Personal Positioning

It’s no secret that businesses often change their marketing message depending on the audience they want to reach. One example of this, which I find pretty awesome, is Kool-Aid. Traditionally marketed as a kids’ drink, right? Well, they decided to capitalize on the fact that college kids were using the drink as a mixer, so they designed some marketing specifically for that audience. A lot of parents weren’t pleased about it, but it’s a perfect example of positioning.

Positioning: creating an identity in the minds of a target market ~Wikipedia

So, just because Kool-Aid can be used as a mixer doesn’t mean it’s not suitable for kids, right? These two target audiences aren’t mutually exclusive and Kool-Aid isn’t being deceptive in any way about their ideal customer.

Which brings me to personal positioning. Let’s say that at a networking event, I meet a girl- we’ll call her Katrina- who just graduated from college and is looking for a job, but isn’t sure the route she wants to take for her career. At the same event, I meet a small business owner- let’s call him Bill- who is struggling a bit with his online marketing.

Then you have me: both a digital marketing strategist AND a career coach. Would it be deceptive to tell Katrina that I’m a career coach and tell Bill that I’m do digital marketing work? Nope- it’s called personal positioning.

Personal positioning: adjusting your personal branding message depending on your audience in order to accurately speak to their interests and needs -@cmroman (tweet this idea)

I encourage you to capitalize on the concept of personal positioning today to accomplish your business goals. Here’s how:

Determine your target audience(s)

Multipassionates, this one especially applies to you! If you have multiple business offerings or verticals, take some time to brainstorm your ideal customer or client for each. How old are they? Are they men, women, or both? Where do they live? What do they like and dislike? Use Amanda Genthers’s business plan for creatives or use Ramit Sethi’s Ideal Client Profile (ICP) worksheet to guide you.

Learn to speak to them

What words, phrases, and emotions resonate with each of your target audiences? Don’t guess- find out. Brainstorm a list of past clients and customers or people in your network who fit into your target markets and ask them to complete a brief feedback form for you. Want more insight? UseFollowerWonk to search Twitter bios or do some effective Google searching to find people in your target market to reach out to.  Use this handy trick for finding email addresses if need be.

Be ready

Now that you know your different personal positioning angles, be ready to whip out each one depending on the circumstances. Remember Katrina? Know how to sell her on the value of your coaching services. And Bill? Know how to speak to him about the necessities of digital marketing in this online day and age.

Along the same lines, if you have a side hustle or a new service offering, don’t hesitate to make that the first thing you talk to people about. I recently met a woman who worked a corporate job from 9-5, but was super passionate about her side business- coaching. She mentioned coaching first (even though it takes up less of her time), which resulted in us chatting away. That wouldn’t have happened if she had just mentioned her corporate job!

And there you have it- personal positioning. Not deceptive or sketchy, just smart.

P.S. Read this post from Rebecca Tracy of The Uncaged Life about avoiding job titles that cause confusion!

How will you capitalize on the concept of personal positioning today?

Cristina Roman is the founder of CMR Strategies, where she offers digital marketing consulting, career and business coaching, and productivity seminars. She also runs One Woman Shop, a resource site and community for female solopreneurs and freelancers. You can find her on Twitter (her favorite!) or Facebook, or join her (always super scintillating!) email list here.

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