Best Practices for Building and Keeping Buyer Personas

Aug 17, 2015

What's a buyer persona?Do you remember what buyer personas are? They ares semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. If that’s not really making sense to you, back up a step. Here’s where we explain what a buyer persona is and why we need buyer personas.

What does a good buyer persona look like? For starters, they’re built by following the best practices for buyer personas. We’ll go into that first. Then, we’ll go in what should be done regularly to keep your buyer persona or personas in tip-top shape. At the end of this blog, you’ll have the best practices for building and keeping buyer personas at your fingertips. 

Best Practices for Building and Keeping Buyer Personas

Building Buyer Personas

1. Focus on the motives behind the behaviors

2. Keep personas fictional, but still realistic

3. Choose ONE primary persona

4. Tell your persona’s story

Beyond following these best practices for building buyer personas, you should also avoid these key mistakes:

 Common Buyer Persona Mistakes

1. Basing your personas on outdated information

2. Too many personas

3. Not thinking about negative personas

 Keeping Buyer Personas

Did you know that your buyer personas are never really complete? Updating your buyer personas – and updating them frequently – is just as important as creating them. Think about it – your personas are based on the behaviors of your clients/customers. That behavior will certainly change over time, and you’ll want your persona to change along with it.

How often should you update your personas? Try revising them once a season. We’re getting closer to Fall right now – take your schedule in the upcoming weeks and find a time to revise your personas.

What happens if you no longer have enough information to completely identify a buyer persona that you once had? This is going to hurt, but it has to be done: delete the persona. Don’t be afraid to add personas; don’t be afraid to remove personas. You’ll know when to remove a persona. It’ll likely happen when:

  • the buyer persona becomes too vague
  • your company removes a product or service
  • you recognize negative traits in that persona

“Negative” traits – we’ve mentioned that a couple times in this one blog post. We’ll dive more into what negative buyer personas are and how to build them in the next post. Until then, keep building, revising and tearing down your buyer personas!

Best Practices for Building and Keeping Buyer Personas