A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal and even not so ideal customer. Why do you need to know your ideal customer? Because this representation is going to tell you who is interested in what you sell and why – or which customer will buy your product. What you learn about your customer is going to help you increase sales by getting to know your customer on a more personal level and understanding their experiences, wants and needs. A Buyer Persona is helpful for all aspects of your business including, marketing, sales, products, and services. HubSpot.
Now that you understand why you need a Buyer Persona for your business, your first question is likely going to be ‘How on earth am I going to create this?’ You probably also have questions about finding the information for your Persona, and what information should you include?
I’ll help you with that!
Finding the information needed to bring your Persona to life is not going to be easy and will take some thought on your part, but the effort will be well worth it. Basic demographics regarding your area can be found online including the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the Census Bureau, fedstats.gov, Americanfactfinder.com, and don’t forget about checking with your local Small Business Administration.
If you have regular conversations with your customers you can make basic generalizations and can weave in certain questions during your conversations.
Looking for more than a few questions answered? Consider sending your email list a short survey. Survey Monkey has free options and paid options if you require something more detailed. Be sure to keep your inquiry short and simple so it does not seem like a hassle for them to complete. Are you interested in reaching out to a group of people you do not typically interact with or do you have a more detailed survey that needs to be answered? Response rates can be increased by offering small incentives such as gift cards or discounts.
Don’t forget about unsatisfied customers or non-customers. They may be able to provide insight into new products and services you could offer or ways in which your business could be improved.
Already have social media accounts? Facebook and Twitter provide basic demographic information of your followers.
If you are conducting interviews you might be curious about how many you should do. There is no magic number to reach, just continue interviewing people until you begin to receive the same answers. Once you start seeing these repeats it is ok to assume you have the information you need.
What type of questions should I ask? This is, of course, dependent upon what you want to learn and your industry, but be sure they are open-ended questions. Yes/no answers do not provide much insight. Some ideas that you may want to look into include:
- What challenges the customer is facing with your product?
- What social networks they use to find out information regarding products similar to yours?
- Describing a recent experience with your product?
- What publications does your customer read?
- How would they prefer to interact with your email, FB, Twitter?
Gather the information and start looking for similarities to help build your primary avatar. Once that is complete, look for other Personas you can create. Your customers are not all the same, so give equal attentions to each ‘type’ you can think of.
Finally, do not discount the information your employees can provide. Your employees interact with your customers on a daily basis. Have they received the same questions over and over? What do your employees know about your customers on a personal level? Is the customer struggling with finances or a family? All of this information can be helpful.
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