BEHIND THE COUNTER I have been working with personally branded businesses since I was just 14. The first personally branded busi- ness I worked for was ‘Mathers’, a foot- wear company. I then went on to work for Tony Ferguson Weight Loss, which went through extraordinary growth in 2016. I also looked after the training of 10,000 people with super retail groups Supercheap Auto, BCF, Goldcross Cy- cles, Ray’s Outdoors and Rebel. I now work with people who are ex- perts in their field. My average client is on track to generate a million-dollar revenue from their personal brand. The reason for this is that times have changed. Previously, the average person spent two hours per day watching tel- evision. Today, those two hours are spent on social media and the internet and this has transformed the way busi- nesses grow. In the past, growing a business was about cold calling, qualifying leads and sales presentations. If youwere in retail, you needed a prime position, lots of foot traffic, a great product and awesome service. To- day, it starts with primarily who you know. Once you understand who you know, you need to engage and educate those people and the only way you can truly do this is through your personal brand. It was Tom Peters who said, “Your personal brand is your promise to the marketplace and to the world.” What he means by this is that if we do not position ourselves effectively, we can- not show our value. We risk looking like toothpaste on a supermarket shelf where people cannot decide which one to buy, so they base their decision on the cheapest price, not what gives them the greatest value. Standing out in the crowd It is so critical that we do stand out. A study by Google called ‘The zero moment of truth’ found that about 90 per cent of a pur- chasing decision is made before a customer even contacts a supplier, and 10 pieces of content are consumed in the process. The importance of personal branding in hardware Jane Anderson has helped over 20,000 people build their personal brand and has worked for personally branded businesses since she was just 14 years old. Jane holds one of the top one per cent viewed LinkedIn profiles and also hosts the ‘Jane Anderson Show’ podcast. As the author of five books, Jane is also the creator of the ‘Lead Generation Indicator’, the world's first diagnostic for experts to identify marketing gaps in their practice, and she continues to mentor her clients to double their practice within 12 months. In this edition of Behind the Counter , Jane shares an excerpt from her presentation to members at the recent HBT National Conference. 10 | AUSTRALIAN HARDWARE JOURNAL | JUNE 2018