A buyer persona, also known as a customer persona or an avatar, is the “perfect” customer who exactly matches who your business caters to.
So, why would you want to create a customer profile in the first place?
Having a customer profile will help you communicate effectively with your actual target customers. This is something that is hugely underutilized, and something that anyone involved in any kind of marketing or branding should be doing. It’s one of the secrets that really helped me take my business to a new level eight years ago when I was doing niche websites.
You want to find out who your customer is and tailor your marketing to them.
Depending on your business, you may have one type of customer, or you could have several. If you have a brand with several different products, those may be targeted to different people, or to just one type.
WHO is Your Customer?
Figuring out WHO your customer is will impact every part of your business:
- Content Marketing
- Paid Traffic
- Product Creation & Ecommerce
- Email Marketing
Let’s go into these in more detail:
Knowing who will read and consume your blog posts, podcasts, and newsletters helps you know how you should create them, the level of writing, style and tone.
For instance, writing to somebody who is in their 20’s and fresh out of college will be completely different from somebody who is retired and with grandkids.
You want to target directly to your customer, not to the masses.
What platforms should you buy your traffic from? Does your customer hang out on Facebook? On YouTube? You’ll need to figure this out to spend your ad dollars wisely and to the right type of person who will be interested in what you offer.
How does your product solve a problem for your customer?
How should you describe what you are offering so that your ideal customer sees themselves as likely to benefit? What problem does your ideal customer have that your product or service can solve?
Which customer profile should receive which email campaign? What should you write about in your emails? This means segmenting your list and targeting each group accurately.
How to Research Your Customer Profile
When developing your customer profile, first think of what you are selling.
So, let’s say I have a website in the yoga niche…Who would buy from my website?
To find out, you have to consider the following in your research:
Demographics (who they are)
Psychographics (how they think)
Behaviors (what they do)
Problems & Pain Points (what keeps them up at night)
Objections (what beliefs might be in contradiction with your message)
- Married or Single
- Level of Education
- Spending Habits (for example, some people are impulse buyers and some need several emails before they’ll make a purchase)
What do they read and consume?
- Blog posts
- Television shows and movies
- Favorite music
Where do they spend their time online?
You want to advertise where they are. This can be done as easily as creating a poll and asking where they hang out the most online, or checking this information in Facebook demographics in their advertising manager.
- Website visits
- Purchasing methods (do they shop online? or prefer to go into a store to shop?)
- Habits and skills
- Shopping Preferences
Empathy mapping is a tool used to better understand your customer. To understand the customer, you want to think about the following:
- What do they think and feel?
- What is important to them? Is it important to them to buy gifts for other people? Is it important to them to buy things for their children, their family, their pet?
- What are their hopes and dreams?
- What do they say and do?
- What are they saying to others?
- What is their attitude?
What do they listen to? Who influences them and how? What do they see? What is their environment? How does it look? How can your product make life better?
Problems and Pain Points
What are their roadblocks in life? Why would they do a search in the first place where they could end up on your website (or your competitor’s), looking for your product, or your service? What is the problem they are trying to solve?
Finally, why would they NOT consider going to your website? What would make them click away and go to your competitor? What strategies would you use to solve this?
Mapping Out Your Customer Profile
After running through all those questions and having a much more clear idea of who my customer is, I’m ready to move forward. I like to give an identity by naming the target customer. So, let’s say I want to give this imaginary customer a name, Kimberly Smith. I will then write out a 500 word avatar describing such a person, such as:
Kimberly is a 45 year old mother of two boys who lives in Sacramento, California. She loves to play tennis on the weekends, goes to every PTA meeting, and drives her kids to and from football practice. She also has a full-time job, so she’s very busy, and worries about having enough time to do everything. She needs an hour a day to relax, and she does this through yoga. Yoga helps her manage her life and busy schedule, but she is constantly struggling to find time.
Based on my niche or product, I have to research and find out who would be interested in visiting my website or buying my product or service. If I am selling remote control cars, would Kimberly be my ideal customer? Based on research, not likely.
However, Kimberly would certainly be an ideal customer for my yoga niche website!
Thinking more about Kimberly, I can then make my messages speak directly to her. Since she has a full time job and is constantly on the run, how would I cater my content to her?
Well, I could write articles on how to better manage my time during a busy workday … how to balance work life and kids … how to always find time for yoga, etc …
Something as simple as angling my content towards “Kimberly Smith” on my niche website had such as an effect that my conversions went through the roof when I implemented those changes.
For my yoga website, I made all my marketing decisions based on the characteristics of the persona. I understood that you can’t be everything to everyone. When you have this avatar defined and it makes up 80% of your audience, then talk to that persona all of the time.
Could I target a man in his 60’s instead? I certainly could! But then I would angle EVERYTHING towards this type of persona instead. What would the content on my niche website be, then?
I would instead write articles on staying healthy while growing older, yoga for seniors, things to do when approaching retirement, how to find a senior’s yoga club in your area, etc …
Now that you know the demographics, psychographics, customer behavior and have created your empathy map.. you know exactly HOW and WHERE to advertise your products to your customer.
There is no more guesswork involved.
Start by building one customer profile. Once you do this, you can create other profiles for the different segments of your market. Each one will be just a bit different but will allow you to reach each part of your target audience.
Customer Profile Worksheet
We created a customer profile worksheet to help you in your research. Fill this out while doing your research to come up with your “perfect” customer.
Do you need to create more than one customer profile?
Focus on creating the customer profile for the product that brings in the most sales first, and then move on to creating additional profiles.
One thing is for sure, your marketing efforts will no doubt benefit from a more focused approach and you will benefit from more targeted traffic that will, in turn, lead to higher conversions.