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As a business owner, your constant struggle is turning your message into sales. There are many ways that marketing works to achieve this goal, but one of the essential keys is making sure that your message falls on the right ears. To do that, marketers employ a tool called the “buyer persona”, and if you don’t have your buyer persona nailed down before you develop the rest of your tactics, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

What is a Buyer Persona?

Think of a buyer persona as a character you are creating for a TV show. This character has specific goals, motivations, demographics, and behaviors that make them a unique person. This character also absolutely has to buy your product or service – in fact, every time they come into contact with your message, they will buy without fail. It’s all the little details about this person that make them your ideal customer, and this is what you need to know in order to sell to them properly.

A buyer persona may include information about this person’s job, age, gender, and so on, but remember: a buyer persona is not just a list of facts about a market. “20-something IT specialists” is not a buyer persona. Instead, a buyer persona is a description of common behavior points, goals, wishes, dreams, and struggles that a specific individual has that make them need your product or service.

Example of a Detailed Buyer Persona

You may have more than one buyer persona for your business, especially if you offer more than one product or service. That’s good! The more specific individuals you can sell to, the better your profits will be. A good buyer persona may look like this:

“Jane Doe is the head of human resources who has been at her company for over a decade after starting as an associate. She is between 30 and 45 years old. Her income is $140,000. She is a calm, collected individual who relies on a secretary to keep her scheduled and prefers to receive offers in writing via mail.

Jane’s goal is to keep turnover low and to support the financial team at work. She struggles with getting all her tasks done with such a small staff, and she would benefit from having all her employee data in once place that was integrated with the financial team’s data. However, she worries about getting the entire company started with new software.”

This information tells you exactly who Jane Doe is, what she needs, and more importantly, how to sell her what she needs. You know that Jane doesn’t like flashy video ads or anything that will waste her time – she’d be more swayed by a careful but efficient presentation of the facts via mail.

How to Create a Buyer Persona

In order to create a buyer persona, you need to ask questions that relate to your end goal. The persona above was focused on what Jane needed in her role at work. But what if you want to sell her a product that is meant to help her at home? Then you’d probably like to know that Jane is married with two school-aged children, that she lives in a suburban neighborhood, and what she struggles with at home.

Questions that you can ask this fictional person include questions about their role at work, questions about their company, about their goals, about their challenges, about their personal demographics, where they go to learn new information, what social networks they use, and how they prefer to interact with businesses. Consider how each area should be answered by someone who absolutely must buy your product or service, and then tailor your advertising efforts to that person.

Need help figuring out your audience and how to reach them? Words You Want can help!

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