It’s time to learn more & adapt quickly if you want your business to succeed.
If you’ve heard talk about customer personas before and the whole idea leaves you a little uninspired, take heart. These simple steps will prove to you that this isn’t useless psychobabble but instead this is the single most useful tool to make your business explode with success!
When you sit wondering what to post on your social networks, what to write on your blog or how to develop a new product, this process will sweep away the cobwebs, activate the heavenly choirs and have you shouting “Eureka” in no time!
You might have heard a customer persona referred to as a buyer persona, audience persona or marketing persona. But what we’re really talking about is devising a reliable and repeatable method to help us create the type of content that will resonate with our ideal audience and convert them into enthusiastic fans and loyal customers.
When you’re trying to find customers for your business, it’s easy to get lost in the running of the company, paying the bills, attending meetings, troubleshooting. It’s easy to go on auto-pilot when considering customers and how to market your products and services to them.
Making time to create Customer Personas, gives you an opportunity to think solely about what’s important to your audience … not what’s important to you.
What exactly is a Customer Persona?
A Customer Persona is a descriptive document, list or even a drawing of who, if you got to hand-pick them, would be your ideal customer. What characteristics and back-story would your ideal customer have?
To make this ideal customer as real as possible, it’s important to give them a name and some additional demographic details. Think about what their interests might be, where they live, what job do they have, in fact as many details as you can to make them into ‘real’ potential customers of your business.
You can create a physical representation of your ideal customer by cutting out photos from a magazine, printing out images from stock photography sites (such as Unsplash or Pixabay) or simply create a stick-man drawing in your notebook.
Whatever you choose to do, the important thing is to create a realistic character. This will help you craft your marketing messages and target your product development, whilst using an authentic brand voice on your choice of social media networks, website, email marketing, advertising campaigns and blogs.
You may find that you need to create more than one type of Customer Persona if you have different products or services that suit different types of buyers. Each one can represent various segments of your customer base.
But how can I use my Customer Persona to market my business?
Drop the marketing speak, ditch the buzzwords and throw out the jargon!
Focus instead on the real humans that are going to be reading your posts on social networks, blogs, emails etc. Every time you make a decision about your business, think about your Customer Persona and how it will affect them.
Are your plans really reaching your ideal customer?
Continue to develop your Customer Personas and shape your business to fit their needs and solve their problems.
Remember: It’s not about you!
Don’t just focus on the positives. Ask yourself why a customer wouldn’t like your company or a specific product. What would they think of your customer service? How would they feel if their direct messages or comments were ignored? Can they find better elsewhere?
Be honest & truthful with your responses!
Here’s one I prepared earlier for a talk to local businesses:
Can a Customer Persona help me to create online ads?
Yes. Customer Personas are especially good at helping you discover your target markets. Online advertising, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google, can be precisely matched to the people or businesses that are most likely to buy your products and services.
However, many businesses create and publish adverts that haven’t been defined for their specific audiences. You know the ones I’m talking about: they’re the spammy adverts that waste time and ad budget being shown to people who aren’t interested and have no intention of buying anything.
With a clearly thought-through Customer Persona you’ll be able to apply a concentrated focus on the people that your products will actually help. When you know who your customer is and what interests them, you’ll know how, when and where to find them.
With a Customer Persona, you’ll know:
1) What type of content will speak to your buyers and
2) Which social channels your buyer persona will use most.
What should I include in my Customer Persona?
The more accurate research you use, the more accurate your Customer Persona will be.
You can find information from your social media analytics, Facebook Audience Insights, customer database, Google Analytics, market research, testimonials. If you work within B2B sectors, make sure you also look at the size of the business your Customer Persona works for and who makes the purchasing decisions. See if you can identify patterns or specific needs.
Know what your customer pain points are & discover how you can help
Take some time to write down all the problems, stresses, issues and ‘road-blocks’ that your customers encounter. How does this make them feel? How do these problems affect their lives or the jobs they have to do? Can you draw on any similar issues in your own life?
With social media you can, with the right searches, find out what upsets your customers and learn about the solutions they’re looking for. What are the most common complaints from people searching for products and services like yours? Consumers can be incredibly vocal online and here’s your chance to really listen and take note of how you can help them.
Be brave, drop the ego and be prepared to listen and understand someone else’s point of view.
Whether they’re professional or personal goals, it’s important to understand what motivates your customer and what type of language they use.
Take a look at your Customer Persona and really get under the skin of your customer. Don’t forget to think about potential business partnerships that could provide an exclusive service or offering that would delight your buyers. Be as creative as you can and add different elements and solutions that could help drive product development.
A final word from me
Once I understood the power of regularly developing Customer Personas in detail, I found that the way I ran my business, and developed products and services, became so much easier and a lot more rewarding. Try it and let me know how you get on, I’d love to know what you discover about your customers.