14/02/2012

By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach At Blossoming Brands

When developing your personal brand, the personal factor is at its very core. What I mean by this is the people-centred nature of what personal branding is ultimately about. It’s how people can differentiate, and people do business with people. So, other than the star of the show (which is you!), the other people that feature super high on your list of priorities are the people that you’re trying to influence.

A business or brand would call these people their target market, or stake holders, and they are considered to be a very important bunch, especially when they become customers.

So, how do we as people harness the concept of target market in building our personal brands? Well, I prefer to think of these people as our target of influence; the people we are trying to influence with our efforts.

Of course the pre-curser here is being very clear on what we want to achieve. As with businesses and brands, we can be engaging with a number of different groups and it’s important to be clear on what your message is to each group.

Your target customers

The first obvious group here are those that you want to target as your customers; those people who will hire you or buy you or your products or services.

Your actual customers

It’s worth maintaining a level of engagement with those people who have actually “bought” you because they might “buy” you again. Other than the obvious use of the word “customer” these people also include those who have hired you, recommended you or promoted you. With people who have referred you, it can be a nice touch to let them know how the referral panned out.

The press and the bloggers

If you want to be considered as a thought leader or subject matter expert then it’s important for you to be on the radar of those people who write about your area of expertise and who have ready-made or well-earned audiences. When you have an existing relationship with these writers, you are more likely to be contacted for an expert quote or feature. Whatever you choose as your method of staying on their radar is up to you, but make sure you do it positively so that you create the right impression.

Your peers

With this group, you can show off what you know and get away with using all the jargon that would normally be lost on some of the other groups. If you write a blog, it can be worthwhile writing for this group sometimes to demonstrate or maintain your credibility, but don’t overdo it. Remember though, it works both ways and you can learn a lot from your peers too. Your peers may include your rivals or competitors, but don’t worry, they are also likely to be the source of referrals and recommendations. Be nice to them!

Recruiters and head-hunters

Whether you’re an employee or a business owner, these are useful people to know. As an employee, it’s obvious, but as a business owner? These guys are usually uber-networkers so connecting with them can be useful as they are likely to know the inside scoop on your industry as well as be a great source of introductions and referrals.

Once you’ve identified who you consider to be the groups that you want to influence, your next very important step is to find out where they are and how best to engage with them. Don’t assume that they’ll be hanging out where you are, online or in real life. It’s likely that you’ll need to blend a mixture of social media with face-to-face contact and networking in areas or places that you may not be currently frequenting.


Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to clear their head trash, tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands

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