How to Create & Use Marketing Personas to Generate Leads

Marketing Personas are one of the secrets to creating effective content that not only attracts more of the right kind of potential customers and clients to your website, but also ensures that a greater percentage of your website visitors actually buy, subscribe, opt-in or enquire about your products and services.

A marketing persona is a fictional character or representation of your target audience – the psychographic, demographic, and geographic qualities that your target audience have in common.

Not all people are the same, of course, but specific groups of people have certain characteristics in common, and it’s these shared features that enable you to define the ‘type’ of person who buy your services.

All About Your ‘Ideal’ Client

Think for a moment about your ideal type of client — the type of person who historically has spent the most money with you, and who has been the most joyous to work with.

  • What attributes does this type of person have?
  • What level of education did they have?
  • What emotions made them to seek you out and become a client of yours?
  • What drove him or her to become a client of yours in the first place? Problems with a competitor, or simply responding to an opportunity or trying to alleviate a specific pain or problem in their life/business?
  • Are they mainly men, or women?
  • Are they young, middle-aged or elderly?
  • Married or single?
  • Where do they live – in the UK or somewhere abroad?
  • Do they work in an office or from home?
  • Are they just starting out in business, or are they well established?

The above questions all relate to the geographic and demographic characteristics of your typical client and, like psychographic characteristics, are important questions to find the answers to… if you want your web content to be compelling, engaging, and generate more enquiries from potential clients.

For Example…

Take my new content marketing service. Before I started building the website, I already had a clear picture of the specific attributes of the type of client I wanted to attract to it. And I’ve identified not just one but three very specific types of ‘ideal clients’ who I created personas for.

One of these personas is a male professional service provider, who has been in business for more than three years, and has an annual turnover exceeding £250,000, and is based in the United Kingdom.

Prior to becoming clients they were frustrated at not getting enough online enquiries… despite having already invested a lot of time and effort trying to do so through Internet Marketing (which they enjoy learning about, and have a good understanding of, but don’t have the time to implement themselves.)

For the most part they just want the website to generate more client enquiries and ‘sell, sell, sell!’

I have a very strong picture of who I am targetting—and that persona is one of the three very strong personas I’m targetting with my new service.

I’ve been working with clients on a one to one basis for a long time, and a significant percentage of clients who wanted to outsource their marketing usually had those attributes. So it makes sense to make a persona out of them.

Create Your Marketing Personas

Look at your existing and previous client base first, identify who were the best ones to work with and then identify the three psychographic, demographic and geographic attributes they commonly shared.)

However, another great way to gather information, to flesh out your marketing personas, is to run surveys.

I’ve done this many times in the past on I used a fantastic online survey tool, and each time I ran a survey I got useful insights into the psychographic as well as demographic and geographic attributes that made up my readership.

In fact the phrase ‘I just want my website to sell, sell, sell’ is an actual phrase someone left in one of my surveys!

Asking questions, analysing your list of previous clients and setting up and running surveys sounds like a lot of work, and done properly… it is!

Like most things in life, anything worth doing usually has a degree of ‘pain’ associated with it – and I can tell you that, in this case, it’s definitely worth the time and effort.

Multiple Benefits

Having one or more marketing personas to hand makes it easier to write great content (blog posts, press releases and so on), because when you know your marketing persona, you’ll also know what issues your target audience are going to be most interested in.

A pre-defined persona also means that you will be able to talk to your potential clients on an emotional level – you’ll know what things keep them awake at night with worry or excitement.

This is so critically important if you want to get higher conversion rates and more enquiries.

As an aside, I read that when best-selling crime fiction writer Jeffery Deaver was commissioned to write a James Bond novel (Carte Blanche) he made a point of finding out who Ian Fleming based James Bond on.

In an interview he was quoted…

“Ian Fleming felt that Bond most closely resembled the American musician Hoagy Carmichael, so I downloaded a picture of him and put it next to my computer. He was the fellow I had in mind as I wrote.”

Jeffery Deaver

In other words, Deaver not only knew James Bond’s persona… he went so far as to research the original ‘lookalike’ image to keep him on track while writing the novel.

If you like the idea of putting an actual face to your persona, here’s a clever free online service that generates fake photos of people based on criteria you define—

Once you’ve created detailed marketing personas for each type of ‘ideal client’, it means you’ll be writing more targeted content and you’ll also be ready to answer the questions asked by contextual advertising services offered by the likes of Facebook and Google.

Are you Using Personas?

If this subject is of interest to you then let me know and in a future article I’ll explain in detail how to create and use a marketing persona to target potential clients — I can also give you a copy of the fill-in-the-blanks Marketing Persona Worksheet we use for our own clients.

(If you want a copy of that leave a comment below and I’ll send you a copy.)

Remember – getting an in-depth understanding of marketing personas and using them in your marketing is extremely beneficial for generating sales leads and converting leads into new business.

The key thing to bear in mind is this…

If you don’t have a clear image of your ideal client, you’ll find it hard to produce content that attracts that kind of person to your website, let alone inspire them to buy or enquire!


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