I worked with a client in California who was in the financial planning profession, and she was passionate about technology. She was in her late 20s, a very bright young woman who loved all things technical. She managed all her appointment data through her iPhone, she emailed seminar invitations, she emailed client newsletters, alerts, feedback surveys; she utilized technology in the most robust way possible. She invested a lot of time and energy in understanding her field, developing her skills, and using technology to communicate her value to clients and prospects.
Interestingly however, her target business audience was comprised of couples currently in retirement. These weren’t people in their 40s or even 50s. They were mostly seniors in their 60s, 70s and beyond who were living in retirement. That was her sweet spot and she heavily relied on her technology to communicate and market to them.
The “open rates” on her emails were terrible; her feedback surveys came back with hardly any responses. Her marketing wasn’t reaching its target, and it was obvious she hadn’t studied her audience. Her audience was not comfortable with technology. They were terrified to close their computer at night because they were afraid all their information would be gone. She was using the wrong marketing to get to the right audience. Once she started doing more traditional marketing — phone calls, stopping by, direct mail — her client response rates and engagements skyrocketed!
This example illustrates the importance of understanding not only who must find us relevant, but also how they will find us at all. Do they like technology? Do they seek efficiency or do they want to have small talk conversations? Do they want you to stop by, have a cup of tea and sit and talk? What do they want and what will motivate them? Who else is influencing this audience? Are they active in media? Are they active in social media? Are there groups they participate in?
Knowing which audiences you should target is critical to developing and marketing an effective personal brand. Once you know who to target, make sure you know how to get their attention.