Your Friends are not your Audience (but should they be….?)

Business and lifestyle


...But should they be?

"Being able to build with the people in your environment is more important than blood or friendship bonds."

Starting a business is challenging. Mainly because of the given list of operational standards you have to meet, along with keeping up with your legal obligations, not to mention the list of needs that your personal brand has to achieve in order to build a brand identity. 

Deep consideration to marketing, social media management, and understanding your consumer base are key aspects that you will have to navigate in order to achieve some type of optimal result that allows your business, Albeit a passion project turned career, or an independent move to professional self-reliance, to be both technical and creative in order to bring out the best from your entrepreneurial endeavors. 

Though any one thing above can be like kryptonite to your professionalism if miss-managed. The anxiety from feeling like you’re doing it right, only to lack the results to back that theory up can introduce you to a myriad of new emotional upheavals. Some of which would make the Hulk blush if he felt the musk of madness that radiates from your core as you wonder how can small business support be so trendy yet in spite of your own social 'popularity', building a brand around it has left the fruits of your labor, rotten within your own social niche?

Some circles aren't built for support

As you look for answers under the sun of a professionally supportive desert, consider the notion that your circle may not be cut out to give a damn, and you may not be cut out for some circles.

Both are ok as long as you can identify the signs and make proper adjustments before you put your passion in the hands of others to help hold you afloat. 

 Here is a quick (reality) checklist that you can consider before you cry foul, or feel let down by your own base;

1. Who are you catering to?

Do your friends reflect your core audience? A few close cousins and those friends whom you chat with about sports or comics aren’t the same as a colleague who needs you to win for both your sake. Unless your Cousin is your biz partner, in which case see point 4 Now.

2. How have you shown support to brands you like?

Years ago I stopped working in the media genre that I thought I liked but was often professionally underwhelmed. What was the point of promoting artists if I didn't want to give their work my full appreciation? For a passion, it sure started to feel very Day job'ish. It wasn't until I realized faking it until I made it only meant I would be stuck in a form of success built on the back of discontentment.  I left that professional circle because I didn't see myself as a fan anymore. Any 'social support' afterward, was insincere and a disservice to the artist. 

3. Would you support you? Objectively speaking…

Consider your own consumer habits; clothing, books, music, etc. What makes you want to engage in that form of media to try out that latest apparel? Understand how you respond to being sold too, can make you a better salesperson. If you're anything like me and feel like no ads can work on you, well I suggest you do as I did and take a good account of your own buying habits and look for common themes. Language, presentation, intent. Find out what brands 'turn you on' and understand the difference between yours and theirs. 

4. Being able to build with the people in your environment is more important than blood or friendship bonds."

There are people whom I would love to work with but may not be suitable for the project I have in mind. Pre-established Social consistencies may lead the developing entrepreneur to mistake friends and family for their core, or target audience. Those who are close to you in some way may qualify as audience members, but as individuals, they default to preexisting interpersonal dynamics. As such, someone you love dearly can sincerely not care about whatever passion you're making a life of. This doesn't mean they don't care about you, on the contrary, they would love to see you happy. Just not at the expense of the established prerequisites for the relationship between them and you.

The main idea here centers on the understanding of what works for you vs. what you having working for you. Loyalties based on aesthetic -blood is thicker than water, for example- does little for your bottom line if you’re ‘for sale’  and even your family isn’t buying (seeing members of my own family casual wear my brand makes me feel like I’ve made it, thank you). The irony behind this opinion piece is I had a close friend question politely question my headline topic, and for good reason. Hence why I added ‘But should they be’. A professional Acquintence turned to colleague and friend, I am in fact happily part of her Audience as she is apart of mine in many ways. In this case, it is our Creative Passions that grew into a social and professional spectrum of association.

The bottom line, your goal is to succeed. The more your life depends on that, the greater your circle (personal and professional) should reflect those needs.

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