When thinking about expanding our professional network we can often mistake aimless scrolling, likes, and half-hearted interactions for genuine connections. The reality is that building
All people are different, it’s one of the many factors that make the world such an interesting place. There are hundreds and thousands of buyer personas. However, when it comes to marketing, it makes things a little more tricky. People will react differently to your product, your service, even your business posts. You can run the same marketing campaign 100 times and you would see 100 different results.
So how do you ensure you find what the buyer not only wants but wants to see. If everyone has different preferences, how do you find the right people for you? Impossible right?
Of course not, in fact it is pretty simple, and if you hadn’t guessed it by reading the title. The answer is a buyer persona. Buyer personas are an invaluable method to gather customer data and ensure you are using the best marketing for the job.
So, how do we build such a persona? As always, read on.
The 3 Ws
In school we there always seems to be the 5 Ws: who, what, where, when, and why. But luckily in this instance we can get rid of when and where, leaving us with the whos, the whats, and the whys.
When first setting up your persona you need to find your perfect target audience and ideal clients.
- What sort of language they use – Do they speak as if they have swallowed an Oxford dictionary, or do they use as many abbreviations as possible?
- Who they follow – Who are their main influencers and what platform are they on? Do they solely read Shakespeare or perhaps they go to Giovna Fletcher for all advice when it comes to parenting?
- Why do they want your product? – Are you an eco friendly brand and so they will support you through thick and thin, or their 3 older brothers all like you so everyone should?
Some of these examples are a little extreme perhaps, but remember that everyone will rest somewhere between 2 extremes.
To find out all this information, and more the best way forward is to engage in some customer audits. There is nothing wrong with simply talking to your customers and asking them questions. They will get a sense that you really care about them, and you will gain incredibly useful information. You can get all the knowledge you need, and if you are struggling at all, there are many client assessment templates out there.
It’s all in the detail
So now that we know the target audience, it is time to delve a little deeper still. Really get to know what makes your customers tick. It is one thing to know your audience, but another to understand them, if you really want to succeed you need to know who your audience really is.
A buyer persona can give you this key knowledge and help you to understand thing such as:
- What they want to achieve.
- What is getting in the way of them achieving their goals.
- What is their motivation for their goals?
These aspirations can be both in the workplace and outside it.
We mentioned before how talking to your customers can get you some information, and once again this stands true. The more indepth you are with your customers (without crossing boundaries) the more they will also begin to trust you. With trust comes loyalty and a willingness to open up.
Do you have a specific team who talks to your customers? If so be sure to talk to them too! They probably know your customers better than you if they talk to them day in and day out. You can send out surveys, hold group workshops, and have smaller meetings and discussions.
You now have all your data, great stuff, well done. Now comes the slightly laborious task of putting it all in one place.
Look at your demographics, it might be that you notice a pattern. If it happens to be that 75% of your clients seem to be 25 – 35 year old males working in fashion. You would probably be looking at making a different layout of a website and persona than if 60% are 30 – 50 year old women in accounting. Look for a common thread throughout the data you have gathered.
Just as your clients have goals and challenges, so too should your buyer persona. What is it that they want to achive and what is stopping them from doing so? How can your business help them with said goals?
Give life to your creation
It is time to make your persona! All the data you have on your spreadsheet can only take you so far, and what’s more you might not even need every scrap of data you have acquired.
A great way to start is to look at your persona as if it were the top of a C.V. Starting with age, marital status, occupation, gender, and location. From there you will probably find it easier to visualize this persona, if you can imagine them it is easier to give them life.
Remember that this persona is only semi fictional, they may not truly exist, but they represent your customer base, and hopefully that does exist. So if they are real it is only fair they should have a name and a face. Go and grab a stock image of a person for free, and whack it on the C.V.
Hubspot’s persona generator is particularly useful, it’s template has a lot of customization but is all easy to use. As you carry on with the creation look at your persona as an in-depth Top Trumps card. How motivated are they? What personality traits do they have? What annoys them and hinders them?
Don’t forget too, to write a little bio for them, some flavour text if you will.
There you have it, your persona is ready to go out into the real world. Soon they will be flying the nest and you will wipe a solitary tear from your eye. But before they do, make sure they get all that marketing info that you need.