In The Brain Audit, author Sean D’Souza talks about your target profile and how crucial it is when you’re doing any type of marketing.

Target profile is simply the factor of choosing one person.
Not an entire audience.
But one solitary person.
And then crafting your message to that one person. – The Brain Audit

Just like we need to find a niche for our business, each marketing message needs to talk to a single person. Hopefully by name.

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Far too often, once you’ve been in an industry for a bit, you’re all about being ‘advanced’ and you forget to speak to the beginners in the field. This only gets worse as you become more advanced as well. You keep speaking to people at your level and totally forget what it was like to be starting out.

By building personas for your business you can help to combat this tendency and create solid marketing messages for people at all levels in your audience.

How to develop a persona

When you start your persona, you need to think of a single person. Hopefully you’ve met some of your audience and you can put a real face/name to a persona.

Once you’ve done that, start to write down things about them. How many kids do they have? What are their business goals? What is the biggest problem with their business? What can they already do well in their business?

How many personas?

When you’re building personas I suggest building three and tailor them to three levels of expertise in your market.

  1. Beginner
  2. Intermediate
  3. Advanced

By making sure you’re creating some of your marketing for each level, you help to combat your tendency to only speak to those at your level.

Here are the exact personas I use when I write blog posts for this site and when I write my marketing copy for products.

Profile 1: Beginning Freelancer (Dylan)

  • Looking to start his own business
  • Not sure how to write great estimates, get leads, stay focused during the day…
  • Coming from a job he wanted to get out of school
  • He’s not even sure what he doesn’t know about serving clients; he only knows they can do their craft

Profile 2: Intermediate Business Owner (Sandi)

  • Has been getting clients regularly but doesn’t feel like they’re the best clients
  • Living paycheque to paycheque — certainly has times of the year when she’s not sure about paying rent this week
  • Wants to increase her rates and get better clients
  • Likely has some trouble finishing projects on time

Profile 3: Seasoned Business Owner (Arwen)

  • Wins work regularly and has a waiting list
  • Managing a team and needs to know how to communicate with them
  • Looking at higher level things like CRMs and client lifetime value
  • Wants to refine his processes and make the business not rely on her

With these three personas in hand I can make sure that in a month I’m covering each level of expertise and not leaving possible new readers out in the cold by being way above their head.

This was based off my upcoming book Finding and Marketing to Your Niche. Get on the email list to hear about it first.

photo credit: le0nard0h0 cc