Now that you’ve mapped out your personal brand roadmap in part 6, you have a concrete picture of:
- where you are in your career
- Where you want to be in your career
- The roadblocks keeping you from following that path
- The detours required to get around those roadblocks
Whether where you want to be involves a traditional or entrepreneurial career path, personas are equally useful.If you’re an entrepreneur building his or her personal brand, then you’ll be creating an ideal client persona. If you’re a job seeker, then you’ll be creating an ideal employer persona.
Think like a Fiction Author When Creating Personas
Virtually every marketing campaign begins with creating personas based on the target audience. Think of it like an author creating the initial sketches of their characters for a novel.
The author figures out character’s physical characteristics, personality, aspirations, and fears so they can get a feel for how’d they behave in certain situations. Likewise, the purpose of creating a persona is to figure out a particular behavior: what makes this person buy?
Just like an author, marketers create these broad sketches for their target audience and fill in more details as they interact with more and more live people.
How You Can Use Personas in Your Personal Branding Strategy
The type of persona you create depends on whether your goal is to land a job or to start a side-hustle.
If you’re going the entrepreneurial route, then your personas are going to be “ideal client” personas and will include the following types of questions:
- How old are they?
- Marital status? Children?
- What problems do they have that I can solve with my services?
- How would I solve these problems?
- What social networks do they use?
- How do they make a purchasing decision?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
Creating a persona for all of the types of clients you plan on targeting is essential to get the most benefit of parts 8, 9 & 10, which will cover marketing your personal brand on Twitter, LinkedIn, and through blogging.
Don’t have a product or service to sell? No problem! You can also utilize an employer persona to laser-target your job search.
The Employer Persona
The above persona is the traditional marketing persona. The employer persona is similar to the ideal client persona, with the difference being that you are creating profiles of ideal places to work rather than your ideal customers.
First, make a list of qualities you want from your ideal employer. Here are some of the types of things you might include:
- a workforce composed mostly of people my age
- A progressive work culture
- Compassionate management/ executives
- Clear career progression
- Work-life balance
- Competitive compensation
- Company values align with personal values
This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg: your list should include anything that would be something your ideal job would have.
The more detailed you are in this phase, the easier it will be to find potential employers that fit your persona.
Next, do some strategic Googling to find companies with your ideal qualities. You can start with “best places to work 2016” and find several great starting points. My personal favorite is the GlassDoor 2016 Employee’s Choice list of best places to work. Fortune, Inc, Business Insider, and Forbes also have “Top Places to Work” lists that are updated year.
Try to find 5-10 companies from these lists that fit your ideal employer persona and you’ll have a great starting point for your job search!
If you want to talk about applying to one of those companies on your list, then hit me up on Twitter (@BPucino).