Rachet rap music is kind of my thing and lately "Cut Her Off" by K Camp has been on replay in my head. You've probably heard it: "It ain't nothing to cut that ---- off..." This has become the anthem for elimination and a reminder that you are not required to hold onto anything or anyone. I wish there was a GIF accurate enough to show you the faces I make when someone tells me that their target audience is "everyone." This one will just have to do. Your target audience cannot and will never be everyone. I know, I know you don't want to "leave anyone out" or "leave money on the table" etc.. I've heard it from all my clients who plead their cases as to why they need to have a broad target market. Long story short, having "everyone" as your target market causes you to waste time and money, because you are investing resources on people who will never be interested in what you have to offer. Those offerings can be your skill set as an employee or your product or service as an entrepreneur.
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By identifying exactly who your target audience is, you are able to discover how your audience thinks, what matters to them and what they need. Then, you use all of that information to create messaging that resonates with them. I'll give you an example and also share my branding secret. I market to urban millennials - and by urban I do not mean minorities or low-income. (I frankly hate when urban is used in that context, but I digress.) I mean go-getters who live in highly competitive and populated cities, are interested in making money living out their passions, and are embedded in the thread of pop culture. Hence the introduction to this blog post. It resonates with this particular kind of audience and speaks in a language that you understand. Now does that mean that I won't work with someone from a small town in the Midwest who doesn't have cable or Instagram? No, but they might not be a good fit for my products and services and that's okay. There is a personal branding expert out there for everyone, and we are not all the same.
By staying true to my personality and using my energy to attract and speak to an audience that wants to listen, I have won half of the branding battle. My clients come to me because they feel like I understand their goals, the nuances of where they come from and the place they currently are in their lives. This makes me stand out among the other personal branding coaches that already exist. Many brand communications -- whether a blog post, landing page, or a cover letter -- fall on deaf ears because they don't speak to the audience they are intended for.
If you are a job seeker or working professional, take a good look at the companies that you are applying to. Are you applying to anything and everything because you are desperate for a job or are you identifying companies that align with your mission, passions and skills? Have you researched the company culture and are sure that you are a good fit? Taking the extra time to research before you apply will make all the difference.
Entrepreneurs - don't even get me started. Take a good hard look at who you think your audience is and begin to eliminate groups. Identify the age group, their interests, where they live, what they listen to, where they hang out and shop, what are some of their challenges and what makes you the right person to solve that problem. Whether you are a baker, a consultant or a clothing line, you are not selling to everyone. I have 3 exercises dedicated to this in my Make Yourself Marketable planner, because it is one of the most fundamental pieces of a successful brand.
Remember that finding your niche and getting crystal clear on who makes up your target audience allows you to become more efficient in your marketing, branding and sales. Don't be afraid to exclude those that don't fit. It ain't nothing to cut them off.