Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Using "LinkedIn Skills" to Showcase Your "Personal Product & Service Offerings"

by Vince Rogers
In February of 2011, LinkedIn introduced LinkedIn Skills LinkedIn Skills is a special section that enables users to showcase their "Skills & Expertise". In today's economy, the ability to communicate your skills and talents is more important than just merely listing your career positions and job duties - no matter how impressive they might be. As stated by Pete Skomoroch an official LinkedIn blogger, "....To succeed in the talent economy, it is crucial to showcase your skills and....the expertise you need to get the job done."

Just like any other enterprise, building your Personal Brand consists of identifying your product and service offerings. Your "Personal Product & Service Offerings" may be as simple as Meat Processing or as complex as Investment Banking. Whatever your skills and abilities may be, it is important that they accurately reflect what you have to offer. The salable skills and areas of expertise that you claim to have, they represent the personal goods and services that you have in inventory for sale to a potential consumer. Also, it is important that they be relevant to the type of opportunity that you are pursuing.
To access the Skills and Expertise section and add it you your profile, you must follow these steps:
1) Log in to your LinkedIn Profile

2) Locate the Recommended for you section on the right side of the screen and Add (+) the Skills & Expertise section to your profile
3) Select Edit Profile
4) Scroll down to the the Skills & Expertise section

5) Click "Edit" to Add & Remove Skills and Manage Endorsements

As far as Endorsements are concerned, their usefulness is debatable. They may or may not have an impact on people who view your profile. In many cases, persons who endorse your skills may be familiar with you, but unfamiliar with your career aptitudes. However, the exercise of building your list of Skills & Expertise is primarily meant to help you to take a personal inventory. Gaining and utilizing endorsements is a secondary strategy.
In the upcoming series of articles that comprise the "Creating Your Personal Brand: A 12 Step Success Plan" series, we will discuss a comprehensive strategy for Evaluating Your Skills and Talents.In the meantime, making effective use of the "LinkedIn Skills" section is a powerful way to understand and promote your "Personal Product & Service Offerings". Building your list of "Skills & Expertise" will help you to understand what you have to offer to the world. It will also help viewers to synthesize the other content in your powerful LinkedIn profile.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

20 Questions – Identifying Your Brand Personality

by Vince Rogers
Many of us have played the game 20 Questions. In this game of deductive reasoning, multiple questioners ask up to 20 questions to a single person. The person must ultimately reveal the secret answer that they are holding onto, if the questioners ask the right questions. Asking the right questions can help you to reveal the secrets to discovering your Brand Personality as well.
In their efforts to empower clients, Alphonso Whitfield and Margaret Diggs of Waycross, Georgia based The Vital Portal have devised 20 essential questions that you can also use to help uncover your Brand Personality. According to Whitfield, the Vital Portal is used by “ventures of all sizes to climb the business conditions learning curve quickly and efficiently.”
Investopedia defines Brand Personality as “A set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand name.” Therefore, when it comes to building a Personal Brand, understanding your Brand Personality means understanding YOU.
The 20 Questions that the team at Vital has devised are as follows:
1) What did you aspire to be as a child?
2) If you could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be?
3) What would you say to them?
4) What is your vision of a perfect team?
5) Give us your definition of success.
6) Tell us about the best part of your work.
7) What keeps you awake at night?
8) If you could be a dessert, what would you be and why?
9) What is your favorite word or phrase, the one you tend to use most often?
10) Walk us through a typical day at your current/previous position.
11) Who has been most influential in your life?
12) If you could go back to a specific era in history, which one would you choose and why?
13) What have been the biggest disappointments of your career?
14) What is your favorite way to relax after a long hard day at work?
15) Tell us how you think five co-workers/team members would describe you.
16) What career accomplishments are you most proud of?
17) What are/were your favorite things about your current/previous position?
18) What made you choose this occupation?
19) What behavior(s) did you inherit from your parents?
20) What would be the FIRST thing you would do if you knew today was your last day?
The answers to these 20 Questions can help you to gather the vital information that you need to understand your Brand Personality. Understanding your Brand Personality is an essential, yet often overlooked component of building your Personal Brand. These 20 Questions were designed by Vital to help you gather the information you will need to navigate this process successfully.
Information is without a doubt the most important of my Six Keys to Success. Obtaining the right data in order to make the best possible decisions (not the most conveniently available data) is the key to formulating a winning Success Strategy. This is true whether you are embarking on a personal endeavor, a professional enterprise or taking a risk in any area of your life in which you are seeking to be successful. Ultimately, if you input good data into the formulation of your Success Plan, chances are excellent that you will end up with a plan that should lead you to your desired result.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Creating Your Personal Brand - A 12 Step Success Plan (Introduction)

by Vince Rogers
Through my work as the Principal Change Agent @ Vince Rogers & Associates, I have created two unique sets of concepts that I use to help businesses, non-profits and high achieving individuals to formulate winning "Success Plans" for reaching their desired destinations. They are the "Six Keys to Success" and the “Big Fundamentals of Success Planning”. Based upon these principles, I have developed “Creating Your Personal Brand - A 12 Step Success Plan”. In this series, readers will learn how to create their personal brand by following a definitive 12 step process. 

The series will begin with an overview of this 12 step program. Then readers will be presented with a comprehensive exposition of each individual topic. Upon completion of the series, subscribers will master the process of creating a personal brand. This will empower them to follow the steps to achieving life-long career success.

I have shared similar concepts in my role as the Atlanta Personal Brand Examiner @; as host of the "Business Success" Video Series @;  as creator of the Big Fundamentals Mobile App; as publisher of Disguised Limits the #1 Opportunities and #2 Motivational blog on Networked; and as author of the books "The Very Best of Disguised Limits: Volume(s) 1&2" available @ 

I have also published numerous articles as an Expert Author on the subjects of: Success; Entrepreneurialism; Personal Finance; Public Relations; Productivity; Marketing; Branding; Careers; Presentations; Business and Consulting @ I was chosen as the “Cutting Edge Topic” contributor to the prestigious 2013: Pfeiffer Annual: Consulting I have also been interviewed on the High Velocity Radio and Write Here, Write Now shows @ Atlanta Business RadioX

Please join me as we explore the dynamic process of “Creating Your Personal Brand - A 12 Step Success Plan”. I am certain that you will gain a new perspective on Personal Branding which will empower you to achieve the attainment of your Academic, Career, Business or Non-Profit success goals. Please follow me @ the Disguised Limits blog or subscribe to my Atlanta Personal Brand Examiner column  to be a part of this experience. Thank you in advance for joining me on this exciting journey of discovery and fulfillment.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Atlanta Personal Brand Examiner 3rd Anniversary!!!!


Today, we're celebrating your
3-year anniversary with us!
Thanks so much for all of your hard work and dedication.
We love having you as a member of the team.
Cheers to another year together!

Warm regards,
Atlanta Personal Brand Examiner
Get the Latest News and Information on Personal Branding in Atlanta from
Vince Rogers - 
Atlanta's Personal Branding Expert!!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Adult Education: Using GeorgiaOnmyLine to Raise Your Human Capital

by Vince Rogers

You couldn’t go to college after high school. So you started working. Then you started a family, had kids, and even bought a home. You’ve done okay for yourself, but you believe you could do even better. You try to move up higher in your company, but all of the good jobs require a college degree. You finally come to the conclusion that you have no other choice but to go back to school. Egads! – School at this age?

You envision walking into a crowded classroom and sitting in an uncomfortable desk for hours after a hard day’s work. Even worse is the idea of studying on your weekends off. You struggle to stay awake and try to learn something from this guy standing in the front of the room. Your “professor” is a half interested part-time teacher who took this job for the same reasons you’re going back to school. Now you feel even more out of place when you look around this room full of slackers whose parents are paying their way to attend yet another almost Alma Mater. They’re just hoping that they may someday move out of the basement – the parents that is. The kid could care less.

Fortunately, this is a scene from the olden days. No not the Middle Ages when only the elite were able to go to college. Nor is it a memory from a mere 30 years ago when only a few totally online college courses were first offered. New York Institute of Technology purportedly offered the first "virtual campus" through their American Open University of NYIT in 1984. In 1996 Jones International University lays claim to launching the first regionally accredited fully online university in the United States.

Eventually, online-education would become a serious alternative for many prospective students. This was in large part due to the successful branding strategy of the University of Phoenix. Founded in 1976 as a traditional college for what was then referred to as “non-traditional” students “Phoenix” would ultimately set the standard for on-line education.

The non-traditional student moniker was used to refer to those students who didn’t for various reasons make a direct path to college after high school. Nowadays, according to a 2002 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report, “nontraditional students make up 73 percent of all students enrolled in undergraduate programs, and 39 percent of all undergraduate students are 25 years or older.”Delaying college attendance was once thought to be the exception, now it has now become commonplace.

The University of Phoenix was founded by the pioneer of “for profit” education, John Sperling. He believed that "working adult students were often invisible on traditional campuses and treated as second-class citizens.” The University of Phoenix started their online program in 1989. The program became very attractive by providing students from all over the country with the ability to gain a college degree from a “name-brand” recognized academic institution. However, over time the success of “Phoenix” opened the door to institutions that weren’t as reputable as their authentic sounding names might suggest. They offered academic instruction and engaged in financial practices that were not nearly of the same high-caliber.

For many years most traditional colleges and universities saw the online path as a distinctly separate way to earn a college degree. Eventually, many would have a change of philosophy and become responsive to offering the on-line model. They recognized that the internet did not just represent competition for classroom instruction, but opportunity for traditional colleges. It would ultimately be seen as yet another way that students could gain an education in a changing world. Now through such programs as the Harvard Extension School and the CIT (Computer Information Technology) program at the University of Southern California, students young and old, working or unemployed or working toward a first Bachelor’s or PhD. can earn a degree online from the most legitimate providers.

One of the most innovative programs for on-line education exists through the consortium of public colleges and universities located in GeorgiaGeorgiaONmyLINE provides access to “….public higher education, [by] providing you with a database of online and distance education programs offered through the 31 accredited institutions within the University System of Georgia.” TitleTown USA which ESPN named Valdosta, Georgia in 2008.

It is a truly innovative idea that enables the possibility for a young person to gain the credentials to enter the growing healthcare industry by earning an Associates of Science in Nursing at Georgia Perimeter College. On the other end of the spectrum, a busy City Planner could potentially earn a Doctor of Public Administration degree from the prestigious Valdosta State University – the flagship sports powerhouse of
GeorgiaOnmyLine represents some of the most innovative thinking in “higher learning” today. With GeorgiaOnmyLine, there exist no concerns about the quality or accreditation of the school, or the price and affordability of the programs. In most cases the courses are taught by regular instructors and the costs are the same as the on-campus options. Also, rather than individually researching the hundreds of programs offered at the various University System of Georgia schools, GeorgiaOnmyLine serves as a central sources for access to information about all of the on-line programs offered at the various state schools. Students can also use the website to:
  • Research Georgia’s 31 public institutions offering online higher education programs
  • Browse through degree programs and courses, including details such as admissions processes, tuition, technical requirements and credit hours
  • Search for programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate levels that fit your specific educational and lifestyle-related needs
  • Streamline and simplify the process of finding the right program for you
GeorgiaOnmyLine also provides students who may not be sure if college is right for them with an opportunity to try the coursework out in the comfort of their own home. Older students, working adults, persons with disabilities and others with physical challenges may find the on-line environment more conducive to learning and earning a college degree. While pursuing your Bachelors of Science degree in Education at the University of Georgia, unfortunately you may miss out on watching the “Dawgs” flounce the Florida Gators “between the hedges”. On the other hand, you won’t have to worry about finding your roommates pet iguana in your sock drawer while you earn your Masters in Computer Science degree at Georgia Tech. All things considered, GeorgiaOnmyLine provides students from across Georgia with the opportunity to attend some of the most prestigious universities in the world, while earning some of the most useful college degrees available today.

For more information please visit

Monday, August 5, 2013

Alert the Media!

Using On-line Press Releases to Promote Your Personal Brand

by Vince Rogers

What if you did something that was really important. Something that people actually needed to know about. How would you get the word out?
These days, social media sites are flooded with self promoters posting links, “tweeting tweets” and sharing stories about their various accomplishments. Many of these stories may be entertaining, but they aren’t really newsworthy. On top of that, the news cycle for social media can only be a few minutes and reach only a relatively small amount of people. Most of the people who do see it are usually people who you already know. They would probably find out about your great news anyway. 
So how do you get your message across to a broad audience of people who can truly benefit from the information?
Sometimes to really get your message "out there", you may have to resort to using tried and true media sources. However, unless you are already a well known celebrity or prominent organization, finding newspapers, magazines, and radio or television stations that will cover your great “news” may be an uphill battle. On the other hand, with the emerging popularity of “new media”, bloggers and the aforementioned social media options, traditional media outlets are also under some pressure to find fresh news ideas. As a tactic for building your personal brand, a powerful way to gain media attention for your story is to issue an online press release.
Online press release services such as PRLog; PRweb and i-Newswire offer various free and paid distribution packages. These platforms make it easy for Public Relations non-professionals to create professional looking press releases. If you think your news is of a higher level and you have expectations that it will raise your profile significantly, you may want to hire a professional to create and distribute your press release. However, with either route you take, there is no guarantee that your press release will be picked up by the media.
The most essential factor in determining if your press release is picked up by the media is whether it truly lives up to the most narrowly defined definition of “news”. Sometimes determining what is news and what is not can be a very “grey area”. For instance, announcing a sale at your store is not news. However, announcing that you will give away a new car to a selected shopper during a sale at your store is news. Examples of other possible newsworthy events are as follows:
  • Introducing New Product or Service Offerings
  • Top Management Promotion or Retirement Announcements
  • Getting Published in a Prestigious Publication
  • New Plant or Retail Outlet Openings or Closings
  • Sponsorship or Hosting of Charity Events or Fundraisers
Now here’s the bad news. Even when the information is truly newsworthy your press release still may not get picked up. Now here’s the good news. Issuing press releases can help you build your brand in other ways. The circulation of the press release can enhance your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is a measure of the effectiveness and reach of your online presence. Also, your press release may be read by other audiences such as organizations looking for an expert speaker, or a potential new client or employer. Press releases may be a tool from the “Stone Age”, but they are still a powerful tool that can be used to build your personal brand today.
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Vince Rogers is the Principal Change Agent at Vince Rogers & Associates 
Vince Rogers and Associates works with businesses, non-profits and high achieving individuals to formulate winning "Success Plans" for reaching their desired destinations. 
Essentially they help for-profit and non-profit enterprises optimize their productivity by strategically managing their financial and non-financial resources.