A popular tool for getting to know your ideal client so they can help you make decisions about marketing strategy is to create a detailed persona (similar to a storyboard when used in design). A persona is a realistic sketch (in words) of a client who could exist and would be a perfect fit for your firm if they did.
The idea is that, with a name and a backstory—and maybe even a picture—it gets easier to make decisions about everything from how to decorate your office and which beverages to offer to which marketing channels to focus on, what communication tools to use, and how to approach client meetings. When you know your ideal client well, your marketing strategy will probably seem obvious.
But there are a couple of problems.
First, you need real clients, not fictional ones. If your client persona isn’t realistic, you’ll end up with a perfect marketing campaign for people that don’t exist. On the other hand, if you have taken the time to get to know real people with real problems you can help them solve, a client persona can be a useful shortcut. But only if it is based on real people.
Second, the more specific your persona, the larger your blind spots. If your client persona is a 37-year-old white male suburban architect, then you aren’t likely to build a marketing campaign for perfectly good clients from the city. You may miss out on self-employed people or people of color or other creative professionals. You might not prioritize accessibility for disabled clients.
So you’ll want to see an example persona and learn more about client-centered marketing before you buy this!
But if you still want to create a client persona, this template will help you get started.