From the Influencers

Why LinkedIn May Not Be Working For You

July 20, 2016
By Special Guest
Mark Amtower, Award-winning GovCon consultant, leading B2G LinkedIn expert & trainer, keynote speaker, Amazon bestselling author -

I hate it when there is a missing piece to the puzzle. You spread all the pieces out on the dining room table, put together the outer edge, spend spare minutes every day carefully seeking key pieces, and get nearly finished only to find there is a missing piece.

I talk to many people in marketing, sales, BD and at the C-level who feel this way about LinkedIn- something is missing:

"But the little blue strength ball is filled up, and nothing is happening!"

"I reach out to connect and they don't respond."

"I posted an article and no one commented."

LinkedIn can be one of your best BD, sales and marketing tools, but if you think filling up the blue "strength" ball is the goal, you're missing a key piece of the puzzle.

The reason so many get frustrated is that they ignore the some key steps in the process. Like many, they are seeking non-existent short-cuts, trying to finish the puzzle without all the pieces. Here are a few puzzle pieces you may be missing.

First, it's not that you fill out the profile but how you fill out the profile.

Know what your goals are and fill out your profile accordingly. What do you want to accomplish on LinkedIn and what do you want people to do when they look at your profile? Your goals should help you determine how to write your profile and encourage people to reach out. Each part of your profile should reflect your legitimate skills and area(s) of expertise, the types of clients you work with, and more- not simply a resume cut-and-paste.

Establish your goals: your goals need to match your current credentials. For example, you are not a subject matter expert after 6 months in the market. Tell people who you are, what you do, and who you do it for. Give sufficient background to establish your current credentials. As you gain experience, update your profile to reflect the growth.

Visibility comes with being active in social media: commenting and posting in groups, reading and commenting on LinkedIn Pulse posts of market influencers, and actively viewing other people's profiles. Want to get on someone's radar? Comment intelligently on something they post. Visibility rarely occurs by waiting for people to find you. Become "findable."

Credibility is established by adding value with your activity. Value is not just posting your own material, but in posting and commenting on a mix of information germane to those you want to influence. Become (and always be) credible.

Connect with a purpose. This is the opposite of sending someone the LinkedIn form letter. Offer a context for the connection. When they go back to your profile to see who you are and what you do, there needs to be sufficient information there, preferably well-written, that will encourage them to connect. When I speak to senior executive in the government every single one says they don't connect to people who send the generic form letter.

Inadvertently pieces of the puzzle get knocked to the floor. If you have a carpet that somewhat matches the color scheme of the puzzle, you have to get down on the hands and knees to find look for the missing piece.

When you find that last piece, the puzzle comes together.

About the Author: Mark Amtower, aka the "Godfather of Government Marketing," is among the most experienced B2G marketers anywhere. He advise large and small companies on all aspects of marketing to the government, including social selling, developing.subject matter expert platforms, and on improving outreach to defined niches in the Federal market. He produces monthly Government Market Master continuing professional education workshops in Columbia MD, speaks frequently at industry events, hosts a weekly radio show (1500 AM in DC), and writes a monthly column for . Contact him at [email protected]  or call 301 854 9493.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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