Wednesday, February 15, 2017

LinkedIn Black Belt Workshop returns to Columbia March 7, 2-5PM

If you have the new LinkedIn user Interface, you are probably wondering where some of the functionality disappeared to. This is one of may topics that I'll address int e the March 7 LinkedIn Black Belt Workshop.

Seating is limited to the first 18, so register now!



If this is your year for LinkedIn, this is your workshop. Only 18 seats per session. Real info from the front lines of LinkedIn - stuff you can use today, tomorrow and going forward.

Learn the tactics that make you and your company stand out in your niche.

Without a doubt, LinkedIn is the premier social network for business professionals. With over 465 million business professionals and over 11 million individual company profiles, LinkedIn is the place to be found, and to find and connect with influencers in your market niche.

However it is estimated that fewer than 20% of LinkedIn members use it effectively, and less than 10% truly maximize the value this powerful tool can bring to you and your company. It is time for you to migrate to LinkedIn power user!

LinkedIn has
-      465 million+ members
-      1.6 million federal managers, IT profiessionals and employees
-      Millions of seaches every day are done on LinkedIn
-      Almost 12 million company profiles
-      Over 3 million groups representing every imaginable business niche
-      All Fortune 500 are represented
-      YOUR PROSPECTS (they are here)!


And you have the opportunity to stand out!


Attend the LinkedIn Black Belt Workshop and you will learn how to

-      Design a strategy that fits your business goals
-      Create a powerful LinkedIn profile that attracts targeted prospects and encourages people to connect with you
-      Find and connect with those who can help your business grow- prospects, partners, media and more
-      Select the groups that will pay dividends
-      Find and develop content to share in those groups that makes you stand out
-      Get more recommendations and endorsements
-      Get on the radar of decision-makers who buy what you sell
-      Develop and defend a “subject matter expert” platform
-      Create a company profile that attracts the right people
-      Stand out in your market niche
-      Q&A  and much more!


Questions?  email markamtower@gmail.com


Registration is $195 - and seating is LIMITED!


Monday, February 13, 2017

Welcome to LinkedIn Lite



Ever try putting together a jigsaw puzzle only to find several key pieces missing?




Welcome to LinkedIn Lite - tastes like crap and is less fulfilling of your business needs than ever before.

Over the past few years LinkedIn has been removing features that many found useful, including

- the Q&A forum
- the events calendar
- the group statistics
- getting introduced (part of the messaging)
- BCC  removed from :bulk" messages
- the ability to reply to connection requests before accepting
- the "advanced search" capability
- the ability to view people's entire profiles without having to click "see more"
- seeing the groups your connections belonged to
- and now, the ability to post

This is far from the entire list, but you get the point.

Some LinkedIn members may not know all of these, but those who've been on the platform for a longer time may recall some or most of them.

Bottom line? The overall functionality of LinkedIn is going down in a big way for those not willing to pay $900 a year for Sales Navigator. 

In my market, U.S. government contracting, government employees are not going to pay the $900, nor will the agency they work for. This will drive the value down the value for federal managers, and they will use the platform less. This, in turn, will reduce the value for contractors, who will then use it less.

My market is measured in $Trillion$, and LinkedIn is trying to get the federal government to use the HR platform for recruiting. With the reduced functionality AND the ridiculously high price for the Sales Navigator, Federal and state and local governments will find much less value in using LinkedIn.

For over a decade, LinkedIn worked hard to build a great for social networking platform business, and largely they succeeded. However over the past few years, much of the value for active LinkedIn members has either evaporated or migrated to Sales Navigator.

As LinkedIn approaches year 14 (it launched May 5, 2003), 460+ million LinkedIn members are asking "WTF?!?!?"

So, welcome to LinkedIn Lite -tastes like crap and is less fulfilling of your business needs than ever before.






Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Why the Era of Big GovCon Shows is Past...

Someday soon you are likely to get an email invitation to the next BIG THING, the GovCon event to end all events.

Be wary of such missives, regardless of where it comes from.

In the 1990s hardly a month went by when there wasn't some large IT focused event in DC: the Federal Computer Expo, the GCN Expo (Government Computer News tried it's own), ComNet, AFCEAs TechNet, GovTechNet (FCW & AFCEA), GovSec, Government Video, FedMicro, FedPro Expo, eGov, and many more.

Marketing budgets were healthy then, as real margins existed for both products and services. 

The shows were big, often fun, and occasionally useful. I have pens form those shows older than my children.

Then the shows started dropping off, one by one, until only FOSE remained, although it was far from healthy. Then FOSE passed away after 35 years.

But wait, on the horizon, son of FOSE emerges- ACQUIRE- a show with such a broad focus (federal employee info, IT products, home goods and more...) that it was doomed from the outset. It lasted only one year.


(There is nothing like an empty exhibit hall in prime time.)

Why?

The era of the big show is gone. Even if the contractors and the feds needed it, there are few available funds to support it. The margins are thin and federal audiences are more frugal with their time, going to events that offer specific information.

Small, very focused events have largely replaced the mega-shows for government contractors. Producers like the Federal Business Council. Digital Government Institute, and select others produce more targeted events. Hosky Communications produces events for contractors that target a specific technology audience. Associations like GITEC, ACT-IAC, AFFIRM and the Professional Services Council Produce excellent events.

FISSEA, out at NIST, produces an annual event for IT professionals inside federal agencies responsible for security training. They have their annual event in March, 2017- not too late!

Contract program offices sponsor great event: NITAAC, SEWP and Alliant have all held successful events for their respective contractors recently. If you aren't on one of these contracts you can always call and ask if you can attend to learn more and network.

National associations like HIMSS produce events where many feds will attend even though the focus is not federal.

Why? They are more focused. They offer great networking opportunities. They offer continuing education credits, and more.

Sponsorship may cost a fair amount, but you don't have to sponsor to attend.

Your marketing funds are limited, from the largest contractors down to those small companies. If you are thinking about exhibiting at an event or event sponsorship, be very careful with your selection.

Remember, someday soon you are likely to get an email invitation to the next BIG THINGthe GovCon event to end all events.

Do not share, forward or respond. Just delete it.


Comments are always welcome!