If you search “buyer personas” in Google, you will probably see a few offers for free buyer persona templates. But what exactly is a buyer persona, and why would your business want to use one?
At it’s core a buyer persona is a generalised profile of your ideal target buyer. This profile may include anything from age groups and other demographic information to goals and pain points. In essence, it is a fictional outline of the very real person you are trying to reach with your product or service.
The Benefits of Using Buyer Personas
As the process of creating a detailed buyer persona forces you to consider your target audience. You can’t be broad or general with your buyer personas. “Women in the 45-55 age group” is not a buyer persona. Rather, that titbit of information is just one piece of demographic data that you will figure into your buyer persona. A persona should be fleshed out with many of other details, such as the job or career of the woman, her motivations and goals, and her hobbies and preferences. Delving into the granular details underneath the demographic umbrella will help you to know your customers a lot better.
Second, knowing the people you are trying to reach can give your business more direction. Buyer personas can tell you where to put your marketing dollars. They can tell you where to allocate funds for product expansion or development. They can tell you how to price a product and where to sell it. In short, they help you attract more qualified leads and move those leads more quickly down the funnel toward conversion.
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Law Firm Buyer Personas: A Real-World Application
There are plenty of businesses that could benefit from using buyer personas. Just one industry where they have become commonplace, is law. Law firms will devise detailed client personas, to figure out what their clients look like and identify the best ways to reach them.
Let’s look at what a hypothetical law firm would do to start building buyer personas.
The first step would be to look at existing customers. Law firms identify trends across their recurring client bases. Are there unifying characteristics regarding age, gender, profession, marital status/household type, geographic location, income level, and initial motivation to seek legal services?
Step two is thinking about prospective clients. All law firms have contact forms, and they usually ask for more than just name, email address, and query. These forms are useful data mines that can tell firms what types of people they are attracting. If there is a type of buyer that is using the contact form but not becoming a client, the firm can figure out where it’s losing those people.
The final step is usually to talk to customers directly. A law firm might contact a mix of repeat and one-off clients. Learning about the differing motivators, values, and life situations of these different clients would help the firm to identify higher-value and lower-value client personas.
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Are you in the process of preparing buyer personas for your business? Not sure if that client is a unique persona or belongs under a persona you've already made?