Originally published in 2018. Updated with links and info in 2020.
The sad truth is that most companies and sales teams have NO idea who they are supposed to be talking to.
By my assumptions, if you are reading this blog, either you or someone at your company would agree that it’s time to get your stuff together, legitimize who your business is and understand who you should be talking to.
70 percent of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy.
This is a shocking statistic. As a marketer, you know that having a well-defined strategy for all profiles or personas, as well as different stages of the buyer’s journey, is the key to conversion success! Don’t let this simple process of defining your key audience stand in the way of building killer content.
If the best clients for the company aren’t clearly defined, that could very well be the crux to why your marketing and sales teams are not succeeding.
More often than not, we help companies that never took the time to really build out their profiles or personas. In kickoff meetings, we often learn that the sales team is selling to a different persona than the marketing team even thought about! Or, the marketing team is filling their funnel with content directed to the position one level above the actual buyer. As you can only imagine, both sides are not meeting goals and are complaining about each other.
So, what is a client profile and how does that differ from a persona? Do you need both? Read on to understand the importance and differences of these critical components of your sales and marketing processes.
What is an IdealClient Profile?
An ideal client profile defines either the industry you want to sell to, or, the best client for your products and services. There are some fun and interesting ways to really dig deep and discover who your company is, how you define a good client and then, address how to talk to them directly.
Some very high level items you can define for a profile are :
Buyer Profile Pitch: “We work with accounting agencies that are located within 30 miles of Philadelphia and have an annual revenue of $3 million.”
So, how do you go about getting started with defining your profiles?
You’re just a few questions away from having something drafted up and ready to go. Interview your best clients, your sales team, your prospects and ask them! People love to talk about themselves. You would be surprised how forthcoming they are about their business, challenges and goals.
Here is a great in-depth article from HubSpot with lists of questions you can use to help define and determine your best profile.
Using your defined client profile– it’s time to get creative! Taking what you have discovered about your best client, it’s time to write some content that is going to get their juices flowing!! The whole point of this process is to be able to better target your prospects and provide them with epic, useful, educational content is the passageway to closing deals.
What is a Buyer Persona?
Think of your buyer persona as the job title who works at the profile you just created.
All of your personas are going to fit neatly into a profile. There are probably going to be several personas for each profile. For example: Mary the Manager, Charlie the CEO, Molly the Marketer and Cathy the CFO all fit under your Profile of Accounting Agencies.
You are trying to reach them all through your marketing efforts, but you better be communicating a different message to each of them, as their pain points are so different. You can’t give your sales team the advantages they need to close deals if you are not offering up solid content to each of these personas.
When defining each persona, you really want to put on your therapist hat here and discover the answer to some questions. What motivates these types of people? What are their common challenges? (Which I am sure your sales team would be happy to talk about, they hear these objections all day long.) By placing yourself in their shoes and asking what your company can provide as a solution to each persona, you can then use this information to create sales and marketing content that fills up that funnel, creating some top notch traffic.
Okay, so now that you have created effective and exciting persona’s and profiles, how the heck do you make them impactful to your business?
First thing's first, these are fluid and ever changing. So make the time, you savvy marketer, to read up and refresh (where needed) at least once a year. Then, train up! Don’t just let your shiny new personas die in a Word doc. Be like our content writers and update the staff with what has changed and how to talk to the new personas/profiles, so that the content you produce can be the most effective.
Track your conversions!
What good is epic content and stunning profiles and personas if it doesn’t move the needle forward? Be sure to make this a part of your regular reporting to see what profiles and personas are working. Eliminate the bad, amp up the good!
And finally: content, content, content. Fill your funnel with stuff that actual prospects want to read and will find useful. No content is better than bad content!
And this my friends, is where I leave you hopefully excited to get to business and ask the questions to get your profiles and personas in place, drive more traffic and gain more conversions and leads for your sales team then they could ever imagine!
Ain’t got time for that? 👇👇