Who are you pinning for? If you tell me “women aged 30-65” please know that I am dying a little inside. As much fun as it is to leap right in to pinning all the things, when your business depends on your marketing success, you know you need to start with a solid strategy. One of the first steps to a solid strategy for Pinterest or ANY kind of marketing is the creation of a buyer persona (“avatar,” “idea customer”).
What is a Buyer Persona?
Sometimes called a “Customer Avatar” buyer personas help us picture our ideal client. You may have several buyer personas eventually, but it may be helpful to start with the person who comes to mind when I ask you, “Who is your favorite client?”
Your favorite client is someone who buys from you, is a pleasure to work with, tells others about you, and keeps coming back for more. They’re often the person who requires the least amount of your time for the largest payoff – both in terms of profit and in the way you are able to help them.
Documenting as much as you can about this one person is the easiest and perhaps most effective way to start your buyer persona. You will end up with bullet points about him or her and an entire narrative which you can then share with your team. This will inform all your marketing and advertising decisions.
Why Bother with a Buyer Persona?
To the small business owner, this may seem unnecessary, like a waste of time, or simply overwhelming to think about. But, which is easier:
- Speaking to a room full of faceless, nameless strangers or,
- Having a chat with a good friend whose lifestyle, challenges, and goals you understand?
Easy answer. Not only will creating your buyer persona allow you to be more comfortable and therefore more natural in your approach, you’ll also be in a much better position to help your buyers see that you understand them, care about them, and can help them. You’ll be speaking their language and they will feel understood, even relieved to see that you “get” them. You and your business deserve the time this will take.
How Do I Create a Buyer Persona?
The simplest and most effective way is to speak with your perfect customer directly. Think too about your friends and family members. Would one of them be a good model for your persona?
If you just can’t get the information that way, you’ll have to assume. It will require you to put yourself in the shoes of the imaginary ideal. Tricky, but doable!
What Do I Need to Know About My Buyer Persona?
This will vary somewhat depending on your industry, but here are some simple things you might ask (or assume):
- What’s her name? Make one up if you need to!
- Family status
- Job title
- Dream job
- Where does she live?
- City, country or suburb?
- House or apartment?
- Own or rent?
- Does she travel?
- Have a car?
- Does she make decisions quickly or after a lot of thought?
- What hobbies does she have?
- What issues does she care about?
- What motivates her?
- Where does she get her information?
- How does she prefer to communicate? In person, telephone, text, email, etc.
- Does she care about health and fitness?
- Introvert or extrovert? Other personality traits.
- What are her goals?
- What are her challenges?
- What do we do to help?
What Do I Do With My Buyer Persona?
Write up an outline of your buyer and then compose a brief story of her as it relates to your business. Here’s one I wrote for a wedding venue in Maine:
Ann and Mark are 31 and 34 years old. Neither is local to Norway, Maine, but Ann has fond memories of vacationing here with family.
The pair has a combined household income of around $80,000. Both sets of in-laws are helping to pay for their “best day ever”.
They are excited, but feeling pressure to make this an event to remember for their large wedding party.
They are also busy planning a honeymoon and perhaps a move. Combining households is a lot of work!
As with all destination weddings, Ann and Mark are concerned about accommodations and transportation for their guests.
Ann and Mark look for wedding ideas from friends, family, wedding websites, magazines and Pinterest. When making plans and discussing ideas, they prefer to communicate over social media or by text message.
They have a vision of a rustic, outdoorsy wedding. They feel a deep connection with nature, and love the mountains.
Like all couples, Ann and Mark also want to look great on their day. So, they are busy planning wardrobe, hair, accessories, finding a photographer – and maybe even trying to lose those last five pounds.”
Go one step further and give them a picture, too.
Now that you know Ann and Mark inside and out, do you see the potential for some fantastically successful Pinterest boards? Starting at the top, you might consider boards and pins for:
- Maine vacation spots (any valid reason to pin travel images!)
- Creative wedding ideas
- Moving tips
- Places to stay in Norway, Maine
- Rustic wedding ideas
- Outdoor wedding decor
- Simple, long-sleeved wedding dresses
- Wedding Hair Up Dos
- Wedding photography ideas
- Lose weight for your wedding
This just scratches the surface of what you can now do on Pinterest which will resonate with Ann and Mark. So, get on the phone today and find out who your ideal customer REALLY is – and then get more of them!
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