How to Create a Buyer Persona for Your Business [Free Template]

by Judith Abani May 29, 2019
how-to-create-a-buyer-persona-for-your-business-free-template

As a marketer, it’s your job to find and attract customers through content and other strategies. The challenge today is that it’s becoming more difficult to get the right message in front of the right people at the right time.

To do this, you need to create a detailed buyer persona to provide actionable audience insights used to create a clear picture of exactly who you are trying to attract.

it’s becoming more difficult to get the right message in front of the right people at the right time. Click To Tweet

The success of all inbound marketing and sales effort rests on the development of a detailed buyer persona. You can’t attract customers if you don’t first know and understand who you’re talking to. Or how they buy or even the challenges they face. You need to know this before you even set out to craft your first message.

how-to-create-a-buyer-persona-for-your-business-free-template

Marketers today know that clearly defining their audience is the key to high conversions.

Buyer personas are used a lot in inbound marketing. And our blog on 9 tips for creating a successful business blog talks about the importance of writing for your audience.

We can all agree that while there are many rules for content creation, one rule stands out. And that is the rule of knowing your audience. But this begins with having a detailed buyer persona in mind.

Related: 9 tips for creating a successful business blog 

In this article, I’m going to show you how to create buyer personas for your business.

Here’s the thing: if you don’t know who you’re talking to, it’s almost impossible to create a powerful, targeted content that connects with readers and compels them to take action. The most effective strategic content is written with one person in mind.

What is a buyer persona?

According to Hubspot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and data about your existing customers. It includes everything from demographics, occupation down to challenges and goals.

the #1 rule of content creation is to know your audience. Click To Tweet

Your buyer persona is based on market research and actual data. Even if it’s a fictional representation, it doesn’t mean it’s all guesswork and framed.

What’s the difference between an ideal customer profile and a buyer persona?

A common question asked around buyer personas is “how different or similar is it from your ideal customer profile”?

An ideal customer profile is a more precise description of the best type of companies for your company to sell to. It includes the size, industry, geographic location, types of product and revenue of the company. It describes the type of company you’d like to sell to. While your ideal customer profile talks about the type of company that would be a good fit for your product or service, your buyer persona is a detailed analysis of the people who buy from you. Their pain, goals, motivation, interest and more.

To help you create a detailed buyer persona for your business and improve the quality of your content, use this buyer persona template as your guide.

Why you should create a buyer persona

Did you know that three to four buyer personas account for over 90% of a company’s sales?

Developing buyer personas allows you to create content and messaging that appeals to your target audience.

Also, at the heart of every inbound marketing strategy is the buyer persona. Having a buyer persona allows you to focus on the challenges and pain points of your audience to provide them with valuable content. Not just any content. But content that educates and helps solve their challenges.

What’s interesting is that identifying these buyer personas can be the key to improving your marketing return on investment (ROI) since you can tailor your content, ads and website copy to focus on converting those specific personas.

Buyer personas also help you understand your customers (both prospective and existing customers) better. This makes it easier for you to align your content, messaging, product development and services to the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of different customer groups.

Developing personas allows you to create content and messaging that appeals to your target audience.

The advantage of creating these personas is that it allows you to better tailor your content to the people whom you want to buy your products or services.

Here’s how it works:

Buyer personas help you understand your customers better. Having a clear understanding of your customers then allows you to create valuable content for them. And this helps attract website visitors who may turn into paying customers with time.

But, building a buyer persona is not as easy as classifying your customers according to age, gender, location, occupation and challenges. It’s more than that! It involves research, data and surveys.

The most effective strategic content is written with one person in mind Click To Tweet

Can you have more than one buyer persona?

There’s no rule of thumb that states the number of buyer personas you should have for your business. But it’s important you have more than one. Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20.

When choosing a product or service, people often go for what they trust. How can your business build trust with your audience? The best way is to show your audience that you care. And you do this by helping them solve their problems. But how can you solve their problems if you don’t even know who your audience is?

Buyer personas inform you of what your business should be doing to help potential customers. Without buyer personas, we wouldn’t know what content to create, which material to share, how we should direct our marketing efforts or where we can improve our presence.

No matter the size of your company, buyer personas will help you focus your efforts on people who matter to your business’ bottom line.

Buyer personas are one of the most important parts of any marketing strategy. Click To Tweet

Steps to create your own buyer persona

Every inbound marketing strategy requires that you develop buyer personas for your target audience and here is how you can do that for your business.

Do a thorough audience research

Researching your audience will help you create a detailed and realistic persona. To do this, you’ll want to take into account the following:

  • Demographics — age, gender, job title, income level, education
  • Psychographics — attitudes, beliefs, personality
  • Why they bought your product?
  • Where they bought your product?
  • How your product is used? — what functions are most important to them?
  • How does it enhance their life or challenges does it solve?
  • How often they buy it?
  • Why would they consider not buying it?
  • Communication preferences, do they prefer email or phone?

Identify customer pain points and goals

What problems are your potential customers trying to solve? What’s holding them back from reaching their goals? A good way to find this out is to engage in social listening. You can also ask your sales team or customer service personnel.

You’ll also want to know their goals and aspirations (personal and professional). What motivates your customers? What’s their end game?

Download Our Free Buyer Persona Template 

Understand how your brand can help

Now that you understand your customers’ pain points and goals, the next step is to create a clear picture of how your products and service can help. Go beyond the features of your product or service. Focus on the benefits.

A feature is what your product is or does. A benefit is how your product or service makes your customer’s life easier or better.

Turn your research into buyer personas

Now it’s time to turn your research into buyer personas. Gather all of your research and start looking for common characteristics. Give your buyer persona a name, a job title and other defining characteristics. You want your persona to seem like a real person.

Identify people in your audience with the same challenges and goals and group them into their own category. These different categories will represent different personas.

For example, if you offer branding services, you may have clients who want to rebrand or startups looking to build a brand from scratch. Their pain points, goals and buying decisions will differ so you can’t classify them as one buyer persona. So, you should create a separate persona for them.

how-to-create-a-buyer-persona-for-your-business-free-template

How to get information to fill in a buyer persona

Research

It all starts with research to gather information about your audience. The most effective buyer persona is based on extensive market research. And also, the insights you gather from your customer database.

You might already have a current database like customer relationship management or Google analytics. These tools offer insights related to your customer’s buying habits, wants, demographics, location and needs. Look through your contact database to find out how customers find you.

Conduct Interviews

If you’re looking for an answer, the best way to go about it is to ask questions. Conduct interviews with existing customers, prospects and potential customers. Who are they and what problem are they trying to solve? 

Your interview can either be over the phone or face-to-face. Ask them questions to get them talking. What do they like about your product/service?

Ask your sales team

Your sales team can offer insights into your customers and the kind of questions they ask about your business. Gather as much information about questions they hear from prospects to learn more. Work with them to create a buyer persona.

Listen on social networks

Another way to gain more insight into your customer is to engage in social listening. Social listening is the act of monitoring conversations on social media. What social media channels are they active on? How does your audience see your product or service?

Sample questions to ask when creating a buyer persona

Here are sample questions to ask according to Hubspot

Role

  • What is your job role?
  • How is your job measured?
  • What does a typical day look like?
  • Who do you report to? Who reports to you?
  • What tools/resources do you use?

Company

  • What is the size of your company (revenue, employees)?
  • In which industry does your company work?

Goals

  • What does it mean to be successful in your role?
  • What are your biggest goals (career, personal)

Challenges

  • What are your biggest challenges?

Sources of information

  • How do you learn about new information for your job?
  • What publications or blogs do you read?
  • What social media platforms are you on?

Personal background

  • Demographics (age, marital status, number of children, location)
  • Educational background

Shopping preferences

  • How do you interact with vendors (email, phone)
  • Do you use the internet to research vendors or products?
  • Describe a recent purchase

Your goal is to understand their goals, pain points, behaviours and buying decisions.

Bringing your buyer persona to live

Now that you have all this information and data, you need to put it together. You can use a simple Microsoft tool like Excel or download a free simple template like ours to get you started.

And don’t forget to give your persona an image and name like Sales manager Mark or Communications officer Dorcas.

Here’s an example of a sample buyer persona

how-to-create-a-buyer-persona-for-your-business-free-template

What can I do with my Buyer Personas?

The next step is to include your buyer personas into your marketing efforts. Everything you do should connect to them. Your blogs, social media posts and emails should all help to solve their challenges or reduce some sort of pain. Look at your buyer persona as your ‘marketing bibliography’. If you can position your products and services to meet their needs, all your marketing efforts will bring you success.

Think about your buyer personas every time you make a decision about your business and your marketing strategy.

There you go!

Now you know what a buyer persona is and how to create one for your business. You also have a list of questions to ask and some examples of buyer personas.

Now it’s your turn. Go ahead and follow the steps above to create your own buyer persona, and get crystal clear on the individuals you are serving. Download our free template to get you started. 

You may also want to check out our guide to digital marketing in Ghana.

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Judith Abani
Judith Abani

Judith is a content marketing manager at Sidekick Social Media and also writes for She Leads Africa. She loves to write and when not writing, she loves to listen to a long playlist of good music.

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