We hope you enjoyed our previous post on how you can improve your photography business by using Google Analytics. If you haven't read that one be sure to check it out. We think it's great (ok, we may be slightly biased, but do give it a read!)
In that post we talked about the benefits of creating a buyer persona for your business. Well it's a big topic so we decided it needed to have its very own post.
So here we are, today we'll go over everything you need to know about creating and utilising a buyer persona for your photography business.
First, we’ll look at what exactly a customer persona is and why it’s so important for your marketing plan.
Next we’ll look at how you can create your persona. There are several different ways to do this so we’ll go through all the options.
Lastly, we’ll have a look at what you should do with all of this information; basically, how you can structure your marketing plan around this persona.
So, let's get started.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is the fictional persona that you have created based on your customer data. It is the persona that you’ve created to represent your ideal customer.
A buyer persona humanises your customers. So, instead of grouping all marketing into one indistinguishable group, a customer persona allows you to focus on one person that likely lives in your database of customers.
A detailed persona allows you to fully explore the problems that your customers are facing. You can get an idea of what influences their buying process – do they have expendable cash to book shoots, are they financially independent, are they a business owner?
There are a number of things that will influence the day to day decisions in your customer’s lives. A persona allows you to effectively address any concerns or issues your customer has.
A persona allows you to tailor your marketing and promotional efforts to a selective and particular set of people.
Say you have an expensive portrait shoot package, it's probably not the wisest move to market this package to, say, students.
You'll know from your research that only a certain type of customer can afford this option. So, if you're running ads or promotions you can easily target this particular persona.
You can also have multiple personas.
Ideally you’ll have at least 3–4 but any more than 5 is probably overkill.
That’s not to say that 1 or 2 won’t work. Just look at the data; if the results show that you’re doing great with one persona then stick to that!
Ok, so you have the basic understanding of what a persona is so let’s have a look at the different ways you can create them.
Well this step makes sense right?
If you’re looking to obtain info about your customers then you should probably ask your customers!
I mean, who better understands their worries, or the problems they’re facing?
This is an invaluable resource, don’t be afraid to tap into it!
We recommend asking the following questions: (Taken from Neil Patel)
- What does your product do for your customers? Explain how it improves their home or work life.
- Who are your customers? Determine what type of people would benefit from your product.
- What are your product’s benefits? Explain how it satisfies their needs better than the competition.
- Where are your customers located? Identify their location and where they will buy your product.
- At what life stage are they likely to purchase your product? Describe the life or work experiences that persuade them to buy.
- What is their buying strategy? Explain their process of buying your product.
Once you've got some responses you can begin to craft your persona. From these questions you should have a basic idea of your customer.
Combine this newfound knowledge with a tool like Google Analytics and you'll soon see your persona taking shape.
Using Google Analytics for info
Analytics is a great tool for exploring your customers browsing and buying habits. You can easily find out your customer's gender, age, location, what phone they have, whether they browse on phone or desktop ... the list goes on and the information really is endless – Check out our Google Analytics post to get a full breakdown of using analytics!
Right, let’s say that you’re a wedding photographer. Based on the information you gleaned from your customers and analytics you might have the following as a buyer persona:
- Name: Lisa
- Gender: Female
- Age: 30–35
- Location: Dublin
- Device: iPhone8
- Browser: Safari
- Salary: Relatively wealthy, middle class, 40,000+ per annum
- Interests: Designer clothes and brands, celebrity clothing, swimming
We can take the information from GA and craft the above persona for you to market to.
We can see that Lisa is early to mid 30s, she browses on an IPhone8 and has an interest in designer fashion.
From here we can make the logical assumption that she is relatively wealthy, she is at least comfortable financially. She is planning her wedding and would be browsing for an up-market, sophisticated package.
You can tailor all of your ads and marketing towards attracting this type of client.
The important thing to remember is that this isn’t the only person who will buy a wedding package from you.
This is just a representation of your target market. Lisa is your ideal customer, but she won't be all of them.
Your buyer persona influences everything from the type of wedding package that you offer to the pricing of that package.
Using social media
Facebook, for instance will allow you to see the breakdown of age, gender, and location of your audience.
If you run any paid ads on social media you’re sitting on a data goldmine!
See what they react to and alter your persona accordingly.
Facebook groups are also a great way to determine customer worries and problems. Here at 3XM we run a group called 3XM Insiders (check it out!)
It’s a great way to interact with, not just our customers, but anyone in the photography world!
Have a look on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit to see any groups and threads you can get involved with – r/photography on Reddit is a fantastic resource!
What to do with this info?
By now you’ll have a wealth of data about your customer, so go ahead and get in contact with them!
Create ads and campaigns and trial them against your new persona.
Just remember to keep in mind that people (and personas!) change, check back every few months and update your personas.
Thanks for reading!
I hope you learned a lot from this post.
As always, if you have any questions on personas drop us a line in the comments and we’ll be sure to get back to you.
Thanks for reading!