Creating client personas has become a popular approach for web designers / developers, user experience professionals and content marketers alike. At the most basic level, client personas help service professionals understand and meet the needs of their audiences more effectively. Detailing demographic, personality, and purchasing characteristics in a persona’s story helps bring the larger target audience to life.
Personas are detailed descriptions of characters that take up residence in your larger business narrative. By detailing specific client personas, you can better segment your marketing efforts and speak to multiple audiences more effectively.
Tips for Creating Client Personas to Inform Your Website Content
As you think about applying the lessons of client personas to creating website content, keep these tips in mind.
- Identify each audience group you want to target with your website content.
- Create a detailed client persona for each audience group and outline it in writing.
- After your initial pass at describing key characteristics of each persona, review each persona and circle back to further define the differences between them—from the types of relationships your business might have with each persona to the specific wants and needs that drive them.
- Visualize the results with a mind map, collage, mood board, or whatever method works for you.
- Ask yourself how each piece of website content you create can effectively answer a persona’s questions and move them towards the solutions you provide.
Learning from Client Personas & Creating Web Content
We often work with solopreneurs and creatives who target multiple audience groups on one website. Creating a compelling business brand story about our clients always begins with identifying their target audience groups in business and on the Web. Here’s an example of using personas to create website content that effectively speaks to multiple target audiences and their needs.
Meet Justine, author of 2 wellness books and a small business owner. Her consulting practice takes her into organizations that want to improve wellness options for their employees. She often speaks to groups of business owners and community leaders about the business case for wellness education and services and how those services improve a business’ bottom line.
Her reader persona revealed that a typical reader wants something from the book—and wants more from the author. Justine’s website content must promote her books and speak to her readers’ desire for updated information and a connection to Justine herself.
Since readers want to continue learning as new wellness information emerges, a blog can make it easy to point out important new developments to readers. Since they want more of a connection with her “About” section really shows her personality and she invites connections on social media. Readers also frequently share her books with decision makers in their organizations; book pages on the website include a synopsis, excerpt, and audience description to help visitors decide to purchase and link directly to sellers to make the purchasing process easy.
Consulting Client Persona
An ideal client persona for Justine’s consulting services would be a decision maker in a company that brings her in to identify how their business can benefit from a wellness program and implement specific practices. Justine talked to her current consulting clients about their needs and created a persona that faces those same business and messaging challenges.
During the process of creating the decision maker client persona, Justine realized that her current service descriptions talked way too much about what she does and not nearly enough about the benefits clients reap from working with her. As a result, she created new website content that described her consulting services in terms of addressing client pain points and delivering practical solutions.
Active Professional Community Member Persona
As a speaker, Justine makes the business case for promoting wellness to leaders in professional groups and in the community. This persona described an active member of a professional community who wants to spread the word about sensible approaches to wellness in business. To make it easier for advocates to promote her informational talks, Justine developed a short article that begins connecting the dots between making money and to supporting wellness at work. She features the article on her website speaker page and provides a video clip of herself summarizing key points to pique visitor interest.
What Will Client Personas Do for You?
Not a thing if you don’t give them a chance. If you do, prepare to be amazed by what you can learn from fictional personas when you take their needs seriously. First and foremost, it will be much harder to forget that while your website represents your business it must be all about and for your visitors—their needs must come first. Experiment with the process of creating personas, let them guide your website content, and see how your website can meet your client’s needs more effectively.