If your product or service is good enough, people will buy it.

At least, that’s what we’d like to think.

But it seems that the old “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply to small businesses.

What you offer your customers may be good enough to sell itself. But if your prospects aren’t coming, your product doesn’t even get a chance to toot its own horn. And with all of the avenues now available for advertising, it’s difficult to drive people in the right direction.

Or rather, it’s difficult to drive the right people in the right direction.

Getting the right buyer in front of what you are selling requires strategy: research, understanding your demographics, and marketing to those demographics with a hook that will put your product or service in their hearts and minds.

That’s where creating a buyer persona comes in.

Buyer personas and demographics differ in that they attack the problem in different ways.

Demographics give you a range of people – a group, if you will – that is best suited for your product. Demographics can give you an geographical area, culture, or age group that you should focus your marketing efforts towards. While this is great information, there is a way to go a little deeper and find more precise matches for your product or service.

Buyer personas delve deeper into the psyche of the buyer and reveal what it is about them that drives them to make the purchasing decisions they do. This approach offers you more insight into the reasoning and helps you tailor a marketing plan that addresses their “why”s instead of just being another product out there that claims to solve their problem.

This is a big deal.

Consumers don’t spend a lot of time researching products anymore. In this technology-driven society the more you can say about your product in a few seconds the better. Businesses don’t get a lot of time; full-page marketing slicks have gone by the wayside. Understanding this makes clear the need for a more in depth analysis of the need. That way you can market to that concern in a pointed and direct manner.

This goes both ways. As you hone your marketing approach, whether visual, virtual, printed, or a combination of all of those mediums, you want to know where to place your ads and social media posts. The buyer persona process not only shows you who you want to target because they are they best fit for your product, but it also reveals who does not fit your demographic. Identifying the exclusionary personas is as important as fleshing out your ideal customers. This way you don’t waste time and money marketing to a group of people that are predisposed to be disinterested in your product or service.

There are companies available that can help you create a buyer persona for a fee, but if you are a small business the capital for that process may not be so easy to come by. Here are some tips on creating a buyer persona in house:

  • Figure out how people are finding you. This will reveal information about how and where they browse and what they are browsing for. How do you find this out? Ask them! Use web fields and surveys to gather this information.
  • Ask your current customer base what they like about your product. It makes sense to find out what they don’t like as well.
  • Gather feedback from team members who operate on the frontlines, speaking to prospects and customers every day.

This information can help you figure out what makes your ideal buyer tick, giving you ideas on how to appeal to the right buyer.

Sound difficult? It’s not! You have all the information at your fingertips. All you need is an understanding of the goal, the dedication to the task, a little bit of organization – and our handy Buyer Persona Workbook to help you put it all together

When you’re a small business with limited time and limited budget, you want to do everything you can to get the greatest impact from the least amount of resources. Identifying the right buyer for your product can help you make a big splash and get your small business noticed in a sea of multiple marketing channels and distractions.