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How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Persona Template]

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How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Persona Template]


Marketing Margie. Sales Sam. IT Isabel. Accounting Alan.

Do you know who your business’s buyer personas are? And if so, how much do you know about them?

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on data and research. They help you focus your time on qualified prospects, guide product development to suit the needs of your target customers, and align all work across your organization (from marketing to sales to service).

As a result, you’ll be able to attract high-value visitors, leads, and customers to your business who you’ll be more likely to retain over time.

More specifically, having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.

“Okay, so personas are really important to my business. But … how do I actually make one?”

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Ahh … the million-dollar question. The good news is, they aren’t that difficult to create. It’s all about how you obtain your market research and customer data, and then present that information within your business.

Follow along with this guide and download these persona templates to simplify this process. Before you know it, you’ll have complete, well-planned buyer personas to show off to your entire company!

Before we dive into the buyer persona-creation process, let’s pause to understand the impact of well-developed buyer personas on your business (most specifically, your marketing efforts).

Why exactly are buyer personas so important to your business?

Buyer personas help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better. This makes it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, product development, and services to meet the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of the members of your target audience.

Use HubSpot persona templates to easily organize your audience segments and make your marketing stronger

For example, you may know your target buyers are caregivers, but do you know what their specific needs and interests are? What is the typical background of your ideal buyer? In order to get a full understanding of what makes your best customers tick, it’s critical to develop detailed personas for your business.

The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.).

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Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20. But if you’re new to personas, start small — you can always develop more personas later if needed.

What about “negative” buyer personas?

While a buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer, a negative — or “exclusionary” — persona is a representation of who you dont want as a customer.

For example, this could include professionals who are too advanced for your product or service, students who are only engaging with your content for research/ knowledge, or potential customers who are just too expensive to acquire (because of a low average sale price, their propensity to churn, or their unlikeliness to purchase again from your company).

How can buyer personas be used in marketing?

At the most basic level, developing personas allows you to create content and messaging that appeals to your target audience. It also enables you to target or personalize your marketing for different segments of your audience.

For example, instead of sending the same lead nurturing emails to everyone in your database, you can segment by buyer persona and tailor your messaging to what you know about those different personas.

Furthermore, when combined with lifecycle stage (i.e. how far along someone is in your sales cycle), buyer personas also allow you to map out and create highly targeted content. (You can learn more about how to do that by downloading our Content Mapping Template.)

And if you take the time to also create negative personas, you’ll have the added advantage of being able to segment out the “bad apples” from the rest of your contacts, which can help you achieve a lower cost-per-lead and cost-per-customer — and, therefore, see higher sales productivity.

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Different Types of Buyer Personas

While beginning work on your personas, you may ask yourself, “What are the different types of buyer personas?” From there, it’d be simple to adjust one for your business — right? 

Well, that’s not exactly how it works — there isn’t a set list of universally-recognized buyer personas to choose from, nor is there a standard for the number of personas you need. This is because each business (no matter how many competitors they have) is unique — and for that reason, their buyer personas should be unique to them, too.

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For these reasons, identifying and creating your different buyer personas can, at times, be slightly challenging. This is why we recommend using HubSpot’s Make My Persona generator (as well as HubSpot’s persona templates) to simplify the process of creating different personas. 

In general, companies may have the same, or similar, categories for their buyer personas (e.g. a marketer, an HR rep, an IT manager, etc.). But the different personas your business has and the number of them your business requires will be tailored to who your target audience includes and what you offer your customers.

Now, are you ready to start creating your buyer personas?

How to Create Buyer Personas

Buyer personas can be created through research, surveys, and interviews — all with a mix of customers, prospects, and those outside your contacts database who might align with your target audience.

Here are some practical methods for gathering the information you need to develop personas:

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  • Look through your contacts database to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.

  • Use form fields that capture important persona information when creating forms to use on your website. For example, if all of your personas vary based on company size, ask each lead for information about company size on your forms.

  • Consider your sales team’s feedback on the leads they’re interacting with most. What generalizations can they make about the different types of customers you serve best?

  • Interview customers and prospects to discover what they like about your product or service.

Now, how can you use the above research to create your personas?

Once you’ve gone through the research process, you’ll have a lot of meaty, raw data about your potential and current customers. But what do you do with it? How do you distill all of it so it’s easy for everyone to understand all the information you’ve gathered?

The next step is to use your research to identify patterns and commonalities from the answers to your interview questions, develop at least one primary persona, and share that persona with the rest of the company.

Use our free, downloadable persona template to organize the information you’ve gathered about your persona(s). Then share these slides with the rest of your company so everyone can benefit from the research you’ve done and develop an in-depth understanding of the person (or people) they’re targeting every day at work.

Here’s how to work through the steps involved in creating your buyer personas in more detail. 

1. Fill in your persona’s basic demographic information.

Ask demographic-based questions over the phone, in person, or through online surveys. (Some people are more comfortable disclosing personal information like this.)

It’s also helpful to include some descriptive buzzwords and mannerisms of your persona that you may have picked up on during your conversations to make it easier for people on your team to identify certain personas when they’re talking to prospects.

Here’s an example of how you might complete Section 1 in your template for one of your personas:

buyer persona demographic

Download this Template

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2. Share what you’ve learned about your persona’s motivations.

This is where you’ll distill the information you learned from asking “why” during those interviews. What keeps your persona up at night? Who do they want to be? Most importantly, tie that all together by telling people how your company can help them.

buyer persona motivations

Download this Template

3. Help your sales team prepare for conversations with your persona.

Include some real quotes from your interviews that exemplify what your personas are concerned about, who they are, and what they want. Then create a list of the objections they might raise so your sales team is prepared to address those during their conversations with prospects.

buyer persona research

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4. Craft messaging for your persona.

Tell people how to talk about your products/ services with your persona. This includes the nitty-gritty vernacular you should use, as well as a more general elevator pitch that positions your solution in a way that resonates with your persona.

This will help you ensure everyone in your company is speaking the same language when they’re having conversations with leads and customers.

buyer persona messaging

Download this Template

Finally, make sure you give your persona a name (e.g. Finance Manager Margie, IT Ian, or Landscaper Larry) so everyone internally refers to each persona the same way, allowing for cross-team consistency.

How to Find Interviewees for Researching Buyer Personas

One of the most critical steps to establishing your buyer persona(s) is finding some people to speak with to suss out, well, who your buyer persona is.

That means you’ll have to conduct some interviews to get to know what drives your target audience. But how do you find those interviewees? There are a few sources you should tap into:

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1. Use your current customers.

Your existing customer base is the perfect place to start with your interviews because they’ve already purchased your product and engaged with your company. At least some of them are likely to exemplify your target persona(s).

Don’t just talk to people who love your product and want to spend an hour gushing about you (as good as that feels). Customers who are unhappy with your product will show other patterns that will help you form a solid understanding of your personas.

For example, you might find that some of your less happy customers have bigger teams and need greater collaboration functionality from your product. Or, you may find they find your product too technical and difficult to use. In both cases, you learn something about your product and what your customers’ challenges are.

Another benefit to interviewing current customers is that you may not need to offer them an incentive (e.g. gift card) to do so. Customers often like being heard — interviewing them gives them a chance to tell you about their world, their challenges, and what they think of your product.

Customers also like to have an impact on the products they use. So, as you involve them in interviews like this, you may find they become even more loyal to your company. When you reach out to customers, be clear that your goal is to get their feedback, and that their feedback is highly-valued by your team.

2. Use your prospects.

Be sure to interview people who have not purchased your product and don’t know much about your brand, too. Your current prospects and leads are a great option here because you already have their contact information.

Use the data you do have about them (i.e. anything you’ve collected through lead generation forms or website analytics) to figure out who might fit into your target personas.

3. Use your referrals.

You’ll probably also need to rely on some referrals to talk to people who may fit into your target personas, particularly if you’re heading into new markets or don’t have any leads or customers yet.

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Use your network — such as your coworkers, existing customers, social media contacts — to find people you’d like to interview and be introduced to. It may be tough to get a large volume of people this way, but you’ll likely get some very high-quality interviews out of it.

If you don’t know where to start, try searching on LinkedIn for people who may fit into your target personas and see which results have any connections in common with you. Then, reach out to your common connections for introductions.

4. Use third-party networks.

For interviewees who are completely removed from your company, there are a few third-party networks you can recruit from. Craigslist allows you to post ads for people interested in any kind of job and UserTesting.com allows you to run remote user testing (with some follow-up questions).

You’ll have less control over sessions run through UserTesting.com, but it’s a great resource for quick user testing recruiting.

Now that how to identity interviewees, let’s look at some tips for recruiting them.

Tips for Recruiting Interviewees

As you reach out to potential interviewees, here are a few ideas to improve your response rates.

1. Use incentives.

While you may not need them in all scenarios (e.g. customers who already want to talk to you), incentives give people a reason to participate in an interview if they don’t have a relationship with you. A simple gift card is an easy option.

2. Be clear that this isn’t a sales call.

This is especially important when dealing with non-customers. Be clear that you’re doing research and that you just want to learn from them. You are not getting them to commit to a one-hour sales call; you’re getting them to commit to telling you about their lives, jobs, and challenges.

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3. Make it easy to say yes.

Take care of everything for your potential interviewee — suggest times but be flexible, allow them to pick a time right off the bat, and send a calendar invitation with a reminder to block off their time.

4. Decide how many people you need to interview.

Unfortunately, the answer is, it depends. Start with at least three-to-five interviews for each persona you’re creating. If you already know a lot about your persona, then that may be enough. You may need to do multiple interviews in each category of interviewees (customers, prospects, people who don’t know your company).

The rule of thumb is when you start accurately predicting what your interviewee is going to say, it’s probably time to stop. Through these interviews, you’ll naturally start to notice patterns.

Once you start expecting and predicting what your interviewee is going to say, that means you’ve interviewed enough people to find and internalize these patterns.

5. Determine which questions you’ll ask interviewees.

It’s time to conduct the interview! After the normal small talk and thank-you’s, it’s time to jump into your questions. There are several categories of questions you’ll want to ask in persona interviews to create a complete persona profile.

20 Questions to Ask in Persona Interviews

The following questions are organized into eight categories, but, feel free to customize this list and remove or add more questions that may be appropriate for your target customers.

1. Role Questions
  • What is your job role? Your title?
  • How is your job measured?
  • What does a typical day look like?
  • What skills are required to do your job?
  • What knowledge and tools do you use in your job?
  • Who do you report to? Who reports to you?
2. Company Questions
  • In which industry or industries does your company work?

  • What is the size of your company (revenue, employees)?
3. Goal Questions
  • What are you responsible for?
  • What does it mean to be successful in your role?
4. Challenge Question
  • What are your biggest challenges?
5. Watering Hole Questions
  • How do you learn about new information for your job?
  • What publications or blogs do you read?
  • What associations and social networks do you participate in?
6. Personal Background Questions
  • Describe your personal demographics (if possible, ask their age, whether they’re married, and if they have children).
  • Describe your educational background. What level of education did you complete, which schools did you attend, and what did you study?
  • Describe your career path. How did you end up where you are today?
7. Shopping Preference Questions
  • How do you prefer to interact with vendors (e.g. email, phone, in person)?
  • Do you use the internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how do you search for information?
  • Describe a recent purchase. Why did you consider a purchase, what was the evaluation process, and how did you decide to purchase that product or service?
8. The “Why?” Question

This is the number one tip for a successful persona interview.

The follow-up question to pretty much every question in the above list should be “why?” Through these interviews, you’re trying to understand your customers’ (or potential customers’) goals, behaviors, and motivators. But keep in mind that people aren’t always great at reflecting on their behaviors to tell you what drives them at their core.

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You don’t care that they measure the number of visits to their website, for example. What you care about is that they measure these visits as a way to show their higher-ups that they’re doing a good job.

Start with a simple question — for instance, “What is your biggest challenge?” Then spend a good amount of time diving deeper into that one question to learn more about that person. You learn more by asking, “why?” than more superficial questions.

 

Buyer Persona Examples

Let’s go over some examples of completed buyer personas to get a better understanding of what they look like. 

B2B Buyer Persona Example

The image below is a B2B buyer persona for someone who works in HR. The persona paints a clear picture of the target customer’s struggles and how the business can best meet those needs which, in this case, is HR recruiting tools that streamline processes, make recruiting easier, and help HR expertly manage their overall job duties. 

b2b buyer persona example

B2C Buyer Persona Example

The image below is a B2C buyer persona for a music streaming service. 

buyer persona examples: b2c buyer persona

Based on this persona, a streaming service would want to ensure that it has a mobile app that is user-friendly, sends new music notifications, and makes it easy for users to discover new music related to their interests and share content with friends.

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Create Your Buyer Personas

Create your buyer personas to understand your target customers on a deeper level and ensure everyone on your team knows how to best target, support, and work with your customers. This will help you improve reach, boost conversions, and increase loyalty. 

And if you’re a HubSpot customer, add your persona to your HubSpot Marketing Platform by following this step-by-step setup guide.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Blog - Buyer Persona Template [Updated]



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MARKETING

Excellent Tips To Optimize Your Sales Funnel With The Help Of Heatmap Tools

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Excellent Tips To Optimize Your Sales Funnel With The Help Of Heatmap Tools

The lives of enterprises are growing increasingly tough as people’s lifestyles change. People are increasingly turning to internet retailers to meet their needs, resulting in increased market rivalry.

Continuous conversion funnel and conversion rate optimization have become critical for the successful functioning of online enterprises, which is no longer as simple as it may appear.

Don’t worry, you can learn how to perform this optimization procedure quickly and easily with the help of heatmap tools in the sections below.

A few words about the conversion funnel

The conversion funnel depicts the journey from a casual visitor to a paying customer. Consider it a funnel or filter through which all of your visitors pass, with just the consumers emerging at the other end.

It’s vital to remember that just 4-9% of your visitors will make it to the end of the funnel on average, so don’t be alarmed if your measures reveal that you have considerably fewer customers than visitors. This is very normal.

There are three parts of the conversion funnel:

However, various tactics must be used in each part. It makes no difference whether you use a top-down or bottom-up marketing strategy or analytic procedure.

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If you don’t take these factors into consideration, you’ve already committed the most basic mistake in the optimization process.

You can find a different segment in each stage.

Simple visitors are found in the top funnel. They may have arrived with the goal of making a purchase, but they could also want to read your blog post. Of course, even if they didn’t mean to, you want them to purchase from you.

Because this stage comprises a huge number of people, you must pay special care to pique their interest and establish confidence. You risk failing at the first hurdle if you don’t examine these variables.

People that are interested in your goods and are familiar with you and your purpose are generally present in the middle part. This is one of the most difficult assignments since it has the highest chance of failure.

Information retrieval is frequently the most important aspect of this stage of the conversion funnel. Your prospective clients will compare you to your competition and seek reviews and information.

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People that wish to buy your goods are in the bottom funnel. They have already made a choice, nevertheless, a terrible action might cause them to reconsider.

Here, strive for genuineness. You must structure everything so that potential purchasers are not put off from making a purchase.

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But how you can optimize these stages? What analytics tool do you have to use and how?

Let’s see the answer.

Heatmap tools in the optimization process

Let’s take a look at how it works in practice now that we’ve gone over the basic components and functionalities.

Continuous measuring is a necessary aspect of the procedure. Unfortunately, the procedure cannot be carried out successfully without it.

When you think about analytics, you probably think of a big chart or a lot of statistics, but you’ll need a far more creative and efficient approach here. Heatmaps are a good way to do this.

Heatmap analysis is a method for determining how effective a website is. You may use heatmaps to see how your visitors interact with your website, which subpages they visit, and which buttons they click.

Warm colors indicate high-performing areas of your website, whereas cold colors indicate low-performing elements. If you want to optimize your conversion funnel, you’ll need this information.

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But, because you’re probably curious about how heatmap tools may be used in the optimization process, let’s get right in.

Upper funnel part

You must reach three elements at the top of the funnel:

  • A structure that is visible
  • Content of high quality
  • Personal information

Let’s get this party started. You must offer your website a clear structure in order for your visitors to spend more time on it and not depart after a few seconds.

We suggest that you examine the most popular portions of your website with heatmaps and then put each of the key subpages accordingly. This is significant because you may post them in a location where your visitors will be likely to locate them.

Also, keep in mind that these visitors will most likely arrive at your landing page first. You must only list subpages that are relevant to the upper funnel group.

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Using heatmaps to discover these might also be a useful approach to do so since the analysis will reveal which pages you visit frequently. You can rely on this information.

You should disclose as much information about yourself as possible at this point of the conversion funnel. You should be able to tell who you are, what your aim is, and what you’re dealing with right away on the landing page.

By doing so, you establish trust and assist your visitors in becoming prospective clients from the start. But where should you store this data?

Don’t worry, a heatmap will tell you all you need to know.

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When it comes to optimizing your upper funnel, one last thing to think about is displaying high-quality content. Based on the facts you provide, visitors may figure out what you’re doing and how you evaluate your items. But how can they be sure it’s true?

Share some blog post data about you and your items on your landing page to give your visitors the impression that you’re speaking the truth.

If you don’t want this to happen, create a subpage on your blog where your readers may find these articles.

Feel free to utilize a heatmap to assist you to put this as well, since this will allow you to place your blog’s subpage in the best possible location.

As you can see, improving the top of your conversion funnel is a quite involved procedure. However, don’t panic you’ve already completed the most difficult of the three sections.

Middle funnel part

The deeper down the conversion funnel you go, the more specialized work you’ll have to undertake. This implies that while the number of jobs you have will reduce, you will have to cope with an increasing number of them.

Visitors have already turned into prospective consumers by the time they reach the middle stage. In this step, the most crucial thing is to persuade them to buy your goods.

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In this instance, there are two little things you should keep in mind:

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  • Your products’ location
  • Building a foundation of trust

Use heatmap tools to make some basic analysis before you cut into it.

Determine which of your items is the most popular. Put these items or services near the top of your subpage so that potential purchasers don’t have to scroll too far to locate them.

We have the items and have been provided everything we need to purchase them. What may the issue be?

The danger. When making purchases, keep in mind that this influence is constantly there.

Make a scroll heatmap analysis of your website and put customer reviews depending on the measurement to remove this.

The scroll heatmap displays how long customers spend scrolling across your website, allowing you to strategically post reviews. This will lower the perceived risk and make it easier for your goods to be added to the cart.

Lower funnel part

Your product is already in the cart at the bottom of the funnel. The only thing that separates a potential buyer from being a buyer is this one stage. What kind of issue might arise?

If a potential buyer refuses to buy or cannot pay, the response is straightforward.

In the study of the cart, the use of heatmap tools is quite important. Examine how your customers utilize your cart, where they frequently click, and what they do.

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Based on this data, you can set the payment CTA in the appropriate location and provide a clear, safe structure to your cart. If you want your conversion funnel to be well-optimized, these criteria are critical.

Also, make sure to include cash-on-delivery, as some consumers are still wary of online payment methods.

Conclusion

Heatmap tools are used throughout the conversion funnel optimization process, as you can see. Do not begin the procedure in any way unless you have this tool.

Other measuring methods, such as session replays, can, of course, be used in addition to a heatmap. This can also improve process efficiency.

We hope we can help.

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