Social selling is the key to engaging with your buyers many times before they are even in the market for your solution. But what’s the key to successful social selling? 


When you approach social media with authenticity and add value to each conversation with your audience, you can generate an affinity that will bring people back again and again. When building your brand on social, you must intentionally show what makes you human — that’s what forms the genuine relationships that unlock limitless lead gen opportunities.

This week on “Winning the Challenger Sale,” we’re joined by Sam McKenna, the Founder of #samsales Consulting, who discusses how today’s social media platforms are the next great avenues of prospecting in sales and marketing your authentic sell through thoughtful, engaging posts. 

Join as we discuss: 

  • The importance of authenticity when building your social media presence
  • Building genuine engagement by teaching others 
  • Social selling as the key to engaging your buyers before they reach sales

Listen to “#66 Build a Social Media Presence for More Leads & Sales” on Spreaker.

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The importance of authenticity when building your social media presence

People often reach for likes, comments and follows when posting on social media. But what most don’t understand is engagement that isn’t authentic or is only surface-level won’t result in anything meaningful or worthwhile.

Instead of looking for attention on social media, people should be looking for credibility—and credibility can’t be gained without regular posting and genuine interaction with your audience.

While there are dozens of algorithm hacks to up your visibility, likes collected on selfies and accumulated shares on inspirational quotes don’t equate to repeated engagement or valuable followers.

“I don’t need all the attention—if I’ve been able to impact somebody or get somebody to think differently, they’ll come back and engage again and again and again,” Sam says. “That’s how you build your audience.”

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many followers you have or how much you make—you’re still a person.

Engage with the audience you can create an impact for and offer genuine interaction when you do. Then, you’ll attract a legitimate audience with an affinity for your personal brand and everything you have to offer.

Building genuine engagement by teaching others

One of the best ways to be authentic on social media is to teach others. Everyone has areas of specialized knowledge and experience. Figure out exactly what you know and how it can help others. Then share it.

Rather than posting general achievements or inspirational quotes, home in on the value you have to offer to your audience.

Sam shares the four biggest mistakes she sees people make as they try to build personal brands and how, in the end, being authentic is the key to avoiding them.

Mistake #1: Sharing posts with no value

“Sometimes we tend to focus too much on the content we know will spike engagement,” Sam says. “What you really want to do is build your brand as somebody who is an expert who can teach you how to do something.”

While there is space to be inspiring or share your accolades, the majority of the content you post should add clear value. You should aim to provide your readers with something they can immediately walk away with and apply in one way or another.

Mistake #2: Focusing only on hot topics

Talking about mean girls, sharing hot takes on recent events and posting selfies are quick ways to sure engagement. But how genuine is the attention? 

True engagement that sparks an interest and an affinity between an audience and a personal brand is the only thing that will inspire people to return again and again.

According to Sam, you need to stop focusing on producing viral posts that garner hundreds of heart reactions and instead hone your content to reflect precise, valuable lessons that position you as an expert worth following. 

Mistake #3: Hijacking others’ posts

One of the biggest LinkedIn faux pas: self-promotion in the comment sections of other people’s posts. Stealing the limelight from the poster is in poor taste and can decrease overall audience trust.

While you shouldn’t be sharing links to your e-books or inviting readers to check out your own services, comment sections aren’t completely off limits.

Instead of self-promoting, add value with your own thoughts, experiences and tips. Ask deep questions and offer genuine thoughts. Support others with authentic feedback and suggestions.

Once you’ve established yourself as a thought leader, people will naturally seek out your offerings, navigate to your profile and follow you.

Mistake #4: Focusing on quantity over quality

It doesn’t matter if you post once a day or sixteen times a day if you aren’t providing genuine insights. Likewise, you can tout 50,000-person followership and make no sales — as opposed to a highly successful brand with only a few hundred followers.

“For those posting four or five times a day, there’s also fatigue,” Sam says. “Focus on quality.”

Your success is not determined by your posting and engagement frequency.

Social selling as the key to engaging your buyers before they reach sales

One of the strongest ways to leverage social media is to focus on engagement. While buyers can reach out to sales when they are ready to make a purchase, social media serves as a bridge that allows your audience to get to know and trust you before they are necessarily in the market for your product.

“Whether you’re the seller or executive, you have a platform where either your competitors are on LinkedIn already and posting and you need to catch up, or they are not and you have a competitive advantage,” Sam says.

Beyond making posts with great value, building a great personal brand requires showing up and offering the same quality in comments.

“Show up, make a targeted list of people to comment on, then add your thought leadership,” Sam says. “After three or four times commenting, you can connect with them.” 

Those connections can lead to relationships that will foster trust and affinity — which, ultimately, leads to increased sales. Too many people are still using traditional marketing tactics in a modern digital world. Showing up on social media authentically will help you build a personal brand that can convert over and over again.

Want to learn more about building a lasting, authentic personal brand on LinkedIn and other social media platforms? Listen to the full episode of Winning the Challenger Sale where Sam reveals what it takes to build authenticity and credibility and how to leverage social media for prospecting and sales.

To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the Winning The Challenger Sale podcast on our website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or just search for it in your favorite podcast player.

Andee Harris

Andee Harris is CEO of Challenger. Andee brings more than two decades of experience growing and scaling service and technology businesses. She has previously led multiple companies, both as CEO and Senior Vice President, through periods of rapid revenue growth, critical fundraising, and successful acquisition. These companies include Highground (acquired by Vista Equity Partners), TMBC (acquired by ADP), Syndio and Emerging Solutions (acquired by Emtec).