Our June Craft Marketing event at Vintage Brewing was all about putting your best foot forward on LinkedIn and creating a personal brand that drives business growth. Dean DeLisle, founder and CEO of Forward Progress and creator of Social Jack, has an easy-to-follow recipe for LinkedIn success that he shared in his presentation, “How to Rock Your LinkedIn Personal Brand: Building Your Influence.”

Dean emphasized the importance of personal connections in business, sharing the story of how he worked his way up from the hospitality industry to the corporate boardroom. His first job in a restaurant was where he met influencers that led him to become a crew member on a yacht and then a leader on the night shift at the first Merrill Lynch data center in Chicago. Dean has spent his 30+ year career building on those early lessons, and using the power of networking to increase his influence and start two successful businesses where he teaches others the same skills.

Most of us have amassed quite a network of LinkedIn connections, but are we truly connecting with them on a personal level? By developing a system to build actual relationships with your connections, you can leverage your network to meet your personal and professional goals.

A key component of relationship-building and creating an effective personal brand is building your story. Identify your goals, and then be authentic – share how you got started, your passion for what you do, and the turning point that brought you to your current position. Make sure that your story reflects who you truly are so people know that you’re both human and professional. Start out by “writing for the wastebasket”, as though no one will ever read it, and edit it into a story that reflects your professional brand and theme.

Once you’ve crafted your authentic story, make sure that you are consistently telling that same story in all your online profiles – and set your LinkedIn profile settings to public so people can find you! Use your LinkedIn story in your Facebook work profile and on any other social media so that anyone who Googles you is seeing the same digital impression across platforms.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that’s used by decision-makers and influencers across industries. Learning to maximize your profile and increase your digital business influence will help you to meet your professional goals and build your credibility as a business influencer.


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