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Craft Targeted Content for Your Blog Using Buyer Personas

Craft Targeted Content for Your Blog Using Buyer Personas

No matter what industry you are in, blogging is a great idea! It’s the perfect way to reach people that may be interested in the service(s) that you offer. There is a right and wrong way to go about it though, and you need to know the difference or you are just wasting your time.

I’ve seen a lot of freelancers (and businesses in general) bitch about their blog not gaining any traction. That’s because they are just cranking content out with no true purpose. The content you create needs to be targeted.

It’s such a simple concept, you would think this would be easy to get right but it is not. I’ve even made this mistake myself. As a freelance web developer, I’d spend countless hours writing very detailed and technical tutorials on how to do certain things with code.

To me, this made sense. Write about what I know, right? Become an authority on the subject.

Well, kind of. I was missing a very important step.

Write For Your Target Audience

My blog posts were perfect for other coders. They could learn some neat tricks on how to properly center a section with CSS, or implement a countdown timer with JavaScript. Do you see the problem though?

My target audience was folks needing a website built, not folks that build websites. How much of a technical blog post do you think my target audience read?

Great Idea

None! That’s why they were looking to hire someone like me, because they weren’t interested in those things. The technical shit bored them to death!

Instead, I should have been writing blog posts like “5 Important Things You Must Get Right About Your GMB Listing” or “3 Must Ask Questions When Hiring A Web Developer”.

These are blog posts that my target audience was much more interested in. Once I switched up how I thought about producing content, my site started gaining more traction.

There is a foolproof way to get this right. The secret is a “Buyer Persona” and understanding the buyer’s journey. These might be brand new terms for you but I’ll elaborate on each of them.

I first ran across these concepts when I was still a new freelancer and trying to figure out the best way to get freelance clients quickly. It made perfect sense and I put it into practice right away. The results? A total game changer!

BUILDING A BUYER PERSONA

One of the things that helped me the most in determining what content to write was learning about Buyer Personas.

A buyer persona is a representation of who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, where they hang out, and why they make buying decisions.

That is a lot to digest but notice it gives you the whowhathowwhere, and why. The when comes a little later when we learn about the buyer’s journey. I’ll expand on that a bit later. Let’s first figure out this buyer persona.

A shortened and more understandable definition of a buyer persona is it is a description of someone who represents your target audience. It is a fictional person but is based on real research – your existing or ideal audience.

You’ll give this buyer persona a name, fill in all their demographic details, their interests, and their behaviors. You’ll understand their goals, pain points, and what makes them buy. You can even go as far as to put a picture to the name. This is helpful in allowing you to think of them as a “real” person, because, in essence, they are!

All of your blog posts (or any marketing efforts for that matter) are going to be crafted as if they are just for this person. This helps you write excellent content that will resonate with your target audience.

AN EXAMPLE OF A BUYER PERSONA

Let’s take a look at an example so you can see what I’m talking about. We’ll use GroLancer. My target audience is freelancers, obviously, but a buyer persona goes much deeper than that. One of my buyer personas may look like this:

An Example of a Buyer Persona

Get detailed. Write down as much information as you can think of for each category.

Now when I am writing articles, I can write them using language that Fred might use. I’ll write content that Fred would want to read. For instance, look at his first challenge. Now I know an article on staying motivated as a freelance web developer, would be something Fred would find tremendous value in!

Do you see where I’m going with all of this? Is it starting to make sense? It felt silly the first time I sat down to build out a buyer persona, but I promise, once I did, it made writing content so much easier and the right people were reading it! It really is a very important step of the process.

Go ahead, make yourself a few buyer personas. You don’t have to build one for each type of person in your target audience. You can get started by building out just 2-3 of them. You’ll get really good at this and start to enjoy doing it once you start seeing how this changes everything.

BECOME AN EDUCATOR

Sales has changed tremendously over the last few decades. That is why sleazy sales tactics no longer work. With the internet, today’s buyer is very informed and the balance of power has shifted. The salesperson used to have the upper hand but that is no longer the case.

I don’t even know if “sales rep” or “salesperson” is the proper term anymore. I’ve talked about how “to be a successful freelancer, you must get good at sales”, but I’m speaking of today’s sales. It’s different. A successful salesperson today is more of an educator than anything else. You have to help by educating your prospect, not sell them. No one wants to be sold to or prospected.

UNDERSTANDING THE BUYER’S JOURNEY

As I promised above, let’s now talk about the when – the buyer’s journey. Not all of the “Freds” out there are ready to buy right now! There are many Freds in each stage of the buyer’s journey. It consists of 3 main stages, which I’ll lay out shortly.

The buyer’s journey shows that there are different stages a person goes through before they make the decision to buy. If you understand this journey, the problems they experience along the way, and the factors that shape their decisions, you can better empathize with them and position your freelancing services along that path. Let’s look at the three stages.

THE AWARENESS STAGE

This is where the buyer becomes aware that they have a problem. Here, the buyer is experiencing some issue and their goal is to fix it. They might be looking for information to better understand it so they can give their issue a name to begin looking for solutions.

Example: “How do I keep track of my prospects and clients for my freelancing business?”

THE CONSIDERATION STAGE

The buyer has defined their problem and considers options to solve it. At this stage, they will have clearly defined their issue and are now ready to research all of the options available to them to help them solve their problem.

Example: “What are some characteristics of a good CRM for freelancers?”

THE DECISION STAGE

The buyer looks at the available options and decides on the best option to solve their problem. Here, the buyer has decided on their approach to fix their problem. Now, they can make a list of available options, shorten that list, and ultimately decide on which option they will spend their money on.

Example: “What is the best CRM for virtual assistants and how much does it cost?”

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Now that you have a little better understanding of the journey a buyer goes through before ultimately making a purchase, and the importance of building out buyer personas, you can craft your content in a way that speaks to each of your buyer personas at each stage of their journey.

This is the recipe to build rapport with prospects and position yourself as an authority in your field. If you follow this advice when writing content for your blog, I guarantee you will have a much better chance of connecting with a prospect and ultimately be able to move them from prospect to client!

LET’S HEAR IT IN THE COMMENTS

Let us know what it is you do in the comments below. What are some articles you plan to write in the coming weeks? Do you want to share one of your buyer personas with us? If you don’t want to share it publicly, I’d love to see some you’ve created! Would you like a template to use when creating yours? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at jd@jdsimpkins.com

Cheer

About The Author

JD Simpkins

JD Simpkins is the creator and founder of GroLancer, The Freelancer's Growth Platform. As a web developer, he fell in love with freelancing back in 2005. He has mentored many up-and-coming freelancers over the years and developed a passion for helping others work towards their dreams. He used a lot of tools to run his freelancing business and remembers how expensive this became. That's when he decided to build GroLancer, not only to share information with aspiring and established freelancers but wanted to offer all of the tools a freelancer needs to run their business and make it affordable to everyone, no matter what level they are at in their career!

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