Target Future Customers with Your Personal Brand - dummies

Target Future Customers with Your Personal Brand

By Susan Chritton

One great thing to do to target future customers with your personal brand is to list the qualities that you would like in your ideal client. To find your target audience, you then need to add some specific criteria so that you can begin your search for where you’d find these people.

If your target audience is potential customers, you need to define them using characteristics such as lifestyle, occupation, geographic location, income, gender, life stage, beliefs, or ethnicity.

After you list the characteristics you’re looking for, you need to research where you might find people who fit them. You gather as much data as you can to outline your ideal customer profile.

Branding for independent professionals

For example, consider the case of an attorney who specializes in construction-defect cases. She needs to conduct research to find out the following information:

  • Who has construction defects? The attorney needs to consider whether she wants to represent the people causing the defect, insuring the defects, or impacted by the defects.

  • Are there enough potential clients in the area to keep her in business? If not, she may need to extend her geographic reach.

  • Who can pay the bills? In other words, who can afford to hire a lawyer to address their needs?

  • Where can she meet these people? She could trace who is involved with construction defects and strategize where she might meet these people by checking out construction business networking groups or meeting insurance claims representatives or attorneys at bar association meetings.

After asking these questions, the attorney may determine that she wants to work with insurance companies that represent construction defects in the state of Nevada for builders that build casinos. That’s a pretty specific description of her ideal future customers!

By carefully defining your target audience based on thorough research, you solidify your brand and differentiate yourself from others. In other words, you begin to figure out your niche.

Branding for company employees

If you’re not looking to change jobs, your target audience is already in front of you. Your job in this case is to get to know your current employer in as much detail as possible.

Each company has a brand reputation and personality. Sometimes that brand persona is strongly driven from inside the company with a mission statement that the employees believe in and carry forward into their work with clients. That strong internal brand is reflected to the outside world.

If you worked for this company, you would know what the company stands for and your role within it. A company like this is often most open to an employee expressing his personal brand because the company’s message is well-defined.

Unfortunately, this ideal isn’t always reality. More common is a disconnect between what a company says on its website and how company management acts behind closed doors.

For example, a company may state that it’s a family company, but the employees consider it a dysfunctional family. A company without a clear sense of its own brand message may not be too interested in employees who are developing their personal brands.

Be observant. Use political savvy and read your company’s mission statement. Watch the key players and identify opportunities for you to become known for something that is part of the brand you’d like to convey.

What kind of employee does your company value? Ask yourself these observational questions about the company you work for:

  • What have you been praised for during your performance reviews or during informal feedback from your boss?

  • Who has valued your work most frequently?

  • What tasks do you excel at doing?

  • What conditions or work environments allow you to be your best?

  • When have you been most effective or most efficient?

The answers give you clues as to where you will find the best conditions in which to build your brand at your company.