The Growth Series

What is a customer persona?

A customer persona is a fictional profile of the type of person you want to attract.

Prospects and leads will base their decisions on whether to convert into a paying client on many factors. For example: can this company help me? Do they understand my priorities? Do they speak in plain English so I know what’s going on?

Creating a customer persona helps you think in these terms, so you can devise a targeted, focused marketing campaign that engages and resonates with your target audience, and ultimately delivers better returns.

What does a customer persona look like?

Your fictional representation of your ideal client will encompass many different aspects of their life, including:

  • Age 
  • Gender
  • Annual income
  • Job
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Marital status and number of children
  • Favourite television and radio shows
  • Favourite newspaper and magazine
  • Social media platforms of choice
  • What difficulties they face
  • Their lifestyle and financial goals 

Why do I need to create a persona?

If you want to drive conversions, it’s important to connect with your target audience and show that you genuinely understand what makes them tick.

But you can’t really do this if you don’t have a clear idea in mind of exactly who you’re speaking to.

A customer persona encourages you to put a human face on your target audience, and make a point of showing that you understand their challenges, ambitions and questions - and crucially, how you can help them.

It also makes you think about the language you use. For example, your clients will not be industry experts, so keeping your persona in mind helps you avoid using impenetrable jargon that nobody understands.

Another advantage of creating this ideal client is that it helps you pick the most effective marketing tactics. For example, why pay for advertising space in a newspaper they don’t read, or a Facebook ad campaign if they spend most of their time on LinkedIn?

If you go where your audience is, you’ll be much better placed to get stronger returns on your marketing spend, and be seen and heard by the type of people you want to attract.

How do I create a customer persona?

You will have huge amounts of client information at your disposal, so you can look at your database to find out what the most valuable customers have in common.

You can also proactively try to gather data that will help you paint a picture of your ideal client.

For example, ask your sales team to look out for and record any commonalities among the leads they’re dealing with.

Or send out questionnaires and client satisfaction surveys to the people currently on your books, and ask if they’d be happy to answer questions to help you improve your service offering.

After collecting this information, you can organise it into categories, so it’s easier to break down and interpret your findings.

You’ll then be in a position where you can write a description of an imaginary person who reflects the findings of your research - and even give them a name.

Each and every person you want to attract is a real human being, with their own circumstances, problems and dreams.

Creating a customer person helps you remember and stay focused on that important fact as you seek to attract and retain a loyal client base, and ideally put yourself in a stronger position to bring on board the type of clients you want to serve.

Can I create more than one persona?

Yes. It may be that you don’t have one single type of client in mind, so it’s well worth creating personas who represent each of the different groups you want to target.

Just remember to consider which persona a specific piece of marketing material is being aimed towards, so you can be confident it hits the mark.

Learn more: Marketing Persona Template 

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