Friday, March 20, 2020

Social Selling and the New Normal- Bridging the Gap During the Pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything I’ve seen in my 36 years in government contracting. It is wreaking havoc across all aspects of society and it could bring about an economic recession.

It has also totally changed how those of us in government contracting are doing, or trying to do, our business. As we head into Federal Q3, then the end of FY, those in GovCon will be relying more than ever on the phone and web 2.0 tools (email, LinkedIn, Zoom, Skype, FB, etc).  

With the elimination of physical networking venues until this pandemic comes to an end, we need to develop ways to stay in touch with our co-workers, customers, partners and prospects.

LinkedIn will become even more indispensable if this pandemic stretches out into busy season or beyond. With 2.1 million feds on LinkedIn, and virtually the entire contracting community, contractors will need to become more proficient with their online activity: how they present themselves, share information, reach out to introduce themselves and connect, stay in touch with those they are connected to, and much more. Missteps are costly.

If you are interested in how LinkedIn can help bridge this gap, we should talk.

Currently I offer three LinkedIn training programs for companies (see below). As a result of the current situation, I have prepared a one-hour webinar on Social Selling via LinkedIn. This webinar is designed to provide real tactics that you can use during the pandemic. It will show companies what social selling is and how it works in GovCon, but will also include practical tips for individual profiles, company profiles, connecting and social selling – staying on the radar of those you need to influence today, tomorrow and when we are past this disaster.

GovCon Social Selling Fundamentals:  Turning “Social Distancing” into Social Proximity

A One Hour Session on Leveraging LinkedIn During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The pandemic has brought many traditional marketing and networking venues in GovCon to a screeching halt. All face-to-face forums have been at best postponed. During this time, staying in touch with your clients, prospects, partners, co-workers and others is still a main concern for contractors.

Social selling, leveraging LinkedIn and other platforms to stay in touch with your key audience(s) is perhaps the most effective and direct way to maintain your relationships. LinkedIn can help you bridge the gap between “social distancing” and staying close to your customers, employees and partners.

This session is designed to give your company the basics of social selling and the building blocks for using it during the pandemic and beyond. It will include

-         LinkedIn profile tips that are fundamental for social selling success
-         Staying in touch with and broadening your reach into key accounts
-         Tips and tactics for reaching out to influencers
-         What content to share and where to put it
-         Leveraging content from other sources
-         9 proven tactics for social selling success, including “reaction triggers” that start conversations and using LinkedIn to drive traffic to other online interactive venues
-        and much more.

These are lessons I have learned from actively using LinkedIn over 16 years and from working with government contractors to create and deploy social programs. This is not a deep dive into social selling but it will give you and your company enough tips and tactics to stay in touch with your network and begin to expand account penetration.
This is offered as a webinar on your webinar platform so you can record it for re-use. 

The investment is $795, prepaid*, and we can deliver (schedule permitting) within two business days. This is not a public webinar- it is designed to be presented to one company at a time.

To learn more about this or to book your session, call 301 854 9493, email or reserve time on my calendar -

*If you decide to book one of my other LinkedIn programs, the $795 will be applied.

Best wishes and stay safe- 

Mark Amtower 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The 2020 Amtower Small Biz GovCon Advisory Program

Amtower Small Biz GovCon Advisory Program 

Remember Where's Waldo? Contracting officers often feel like they are looking at a Waldo graphic while sorting through RFPs. Nothing seems to stand out or rise above the crowd... 

Do you have
limited resources for marketing and BD?

Do you want deeper connections and more leads with your government clients and prospects?

Do you need to develop stronger relationships with prime contractors?

Do you need more visibility and credibility in your market niche?

Do you understand how to interact with the media?

Do you want 
more task orders from your contracts?

Does your limited 
networking time pay dividends?

Do you want better traction for your company in FY 2020?

If you answered yes to one or more of these, read on.

Every year is a challenging year, especially for small contractors, with further changes in agency programs and policies, senior personnel, additional changes in procurement policy, and more.

All these will impact small businesses more than larger businesses, so you must be prepared.

You need to more fully leveraging your current contracts, especially direct or indirect access to MACs, IDIQs, the GSA Schedule and GWACs can help you weather this storm. Most predict agency use of IDIQs and GWACs (especially the 16 “best in class” contracts) to continue to grow through FY 2020 and beyond. Your access as a prime or partner on these contracts can be critical. We are seeing significant growth on SEWP, CIO-SP3, CIO-SP3 SB, CIO-CS, Alliant, OASIS, VETS, 8(a) STARS II, and other MACs and GWACs, as well as the GSA Schedule. 

If your company is not performing up to your expectations, or if you feel that your strategy is not paying adequate dividends, we should talk.

Reserve time on my calendar NOW: 
or email 

My guidance has helped hundreds of companies (small and large) grow and earn billions. My advice can save you time and money, lead to new opportunities, expand your presence in agencies where you already do business, identify key differentiators leading to increased market share, create media coverage, and generally help companies establish a more viable and visible presence in the government market. 

For over thirty-five years I have helped my clients to dramatically increase the dollar value of their contracts, often spending less on marketing.

If your marketing and business development efforts are not paying significant dividends, we should talk now.

I offer a year-long Small Biz GovCon Advisory Program. Rather than charge my hourly fee to companies tapping into my expertise on a semi-regular basis, I have created an advisory program that small companies can afford.

This program is only for businesses recognized as small by SBA standards: SDB, WOSB, VOSB, SDVOSB, 8(a), HubZone, Native American, and just plain Small.

The Amtower GovCon Advisory Program includes

                -   An initial planning session to define and set realistic goals for our engagement. This session will provide the overall strategy for the year, including development of a targeted visibility plan that makes the most sense for you and your company. We can make alterations along the way as necessary; 

           - A detailed web site review with recommendations;

              -  LinkedIn company profile review with recommendations and edits;

               -  Monthly customized training sessions (30-40 minute sessions), content to be determined in the planning session. Training modules offered include LinkedIn training; content development; developing a subject matter expert platform; social selling; PR/media training; market research and more. Each session tailored to the client and all sessions are pre-scheduled;

              - Email alerts with news about your niche, competitors and other topics addressed in the planning session. I will monitor Google Alerts and selected trade publications for each participant;

            - Bi-weekly calls to track your progress, address problem areas, discuss leads and opportunities and more;

             - Strategic introductions to primes, OEMs, various market experts, media and government influencers;      

    - Defining and developing your market position, your company "subject matter expert" (SME) status:   
         - Developing a content editorial calendar and selecting venues to develop and share your content;

              - Unlimited email and short call Q&A;

             - Advice on selecting outside services (events, associations, bidding services, freelancers, proposal assistance, etc).

       - Access to me and my network for an entire FY.

This program will be conducted entirely via Zoom and teleconference.

Please call 301 854 9493 or email with any questions or to sign up. 

Or set a time on my calendar for is to talk- 

I can only accept twelve participants.

The investment for this program is $12,940, $1,995 for month one, and $995 per month thereafter, payable on the first of each month.


Mark Amtower     Amtower & Company

Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Government Marketing

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

2020 LinkedIn Census for US Federal Civilian, DOD and Uniformed Services

Over the past decade, LinkedIn has become an integral part of the Government Contracting (GovCon) ecosystem. Federal civilian employees, DOD, military and the IC are here in large numbers.

If you are not using LinkedIn for sales, marketing, BD, branding and positioning, and growing your own GovCon network, we should talk. Reserve time on my calendar here:

These are the results of my January 2020 Federal Census for federal membership on LinkedIn: 2,150,912 civilian and DOD (including uniformed services) members on LinkedIn. This is a decrease of about 40,000 since April, 2019.

Note: the counts for each agency and operating division change frequently. This is simply a snapshot from early 2020.

I have included direct links to cabinet departments and a few other major activities.

A couple of caveats: 

1) I may have overlooked some sub-agency level activities, often because I could not find them (if you find something I missed, please let me know and I will add them in); 

2) I have included three non-executive branch activities (USPS, LOC and GAO). The Courts are not included;

3) There will be some contractors in these counts; 

4) Sorry about the alignment. This is cut and paste from Word;

5) See Total Federal Employment estimates at the bottom of this post.

My unscientific study of job functions indicates 15%+ of the Feds and DOD employees on LinkedIn have an IT-related job title.

Send me an email if you'd like to discuss this or my LinkedIn training programs

DOD and Military Agency member counts on LinkedIn

DOD and Military

US Army                                                   366,985
Army Natl Guard                                         43,963
US Army Reserve                                       18,965
Network Enterprise Tech Cmmd                   6,833
Corps of Engineers                                     20,370
CCDC Army Research Lab                              535
USA CCDC                                                      208
USA CCDC C5ISR                                            41
C5ISR CENTER - NVESD                                62
USA ERDC                                                     485
USA CERDEC                                                 33
Army Rapid Capabilities *RCCTO)                  44
USA Acq Support Ctr                                      70
USA Contracting Command                       2,458
USA Cyber Command                                  532
US Army Special Warfare Center (SWC)       78
Army Special Forces (Airborne)                   652
Army Special Ops Command                       288
Army Futures Command                              396

Total for US Army:                                     514,234

US Air Force HQ                                        218,694
Air Natl Guard                                                  4,895
USAF Reserve                                              15,995
Air National Guard Recruiting`                        4,539
USAF Research Lab                                       2,186
USAF Space Command                                 1,593
USAF Special Ops Cmmd                                 648
Ofc of Special Investigations (AFOSI)               462
Ofc of Scientific Research (AFOSR)                   76
USAF Air Cmmd and Staff College                     38
Air University                                                         98
USAF Academy                                              1,879
AFWERX                                                               32
USAF SBIR-STTR                                              35

Total for USAF:                                        263,842

US Navy HQ                                               188,227
          USN Reserve                                     12,647
          NAVSEA                                              4,198
          NAVAIR                                               3,429
          SPAWAR                                             3,909
          Ofc of Naval Research                           422
          Ofc of Naval Intel                                   147
          NAWCAD                                               924
          Naval Surface Warfare Ctr                  1,738
          Naval Surf Wrfr Ctr Dahlgren                 611       
          Naval Surf Wrfr Ctr Crane                      348
          NUWC (Newport RI)                            2,476
           NUWC (Keyport WA)                              144
          Naval Surface Warfare Ctr (MD)            572
          Naval Surface Warfare Ctr (Phil)           344
          Naval Surface Warfare Ctr (Corona)      223
 NSWC (Port Hueneme)                          189
          NAWCAD                                               881
           NSWC/NUWC                                         201
          Military Sealift Command                    2,928
 NAWC (China Lake)                               376

Total for USN:                                         237,600

US Marine Corps                                       41,587
US Marine Recruiting                                  53,268

US DoD HQ                                                 50,752
          USSOCOM                                          1,770
          JSOC                                                        91
          DTRA                                                   1,352 
          DLA                                                      7,096
          DCMA                                                  5,712
          DIA                                                       2,585
         DCSA                                                         326
          DTIC                                                        139
          Def Security Cooperation Agency           254
          Defense Security Service                        591
          DCAA                                               2,238                   
          DAU                                                         771
          DFAS                                                    6,189         
          Missile Def Agency                              1,448
          National Guard Bureau                         1,995         
          DHA                                                      1,372
           DHA Connected Health                             89
          Wash HQ Svcs                                        342
          Natl Geospatial-Intelligence Agcy        2,151
          NSA                                                      1,071
          DARPA                                                    463
          Am Battle Monuments Comm                 108
          Ofc of Chairman, JCS                             194
          The Joint Staff                                      1,176
          DoDEA                                                 2,402
          Def Innovative Unit                                   92
           Def Innovation Board                                  8
 Joint Task Force North                             50
US Africa Command                                354
US European Command                         472
US Pacific Command                              244
US Northcom                                            660
US Strategic Command                           173
US Transportation Command                   91
USTransCom                                            310
US Cyber Command                               596
US Special Ops Command                     365
Defense Digital Service                             23
DIU Rogue Squadron                                10

Total for DOD:                                            97,270


USDA HQ                                                  16,908
          NRCS                                                 4,135
          FS                                                     16,784       
          ARS                                                   5,169
          APHIS                                               1,952
          FSIS                                                  2,334         
          FAS                                                      412
          Natl Inst of Food and Ag                      172
          Natl Organic Program                            93
          AMS                                                     195
          NAL                                                        30
          Rural Development                            1,181
USDA total:                                              49,365

CIA                                                             857

Commerce HQ                                           2,755
          NOAA                                               5,954
          Census                                             8,669
          BEA                                                     356
          ITA                                                       538
          NTIS                                                      11
          NTIA                                                      24
          EDA                                                     298
          MBDA                                                    77
          NIST                                                  3,483
           Bureau of Industry & Security                99
 USPTO                                              7,397

Total for Commerce:                               29,652

Corp for Natl & Community Svc          709

CPSC                                                             351

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau      1,214

Education                                                  9,429

EEOC                                                         1,351

Energy                                                       4,913
          Bonneville                                        2,090        
          Sandia                                               8,305
          Berkeley                                           3,728
          Argonne                                            3,766
          Los Alamos                                      7,995
          Pacific NW                                       3,855
          Idaho National Lab                          1,988
          National Renewable Energy Lab         2,537         
          Western Area Power Admin                834
          National Nuclear Security Admin         824
          Oak Ridge National Laboratory        3,987
          Lawrence Livermore                        6,172
          FermiLab                                         1,665
          Brookhaven                                     2,369          
Total for Energy:                                     57,923

EPA                                                            11,066

Exec Office of the President                          277
          EOP/White House                               201
          Natl Security Council                           115
          US Digital Service                               142
           WH Communications Agency             234
Office of the Vice President                             34

Ex-Im Bank                                                   517

FDIC                                                          5,031

FEC                                                               277

FERC                                                         1,261

FLRA                                                           107

Fed Mine Safety                                            53

Federal Reserve System                             2,338
Federal Reserve Board                               2,145
FRB- NY                                                    2,843
FRB- Chicago                                            1,380  
FRB- SF                                                     1,470
FRB- Dallas                                                898
FRB - Atlanta                                             1,195
FRB - Boston                                              930
FRB -Richmond                                         1,296
FRB- St Louis                                            1,1435
FRB - KC                                                   1,440 
FRB - Minneapolis                                     802
FRB TOTAL                                             18,361

GAO*                                                         17,632

GSA                                                           11,112
HHS HQ                                                   10,301
          NIH                                                  21,772
          NCI                                                   3,998
          CDC                                                 14,663
         FDA                                                  13,788       
          CMS                                                 3,300
          HRSA                                               1,163
          SAMHSA                                           344
          Ag for Healthcare Research              411
          NIMH                                                 727
          NIDA                                                  274
          Admin for Community Living               76
          IHS                                                   4,941
          PHS                                                  1,129
Total for HHS:                                         79,960

Homeland Security HQ                           29,845
          ICE                                                   997
          FEMA                                              13,195
          (note: some FEMA regions have their own company page)
          US Coast Guard                               23,992
          US Coast Guard Auxiliary                   541
          CBP                                                   6.765
           USBP                                                   478
          TSA                                                  11,171
          US Secret Service                              1,424
          FLETC                                                  158
          CISA                                                      360
Total for DHS:                                          88,926

HUD                                                          6,111

Interior HQ                                              3,111
          FWS                                                 5,022
          NPS                                                10,683
          BLM                                                5,464
          USGS                                              6,118
          BIA                                                 1,489
          Reclamation                                    3,013
          Ocean Energy Mgmt                          367
          BSEE                                                  301
Total for Interior:                                   35,568

International Trade Commission                 382
JusticeHQ                                               14,605
          BOP                                                  1,913
          Criminal Div                                        962
          US Attorneys Ofc                             5,412
          US Marshall’s Service                         520
          DEA                                                  2,040
          FBI                                                    6.918
          ATF                                                   1,599 
          FLETC                                                  152
Total for Justice:                                     34,121

Labor HQ                                                 6,619
          BLS                                                  1,749
          OSHA                                                 301 
Total for Labor:                                       8,669

Library of Congress*                                 3,234
Congressional Research Service              400

NARA                                                        1,504

NASA HQ                                                 27,284
          Ames                                                2,382
          Goddard                                            3,941
          Glenn                                                1,531
          JPL                                                   6,711
          Langley                                            1,540
Total for NASA:                                       43,389

National Gallery of Art                              841

NEA                                                           165

NEH                                                           155

NRC                                                           2,218

NTSB                                                         315

Office of Govt Ethics                                  40

OMB                                                          483

OPIC – now DFC                                         520

OPM                                                           2,938

Peace Corps                                               9,178

PBGC                                                         955

US Postal Service                                      133,312

USPS OIG                                                  14,665

Railroad Retirement Board                          499

SBA                                                            3,371
SBA/Ofc of Advocacy                                       26

SEC                                                            3,433

Smithsonian                                               4,135

SSA                                                            34.028

State Department                                     26,956

TVA                                                           8,149

US Trade Rep                                            154

Transportation HQ                                    3,755
          FAA                                                  26,365       
          FHA                                                   1,891
          FTA                                                      377
          FRA                                                      544
          FHWA National Highway Inst               166
 NHTSA                                                     99
          Volpe                                                    299
Total for Transportation:                        33,496

Treasury HQ                                            8,412
          BEP                                                    713
          IRS                                                24,486
          OCC                                                3,044
          Mint                                                     551
          FinCEN                                               306
Total for Treasury:                               40,446

USAID                                                       12,435

Veterans Affairs                                       102,180

VOA                                                           1,751

CIVILIAN AGENCY TOTAL                956,379

Miscellaneous*                                               40,000

* These are Miscellaneous listed as “US Government," "US Govt" and "US Govt DoD" and a few other variations.      

Estimated total on LinkedIn            2,150,912

1.   The miscellaneous "US government" listing (and variations) has been used by government employees for well over 10 years.  It was used prior to 2010 because there was no Federal endorsement or policy for using social media, so employees did not want to name their respective agencies. It is also used by those in the IC to mask their agencies.
Total Federal Employment
Labor Department 2018 Total Federal Jobs Estimate: 2,797,000
OPM Total Civilian Employment (excluding USPS): 2,059,605
Civilian Full Time and Permanent: 1,837,622
Other Civilian Employment: 221,983
Postal Service Employment: 603,911
Active Duty Military: 1,345,550
National Guard / Reserve Forces: 802,842
Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower