Build a Strong Personal Brand: It Starts with Understanding Your Market

When it comes to building a strong personal brand, it is crucial that you start by understanding your market. You have heard the saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”… and in this case, it is your target market that serve as the “beholder.” It is your job to figure out what they are looking for so that you can create an appealing brand.

A classic example is Donald Trump. He has created a brash, loud, sarcastic brand that plays very well in New York (and on TV!). But if he were a real estate developer in the South instead of cosmopolitan NYC, his brand may not be so effective.

Below are three questions to ask yourself as you evaluate your personal brand:

1) What traits are most important to your market? What are your customers looking for? It is vital that you answer this question. Are they looking for confidence and experience? Are they looking for energy and youthfulness? Insight? Hard work? Low prices? If you don’t know what your audience is looking for, you’re flying blind. Answer these questions and begin creating your brand in a way that will resonate with your target market.

2) What are your competitors doing well… and what are they doing that you can improve on? Evaluating the successes of your competition is a great way to understand what works and what doesn’t in your market. But don’t just try to imitate the competition—look for ways to elevate your brand and differentiate yourself from the rest of the market.

3) What are the most common hopes and the most common fears in the mind of your target customers? What keeps your customers awake at night? What do they imagine in their wildest dreams? Understanding their hopes and fears gives you the ability to create a brand which addresses their fears while appealing to their hopes. For instance, most retirees fear out-living their money—and as a result, many retirement advisors emphasize their ability to create stable, consistent income.

It’s important that your personal brand reflect your true self. But it’s just as important that your brand appeals to your target audience. Does yours?