You know your business and your customer better than anyone, but you don't have time to micromanage every message your business sends out into the world. How do huge companies like Nike and Coca Cola stick to a consistent brand message? They know their customer, and so do each of their employees.
It's tempting to think huge companies have found the magic formula that helps them succeed, but the reality is that successful companies have brand standards and buyer personas. Our Founder and CEO, Amber Gray, leads us off with the whys and hows behind buyer personas in one of her latest videos.
Who is Your Ideal Client?
Before the question "What are buyer personas?" is even relevant to your business, you need to think about your ideal client. HubSpot recommends creating an Ideal Client Profile to help identify what makes a client the right fit for your business, and then you can use that information to create your buyer personas.
Small business owners can often list several traits of their ideal clients off the top of their heads. It's likely that you've noticed some trends and patterns among your customers, and a few superstars have risen to the top.
Your ideal client is the person who you are an absolute hero to—they're the perfect fit for your company's products and services. They're the customer who truly benefits from your product, and the client who's a good cultural fit for your services. Focusing on this person isn't meant to exclude other customers, but you want to attract more people like your ideal client. Having an ideal client paired with detailed buyer personas allows your marketing and sales to be personalized, planned, and segmented.
To start thinking about your ideal client, make a list of your top 10 clients and what they have in common. Once you've done that, let's get into the details of buyer personas.
What are Buyer Personas, and Why Do I Need Them?
A buyer persona, as described by HubSpot, is "a semi-fictional representation of your ideal client based on market research and real data about your existing customers." They're a crucial piece of the puzzle for intentional, successful marketing. Once you have a persona to reference, each blog, social post, and email you send out is targeted toward a specific person with specific needs. Too many companies send noise out into the void and hope that someone listens and visits their website. Buyer personas allow you to identify and target your ideal client's pain points and stay on message with every piece of content you create, whether it's a white paper or a tweet.
How To Create Your Buyer Personas: 3 Steps
There are three steps to creating stellar buyer personas, and HubSpot even has a free template available on their website. So let's get started.
- Interview your team: If you are an entrepreneur running the show on your own, this will be a matter of sitting down and brainstorming. If you have a team, set aside time to come together and talk—your team works with your customers daily. This is your goal for step one: Identify what your ideal clients have in common. That may include basic demographics such as company size, decision maker's role, industry, etc.
- Interview your customers: This requires some work, but your ideal client will be willing to help you. Ask them questions about what motivates them in their business, where they get their information (Google, books, blogs), and their biggest challenges.
- Audit your competitors: Finally, take a look at your competitors (particularly the ones who are succeeding). What are they publishing on their blog, social media, and email blasts? What seems to be working well? What can you do better than them? Most importantly, what can you do differently (something attractive and useful) that sets you apart?
If you're ready to direct your marketing energy in a more effective, purposeful way but don't have the time, we can help. Our marketing strategists are trained in HubSpot inbound methodology and can take your marketing to the next level, and our VAs can implement that plan for you. Want to learn more?