Not Using Buyer Personas… You’re Missing Out!
The way buyer's buy has shifted. They have the power to find out about you and your products/services without ever having to talk to you. With a few keystrokes, they can ask for opinions on you or your competitor from friends, family, and random internet communities. So for you to keep up, you need be an active part of that research process, and the first step is knowing a lot more about your ideal customers than you probably do right now.
You have to know them well enough to understand what verbiage they are likely to use when doing a search... what problems they typically have long before they come to you... how they find their information... what their goals and challenges are... and a lot more. I know that sounds complicated - but there's a tool to help you do all of that. It's called a Buyer Persona.
So what is that? How does it work? And how do you make one? Let's take a look!
What are Buyer Personas
Let's start by looking at what they are. According to HubSpot:
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.
They serve as a visual aid to help you focus on the person behind the data. A good persona will provide information about their goals, challenges, a day in their life, objections to your services, and so much more.
How to put them to use
Now that you have these super awesome personas, it's time to put them to good use. HubSpot provides a useful guide with ways you can leverage your personas to grow your business. ( http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/ways-to-use-buyer-personas )
If you know where your customers are, then make sure your ad spend is going towards places they will see it. For example, if one of your personas is likely to be on Twitter instead of Facebook, then put more of your budget into Twitter and less into Facebook.
The same applies to your business. If your customers are on Twitter, then your team needs to spend more time reaching and interacting on Twitter.
Use your persona's lingo to talk to them naturally in a way they can relate to. Use their slang. Use their buzzwords.
Each person has unique goals, pain points, and language. So it makes sense that you would want to talk to each one a little differently when you send an email. Segmenting your lists helps you do that.
Since you know what appeals to them, creating offers to solve problems, provide information, or help them reach their goals can help you convert more visitors into leads. You gate that content behind a form and they exchange their contact information to get it.
The same is true for blog articles and videos... write each article or video for a specific person so that it is more likely to appeal to them and draw them into your site.
If you already have blog articles, videos, or offers, then you should take a minute to look them over and see if they align with your personas. If they don't, then consider revising them.
If you pair personas with the buyer's lifecycle stage you can reach them even better. A lifecycle stage is where someone is in the sales cycle. By speaking to the specific persona at the stage they are in, you can help them connect with your company and your products/services and move them along the sales cycle towards a decision to buy.
Identify other companies that are targeting the same personas you are. Invite them to write a guest post for your blog, or participate with you in a training session. This can be a powerful way to add value and save time.
It's good to know who good buyers are for you, but it's just as important to identify the bad ones. A bad customer can take a lot of time from your sales team without resulting in a sale. By spotting them early in the process, you can save a lot of time, effort, and expense.
Do you use buyer personas?
Please leave me a comment and tell me how you like using them it you do.
One of my first jobs was running a cash register in my grandmothers diner. My job was to talk to customers and and to keep everything in my area neat and organized. Now years later those lessons I learned help me in managing client files and projects. Making sure our team is working to help our clients reach their business goals is what drives me everyday.
I am a strong believer that to succeed in life you have to work hard and never let roadblocks stand in your way. You have to read and study but you also have to experience life and all that it can teach you.
My mission is to help clients and our team have the materials and knowledge they need to make every project a success, while making sure to spread some of the information I learn around for others to enjoy.