Join Lida Citroën for an in-depth discussion in this video Identifying your target audience, part of Creating Your Personal Brand.
- Imagine you were a luxury car company like Mercedes Benz. Would you spend money advertising in teen magazines or at high schools, or in areas where people don't drive cars, likely not. Probably because teens can't afford your car, even though they might aspire to, and people who don't drive probably don't care about car companies. You're going to market your product to people who find the offer of the experience of your brand enticing and appealing, and people who can afford you.
Well personal branding works the same way. You promote and position yourself to audiences, specifically, who will find you relevant and compelling. And that's where it gets a little tricky. You have to figure out your target audience. Who are the people, or the communities, or the companies, or even the industries, that need to get you. You can start by thinking of the people you have the easiest time working with. Who do you kind of click with? Who do you, sort of, feel in sync when you're working with them? And if you're looking for a job, or you're looking to change jobs, that target audience is also going to include people in other companies, or outside of your immediate circle of influence.
But you have to take the universe of potential audiences from everyone, down to these specific people. The people who are looking for someone just like you, who are looking for someone with your skills, and your traits, and your values. Once you identify who that audience is then it even gets more tricky. Because people have two sets of needs. We have Functional, and we have Emotional needs. I'll give you a retail example to illustrate what that looks like. Let's say I'm looking for a cup of coffee, or a tasty treat.
I can go to a Starbucks, and, check, they have coffee. Check, they have tasty treats. Right? My Functional needs are met. But the reason I go to Starbucks, and I'm a loyal consumer of their brand and product, is because they meet my Emotional needs. When I walk through the door, there's a sense of community, and it's kind of kitschy. And people know my drink, and I know how to order. And I enjoy their product. So, not only am I getting a cup of coffee, but I'm getting a sense of community and culture that I attach to.
When you're thinking about your target audience, it's really important to understand. What do they need me to deliver? Maybe they need me to be on time, and on budget, and have certain technical skills. But, what do they need to feel from me? What emotional connection can I make with them to be able to build a relationship, and to be able to build influence? You have to figure out what that person, or community, or industry, needs to feel. A lot of times, it's not that hard. A lot of people want to feel safe.
They want to be able to trust you. They want to feel a sense of collaboration or affinity with you. But, pay attention when you're talking to your target audience, or you're interacting with them, or you're researching them online. What buzz words, or hits, do you have of what they need to feel? Then, you're going to think about how do I make myself attractive to that target audience? How do I put myself in the best light, in the best situation, to start that relationship?