Ever wished you could read your customers’ minds and understand exactly what they’re looking for in a product or service?
That’s exactly what you can do when you create a buyer persona.
By talking to customers, doing your research and listening closely to your audience, you can learn more about them and their motivation to buy. This can help you solve their problems more effectively, meet their needs and grow your business at the same time.
Keep reading to find out how you too can create a buyer persona and then put what you’ve learned into practice immediately.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your customer. Most businesses don’t have just one buyer persona but many different types.
You can create your buyer persona(s) by doing thorough market research, collecting real data and asking your customers the right questions that allows you to understand them better.
Why create a buyer persona?
Creating a buyer persona will give you that ‘secret ingredient’ you need when marketing your business.
Not only will it help you understand your customers better and get clear on their struggles, challenges, goals and objections, but it will also help you improve your marketing efforts and ultimately gaining a better return on investment (ROI).
You’ll be able to tailor your content, social media posts, ads, product descriptions and even website copy to appeal to their greatest needs and challenges.
You’ll speak their language, understand their problems and understand how to provide the best solution for those problems.
You won’t need to make assumptions about your potential customers and what might appeal to them, because you’ll know. So instead of wasting time, energy and resources on marketing approaches that are unlikely to work, you can develop a crystal-clear focus on what you need and drive your business to greater success.
How do you create a buyer persona?
You can create your buyer persona by spending a small amount of time and effort talking to your customers and doing your market research.
Here are three tips that will help:
- Ask the right questions
- Offer incentives
- Look for a pattern
Reach out to existing customers and ask them as much as you can about themselves.
Ask them questions about:
- How old are they? What gender are they?
- What is their job title, income level and education?
- What are their greatest challenges in life?
- What do they like to do in their free time?
- How they search for information?
- What books/magazines/newspapers/websites they like to read?
- What made them buy your product?
- Where did they buy your product?
- How does your product meet their needs and demands?
- What would be a deal-breaker? Why wouldn’t they buy it?
- What social media sites do they like to spend time on?
- Do they prefer communication via email, post, social media, phone?
If you have a sales team, it’s also worth asking them about what types of people they usually interact with and making a note of their comments too.
Tools like Google Analytics can also provide insight as to what kinds of visitors you’re getting on your website, highlight similarities and help you refine your findings. Social Media Examiner have an excellent walkthrough on using Google Analytics to develop your buyer persona, it's worth checking out.
Don’t be deterred if your customers don’t seem too keen to answer your questions. This is completely normal. Make sure they’re aware that you’re not hoping to sell anything, and consider offering an incentive such as a gift card or discounts on your products or services.
Also, try to be flexible and do your best to work around them. Find a time to suit them and make sure it’s as convenient as possible.
By this point, you should have plenty of raw data that you need to organise before you can do anything useful with it.
Start by looking for any patterns you see in the data.
- Does anything stick out?
- Do you see common attributes time after time?
- Do your clients have the same challenges and goals?
Create groups from the similarities you spot and notice how your buyer persona begins to emerge. Remember that you don’t have to just have one or even two, but as many as you need. To organise the information that you have collected, why not try HubSpot’s excellent free buyer persona creation tool.
Create a buyer persona for your business and you’ll understand your customers better and start tailoring your marketing efforts to best meet their needs. Ask the right questions, offer incentives then create your buyer persona to help you take your online business to the next level.