Whom do you want to be relevant and compelling to? Learn how to identify the individuals or groups who have the opportunities you seek and how to become attractive to your target audience.
- 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 buzzwords or hints 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?