This is a profile of Mike:

Mike is a skilled building contractor or specialty tradesman. After 5-8 years honing his skills, he has hired and trained a team of craftspeople to offer services in the Greater Seattle area. Mike stays busy managing his employees, preparing bids, and overseeing complex projects. But he recognizes the need to market his business so he can reach more customers and maintain a continuous flow of work for his team.

Mike is so busy, though, that he doesn’t have a lot of time to devote to marketing, and when he’s not working, he prefers to spend time with his young family. He enjoys thinking about the future of his growing business, and he’s got a lot of great ideas. But he’s the first to admit he’s not confident enough with his writing to create content for his website or advertising. Besides, he’d like some feedback about which of his many great ideas would be the most effective for building his business.

Mike is not a real person. He’s a persona I created to describe a target client for my marketing consultancy.

If you know a little about marketing, you know that defining your target audience is an important way to focus your efforts. It helps you know what to say, where you should put your message, what images to use, and the tone to use in your writing.

The place to start when defining your target audience is to study your current customers. First, figure out what you know about them. This information could come from both personal interaction and customer data. Where do they live? How old are they? Are they more likely to be women or men? What is their stage in life? Make a list of everything you know, including your customers’ motivations, preferences, and the stressors related to your product or service.

Now try to group customers based on their similarities. For example, you may have a younger group and an older group. Or you may have customers more interested in your higher-end services and others interested in something more basic. These customer groups are called segments, and the more you know about them, the more focused your marketing will be.

Once you’ve defined your segments, consider taking the next step and writing personas like the one at the start of this article. Personas add life to your customer segments, allowing you see them as real people rather than statistics. Your personas don’t have to be perfect – they’re for you to use as you see fit, and you can keep coming back and refining them over time.

The nice thing about having written personas that define your target audience is they can be used to make smart decisions on where to invest in marketing. They also help you keep your customer top of mind when deciding on content for your web site or social media. And they can be useful in employee training to help your team empathize with your customers’ needs.

Are you ready to focus more on your target audience and write personas? I can help with that!

Copyright Liz Behlke 2019