Here’s the thing: buyer personas are the most underrated part of your marketing strategy. Many small business owners will dream up their ideal customers during the early stages of opening their business, but very few people actually incorporate their buyer personas into their marketing strategy.
We think that’s crazy. After all, why wouldn’t you want to ensure that your marketing efforts are reaching the people you want to do business with? Buyer personas--the fictional representation of your ideal customers--are crazy helpful. They allow you to create products, content, sales strategies--really anything--with intention.
Basically, buyer personas are sent from the heavens above to aid in customer acquisition and retention, and to help you create marketing strategies that actually succeed. Don’t believe me? Check out what HubSpot has to say about it.
Okay, they’re not heaven-sent. It actually takes some work to create personas that do all this work. The good news is that we’re here to help you figure out how to build them.
How to Build Buyer Personas That Work
There are four crucial elements to creating a buyer persona.To nail them down, start with the following exercises:
A Day In the Life
If you loved creative writing in high school, you’re going to love creating your buyer personas. This first exercise is the easiest: start by dreaming up your dream customer. The person whose life your product is going to change. The start of your business’s revolution. What are they like?
Consider: is your ideal customer male or female, and why? (We’re not aiming for gender discrimination here.) How old are they? Do they have a family? What industry do they work in?
Think about how your buyer personas spend their time. Are they working a 9-5 they hate, or are they living it up as a digital nomad? Your buyer persona doesn’t have to be anyone extraordinary--in fact, they probably won’t be. This person should encapsulate the every(wo)man who is going to rock your business’s world.
What’s Your Issue, Anyway?
Okay, you’ve got an idea of your brand soulmate. You know how old they are, how much money they make, and what they ate for breakfast this morning. Awesome! Now ask yourself: what does your buyer persona want?
Get specific. Saying that your buyer persona is “hungry and tired after work” is probably not good enough--but saying that they want to “eat healthy, home-cooked meals that don’t take more than thirty minutes to cook” is perfect. That’s the difference between a buyer that wants McDonalds and one that subscribes to Blue Apron. Bam.
So What’s Stopping You?
Without obstacles, we’d all be fit, genius, uber-efficient millionaires. But that’s not how the real world works, so it’s probably not how your buyer personas operate, either. What problems are standing in the way of your buyer persona achieving their dreams?
Consider: Are they stressed because menial, repetitive tasks are eating up too much of their time at work? Do they want to cut back on caffeine but need something to warm them up on rainy autumn mornings?
How Can We Help?
Now that you know who your buyer personas are, what they want, and what’s standing in their way, it’s time to consider: how can you solve their problems and help them get what they want?
A good buyer persona should influence everything from the types of products or services you have on offer to the email subject lines you choose when you send out that next e-blast. Everything you do from this point forward should be tailored to your various buyer personas. This will help reduce the stress and confusion both you and your customers feel: you’ll know where to find them, and they’ll know that you’re there to make things easier.