Buyer personas or marketing personas are a great way to tailor your marketing efforts to the needs of your target group. A buyer persona template can help you to create optimal buyer personas.
In this article we are going to introduce our free buyer persona template and provide an in-depth guide on buyer personas.
Feel free to download our free buyer persona powerpoint template right here. It is a lean, straightforward and free buyer persona powerpoint template. The template works as a common thread and prevents you from being too long-winded and unspecific. Please feel free to use and adapt our free practical powerpoint/PDF template to create effective buyer personas.
Get the Free Buyer Persona Template
(You can grab the persona template as PDF and Powerpoint version.)
A persona tells you who a buyer is, what they want, what their values are, and how to address them. A buyer persona could also help you to build a more effective communication and sales strategy, increase your overall marketing ROI and minimize unnecessary work.
A buyer persona contains observed behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes and needs. Additionally, it usually includes personal details that make your persona more realistic and memorable.
We at Filestage, for example, developed a software for creative professionals. So we had to create buyer personas for art directors, designers and filmmakers. It helped us a lot to understand their needs, wants, and desires.
Buyer Persona Definition
A buyer persona is a fictional character that represents a segment of your customers. It’s sometimes referred to as marketing persona. It could also stand for a market segment you aim for. Simply said, it’s a generalized archetype that stands for your target group.
Writing effective personas is a question of providing the right amount of information. When you don’t gather enough information, you likely miss out on important facts. Taking too much information into account instead? Not a good idea, because you run the risk of getting paralyzed by an information overload.
For the beginning I recommend determining how many general target groups you have. To keep it simple start out by creating personas for the three best-performing target groups. Be specific and focus on the things that matter.A persona tells you who a buyer is, what they want, what they value and how best to address them. Click To Tweet
The strongest buyer personas are based on insights you gather from the existing customer base. You can add data from market research to make it more meaningful.
To enjoy acceptance try to make your buyer persona as handy as possible. The last thing you want to create is a large document that nobody likes to use. Make your persona beautiful. Lay some effort into the design. Give your character a face and condense all the information down to one page.
Buyer Persona Checklist
Use this checklist to create effective buyer personas that help you to stay focused.
Get the Free Buyer Persona Checklist
Name and Photo
What is a typical name for someone in your target group? What does the person look like?
Every buyer persona needs a name and a face. People within your organization will relate much easier with the character this way. It makes your persona more authentic and much easier to talk about.
Let’s pretend one of your major target groups is a group of young male creative producers. A common name could be David Lubars.
A good way to come up with a name: Talk to your sales managers. What’s the first name that pops up their mind? You can also check your customer lists for names.
Who is your character?
Besides a name you need to add some background information about your buyer persona. This will make your character more vivid. Think about the typical age, gender, job, education, location, and family situation of your buyer persona. Try to find archetype information that shapes your fictional character.
Example (List it with bullet points):
- Age, gender: 31 years old, male
- Job: Creative producer
- Education: Bachelor’s degree in advertising and PR
- Location: Los Angeles (CA)
- Family situation: Single
- Archetype: Straightforward Advertising Professional
What quote summarizes the character of your buyer persona?
Try to formulate one statement that represents all the values, goals and challenges of your buyer persona. Make it look like a real quote. This helps everybody relate to your buyer persona without the need to read everything.
“I don’t care working long hours, because I love to create innovative campaigns for my clients. Sometimes I wish the communication process with my clients would be easier.”
What are the person’s goals when looking for a product or service?
Clearly state the goals your persona has when using a product or service. What does your character try to accomplish buying your product or service? Look for real insights on your target group here. These objectives represent the key drivers of your buyer persona. In most cases they are not as clear and obvious as they seem at first sight.
Example (3-5 bullet points):
- Wants to get promoted
- Is eager to win awards for his advertising campaigns
- Wants to build great relationships with all of his clients
- Wants to be in control
- Looking for tools to be more effective
Challenges, Fears, and Problems
What problems does your buyer persona face right now?
Try to figure out the problems your persona has to solve. Get clear about the major challenges and fears. When does your persona struggle? Think about the work environment, the social environment, outer appearance or health. Concentrate on the issues and fears that relate to your product and service.
Example (3-5 bullet points):
- Feels pressured by his workload
- Is stressed out by all the emails from clients
- Struggles to handle the communication between his co-workers and his clients.
What values and attitudes does your persona have?
This is all about the mindset of your buyer persona. Describe how the mental model of your buyer persona looks like. Is your persona a libertarian or does he prefer a stable environment with fixed conditions? What are the beliefs, perceptions and attitudes of your character? Don’t expect the mental model to be obvious. It’s often unarticulated and hidden.
Example (3-5 bullet points):
- Seeking new ideas
- Loves the art scene
- Practical minded and straightforward
- Loves the security of a stable income
Buying Decision Process
How do they make a buying decision?
One important fact you should include in your buying persona is the way buying decisions are made. What is the preferred buying channel of your character? Does your persona trust the referrals of friends or does he read journals to get product information?
State out the channels your fictional character uses to gather information. Check the product lifecycle to get a deeper understanding. Figuring out if your buyer persona is an early adopter or a laggard makes it much easier.
Example (3-5 bullet points):
- Always busy, works long hours
- Prefers to gather his information online
- Believes in product referrals of bloggers
- Hates to get bothered by sales calls
Part of the buying decision process is to define what product adoption group your buyer persona belongs in. Our sample character David Lubars belongs in the group of the “Early Majority.”
How can you help to solve the problems outlined? How can you help your buyer persona to reach his goals?
You identified the core problems of your character? Now it’s time to state your solutions. What can your product or service do to overcome these obstacles? What does your fictional character need in order to reach his goals?
Be sure to address the deeper problems, not only the obvious ones. Bring your solutions in line with the values and the buying decision process of your character.
Including a practical solution to the problems of your buyer persona is optional. From my own experience, I can tell that it is useful and helps to give more focus.
Example (1-3 sentences):
- Filestage streamlines visual content reviews with clients and co-workers. The web app helps David to cut long email threads to capture all his client’s feedback in one organized workspace.
There are plenty of benefits that can come from great buyer personas. First you, and your organization, are totally clear about what your buyer needs, wants and desires. This helps to make more informed decisions. Buyer personas establish a customer-driven mindset in your work environment. Once you have figured out strong personas, you can use them as argumentation aid towards your co-workers and clients. Knowing your audience will lead to more informed decisions. This is true for small and big brands, companies and organizations as well as agencies and media productions.
Second your buyer personas will help you to tailor your marketing messages to your target buyer. With a thorough buyer persona, your communication strategy is sure to be more effective. What effect will strong buyer personas have on your next campaign? Your marketing messages will be much easier to tailor. They are more likely to be effective. Your personas will simplify your marketing strategy. This minimizes unnecessary advertising spending and increases the ROI.
Talk to your customers
Talking to customers is by far the best way to win meaningful insights. Prepare an interview with questions about values, decision-making, goals and problems of your audience. Execute these interviews either in person or over the phone. Talk to good as well as bad customers. As painful as this can be: Unhappy customers are a great source to win new insights.
Is your product not quite ready, or are you just new to the market? No problem at all. Just interview potential customers instead. Sometimes people have trouble reflecting their own behaviors. Use the “5-why-technique” to get to the core of their motivation.
Whys is a question-asking technique to get to the root cause of a problem. By repeating the question ‘Why?’ five times you can dig deeper to uncover underlying problems. Each answer forms the basis of the next “Why?” question. Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Industries, developed this technique. Sure, you won’t ask “why” 5 times in a row to your client. But you get the point. This technique is a thought-provoking impulse for client communication, isn’t it?
Set up a survey
Create an online customer survey. Send it out to customers within the target group. Keep the whole survey short and simple. No more than 10 questions. An old rule of thumb in market research says:The longer your survey, the less people will take part. Click To Tweet
You can mix qualitative and quantitative questions in your survey. This means you can include some multiple-choice questions as well as open questions. You can ask a closed question to get the age span for example. Or you can ask open questions like: “What challenges do you currently face?”
Quantitative questions are easier to analyze, but often provide fewer insights. Open questions in contrast have a higher likelihood of provoking dropouts.
Check your (site) analytics
A good data source can be found within site analytics. Analytics give you a great overview about typical visitors. You can easily reveal the desires that led the audience to a website. Where did your visitors come from, what devices did they use, what sites and keywords did they search before?
Furthermore, you can check tracking data on advertising. This is a great way to see to what messages your target group responds to the best. Besides that you can also use any internal data, such as sales data.
Research on social media
Social media is a great source because it’s staffed with insightful data about your target group. Surf the profiles of your most active followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all your other social media profiles. You will find great information about job positions and personal interests of your target group. Do you use social media monitoring tools already? These tools are great for gathering insights about your customers.
Social media analytics tools can be used for monitoring the online conversations of a business. These tools help you research what people say about companies on the internet.
You don’t have an active social media marketing now? No worries, you can check out the followers of the closest competitors as well.
Interview customer support and salespeople
A good starting point for customer data are team members that interact with customers on a daily basis. They often have a deep understanding of their clients. You can set up personal interviews, a group discussion or a survey to ask them about the customers.
It’s an easy way to gather data for your buyer persona. But be warned: Employees are often stuck in a routine. In many cases they are just not able to identify the real problems of your target group anymore.
Distill your Research Data
Before you use your research data to build your buyer personas, you need to take an important step. Distill your data to its core. The best way is to look for patterns. Filter out the commonalities in your data. The more things your data has in common, the more important it is.
Building the right buyer persona is an essential tool for your business. You need to find the correct template to help you target your customers with pinpoint precision.
Here at Filestage, we have an effective free template to help you put together your perfect buyer persona. It’s easy to use and helps you to zone in on the specific information you need about your target groups.
For every business, there’s a template designed for you. There are a lot available, so we’ve put together our top picks of some of the best worksheets we could find.
Customer Avatar Worksheet by Digital Marketer
The worksheet by Digital Marketer shows you how to design their version of buyer personas; customer avatars. You can include their goals and super specific interests. This sheet helps you to find the niche you’re aiming for before you get to the interviews and research stage.
Buyer Persona Template by Demand Metric
This professional template is easy to rebrand for your business and fit in with your style. You can focus on the habits of your target customers which may give you more insight into their wants and needs.
Buyer Persona Template by HubSpot
Hubspot’s template is made with powerpoint so it’s incredibly easy to use. You can also include the early stages of your marketing pitch in this template which you may find useful. The sections of this one are broken down into who, what, how and why which gives you a clear purpose to your worksheet.
Marketing Persona Cheat Sheet by Marketo
Marketo has a slightly different take on buyer personas. They give you the key areas you need for a persona but then their template focuses on your buyer’s actions rather than personality. This is a good way to really get thinking about how to use your buyer persona within your marketing strategy.
Buyer Persona Templates by Buyer Persona Institute
This is a quick and simple template to fill in. You can briefly assess each of your buyer personas. This document comes alongside a ‘five rings of buying insight’ form which allows you to go deeper into your marketing strategies related to each persona.
Free Buyer Persona Template by Socialbakers
If you’re looking for an attractive and smooth buyer persona then this is the template for you! The aim of this template is to allow you to consolidate all of your buyer information in one place so you get a view of your potential customer base as a whole.
Buyer Persona Template by Salesfusion
Salesfusion’s worksheet is a good way to start producing a marketing campaign by understanding your clients. This buyer persona also aims to help you open discussions between departments and get everyone in your team on the same page.
Buyer Persona Worksheet by Vendasta
Vendasta’s colorful template helps you to very quickly hone in on the key information about your target group. This is a good option if you’re particularly focused on social media marketing.
With any buyer persona you create, the goal is to have information for your marketing strategies. Every small aspect of someone’s life can affect how likely they are to buy your product. So think about your product and choose which of these questions could be relevant to you.
Basic Background Information
- What’s their name?
- How old are they?
- What is their gender?
- Where do they live?
- Where were they born?
- Where did they grow up?
- Did they come from a religious household?
- What is their religion?
- What type of home did they grow up in?
- Are they a city person, country lover etc?
- What nationality are they?
- What type of home do they live in?
- Do they rent or own?
- Who do they live with?
- What is their relationship status?
- What generation do they identify as?
- Do they have children? How many? What ages?
- Do they come from a big family?
- How many siblings do they have?
- Who did they grow up with? (mother, father etc?) and what did their primary caregiver do as a job?
- Do they drive?
- Do they own a car?
- What type of school did they attend? (Public, private etc)
- What is their highest level of education?
- What activities did they take part in at school?
- Did they fit into a stereotypical social group?
- Did they have good relationships with teachers? Or were they in trouble often?
- Did they go to university?
- Where did they study their bachelors, master etc?
- What did they study?
- What were their study habits? Organized revision, last minute cramming or just wing it?
- Did they perform well in exams, coursework etc?
- Are they still studying or planning to study further?
- What was their social life like? Did they party often?
- Did they have a gap year or study abroad? Where did they travel?
- Have they taken any courses or completed studies outside of school/university?
Work and Finance
- How old were they when they had their first job?
- What was it?
- What job do they have now?
- What is their current salary?
- When are they next likely to get promoted?
- How should their job progression look in the next 5 years?
- Do they like their job? Why or why not?
- What would their dream job be?
- What hours do they work?
- Do they work evenings and weekends?
- Do they socialize with their colleagues outside of work?
- How long is their commute to work?
- Do they drive, walk or take public transport?
- What is important to them about their job?
- What don’t they like about their job?
- Do they get on well with their supervisors?
- Do they work outside of the office? (is it for enjoyment or because they are required to do overtime?)
- Do they work in a big company? How many people work there?
- Are they in debt? How much?
- Do they overspend regularly?
- Are they often in their overdraft?
- How much is their net worth?
- What are their biggest monthly expenses?
- How much disposable income do they have per month?
- How much are they willing to spend on products like yours?
- What would they consider value for money in terms of your product?
- Do they take part in any sports?
- Do they attend any classes?
- Do they have any hobbies?
- Have the recently taken up a new hobby? Or have they had one hobby for a long time?
- Do they like routine or do they do different things every weekend?
- What would a standard workday compared to a standard weekend day look like for them?
- Are they environmentally conscious?
- Are they part of any groups?
- What political party do they support and why?
- Do they have an active social life?
- Are they in a relationship? If not do they go on dates often?
- If they are in a relationship briefly describe their partner and the activities they do as a couple.
- Do they read often? For pleasure or for learning?
- Where do they get their news from?
- Do they have any pets? What kind?
- What important items would you find in each room of their house?
- How is their house decorated? Movie posters, canvas paintings etc?
- Do they have a garden?
- Do they enjoy spending time outside?
- Do they often go on holiday?
- If they travel, where to? For personal holidays or work?
- How often do they travel?
- How much time per day do they spend on social media?
- What time of day are they most active online?
- What type of articles do they read online?
- Are they the sort of person who takes frivolous Facebook quizzes?
- What is their primary use of social media?
- Which social media do they use the most?
- What websites do they visit the most?
- Are they likely to click on a social advert? What would make them click on a social advert?
- What operating system do they use?
- What type of phone do they have?
- What motivates them?
- What are their key needs and are they all met?
- What areas of their life could be improved?
- What are their main concerns and worries?
- Are they spontaneous?
- What three words would they use to describe themselves?
- What are they looking for in a product/service like yours?
- Why would they want your product?
- How can your product help them to meet a want or need?
So what should your finished product look like? We’re going to give you some best practice examples to help you define your target buyer. Each of these people could be a potential target group for your product. Remember at this stage you’re not excluding all the profiles you don’t choose, but honing in on your ideal customer.
Facility/Operations Manager Fred by Buffer
Not every customer is going to be your target. Fred here might be the perfect candidate for your product. Or you also might find he’s a negative buyer persona, someone you’re not targeting. Either way, you need to consider every age range, career etc. to make sure you have fully evaluated your potential customers.
Director Diane by Buffer
Why might you choose someone like Diane? Would she be able to use your product in her job? Would your product make her life easier? Why might she want employees she supervises to have your product?
Tommy Technology by Single Grain
What about Tommy? Would he like what your business has to offer? How can your product help his career? How can you help him directly? Think about these questions and assess what you could offer this potential buyer.
Amanda by Buyer Persona Institute
What type of relationship could you have with Amanda? Could work with her benefit your business? Why might you choose her business sector over others?
Clark Andrews by Xtensio
Clark is based in California, could his location affect accessing your product? Would he be a good choice to use and promote your product? What problem would your product solve in his job role and within his office?
Isaac Rice (Freelancer) by Xperienca
How might a freelancer use your product differently to a big company? Is your product suited to small businesses? Why should Isaac spend his money on your product? You need to think from small one person teams all the way to big corporations and decide where your product is going to be most effective.
Kayla (Planner) by Arthur Chayka
What would make Kayla choose your product over other similar products? Does your product meet a need or want for Kayla? Would working with you make her job easier? Kayla might be a great choice as a buyer for your services or she might be the exact opposite of what you need. Either way understanding her will help your marketing strategy.
Scott & Tim by Ryan DePaola
Would you be able to help Scott and Tim grow their business? How might their lives look different in a years time if they were to work with you?
Brandi Tyler by IndieGameGirl
Where would Brandi find your product? Is it a location she’s likely to visit and spend her money in? Why would you product suit Brandi? Is the fact she lives in LA a good thing or does it make her less likely to want your product?
Sarah Student by Clearly Iron Springs Design
Sarah doesn’t have as much disposable income because she’s a student, so is she likely to part with her money for your product? Why would she choose your product over similar brands? What benefit does Sarah have from choosing your product?
Working Mom Wendy by SmartBug
Would a busy mum benefit from your product? How could your product make her life less stressful? Is she likely to be able to see your product and purchase it?
Lisa by Boscus Digital Marketing
Lisa is a busy and successful young woman, why should she spend time reading about your product? What extra services could you provide that would make your product appealing to her? Do you have information or skills you could give which might help her?
Don’t have the time to sit and go through a template? Want a quick and tech-savvy solution? Then have a look at the software available to help you create buyer personas.
Make My Persona by HubSpot
Hubspot’s user-friendly tool is great for those very visual people. Rather than sitting and filling out a worksheet, you can create with an interactive tool. This is definitely a more fun option than using a template and the final product is a great visual buyer persona.
You can create a slick and professional buyer persona using Xtensio. The added bonus? It’s very easy to share with your team to keep everyone on the same page! It’s not just the marketing desk that needs to know who your target group is. Everyone you work with should be aware who your product is for.
Persona Bold offers a 15-day free trial so you can decide if this is the tool for you! The drag and drop lists style make it a very easy programme to use. It’s very easy to share your personas with your team and update when you need to. It’s also a very customizable tool, perfect for any business!
DIY: Google Slides or Powerpoint
Of course, you don’t have to use a template or a persona builder, you can do it yourself. Armed with our list of 103 buyer persona questions (LINK back) you can create as many buyer personas as you need using simple tools like Google Slides or Powerpoint.
Buyer personas can be as complex as you need them to be. By carefully selecting the questions you can get all the essential information you need for your business.
Buyer personas are a great way to understand customer needs. They help a brand or organization to tailor their marketing messages and make them more effective. The best way to create meaningful personas is to keep them short and precise. You can sharpen your characters by extracting insights from your market research data.
Make your buyer personas visual. A beautifully designed persona that fits on one sheet of paper works best.
- Name & Photo
- What is a typical name and face for someone in your target group?
- Who is your character? Think about age, gender, residence, income, education, job, and family situation.
- What are the person’s goals when looking for a product or service?
- Challenges and Fears
- What problems does your buyer persona face right now?
- What values and attitudes does your persona have?
- Buying Decision Process
- How do they make a buying decision?
- How can you help to solve the problems?
Filestage is a collaboration software tailored to the needs of filmmakers. It’s an easy way to review videos, designs, and documents with clients and co-workers. They simply click in the videos, images and audio files to leave precise comments and change requests.
Want to see more of Filestage? Visit our website and get a free trial account. More than 1000 ad agencies, media production companies and designers have already signed up.
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Passionate about communications and client relations. He loves to dig into behavioral economics to uncover the irrationality in our daily behavior.