Why You Should Craft a Persona for Your Startup

No doubt you are building your startup for a certain type of person.

Whether it’s a software company or an e-commerce business, there are specific and general attributes that the average person who uses your product will possess.

persona based marketing
Every startup should craft a persona document.

You should write those attributes down and create a persona document. A persona is a character that you create that embodies your average/ideal customer.

Writing down the basics about his or her life will help guide not only your product features but every aspect of your marketing.

Developing a persona allows you to answer the following questions:

  • What problems does my average customer face
  • Which features does my average customer absolutely NEED
  • Which features are not necessary but would be loved by my average customer
  • When will my average customer use my product
  • How will my average customer use my product
  • What does my average customer like to do
  • Which websites does my average customer like to visit
  • What hobbies or interests does my average customer have
  • What age is my average customer
  • How much money does my average customer make
  • Where does my average customer work (enterprise company, small business, startup, etc.
  • What kind of budget does my average customer have

Crafting a persona ensures that you’re thinking about:

  • The daily life of your customer
  • Where your product fits in
  • How your product makes your customer’s life better
  • Where you should market to your customer
  • How you should market to your customer
  • How you should price your product
  • What the typical sales cycle might be like and what challenges you’ll face

When I was interning for Citrix, an enterprise level B2B company, we crafted really detailed personas for each product line. At a startup I don’t think persons need to be heavily detailed as your entire business model needs to be fluid. Within a startup we don’t know yet what will work best and for whom. Many companies pivot and end up selling a modified product to a different audience after they find out their initial offering isn’t working.

That’s mostly why I don’t think startups need to spend a lot of time on persona development.

Rather, I think you (and your team) should take maybe an hour or two and talk through some basic thoughts about your ideal customer.

When I was creating the persona for my candle startup I put together bulleted lists for the following:

  • Characteristics of my ideal customer (age, hobbies, income, career, salary, home type, etc.)
  • Relationship of customer to the product (why she buys my product or competitor products)
  • Other brands my ideal customer likes (this is helpful for creating marketing material)

Since I am relying heavily on social media and content marketing for my business I also put together a bulleted list for Blog Categories and Pinterest Topic Boards based on the persona I crafted.

You can and should also use your persona to feed your marketing strategy.

Having a persona document can save you a lot of time in the long run. When you’re planning a media buy, deciding on which channels to use in your marketing plan, figuring out your pricing strategy and developing your sales collateral you can refer back to your persona for some helpful information.

Have you created a persona for your business yet? What do you think the pros/cons to personas are?