So many startup founders are thinking about how to attract investments to their venture before brainstorming about the economic viability of their idea. An essential step for this is to figure out who will be the potential buyers for the company’s products or services constructing the buyer personas. In this article, we’re going to explain how to create a buyer persona and give you an example of buyer personas that you can use to ensure you are on the right track. Ready to get started? Read on to find out more.
The basics – how to create a buyer persona
OK, so let’s kick things off by explaining the basics on how to create a buyer persona. In short, it’s one of the most valuable weapons in your marketing armoury, and it acts as a cornerstone for pretty much everything you will do. When working out your buyer personas, your personas are based on what amounts to your typical customer – the absolute average of who they are, what they do, and why they like buying your product. Essentially, you are creating a fictional profile based on your understanding of your customers are. So, when creating a buyer persona your buyer persona will inform the type of content you write, the copy you use on your sales pages and advertisements and can even help you improve your products and brand.
OK, so the big question is – how do you create a buyer persona from scratch? And how many should you create – is one enough or should you be doing more? Well, as a rule, you should consider creating anywhere between three and five personas, which should be enough to cover the types of people that enjoy buying your product, reading your blog, or have an interest in what you do. This size is small enough to allow you to be very specific and large enough to cover most bases.
If you want to get started on creating a buyer persona quickly, there are hundreds of basic templates you can use – check out the Hubspot website for plenty of examples. Most of these templates include the same basic information on buyer persona creation and can be used for most business types, regardless of sector. It’s this basic information that will guide your thinking, and it’s important to ensure you don’t miss anything out – let’s take a look at what you should include in a basic buyer persona template.
Example of Buyer Personas – a rough guide
When creating a buyer persona, the golden rule is that the more information you have at your disposal, the more accurate your personas will be. However, when considering how to create a buyer persona, the following information is critical.
Who are they?
Start by getting a name and job title, including where your audience works and a few details about the role that they perform. How big is the company they work for? Are they self-employed? What type of industry do they work in? These are all key parts of their story, and will inform you precisely on building the perfect buyer persona, so be as thorough as possible.
What are they?
OK, so let’s go through the next steps of the process in creating buyer personas. Next, start looking at your audience’s demographics. This information will be things like age, gender, salary and household income. it should also include information on where they live, their education levels and whether or not they have started a family.
What are their challenges or goals?
The next step of learning about your ideal buyer persona is one of the most important – what drives your audience? What are their pain points, and what are they looking to achieve? How will you help them with their goals, or how does your product give them a solution to their problems? You should list primary and secondary goals and primary and secondary challenges.
What fears do they have?
All consumers are wary of new products or services. And the reality is that these fears could stop them from buying into what you do. It’s vital that you work out your audience’s fears and values, including any common objections that they might have had in the sales process.
There is a lot more information that could prove invaluable to your marketing efforts, of course. And given that your specific product or business might need different types of information, it makes sense to pursue it.
For example, let’s say you are working out how to create a buyer persona and you have a business in the health industry or run a sports class. It will be a good idea to find out your audience’s hobbies – what other sports do they do, or how many times a week do they work out? If you are an online business, it might be a good idea to work out how computer literate your customers are – is it likely that they will find your service online, or do you need to think of alternative ways of getting your message across to them?
Finally, don’t forget about the media that your audience consumes – do they read other blogs? What news channels do they use to find out what is going on in the world? Of course, getting this kind of information is going to involve running interviews with customers and getting real quotes.
Where to find the relevant information for buyer persona examples
There is information you can use about your customers almost everywhere you look – you just need to know where to look.
A good starting place is your website analytics. Services like Google Analytics will store a huge amount of useful information on how to create a buyer persona, such as their age, location, and gender. It will even tell you the platform your audience is looking at your site on – perhaps they are using their desktop, or may be accessing your site via their smartphone? Finally, your analytics will also tell you how long they are spending on your site. This data is critical to working out the most successful types of blog posts and content – the pieces that people are spending time on.
Another good source of information is your employees – particularly those with customer-facing roles. If you can get your whole team together, you can build up a pretty nice examples for your buyer personas. And it’s important to treat this as a project everyone can get involved with – not just your marketing team. Anyone who interacts with customers can play a role, from customer service team members through to employees focused on growth and development.
Don’t forget about social media – it’s an incredible opportunity to listen to what people are saying about your business. You can ask questions, host live videos, or even just respond to customer’s queries. Whether you are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat, make sure you are utilizing your social media listening skills to gain a lot of helpful buyer persona information.
But finally – and most importantly – it’s talking to your customers that could make the difference. As we discussed earlier, surveys and interviews are a vital tool when you are trying to create a buyer persona of any worth. Interviews are probably the best of the two, as you can really drill into your customer’s thoughts. Although it’s fair to say interviews are more time-consuming, it is often worth the effort as you will be able to establish all the pain points, goals and value issues your audience might have for your business.
Creating your buyer persona
OK, so what does an actual buyer persona look like? Using some of the information you have got from the methods outlined above, you can actually build up an accurate picture of the type of person interested in your product or business.
To start with, buyer personas are often given real names – doing this helps you view the persona as an actual person. It’s important that your personas have as much personality as possible if you want them to work effectively. In essence, your buyer persona examples will have an influence on your final decisions, so it makes sense to treat them as an actual person.
So, let’s take a look at a simple buyer persona example. In this example, we’ll assume you are a software developer who is selling a time-saving app.
Works with small business owners, helping them file tax returns and produce accurate financial records
Not a key decision maker, but aspires to be
Gender: Mostly male
Location: Urban, metropolitan
Relationship: Not married, no kids
Goals and challenges
Needs to work more efficiently
Wants to climb the corporate ladder
How we can help
Offer advice on blog posts
Refine app to help accountants save more time
Values and fears
Depends on accuracy, needs to be easy to set up and use.
Works late hours so may need extended support service
Worried about price – needs to prove saving time will also save money
The marketing message
So, now you have your marketing personas in place, it’s time to create the perfect marketing message. There are two things to achieve, here – decide on your marketing message and create an elevator pitch that describes what you do in a sentence or two.
Taking the persona example above, this might look a little like this:
The ultimate app for saving accountants time when filing financial records.
‘App X’ is designed for accountants to help them save time. It’s easy to use, helps you share records with clients, and will save you x amount of hours every single week.
As you can see, building an accurate buyer persona is a vital part of your marketing efforts. Why not give it a try for your small business and see what you come up with? Good luck!