Unlocking Business Success: The Power of LinkedIn w. Sam McKenna

Happy first week of Summer y’all☀️

Scott’s right hand woman, GTMfund’s Marketing Manager, and part-time GenZ TikToker here Sara DelBorrello 👋 

I thought I’d hit you with a little announcement before we get into the meat of this Newsletter.

🥁Drumroll please…

…I’m officially taking over the GTM Newsletter!🎉

Haha Just kidding –  Scott’s OOO this week recharging in Bali after the busiest quarter of all time. Nothing better than some yoga and macro bowl therapy to refuel the soul of a fellow VC’er. He’ll be back with his wonderful words of wisdom next Friday, but this week I wanted to dive into the importance of Leveraging LinkedIn for Growth.

I want to start by saying, I personally have a very minimal LinkedIn presence. Minimal as in.. very sad. I wish I was more present with it like Scott and Max Altschuler are, but I just can’t seem to find the same level of discipline and commitment that those guys have. With that being said, I’m definitely not the right person to be writing about this topic, which is why I thought to invite a very special guest to share her take, the one and only Sam Mckenna 👏

Side Note: I love to follow female thought leaders in the SaaS industry as a source of inspiration for my personal and career development, if you know of any more great female thought leaders on LinkedIn please shoot their names over in the comments🙏

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Alright everyone,

I hope that I’m doing a good job at holding down The GTM Newsletter fort so far…

So without further ado, Sam McKenna here with all the LinkedIn tips & tricks.


Unlocking Business Success: The Power of LinkedIn w. Sam McKenna


Sam McKenna is the CEO of Sam Sales Consulting, an award winning sales leader brand ambassador for LinkedIn, angel investor, board member and highly sought after speaker. With more than 70,000 LinkedIn followers, Sam has inspired sales professionals with her tangible sales tips and actionable advice used daily by executives and teams alike. She has been named a Top 50 Woman in Revenue and Top 20 Women in Sales Leadership and a top ten LinkedIn sales star several times over. 

Why invest in LinkedIn?

Sara

So I think we’ll dive into a few tangible items today on how to use LinkedIn effectively because it can be such an important tool for your growth, for your company, both personally, professionally, and of course, for your businesses as well. 

So why don’t we jump right into it and might as well start from the beginning.

From your perspective, what is your typical elevator pitch to a founder or to their team members on why they should integrate LinkedIn into their growth strategy, or maybe integrate it more than it is currently.

Sam

Yeah, I think one of the things to keep in mind is that this is a whole channel of communication that isn’t driving people necessarily to your website.

We want to think about your site and all that stuff as a destination. But what I love about LinkedIn is that you’re meeting people, your buyers, your community, your influencers, your referral sources, where they are, which is on LinkedIn all day, every day. But even if we’re targeting senior executives, C suite, things like that, there’s different times of day and of the week where they’re more active. So even thinking about that as the way that we build a strategy for our content, super smart, kind of lighter topics throughout the week, more high level strategic initiatives over the weekend. There’s so much that we can do with that. But I love the idea that we can connect with people. We can get massive impressions, we can get our thought leadership out there, we can build credibility about who we are, and we can use LinkedIn as an inbound Demand Gen machine.

LinkedIn is such a powerful inbound tool for my team and I, and it’s basically just me giving all my thought leadership and saying what I think about sales, and then at some point someone saying “that’s smart, we should hire you”. We talk about product led growth, and how to effectively do outbound. There’s so much to be said for ‘founder led growth’, and there are great processes that you guys can put in place to get your voice out there, share in the right way, and then systematically build your network.

Get those additional people to come in, start to see more of your content, and then turn those into leads.

Finding the time

Sara

Yeah, I really love it. So I’m going to double click on one part of that because I think an initial reaction we can often get is, okay, that sounds great, but as we know, our founders are incredibly busy. They have a million different things on their plate, like the idea of carving out time to share some thought leadership or just put the post together on LinkedIn is challenging. I mean I’m no founder, but I struggle with that myself! So I guess it’s sort of a two-part question: What is typically your response when you talk to leaders about that? And then is there a way to have maybe a member of their team support some of that writing? 

Sam

Yeah so, the content development and what we put out there in that thought leadership outside of the strategy of running our business, to me, is one of the most important things that we can do as founders because it’s an opportunity. For us to share our voice, to get people excited about what we do and then to say, who is this person and what is their technology? A lot of this thought leadership, it’s what we talk to our customers about. It’s the space that we’re in.

What we’re trying to do is get you to see what we think, build credibility with you, get you to think that we are smart and then ultimately get you to the destination, which is our website. 

For me personally, every single day we talk to people who say, “I saw something that you posted because somebody else commented on it. I clicked on your profile and went down a rabbit hole of your content. And I thought, this is really interesting”. And here we are in a discovery call. And I’ll tell you, some of the biggest opportunities come from that. Just people discovering us on LinkedIn. And again, it’s a daily occurrence in terms of timing.

I’ll let you in on a little bit of the back curtain of Sam Sales: Everything that I personally write is my own words, nobody writes my post for me. I write all of that myself. But what we do automate is the administrative work. Probably about 80% of the administrative work on my LinkedIn is done by two of our salespeople. One BDR and then one AE. That’s how important building your personal brand is, it’s so not out-sourceable in my opinion. It’s what allows folks to build trust toward you, and later choose to do business with you.

Common Misconceptions & Pitfalls that people come across when using LinkedIn

Sam

So I wanted to touch on some common misconceptions or maybe even pitfalls that people will typically stumble into when they’re using LinkedIn. One is that I think a lot of people try to sell directly on LinkedIn. Like when people get to that point, they can find that it’s more about sharing your thought leadership, being in the space, generating some awareness around your company and your services without saying it too directly. The best way to approach LinkedIn is to think of it like “I just want to give you my thoughts and our ideas of what we can do to help you think differently” and then eventually that turns into a “hey, we should talk”.

As for pitfalls…there are two that come to mind that I think we want to be really mindful of.

I think it’s extremely important to always send context in connection requests. Send context in there just to say hi, here’s who I am, here’s why I’m reaching out. Even for inbound leads, even for people who just subscribe to our shorts on our website, I still send them context. “Thanks for subscribing. Really glad to have you as part of the community”.

The second thing I want to add on pitfalls, from a content strategy perspective, just consider that 80% of what you guys post and push out there should be thought leadership. What are we talking to our clients about every day? The value proposition of what we can help them do? Just think about what it is that you’re teaching them, and then that other 20% can be self promotional, company promotional, etc.

So let’s just think about that 80%. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the only content that you want to write is specifically for the buyer, because if I only wrote content for CROs or Heads of Enablement or SVPs, I wouldn’t get a lot of exposure. So I want to vary that content, and I also want to do some things that are lighter.

Just think about diversifying that content, because we want broad exposure. We want to get to the BDRs who get to the AES, who get to the AE managers, and then ultimately the CROs, right? It’s a process.

Is short content better?

Sara

Wow that was incredibly valuable and I want to highlight that last part quickly. I think that when we’re starting out on LinkedIn and looking to grow our social presence, we often compromise our own authenticity for the sake of likes and views. But I think that, and especially lately, people crave realness, people want to see folks being humanized and relatable, and that’s what builds trust and quality leads. Otherwise it all just feels too salesy and that’s not deep enough for most of us.

In terms of the content you’re sharing, what is the ideal length for a thought leadership piece, in your opinion?

Sam

Yeah, I think that can be tricky because the long ones really resonate sometimes. Other times it’s just like short and simple, whatever. I think you just want to think about the hook. A lot of people will do what’s called burying. They’ll bury the lead. So if you’re not familiar with that term, it’s an old newspaper term, but it basically says, like, you wait forever to get to the point where instead we want to put it front and centre. And so something like if you actually just look at any of my posts, you’ll see an example for that. But just make sure you have something compelling enough that’s a challenge or an issue or something that somebody would want to learn about. And then the lengthier post is fine.

How personal is too personal?

Sara

Totally. It seems like it really just comes down to the quality of your post ultimately, focus on quality and less on quantity.

I often come across some posts that I find are… maybe too personal? And full disclosure a lot of the time I cringe because I think to myself, maybe share that on Instagram or Facebook instead? But am I being too judgy on that front? What’s your take on that Sam?

Sam

You know what? I definitely blur the line on that front, and I think as long as it ties back to something professionally related, it’s fine to do so. I’ll give you a good example. A post I wrote a while back, I literally said, something like “Several times a week, a sandwich pops into my door”. Literally, I’ve got it right here, like my apples. A sandwich pops into my door unexpected, and I basically just kind of give a diatribe to my husband who helps me survive the day, who just brings me food, brings me apples, takes the dog, whatever. And I talk about that just to say, like, hey, don’t forget to celebrate the people in your life who helped you get where you are today. And especially as founders, we are here all day, every day, and often we got where we are with the help of our loved ones.

Sara

Wow I couldn’t agree more. I’ve definitely tried to practice that before and it really does feel good to curate appreciation and gratitude posts, whether they are directly work related or not, it definitely ties together in the big picture.

Sam, thanks so much for your generosity and for sharing all your wisdom with us (and me). I’ve taken a lot out of this personally.

If you don’t already follow Sam McKenna then you’ll have to hop on that train!


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Customer Success Manager at UserEvidence, more details here.

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Alright everyone,

That’s it for this week!

Let me know if you’d want to see this GenZ’ers comeback on The GTM Newsletter again in the future… or if you’d rather stick to hearing from Mr Scott Barker.

I mean, I get it. The man has a way with his words for sure.

This week’s topic might be my sign to start posting more actively on LinkedIn though… so maybe I’ll see ya there!

Enjoy the sun☀️

🦄SVD🦄

Before helping found GTMfund, Scott spent 4 years at Outreach as Director of Strategic Engagement. He was in charge of aligning key relationships with VCs, BoDs, ecosystem partners and community members to drive revenue and strategic initiatives across Outreach. Scott initially ran revenue/partnerships for Sales Hacker (which was acquired by Outreach in 2018). Prior to Sales Hacker, he led and built outbound Business Development teams at Payfirma and MediaValet. Scott also advises for a number of high growth start-ups and is the host/author of The GTM Podcast and The GTM Newsletter. At GTMfund, Scott leads all fundraising efforts and runs the media arm of the firm. He’s also responsible for assessing investments, team management, LP/community relationships and GTM support for founders.

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