Defining your audience is an important part of any small business marketing strategy. Having a clear picture of who you’re trying to reach makes your marketing efforts more effective. Client personas are a great way to stay focused on your audience and help you better visualize and relate to them in all aspects of your business.
A client persona is essentially a profile of your ideal customer, but in a more personal way. You’re creating a fictional character that represents your audience. Keep in mind, most businesses have more than one audience, and it’s a good idea to develop a persona for each of your defined audiences.
If you haven’t already clearly defined your audience, that’s the first step in creating a client persona. Consider these steps as you both define your audience and create some personas.
Start with basic demographics
Think about your different audiences and what you know about them, including their age, gender, location, income level, occupation, and other details. You likely know some of this information already, but you may need to do some basic research to identify additional details about your audience.
What about the demographics of your audience creates natural groupings? Do you have one audience that’s male and one that’s female, or perhaps one audience in their 20s and another in their 60s? If those are clearly distinct audiences, you may need one persona for each, but most small businesses will only need three to five personas total.
Add some psychographics
Another thing to do take into consideration is what matters to your audience. Think about their motivations, likes, dislikes, goals, pain points, and interests. What do they worry about? What do they aspire to be and do?
This helps you better understand why your customer wants or needs your product or service and why they might choose you over a competitor. The psychographics add to the depth and complexity of your personas.
Put a name and a face to your audience
When you start to create your client personas, remember that you’re basically creating a fictional character to represent a bigger audience. Choose a name and find a stock photo to become the face of your audience. Have a little bit of fun with it! Write out their story in a paragraph or two based off the demographics and psychographics you’ve collected.
As you begin to make decisions about marketing, go beyond thinking about your audience in general and think about how it might connect with an individual. For example, you can think about Sarah, age 25, who loves scrolling through Instagram and is always looking for the latest fashions, or Justin, age 32, who works at a real estate agency, is passionate about giving back to his community, and is training for a half marathon. When you’re thinking about those audiences, pull up their photo and talk about them!
The more detailed you are with your client personas, the easier it will be to put a face and a name with your audience and tailor your marketing messages accordingly. However, keep in mind that you don’t want to be so narrow that you forget about the broader diversity of your audience. As with all things in marketing, client personas are about finding a balance and reviewing them periodically to be sure it still fits your company and your goals.
Need help clarifying your audience and developing audience personas? Reach out to the StoryPath team to chat.