Saturday, January 26, 2013

Government Market Master Q1 Courses

In the best of times you need to stay current on what works in B2G sales, marketing business development, social media and management.

These are not the best of times.

Since my first public seminar in January 1991, thousands of people have attended my sessions or seen me speak at other others. Over that same period I saw many people who were experts in various niches in our market.

Now many of them will join me as "faculty" members of the Government Market Master (tm)continuing professional education program at Capitol College in Laurel, MD.

We will be announcing the full Q1 and Q2 curriculum by the end of January - get your GMM professional certificate by June!

All sessions will be held on campus at Capitol College.

The GOVERNMENT MARKET MASTER™ (GMM) CERTIFICATE PROGRAM provides comprehensive best practices, processes and methodologies for gaining invaluable insight on how to develop and sustain meaningful business relationships with the Federal Government. Delivered by top government, business and thought leaders, the Capitol College-GMM program is specifically designed by Business-to-Government (B2G) experts to benefit executives, managers and professionals who seek to successfully target, engage, win and sustain business with the Federal Government.

Register here;

Q1 Classes:

           Government Marketing Best Practices (GMM 100) Feb 21

            PR for Small Government Contractors (GMM 207)  Feb 27

            The Competitive Edge: Market Research for Small Contractors (GMM 205)  Feb 27

            B2G "Go to Market" Strategy, Planning and Execution (GMM 201)  March 15


            Simplified Acquisitions  (GMM 230)  Feb 28

            Selling IT Summit: Top Contracts & Sales methods ( GMM 231a) March 12

Summit on Selling Products to the Govt    (GMM 231)  March 13


           Business Development: Strategy, Planning and Execution (GMM 215) Feb 26

            LinkedIn for Government Contractors (GMM 208)  Feb 19

            B2G Social Media Summit: LinkedIn, Blogging, Webinars, etc (GMM 206) March 14



Small Business Set Aside Programs (GMM 224) March 20

Register here;

Email me with any questions –

Thursday, January 10, 2013

LinkedIn's Tipping Point (The Waldo Factor, part 16)

LinkedIn announced on January 9 that it had reached 200 million members.

LinkedIn launched in May 2003 and was on a slow growth curve for several years. By Q1 2009 LinkedIn had reached 36 million members; Q1 2010, 64 million; Q1 2011, 102 million; Q1 2012, 161 million; and Q1, 2013 it reached 200 million - with 74 million in the U.S.

An article by Wyatt Kash came out earlier this week from AOLGov and highlighted the results of a Forrester study commissioned by LinkedIn. The study looked at the role of social media in the IT buying process.

Among the results :  "That 85% of those surveyed have used at least one social network for business was not surprising. What was surprising, said (Mike) Weir, was that three out of four had engaged directly with an IT vendor through a social network. (Also not a surprise: 95% of IT decision makers report using LinkedIn.)

What's evolved over the past two years, however, said Weir, is the extent to which the use of social networks has grown from a way for professionals to connect with their peers, into something deeper and more dynamic." (from the AOLGov article)

The article goes on: "The study, which polled 400 IT decision makers across North America, asked what's causing IT decisions to turn to social networks? According to their responses:
  • 58% said to learn from trusted peers
  • 49% said to access a broader network of peers
  • 40% said to quickly find reliable information
  • 37% said networks provide relevant context to connect with vendors."
Rather than keep quoting from the article, I suggest you read it, and I'll get to my point: what was the tipping point for LinkedIn? When did it cease to be a place where you had a profile and visited occasionally and become the site that gets 160 million unique visitors each month?

When did people start using LinkedIn to seriously share information and build communities?

The reality is, since the first groups were formed this has been happening. The numbers simply increased year-over-year until sometime between late 2010 year and mid/late 2011 when critical mass occurred. I base this purely on empirical observation, being a perpetual monitor of LinkedIn from a GovCon perspective.

I have monitored the growth of key groups in our market and to an extent I have monitored the discussions. There are some groups with many discussions, but not all are germane. The better groups are well-managed and the discussions can be lively and have multiple participants.

The activity in the groups I belong to has been improving in both quality and quantity. The membership in some key groups has been growing as well.

LinkedIn can be a sales tool, a business development tool, and most certainly a marketing tool.

But the major function is communtiy builder.

There are three types of people: those who make things happen; those who watch things happen; and those who wonder what happened. Need to get better on LinkedIn and make things happen? Attend my LinkedIn for Government Contractors seminar February 19. Use code "GMM" for a 20% discount.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Highlights from Past & Upcoming Presentations on Leveraging LInkedIn (The Waldo Factor, part 15)

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. or register here

I will also be speaking about LinkedIn at the

APMP dinner speaker series January 16:

and the NVTC breakfast February 22: