Unlocking the Power of LinkedIn
Intero Advisory Founder and CEO Colleen McKenna explains why LinkedIn is business, not social.
Intero Advisory Founder and CEO Colleen McKenna wants her clients to understand that LinkedIn is not a social network, it’s a business tool that helps boost sales and bolster recruiting.
Since 2011, she has helped more than 750 organizations and tens of thousands of business professionals unlock the power of LinkedIn to connect and establish meaningful relationships with current and future clients, associates, employees, candidates, strategic partners, and centers of influence.
McKenna is quick to point out that Intero Advisory is not a social media agency.
While LinkedIn is often lumped under the umbrella of social media, McKenna would like to see it viewed as a business tool. Intero has become the leader in LinkedIn branding, sales, and recruiting using the It’s Business, Not Social™ method.
“You have to know people to be successful in business,” McKenna says. “You need to have that network.”
She also stresses that leveraging LinkedIn has become even more critical since the COVID-19 pandemic began limiting in-person networking in March 2020.
McKenna spends a lot of time teaching salespeople that they shouldn’t be selling through LinkedIn. Instead, they should be building credibility, showcasing expertise, outlining the company’s framework, and trying to spark the conversations.
“Experienced sales professionals had to adapt quickly after the pandemic,” she recalls. “Every sales professional should always be open to new opportunities to engage current and future clients.”
McKenna also uses LinkedIn Sales Navigator, a version of premium LinkedIn that is critical to intentional growth on LinkedIn.
“It is a different door into LinkedIn,” she explains. “You can see more, connect with more people, build better searches.”
Recruiting Top Talent
On the recruiting side, young people want to know who they’re working for. They want to understand the culture. Leaders need to incorporate that into their profiles as well.
“Being the face of the organization is so important,” she says. “They often underestimate that on the recruiting side.”
McKenna also stresses the importance of developing a recruitment pipeline like sales pipelines that identify prospective customers and funnel them into becoming paying customers. There are 10 million less people in the workplace than a decade ago. Add COVID to that and things become even more complicated for recruiters.
“Companies need to build hiring pipelines like they do sales pipelines,” she says. “Can you imagine a sales team with no prospects?”
Too many heads of recruiting and CEOs agree, but then don’t act on it. They wait for people to apply. Instead, they should be proactive, continuously building that network of candidates you want to hire.
“We need to think differently,” she says. “We need in-house recruiters who have a sales mentality.”
McKenna and her team have used LinkedIn Recruiter for several years and are now showing clients how to recruit using Sales Navigator as well. LinkedIn’s most powerful product and its top revenue driver. As more companies becoming comfortable with remote employment, LinkedIn Recruiter enables companies to compete for talent around the globe, not just in a specific region.
McKenna provides several tips to leverage LinkedIn:
- Use this powerful business tool. “75 percent of jobs never hit the published market,” McKenna notes. LinkedIn should be seen as a career asset to showcase experience, talent, highlights and build a network that serves as a digital hello or handshake in both short-term and long-term, she continues.
- “Be selective and discerning as you build your network. Ask yourself, “How am I going to build a network for the short-term and the long-term?” Don’t connect and forget. Nurture your network continually. There are businesses and recruiting opportunities in your current network.
- The number one piece of content is the information on your LinkedIn profile. The content you post, add value to your network and online community and what they find valuable and useful.
- LinkedIn loves long-form content and video. For those interested in creating original content, LinkedIn’s Creator Mode may be the way to go. Use LinkedIn’s new Creator Mode to create newsletters and gain subscribers.
- LinkedIn Live can be useful and will archive recordings for on-demand viewing. LinkedIn Live is also a feature of Creator Mode.
- Be intentional on LinkedIn and that requires strategy. For most people, it is best to stay in your current mode and connect with new people.
While LinkedIn has competitors, there are several factors that suggest it will continue to be a valuable business tool for years to come, according to McKenna.
It may be difficult to move the 800 million users (40% engaged and active) on LinkedIn to a different platform. Users generally aren’t teenagers or digital natives who are more comfortable jumping from one platform to another, so they are more likely to continue using LinkedIn.
In addition, there is significant room for growth. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft which has 1.3 billion subscribers. The pandemic also moved conversations and networking online. Today, there is more comfort using platforms liked LinkedIn to supplement in-person networking.
McKenna understands that many executives have an aversion to social media. That’s why she helps them understand that LinkedIn is all business, providing invaluable opportunities to boost sales, bolster recruiting and create a network of valuable connections and relationships.
ASK THE EXPERT – FREE CONSULTATION
Everyone has at least one LinkedIn question. Colleen McKenna has trained and coached tens of thousands on how to best use LinkedIn for branding, business development, and recruiting since 2011. Her It’s Business, Not Social™ philosophy is straightforward, practical, and authentic. Most importantly, Colleen’s LinkedIn approach is designed to drive results. From profiles, network mapping, and how to effectively engage to best practices for building an active, robust talent and business development funnel, Colleen knows the nuances, glitches, and workarounds that turn frustration into success.
In the 25-minute “Ask the Expert” session, Colleen will answer a question, provide a quick LinkedIn profile evaluation, and discuss your strategy, recruiting, and/or business development process on LinkedIn.