A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your target customer. Formulating one or several personas will help you empathize with your customers, which is the key to understanding their needs and how you can satisfy them via your product or service. Here’s how to do it:
There’s already data you can gather that will help you make your buyer persona. Get to know your customers by checking out ratings and reviews on your social media pages as well as on websites like Yelp and Foursquare. You can also conduct ‘social listening’ on your social media pages: carefully look at the comments on your page to discover how customers feel about your business. You can also proactively ask for feedback by conducting a survey, for example.
2. Demography, Personality & Behavior
Determine the demography of your customer. In other words, their age, gender, income bracket, and other core facts about them. A customer’s personality is more nuanced. It’s the way they are (e.g. introvert or extrovert, thinker or feeler), their aspirations and challenges, etc. Behaviour is related to what they do. You might ask yourself what their hobbies are or what errands they need to get done in a given day or week.
Imagine where your customer goes—both in-person and online. This will help you formulate where to open or market your business (e.g. flyering in certain neighbourhoods or online ads placed on specific websites). It’s also helpful to think about what your customer might be searching for and where they might be looking. Finally, think of areas where people go shopping more generally.
Now that we’ve established a vision of your target customer, it’s time to speculate about how to connect your product or service to them. How does your offering fit into their identity, desires, and behaviours? How can it become accessible to them? What results does your buyer expect from your product or service? Finally, what concerns might they have? This is the most important step of the process, because it’s not enough to know your buyer—you need to know what makes them buy.
Now that you have a bigger picture of your target customer, don’t act impulsively. Take the time to think about when they’re most open to your product or service. Why not host an opening party for your business on the weekend when your customer’s work-week is done and they’re more relaxed? Incentive people to stop by with discounts and free food and beverages. Or, depending on your business, you may want to take advantage of seasonal fluxes (i.e. consider variables like weather or volume of tourists).
By now you should be able to envision your buyer and tell a little story about their life. Did you find this exercise useful? Let us know in the comments!