Costa Georgiadis is instantly recognisable as a gardening guru, he is a brand. Anyone in Australia who gardens will know Costa instantly from his vivacious personality and his mop of black hair and scruffy beard. The role of personal branding says Larbarecque et al. (2011), is to promote the best aspects of yourself and to require more of yourself.
There is the discipline of knowing your product in this case you. Costa as an example it is his passion, education and personality define him as a human brand not just his beard. Brand, says Schultz (2017) is a not only the parts of you that is seen, it is also made up of the intangible elements of culture, identity and communication. Here are four ways to improve your personal brand.
Four ways to brand yourself
- Define your identity – who are you really?
- Authenticity – are you comfortable with the public?
- Technical skills – do you really know your stuff?
- Self acceptance – You might need more help.
Define your identity
A great place to start with self discovery is make an encompassing personal resumé which would include a list of your life’s journey to this point. Include not just your successes but also what you may determine to be your failures as well. Spending time teasing apart what your goals are is a great step but there is much more to do behind the scenes.
Jacobsen (2020) describes a dramaturgical model which is how we have the different aspects of the self, the private and the public. Part of self discovery is the awareness of how you may derail your brand by not paying attention to the what would be going on in private parts of your life and the impacts it would have on the public persona. Being self aware is the start of becoming a great brand.
Being authentic says Fritz et al (2017), refers to creating a real experience. Costa provides a real experience when met with fans, he is sincere, genuine and in the moment. His authentic style has become part of his brand and people who meet him will take away happy memories of his engagement. This will relate back to the dramatalurigic model previously discussed as hopefully you will be constant throughout the back and front stages of your life. When you live authentically it will not be necessary to ‘act a part’ and being real is a great brand.
Know your stuff
Most importantly you need to know your stuff, be aware of what you know well and the areas that you might improve on in your chosen field. Learn as much as you can about your chosen career path from the ground up. When you are dealing with the public most frequently there are more questions about basic gardening than any other. Basic is as you know is not basic at all, but includes pests, diseases, nutrient, fertilizers, growth habits and then all the species of plants.
If you don’t know all the answers to the many questions from the public, it is perfectly acceptable to be honest. It does become a problem when you make up an answer or become irritated with your followers. Once again to be authentic is to know your limitations, to accept that you may need to learn more. Being knowledgeable and still open to learning is a great brand.
Learning from other professionals is a necessity. Hiring an expert to teach you how to write more professionally or become a more engaging public speaker can take to you to another level. It is important to hear credible feedback which may be difficult and by using outside help you might be able to take the bitter pill. It’s during this time you find resilience.
Developing resilience through self discovery and acceptance says Crane et al. (2019), helps a person to cope with adversity which will come as a public person. Opting for a mental health check is as important in developing your career strategy as knowing the right fertilizer for your orchid. Being open to feedback from your peers or other experts is a great brand.
You – a brand
Putting all those pieces together will help you create the brand you want to be, there are no short cuts, no buying a big black beard. It is hard work and after all, be yourself, you can’t be anyone else.
Let me know what more do you think you could do?