The first rule of being able to effectively engage with customers (or potential customers) is to have a sound understanding of who they are and what challenges they face.
Only then can you begin to figure out how your services can support them and what the most compelling messaging to attract them will be.
Spending time to obtain this insight doesn’t have to be huge, but it could be a game-changer in terms of connecting with your ideal customers.
This is where buyer personas come in.
What are ‘personas’ and why should I develop them?
Put simply, buyer personas represent the profiles of your ideal clients.
This process will helps you to address the specific needs, behaviours and concerns of those particular groups in your marketing campaigns. Understaning your customers’ demands and needs will help you to engage them more effectively.
Not only is this likely to improve engagement, but it will establish an emotional connection with the reader and show that your business truly understands their pain points.
You’ll be able to figure out what they’re thinking and how they feel by creating personas for your service users. Knowing their attitudes and goals will also ensure that you and your team are better prepared to offer the best possible service once they are through the door. Providing exceptional customer experiences develops strong, long-lasting connections and keeps your ideal clients coming back to you again and again.
To further underline the importance of personas, B2B research and advisory firm SiriusDecisions suggest that using personas can drive a 28% higher campaign response rate and reduce sales cycles by 2 to 3 months.
Pretty good stuff!
How to create buyer personas
To begin building buyer personas for your target customers, consider the following.
Who is using your services?
Think about the kind of person who wants to use your accounting services.
- Are they professionals? If so, what profession? Are they all in the same industry?
- Are they general employees or management?
- How old are they?
- Where is it they live or work?
- What is their income? Are they well off or lower income?
It’s a good idea to segment your audience into just two or three user personas to begin with.
What are your customers’ pain points?
These are the specific problems your prospective clients face in the marketplace or may experience along their customer journey with you.
- Are they cost-conscious?
- Do they need a lot of support throughout the year or at specific points, like year-end?
- Do they need to report back to a senior manager?
- Are they dealing with the stress of managing all of their company’s financial affairs?
Once you’ve identified the issues that they face then you can begin to come up with solutions for them.
Where do they hang out, both physically and digitally?
You’ll need to understand how your propsecitve client researches your kinds of services.
- What social media channels do they use? is it somewhere for professionals like LinkedIn or is it somewhere more personal like Facebook?
- Are they influenced by reviews online or do they seek out recommendations from a friends, family and colleagues?
- Are they researching online on Google or do they read the papers or financials?
Once you know how they communicate and seek out information, you’ll not only know how to reach them but which channels are worth investing your time in. That could be posting and sharing or even advertising.
Your personas need to be living breathing people
it really helps to visualise your buyer personas as real people. Give them a name and a life story. Develop a “day in the life” story for them. Work out what they like, what they watch and read. The more fleshed out they are the more connected you and your colleagues will feel to them, and the more effective the exercise will be for your business.
Let’s do this, together
So, are you ready to get started building your personas? We’ve written a free guide to help you out – download your copy here.