EarnEntrepreneurshipFreelanceGuest Post

How to Develop Your Buyer’s Persona as a Freelancer

Developing your client base as a freelancer can certainly be a challenge. Although you can quickly establish a full-schedule of work, starting out can be slow. If you’re having a hard time finding clients, it may be because you don’t understand who your customers actually are! Chris, a digital marketing consultant, generously offered to share his thoughts with us on how to establish your buyer’s persona. And here it is!

What Is A Buyer Persona?

Buyer personas are research-based representations that provide insight on who your audience is and their needs and expectations.

This type of insight is important to help freelancers establish their brand, identify their customers, and focus their lead generation efforts.

A buyer persona is an essential part of a marketing and business strategy at every stage of the client’s journey. While the demographics that are important for you to collect vary based on your industry and market, some of the general demographics that you can use as a baseline include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Stage of the buying cycle
  • Income
  • Shopping habits
  • Purpose (why they are buying)

Your freelance business will be able to produce more focused, persuasive marketing campaigns for specific segments of your target audience based on this demographic information. Plus, buyer personas will help you focus your efforts looking for a more profitable customer base.

As a freelancer, you have limited time and resources to increase your business and optimize your outreach efforts. This information will help you save money and funnel your resources to produce improved products and services.

Value Of A Buyer Persona

Freelancers often overlook the importance of having a strong understanding of their audience through a data-driven approach. It is easy to assume you know your target audience, but without validated data about who you are service, you won’t be able to produce valuable products or services to meet their needs.

Unless you are very lucky, it will take a long time to figure out your target audience if you are just using trial and error. Buyer personas help you personalize your marketing message and direct your freelance business quickly compared to guessing who your audience is and what solutions they are looking for.

Specific Questions For A Buyer Persona Survey

An essential part of building your buyer personas is to survey your target audience. A great place to start with your surveys is to speak with your current customer or reach out to the type of people you want to start doing business with.

During your survey, you will want to ask focused questions specifically:

  • What is your biggest problem [in a way relevant to your product/service]?
  • How much time or money do you waste dealing with that problem?
  • What solutions do you currently use to deal with that problem?
  • Have you used other solutions in the past? What caused you to stop using that product/service?

The primary purpose of this survey is to help you understand the problems of your target audience, what they currently use to solve that problem, and what solutions they are no longer using.

Once you understand these three points to the problem/solution equation, you can identify untapped opportunities that your business can fill.

Using Google and Facebook to Build Buyer Personas

If you have $250 and about 3 hours available you will be able to set up campaigns in Google Adwords and Facebook through paid advertising to define your audience. You can use these paid channels to find detailed information about your audience.

These channels tend to be used to promote content and other business offerings. However, you can use Adwords and Facebook ads to drive traffic to a landing page that has a survey and sign up forms. While this tactic requires you to spend some money upfront, the money is well spent because it will produce high-quality leads.

Along with the leads, you also have access to valuable demographic information from people who interacted with your ad. Using paid advertising requires an upfront investment, but it allows you to find a core target audience quickly and hone in on what messaging is more effective in a shorter period.

Leverage Buyer Personas To Grow Your Freelance Business

It’s no secret that freelancing is difficult. You have a lot of stress from attracting qualified leads, to producing high-quality content, you have a lot to think about! Reduce some of your stress by identifying the most profitable target audience to help you grow your business.

Instead of spending time chasing leads who aren’t in your market segment, you can spend time improving your craft and generating income. Buyer Personas will help you use your time and resource more efficiently without worrying about wasting your time chasing people who won’t use your services!

About the author: Chris Giarratana is a digital marketing consultant who works with small business and nonprofits. He helps drive conversions and boost sales through SEO Copywriting, Email Marketing, and Landing Page Optimization.

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  1. Hi Rob,

    Great info about building a persona as freelancer. Social media channels are a great way to build that persona and reach out to a specific audience. Specifically, Facebook lets users target potential customers based off geographic location, target phrases, and more.

    Thanks for the post,

    1. You’re absolutely right Dennis! Thanks for sharing your insights. It’s amazing how fast a little survey (even for free on Facebook) can provide you with insights into your brand and customer base.

  2. I just started looking into buyer persona’s a week or so ago, this article has been helpful in trying to pinpoint. When I started my blog 11 months ago, I was told to choose a target audience. Now that I understand Analytics a little better & had some interaction with visitors I’m realizing the average visitor is always my targeted visitor.

    Thank you for your wisdom!

    1. That’s awesome that you’ve been hitting your target audience head on! It sounds like you’ve had a bit clearer of a focus than I did getting started. In fact, I’ve discovered that my audience tends to be a wide spectrum! But regardless, keeping that focus will certainly deliver some great results (as you’re clearly already seeing). Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. It’s been such a key strategy these days to segment and market products to consumers with specific individual needs. Knowing who your customer base is so that you can give what they want is a key concept that can make or break businesses. Haven’t considered doing that in the freelance writing business so thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s definitely helpful in the freelance world! So certainly give it a try. And best of luck as you continue growing your blog!

  4. Hey Rob.

    Another good article by you 🙂
    Its maybe not related to this subject but I wanted to ask your opinion about something. Recently I been getting messages on Facebook where people tell me the great and easy ways to make lots and lots of money by being a social media marketer. You need to join some kind of program and then straight away you will make tons of money. Obviously you need to pay quit a bit to join this program. I been offered to join the aspire program. All these people who ask me to join, seem to post lots of pictures on Facebook and they seem to have time of their life, they also post how much money they earn and how they don’t need to do any work. For me personally it seems bit dodgy. I think its strange to add random people as friend on Facebook and start to tell how you should join this program and then you make lots of money (thousands a week). I don’t really trust those guys. I seen some of my friends joining some other pyramid programs and they paid a lot of money to get in there and they all were promised to make hundreds of thousands, but non of them have so far.
    It like when read your site you teach how to make money and where to get jobs and how to write a cover letter, set up a blog etc. And you do it for free and that make it all believable, you need to work hard to get somewhere. It seems strange that if you join one program then you will be making lots of money and you don’t really need to work that much. Sorry if it came very long post, what I wanted to ask your opinion about these sort of programs ?

    1. Thanks for reaching out Pauline! And I’m glad you’re asking people questions before paying a bunch of money for a program.

      My short answer is: Don’t do it. Anytime someone is shouting “free money!” it will either cost you (or your friends) a lot in order to get there. It’s not worth it.

      Longer answer: As you very clearly pointed out, with any kind of pyramid scheme your goal is to push sell to your friends and strangers alike. You aren’t providing any real value — you’re focusing entirely on money (and trying to get others to do the same). Unfortunately, at some point you get to the bottom of the pyramid and someone ends up getting shafted. Meanwhile, the people at the top make a bunch of money at the expense of others.

      Although these types of programs can sound very appealing because we all love the idea of making easy money, the problem is that they make the entire focus around “making money” rather than providing value. When you chase money, you often lose friends and morals.

      Instead, my recommendation is to find a way to provide TREMENDOUS value to society, and then get paid for that. It doesn’t sound as fun early on, but you can actually earn more — and you get to leave a positive impact on people’s lives during the process!

      Social media marketing is certainly profitable. But it starts by growing a following around a specific niche — and then finding products that are profitable to them and sharing those sparingly.

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