What is a Buyer Persona? (And How Do I Make One?)

Do you have a clear picture of who your ideal customer is? Do you know what they like? What they do in their free time? How many children they have?

If not, it's time to start building buyer personas for your business.


What is a Buyer Persona?

Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. They have a name, an age, a job, family, hobbies, values and fears. They are fleshed-out and feel like real people. From there you can determine:

  • What messages will resonate with them the most
  • What channels to use to reach them
  • How to convert them from a prospect into a sale

The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as on insights you gather from your actual customer base. Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20. If you’re new to personas, start small! You can always develop more personas later if needed. 

How to Make a Buyer Persona

For your personas, you’ll want to paint a clear picture. Start with basic information:

  • Persona’s name, gender and age
  • Job title and industry
  • Salary and household income
  • Location (urban? suburban? rural?)
  • Education
  • Family
  • Values
  • Challenges they face
  • How they use technology

You can add to this list as relevant to your industry. The more detail you can give your persona, the better. There are also several ways to go about gathering the information to flesh out your personas.

Look at Existing Personas

When starting out, it's helpful to look at example personas to get a feel for how yours should look. BizzyWeb has 5 Pre-Made Personas you can use as inspiration or foundation for your own personas. 

Interview Customers

The easiest – and most important – way of gathering information about potential customers is to look at your current customers. Send out an email survey to your current customers asking them for information. Ask them about their role, their company, their goals, etc. HubSpot has an excellent list of 20 questions to ask in persona interviews to give you some ideas. Make sure to provide an incentive for customers to fill out your survey – a gift card usually does the trick. 

Talk to Your Team

Brainstorm with your team to distill the personalities of your customers and prospects. Your sales team regularly interacts with potential customers – what do prospects who convert have in common? Your customer service team is another excellent resource to tap into. Not only do they have insight into what makes your customers happy, but they can tell you what their pain points are as well. 

Behavioral Research

Google Analytics is a fantastic wealth of information. You can use it to pull information about who is viewing your site and what actions they take. You can also glean basic demographic information from many social media channels. Facebook comes with a built-in tool that breaks down the demographics of your followers. Looking at your social media will also give you more insight into your customers’ likes and personality – which posts performed the best? What types of content generate the most responses?

Once you've created your personas, you can use them to start creating digital marketing and inbound marketing campaigns.

BizzyWeb is a Minneapolis-based digital marketing and web design agency that helps companies get the high-quality leads they need to grow and thrive. Our tactics include inbound marketing, SEO, advertising, web design, content creation and sales automation. We are an accredited HubSpot Platinum Partner and we offer full-service HubSpot onboarding, enablement and strategy for new and current users.

Dave Meyer
Author: Dave Meyer
Dave Meyer is President of BizzyWeb. Dave has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications and has presented digital marketing topics to thousands of people across the US and Canada.