What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal client or target audience. In order to target your customers with success, it’s important to have a clear picture of the audience to whom you’re marketing. In other words, buyer personas help you understand your current and prospective clients and customers better. After defining your buyer persona, it’s much easier to tailor your content, services, and products to fit the needs of your customer.
Collecting information for your buyer persona
The best and easiest way to begin to create your buyer persona is by looking at and talking with your current (or past) customers. If they’re already buying from you, they are your ideal audience. Here are a few ideas for how to find out more about your current customers:
- Send out a short survey to your main contacts, asking some basic demographic questions and other questions about their interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. Scroll down to find some great questions to ask. You may have to include a small incentive to encourage your customers to respond to your survey, but the results will be well worth the cost.
- Chat with your customers! If you have a brick-and-mortar store, take advantage of the face-to-face interaction by getting to know your customers. You can do this in a way that is friendly, but not annoying. Get to know their needs, offer to help, or make small talk at the register. Similarly, for online businesses, you can get to know customers better during sales calls or through customer service. In other words, be interested in your customers!
- Talk to your customer-facing employees or coworkers. If you don’t often have contact with your customers, talk to the people who do! For instance, your project managers and account managers are probably in direct contact with your customers. Take advantage of their insight to get a better sense of the clients with whom your company is already working.
- Use social media and the internet. Check out your own analytics on your website and social media ads. What pages do your visitors view the most or for the longest amount of time? What content is downloaded the most, and who is downloading it? Use LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media sites. Read blogs on your persona’s industry or area of expertise. If you don’t have any existing customers, use social media, blogs, and articles to get to know more about the type of customers you want to have.
Questions to ask about your buyer persona
As you’re researching and contemplating a buyer persona, here are some great questions to ask:
- What is his/her job? Education?
- Can you describe his/her family situation? How about hobbies?
- What is his/her gender and age?
- What are his/her most common keywords on their online searches?
- How often does he/she check his/her email?
- How often does he/she check his/her phone
- Is he/she active on social media? Which social media platform does he/she use the most?
- What is the best way to contact him/her? (i.e. phone, email, ads, etc.)
- Where does he/she look for information about services?
- What is your buyer persona’s main objective?
- What are your buyer persona’s secondary objectives?
- How would he/she describe his/her typical day?
- What personal and career goals does he/she have?
- What are the challenges your buyer persona faces on a daily basis? (i.e. lack of time, lack of productivity, better resources, etc?)
Creating your buyer persona
Unless you have a very specific product, you will probably want to create more than one buyer persona. Let’s start by taking the information you’ve collected and turning it into a persona who can really help give your business some direction. You’re going to want to use the information you have to write a description of a fictional person who fits your buyer persona.
Important information to include when defining your buyer persona:
- Name: Giving your buyer persona a memorable name will help him or her come to life and stick in your mind. You may find it helpful to include an alliteration, such as “Small Business Owner Sarah”, “Marketing Manager Mark”, or “Student Steve”.
- Roles & Responsibilities: What role does your buyer persona play in his or her job/life? How would this person describe what he or she does on a daily basis?
- Goals: What goals does this person have? Are they ensuring customer satisfaction? Creating new ideas to generate sales? Hoping for a raise?
- Challenges: What challenges does this person confront in his or her industry? Time management? New systems? Employee management?
- Demographics: Be sure to include information such as the customer’s age, annual income, marital status, location, and education.
- Story or bio: This is where you can expand on all of the information you’ve gathered. Talk about a day in the life of your buyer persona, how this person got to where they are, interests outside of work, and any other information you’d like to include.
- Photo: Lastly, you may want to add a photo to your buyer persona. This step is optional, however, many people feel that including a picture really helps to bring the buyer persona to life.
Once you’ve collected all this information, put it together in a readable format, and you have defined your buyer persona! After that, you can use this buyer persona to keep a very clear idea in your mind of your ideal customer. For more ideas and examples, don’t be afraid to search buyer persona examples online—there are lots! You can also find lots of free, downloadable templates that can be helpful in putting your buyer persona on paper.
Click here to see a sample buyer persona!
Now let’s get to work!
Now that you’ve defined the type of person to whom you want to market, let’s get to business! Your buyer persona will help you tailor your content, product development, and services to meet the specific needs of your clients. Remember, it’s a good idea to make more than one buyer persona, since you will likely be marketing to more than one type of person.
We want your marketing to matter!
At Lifedge, we know that it’s frustrating to spend time and money on marketing without seeing results. Lifedge exists to help businesses go from marketing frustration to marketing success. Want to know more? Check us out here! We hope this post helps you in learning more about your ideal audience and defining your buyer persona!