The Small Business Playmakers You Need on Your Team Jessica Lunk Like a college basketball recruiter courting the best players to get their team to the NCAA championship, small business owners can use personas to attract their best customers – winning more deals with less effort. With personas, you can uncover the motivations and challenges of the very best customers within your customer base. Then, you can develop targeted messaging to recruit more customers who are just like them. Identify and create personas for these small business playmakers to attract the right type of customer (and repel the wrong type of customer) for your business: The MVP There is no “I” in team, but there’s always that one key player – Most Valuable Player – that coaches wish they could clone. The same goes for your customers. You have customers of all kinds, but you can probably name your “Most Valuable Customers.” Your MVCs are the customers you wish you had more of. This ideal buyer spends more money with your company, sticks with you longer, and has less gripes. The Playmaker There’s no great team without a great point guard. A great floor general in basketball knows when to the pass the ball. The same is true for your playmaking ideal buyers. Not only is your solution a great fit for them, but they are raving fans of your business. They know when to pass the word to others who could benefit from your solution set. A big part of boosting your bottom line without adding a lot of manpower is through word-of-mouth referrals. Attracting the right type of customer means that they’ll be more satisfied with your business. They’ll talk about you in all of the right places – from online forums and review sites to networking events with their peers. The Sharpshooter Like the playmaker, your sharpshooter customer knows how to use your business product like a champ. Unlike the playmaker, you don’t hear from this player all that much. However, when you call on this customer to help you score, they don’t disappoint. The sharpshooter steps up when you make the call, whether it’s to take a customer feedback survey, be a customer reference or to provide a testimonial. Low maintenance with high return, the sharpshooter is one of your most efficient customer personas. The Shot Blocker On your team, the shot blocker is great. They reject your competition and swat away challengers, setting up fast break business conversions. On the flip side, trying to recruit a die-hard shot blocker from another team is your most difficult business play. Full of objections and rejections, their loyalty to a competitor can’t be penetrated. You can spend a lot of time trying to score a shot blocker, when often times, there’s better players to work with. The Ball Hog When you’re playing to win, a rotten player can sour the whole team. Most coaches would rather have a team of less talented, but scrappy, players who work together to win, than a gifted ball hog who, in his quest to attain glory, puts the whole team in peril. Think about those customers who suck time away from your other customers – and suck the life out of you. These are the types of customers that you can never seem to make happy. They are quickly dissatisfied and quick to leave your business in their dust. Just as important as attracting all-star customers to your business, persona marketing helps you throw down the gauntlet and make it clear who you are NOT for. A great example of persona marketing is Planet Fitness. Their “No Lunks Allowed” campaign clearly hammers their stake in the ground. Through their marketing, they create a welcoming environment for the average, everyman gym-goer, while at the same time creating a hostile environment for what “they” consider grunting gym rats. Persona marketing is working for the gym. In 2014, they landed on the Forbes best franchise list with a growth rate of 26%. They also received an “A” for franchisor support. Focusing on the right customer – and excluding the wrong customer – is a play for growth. Persona-based marketing can help you attract the right type of customer, turning your customers into playmakers for your small business. For the busy small business owner, recruiting the right customers can feel like marketing madness. That’s why we’ve put together a simple guide for the small business owner that wants to up their marketing game. From building personas to creating the right content, we’ll help you attract and convert more of the right prospects into ideal customers. Download the Content Marketing Playbook to start drawing up better plays for your business.