Stop Finding Your Target Audience. Do This Instead.

Many people struggle when they’re starting their personal brand, because they don’t know who they’re writing for.Stop Finding Your Target Audience. Do This Instead.Many people struggle when they’re starting their personal brand, because they don’t know who they’re writing for.

Sounds familiar? You’re not alone. 

It’s especially difficult when you’re just starting out. You have nothing to work with. Only a few posts, a small audience, hardly any traction. That means that you can’t really find out who’s reading your stuff and who’s interacting with it, can you? 

First of all, you’re posting into the void. Through follow for follow you might manage to pick up a couple of followers but most won’t really interact with the stuff you write. 

And because you don’t know who you’re writing for, you don’t really know what problems they have. What interests they have. 

You wouldn’t know what to write at all so you post random stuff. 

For the first couple of months, you post and post and post, but it all results in the same thing: crickets. 

You’re writing shitty posts (even though you don’t know it yet) and the only engagement you get is from other people that are just starting out and building their personal brand. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to get some support from fellow ambitious people. They help you grow by engaging with your stuff so your reach gets bigger. But it’s of no help whatsoever if you want to find your people. 

So you think: what’s the point? 

And then you do what any sensible person would do…

You quit.

I had the very same issue when I started out my account a year ago. I also had no traction at all and quit after 2.5 months. 

And I’m not alone, you see it over and over again. People with a couple hundred followers, thousands of tweets and yet they only get 20 views tops. 1 or 2 likes. No comments whatsoever. Feel shitty, doesn’t it? So why bother?

But then I thought: quitting doesn’t get you anywhere except at the exact point you are then and there. No progress. The only thing you’ve learned by then is that what you were doing isn’t getting you where you want to go.

And yet, it’s what most people do when they’re all excited and start their own personal brand. 

The solution to this problem? It’s elegant in it’s simplicity. 

Write to Your Prior Self

We spoke about teaching others in The Six Step Method to Learn Anything Fast. It’s a great way to summarize what you’ve learned. 

What’s also great about this method, is that your problems aren’t unique. Other people are also learning about pretty much any subject you can think of. 

Personal branding is showing other people what you want to be known for. 


For me, that’s the most simple and basic definition of a Personal Brand. 

Whatever it is you’re sharing, you’re probably sharing it because you’ve either learned something or found it interesting (and even then, you’ve either learned something or verified what you already knew). Either way, it’s worth sharing. You do so because it holds a certain value to you and you want others to benefit from that.

Other people follow you for that reason. 

So it really makes a ton of sense to create content for yourself, right? 

Don’t Create A User Persona. You’re Your User Persona.

In marketing, a thing called a “User Persona” is quite a standard thing to create. But there’s a big, big difference between personal brands and corporates. Most companies are not the target market for their own products. Maybe they’ve started out that way but when they grow larger, this doens’t work anymore. 

→ When you address issues you’ve had on a personal level, you’ll naturally connect with your audience on an emotional level. 

It’s far easier to talk about the problems you’ve faced. Interesting things you’ve experienced. All these things come natural to you and if you frame is as advice to your old self, you’ll have a target audience. You’re really not that special. 

How Imposter Syndrome Screws You Over (And How to Get It Out of the Way)

But still many people struggle with this approach because of a psychological phenomenon: imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome means you doubt your accomplishments and take them for granted. You think it’s luck that made the good things in life happen to you and you exlude any of the accomplishments you’re actually responsible for. 

Many people on X are pretending to be knowledgeable which is something a lot of us hate. Or you might feel you don’t have anything valuable to share in the first place. 

The beauty of writing to your prior self, is that you get to bypass these feelings. 

You’re simply telling yourself what you’ve learned and this doesn’t make you one of those pretenders at all. If anything, the way you’re writing it feels way more personal and therefore doesn’t come across as if you’re the new “guru” on any topic you’re talking about. This approach even helps you to further get rid of the dreaded niche. 

How, you might wonder? Well, you learn stuff every day. Whatever you do, you’ll learn something through it. Chances are, you read something out of interest to you and most of the time, these things were either recommended by someone, or are a logical followup of what you were learning before. Either way, everything is connected. Everything is useful to write about in that sense. 

Say you’re learning something about sports and post about it, and then learn something about data interpretation. They’re not immediately connected, but can drive progress still. Pretty much any topic you read about (or watch or whatever) broadens the knowledge you have and therefore it’s worth sharing as long as you connect the dots for people. Or at least incidate connections. See where we’re going here?

How Writing To Your Prior Self Helps Meeting The 3 Basic Psychological Needs

Humans have 3 basic psychological needs, which are

  • Autonomy – The need to make our own choices and control our of life and actions.
  • Competence – The need to be effective and develop skills.
  • Relatedness – The need to feel connected with others and be part of society.

If you want to read more on this, start with reading this.

By writing to your old self, you’ll inherently address these needs. 

  • Autonomy – You’ll be able to determine what you’re writing about. You decide what you share and therefore meet the need for autonomy. There’s no one interfering, it’s just you making these choices. 
  • Competence – Sharing the lessons you’ve learned and the experience you’ve had through them, create a sense of effectiveness. By posting these things, you’ll reflect on your progress and abilities. 
  • Relatedness – As you’re sharing your progress, you’ll get rid of imposter syndrome. You’re not the annoying guru. And as a result, you’ll inspire people. Not only to follow you but to take action. To see what has been working and what hasn’t. You’re teaching others, which is one of the most effective parts of learning in the first place. There’s always people that go through similar challenges as you. 

A piece of advice that you’ll hear over and over in the beginner space is that you only have to be one or two steps ahead of the people you’re teaching. As you reflect on what we’ve just went through above, you’ll probably see why this works. 

Out of the billions of people on this planet, there will always be people that are right behind you. For example, I’m learning about personal branding right now. Tons of people have done so before me but I haven’t. I know for a fact that there’s still more people that want to do so too. To them, what I’m learning right now, is valuable. They won’t learn as much from the people 25 steps ahead. They’ll learn far more from someone who’s just a little bit ahead. 

  • You’ll find your authentic voice because you’re speaking to you.
  • You know your pain points, interests and preferences
  • You’ll kick imposter syndrome out of the window.
  • People find it really easy to relate with you.
  • Your stuff evolves with you.
  • People will engage more.

Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. Take a moment right now to think about a problem your earlier-self struggled with. Write a post addressing that problem and share it by quote-tweeting this tweet with your reply. 

Remember: you’re not alone in this. By writing to your earlier self, you’re not just finding your voice — you’re finding your audience.

Build a personal brand that really suits you.


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