Thursday, 10 January 2019

How do you create a Customer Persona for a Startup?
How do you create a Customer Persona for a Startup?

How do you create a customer persona for a Startup business?

This one question many startups have been asking and many of them don't seem to find the right answer.

I recall when I started my own freelancing business and needed to develop a customer persona. I read through several blogs on how to build one, but none of them answered my main questions.

Most of the answers were driven towards businesses who already have clients and leads on their list.

I got confused.

I don't have an existing leads or customers

There is no or little traffic coming to my website that provides enough data for analytics to process.

I don't have enough money to pay for a survey

How do I go about building a customer persona without all these?

In this post, we are going to explore 3 simple and easy ways to create a customer persona for a startup business without any existing customer base.

Let us get started...

How To Create a Customer Persona For a Startup

In your quest to creating a customer persona the questions you will be asking are;
  • Who are your customers
  • Where are they located
  • What is their gender
  • What is their age group
  • What is their relationship status
  • What is their occupation
  • How much do they earn
  • What challenges they are facing
These are the core information you need to create your customer persona, I'm I, right?

If I am, then let us see how to answer these questions.

Create a Customer Persona with Brain Storming

Building a customer persona for your startup/business starts with you answering a few questions about your brand and how it will help your future customers.

To start the process of creating your ideal customer persona or customer, ask yourself the following questions.
  • What inspired me to start the business
  • What challenges does my services/product solve
  • What problems are the challenges of using my product or services
  • How is my product/services better than others
  • What is my target location
Providing answers to the above question will give you answers to this question,
  • What challenges your potential clients are facing.

Create a Customer Persona knowing your Competitors Customers

What is the one thing that you and your competitors share?

The same customers - which automatically translate to the same customer persona.

Get started by quickly carrying out a Google search for your top competitors using keywords of services or product that your render.

Note if your service is tailored to a particular location, including the location while making the search.

Once the result pops up, take note of the top ten websites (both organic and paid) showing on the first page.

Visit each of the websites and scan through. Take note of,
  • The kind of pictures they use
  • Their storytelling
  • their offers 
  • And their website design
How does this help?

Scanning your competitors' website gives you an idea of who your target audience is.

But that not all. Let us dig deeper for more information.

To get more information to create your customer persona we are going to use a tool called Alexa

how to create a customer persona for a startup

Alexa isn't totally free but you have the opportunity to try it for 14 days. You can cancel before your trial runs out.

Signup for Alexa to get started

Once you have finished signing up, log in to your account.

Type in your competitors URL and let the magic happen.

Alexa will provide you with loads of information about your competitor.

Take note of the section with audience demography and geography.

You also want to look at the keywords section. See what is driving traffic to their website both organic and paid.

Carrying out competitive research with Alexa will answer who your buyers/ customers are in terms of age, gender, earnings, location, education, and type of devices they use in accessing the internet. Oh, I forgot it also tells you their ethnicity... Wow

With all this information you should have a headway of who your customers are and thus build your customer persona around this information.

Before you get so excited about Alexa, Let us look at the last method to create a customer persona.

Create a Customer Persona using Facebook Insights

Facebook has more information about its users and you can leverage this information to build the right customer persona.

The main purpose of the audience insights is to help create a more targeted audience for your Facebook ads but it is also a great place to get more information about your customers

Log into your Facebook ads manager and choose audience insight from the menu

How do you create a Customer Persona for a Startup?

Ok, I missed one thing, Facebook audience insight works with keywords that your customers are interested in.

You can start by putting in your competitors' company's name in the interest box.  Once the interest has been accepted, Facebook will give you information about your customers base on their demography, pages liked, location and their activity.

To get more accurate information from facebook audience insight, brainstorm on a few keywords that your customers may be interested in..

Take for example:
As a digital agency looking to build a customer persona using Facebook audience insights my customer interest will follow this pattern
  • Hobbies: Email marketing, Graphics design, digital marketing, social media marketing, website
  • Tools: MailChimp, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, WordPress, e.t.c
  • Competitors/influencers: Any popular digital agency
Once this has been figured out. Take a pen and paper to do some writing.
Search for these interest one after the other, not all at once.
  • Demographics show you information base on the age, gender, marital status, income.
  • Page Likes shows you the type of pages your customers follow on facebook. Through page likes, you get to know a little more about your customers like the movies the watch, books they read, companies they are interested in and more.
Take note of this information and you won't just build a customer persona but also a target audience for your ads.


So now, how do you create a customer persona for a startup?

It is easy and only takes a few hours of your time.

Follow the steps provided in this article and you are on your way to building a successful business.

What do you think? Are there other easier ways of creating a customer persona for startups without existing customers?

Share with us in the comment section

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