Dean DeLisle: Steps to Becoming a Digital Business Influencer [PART1]

Are you looking for the steps to becoming a digital business influencer?

In this 15-Minute Strategy podcast, Dean DeLisle shares 8 tips to business influencer nirvana.

He shares the good, the bag, and the ugly of navigating the thought-leader journey as well as the number one thing to have in place as you start.

If you are ready to become a digital business influencer, this 15-minutes with Dean will be priceless. 

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About the Expert

Dean Delisle

For over 30 years, Dean has demonstrated his ability to accelerate companies, stimulate business development, and improve operational efficiency. In 1981 he started his career at Merrill Lynch within Computer Operations, helping to launch the first telecommunication systems to delivery trades from all over the world, and clear through the Chicago headquarters.

He left to start his own technology firm, to then develop call center technologies for Sears, Discover, Blue Cross, MBNA and others in the insurance and credit card industries. Then as technology evolved, he transferred his skills from the back office to the front office, applying his skills to CRM and front line online automation. He quickly adapted and found ways to assist clients with channel sales development with the use of technology, digital education and onboarding methodologies. In 2002, he developed a channel support platform that was used by companies like Baxter Labs, Computer Associates and other Fortune 500 companies.


Full Transcript

George Thomas 0:08
Ready to spend 15 minutes with the experts you admire these strategy sessions from thought leaders brought directly to your ears. Welcome to the sprocket talk 15 minute strategy podcast where every week George B Thomas uncovers the challenges that sales, marketing and service professionals face and of course, the strategies to help them overcome their biggest hurdles. So sit back and set your sights on growth with these bite sized conversations filled with your strategy gold. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 15 minute strategy pod hates rocking chairs. It's your boy George V. Thomas. And we're back for another episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast where we try to give you some strategy in 15 minutes or less and you know, that usually never works out work typically a little bit over But hey, at least you have some action items that you can take and roll forward with today. I'm super excited because well I'm always super excited but because we also have Dean DeLisle here and we're going to talk About a interesting topic, we're going to try to dig as deep as we can. And my gut tells me this will probably end up being two episodes that we will probably share back to back because we're going to go over some tips of being a digital influencer. But Dean, before we dive into the deep end of the pool, why don't you let the sprockets here? So the viewers, the listeners know who you are, what you do and where you do it.

Dean DeLisle 1:24
So thanks for having me on today. I always love hanging with you, George.

Unknown Speaker 1:29
Not only do I learn, I have fun and you know, I'm in a superheroes too. So you know, I'm sure we'll figure that out. So in my world, you know, I'm in my 15th year with our main digital agency forward progress. And we've been helping to humanize the brand before it came a term but we were always about helping brands either connect with good influencers or business influencers on the outside and we did that for a long time. And then we said, well, heck, all these brands have great people on the inside. What about those people So then we help developing personal brand story influence for the people on the inside. And we're really excited because we get, we get to give life to those people that normally otherwise might be just working in the back. Maybe they're engineers for a software company who knows who they are. But I always say that the cooking shows inspired us early on because they had the chef come from behind the kitchen onto the television set. And we're like, oh my gosh, it's not just Julia Child. There's Emerald, there's all these cooking people. And look, they're influencers right in cooking, and then they create restaurant chains. And I said, Well, why shouldn't everybody have that shot? So we love creating business influencers, whether it's inside the company or connecting you to ones that are outside the company, Dean, I love this conversation because there's so many things and so many reasons why it's important for not only brands to be influencers, but for those micro influencers or people inside the seats on the bus ride to success to all We'll be building and helping kind of that that vehicle move, if you will. It's funny when I asked you to be on the podcast, I was like, Hey, what do you want to talk about? You are very specific compared to some of the other guests that we get on. You literally typed out how to get found and be known, which by the way, is something very important in this digital space. And then XYZ steps eight, which we'll probably cover for in this episode, eight steps to digital business influence. So with that said, when you think digital business influence or digital influence, so that the sprockets here's the viewers, listeners understand the starting line at which we're starting, what are the foundational pieces that we all need to understand to cop along and really get the value out of the next tips we're going to talk about? Yeah, so I think the most part it actually delves into step one, which is why why do it right, so I started off teaching grad school courses and helping graduate school students. Try to or not try to but generate career Movement before they graduated, they all had this stigma that drove me crazy and said, Well, when I get my graduate degree, I will do this. And I'm like, Well, why are we waiting? You could build your network and build your influence. Right now you have a lot of con, you have a lot of skills that you've built, there's classes that you're taking, why are you waiting? So then we did the study and said for people that want to move on their career, and we're whether we're speakers or business owners, or entrepreneurs or salespeople, we're always building our career. That's the foundation, right? We're building our influence in our career. So I said, you know, why is that important? I said, Well, because you make more money, you get promoted, you get hired, you don't have to wait for the next gig and take 20 interviews, you can pick where you want to work, it opens up all kinds of opportunities. So I think first and foremost, it's about the individual being able to get to, wherever, whatever they want, and pretty much name their dough, you know how much they're gonna make monetize themselves. So whether it's in career or in sales, or you're a business owner trying to monetize and build a business, we really want to understand what's important to you. Why? Why do you care about about doing all that? So it's not just about making money, but why do you want to make that money? And we really get to the root of who they are. And what's important to them.

George Thomas 5:17
Yeah, I love that. Dean, there's so much there. First of all, if you're listening this and you don't know what your why is, that is a great place to start. And then like, Who doesn't like opportunities, who doesn't want to be able to pick where they want to work and name their price tag? I mean, those are all great things. And you have to ask yourself, why are you waiting? That's the piece that I want to take away from that segment. Why are you waiting? Why are you not starting today, Dean, for those of us that want to start today that want to master this game of digital business influence? What's the first step that we should be taking?

Dean DeLisle 5:56
Yeah, so first step is really going after those goals. goal. So the first thing is what are you doing? I think the next step is, you know, and for some of us, George, it's thought leadership, you know, you know, I think everyone needs to think about that and, and really choose if they're going to own that, in terms of their goals. I think some people are sales driven. So they want to get appointments, and they want to get specific things that are measurable, that they know that their new journey is going to work for them. Right. So so maybe you get x number of referrals today are no referrals. And you would love to get, you know, five referrals a week, two referrals a week, whatever that means to you. And then we always had people monetize. Yes, so whether it's career driven or sales driven, it's like, Okay, if I can generate, you know, five referrals to proposal requests and close one deal per week, for X amount of dollars, you know, it's, I can be on track for my numbers, or I could even expand my numbers, right. So we really dig into the essence of The goals and the monetization for each individual. And so when we're in an organization, we ask them, what's their career desire? How much do they what kind of an increase Do you want to make next year? You know, is thought leadership important to you? Do you want to be a speaker? So we really dig into, you know, the what is important to them as well as that way? So that's always the first step.

George Thomas 7:22
So Dean my question, because it may sound like a simple question, but I think it's very difficult for normal human beings. When you're plotting out that goal, you're plotting out that journey. The word that I heard that rang in my ear was measure, you know, over time, how have you seen or how do you enable individuals or corporations to measure and visually see the success that they're having, because let's just be honest, this is a long game. And so being able to pay attention to those micro moments and measure those micro moments are very important to us staying consistent moving forward, and actually Seeing that the needle is moving. So let's keep going. So back to my question, how do you actually measure that and pay attention to it?

Unknown Speaker 8:10
There's, there's a couple of easy steps. So we always say before you log in, keep this keep these things in mind that I'm about to tell you. So first and foremost, before you log in to LinkedIn, or Twitter or your social networks, why are you doing it? And what is it for? Right? So that goal, always have that goal, front and top of mind? I have a vision board in front of me, that shows all my visions for the current year and my goals, then it's like, who are who do I want to connect to that can help me get to that goal. So who's my ideal target? It could be an ideal partner. It could be some, you know, it all depends who's going to help me get there. And we actually have a whole process by which we build a team. We'll see if we can get to that process together here today. But I want to know who you want to connect to and then what do you want to come out with? Do you want Come out with a high quality appointment that could lead to referrals. Are you looking for partners, someone you want to partner with. So just imagine if you could condense just knowing what you're doing this for what you want to get out of it, who you want to connect to. And if we show you just a few easy steps to log into LinkedIn and go get that referral or that appointment, within a couple of minutes, you would look at being on social media a whole lot different. You wouldn't just go in there and be posting stuff and liking stuff and leaving, you would be coming out with results and relationships and connections that matter. Each and every moment of each and every part of that experience. Does that make sense? It absolutely makes sense. And it's funny because the word you would be doing social media with a strategy comes to mind. Strategy sounds so hard, George, come on. I'm talking about we call them power moves. We don't even call it strategy anymore. We're like, let us worry about the big words the strategy, we want you to be able to have power moves to continue And so could you imagine, if not just the Salesforce but a whole organization operated that way? What would the power of that brand in that company become? And the culture we affect the culture to Yeah, huge movement. So okay, so we're measuring this. We've got our goals. Now we're working on power moves, aka strategy when we're going out to become a digital business influencer. What's the next thing that we have to put in place as we move forward? Yeah, so before we get all crazy in the power of moves, George, we have to have our story down. Okay, so so just taking us through the steps, we we want to have an evaluation of the target people that we have, and we have a clear ideal target, because when we're telling our story, it should be me talking to you, George, if you're my ideal target, I should literally have a picture of George right on my desk when you love if everybody had a picture of you on their desk. So all of a sudden I have a picture of George and I actually tell people take your ideal client Put that picture on your desk as you're as you're building your story. And we take them through a whole cool exercise of personal professional milestones, key elements of who they are. And we have them imagine as if they're telling that story to one person, not an audience, but to a person because human to human connections, word counts. So I just want to empower everybody out there that if you look at your social media today, is it accurately telling your story of who you are, and who you have become and where you want to go?

George Thomas 11:33
How about that powerful, right, that's powerful right there. What What I will say, sprockets ears, viewers, listeners, you need to hit the rewind button, and just listen to that segment. Again, because the story your story is so powerful and understanding your story and how it impacts the others that you're going to be connecting with is huge. Just hit the rewind button. While

Unknown Speaker 11:54
I'm thinking about this, we're all unique, we are all unique, I mean but we also have connecting points and Common. And because we're all unique, that means you have to tell the best parts of your story. I can't, even though I admire George, I'm not going to tell my story in the light as if I'm George, I need to tell the story of the things that matter to me that are important that I want people to know about. Because I'm Dean, just because we both love Marvel and superheroes. That's cool. We both love a whole bunch of other things together, but I'm still an individual. George is an individual and you're an individual. So please tell your story.

George Thomas 12:28
Okay, so now I have to dig in because you kind of hit you hit a little button there in that in that part for me. And that is you said, you got to tell the best part of your story, this fun thing about human beings that typically we're our worst critics. So how do you decipher, uncover, bring to the top what you think is the best but what actually will be the best for that avatar for that persona for that target market that you're going for? How do you diagnose or kind of understand that in your own brain to deliver. truly the best, you know, because I'm again, I might like Marvel but man DC people, they're like, yeah, you're a joke. Right? So how do you how do you navigate that?

Unknown Speaker 13:11
Well, we all know the truth.

George Thomas 13:13
Yeah, of course, I'm making light because Marvel is the best. But how do you navigate that of like? Well, I think that's the best. But is this going to be the best? Talk us through that knee?

Unknown Speaker 13:23
Here's the thing. I think you have to, you have to have a starting point. So we always say, are right for the wastebasket. Okay, pretend that nobody's ever gonna see it. And then as you're as you're building, we have people build a trusted team. And the next step, we call it the ideal network or the ideal team. And so you should already have people around you that are willing to tell you the truth. You know, George, that one person that comes up to you when you're at a conference, and they're like, Hey, I just, you know, they fix your collar, they pick the piece of lint off. They're like, hey, George, you have some broccoli in your teeth, by the way. So it's like they tell you those things. Those are the people You want In fact, I just came off of a shout out to Tom summer felt a new connection of mine. But this guy, literally I said, Hey, would you mind looking at some of my material and telling me the truth, this guy I just met him wrote me two pages, two pages of content that told me the truth of what he liked what he didn't like, I've never had any, I've paid people to do that haven't done that. I'm like, Tom, you're on my team, whether you know it or not. So the idea is, go to people who are going to tell you the truth that really are with you and understand who you are. And that, that it could be a client, it could be somebody that you've known forever, that you just haven't had this authentic conversation. But it's amazing when you can get someone that you can be in a truth based conversation with and they will tell you what's resonating and what's not. And then test your story in conversation. When you meet somebody test the story and ask them, what are they about how did they get here, what's important to them, and then have that flip around, you know, have that flip around and Have them you tell your story and see how it resonates and read that person face to face

George Thomas 15:05
sprockets ears. Listen again, I'm gonna tell you a rewind. I'll probably this whole episode to be honest with you, there's so much in there. If you truly are on this journey of being a digital influencer, this last piece though, truth, truth is so important and getting the truth from other people is vital to your success. However, if you're going to ask for the truth, you have to prepare yourself to be ready for it. You have to have that thick skin you can't get upset or frustrated with what they're delivering you. You have to be able to receive it and unpack it mentally on your own and figure out what is good, what is bad, what you're going to use and what you might not use, but be open to the truth. The other thing Dini said in there is test your story. Once you have that story, test it, test it, run it. I think of the great speakers, the great comedians, you know, they are always working there material reworking it, the timing the pace, all of that good stuff. Dean, here's the thing. I know we're gonna go into Episode Two. We're gonna do it next week. We've already gone probably a little bit over the 15 minute for the 15 minute strategy podcast. This is a great place to end and pick up next week if people don't want to reach out to you if they want to connect. Where do you want to send them?

Unknown Speaker 16:23
You know, they can go to Dean DeLisle, calm DLSL calm they can hit me up on any of the social channels and then social jack calm is our Academy where you can get some of these classes and nuggets for free if you like. There's plenty of materials to have and then and then if you go on Amazon and type my name in it's the only book I have out there it's called first it's about you know how to be a digital business influencer and it's really a street guide and it tells my story and hopefully it inspires you to tell yours

Unknown Speaker 16:55
so sprockets ears, get that book, get your goals. Get your story test it and be ready to become a digital influencer and we'll see you on the next episode.

George Thomas 17:05
Did you enjoy this episode of the 50 minute strategy podcast, we'd love to know. leave a rating and written review wherever you listen to your favorite shows and keep that learning going by visiting sprocket talk comm sign up for your free membership and in that membership area, you can find bundled episodes where we combined like strategies to help you grow better make the world better and share this episode with your friends and co workers who may be battling this same obstacle. You can always reach out to George Thomas on Twitter with questions or guest suggestions or just to talk about your favorite Marvel superhero and go out into the world and leverage this strategy for your success. And we'll see you in the next episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast.