Creating customer personas

Do this before creating and marketing your online course

Approaching marketing as an afterthought is a common mistake

In the last issue, we covered creating a sales funnel as the starting point for marketing your online course.

With a sales funnel in place, you can choose and implement strategies that take students from being aware that your course exists to becoming multi-purchasers.

We also shared a free template for creating and managing your sales funnel.

But here's an important point to note — your marketing efforts will only yield results if the course you're selling solves a problem for your target audience.

New courses are launched daily adding to the thousands that already exist. Marketing your course in this crowded space will only be effective if it stands out from the rest.

But how do you create a course that stands out?

Start with a customer persona

Creating a course first and then finding people to buy it is not an effective strategy.

A better approach is to start with people — do research to find out what problems and pain points they have for which you are equipped to solve, then create a course around that.

This way, when you kickstart your marketing efforts you will have demand for your course because it's solving a problem for people.

Your course will also have a personal touch since it's a problem you have experience solving.

A good way to start your research is by creating a customer persona (also called buyer or user persona).

A customer persona is a document that shows who your ideal buyer is — their pain points, day-to-day life, and other key traits.

Sample user persona | Xtensio

Depending on how large your target audience is, you’ll have to create one or more personas for each segment (i.e. people with similar traits).

By creating a customer persona, you’ll have insights into the lives of your target audience.

This will help you decide what to focus your course content on and what marketing strategies will be most effective in reaching your target audience.

Checklist: what you can do now

  1. Make a list of 5 - 10 people who fit your target audience. You can start with people in your personal network eg. friends, family.
  2. Interview each of them. Have a conversation where you ask questions about their day-to-day life as it relates to the course you have in mind. For example, if you plan on creating a writing course, ask questions on their current writing habits, then dig deeper.
  3. Compile all your findings into a customer persona document. A good tool for this last step is Xtensio. You can create a free account and start with this template.

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