Creating personas - this is how it works

by Guidebook

Whether you are designing a website or writing blog posts, you always need to reach your target group. But there is a catch: a target group is not a homogeneous mass. Behind it are individual people with individual needs. So how do you reach a whole group if you can't see the individual members? By creating concrete images of the people: Personas.

What do you give the father of your new flame, about whom you know nothing else, for his 60th birthday? The rough key data (male, over 50, happily married) are of little help. But if you know that the (almost) 60-year-old Robert likes hiking, works as a translator and has a weakness for French red wine, it makes things a little easier!

Just as with the birthday boy or girl, you need to gather enough information about the people within your target group. Otherwise, the joy will be limited in the end.

Creating personas will help you engage with the colourful characters of your target audience.

What are personas?

A persona is a fictional person with real characteristics who is representative of a target group. Among other things, she has a name, age, interests, wishes and even a face. You create the profile or profile yourself. A persona never represents the entire target group, but only a section of it. Therefore, you can create several personas as you wish.

What are they good for?

A target group is a necessary and yet anonymous mass. Although this roughly defines the key data of the people you want to address with your website (e.g. age, gender, general interest), the specific characters remain hidden. Personas give your target group a face - or rather many faces. Because you can certainly create several!

If you have a concrete person in mind, all the planning and writing will suddenly become much easier. What would Alisa Müller like? And what questions would Lukas Schmidt ask?

Don't even try to please everyone at the same time. Decide on a dream client and write only for them.

To create a persona

Before you can apply your personas, you have to create them yourself. Do not be afraid of the task - it's even fun and a bit like profiling à la CSI Miami. Only instead of slipping into the role of the perpetrator, you slip into that of a specific person from your target group.

As a prerequisite, you need information from your potential customers - the more the better. In this article you can find out how to obtain such information.

Create your first "persona profile" from this. For starters, it's worth starting with your ultimate dream client. This is the ideal client, with whom it is fun to work and everything runs like clockwork.

Key data

  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Place and situation of residence
  • Job
  • Marital status

Interests & Goals

  • Personal interests and hobbies
  • Life goals
  • Lifestyle/Life Motto

Experience

  • Expertise or special skills
  • Experience with your offer/topic (if available)

Needs

  • What is particularly important to the person?
  • What does she not like?
  • How does she inform herself?
  • How high is their need for information?
  • ...and their need for security?

This is how it could look: Example Persona

  • Age: 27
  • Nationality: german
  • Place of residence and housing situation: Hildesheim, flat for rent
  • Marital status: Single, in a stable partnership, no children
  • Job: Pedagogical specialist and team leader in a private day care centre for children

Maja lives in Hildesheim and has been working in Hanover, about 35 km away, for the past 3 years, where she also completed a degree in education. She specialises in early childhood education. Her full-time job is varied and demanding, as she not only takes responsibility for the children, but also for her team. She travels to work by train and likes to use the travel time to read.

Those who don't know Maja usually tend to describe her as shy, which is due to her quiet and introverted nature. In fact, at first she prefers to stand in the background and take on the role of quiet observer. But when she gets used to an environment and feels comfortable, she opens up and an enormous social competence comes to the fore. She is very perceptive and can put herself in people's shoes, which helps her in her job. Maja's friends also appreciate her sensitivity.

In her free time, she enjoys jogging in nature or walking with her dog. She also loves to cook with friends. She has been a vegan for 3 years, which is mainly due to her great love of animals. She volunteers several times a month for an animal shelter in the city.

Maja is modest and finds joy in the little things in life. She finds peace and happiness above all in her familiar surroundings, in nature and together with the people who are close to her. She is quite curious and an enthusiastic person, but she always needs someone by her side to try something new.

Maja's needs

  • Especially important to her: Honesty and transparency
  • She doesn't like that at all: unfamiliar surroundings
  • This is how she informs herself: Predominantly via the Internet, for special topics via specialist literature
  • Need for information: high - she first checks everything thoroughly before making a decision
  • Need for security: high

Now it's your turn...

Have fun profiling!

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