Sunday, October 20, 2013

Using Visual Content to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile

by Vince Rogers

When it comes to career and professional branding,LinkedIn is the most powerful tool available on the World Wide Web. It enables users to manage a well conceived and consistent on-linepersonal branding strategy. LinkedIn empowers them to control the dynamic content they share and the important people they share it with. Now LinkedIn has responded to the needs of savvy professionals who desire to add unique visual content to their profiles as well. This enables users to further distinguish themselves from their competition.
Standing out from the competition is the primary objective for achieving success with your branding strategy on LinkedIn. In the process of creating a powerful LinkedIn profile, most people simply strive for completeness and accuracy. They rely on effectively communicating their skills verbally. The only advantage comes from hopefully doing this better than the competition. Yet for a decision maker examining one after the other text heavy profiles, using the right words just may not be enough to grab their attention. Effective writing is certainly a powerful tool, but in many casesUsing Visual Content to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile may be the best way to gain a leg up on the competition.
Visual content includes (but is not limited to) the following:
1) Videos
2) PowerPoint Presentations
3) Infographics
4) Book Covers
Of course with any successful branding strategy, you must take time to conceive and execute a plan that will produce your desired outcome. This strategy should achieve the dual goal of positioning you as a trusted expert and networking with the people you want to make aware of your expertise.
There are essentially 4 Keys to Creating a Successful Branding Strategy on LinkedIn:
1) Upload a Profile Photo that tells your Brand Story in one image
2) Complete your Powerful Profile page.
3) Strategically Build Your Network of Contacts.
4) Join the Right Groups.
When you complete the major sections of your LinkedIn profile (Summary, Experience and Education)you will now find a new symbol next to the word “Edit”. This symbol is also found beneath the individual entries in each section. This button enables you to “Click to add a video, image, document presentation….” It also allows you to “Add a Link” or “Upload a file”.
Some tips to consider when uploading visual content you should consider are to:
1) Only upload unique content that you have created
2) Only display your best work not the most work
Brand conscious professionals are using visual content to enable visitors to see the product of their labor rather than just a simple description of their work. For example an Artist or Chef may want to share a picture of their most eye-catching creations. On the other hand, an Anchorman or Public Speaker would greatly benefit from uploading a video of them commanding an audience rather than simply state that they are a dynamic orator.

Savvy professionals who use visual content effectively on LinkedIn will find it to be a “game changer” It is an essential tool for empowering their on-line branding strategy. Used effectively it will enhance your perceived expertise and the quality of the professional contacts that you attract.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Using Pinterest to Promote Your Personal Brand Identity

by Vince Rogers

To some people, Pinterest is the most esoteric of the four major Social Networking sites. Maybe esoteric is not the right word. What would be a better way to put it? Okay, some people just don’t get Pinterest at all.
On the other hand, according to www.ebizmba.coman estimated 85 million users absolutely love Pinterest. They have earned this position by surpassing upstart Google Plus and the pioneering MySpace. They have achieved this impressive milestone in just a little over 3 years of being in business. While avid users may love it, some may still wonder what is the point to all of this “Pinning”. Well rather than offer my personal opine on this point, let’s hear from the people at Pinterest about what it means to be a pinner.
Pinning, Re-Pinning and Liking
“Pin” is simply an interesting image or video. According to the Pinterest powers that be, “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing things you love.”These beloved pics and clips are collected, organized and shared onto “Boards”.
There are 3 ways to add a Pin to a Board:
1) You may upload a Pin from your computer
2) You may add a Pin from a website by copying and pasting a link
3) You may install the “Pin It” button to your browser to Pin directly from a website
Pinners access the Pinterest main page and scroll through pins that have been pinned by their “Friends” and onto boards that they follow. Pins are displayed chronologically as they are pinned. You may also perform keyword specific searches for pins. The way that you share pins of other users is by either “Re-pinning” them onto your boards or “Liking” them onto your page. There are two ways to expand the number of people that you share your pins with:
1) Finding your friends from other social networks who are on Pinterest.
2) Following the boards of other random Pinterest users.
Pins are then “Re-pinned” and/or “Liked” by other "Pinners" and vice-versa.
Now with all of that having been said, some people (including regular users) still have no idea how to use Pinterest effectively. However, for most people this is irrelevant. For most people Pinterest is just a place to look at pretty things. In my opinion this isn’t the worst thing in the world. However, if you do want to use it more strategically you must devise a plan. This plan should consist of the following 3 steps:
1) Strategically create boards that showcase your “Personal Brand Portfolio”
2) Strategically pin images and videos that best tell your “Personal Brand Story”
3) Strategically follow boards and pinners that Enhance your on-line “Personal Brand Network”
Showcasing Your Personal Brand Identity on Pinterest
Pinterest is an excellent way to display your professional portfolio and accomplishments. You can pin videos that you’ve created, covers of books that you’ve written or images of infographics and images that you’ve designed. You can pin them to Boards with straightforward names like “My Books” or give your boards eye-catching or though-provoking names that showcase your creativity. Some examples of other ways that you can use Pinterest as a personal branding tool are as follows:
1) Create a shareable online Brand Identity Package by pinning images of your logo, business card, brochure, etc.
2) Create a shareable On-line Resume. (You might do this by sharing an image of each school that you've attended and job that you’ve had, along with explanatory text for each pin in the “Description” field)
3) Create boards that tell your unique “Personal Brand Story” (The potential ways to use Pinterest to do this are unlimited)
Adding Friends and Liking Boards
If you choose to use Pinterest solely for the purpose of building your personal brand, you may want to be more selective about the friends that you add and boards that you follow. If you’re only adding pins and creating boards that tell your Personal Brand story, then you should try to be more selective than on other social networks. Much in the same way that you add connections on LinkedIn, you should try to share your pins with people that you are trying to build a professional relationship with.
The primary gateway for adding friends is via your existing FaceBook network. You already share images with those people on that platform. Therefore it would be more effective to select only some of these friends to be a part of your Pinterest network. It is worth mentioning that most people on Pinterest will just be sharing pictures of gourmet food, beautiful people and nice clothes. The good news is that you can still pin these images to the “Your Likes” page by clicking on the “Like” button found on each pin. So you can still participate in the social experience of Pinterest while working to promote and build your on-line Personal Brand Identity.
Happy Pinning! – To get started visit

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Taking Your Personal Brand “Global” through Networking and Publishing

by Vince Rogers

The Bard of Avon once famously alleged that “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Few would argue with William Shakespeare being considered as an authority on greatness. When it comes to being an authority on writing and books he usually gets the last word as well. Yet a prolific writer residing in the modern“A-Town” has attempted to best the Bard – at least on the subject of Greatness.
Atlanta based motivational author and entertainment impresario Germaine Moody - the self proclaimed“King of Networking”, has produced the most ambitious book ever on the subject of Greatness. In the book “50 Seeds of Greatness” Moody addresses 50 vital topics that can empower readers to “....produce an abundance of whatever we desire, while also leaving a legacy of our presence on Earth." However what makes the book so remarkable is that he also amassed almost 400 Contributors from over 100 Countries around the world to take part in the project. This extraordinary accomplishment is currently being considered for inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest and most international publishing undertaking of all-time.
By writing this book, Mr. Moody has also come up with an ingenious way to expand his brand. This high-profile endeavor has enabled him to network with other movers and shakers around the world. The way that he accomplished this was by issuing an International call for authors to contribute their own thoughts about greatness to the book. Contributors from around the world were asked to answer the question "What does Greatness mean to me?" He presented this invitation primarily via LinkedIn. This enabled him to exponentially expand his network of professional contacts, while also creating an International marketing campaign for the book and acquiring high quality content for the project.
I was among the change agents and thought leaders who were asked to contribute their definition of greatness to the project. In addition to contributors from Atlanta and the United States, the book includes words of wisdom from as far away as Albania and Zambia. By showcasing a wide ranging group of contributors, it is insured that readers will be exposed to an unusually broad array of insight and wisdom.
Undertaking this project is clear evidence that Germaine Moody may very well be the King of Networking. He is a dedicated “networker” who believes that “....Networking is essential, no matter who you are, where you are and no matter what industry you work in....” Aspiring pretenders to his throne can definitely learn a lesson or 50 from the “King” On the subject of networking, Moody goes on to say that “People will always be your greatest assets and resources, in business and in life."
In keeping with his dedication to the business of networking, he has already moved on to his next equally ambitious publishing and networking project. His upcoming book "The Networking Bible" (due April 2014) reveals fundamental keys and secrets to networking. One of the most important strategies that he will cover in the new book is “Gaining access to your greatest influencers”. In addition to his publishing projects, Moody also operates a vast networking group dedicated to the Atlanta Entertainment Industry@ It is clear that if you are a student of greatness, a practitioner of networking or you aspire to number yourself among the Atlanta entertainment industry elite, Germaine Moody – “The King of Networking” is a person you need to know.
To learn more about the 50 Seeds of Greatness book please visit and to network with Germaine Moody, “The King of Networking”

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Using Toastmasters Int'l. to Become a Competent Personal Brand Communicator

by Vince Rogers
It has been said that Public Speaking is the greatest fear of most people. This is very unfortunate, because public speaking is probably the ultimate tool that can be used to establish your Personal Brand. Actually, getting to the point where you are sought after to speak publicly signals that you have accomplished the ultimate goal ofPersonal Branding – achieving “Brand Leadership”. According to Brand Leadership is defined as becoming the “....Most widely....recognized product in a particular market segment....” The kids these days would call that being a“Boss”.

So what do you do if you are ready to take that step into the Public Speaking “arena”, but you have yet to conquer the fear? Well one strategy is to just find an audience and start speaking. Even if you could find the courage to do that, how do you find a willing audience if you have yet to become a sought after spokesperson? Since 1924 many aspiring orators have joinedToastmasters International as a resource to use for“….developing public speaking and leadership skills through practice and feedback in local clubs….”
Toastmasters succeeds in empowering speakers by providing them with constructive audience feedback in an environment of mutual encouragement. According to their website “A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere.” Over time, members progress towards the goal of becoming a “Competent Communicator” by:
1) Utilizing the constructive Feedback provided through peer Evaluations.
2) Confronting their fears by regularly making impromptu presentations.
3) Managing the various aspects of making effective presentations by Conducting Meetings.
4) Progressing through the self-paced “Competent Communication Manual”.
The Competent Communication Manual is the essential foundation of the Toastmasters program.
I recently visited a local Toastmasters Club in order to witness the process firsthand. I was invited to theCascade United Toastmasters Club by their newly elected Vice President of MembershipMs. Alison Gibson. It was clear to me that the Toastmasters method was effective in helping members to manage their fear of public speaking and build their communication skills. The reasons why each individual joins Toastmasters are different. In Alison’s case, she proclaims that she wanted to among other things“....improve my listening skills....”
Joining a Toastmaster Club is a very straightforward process. There are essentially 3 Steps:
Step 1; Find/Visit a Club
Step 2; Ask the Vice President of Membership for an application.
Step 3; Return the completed application and dues to the VP of Membership.
There is a customary $20 New Members Fee, plus a $36 bi-annual International Dues payment. There may also be club dues, which vary from club to club.
Personally, I found the experience to be as advertised. I was even drafted into service to give feedback about different aspects of the meeting. For most people, the combination of immersion, participation, support and encouragement has proven to be an effective method for alleviating the fear of public speaking and acquiring the necessary skills to become a competent public communicator. Consistently engaging in this process should ultimately lead to gaining the tools needed to become an in-demand public presenter and cementing your Personal Brand Leadership.
To learn more please visit