Create the Perfect Buyer Persona for Your Audience (With Templates and Examples)

When marketing, one of the first things business owners are taught is to know their audience when marketing and advertising. It’s a tried-and-true marketing expectation and it’s easy to see why….it works!

However, while the general idea of ‘knowing one’s audience’ is intuitive, the process of getting to know that audience can be difficult! You probably know that the best way of knowing your marketing audience is to break your customer base into clearly defined segments. These are typically known as ‘buyer personas’ in the marketing industry. 

That general idea is helpful but comes with its own challenges. How do you make buyer personas? Should you target multiple buyer personas? Do buyer personas overlap? What are some common buyer persona mistakes? 

We’re going to answer these questions and more with some of JSL Marketing & Web Design’s best practices for creating buyer personas!

What is a Buyer Persona?

As mentioned before, a buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal client. The buyer persona works as a useful representation of everything your ideal clients have in common and helps you tailor your marketing tactics, messaging, and products to this imaginary person. 

Knowing your audience helps keep your marketing on message and tailored to your customers, and buyer personas help streamline this process. 

It’s important to remember that buyer personas are sometimes overly simplified and that’s ok! Sometimes, small business owners get too caught up in the process of defining their buyer personas that they overcomplicate the process. Your customers are varied and unique, so any grouping you make will be imperfect – that’s ok!

What’s important is that the grouping is true in some averages. Don’t get in the weeds and create a buyer persona for every possible demographic and in-market combination. That’s an impossible task! 

Instead, create 3 to 5 buyer persona identities that are relevant to your most common and/or profitable services and products. (The larger your company, the more diverse the products and services will be, so don’t feel bound to a max of 5 personas if you’re a larger brand.)

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How Do I Create Buyer Personas?

To begin creating buyer personas, we recommend the following process. It will look different from client to client and industry to industry, but this checklist will give you the overarching process of creating stellar buyer personas. 

Brainstorm Possible Marketing Audiences

We recommend creating a list of all the possible benefits and advantages your product and service can offer and what pain points those advantages solve. Once you have that list, begin thinking through who might need those pain points solved. From there, walk through the potential characteristics and behavior of those hypothetical personas. After that, it’s time to test your assumptions!

Test Your Persona Assumptions

The brainstorming you did in the first step is a useful exercise, but now it’s time to put your ideas to the test.

Many business owners have a lot of assumptions about who their customer base is and then are shocked to find out that those assumptions are wrong! It’s so important to have data behind your assumptions from step 1! 

Reach out to JSL Marketing & Web Design for help with market research & testing your buyer personas!

Narrow Down Your Personas

Now that you have some data and have verified the accuracy, split the personas out a bit further. When possible, make sure there is little crossover between personas. This will be a bit difficult, but really try to be detailed to the point where the personas are entirely distinct from each other.

Try to think through the following questions while doing so. 

  • What is the buyer’s gender and age?
  • What is the buyer’s household income?
  • Does the buyer live in an urban, suburban or rural environment?
  • What are the buyer’s most common objections?
  • How can your product or service help solve the buyer’s challenges?

Don’t hesitate to add industry or region-specific questions as needed! It also can be useful to assign ‘real’ pictures and names to your personas, just to reiterate that these are real people, not disembodied abstracts!

The main goal of personas is to help you tailor your messages and value propositions to your audience! A good rule of thumb would be to ask yourself if your message will resonate with your imaginary customer!

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Common Market Research Mistakes

We’ve been around the marketing block a few (hundred…thousand…million?) times and have learned a lot in the process! Here are some of the more common errors we see businesses make when creating target audiences on their own.

  • Your Target Audience is Too Large: Advertising to adults 18-65 is fairly simple, but doing it well is almost impossible. If your buyer persona includes groups as disparate as college students and retirees, then your messaging will likely fail to resonate with anyone. Focus in on a more narrowly defined demographic.
  • Your Target Audience is Too Small: Inversely, focusing all of your marketing efforts into a niche demographic like “Vegan Moms with 3 +Kids, Household Incomes>$100,000 who work in the Legal Industry” isn’t helpful either. You might produce great content and messaging that moves your target demographic to action but you’re probably missing ‘the forest’ of possible clients for ‘the tree’ of this perfect buyer persona and will be doing a lot of research for little traction. This strategy could work if your product or service is a high-end, expensive offering where only a handful of sales could be profitable. However, this isn’t the right approach for most businesses. Instead, broaden your perfect persona out to something like “Working Moms, Household Incomes> $60,000.” You’ll still be creating targeted messaging and content but will be attracting a wider swath of customers.
  • You Only Created One Buyer Persona: Imagine a craft brewery, based in Dallas, with different lines of beer that are widely available in grocery stores in the state of Texas. Their mainstay “White Collar Men 45-65” buyer persona might be the correct target audience for most of their grocery-store craft beers, but that’s not necessarily the persona for every product! Let’s say this brewery is able to do some more research and discovers that their new hard seltzer is very popular with Men and Women 21-30. These different offerings need different corresponding buyer personas, as the ad message that resonates with a 55-year-old male banker will likely not impress a female college student. Maybe they also discover that the patrons of their restaurant and bar are mostly “Men and Women 30-45” and are more interested in fun in-house events than they are in specific drinks or meals. These are three very different buyer personas and they all require unique messaging. 
  • You Didn’t Create a Negative Persona: Creating a negative persona is sometimes a valuable process as well! Let’s say our fictitious brewery decides that they want to create a persona of who typically doesn’t purchase their beer. Through market research, this brewery decides that they should avoid targeting “Men 21-30” when promoting their craft beers, as this demographic typically isn’t willing to pay higher prices for our brewery’s beverages. By identifying the negative personas, our brewery can keep on message to their target demographics!

Call Us at  855.869.4764 to Craft Your Perfect Buyer Persona! Or Fill Out a Contact Form & Let Us Reach Out!

Now that you’ve thought through your personas, what’s the best way of organizing the information? As a rule of thumb, make sure that you have the following information finalized when filling out a buyer persona.

Let’s imagine a company that sells high-end hiking equipment, mostly boots, tents, canteens, and the like. Their buyer persona worksheet could look something like this.

  • Persona Name: Dan the “Office Hobbyist” 
  • Demographics: White males 22-35, white collar, HHI between $50,000 and $70,000.
  • Overview: Mostly urban and suburban, these “office hobbyists” don’t hit the trails enough to justify paying top dollar but have enough disposable income and vacation time for mid-level hiking equipment. They’re not climbing Mount Everest, but they are moderately experienced.
  • Challenges or Pain Points: As this is a mostly urban and suburban demographic, putting money for upper-level gear can seem like a waste vs mid-level gear. The high-quality nature of our products at a mid-level price point is often a differentiator in the market, as this demographic is advanced enough to undertake more difficult outdoor adventures. Past ad campaigns around relatively challenging hikes in U.S. national parks resonated well with this persona.

Build Buyer Personas with JSL Marketing & Web Design

Putting together amazing buyer personas is a profitable endeavor, but it is not easy! The days of business owners are filled with plenty of other obligations and researching, testing, and crafting market segments is not simple work. It can be hard to find the time to do it right. 

Enlist the market research and brand experts at JSL Marketing & Web Design to help create your perfect marketing strategy!

Our team has years of experience in market research, web design, branding, graphic design, and marketing to drive growth for your business! Our “tried-and-true” experience isn’t just a matter of years: it’s recognized across the digital marketing industry!

Call us at  855.869.4764 to learn why we have thirty 5-Star Google reviews!

How to Create a Digital Marketing Plan in 2021

The New Year is a great time to reevaluate and rejuvenate your daily life, but it’s also a great time to reevaluate and rejuvenate your digital marketing plan!

Many of us will be taking the first few weeks of 2021 to take stock of our exercise, eating, and other health habits in order to find places that could use a little improvement. However, it’s also the perfect time to analyze your digital marketing efforts and to create a new digital marketing plan for 2021!

With 2020 in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to go over your business strategy, your ideal customer, your past performance, and your 2021 marketing goals!

It can certainly be a daunting task. Creating a 2021 business marketing plan is part art, part science, and the line between them is not always clearly demarcated. 

Luckily, JSL Marketing & Web Design is here to offer some guidance. Read on to learn more about the definition of a marketing plan, the best ways of creating a marketing plan, and some solid templates!

What is a Digital Marketing Plan?

A digital marketing plan is, first and foremost, a plan of attack. It’s a way of analyzing your business situation, defining your perfect client, and then creating a game plan to reach those clients!

While we’re at it, though, it’s important to reiterate what a digital marketing plan is NOT. It’s not merely a content calendar for blog titles or social media posts. This is an important part, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that making a few blog titles is the end-all of digital marketing. 

It’s also not merely a list of goals or a simple timeline. This is a great element to include as well, but goal setting in and of itself is not a digital marketing plan.

A true digital marketing plan will begin at the 10,000-foot view. Here, you’ll think through overarching business goals. At this point in planning, it’s important to think high-level and take a “bird’s eye view.” However, eventually, your digital marketing plan should translate into specific and actionable steps (and SMART goals).

This is the midrange of your digital marketing plan. Once you’ve thought through overarching goals, you’ll work on thinking about your business’s strengths and weaknesses through a competitive analysis.

 Once you have done this, you’ll define your ideal clients and think about how you will reach these clients.

 It’s also important to include some way of measurement as well to determine if the actions you have taken are helping move the needle! After all, the point isn’t just to get your message out in front of as many people as possible. It’s to convince users to take action!

Take a little bit of time to flush out your business goals. Once you have a few goals in mind, and we’ve defined what a digital marketing plan is, let’s think through HOW to develop this plan.

How to Develop a Marketing Plan

As you’re beginning to develop your digital marketing plan, ask yourself the following questions:

What is Your Value Proposition?

What makes your business unique? What do you want your customers to know about your brand? What messages resonate with your audience? What makes you the better choice? You need to be showcasing this throughout your marketing, online voice, content, and more.

What Are Your Most Profitable Products & Services?

Is there a product that drives 50% of your revenue? Do you have a new line of products that customers are not yet aware of? Did you start a new special that needs promoting? This kind of internal look can greatly help you ensure you are putting your efforts toward the highest ROI or return on investment.

What Trends Are Shaping Your Industry?

What are customers expecting from businesses like yours? Think of the last year and what that may mean for continued expectations from clients, customers, employees, even society as a whole! Remember, you are the expert on your ideal customers (or you should be).

Who Are Your Top Competitors?

What are their value propositions? What separates you from these competitors, and where are they beating you, or you them.

What Opportunities Can (Could, Should) Your Business Capitalize On?

What products and services could you add? Is there a gap in the market, industry, or offerings? Do you have a Refer-a-Friend or a Customer Loyalty program? This is a great time to get creative with your digital marketing plan.

What Are Your Business’s Weaknesses?

We all have them, so what are yours? What could your brand do better? Is your product or service the best it possibly can be? What are complaints or poor reviews often revolving around?

These are not the only questions to ask yourself when working on a comprehensive digital marketing plan, but they’re a great start!

Marketing Plan Templates from JSL Marketing & Web Design

The best marketing plan template we can think of begins by taking the questions asked above and translating them into a simple “SWOT” analysis.

A SWOT Analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats – and we could all benefit from using these more often!

The first two (Strengths and Weaknesses) assess your business’s internal situation, like customer service, superior products, etc. The last two (Opportunities and Threats) assess externalities, like your competition, your industry, your particular market, etc. Here’s an example of what a SWOT could look like for a local sandwich shop.

Strengths: Prime location downtown, best quality sandwich in the area.

Weaknesses: higher-priced food, low Google reviews, despite food critic acclaim.

Opportunities: Nearby college market has not been tapped for lunch specials.

Threats: Three other sandwich shops with stronger customer bases and reputations are in the area. 


Now, once this is complete, pair your SWOT analysis with your business goals. Let’s assume our sandwich shop wants to grow its monthly revenue by 5% in Q1. From the initial work they’ve already done, the team might lay out the following plan.


Grow Monthly Revenue 5%, YoY in Q1

Add two new positive Google reviews per month, six total in Q1.

Receive ten contact form submissions from the new landing page per month, 30 total in Q1.


Step 1: Create a College Lunch special.

Step 2: Invest in Google Ad campaigns around lunch special search terms to promote lunch special.

Step 3: Begin a Repeat Customer Email campaign (offer coupon for email submission).

Step 4: Train staff on how to take new email addresses from first-time customers and add them to an automated campaign. 

Step 5: Write the following blog titles and post them to the website. Blogs will also be promoted via social media and email campaigns.

Best Sandwich Shops in the Area

Best Lunch and Beer Pairings

How to Choose your Order. 




Evaluate Reviews, Website Traffic, Email Open Rates, and Click-Through-Rates Jan 15th

Evaluate Reviews, Website Traffic, Email Open Rates, and Click-Through-Rates February 15th

Evaluate Reviews, Website Traffic, Email Open Rates, and Click-Through-Rates March 15th  


Source of Truth:

Google Analytics

Contact form submissions

Google reviews


Now that you’ve got these goals defined and perfectly laid out, you’re ready to put rubber to the road and start executing this plan!

But how do you do so? You have the steps, but what’s the best way of making those steps a reality?

If you need marketing expertise to help define and execute your marketing plans and strategies, call JSL Marketing & Web Design! We’re an award-winning and highly reviewed digital marketing agency specializing in digital marketing strategies, SEO, web design, PPC, and more!

Our team has helped many clients reach new heights with our custom-made digital marketing plans and strategies, and we’re ready to discuss what our experts can do for you!

Call Us at 855.944.1201 to Learn More! We Look Forward to Making Your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan a Reality!