An ideal client persona is the key to unlocking marketing messaging, content to support the sales process, and insights into shifts in your market. Without these insights, it may be difficult to formulate solid sales and marketing strategies that produce results. Well developed personas focus not only your marketing and sales efforts, they also provide operations with key observations they need to implement so that your brand can keep its promise.
Developing an ideal client persona is an important aspect of beginning any business, but you need to be sure you’re using the right resources to target the right clients. And each unique business will have its own collection of unique ideal client personas, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Let’s discuss a few ways that you can be sure you’re targeting the right audience and putting your best foot forward in your marketing and sales strategy.
Where to Start
When searching for your ideal client persona, you’ll need to begin by looking at how your services are positioned in the marketplace. You need to know where you fit within the market to understand who your users are and what they are looking for. The next step is researching, surveying, and interviewing your target audience. You can look through contacts to discover trends, place forms on your site with fields dedicated to gathering client persona information, discuss feedback from your sales team on who they interact with the most, and interview customers and prospects to discover what they like most about your services.
While all of these methods should be utilized when creating your ideal client persona, it is most important to also interview your clients and prospects. Each client can give you straightforward feedback on exactly what they like about your services, and this in turn can help you get a better sense of what direction your business should be heading in.
- Make sure they know it is NOT a sales call and they will not be making any sort of commitment!
- Always use incentives your clients will be interested in, like gift cards, free services, etc.
- Make it easy. Let them pick interview times. Basically, don’t be too difficult about the whole process, or you may deter some great clients who could give the best feedback.
What Questions Should I Ask in the Interview?
Once you’ve found the right clients to interview—those who are consistently utilizing your services and happy with what you provide—you need to make sure you’re asking them the right questions. Below is a list of some questions you could ask, but note that every business will be different and could include others.
- What is your job role and title?
- What skills are required for your job?
- Which industry or industries does your company work for?
- What are you directly responsible for in your company?
- What are your day-to-day challenges? What is your biggest challenge?
- What are your demographics? (If appropriate.)
- Can you describe a recent service you’ve acquired, what you liked most, and what could have been improved?
- Tell me what you dislike the most about companies like ours and the services we provide?
These questions will help you better understand your clients, especially in regard to how their interests align with your services. Interviewing clients can help you discover an industry that is worth targeting or a job title that you need to include in your next social media ad campaign. Of course, you may be uncomfortable about asking certain questions over the phone; you can place those in your online surveys to make things easier.
How to Use Your Research When Creating Your Ideal Client Persona
Once you’ve collected all this data from your prospects and clients, you have to be able to use it correctly and efficiently. You can either use Excel or a similar platform to categorize all of your answers in one easy-to-use spreadsheet or template. You want to be looking for patterns in the data or areas of similarity that you can share with the rest of your team. Once you’ve found a few areas to focus on, you can begin creating the “ideal” persona. An ideal client is someone you want to sell to, a fictional person who matches all of the patterns and similarities you found in your data. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should disregard any characteristics that aren’t shared by your clients, but you should still focus on the most common ones. This way, you avoid developing a narrow client persona that only matches a subset of your audience.
Finding your ideal client persona is an ongoing task. It’s important to conduct your research as soon as possible, but you should also realize that your business’s ideal client persona may change over time depending on your place in the market and other factors. Know that the strongest ideal client persona is based on your market research and the insights you gain from clients.
If you’re new to creating a persona, make sure to start small, with only a few client characteristics that you find ideal. You can build on these over time to one day have around 20 personas that can help guide your marketing and sales strategies. As your business changes, so will your clients; you want to be consistently monitoring their insights and your research to stay up to date on what your clients need the most.
Contact us today to learn more about creating your ideal client persona and why it’s crucial to the success of your business.
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