Drawing upon his extensive background in neuroscience, psychology, marketing communications, sales, broadcast journalism, public speaking, and improvisational comedy, JD Gershbein is blazing a trail as one of the most original personalities in social media.
Since the moment he discovered LinkedIn, he has studied it like a calling and dedicated his life to helping others realize its immense potential. His ability to motivate people to embrace their uniqueness and sally forth on the site has earned him the moniker of “The LinkedIn Catalyst.”
As social media became the vogue, JD transitioned away from his traditional marketing communications practice and established a consultancy focused on LinkedIn profile writing and the teaching of LinkedIn best practices. The word on JD spread quickly, and he soon became an in-demand speaker at conferences, trade shows, and sales meetings, as well as on college campuses.
As CEO of Owlish Communications, JD provides unrivaled strategic direction to individuals and companies seeking to harness the power of LinkedIn and translate those efforts into real world business results. He is well-known as an innovator in LinkedIn profile design, and a pioneer in the design of LinkedIn education. JD has developed a unique viewpoint on LinkedIn strategy, which has earned worldwide acclaim as a thought leader in personal branding and social networking.
Finding Owlish Communications
Revered for its historical significance, extraordinary physical attributes, instincts, and iconic links to wisdom and spirituality, the owl holds a special place in JD’s heart. When the time came to name his company, he went with his gut instinct and chose the creature he has studied so extensively and to which he most closely identifies.
“The owl is the ultimate hunter,” explains JD. “She is built for speed. Firm in purpose, and with all senses engaged, she moves in stealth. At the right moment, she strikes with power, precision and resolve. You don’t see or hear her coming, but the impact is unmistakable. That is how I view my brand.”
Studying the Human Condition Online
An astute observer of human behavior, JD brings a deep understanding of neuroscience, psychology, social science, and the humanities to his practice. He understands how the brain processes and interprets raw data on an Internet page, converts it into usable information, and effects a positive behavioral change that drives business growth.
Since 2006, JD has focused his practice on behavioral communication and personal branding for business professionals interested in tapping the economic potential of LinkedIn. Having grown up in the healthcare arena, he brings the empathy of a healer to his work. He is sensitive to the challenges imposed on professionals today in learning how to effectively use the online media, and draws upon his emotional intelligence in helping others affect positive change.
Contributions to Broadcast Media
Known for his razor-sharp wit and freewheeling, humor-driven communication style, JD has become a go-to source for television news outlets, radio talk show hosts, and podcasters looking to educate their audiences on LinkedIn for business. JD has been featured on FOX TV News Chicago and on CBS TV News in Washington, D.C.; in print in the Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and Crain’s Chicago Business; and is a regular in-studio guest on WGN AM Radio. Says JD, “I never met a microphone I didn’t like.”
JD’s broadcasting skills, honed from his radio and television days in high school and college, will soon be on display to a global audience. His Internet TV show, “The Thought Leaders with JD Gershbein,” is in line for a launch in 2017. The program will be done in an unscripted conversational format and feature top professionals who have leveraged the online media to create extraordinary personal brands.
Advancing Social Media Marketing as an Academic Discipline
In April 2011, JD was hand-picked by his alma mater, the Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, to design and teach the School’s first-ever social media marketing strategy course to the MBA candidates. His syllabus integrates social media principles with traditional marketing applications.
By virtue of his experiential knowledge, JD prepares his students for real world challenges in business and enhances their marketability to companies looking to leverage the social media platforms. He is the only practitioner in the world who combines LinkedIn profile writing, corporate LinkedIn consulting to the Fortune 500 sector, and instruction at the graduate school level at a major academic institution into his value proposition.
Cartoons That Mean Business™
A chronic doodler since early childhood, JD is also a well-known business cartoonist whose artwork has been widely showcased across a variety of media. He has contributed business cartoons to the Chicago Cubs and other professional sports publications. His business comics have also been featured in the trade journals of professional selling, financial services, real estate and health care as well as in books, advertisements and newsletters. JD is the creator of The Handshake Club™, a universe of cartoon businesspeople who channel his tongue-in-cheek take on social media.
JD grew up in Wilmette, Illinois, on Chicago’s North Shore, and attended New Trier West High School in Northfield, Illinois. He received a B.A. Degree in English from the University of Cincinnati’s McMicken College of Arts & Sciences. He earned an M.S. Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Psychology (where he successfully defended a thesis on humor in advertising as a determinant of buying behavior), and an M.B.A. Degree with Honors in Marketing Communications from the IIT Stuart School of Business.