How to Define A Buyer Persona For Startups

A product on its own is not a business model. If you hope to create something that will sell and provide an income, then you need to go a little bit further and learn how to define a buyer persona for startups. For starters, you’re going to need buyers. Because any business is about matching a value proposition (your product in this case) with an audience that will be interested in what you’re selling. In Startup talk we like to call this the product/market fit. 

But how can you be sure that you have a product people will want? How can you know that buyers exist out there for it? And, how can you tailor the product you have, to perfectly fit the audience you’re considering? This is where your buyer persona comes in.

Startup Buyer PersonaWhat is a Buyer Persona?

Hopefully, anyone creating or designing a new product will have a target audience in mind. What they might not have though, is a specific buyer persona, which takes this concept one step further, and creates something a lot more tangible, and useful.

Essentially, your buyer persona is a fictional representation of your perfect customer. When you start designing your new creation, and think about how to market it, you’ll have an image of who it’s for in mind, and that way you can make certain, that what you create will press all the right buttons.

Having this fictional character means knowing how your average buyer thinks, knowing how they spend their time, and knowing what they enjoy. This allows you to get into the psychology of your buyer, and in turn, can provide invaluable guidance.

Creating Your Buyer PersonaCreating Your Buyer Persona

When you create your buyer persona, you will of course start by looking at demographics. This means thinking about the age, sex, location, income, and more, of your buyers. This is fairly standard stuff that you should already have an idea of.

Now start profiling that individual, and give them a name. Adding a name helps to make them feel more real and relatable, and in turn, this will let you get inside their head more easily. Let’s call our guy ‘Abe’.

Next, start thinking about how Abe spends his time, what he’s like to speak to, and what he might love about your product. One thing that can really help here, is to think of someone you know (or have known), who would really be excited about what you’re doing. What advice would they give? How best would you market to them? At the same time though, ask as well, what makes Abe different from that person you used to know.

060513-N-5174T-045 Persian Gulf (May 13, 2006) - Lt. Taylor Forester makes a few last minute decisions before purchasing a gold necklace from a Navy Exchange vendor aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Navy Exchange vendors from more than three countries offered the crew jewelry, clothing, and many other gifts during the shipÕs maiden deployment. Reagan and embarked Carrier Air Wing One Four (CVW-14) are currently deployed as part of a routine rotation of U.S. maritime forces in support of the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Shane Tuck (RELEASED)

Getting to Know Your Persona

If you want to take things further, you can even imagine giving your character an interview, as you learn more about them. Here are some things to consider:

  •         What does an average day in their life look like?
  •         What kinds of publications/blogs do they read? (Useful for marketing later on)
  •         Are they impulsive, or measured, in their experiences?
  •         What are their pain points?
  •         What do they value in a product or service?
  •         What experience do they have with similar offerings?

Take these questions, and add your own, as you get to know your persona. The more acquainted they become, the more tailored your product will be, and the more likely it will be to find a passionate audience. Just make sure to back-up all this hypothesizing with some market research, so you can be certain that an Abe actually exists out there somewhere. 

Now as you move forward with creating and selling your product, you can keep your persona in mind every step of the way in order to be sure that your activities are laser focused to appeal to just the right people who are likely to want to become your customers. Get more information on how to create buyer personas here.

What’s your opinion on creating buyer personas? Have they helped your startup gain focus? How? Do you have any sure-fire tips on how to define a buyer persona for startups? Please share your opinion as a comment below.


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