by Pamela Allen
AWNY and The American Australian Association (AAA) invited their members to a fun and informative evening with Zahrina Robertson, personal branding expert, at the Australian Consulate General in the recently renovated Monash Room in late October. Guests snacked on a fine array of nibblies while enjoying the magical views of the city, most predominantly, the Chrysler Building and mingling with both new and familiar faces. Author and branding coach, Zahrina Robertson engaged the audience with her multifaceted career story and emphasised the importance of a personal brand. She defines the ambiguous concept of personal branding as “how people talk about you when you’re not in the room”. As the night unfolded, attendees discussed the difficulty Australians face in feeling confident or selling oneself effectively. This is often called “tall poppy syndrome” – a cultural stigma Australians share against overly confident people who can be labelled as “having tickets on themselves”. Zahrina highlighted the importance of moving past this internalised fear embedded in Australian culture and therefore, not shared by our American counterparts. In a fast paced city like New York, we learned it is more important than ever to display the same confidence often demonstrated by the city’s ambitious residents. The key theme emerging from the night? “Be a warrior, not a worrier”. Zahrina asked everyone to define their personal message, examine the reasons we love what we do and ask ourselves – why do we excel in our careers? This encouraged the audience to recognise the opportunities that can arise from our strengths. “Be a micro celebrity in what you do” she said. Social media was discussed as a good platform to share personal brand messages. Linkedin and Facebook business pages should be updated constantly with the evolution of your brand’s story. The evening almost ran overtime with the multitude of questions the audience were asking.
Thankfully, for those who want to know more, Zahrina conducts a seven-week course which will help you understand more about your business. Additionally she does one-on-one coaching which one lucky attendant, Julia Hazlewood, pictured at right, won as the lucky door prize. Zahrina’s insightful tips on branding coincided perfectly with the unveiling of the winning logo. AWNY members were invited to celebrate the logo reveal by winning designer Phil Smith, who was inspired by the duality between the Australian and American flags. The event marked the beginning of a new direction for AWNY and hopefully event attendees as well, with the talk making it possible for everyone to re-evaluate how we present ourselves through our personal brand. See more photos from the event on our Facebook page.