If it seems like you can’t go a day without a thought leader from your marketing or sales circles mentioning ‘buyer personas’, there’s good reason for it. Working without them is simply not an option if you want to be successful.
To give you perspective, trying to market or sell your services without having detailed buyer personas is like inviting everyone you know to the same party at your house.
Sure, it would be great to see all of your friends, coworkers, and family members together, but since these acquaintances are all so different, it might make for an awkward get-together.
For instance, how will you know if your work friends like the music you and your college buddies listen to? Will your family members hate the same food your neighbors love? What activities should you plan to keep the night interesting?
No matter how awesome your preparations are, the chances of everyone liking everything are very small. Something may appeal to one of your friends, but it may send another screaming from the room.
You cannot afford to spin your wheels trying to please everyone — and that’s exactly what you need to learn for your business to increase.
To have highly-converting leads all the time, you’ll need to narrow down the playing field in which you market your services to. All you need to do is create one or a few impeccable buyer personas to get you started.
Don’t worry — we’ll show you exactly how to tackle this important step today.
What Are Buyer Personas Anyway?
A buyer persona is the fictional representation of your ideal client.
That seems easy enough, especially if you’ve been marketing and selling for a while, but we’re not just talking about general demographics like age and gender here.
A comprehensive buyer persona will detail information. Such as:
- How your target customer defines their challenges, goals, and meaning of success.
- What skills and tools are required to perform their job.
- And even outlines their preferred social media platforms.
At their heart, buyer personas should give you intel, about the thinking and rationale, behind every purchase your target customer makes.
The more detailed your buyer persona, the easier it will be to close sales because you’ll know exactly what your ideal consumer is looking for.
Here’s Why Buyer Personas Are So Important
They Create a Cohesive Message
When a brand doesn’t know the clientele it wants to attract, they may try to appeal to everyone, refusing to nail down a point of view that defines their true message.
But a wishy-washy message is just the same as a weak message, so in reality, it appeals to no one.A wishy-washy message is just the same as a weak message. It appeals to no one. Click To Tweet
Once you know exactly who you’re targeting, you’ll be able to use the same language your clients use on the same platforms they frequent to convey an understanding of their struggles. Your target client will identify with your brand because your motives and solutions seem to be tailor-made just for them.
They Focus Your Marketing Efforts
Many business owners and salespeople believe that “anyone and everyone” is a potential customer. They think that by casting a wide net, they’ll have access to a greater amount of leads.
While this may be true in terms of numbers, it means nothing when we’re talking about conversion.
You don’t need a million potential customers, you need a million paying and converting customers.
Once you understand exactly what your buyer persona is struggling with, and learn what it takes to convince them to invest in your services, you’ll never need to worry about pitching your services to leads who won’t ever convert.
“Buyers are 48% more likely to consider solution providers that personalize their marketing to address their specific business issues.”
Your marketing efforts will be so laser-focused they strike gold every time and resonate with your target audience.
You’ll Learn What Influences a Sale
When you create a buyer persona, you’ll uncover what your potential customer needs to see from your company, or any other competitor for that matter, before they hand over their cash.
Understanding your potential buyer’s hesitations means you can address these specifically during your pitches. You’ll be able to turn these former hindrances into talking points that work to boost the appeal of your services.
Eliminate the reasons a lead may walk away and you’ll always convert.
Plus, buyer personas also inspire the development of new products or services to solve the challenges you discover during your research. This will be an invaluable guide when deciding how to progress your company forward and get repeat business from customers.
Now that we know why buyer personas are so necessary, let’s take a look at a few examples to give you an idea of what you’ll need to create for yourself.
How to Create Stellar Buyer Personas (with examples)
Buyer personas aren’t supposed to be stock characters from a generalized marketing textbook — they should mimic real-life customers so you can see your leads as humans who need help instead of sales numbers.
You can create a general outline of your fictional buyer persona, but it will never be as accurate as the information you receive from previous customers. The best way to solicit these answers is to send out a survey or schedule phone interviews with happy customers so you can gather your research data.
If you’re the mine-for-data type, you can easily find this information on your own by checking your sales database and looking for trends or patterns that may help explain which customers are most satisfied with your services.
Once you gather enough information, try to organize it so it represents someone you may know.
To put these abstract concepts into practice, let’s take a look at this buyer persona created by HubSpot. Meet Sample Sally:
These basic demographics give you a broad idea of your target clientele, but they don’t give you the kind of specific information you need to guarantee a sale.
Take your persona further by thinking or asking about their career goals and struggles:
Determining your persona’s goals and challenges will help you understand where and how you and your team can help.
When your target client sees the value you bring to the table—aka how you understand and plan to help them achieve their goals—they’ll be more likely to choose your service or product over a competitor who only partially gets what they’re facing.
Now, you can have one or two specific buyer personas, or you can have upwards of 15+ if you’re a large company selling to a wide range of consumers. Rob Petersen, advertising and marketing executive and the founder of the BarnRaisers agency, says that in his experience, “3–4 personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales.”3–4 personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales. Click To Tweet
No matter how many you have, your main goal should be assessing every persona’s needs, concerns, and buying behaviors to learn how to position your service or product as the solution.
Creating a buyer persona is more than identifying simple characteristics that make up your target audience. Buyer personas are supposed to help you understand and predict their behaviors so you convert the leads you acquire more often.
Each of your persona’s distinguishing traits will influence their decision to buy in some form or another. The trick is knowing how to use them to your advantage.