During my July 2008 Government Marketing Best Practices seminar I stated that publications and associations without a robust social networking presence were going to loose marketshare. The same certainly applies to businesses.
I made that statement because by mid 2008 social networks had evolved to the point of becoming important in information sharing and the government trade publications were ignoring them completely.
Since that time groups on LinkedIn like Carl Dickson's Business Development group, Peter Weishaar's GSA & VA Schedule group, and my Government Market Master group have grown into successful online communities largely because they are each well-managed and each provide an active forum where information from GovCon professionals is shared and commented on regularly.
There are several other good groups, but I think these three stand out. These communities have become a vital part of the information sharing ecosystem among professionals that is making "old media" fall behind.
In 2012 over half of my 20+ public presentations either included or focused on leveraging LinkedIn. Further, more than half of my over 60 in-house presentations and webinars also focused on LinkedIn.
Because LinkedIn has become the major hub on online networking for the Government Contracting community. And the GovCon community is here because the government buyers, influencers and managers are here.
Developing and managing relationships is the true core of success in this market.
In an era where government travel and event participation is down, online networking becomes even more critical.
So here are a few recurrent highlights and tips to think about.
1: It all begins with a good-to-great profile.
A profile is not a presence. A profile with little or no information is worthless, as people viewing the profile have absolutely no reason to connect with you or even remember you.
2: If your photo makes you look like a hooker, psycho, or party animal, you lose credibility.
This happens more frequently than you might think. Prime contractors and government buyers don't need to know about cleavage or your drinking habits. They want to see someone they can rely on.
As we are all visual learners, our eyes go to the photo first. If your photo does not show you in a positive light, your credibility suffers immediately.
This is a professional network, so present yourself in a professional manner.
3: The headline under your name is valuable real estate and should not simply reiterate your current job title.
The headline should be used to highlight the skill you bring to the market, not simply repeat one of the next things that appears on your profile. It should grab the attention of the viewer and encourage them to read more.
4: Groups are there not simply to join, but for participation.
Groups are communities where people of similar interests gather online to share articles, ideas, and opinions. they are superb venues for raising your visibility to a targeted niche by offering your thoughts and opinions.
Among the other changes, LinkedIn removed the applications and plans to replace them with rich media feeds. Stay tuned for that...
There are many ways to leverage LinkedIn to raise visibility for you and your company. Simply being there is not enough.
Those without a robust social networking presence will lose marketshare in direct proportion to their social networking inactivity.
My next LinkedIn for Contractors seminar is February 19 at Capitol College. This 4 hour session is the extended version of my LinkedIn Blackbelt Workshop. Drop me a line for details. email@example.com or register here
I will also be speaking about LinkedIn at the
APMP dinner speaker series January 16:
and the NVTC breakfast February 22: