What is a buyer persona and how do I create one?

How to Create Your Ideal Customer Profile


Marketing in today’s information-saturated marketplace can be tricky.

It’s hard to stand and everywhere you turn different companies are competing for marketshare. You know the saying; “attention is expensive,” this proves even more true when you are running a business but haven’t truly refined your customer avatar.

So what should you do? How can you help your business to stand out?

Here’s the deal: the only way you’re going to get noticed is by knowing your customer. Knowing your customer will help you understand how and where to reach them.

By creating a customer profile, or buyer’s persona, you’ll be able to create a targeted marketing strategy, designed with a specific demographic in mind.

Your messages and advertising campaigns must speak to your customers directly, which means that your audience will be more likely to listen and pay attention to what you have to say.

If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, read on to see how you can discover who your ideal customer is.

What is a buyer persona?

What Is A Buyer Persona?

Buyer Persona Things to Consider

Things To Consider

Reasons why a buyer persona is important

Reasons Why It's Important

How to create your ideal customer profile

How To Create Your Ideal Customer Profile

Buyers persona and SEO

The Importance Of Long Tail Keywords

So, What Is A Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is a somewhat fictional representation of the ideal customer you would want to do business with.

The three stage evolution of a typical persona development looks like this:

Target audience - buyer persona

Stage 1: Initial assumptions (Target Audience)

Ideal Customer Profile

Stage 2: Market research to confirm and or refine your initial assumptions (Ideal Customer Profile)

Figuring out your buyer persona

Stage 3: Actual sales and marketing data about who your best customers actually are (Buyer’s Persona)

Benefits of Developing a Buyer Persona

Buyer personas are a great way to get insight for your company.

The right buyer persona should help you determine where to invest more of your time, guide the development of products/ services as well as allow for sales and marketing alignment across your small business or organization.

"82% of companies using Personas have managed to create an improved value proposition. (ITSMA)”

A buyer’s persona will help you to attract more visitors and as a matter of fact, the most valuable ones.

It will also help you to get leads and customers who will stay with you. It is very important for you to have a business that meets the needs of your customers. After all, that is why you have a business in the first place; to meet those needs and wants. If you are not doing this, then you’ve got a problem. And it could because of your audience targeting misaligned.

Looking out for the things that your customers say and paying attention to how they receive your offers is an essential way to achieve the goal of meeting their core needs. This is why it’s really important to develop a buyer persona so that you can know how your customers feel after they’ve received your product or services.

With a buyer persona, you have to take into consideration such as the interests and challenges of your customers so you can better anticipate and solve their issues. This is the proactive approach. You can achieve this by mostly asking questions and through constant refinement of your service offering.

You should figure out how to picture your ideal client, how to identify negative personas and how to put your buyer personas’ profiles to good and profitable use.

71% of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented Personas.”

Getting this done will require you to follow a few simple steps like doing initial research on your target audience, segment your personas as well giving them names and write personalized messages for each.

We will be seeing more on that later.

In the meantime, let us take a look at a number of other things you need to know about buyer personas.

Things To Consider When Creating Your Buyer Persona

To ensure that you can create a successful buyer persona, here are some of the things you need to pay attention to:

How to picture your ideal client

Your ideal client should be the one who finds the exact solutions to their needs in the services or products which your company offers.

Knowing your ideal client base will help you to create targeted content to suit the needs of those people. It will also help you to optimize your website in ways that work for them.

“Persona-based website saw 210% increase in website traffic, 97% increase in website generated leads, 124% increase in website generated sales (MarketingSherpa)”

How to identify negative personas

A Negative persona is simply the opposite of your ideal buyer persona. It refers to the people or the type of customers who you DO NOT want. While a buyer persona requires you to find out the people who actually want your business, a negative buyer persona requires you to flesh out those people who your business does not want to interact with for various reasons.

This will help you to focus and know what you need to work on in order to improve your offerings for the customers who add positive value to your business. And don’t worry, creating a negative persona does not mean that you are turning away business.

It is simply you deciding what is good for your business and staying away from what does not work so that you can provide maximum value for your core personas.

Ways to use your buyer personas’ profiles

You can use the profiles of your buyer personas to identify people who are most likely to buy from you.

Buyer Persona Funnel

This can be segmented into “time buckets” for example

  • Up to 12 months (Prospects)
  • In about 6 months (Warm Leads)
  • Less than 3 months (Hot Leads)

"Using personas can drive results such as a 28% higher campaign response rate, 2-3 month shorter sales cycle, and 25% increase in marketing influenced revenue (SiriusDecisions)"

This is just an example. Obviously the timeframes will vary based on your business model and sales cycle.

This will help you to create a more efficient marketing and sales machine for your small business.

Ask your prospects valuable questions so you can gather their responses, even the unexpected ones. As a matter of fact, especially those unexpected responses. You will use this to fill gaps in your in your marketing message and service offerings .

4 Reasons Why A Buyer Persona Is Important For Your Business

A buyer can have the tremendous impacts on your business. Here are some of the reasons:

1. It Increases targeted website traffic

Creating a buyer persona will require you to talk to your customers, interview them and get to find out about their needs, their behavior as well as their expectations. Gaining good knowledge about your customers will help you to give them a better user experience on your website.

It will help you optimize other components of your website from design, offers, pricing, content, messages and even your calls to action.

Giving your visitors the best experience on your website will in turn ensure a consistent uptick in your website’s traffic.

2. It Increases time on page

If you can provide your visitors and customers with the information that they are looking for, then you can rest assured that these people will spend much more time on your site.

Providing the right information is one way of getting conversions and ensuring that your visitors will stay on your website. You can do this by using message mapping.

Targeted Message Using Message Mapping

A message map is a framework that’s used to create compelling messages that are relevant to your audience. By creating ideal customer profiles, you will be able to create targeted messages, increasing the chances of having a lifetime customer who will add value to your company.

“Siemens 200% higher engagement rates and 50% + CTR from persona-based nurture campaigns (SiriusDecisions)”

3. It Ensures That You Have Lower bounce rates

Higher bounce rates can also definitely be a very frustrating experience. But the truth is, if your website does not give them just what they need in a clear and concise or satisfy their search query, they will ultimately leave upon arrival. This hurts your “time on page” metric and show Google that your content still has a lot to be desired.

The fix for this is quite straightforward. Simply put, your page copy, user experience and design should be geared toward your target persona.. Visitors only walk away if they do not get what they need from your site but with a buyer persona in place you can make sure that those things that they find most valuable are available for them right away.

4. A Buyer Persona Helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Overall Domain Authority

Here, the keyword has a very important role to play.

Effective keyword research means finding the words and phrases which satisfies the user’s intent.

Having indepth knowledge of who you buyer persona is you can filter out keywords that will not lead to higher visits and conversions, decide which keywords you will need to use on different pages of your site and then, implement a keyword strategy that is all encompassing.

Start Your Keyword Research With our Search Engine Worksheet

When you know the needs and preferences of your prospects and leads you will be able to choose and implement the best suited keywords.

Steps to Building your Buyer Personas

There are a number of steps which you need to take to help you create an efficient buyer persona. They basically revolve around the need to talk to your current customers as well as potential ones to find out what you need to do to improve your business and by extension, customer satisfaction.

How to Create Ideal Customer Profile (Buyer Persona) for Your Business

Here are some practical things you can do to help you gather the information you need:

  • Find out how your prospects are finding your content and interacting with your website by looking through your analytics data.
  • In creating forms which you will be using on your website, be sure to use forms that capture important information about your personas. For example, all your personas are varied based on the size of the company, you should ask them to give you information about their company size on the optin forms on your site.
  • Pay attention to the feedback of your sales team on the type of prospects/ customers they interact with the most. You will be able to spot trends in terms of the types of questions and concerns that are most important to them.
  • Interview customers and prospects either by email or over the phone or by meeting them in person. This is the most important part of creating your buyer persona.

“70% of companies who missed revenue and lead goals did not conduct qualitative persona interviews.”

The thing is, to get interviews done, you will need to get the right interviewees. Now, how can you achieve this? Well, let’s take a little deeper look at how you can do this successfully.

Use your existing customer base.

Since they have already engaged with you and your company and even bought your products, they are an excellent place to begin.

It is essential to talk to customers who have used and loved your products as well as it is important to talk to those who are not pleased with your products.

While it can be very flattering to have customers gushing over your products, it is also really important to know why some customers are not pleased so that you can know what areas to improve on. (and that improvement may just be avoiding this type of customer in the future)

Also using your already existing customers is great because it may not require you to give away incentives like you may have to do in typical surveys. You should also know that your already existing customers are the ones you can significantly trust to give unbiased feedback.

Use Existing Data To Refine Your Profiles

Creating an ideal customer profile isn’t just for start-ups; it can benefit any company, regardless of how long they’ve been in business. In fact, companies that have been in business for a while actually have an advantage: they can use existing customer data to create their customer profile.

Get started by making a list of your top 10-20 customers, and sending them a survey.

You could also ask them questions related to your company such as:

  • What does our company offer that others don’t?
  • What originally attracted you to our company?
  • Is there something specific about our company that keeps you coming back?

It’s also important to consider other questions related to their psychographics, for instance:

  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Favorite TV shows, music, websites, or media
  • Likes/Dislikes
  • Spending habits

Questions like this will help you to gain valuable insight on who your customer is, and what keeps them coming back. Use the information from your survey to write up a profile about your ideal customer. This for instance can help you understand their preferred channels to communicate with them!

Determine Which Customer Has The Most Lifetime Value (LTV)

Creating an ideal customer profile means discovering which demographic is your most valuable customer. The customers that will offer the most lifetime value are the ones that you’ll want to pay special attention to since they’re the ones that will be most loyal, and the most lucrative. For instance, 25 to 40 percent of the total revenues of the most stable businesses come from returning customers, so it makes sense to focus on them.

To determine customer lifetime value, you need to pay attention to how often clients make a purchase, and then calculate the average value of their purchases. Identifying the demographics that are spending the most can be a great way to know which customers you’ll want to focus your campaign and marketing efforts on.

Use Long-tail Keywords To Generate Relevant Traffic

As a bonus, once you know your customer, you’ll also be able to use a keyword selection that will appeal to them, increasing your chances of being found in search results.

Conduct keyword research by using tools like Google Keyword Planner or Semrush to see keywords related to your business that people are searching for.

Long tail Keyword Importance for SEO and Buyer Persona

Once you have your ideal customer profile template filled out, you will be able to focus your resources into an SEO and content marketing strategy that’s more effective.

Targeted content is important, and with the knowledge of your ideal customer profile you’ll be able to implement search terms that they will most likely use and what type of content will ultimately resonate with them!

Customer satisfaction is or at least should be the priority of any business owner. Sometimes, however, you cannot just rely on guessing what you could do to please your customers. As a matter of fact, the best way to find out how to satisfy your customers is by asking them. They definitely know best what works for them.

Simple enough right?

The Bottom Line

The fact is that creating an ideal customer profile doesn’t mean closing the door on other potential customers. Rather it means opening the doors to your ideal customers and attracting more of the same.

Over to you…

Do you know who your ideal customer is?

Now that we’ve covered how to create your ideal customer profile and its importance. Your logical next step is to take advantage of our customer persona template.

You’ll be able to not only develop a more targeted content marketing strategy but a more effective online presence that allows you to focus on the right customer, at the right time with the right message in the right channels. This alignment will bring you the most desired sales and marketing results!

To help build out your full persona strategy, here are some next steps to tackle.


Develop your ideal target audience and convert more leads with targeted marketing

(Last Updated On: December 19, 2017)

About the Author Kemar Lawrence

Entrepreneur | Business & Marketing Strategist | Co-Founder @goldminddigital. I am a business & marketing strategist. I bring more than 6 years of experience to projects I take on with a track record of success. I help entrepreneurs win at business.

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