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Personas are essential to every business. If you don’t develop them for your target audience members, exactly how are you going to relate to the other person. Of course, you will need to develop several different personas because as you are well aware, not all people are the same. The concept is simple but there is a lot of thought and effort that you will need to put into it before you develop any personas for your various target audience members.
What is a persona?
Before you can do anything, you need to have a clear understanding of what a persona is. If you wrap your mind around that, you can proceed successfully after that. Basically, a persona is a clear idea of your target market. You develop the persona after you have been able to identify features that your target audience members have in common. It is important to keep in mind that you should never assume anything about your target audience members. You need to do your homework so that you have an understanding of those target audience members.
It should not be difficult for you to understand the differences and the similarities of your target audience members. Both the similarities and the differences need to be celebrated. The one thing that you don’t want to do is identify a unique characteristic of a particular target audience member and then try to highlight that feature. That will not help you to develop a persona at all. The reason that it is a bad idea is that you will not keep all of the other target audience members on your radar at the same time. You need to embrace them as a group with commonalities. The big picture is very important in this situation.
How should you build your personas?
When it comes to building personas, you will want to develop them with some depth and understanding so that they are effective now and in the future. In order to do that, you will want to consider the following:
- A typical day of your target audience member subgroup
- Objectives that you are trying to accomplish with that persona
- Issues that may come up
- The position and role that that persona will have
- The roadblocks that you may encounter with that persona
- The possible questions that may arise
- The preferences of that particular group of people
- Key phrases and keywords that will prove to be important and relevant
- How you are going to engage those target audience members
A typical day: You need to have the ability to see things from the perspective of the other person. If you can do that and if you can feel what the other person feels and react in the way that the other person reacts, you will be able to develop an effective persona for that group of people.
When incorporating that persona into your content, you will want to write in first person. That way, your readers will feel that the thoughts and feelings that you are expressing are your thoughts and feelings, not someone else’s. It is important to remember that the only way that you will be effective is if you connect with the other person on an emotional/human level. Writing in first person will go a long way to making that happen. It is also important to keep in mind that the persona that you develop is not isolated. It is among other personas and other people. Keep that perspective in mind at all times and you will be successful.
Identify the persona’s objectives: The objectives should be details and specific. If they are too general, you will have a difficult time meeting them. It will be a lot easier to work toward a goal if you have cut a clear path to achieving something, one step at a time. That is always an effective approach and it will serve you well. Nothing good ever came from trying to rush toward your objectives. You need to do it methodically and in the most effective way possible.
Identify the main issues, roadblock, and questions that arise: This is easy to do but not as easy to get to. It will require a great deal of thought and contemplation before you can accomplish this. It is all a part of the journey of discovery of your target audience members and truly getting to know them intimately. It is important that you understand that you are here to help them to become more successful in whatever they are trying to accomplish.
Engage, engage, engage: Engagement is not always easy. However, if you approach it correctly, you will do fine. After you have developed all of the personas that need to be developed, you will want to create scenarios of engagement so that you know how to handle whatever may come up and to prepare your target audience members effectively for whatever they need to handle. It will help you a lot if you are able to visualize those scenarios. That will definitely help your target audience members a great deal.
Personas are necessary for all businesses. The personas that you develop will help you to share relevant effective content to your target audience. Your personas will help you to increase audience engagement as well, which is an important goal to accomplish. You will need to put a lot of thought into developing them and in wrapping your mind around the other person. If you can accomplish that, your business will be extremely successful.