The idea of creating a client persona is not a new one, so I’m always surprised by how many business owners haven’t gone through the process. Some feel that a broad demographic band (women aged 35-55, for example) is enough. Others say their services are suitable for everyone, which might technically be true but kind of misses the point.
Because the process of creating a client persona is not about saying you can only work with 28-year-old men called Sebastian who have beards and man buns and drink nothing but artisan coffee. It’s about understanding that if Sebastian is your ideal client, then talking to him will attract others who are very much like him. He’s the leader of your potential client pack, if you like.
It might feel a little odd at first, trying to pin down your ideal client’s exact age, where they live and what their name is, but it’s a vital starting point for your marketing strategy. If you’re not yet convinced, here are a few reasons why you need a client persona and how it will help you create a stronger marketing message.
1) You’ll know what tone to take
Think about the way you talk to your spouse, an important client, a waiter in a restaurant. Would you use the same words, the same tone? Of course not. While authenticity is an important part of branding, it’s also important that when you speak to your customer, they understand you and feel comfortable with the language you use. This is the driving force behind brand voice.
2) You’ll know what subjects are relevant
We recently wrote a blog post for a client, which kicked off by talking about how annoying it is to spend money on stuff you need but don’t actually want. Stuff that isn’t fun, we wrote, like theatre tickets or a new set of golf clubs. We could have said like a new pair of shoes or a bottle of pink fizz, but we didn’t. Why? Because the client’s target audience would rather have the theatre tickets or golf clubs. How do we know? We’ve done our research and created a client persona.
3) You’ll know what value means to them
Seeing as how Rin Hamburgh & Co offers copywriting services, you’d think the only thing we’d talk about is writing. But having spent time getting to know our client persona (her name is Rachel, in case you’re interested) I know she is an incredibly busy person who also values her time and any advice on how to be more efficient, not only within her marketing but in business generally. Hence the ‘timesaving tip of the day’ and signposts to handy tools such as Phonto in our newsletter, which countless people have emailed back to thank us for.
4) You’ll know where to find them
I love Pinterest. I’d happily waste a hour drooling over delicious looking food or creating mood boards for my dream home if I could. Rachel is too busy for Pinterest - she might use it to find a recipe for dinner party, or very occasionally as a way to relax and take a break from her busy life. But she’s not a regular on Pinterest, and certainly wouldn’t think of it as a place to go for business advice. She’s more likely to be found on LinkedIn or a dedicated Facebook networking group, so that’s where I go to hang out with her and to tell her about our latest blog post.
5) You’ll be able to evolve your offering
It’s not just your marketing that can benefit from having a client persona; you might even find that once you truly understand them, there are additional products and services you can offer that will better serve their needs. Say you’re a personal trainer. You work with lots of different people but your client persona is a 35-year-old woman called Emma with a couple of kids, the youngest of which is a year old, who wants to tackle that baby weight once and for all. You realise she’s struggling with childcare. So you create a group class in a venue with a creche service, or one where your clients can bring their babies and include them in the exercise regime.
In the next few weeks we’ll be writing a post about how exactly to go about creating a client persona, so check back here soon. And in the meantime, if you have any other topics you’d like to see on this blog, get in touch and let us know.