One of my favorite business quotes is “Do not attract their clients, attract YOUR clients”. I put “your” in all caps because that is the powerful part of the statement. So many business owners get wrapped up in thinking everyone can be their client. This causes a lot of overwhelm and anxiety when it comes to assessing your competition. The truth is everyone cannot be your client. That would be exhausting for you. In reality your dream clients, aka your audience, is a small section of the population.
Knowing this is also crucial to cultivating your personal brand. Half of the process is knowing yourself but the other half is knowing who is your ideal client and what image clues resonate with them. How do you figure this out? Here are key questions I go through with my clients (yes, I am giving them to you today for free!) to narrow down their audience.
What is your career end goal? When will you consider yourself most successful?
This sets up a lot for examining who your audience is. If your goal is to build a nationally known retail store with five locations spread out in five different markets and an online sales following of 2 million people, then your audience is large and diverse but not quite as diverse as you might think. You will need to narrow down the average age range, yearly income, and interest demographic of your ideal shopper in each market then compare that to the population stats of the nationwide demographic to weed out your online community. When you narrow down your audience based on these parameters then you can run them through the next few questions to know what personal brand appeals to them.
Comparatively, if your career goal is to rise to the position of CEO within your company then your audience becomes much smaller. The current CEO, management, board of director, basically, the decision makers within your company is your audience.
You cannot figure out how to get to a destination until you know what the destination is.
Who are your dream clients?
Now that you know what your end goal is, who are the people that will help you achieve your success?
Think of your three best clients or customers your work with now (or have worked with in the past):
- Where do they live?
- What industries are they in?
- How do they dress?
- What do they do for fun?
- Who do they hang out with and where?
- How much do they make?
What garners trust with them?
This one can be a little tricky but I think when in doubt just ask them. Start polling some of your trusted clients. The ones that have enough rapport that you can have candid conversations and know you will get an honest answer. What are their values? What behavior in the professional setting attracts them and what turns them off?
If you work for a larger company it is possible they have done extensive research within your customer base and can get you a report. Look out for age, religious views, political views, and what industry they work in. These all come with value markers that can be helpful when designing your look.
For example, if you prefer the rocker genre but are dealing with a conservative Christian client base you will need to take extra care when cultivating your brand.
Comparatively, if your desired audience is tech companies where the average work dress is jeans and t-shirts and all the employees are under 30 wearing a suit to a meeting with them might not garner much trust. When in doubt, dress like them but still incorporate elements of yourself.
What aspects of your current personal brand might be turning them away?
Chances are these are already things you know deep down but might not be ready to admit to yourself.
Now that you are aware of who your audience is and what image clues resonate with them think about your current image. What differences exist between the two? Have these differences shown up in past sales presentations and in hindsight lead to you missing out on an opportunity? Is there something in this article that you did not know you were supposed to be thinking about?
All of these are crucial questions to ask yourself if you want to attract your dream audience. Remember your personal brand and image can cut your work in half so make sure you are thinking about every detail.
Change can be scary but this is your dream career and life we are talking about here. Also, though your personal brand should be a genuine embodiment of who you are it is not something that has to be meticulously curated every second of the day. I am talking specifically about how you present during work hours and work activities. If there is a part of your brand that must be subdued in the professional setting you will be able to resume it in your private life.
This is all just scratching the surface of what it means to attract your dream audience. If this resonates with you but you are struggling on how to cultivate your personal brand and image join my mailing list and follow me on Instagram to learn more tips and trainings.