Becoming one of the Top 100 LinkedIn Influencers of 2016

Power profile:  Showcasing Sarah McLachlan and how the chief marketing officer and co-founder of Startmesh became one of the top 100 LinkedIn Influencers of 2016

Sarah McLachlan has an enviable CV. The South-African born, Aussie-based marketing specialist’s career spans a variety of multinational organisations & global tech startups including fashion, retail, e-commerce, communications, health, security and crowd-enablement.

In June 2014, Sarah and fellow co-founders established Startmesh, a tech startup advisory group that backs mid stage startups through to sustainable profitability and whose own aggressive growth trajectory has attracted significant local and international attention.

Fastrack to 2016, when it was announced that Sarah had made it onto the prestigious list of 100 most viewed member profiles on LinkedIn, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, Westpac Group chief executive Brian Hartzer and Martin Hosking, co-founder and chief executive of Redbubble.

This week we interview Sarah and receive some sage advice on how hiring LinkedIn expert Lucy Bingle to up the ante on her LinkedIn platform has benefited her own career.

How long have you been using the Linkedin platform for?

When I moved from South Africa in 2013 , the type of visa I had applied for meant that the most logical option for me at that time was a career in recruitment, and it was during this time that I got into LinkedIn in a big way.

How did your LinkedIn experience benefit Startmesh?

When we established Startmesh in 2014 the number of team members grew quite rapidly, many of whom were were freelancers. As an experienced digital networker, I realised that only a handful were using LinkedIn effectively to showcase themselves or their skills in the best possible light. In order to give everyone who was working with us at the time a subtle nudge, we first engaged Lucy to run a two week crash course in LinkedIn. Obviously having worked in recruitment I knew the value of utilising the platform and the power of sharing content but many in our team were blown away by how adopting a consistent LinkedIn strategy extended their reputation and credibility as professionals in their field.

How did Lucy’s expertise assist with your personal LinkedIn strategy?

During the course, as Lucy took us through what ended up being an eight week LinkedIn program, I became increasingly aware that whilst I had been building the company profile I had neglected my own personal LinkedIn profile. Since then, I have made sure that I am consistently posting relevant content that positions me as a thought leader and specialist in the tech eco-system space.

What are the benefits of being a LinkedIn Influencer?

It took me a little while to process but it has absolutely given me huge credibility as a digital marketing specialist. I naturally enjoy sharing content, and I do spend a lot of time so it was also incredibly rewarding to be recognised for my efforts. LinkedIn is  a powerful tool and so I always ensure part of my marketing strategy involves setting aside time each week to increase my engagement and make relevant and powerful connections within my network. This also works well in reverse, with lots of professionals seeking me out.

What are the chances of making it onto the 2017 Top 100 Linkedin Influencer’s list?

I would love to be in the running for the award again next year but will probably need to push myself in terms of my engagement. Because it has gained so much in popularity and recognition, it’s getting increasingly competitive, I may just have to up my game!


  • It’s super important to make sure you have a consistent profile (this applies across all platforms)
  • Having a professional headshot is key and testimonials are always fantastic.
  • In my experience, the person viewing your profile enjoys reading your background and highlights. I have had a varied career to date and I often receive feedback from people commenting on how interesting and diverse it has been.
  • In a digital world it’s important to maintain consistency in the types of content that you are sharing.
  • Don’t be too spammy and don’t connect to random Linkedin members, be sure to evaluate all connections and be strategic.
  • If you are really serious about creating more opportunities it’s definitely worth the investment of having LinkedIn industry experts like Lucy come onboard. For us it was a total game-changer and the company’s investment in her tailored 8-week program for Startmesh is still paying dividends.

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