Defining Your Ideal Buyer Persona
Most businesses understand the value of doing market research in order to determine who their target market is and how/when/where they buy, but less truly understand the value of taking that market research one step further by fleshing it out to create their ideal buyer persona. But, here’s the thing. Taking the time to complete this exercise will help you hone your message and offering in a way that is unparalleled.
The first step, of course, is to conduct the necessary market research so you can definitively answer the following questions:
1. What kind of companies or organizations have a need for your product / service?
2. Who are their decision makers and what are their titles?
3. What are their buying trends? How often do they make purchases? How many people are involved in the decision making process and roughly how long does it take?
4. What needs, obstacles, or challenges does your product / service address or solve?
5. How can you reach your target market?
Once you’ve been able to thoroughly answer those questions, you can begin the work of fleshing out your target market into an ideal buyer persona.
First, it helps to write down anything and everything about your ideal client that comes to your mind based off of your market research. This should be free association writing, meaning you just write whatever comes into your head, even if it seems like nonsense. No censorship allowed. This practice will unlock your more intuitive, subconscious mind as well as your creativity and imagination. Afterwards, you can compile what you wrote into a more organized list of traits, leaving out the nonsense of course. If it’s helpful to you, you can name your avatar and find a picture of him/her online to use.
Next, write a short story about your persona finds her way to your service / product. Do your best to make this story as detailed and realistic as possible. Again, this may seem like a lot of work for a story you’ll never use, but taking the time to write this compels you to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and prospects and see your offering from their point of view. This is a powerful tool for honing your message and offering as it will pinpoint any flaws or weaknesses in it and give you a clearer idea of its effectiveness.
Many people ask if they can have more than one persona. The answer is yes, but to a limit. Having a few personas is fine, but anymore will dilute and weaken your message.