I had an interesting phone call with my friend, Dianna Huff, yesterday. We were chatting about the importance of creating “Buyer Personas” to represent the kind of clients we’re trying to attract.
What’s a Buyer Persona?
It’s simply an imaginary character you create that represents – and closely as possible – your target prospects.
If you’re targeting dental clinics, for example, you might create a persona called “Debbie the New Dentist”. You’d get to know Debbie very well. You’d understand her needs and challenges. And exactly how your services can help her.
Having a clear and detailed Buyer Persona makes it easier to market your services. Easier to find and reach your prospects. Easier to figure out what to say when you do.
Say, for example, you’re a copywriter targeting marketing directors of mid-sized to large training firms. If you simply think “marketing directors” then your target market may seem like a blurry group of strangers. Who are they?
However, if you build a Buyer Persona – “Marg the Marketing Director” – then you humanize your prospects and can get to know them better.
So let’s take a look at Marg the Marketing Director. What do you imagine she would be looking for in a freelance copywriter?
Well, since she works for a thriving training firm, she’s probably very busy creating promotions to book training gigs and fill workshops. In fact, she’s probably under a lot of pressure to do so. On any given week she’s producing emails, direct mailers, program descriptions, one sheets and more – and those marketing materials have got to sell.
When looking for a freelance copywriter, Marg probably wants someone who understands the training business (at least somewhat), can hit the ground running, and can write copy that sells a business audience.
Marg is also tired. It would be great to find a good copywriter, so she could finally make it home for dinner a couple of times a week!
So that’s a quick Buyer Persona of Marg the Marketing Director.
Can you see how creating such a persona would help make your marketing and prospecting more fine-tuned and effective? You wouldn’t be selling to a vague group of prospects. You would be selling to Marg. Everything you learn about her, and how she selects a copywriter, would be reflected in your website and marketing materials, as well as the conversations you have with prospects.
So take a look at the kind of prospect you’re targeting with your freelance services. Give that prospect a name. Then get to know that person really, really well.
He or she is going to be one of your best (albiet imaginary) friends!
By the way, after my chat with Dianna, I revisited the three types of prospects I target and updated the Buyer Personas for each. “Fred”, “Karen”, and “Wendy”. As a result, I’ve already come up with new ideas for approaching and connecting with them.