Buyer personas, the not-so-secret weapon that a lot of businesses make and forget about.
I often hear the question: What’s the point in having one?
Long story short, they humanize your clients, making it easier to create content that connects with them on a personal level.
When done correctly, the results speak for themselves, such as increasing leads by 124% and organic search traffic by 55%. (i.e. more eyeballs on your brand)
Piqued your interest yet? 😊
Well today, I’m here to show you a detailed, non-techie way to build a buyer persona that not only boosts your leads and sales, but also leaves your clients feeling understood.
Follow along with me as we delve into buyer personas and their importance, followed by a super simple guide on how to create one that’ll bring you lasting results.
Table of Contents
But first, what even are buyer personas?
A buyer persona – also known as a customer persona, marketing persona, or user persona – is a fictional character of an ideal client based on exhaustive research. (Keywords: exhaustive research…) It represents whom you want to reach.
For buyer personas to work, they have to be specific. Visualize the traits, values, lifestyle, and buying decisions of your customer. Put a name and a face to that person. (More on this below!)
How many buyer personas should I have?
There is no ideal number of buyer personas. They should include those who want to or would purchase your product or service. However, keep in mind that too few or too many customer personas could skew your data 😢
Already want the complete guide to start converting casual viewers into paying customers? Get the full PDF with its accompanying template now.
The importance of buyer personas
Creating a buyer persona the right way is essential for your overall marketing strategy.
First off, having one lets you to enter the thought processes of your ideal clients so you can align your services as the solution to their problems.
Building buyer personas also puts a human touch on your communications. You’ll see how to speak the language of your audience, empathize with them and offer tailored solutions to help them achieve their goals.
In turn, your real audience will identify themselves with your brand, and your leads, site traffic and revenue will skyrocket 🚀
And in the end, you’ll thank yourself for not foregoing the initial work as your dream clients “miraculously” come rolling in.
All for connecting with them on the human level…
How to create buyer personas
Before diving into building a buyer persona, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Put yourself in their shoes. Define your target persona from their perspective, using FIRST PERSON. (That’s “I, me, my” etc.)
- While your buyer persona is fictional, keep it realistic and based on qualitative and quantitative data. It needs to be backed by research!
- You should regularly update your buyer personas. These are living documents. They should reflect the current characteristics of your target market. (This is especially true these days as COVID-19 has changed life as we know it.)
Now that you’re thoroughly convinced that creating personas for marketing will switch your business up a notch (if not, please start over), we get to the fun part!
Start by performing market research
Building buyer personas effectively starts with market research. Always.
You want to learn everything possible about their demographics, personal details, work information, communication preferences, and more.
Some of the best methods to learn more about your customer persona are right at your fingertips. They include:
- Surveys. Survey your existing customers. It’s collecting data straight from the source. Some of the most popular free online survey makers include SurveyMonkey, Google Forms and Survey Gizmo. (Pro tip: Check each service’s limitations before going all-in with them. It’ll save you time later.)
- Interviews. Call up current clients, prospects or referrals to ask about their challenges, goals, jobs, etc. To find out their underlying behaviors and motivations, get into the habit of asking why. You’ve interviewed enough people when you can anticipate what they’re going to say.
- Social media. Literally put yourselves in your clients’ shoes by hanging out in the groups, boards, hashtags, etc. they follow on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, and the like. What are they talking about there? What are their problems? What type of comments do they write?
- Blogs and forums. Just as you track activity on social media, do the same in industry and thought leader blogs. Find out what your target persona reads, and look into the comment sections. People may be more genuine with their comments outside of major social media sites. (Amazon can be a great tool to use here, too.)
- Competitor’s content. Online tools and gadgets to help you spy on your competitors are rampant these days. A lot are free and user-friendly. From tools that save web pages for future use to ones that monitor social mentions of your competition, it’s easier now than ever to keep an eye out for new trends.
Once you have enough data accumulated, you’re ready to move onto the next step.
Now it’s time to build your customer persona
The heavy lifting is done. You’re ready to start putting together your marketing persona.
Answer the following questions in each of the categories as detailed as you can based on your insights collected.
What are their personal details? 👩🏽🦱
- Is your buyer persona male or female?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What is their level of education? From which schools, colleges or universities?
- How much do they earn? To support how many people?
- Are they married, divorced, widowed or single?
- What do they do during the day?
- What are their hobbies?
- What are they afraid of?
- What are their biggest challenges?
What is their work life like? 👩🏽💻
- Where do they work?
- What is their job?
- What is their career path? How did they end up where they are today?
- What skills and knowledge are required to do that position?
- What are some specific work challenges? (Example: Instead of saying struggling with remote managing due to the pandemic, you might say struggling with coordinating weekly schedules and tasks remotely for 5 team members.)
- What are some specific work-related goals and objectives? (Example: Instead of saying increase revenue, change it to earn 30% more than last year’s gross income.)
- What are some successes in the workplace?
- Do they participate in any professional networks or have a membership in organizations?
How do they consume or receive information? 📱
- What social media platforms are they using? How often? For what? (Example: lurking, interacting with friends, publishing their own content, etc.)
- Do they prefer text, audio, or visual?
- Do they prefer short- or long-form content?
- What magazines, newspapers, websites, podcasts, YouTube channels, etc. do they consume and follow?
- What are the topics of content they are consuming? In which industries? From which thought leaders and professionals?
- What are their communication preferences? (in-person meetings, text messages, video chats, phone calls, email, etc.)
- What device do they tend to use when consuming information? When? How?
And MOST IMPORTANTLY, what are their buying decisions? 🧠
- What will they ask about your product or service?
- What will they expect to receive from your product or service?
- What are some objections or concerns they may have about your product or service?
- What makes them believe your solution is the best option?
- Which of your brand values do they resonate with?
Remember to always ask why after each question, where applicable. This will help you delve deeper into the thinking and reasoning behind your persona’s motives.
And when you have the above questions answered, don’t forget to put the final touches on the marketing persona, which include:
- A name. Naming your buyer persona helps you humanize him or her. Make it easier for yourself to imagine that you’re taking to a real person.
- A photo. Look for a photo that accurately represents your customer persona so that you can visualize and sincerely empathize with the person.
- A quote. This quote exemplifies what the person values about your product or service. (Surveys and social media comments and mentions are good sources for this.)
- A marketing message. It’s one sentence capturing how your brand helps this specific person move toward his or her goals and solves his or her problems.
Your customer persona is complete!
From today on, always keep your buyer persona(s) in mind with each decision for your business and marketing strategy.
If done correctly, the real people your personas represent will begin to identify themselves with your company, leading to an increase in brand awareness, quality leads and income.
Once again, all for that connection on a human level.
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