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The Business of Meetings

Jun 28, 2022

We are delighted to be speaking with Leanne Calderwood today! Leanne trains people in the meetings and event industry. She is an expert in personal branding and has tons of experience with venue selection and meeting planning. 

In this episode, Leanne shares her experience. She talks about personal branding and positioning and explains how to leverage LinkedIn. She also shares some actionable tips for tweaking your LinkedIn profile. 

We hope you enjoy listening to today’s informative conversation with Leanne Calderwood!


Are you ready to step into the spotlight and stand out from your competition? Let me help guide the way!

I’m here to simplify the world of personal branding and LinkedIn so you can create a compelling brand and start attracting leads and opportunities. 

Why should we be building our brands and LinkedIn presence in hospitality? 

  • ⭐To increase trust with our customers 
  • ⭐To shorten the path-to-purchase for potential clients 
  • ⭐To differentiate yourself from your competition 
  • ⭐To attract leads to your product/service 
  • ⭐To attract opportunities to you personally! 

Here is whom I love to help: 

  • 📚Hotel and Destination Sales Managers 
  • 📚Meeting, Event, and Conference Planners 
  • 📚Hospitality Professionals and Executives

Leanne’s story

Leanne fell into the industry 22 years ago. After graduating from university with a degree in physical education, she started working at a local YMCA, teaching leadership conferences. That changed the course of her career, and she got into meeting planning after that. Then, about fifteen years ago, she fell in love with hotel contracts and the relationship between the planner, the venues, and the partners with whom they were working. Since then, she has been doing what she loves the most- cultivating relationships with planners and site selection. 


When the pandemic hit in 2020, Leanne decided to take all the knowledge she had built while growing her business, using LinkedIn, and creating her brand to create something to help others. She still does some site selection on the side, but she focuses on helping other people build their businesses using personal brand tactics and the LinkedIn platform.

Making a change

Leanne had a moment of panic when the world changed, and the industry evaporated in March 2020. Her panic dissolved instantly, however, when she realized she had the opportunity to explore her passion for LinkedIn and the brand that had served her so well. She knew she had a lot to learn. But she had a lot to offer.

Creating content and connecting

Leanne began creating content every day for her community on LinkedIn. She also started talking to people on podcasts and LinkedIn live shows.

Leanne’s file

Leanne had a file where she saved everything she was successful with on the LinkedIn platform. It was her informal way of testing new theories in branding or on LinkedIn.

A digital course 

Leanne used her file to create a digital course that taught people how to use LinkedIn, optimize their LinkedIn profile, grow their networks, and start creating content on a potentially intimidating platform. She launched her first digital course about six months after Covid hit.

Another course

Leanne now has another course, and several one-on-one and group training modules, to help people with their LinkedIn journeys.

A success file

There is power in keeping a success file because you can use it to uplift others. Or you can lean on it when things are not going your way.

Your profile represents your brand

On LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to create a robust personal profile. Leanne points out that your profile on LinkedIn is a representation of your brand. Your subject matter expertise and thought leadership shine on the LinkedIn platform!

Facebook profiles

Facebook is more about your personal journey and experiences. So a Facebook profile is more about content than about representing your brand. 

How to leverage LinkedIn:

  1. Optimize your brand’s representation.
  2. Grow your networks so that people can look at the personal brand representation you have created.
  3. Create content around the area in which you see yourself as a thought leader.

An opportunity

LinkedIn provides an opportunity to share your areas of expertise and the things you know professionally with others. Leanne feels it is a disservice when we keep our gifts to ourselves.

Colliding worlds

People’s personal and professional worlds sometimes clash on LinkedIn. The reality is, however, that people’s personal and professional worlds also tend to collide in real life. That became more evident during Covid when many people started working from home!

Personal content

Personal content that works well on LinkedIn is storytelling that has encouraging professional learning content.

Positive influences

Avoid having divisive content on social media. Grow your networks and followings to find more positive influences. That will fill your home feed with positive messages of inspiration and encouragement.  

Growing a network and building relationships on LinkedIn

Even though it is professional, LinkedIn is essentially a relationship platform. Building a network requires one-on-one transactions, so personalize your message when you want to connect with someone. That will show them that you have taken the time to learn about them, found something in common with them professionally, and are interested in watching their professional LinkedIn journey.

A personalized invitation

In LinkedIn invitation with a personalized message has a 75% chance of being accepted. 

Establishing a relationship

Never try to sell something to someone straight after connecting with them on LinkedIn. (That is known as pitch-slapping) Rather comment about something in their LinkedIn content. When you comment on a piece of their content they will receive a notification. That will put you on their radar and they will want to get to know you a bit better. Only tell them what you do or suggest talking about something you can collaborate on after you have spent time getting to know them and discussing the things you have in common.

Maintaining a network and nurturing relationships

Keep commenting on the content of those with whom you have connected. You can also nurture a relationship by sending someone a direct message with an article you read if you think they may find it interesting. 


Always provide more value than you take on your LinkedIn journey. Feed into people through your content, your comments, and your direct messages.

Personal branding

Be consistent across all the elements of your LinkedIn profile, and have a cohesive and consistent story. That will help cement your personal brand and give people a sense of who you are, what you do, and how you help people. 

Differentiate yourself

Highlight the unique aspects of what you do and the things you do best, and capitalize on them. That will differentiate you from others in your field, and people will remember you for it, even if it is something small.


Leanne facilitates a community of 15,000 people on Clubhouse. She and an Australian branding expert spend an hour each week discussing branding, inbound marketing, and social selling.

Social audio

Leanne firmly believes there is a place for social audio, especially as people grow their brands. LinkedIn has added LinkedIn Audio, and when Leanne can access it, she will start having conversations for the meetings and events industry through her LinkedIn audio channel to hash out some of the problems people in the industry are experiencing.


Video is a good way to build connections with people when you are not sitting face-to-face with them. Video helps you build trust with your audience and grow your brand faster.

Start with one platform

Start with one platform for your personal brand. Only add another one when you have become consistent with your posting schedule.


Connect with Eric

On LinkedIn

On Facebook

On Instagram

On Website

Connect with Leanne Calderwood

On her website

On LinkedIn    

Leanne Calderwood, Personal Branding for Hospitality on LinkedIn

Books mentioned:

The Technology of Success by Susan Ford Collins

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout