February 13, 2024

Don't have customer personas? It's time to create them

Tayler Cusick-Hollman | Founder (She/Her)

Don't have customer personas? It's time to create them

In the world of small business marketing, understanding your target audience is crucial for success. The thing is most small business owners don’t take the time to really get to know who they’re selling to—they just assume their customers are like them and they roll with it. (Spoiler alert: your customers probably are less like you than you think). And that’s why it’s time to finally do this exercise.

Customer personas are a powerful tool that can help you cut through the noise and speak directly to the heart of what your ideal customers and clients want and need to hear. And they can help you do that because you’ve taken the time to have a deeper understanding of who your customers are, what motivates them as well as how to effectively reach them. So, if you don’t have customer personas for your small business, keep reading and then make the time to create them—your marketing is going to thank you.

What are customer personas and why are they important?

In a nutshell, customer personas are detailed profiles that outline who your ideal customers or clients are. They include things like basic demographics and information about their interests, behaviors, motivations, and pain points (more on that in just a bit). Sometimes they are totally fictional characters and sometimes they are created after hours of customer research—either way, they really help you get a better understanding of their needs and preferences. And they are important because they help you:

  1. Understand buyer psychology: Customer personas provide valuable insights into the buyer psychology of your target audience. By knowing what motivates your customers to seek out products or services like yours, you can tailor your marketing to resonate with their needs and desires.
  2. Personalize your marketing: When you really understand who your customers are as people, you can create more personalized and targeted marketing. By understanding the specific needs and preferences of your different customer segments, you can create and give them relevant content that speaks directly to their interests.

Because you’re wondering—you should have at the least 1 customer persona for your small business. But really you should create a customer persona for each of the main problems your products or services solves.

What to include in your customer persona

Now that you understand what a customer persona is and why it’s an important thing for your small business to have, let’s talk about what goes into one.

Demographics - Who are they and how do they live their lives?

It’s always a good idea to start with the basics: demographics. This includes information like age, gender, location, income level, education, and occupation. Understanding these demographic factors can help you paint a clear picture of who your target audience is and how they live their lives.

Psychographics - What do they care about and why?

In addition to demographics, psychographics play an important role in understanding your customers. But don’t let the fancy word scare you, psychographics just help you understand the psychological aspects of your audience like their values, beliefs, interests, and why they do certain things. Marketing is all about psychology, by the way.

Their problem and your solution – Because this is what business is all about

You’re not selling a product or service. You’re selling the solution to a problem. The problem is most small business owners don’t take the time to dive into this—and their marketing shows. So really take some time to identify the problems your audience faces and how your product or service can provide a solution. Whether it's saving time, saving money, or improving their quality of life (these are all very high-level examples), addressing these pain points in your customer persona can help you craft a compelling value proposition.

Notes about your brand voice - How to communicate effectively with your audience

Another important element to consider when creating your customer personas is the tone and voice you use to communicate with them. Whether it's using a friendly and conversational tone or a more professional and authoritative voice, tailoring your messaging to match your audience's preferences can make a significant impact on your marketing efforts.

Behavioral insights - Understanding how they interact with your brand

In addition to demographics, psychographics, and pain points, it's essential to include behavioral insights in your customer personas. This includes how your audience interacts with your brand, their buying habits, preferred communication channels, and more. By understanding their behavior, you can tailor your marketing strategies to meet them where they are and engage with them in meaningful ways.

Because you’re wondering—you can get this information about your customers by doing customer research (surveys, interviews, looking through analytics, etc.) or by making educated guesses. If you do the latter, just be sure to do actual research at some point and update your personas with what you learned.

What to do with your customer persona

Once you’ve created your personas, don’t just let them collect digital dust—put them to work! Because the old saying is true: if you speak to everyone, you speak to no one. So, when it comes to using your customer personas, here are our favorite ways to incorporate them into your marketing.

  1. Review and update your brand voice to make sure it resonates with your ideal customers and clients (or create your brand voice if you don’t have one yet)
  2. Audit your website copy to make sure it’s written in the right voice and that it talks about your customers’ problems and your solutions
  3. Audit the images and video you have on your website to make sure they’re in line with what people want to see
  4. Reference your customer personas as you’re creating social media content, brainstorming blog posts, writing email newsletters, etc.

This exercise is 100% worth the time and effort! So make the time to create customer personas for your small business, use them, and see how they can transform your marketing efforts for the better. And if you are looking for a good home for yours, customer personas are a part of the marketing strategy you can create in Enji! Start your free trial, create your small business marketing strategy (it takes 10 minutes), and build out your personas with it.

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