- Imagine you are a luxury car brand, like BMW of instance. When you are thinking about marketing your product, you would look for areas where a lot of people had the disposable income and the resources and the desire to purchase a product like yours. You wouldn't market your product in an area where people don't drive cars or really don't care about luxury products. In marketing your personal brand, it's really important that you come up with your target audience. Who is the person, or company, or industry who needs to find you relevant and compelling.
This is your target audience. These are the people that have the opportunities that you want, so if you have your own company, these are the people who will buy from you and invest in you, but if you're looking to get hired into a company, these are the people who will want to take a chance on you, who will see something in you and want to help you grow. You might even think about your target audience starting with companies who hire veterans. Who have veteran hiring initiatives or military hiring initiatives, veteran spouse programs.
Those are going to be companies, particularly if they are in industries that are predisposed to understand some of the cultural differences. But once you have a target audience, once you understand who that person is that you're going to be sitting across from, then you need to figure out two very important qualities and needs that people have. The first is that we have something called functional needs. A human being has a functional need in order to move to the next part of the conversation. Let's say I'm a hiring manager and you're sitting in front of me as a candidate for a network administrator position.
I need to be able to see somewhere on your resume, or your background, or in our conversation that you have technical skills, that you have been in an administrative environment, or that you have run systems somewhat similar to what I have. Because in order to have that part of the conversation I can then check the box, right, you've met my functional needs. But your job, in having that conversation with a hiring manager, or an investor, or a partner, is to understand what their emotional needs are. What does that person need to feel? Because we want to get them from point A to point B and point B has the golden ring, right? That's where we want to be.
So what do they need to feel? I worked with a young gentleman recently who had done great job in interviews, articulating his skills and his credentials and his expertise but he wasn't getting hired. And the reason was, he hadn't dialed in to what these people need to feel. And we talked to one hiring manager who had worked with him and said you know I really wanted to have a reason to hire him. I believed in him, I saw his potential, I could see where he would fit in, but every time I asked him questions he gave me one word answers.
He was so technical in his experience and how he explained himself, that I didn't feel like I could connect with him emotionally. I didn't see how I could get him to fit in with the teams. He missed the opportunity when somebody wanted to connect with him emotionally, he missed that opportunity. So I'm going to ask you to think about the people that you're interviewing with, the people that you're promoting yourself, and you're building a relationship with, what do they need to know about you, right, the functional needs, and what do they need to feel about you, in order to make you compelling and relevant for the positions and opportunities that you're looking for.