The concept of "personal branding" is foreign to many New Zealanders. Encouraged not to be "tall poppies", we are a nation of humble achievers, who very rarely blow our individual trumpets.

Although this is an admirable trait as a country, it can sadly lead to missed business and career opportunities if we are afraid to genuinely tell our story, and share "our voice" with key local and international decision makers.

As individual "brands", we need to ensure we are judged according to our deeds, not words, and allow our true value to be expressed and recognised in our sphere of influence.

Determining Your Personal Authority

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An excellent way to determine the value of your personal brand and your level of influence, is to highlight some of your key career and personal achievements. For example:

*Are you a member of an industry committee? This demonstrates your commitment to your area of speciality, as well as showing you as a respected leader in your industry.

*If you are involved in business development, have you increased market share in a segment or have you brought on any major clients to your company? This highlights your network and connections within your industry, and points to demonstrated value you can bring to future employers or clients.

*Have you set-up or improved any systems or processes? This shows your ability to develop and create best practise solutions for your business.

Other questions to ask yourself to determine your industry and brand value, include

Have you been active in reducing customer complaints or issues?

Have you organised any events / conferences? If so, for who and to what value?

Did you lead, or have you been involved in, special projects or programmes for your organisation or industry?

Have you received business awards or commendations from your clients or management?

Have you been responsible for any training, coaching or mentoring team members?

Have you had articles, papers or features published in any magazines, journals or books? If so, what publications and when?

Have you presented topics at conferences or done public speaking?

Your Value

By highlighting and sharing some of your key achievements to prospective employers or clients, you quickly set a benchmark in terms of your expertise and personal brand value.

This then determines the level of influence you have in your industry, and opens the door for exciting new career and business opportunities.

Get a copy of Tom O'Neil's Personal Branding Continuum by emailing him direct at tom@tomoneil.com.