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Inbound Marketing Basics: Buyer Personas

Writing blog posts or any other marketing content used to be difficult and painful. I would power up my laptop, brainstorm some new topic to write about, and then stare at the screen for a week, trying to figure out what to write.

No more!

With buyer personas, I know exactly who I’m writing to and why. I even have a list of topics that are perfect for my persona, so I know exactly what I’m writing about.
If you use the template I’m about to share with you, you’ll see how easy it is for you to develop buyer personas.

What are buyer personas?

A buyer personas is a semi-fictional character you create. It is the person for whom your product or service is perfect. I say “semi-fictional” because the characteristics of this person are very real. The fictional aspects are the name and personal details that you choose to bring this person to life.

In other words, your buyer persona is your market audience.

The reason you develop a buyer persona is because it’s far easier to write to a real person than to simply write about information. 

For example, when you write an email to your mom, you don’t waste hours thinking of what you’re going to write—you just start writing because you know this person and what’s important to them (Okay, maybe some of us freak out about writing to our mothers, but you get my point).

Preparing to write your buyer personas

You probably have a rough idea of what kind of people buy from you, but that’s not good enough. Don’t just say that your buyer persona is any mother between the ages of 20 and 40—that’s not enough. There’s so much to your audience than demographics.

Talk to your sales department and get the names of some of your best customers. Fill out the persona template below for those customers and you’ll be able to easily segregate your main persona types.

Chances are that your sales team does not have all of the information listed in the persona template, so you’ll also need to survey those ideal customers. That’s great! Not only can you get more detailed information than you can through any other means, you’ll also show those great customers that they’re important enough for you to base your marketing efforts on them.

The secret to creating buyer personas

The secret to easily creating buyer personas is to use a template. With a template, you don’t have to come up with the right questions on your own. It also keeps your persona data consistent so you have just enough of the right information.

Download your FREE Targeted Persona Toolkit here.

Buyer persona example

Here is an example of a buyer persona. The business this persona was created for was a garden center. Notice how detailed this persona is. With this kind of detail, you feel like you already know her, which makes it easy to write directly to her.
buyer persona - target audience toolkit

Our customer is 37-year-old woman. She is married with 2 kids, a boy who is 10 and a girl who is 7. She works at Mayo Clinic as an X-ray technician and lives in NW Rochester. Her husband, Bob, works in banking. At work, she wants to move into a supervisory position and stabilize her hours so she can run her kids to their various activities. Her boss wants her to take on more responsibility and get additional training. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the kids’ sports events, meeting up with friends for happy hour, decorating when the budget allows, and gardening. She tries to work out when she can. Every summer she likes to take summer vacations up north and every few years they take a winter vacation.

Her biggest concern is her children. She wants them to be happy, do well in school, and participate in activities they love. If she could change anything it would be to clone herself. She never has enough time to get it all done, driving the kids here and there, and having to say “no” to some activities.

Her biggest challenge is juggling it all. What makes her happiest is time with her family. In her spare time she likes to research gardening and decorating ideas. She likes to watch crime dramas and read articles on decorating and gardening. She listens to Top 40 when the kids are in the car because they hijack the radio. Otherwise, she listens to 80s and 90s music. She drives a small SUV. She wants a relationship type of experience from a business like ours and she especially wants new ideas and information. Remember, she is short on time and wants the information to be concise. She wants new and different plants, and she will pay more when the value is there. Her gardening center needs to be a resource for her, a place she can ask questions and where she knows she’ll get the right answer.

She’d be interested in events that she could attend with her gardening-loving friends. Maybe with wine? Then she could kill two birds with one stone, happy-hour with friends and building a fairy garden. She would also enjoy sharing her hobby with her children, and events involving the children would interest her as well. This customer has zero tolerance for a bad experience or product. And don’t make her wait in a long line; she needs to pick up her 7-year-old from a party. She is smart and comes in already educated. If we were able to constantly provide education, ideas, and a good experience, we would make her very happy. This customer’s name is Lori, now speak to her.

target persona toolkitConclusion

Gather as much information about your ideal customers as possible, and then take the time to put it into a story form like in the example above. Remember, you want to know your buyer personas so well that you can write to them as easily as you would to your mother.
Talk to one of your best salespeople and ask them for a short list of their ideal customers. Find out as much as possible from the salesperson, and then interview the customer, ideally in person. Get a feel for what this person is like, don’t just collect answers to fill in your template.
Our free, customizable buyer persona toolkit makes it easy to create personas so you can connect with your perfect customer. The toolkit includes the template we use to create our own buyer personas. 

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