Introduction: What Are Buyer Personas?
A buyer persona is a fictionalized portrayal of your ideal customer(s), painting a life-like picture of who that customer is. Even in a niche market, you likely have at least 2-3 specific buyer personas that you can target. Buyer personas take into consideration more than just demographics, they also include specific needs, behaviors, pain points, lifestyle, etc. as it relates to the solutions your business provides. In the case of a financial advisor or planner, it considers how your distinct financial services can help address their needs.
The best and most accurate buyer personas are based on data that has been collected from existing (happy) customers and/or from research conducted on the target market. The more specific you can get, the better!
Why Create Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas are developed for the purpose of establishing your marketing and business development efforts so that it effectively reaches your target customer. It guides you in creating highly tailored content and messaging that resonates with your audience. When in doubt on whether to proceed with any new strategies, you can refer to the persona as a checkpoint before proceeding.
What makes buyer personas effective for your financial advisory business is that they provide a bigger picture of the needs of your target audience as it relates to the financial services you are offering. It brings a deeper understanding of potential decision making factors your prospects may be looking at.
You may also consider creating negative personas (i.e. the opposite of your ideal customer), those that take up your time selling but never convert or end up having a negative CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) as they cost more to serve than they bring in. With negative personas you know exactly who is not worth your time actively marketing and selling to.
Ready to create one now? We have a free Buyer Persona Worksheet available for you here.
Creating a Buyer Persona
To get started creating a buyer persona as a financial advisor, first take a look at your current customer base and what information you have about them that you can analyze. Some questions to consider as you get started building your first persona:
What do your current clients have in common?
Which of your clientele segments are the most profitable for you?
Which of your clients are the most satisfied with your services?
Where are your clients coming from? How are they finding you?
What other information have you captured in your database that can help identify key personas?
If you don’t know the answers to some of these questions, you can start by surveying your customers. There are free tools online that allow you to create, collect, and analyze customer surveys such as SurveyMonkey, TypeForm, or Google Forms. Consider asking questions that center around overall satisfaction, effectiveness of their financial needs and goals being met, status of challenges and financial concerns, among others. Taking the time to understand who you’ve served well thus far will provide insight into who you should be targeting next.
How To Apply Buyer Personas To Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve identified and created one or more buyer personas, and feel confident they represent your ideal customer, you can start utilizing this information to generate new leads! If you’re just getting started in a niche financial market, one buyer persona is a great start. You can use this persona to create targeted messaging that addresses the needs and pain points of your niche market while keeping in mind what would resonate and appeal to your buyer persona. If you’ve developed two or more personas, you can now segment your content to each of the personas.
Example Buyer Persona For Your Financial Advisory Business
|PERSONA NAME:||"Roger the Retiree"|
|Position:||Retired small business owner|
|Marital Status:||Married for 20+ years|
|Kids:||Grown with children of their own|
|Geographic Location:||Columbus, Ohio|
|Over the phone, in-person, mailed letter|
|Investment Goals:||Live comfortably while in retirement, travel to see family, spoil the grandkids, leave money to family, etc.|
|Financial Challenges & Pain Points:||Significantly reduced income since entering retirement.|
"I'm already retired."
"I'm not looking to invest aggressively."
|Marketing Messaging:||"Retirement planning doesn't stop when you retire!"|
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