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Why Every Personal Brand Needs a Target Audience

You are your brand. Your personal and professional connections are your customers. Here's how to make the most of those relationships to get ahead.
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The following is the fifth in the series " Personal Branding For A Better Life," in which marketing expert Jim Joseph applies big brand marketing lessons to help you build a successful personal brand.

One of the fundamentals of good marketing is making sure you understand your target audience -- not only who they are, but what makes them tick.

Marketers spend an enormous amount of time, energy and money identifying who is best suited for their brand and how to build a brand experience for that customer. The marketing plans they put in place are solely designed to engage their target audience and  build brand loyalty. The really good big brand marketers always put their target audience's needs first.

Related: Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Compelling Personal Brand -- And How to Build It

The same could be said for your personal brand. You too have a target audience and it’s important to understand who they are and what makes them tick if you really want your personal brand to be successful.  When you interact with others, in essence, what you offer them is your brand. How they react either builds up that brand or detracts from it. Most people won't talk about it this way, but it's the truth.

In thinking about yourself as a brand, think about who your target audience is -- their wants and needs and how you can uniquely help fulfill them. Cultivating those relationships will further your own goals as a result.

This is certainly true at work.  When you put your boss’s needs first, you ultimately shine. When you put your coworkers’ needs first, they are there for you in return. And when you put your team’s needs first, they help you complete projects that accelerate your career.

Related: 7 Ways to Make Your Business Card Your Best Marketing Tool 

One thing is true: Only when putting others’ needs first, can your brand be successful, regardless of your professional goals. 

The same goes for your personal and social life. When it boils down to it, we manage our relationships the way big brands manage their customers. Think about your own interactions with big brands.  They introduce new products, run promotions, create Facebook pages -- all with the goal of keeping their audience engaged. The big brands give and give, with the hope of selling more in return. They attract those who are most interested in their brand and they work to build loyalty among those who buy and participate the most.  We make conscious decisions to keep certain brands in our lives because of the value they provide us.  Do the same for the people who choose to be around you. 

Don't get me wrong. You can’t please all people all the time, and I’m not implying that you should even try. Instead,  surround yourself with others who support you and can help further your personal brand  and you will start to see personal success. 

Related: How Your Network Can Make You More Productive