The 40 questions a startup needs to ask about its users
Monday, February 22, 2016/
When it comes to putting together a successful startup marketing campaign you need to know your market – but a general overview will only get you so far.
To get that intimate voice in your copy where a potential customer wonders “are they reading my mind?” you need to get to know your buyer.
One of the best ways of doing this is to establish buyer personas – avatars that describe the people you want most as your customers. These avatars embody the demographics, characteristics and behaviours of your ideal customers and give you a single person to direct your blog posts, social media updates, videos and sales copy to.
But where do you start? While ideally you want to interview your ideal customers to get it straight from their mouth you can also start to establish personas by looking at past customers and who you want to work with.
Here are some questions to ask to get you started.
Getting to know your buyer
The best place to get to know your buyer is by looking at their demographics and personal characteristics. This will give you clarity around the type of person you are targeting and the voice you need to use to communicate to them.
- Are they male or female?
- What is their age?
- Where do they live?
- What stage of life are they in?
- Are they in a relationship or single?
- Do they have children?
- What level of education did they complete?
- Did they attend a specific school or university?
- Where do they work?
- How long have they worked there?
- How much do they earn?
- How much do they spend?
Uncovering your buyer’s pain points
Your buyer’s pain points can tell you a lot of information, from what problem you need to solve and product or service you need to lead with, to the messaging you need to use, objections you need to overcome and risks you need to minimise.
- What do they value?
- What is important to them?
- What do they need?
- What concerns them?
- What frustrates them?
- What do they want from your product/service?
- What don’t they want from your product/service?
- What do they appreciate?
- What don’t they appreciate?
- What challenges are they experiencing?
- Are they time-rich or time-poor?
- Are they more focused on price or value?
- Are they a leader or a follower?
- Are they cautious or a risk taker?
Discovering ways to reach your buyer
By drilling down further you can also start to identify the best ways of reaching your buyer, what tactics to use in your marketing and who else you may need to market to get your buyer over the line.
- Where do they like to socialise?
- Who do they like to socialise with?
- Whose opinion do they hold in high regard?
- Who influences their buying decisions?
- Who do they look up to and admire?
- What are their interests?
- How do they like to communicate?
- What books, blogs, magazines, newspapers, trade publications, blogs and websites do they read?
- What radio, television or YouTube channels do they listen to and watch?
- What social media platforms are they most active on?
- What social media influencers do they follow?
- What events do they attend?
- What places do they frequently visit?
- What other brands do they use or are they loyal to?
These are just some of the questions you can ask when establishing your buyer personas.
When you have an avatar set for each of your target customers consider pinning their profiles up in your office so you and your team never lose sight of who you are talking to and serving.
Amanda Jesnoewski is the owner of Velocity Media + Communications and a copywriter, marketing strategist and publicist.
From the frontlines
Five critical questions: Are you listing your startup too soon? Lisa Schutz Verifier founder
Ignoring your ‘obnoxious roommate’: What this founder learnt when she met Arianna Huffington Michelle Gallaher ShareRoot CEO
Sex appeal, runways and mature markets: Everything Guy Pearson learnt during his $26 million Series B raise Guy Pearson Practice Ignition CEO
Barriers from the outset: Why the government’s Boosting Female Founders Initiative is unlikely to succeed Laura Keily Immediation founder