When writing a marketing plan recently, I began by dividing prospective customers into categories. Now I’m tackling the fun part—creating buyer personas for each of these market segments. My personas—the fictional characters for whom I’ll write copy—are not the same age or gender. And because they have different concerns, wants, likes and dislikes, generic text about the company and its amazing products simply won’t work. They don’t care about that! When I write, I need to empathize with these potential customers and relate to their specific needs. Writing for someone you know is also easier and a lot more effective.
Whether you started your business last week or decades ago, creating realistic personas will help you write more effective marketing copy. Start by using the Internet to gather data on your ideal customers. If you’ve been in business for some time, you’ll have stats on your best clients and can use that real-life data to create personas.
Create Your Personas
Write a vivid description for each buyer persona; flesh out as many attributes as you can. Don’t be generic. Start with gender, age, income level, education, and marital status.
Include answers to the following questions:
|What does she do and where does she work?|
|How does she spend her time? What does her daily calendar look like?|
|Where does she live? What type of car does she drive?|
|What are her goals and dreams?|
|What does she worry about?|
|What does she read? (Make sure you’re reading what she reads and, in your marketing copy, use those words and phrases she’s familiar with.)|
|What are her purchasing limitations?|
|What is her preferred media type? Does she like text? Would audio or video be preferable?|
Mary Walewski of By The Book Marketing helps authors profit from blogging and social media. In a recent blog post, she suggests making your ideal customer as real to you as your invisible childhood friend.
Naming each of your personas also helps. Pin a picture of your ‘Martha’ above your desk. Then, as you write your newsletter, website or brochure copy, speak personally and directly to her. Keep her needs and feelings in mind. And resist the temptation to focus on your company, your services and how excellent they are.
Because markets, the web and media are continually changing, your personas and their preferences will often need to be updated.
Buyer personas are priceless marketing tools that help you understand and communicate with your audience. You’ll see life from their point of view as you write copy and communicate via video or audio, and they’ll be much more likely to listen and buy.