Training Blog: How to create a user persona - free template

May 30, 2018

This month’s training blog focuses on the importance of creating User Personas (aka Avatars) for your products or services. This is the development of a fictional character that represents your ideal customer. This individual has a name and a detailed, emotional story, but they are a composite of characteristics of many real people. The reason we’re keen to address this topic, is that we know many businesses don’t spend as much time on this task as they should, and end up attracting less-than-ideal customers as a result. In fact, some people will skip this altogether, rely only on a few statistics and jump in without really understanding who their target market is.

When we talk about our ‘target market,’ we tend to think we’re being very specific, but in reality, descriptions like ‘entrepreneurs,’ ‘stay-at-home-dads,’ and ‘people who do yoga,’ are incredibly vague. It’s a very common mistake to assume we already understand who we’re trying to connect with, and ultimately sell to. You've probably heard this a million times, but if your marketing attempts to appeal to everybody, it’ll appeal to no-one.

The point of creating a User Persona is to be able to communicate with your ideal customer on a really deep, emotional level. Without taking the time to create an Avatar (or several, depending on your business), your marketing will be generic and boring, with no clear purpose - and essentially be ineffective. So, if you’re yet to create a User Persona as part of your marketing strategy, we urge you to avoid further delay! Since so many businesses fail to prioritise this, it’s an opportunity for you to set yourself apart from your competitors. Really get to know that one specific person, and go deep into the psychology of your ideal customer. Get emotional - reveal their irrational fears and share their wildest dreams! Yes - it’s intimate, and it can get a little uncomfortable, but this is a marketing methodology that works.

When writing your User Persona, avoid marketing language. Instead, tell a very specific and detailed personal story. As a result of going through this process, you will come up with the right copy and messaging to connect with your ideal customer. When they land on your website, or see your ad, it will be as though you've read their mind. This establishes a deep level of trust, because you’ve identified their pain points, fears, frustrations, desires and dreams - and you have the solution.

The first step in creating your User Persona is to list all the demographic and psychographic traits your ideal customers have in common. Next, put all these commonalities together into one specific person with a name, age, occupation, family, etc. Then, imagine that you are them, journaling about discovering and using your products or services. This exercise helps us understand our ideal customer’s thought processes and behaviours, and often reveals why certain marketing activities aren’t working as well as we’d expect them to. Creating a User Persona will give you clarity and conviction when it comes to how, where and when you advertise, as well as the tone and vocabulary of your copy, and the stories you choose to tell.