How to create a Customer Persona for your business
Customer personas at first glance may seem confusing; However, if you own a business, it’s best to think of them as a fictional, generalized representation of your ideal customer. They help you understand your clients or prospects better. The strongest customer personas are based on market research and insights you gather from your existing client base through surveys and interviews; for most small businesses, one or two customer personas may suffice to start. As you get more extensive, or if you have broad service offerings, you may need more.
How can you use personas?
At the most basic level, personas allow you to personalize or target your sales and marketing efforts for different audience segments. Instead of sending the same lead nurturing emails to everyone in on your email list, you can segment by Customer persona and tailor your messaging according to what you know about those different personas.
For example, if they own a diesel truck, why waste time sending them an update about preparing a small sedan for a summer vacation.
Pro-tip: Take the time to create negative customer personas; Creating them will set you up to be at a substantial advantage as it will allow you to segment out the customers that are not a good fit for your products from the rest of your contacts. This can help you achieve a lower cost-per-client and cost-per-lead and see higher sales productivity. But most importantly, it helps you build customer loyalty as you are serving your core customers with the highest value products and services for them.
When combined with how far along someone is in your sales cycle or lifecycle stage, Customer personas also allow you to create targeted content for your specific clientele and help them learn about products or services that are best suited to their needs. By sending relevant information to your customers, they will engage more and stay in touch as you are helping them solve their challenges.
How do you create customer personas?
While one can guess and attempt to build your ideal client profile, it is best if they are created through surveys, research, and interviews of your target audience. It will often include a mix of prospects, clients, and those outside of your contact list who might align with your target audience if available.
Here are some practical ways to gather information to develop your Customer personas:
- Interview clients - Don’t worry if you are working virtually, this can be done, over the phone, or video call to discover what they like about your services. You are going to want to learn about their challenges and also how your products and services have helped them overcome those challenges.
- Utilize form fields in your CRM that capture important persona information on contact and inquiry forms.
- Work with sales (if that isn’t you). Either ask them or think about which types of leads you or they interact with the most. Which ones wind up being the best fits. Which ones don't usually find value in your offering.
- Pro-tip: Don’t forget to ask what else they may like to see you offer. It may help you uncover an unmet need of your current customers.
What are negative personas?
Where a customer persona represents your ideal client, a negative customer persona represents who you do not want as a client.
Take these personas for example:
- Professionals who are too advanced for your services
- Students who are only engaging with your content for research/knowledge
- Potential clients who are too expensive to acquire
One of the critical things to ensure your marketing is on point is to utilize Customer personas. As the saying goes, specific is terrific, and developing a good Customer persona is no different. Therefore we are offering you our free Customer persona template. It will let you easily organize your research to create your very own Customer personas. If you market with customer personas, you are not only marketing smarter but selling smarter!