You cannot be all things to all people. As we say in marketing, find a target rich market. Lucrative markets are filled with people or companies that are suffering and have a budget to pay YOU for the remedy you’ve decided you want to offer. You simply need to show up online and on-ground where this ready-to-buy market is, with a clear message about what you do and the unique way you do it.

You can show up on social networking sites like LinkedIn or Twitter, and showcases like YouTube, Tumblr or Reddit (and the list goes on). Getting your story ready – and then repetitively messaging your deep interest and commitment to alleviate the problem you solve is part of the ground work. This is what launches you into the stratosphere of high paying employment, consulting or primacy in your sector, profession or industry.

Of course, you must develop a compelling story – some proof that showcases how you have filled a need with an effective, easy to understand solution that is priced right for the people you want to serve. It might be something you’ve done as an employee, consultant or freelance. It might be something you’ve done as a volunteer, a student or an intern. It might be something you’ve done for a friend or family member. In other words, you don’t have to have done before, exactly what you want to do now.

Keep in mind that what pays $200,000 in San Francisco might pay $80,000 in Indiana (but the cost of living varies accordingly, so make allowances for geography as well as the going-rate among your competition). Always know what’s the least you can earn to survive and what’s the most you aspire to be paid. Somewhere along that spectrum will be what you earn at various points in time, as your personal brand becomes increasingly well-known in the right circles.

Remember to raise your prices as you get busier.

That is a rapid primer on marketing principles for personal brands. But what lies beneath successful personal brands? Really it’s the market positions they carve out and communicate (relentlessly, I might add).

The first step of positioning is deciding what type of personal brand you are. There are five types that have been identified by Laurence Vincent, who works on big product and service brands, in his book Brand Real. I thought it would be worth your time to see if you could characterize who you are, using the same typology. Vincent’s point is the more of these five positions you can “own,” the more likely you are to attract the right target market – or several segments of lucrative customers. In personal branding that translates to more ideal clients, deals, job offers, referrals and the like.

Vincent’s typology of five brands

  • Product
  • Culture
  • Service
  • Ingredient
  • Destination

Immediately, it may occur to you that Starbucks owns positions in all five realms. Consumers buy the drinks (product), they dig the bohemian ambience (culture), appreciate getting exactly the half-caf/soy/no foam they desire (service), might buy some instant coffee tubes or beans (ingredient) to take with them, and feel like it’s an escape (destination) away from home or office (which might be the same thing).

As a personal brand, you can offer exactly the same powerful combination of five qualities (or at least some of them). Consider defining who you are in this way, to the audience you want to buy from you or hire you.

1. Product is what you create.

2. Culture is your integrity, intentions and work ethic.

3. Service is the way you deliver what you sell or do.

4. Ingredient is how you add value or fit in to what currently exists.

5. Destination is how people feel when they get to connect with you, perhaps expressed simply as your brand personality.

How are you doing on these five measures? How do you focus them on a target rich environment? That’s the work before you reach out or make yourself known to the community, audience or prospects whose needs you fulfill.

Want some feedback? Send me your self-evaluation, based on these five brand types. I will send you back some insights on what you might do better, clearer or simply more lucratively.