In our last podcast we discussed important questions to help find your “ideal buyer” and why that matters. As promised, this week our team is going to take time to talk about buyer personas – these are more specific customer profiles that show you just how your buyers are acting. They help you classify your buyers into different (and important) categories, which you can use to reach them more effectively!

If you’ve never tried to create a buyer persona before, we highly suggest trying it! Buyer personas are a valuable learning experience and a powerful, long-lasting tool for your marketing efforts. If you aren’t sure where to begin – well, you’re in the right place. Here’s what we came up with.

Buyer Personas: How Do Your Buyers Make Purchases?

Buyer personas study how your buyers make purchases. They are fictionalized, broad profiles that represent very real customers that interact with your company. Unlike ideal buyers, buyer personas are more focused on the real-life customers you have and want, rather than a broad buyer concept that perfectly fits your expectations.

Because not all buyers act the same, this often means that brands benefit from creating several different buyer personas that represent different parts of their audience. Some buyers may like to shop at different times. Some may prefer different kinds of products. Some may order small batches, while others order large…and so on. By defining these groups, you gain a valuable insight into how your customers behave, and what you can do to target different types of buyers more directly (especially buyers that you’d like to attract more of).

It’s Okay to Start Small: Working with One Buyer Persona

If this is already starting to sound like a lot of work, don’t worry! It’s totally fine to start with just one buyer persona. Simply pick your target customer and create a persona that accurately represents them. For example, if you sell support building materials, then your persona might be local building contractors that have recently taken on new residential development projects and are looking for ways to save money while still meeting all local code requirements. They only have a couple months to get their support material supplies lined up, so they need to act fast.

It often helps to give your persona a name and background, just to make them more real, but you can also leave the description a little general if that works best. Now that you have created the persona, you can really dig in and think about how they like to buy, where they are looking for suppliers, and more important information.

If you want to create other buyer personas after this, you will find it very easy! Create a single buyer persona quickly leads to a brand thinking, “Yes, but some of our buyers act this way instead, and we really want to target buyers that do this…” Before you know it, you may have several personas on your hands without trying.

Find the Right Questions to Ask

If you aren’t sure how to flesh out your buyer personas, there are lots of helpful guides you can use! Take a look at this infographic of questions we have included to help really bring your persona to life. Notice how there are a lot of questions about professional information and personal drives. This is particularly helpful when targeting the right decision makers in the B2B framework, and reaching them through their own life goals.

Remember, if you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s time to do some research, study data, and maybe even create a survey!

Take a Look at How Others Create Their Personas

Still looking for more ideas about personas? Studying some existing examples can be very helpful. Hubspot has a great collection of buyer personas you can review to see how complete they are – and how they can be used. Pay close attention to sections like a “day in their life” and “pain points” as well as the “information search process” to see how marketers can use this information to reach people more effectively.

Next week we’re going to dive into the customer journey and why it’s important to understand! But for now, we’d love to hear about your buyer personas, and any interesting things you learned when creating personas. Connect with us on social media @21handshake. If you enjoyed the episode, please take a minute to rate us 5 stars, too! Until next time.