Many government contractors are turning to LinkedIn to build their network, connect with potential teaming partners, and find new clients. LinkedIn is a social media platform that makes finding connections in your industry or niche market easy.
LinkedIn can be an effective marketing tool for government contractors because of the many professionals on LinkedIn who work at federal, State, and County agencies. It also has features like groups and company pages that other social networks don’t offer.
Today, I will give you a few tips for building your online presence through LinkedIn, connecting directly with government agency employees and decision-makers, and using LinkedIn’s tools to make yourself stand out from the crowd!
Building Your LinkedIn Profile
The first step when creating a LinkedIn account is to complete your profile. Your profile includes a short section about yourself and your experience and education. Optional sections include skills, volunteer experience, recommendations, sample projects, organizations you belong to, and interests.
A well-written LinkedIn profile is the first step in creating a successful LinkedIn presence. Your LinkedIn profile should be concise and competitively written for your industry or market. But most importantly, LinkedIn profiles are searchable by everyone on LinkedIn and through search engines like Google, so you need to fill your profile with relevant keywords!
Make sure your LinkedIn information is correct and current since this will help people trust you are whom they believe you to be! While LinkedIn does not require you to use a specific format for your profile, here’s our top advice for government contractors.
Your introduction provides a headline and your phone, name, location, and company website. You can also add an audio recording of your name pronunciation and your pronouns and opt to display your current company and education in your introduction. A link to your contact information can be edited to include your phone number, address, birthday, website url, instant messaging handle, and Twitter profile.
LinkedIn suggests being consistent with your LinkedIn name so people can easily find you just by searching for the name they already know. If you’ve worked professionally under both a maiden and married name, include both.
Your photo should be professional and feature a close-up shot of only one person (you) wearing clothes that would be appropriate for work or networking events. LinkedIn suggests including a well-lit photo with good color to stand out from the crowd.
Your headline is one of your profile’s most critical and visible sections. The headline is the snippet that LinkedIn shows to other members when they scroll through LinkedIn.
A headline should do the following:
- Create awareness of what you do
- Clarify whom you do it for
- Generate enough interest and curiosity to encourage people to click your profile to learn more
- Be optimized with important keywords
LinkedIn is an online resume, so your profile should include the same information you would put on a resume, beginning with your work experience. For each experience section, include your title, dates of employment, and location.
LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters when writing the job description, so be specific as possible and provide the details you would never be able to include on your resume. For example, don’t just describe your duties. Instead, provide your accomplishments and any challenges you faced and how you overcame them. If you have quantifiable results, showcase them here. And don’t be afraid to use bulleted lists or emojis to break up the text and make it more readable.
You can also add relevant skills, which are essential for SEO, and a link to your company website. Finally, link to the company’s LinkedIn page when entering the company name.
In addition to work experience, LinkedIn allows you to highlight specific projects you’ve worked on. Not only can you provide the project title and the dates you were involved, but you can also add the LinkedIn profiles of others who worked on the project with you, including any government Employees.
You can also add the company you worked for when you completed the project, a link to the project website, and a 2,000-character description of the project. If you completed a project for a government agency, add the name of the agency to the project title and description.
LinkedIn profiles should feature skills that make you stand out from the crowd! LinkedIn recommends filling your LinkedIn profile with skills relevant to your industry or niche market. LinkedIn users can highlight their top skills by making them appear bigger and bolder than other qualifications on a LinkedIn profile.
Volunteer Experience, Organizations, Causes, and Interests
LinkedIn profiles allow you to include volunteer experience, organizations you belong to, causes you support, and professional and personal interests. Including these extra details helps LinkedIn users find you because LinkedIn will connect you to others with similar interests and experiences.
LinkedIn company pages appear in the “Interests” section when you follow a person, company, group, or school.
Recommendations and Endorsements
When you add skills to your job description section, they will also appear in your profile’s “Skills” section. Your connections can endorse you for these and other skills you manually add, which can help build your authority.
Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues for recommendations or to ask for a recommendation in exchange for a recommendation you’ve given.
Recommendations vs. Endorsements
Recommendations and endorsements on LinkedIn are not the same.
A recommendation (also knowns as a testimonial) is a short note from a colleague, client, or employee based on their experience working with you. Writing a recommendation takes effort and time.
Unlike writing a recommendation, endorsing a LinkedIn contact for a skill takes just a few seconds. Simply navigate to their profile, scroll down to the Skills section, and click “Endorse” under a skill.
Connecting with Others on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great way to build connections and allows users to connect in different ways.
Most people use LinkedIn to reconnect with colleagues, clients, or business contacts. However, don’t overlook your ability to develop new contacts. You can search for new connections, including businesses to follow, by name, company, or keywords.
LinkedIn also lets you see who has viewed your profile, so you can reach out to potential connections who have recently viewed your page.
Not only should you create a company page, but you should be following companies you want to do business with or team with.
LinkedIn Company Pages are similar to Facebook business pages and allow companies or organizations to upload videos, pictures, and documents and post status updates. These pages enable you to engage with potential customers or teaming partners by posting company updates or newsworthy articles that highlight your expertise and generate conversations.
LinkedIn Company Pages offer valuable insights into how users interact with your page, including demographic information about who has viewed your page and what kind of engagement your posts receive.
LinkedIn groups are communities of people who share similar interests or goals, so joining relevant LinkedIn groups can help you make valuable business contacts. When you join a group, you can manage your group notifications by clicking the bell under the group. Here, you can choose to be notified when anyone makes a new post or when someone you know posts. You can also turn off all notifications.
In addition to joining other groups, you should consider creating a group if creating a community of your existing or potential clients would be beneficial. However, be prepared to commit the time necessary to grow your group and encourage engagement.
LinkedIn InMail is a great way to connect with someone you don’t know or haven’t associated with in a while. LinkedIn InMail allows users to send messages directly to another LinkedIn user, even if you don’t have that person’s contact information.
When approached correctly, LinkedIn InMail messages are more likely to be read than traditional email because they appear right in the LinkedIn user’s inbox. When reaching out to someone new or someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, be sure to provide value to them. Send them an article or the link to a post you think they will find interesting or that will benefit them. Don’t immediately pitch your services or products to a complete stranger—this behavior is likely to get you deleted and blocked.
Don’t immediately pitch your services or products to a complete stranger—this behavior is likely to get you deleted and blocked.
Why LinkedIn is Important for Government Contractors
LinkedIn is an excellent way for government contractors to connect with potential clients, teaming partners, and other businesses. LinkedIn allows users to create a professional profile, join groups, and follow companies. LinkedIn also offers valuable insights into how users interact with your page. Finally, LinkedIn InMail is a great way to connect with someone you don’t know or haven’t connected with in a while.