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Create A Customer Persona To Increase Revenue: Step By Step

Let’s talk about how to do customer research and create a customer persona that will help you to increase revenue in your business.
 
If you plan on getting customers in order to generate revenue from your services, you need to become an expert in your field but you also must be become an expert in understanding your customers.
A lot of new business owners make the mistake of spending a massive amount of time on SEO and other traffic tactics before getting a real understanding of their target market.
 
This is a huge mistake. If you attract the wrong people they will have no interest in your products or services.
 
There is simply no point in bringing people to your website if you are not confident that you’re offering exactly what those specific people want. 
 
You’re probably thinking, well I plan to offer my services to a wide range of people. It’s impossible to know what all of them want. And you’re right. This is why you need to create a customer persona – a “persona” of your client.
 
This is the process of creating a detailed profile of a typical client and it allows you to create specific services, marketing materials and content that will appeal to one person.
 
This is obviously much easier than speculating about the needs of thousands of different people.
 
The research that we’re about to discuss relates to individuals but if you want to take a B2B approach then the only difference is that this research should be applied to the individual decision-maker in the business that you will be targeting.  
 

Customer Persona: Demographics

 
The first step is the easiest – researching the demographics of the customer. This can include any statistic that describes your typical customer.
 
This is a list of the most common demographics:
  • age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Educational level
  • Income
  • Ethnicity
  • Number of children
  • Marital status
 
If you already have traffic coming into your website it’s relatively easy to figure out the demographics.
 
All you need to do is install Google analytics and it will tell you everything you need.
 
If you have an active Facebook presence you can also get demographic information from the analytics in Facebook. 
 
If you’re just getting started and need to know how to get demographic information while having no existing customers, you can do your best to predict your customer persona. For our example, you can just Google “demographics of [insert target customer type]”.
 
Go ahead and repeat this for several related keywords and look for trends. 
 

Customer Persona: Psychographics

 
Psychographics allow you to add an additional layer of information to your persona by also describing your client’s values, preferences, and attitudes.
 
You can do this by you considering the following questions:
 
  • What are the most common questions that they have about the problem that you can solve?
  • How knowledgeable are they about the problem you can solve?
  • How important is the problem you can solve to them? Is it just something they want or need? 
 
Answers to these questions are obviously not found in analytics tools.
 
You’ll need to get this information by observing and maybe even interacting with your potential customers.
 
If you already know about forums and social media groups that attract your audience then you need to spend some quality time reading as many questions and answers as possible in order to get a detailed understanding of your customer. 
 
Look for information about what they like and don’t like. Look for common problems where people are struggling to find satisfactory solutions. 
 
Think about how your service would be perceived by these people.
 
What do you think they would like or not like?
 
Do you need to add or subtract something in order for your services to appeal to these potential customers?
 
Do you need to add or subtract content in order to appeal to these potential customers? 
 
If you don’t have any forums or groups in mind you can obviously just Google them but one good place to start is Reddit.
 
The reason Reddit is useful is that it usually has a very large number of participants and this is obviously important when you’re trying to develop a persona.
 
You need your persona to reflect the needs of your entire audience rather than a small number of individuals that might dominate the discussion on a small forum.
 
The other reason that Reddit is useful is that it uses the concept of upvoting. This makes it easy for you to see what your audience likes and doesn’t like because they’re literally voting on what they like and don’t like. 
 
 

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Customer Persona: Behavior

 

You spent a lot of time looking at what people are saying but interestingly people don’t always act in a way that is consistent with what they say.
 
For example, there’re a lot of people that pretend to read a lot more than they actually do.
 
If you’re planning on offering content that will attract real paying customers then you need to understand how people actually consume content rather than how they say they will consume it. 
 
You need to know:
  • What formats do they prefer – text, video, audio?
  • How often? Daily, weekly monthly?
  • What length of content do they prefer?
 
You can get some answers by going back to the groups and forums. When people link to content from a post do they link to a video or a blog post?
 
If they’re linking to videos, take a look at the videos. Do they have a large number of views? More importantly, look at the like-to-dislike ratio.
 
If it is very high this could be an indication that people prefer to consume this particular type of content by video.
 
If they link out to blog posts, take a look at the blog posts. Do they consist of brief summaries or do they include long-form content that goes into a lot of detail?
 
You also need to research the issue of credibility.
 
If you want people to consume your content or buy your services you need to establish your credibility first.
 
Take a look at the comments in the forums and groups and figure out who seems to have developed credibility and who hasn’t.
 
For those that have developed credibility try to figure out why? Is it their background?
 
Is it simply the result of a lot of activity in this group or forum?
 
What do you need to do to build credibility in the eyes of the same people?
 

Create Your Customer Persona

 
You also need to start turning all of the bullet points into sentences. For example:
 
Elizabeth stone is a 33-year-old mother with two children aged 5 and 8.
 
She is married and earns approx $50,000 per year. She likes to go hiking once a week on Saturday mornings at a hiking trail near her house.
 
She also likes to take one week off per year and to travel with her friends to a remote place and do a challenging hike for one week.
 
She does a lot of research before deciding on the hiking location and prefers long-form content over the short form content.
 
You also need to consider what you personally want and what your audience wants you to do.
 
In this example, I have created a persona that is obviously focused on females even though I showed you research indicating that the gender breakdown favors males.
 
If your only purpose is to maximize traffic and make money then you would not go down this road.
 
You would create a persona that is an exact match for all of the research that we have just discussed.
 
On the other hand, if you happen to be a female that is passionate about hiking then your personal interest and knowledge of the needs of female hikers make it easier for you to understand this persona and develop content and products, and services that will appeal to them. 
 
Now that you have built your first persona, you need to start using it. Some people like to give their persona a name.
 
I don’t find this necessary but if it helps to complete the persona you should feel free to go ahead and do it. 
 
So that’s it. Every time you create any content you can do it with this persona in mind.
 
If you find over time that your particular style or products and services appeal to a slightly different persona then you have the choice of adjusting your content or adjusting your persona.
 
You also have the option of creating more than one persona if your product or content appeals to very different people.
 
For example, hiking and mountaineering have a lot of overlap but the persona of one will be very different from the other.
 
Either way, you will be executing a plan rather than going with the flow and hoping that things magically work out.

Customer Persona: Increase Revenue

Your customer persona alone will not generate revenue. You will also need to do competitor research (and complete a competitive analysis) so that you can develop a unique selling proposition. People need to be clear about why they should buy from you and not your competitor.
 
After attracting your target market to your website you will need to make sure that you have created an effective funnel and addressed all of the website trust required to maximize conversions
 
Keep in mind that the term “customer persona” can also be referred to as “buyer persona” as you can see here in this article from Hubspot

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Use our “Impact Entrepreneurship” checklist to start your business and make the world better.

  • Adam Radly

    Founder
    Founder of IIMAGINE. More than $100M raised. TEDx Talk about passion > 1 Million views. Founder of World Reconciliation Day with Nelson Mandela. Founder of One Direct Democracy.