If you’ve read anything written by the major marketing gurus over the past few years, you’ve probably heard that creating customer personas is the number one way to connect with both existing and potential customers. Depending on what you’ve read, the concept may be a little overwhelming. Don’t stress; the process doesn’t have to be that difficult. We’ve put together a simple checklist to help you create your first primary personas; you can build on them from there as you see fit.

Step One: Think of Your Ideal Customer

Spend some time asking yourself questions about who your ideal customer would be. Some example questions are:

Are they male or female?
How old are they?
What level of education have they achieved?
What is the customer’s income range?
Where do they live?
What type of job do they have and in what industry?
What is their marital status?
What are their interests outside of work?

Step Two: Think of Their Challenges

Next, think of this person and imagine the challenges he or she has in life or work. Especially consider the ways your business, product or service can help in those challenges. Questions you may wish to ask yourself at this stage include:

What does your customer require for success at work or home?
What challenges are most frustrating?
What is needed from you to alleviate frustrations?
What could prevent them from following through?

Step Three: Consider Communication

Once you’ve figured out a basic picture of your customer, it’s time to envision how you would communicate with him or her. With this information, it will be much easier to put together your marketing plan. Does your ideal customer watch TV, browse the internet daily, use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Reddit? Does the customer use email for work or pleasure? These communication details will be critical in your future marketing endeavors.

While this may not be a “complete” marketing persona, these three steps will help you put together a basic example of a customer that you can refer to when creating marketing campaigns in the future. You’ll find it very easy to upgrade this persona to a more complete version over time when you see additional details that will be even more beneficial.

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