• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • Do You Know Your Audience?

    A friend sent me an email the other day asking for help. “Can you read through my blog post and make some 2191408271_3408b3e46c_osuggestions for how to improve it?” he asked.

    “Sure.” I replied. “Could you tell me who your audience is? I can’t evaluate anything without knowing who you’re writing for.”

    His response showed that I’d thrown him for a loop. “I don’t write with an audience in mind. Is that a problem?”

    Know your audience and increase your effectiveness

    Actually, it is a BIG problem. What impresses one person could mean absolutely nothing to a different kind of person.

    It’s incredibly important to think about the kind of person or employer you want to appeal to in order to create your personal brand strategy.

    Some of you will be shaking your head at this. There are a lot of people who never think about their audience–and they do fine. You might already be doing well without considering your audience. Why add in the extra step?

    The truth is, knowing your audience can drastically increase the effectiveness of your personal branding efforts. That’s because if you know who you are trying to reach, it’s easier to determine where to concentrate your efforts.

    Let’s say you want to work at a small, cutting-edge marketing company. Then you need to make sure your personal brand shows that you know and understand all the new marketing trends. You should actively be using multiple forms of social media and focusing on building connections with other online marketers everywhere from Facebook to Twitter. If you’re not, it will have a negative effect on your brand.

    Know how you measure up

    In fact Joseph Jaffe of the new marketing firm crayon just declared, “If you don’t blog, you can’t work at crayon.” Hubspot, an inbound-marketing company, looks at the Twitter Grade and the Website Grade of potential employees’ personal websites or blogs to see if they have their act together. Those companies want to potential employees to be connected online and actively using social media tools.

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    If you’re looking to participate in a more conservative field, however, your personal branding needs to be drastically different. On your blog, you need to focus on serious material that shows you are constantly learning about the field and have a strong depth of knowledge. You’ll want to focus less on Facebook, and more on building your profile on LinkedIn.

    A good example of this is Jeff Ogden, who is looking for a job as a senior executive. On his blog, CEO Ideas, Jeff writes about the studies, white papers and articles he reads, and shares his advice on how to grow a business in tough times. His blog demonstrates strong thought-leadership in his field.

    Having a clear idea of your audience is important because it gives you a barometer to to determine if you’re accomplishing your goal or not.

    Every time you participate online, you can quickly check to make sure it supports your personal brand by asking “How would example person of your audience view fill in what you’re doing online? Would this impress them?” If the answer is yes, then you know you’re on the right track. If not, you can change what you’re doing until it does fit.

    Get lucky by doing everything possible

    Of course, there’s always the possibility that you could get lucky and naturally create a personal brand that will catapult you to fame and fortune in the exact area you’d love to work in. Some do.

    But in a tough hiring market with hundreds of others looking for work, wouldn’t you rather do everything possible to make sure your personal branding is as effective as possible?

    Katie works with Fortune 500 companies to help them generate new ideas based on consumer insights at leading innovation company www.IdeasToGo.com. She’s worked with creativity guru Edward de Bono and uncovered new ideas across North America and Europe. Prior to that, she earned a Masters degree in Creativity and Innovation from the Institute for the Design and Development of Thinking in Malta, was certified as a Lateral Thinking trainer, and studied at the TRIZ Institute in St Petersburg, Russia. She writes the leading innovation blog, GetFreshMinds.com.

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