It is MIND-BLOWING to me how much money is wasted on marketing that DOES. NOT. WORK. Recently, I reviewed a roofing company’s website and marking practices. I couldn’t believe it! They were spending THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS a month on SEO. Seriously! This happens all the time. Their site had all the right metatags, a HUGE arsenal of blogs on manufacturer news, and an ENORMOUS site map. All the right things, but they weren’t closing on their expensive, fancy website. And the biggest reason? Companies don’t do a very good job figuring out who is in their market. If that company had taken the time to do this one tiny step, they would’ve avoided losing all of that money and been able to close more sales. All they had to do was create a Buyer Persona.
Stop Talking and Start Listening
While it’s essential to show off your personality and show your clients you’re qualified, overemphasizing it is just not effective. You are probably a fun, amazing person, but being awesome doesn’t sell products and services. Being HELPFUL does. Your buyers are just like everyone else- They care about solving their problems. If you want to close more sales and get business, you need to HELP THEM- actually help them. No longer can a company push imperfect solutions onto their customers. Everything you do in marketing, business development, and sales need to be CUSTOMER centric- it’s all about THEM. Every step of the way you have to think about any challenges they may face, the goals they’re trying to achieve, their preferences, and what they want from their customers. And guess what? It WORKS!
How to be HELPFUL- Develop Buyer Personas
The best way to be helpful is to find out what your customer needs. Figure out who they are and what they like. That’s where the Buyer Personas come in. Buyer Personas are representations of the ideal customer. This information is based on real data and some speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivation, and goals. The best part? Once you put the data together, you can make the best decisions possible for your business and clients, and communicate that easily to your vendors and partners. Some of the staples of a good Buyer Persona include:
- Role: What is their job title? What do they do?
- Industry: Are you selling to a business or a consumer? What industry are they in?
- Goals: What does this persona need to be successful?
- Challenges: What are they struggling with?
- Watering Holes: Where do they spend their time? What social media outlets do they use?
- Shopping preferences: Where do they shop for solutions?
Download my Buyer Persona Workbook for some helpful ideas to create your own questionnaire.
How Do You Find this Stuff?
The best way to figure out what information to put on your Buyer Persona is to create a buyer persona for yourself. Think about your past clients. Better yet, think about the clients you LOVED working with and the ones you HATED working with. Why are those two categories different? It’s always a good idea to create a buyer persona you want to AVOID. Getting the RIGHT clients means you BOTH leave happy. Happy clients tend to bring more business. When you take proactive steps to avoid nightmare clients, you will enjoy what you do, and also get more repeat work. If you can figure it out, you’re already on your way to attracting more clients that you will ENJOY helping. Win-Win!
Do Some Research
Each company will attract their clients in different ways. The most important part is figuring out the trends. Maybe ask your past clients how they found YOU and WHY they picked your company to help them. Start with a general approach. Figure out the client base. Break it down into categories. Then, learn more about those subcategories. You can hire a firm that specializes in research to get the most accurate information, or you can do some online research yourself and get as close to accurate as possible. Use some of the following ideas to help you find out more about your clients:
- Job Descriptions: Figure out what your target client base does and what their responsibilities are.
- Market Research Reports: See what challenges and opportunities they are facing
- LinkedIn: Who are the influencers in their world? What are they writing about?
- American Fact Finder: Census data on population numbers, demographics, and more.
- County Business Patterns: Great for information on demographics by industry and location.
- Business Dynamics Statistics: Resource to find census data on various businesses
- Nielsen MyBestSegments: Find out more about market segments and consumer behavior
- Pew Research Center: Media and news trends
Ready to Work Smarter, Not Harder?
Buyer personas can take a lot of upfront work. It’s an investment that will help you make future decisions on everything you do from branding and paid ads to web development and SEO. The works. Why spend more money barking up the wrong tree? Download my FREE Buyer Persona Workbook and get started on smarter marketing now!