LinkedIn Expert J.D. Gershbein Talks about the Biggest CRO Challenge and Being a Chicago Cubs Fan

Editor’s Note: With Conversion Conference Chicago just around the corner, we thought it’s about time you get to know more about our speakers. From this day until the conference, we’ll be featuring a speaker and their answers to conversion and event-related questions.

You can join in and engage our speakers in pre-conference networking by sending in your own questions through email, Twitter, or our Facebook Wall. Big thanks to @In4mationHQ and @gtslawfirm for sending in their question (see question no. 2). Just like them, you too can have your burning questions for our speakers answered and featured here!


Be honest – do you really know how to use social media to drive your business? If the answer is a Yes, then congratulate yourself for being a genius.

If the answer is a big NO…

Then you should really meet Conversion Conference Chicago speaker, social branding specialist J.D. Gershbein. J.D. is the CEO of Owlish Communications, a company which specializes in LinkedIn education. At a time when few people really know how to make social media work for businesses, LinkedIn experts like J.D. are emissaries sent by the social media gods to help hapless – and possibly hopeless – mortals like us who can’t figure out why we just can’t seem to make customers, clients, and prospects out of the 1 billion social media users (according to Ingrid Luden on TechCrunch).

Plus, J.D.’s really nice and fun to chat with. Here’s J.D. on the biggest conversion optimization challenge, who he’s looking forward to see at Conversion Conference, and his fave color and Chicago hangout:

1). What do you think is the biggest challenge encountered by folks who are new to conversion rate optimization?

I think the nature of conversion as a concept is difficult for many people to grasp.  Fact is that most landing pages are not set up for maximizing results (hence, the advent of the industry) and sometimes the data collected does not align with the marketing strategy.  Many Websites still don’t present a well-elucidated call to action.  I think the greatest challenge is in understanding the behaviors involved and the context in which ad messages are received.

2). What’s your favorite color for encouraging conversion? Why?

Blue.  My favorite color, period.  People respond to blue on a computer ~ very powerful visual cues.  It’s a part of everything I’ve ever done online.   

3). Which speaker(s) are you most excited to hear, beside yourself, at Conversion Conference Chicago?

I shared a panel discussion with Tim Ash at the Power of eMarketing Conference in San Francisco back in April, 2011.  I first learned how insightful he was back then.  I am looking forward to learning from someone who is really ensconced in the industry and has focused a business on conversion science.

4).What’s your favorite Chicago hangout? Why?

Wrigley Field.  I grew up a Chicago Cub’s fan and my most powerful memories of childhood are from that ballpark.  Going to games is still a way of life for me today.  It’s not my fault that the team hasn’t won a World Series in 104 years.

Got a question for JD that can’t wait till the Conference? Post it on the comments section below, tweet it to us, or post it on our facebook wall and we’ll make sure he gets it.

About J.D.

Drawing upon his background in business writing, traditional marketing, industrial/organizational psychology, neuroscience, broadcasting and improvisational comedy, J.D. Gershbein is blazing a trail as one of the most original personalities in social media. Since 2006, he has specialized in the art and science of LinkedIn. J.D. is a globally acclaimed speaker and frequent media contributor who is helping advance the collective awareness of LinkedIn and inspiring opportunity-oriented professionals in all walks of business. He has been featured on FOX TV News and WGN AM Radio. He blogs for NBC Chicago and SUCCESS Magazine, and writes feature stories for LinkedIn & Business (Li & B) Magazine.

Additionally, he serves a LinkedIn strategic adviser to several notable Chicago business organizations and civic groups. He is also Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business where he teaches the school’s first-ever course in social media. His first book, The Connecting Brain, an exploration of the behaviors in and around social business, is slated for publication in spring, 2012

See J.D. Live!

Join J.D. in his session on “Making the Connection: Anatomy of a LinkedIn Group Conversion” speaking at Conversion Conference 2012 on June 25th and 26th in Chicago. See the full agenda and read more about this session. You can also follow J.D. on Twitter for some pre-conference networking.

P.S. Regular Pricing for Conversion Conference Chicago ends Friday, June 22, 2012. Don’t wait the last minute, register now to enjoy some savings while you still can (and before passes are gone!).

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