, the LinkedIn Skills endorsement feature has no real social proof. I believe I have some 40 endorsements and non of them are clients near as I can tell.
Now I put out a lot of content on LinkedIn and I believe most of it is of high quality and of value to readers. I guess that some people who have read a lot of my stuff could legitimately endorse me.
However, the fact of the matter is that the endorsements you get from LinkedIn’s Skills Endorsement feature have no real backing or value.
The first reason is that there is no established credibility. The reader has no clue what relationship the person endorsing you has to your business. Were they a client, are they a friend, or did they simply endorse you with the hope you would endorse them back?
It is also true that many people are simply sending our messages to their network and asking for endorsements. Though I will not endorse or recommend someone that I haven’t had first hand experience with, many people will.
Social proof has value because good social proof is “rare” and thus has value.
If for no other reason than there are many random endorsements being made, I believe this feature has no value at all.
I am not saying I don’t appreciate those who have endorsed me or wish to because they have read my content.
What I am saying is that I don’t expect any person visiting my profile to care one way or the other about the skills endorsements.
My recommendation to other LinkedIn business professionals is that you should give out recommendations and endorsements with care and when you really have received value from the person you are recommending or endorsing.
I would also recommend that those LinkedIners who are here to expand their opportunities, that a focus on getting high quality recommendations will be a hundred times more profitable that any number of skills endorsements you could acquire.
In my opinion, one great recommendation is worth a thousand such skills endorsements.
I will part by saying there is one value to this feature. For those who have no clue how to develop a valued networking relationship, it gives them a simple positive gesture they can use to get someone’s attention. I don’t think it’s the best, or even a good way to do it, but it does provide a positive communication to someone you’d like to engage.
Here is another post that takes about making recommendations that you can use to understand what you should do in your own to make them more powerful. CLICK HERE