What Your Clients Really Want: Why You Need a Marketing Persona

Ostrich Close-up

Image by wwarby via Flickr

Have you gotten up close with your people?  Not your family, or your friends, but your people — the people who read your blog, buy your services, or spread your posts around the internet.

If you’re going to successfully market your services, it’s a good idea to create marketing personas.  A persona is just a fancy marketing term for mini-profiles of the people who are your ideal customers.

Who is your ideal client?

Ostriches? (hmm, ostriches, they like to put their heads in the sand and hide from problems).  Or tigers? (they glare at you and they can rip your arm off if they want).

But, since you’re probably not marketing to animals (I don’t think they have credit cards, so probably a good thing), you’ll have to think about the people you want to reach.  SEO whizzes? Electrical supply companies? Green tech companies?

Look at your client/prospect files.  Is there a pattern?  Do you have a specific niche market? Maybe you have a lot of law firms as clients. Or, you might find that many of your clients are medium-size marketing agencies.  What do they have in common?

Are you offering something that nobody else is doing? If so, you could eliminate your competition.

Create a detailed profile for your marketing persona(s)

Build up as detailed a biography as possible.  You may find you need more than one.  You might have a persona for first-time users of your product and another for people who are more experienced.

You can even give them names (either real names or names that reflect their stage in business or life).  The idea is to use those personas as a mental shortcut in your marketing.  If you tell yourself you are marketing to Newbie Joe, you know exactly what that means.

What do they worry about?

Do they want to set up a blog?  Does it seem like a huge obstacle to them?  Are they unhappy with their web sites, but hesitate to act because they’re afraid they’ll get ripped off, or it will cost buckets of money, or take forever? Maybe they just don’t know who to call, or who to ask.

Can you help them solve that problem?

Remember the salad dressing rule. Focus your energies on people who have a problem you can fix (and how much better they will feel when you do).   You could  have the world’s greatest baby food formula, but trying to sell it to people without small children is a waste of time.  They won’t care.

And, keep your head out of the sand (it’s really hard to get it out of your hair).