Have you ever watched the show Criminal Minds? I used to somewhat regularly, until I realized watching a suspenseful crime show before bed wasn’t the best way to invoke dreams about sunshine and unicorns.

What does Criminal Minds have to do with buyer personas? If you haven’t seen the show, the investigators try to solve unfolding crimes by profiling suspects. By understanding previous criminals’ behavior, the characters are often lead closer to finding the perpetrator on the run and solving the case.

Just as profiling criminals can help net suspects, building  personas can help you learn about your typical customers and their buying habits, netting you sales. Creating personas allows you to get inside the mind of your ideal customer (instead of a criminal, hopefully), which will help you learn how to best attract similar buyers.

As we talked about in our first post on buyer personas, you’ll want to define your ideal 2-3 customer types and focus on building those personas. Then you’ll be able to target those types with your marketing campaigns. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. If you do, you’ll end up spread thin and won’t be able to focus on what’s best for anyone.

In our last post, we went over how to conduct buyer persona interviews. Remember, just because you finished your initial round of interviews doesn’t mean you should stop there. Interview one or two clients per month to remain an expert and keep your finger on the pulse of any changing dynamics.

Writing winning personas

Start by creating a two-page profile for each persona. Each profile should contain the following:

  • Title: Come up with a name for the person (Business Executive Eddie)
  • Personal Profile: Tell us about Eddie.
  • Pain Chain: What problems does Eddie face?
  • Consideration: What makes Eddie consider your business?
  • Choice: What makes Eddie ultimately choose your business?
  • Avoidance: What Eddie might have to overcome before buying?

When writing up these sections, include strong quotes gleaned from the interviews you conducted. You might notice several customers said similar things. Use a quote from the person who said it best, but also note that more than one person said the same thing. Remember to include both the good and bad perceptions voiced to you in the interviews.

Leveraging your buyer personas

Now that you’ve written your personas, how do you turn that knowledge into a sale? There are many ways to get smarter about selling now that you know who your customers are and what their needs and stalling points are.

First off, take an inventory of your content to see which pain points of your personas are being addressed. Then see which pain points aren’t being addressed and create a plan to fill those holes with blog posts, emails, or through social media campaigns.

You’ll also want to take a look at your website – not through your eyes, but through the eyes of your buyer personas. Consider making design changes, conducting website optimization, and changing any wording or messaging on your site that isn’t geared toward your ideal customers and how they think.

You can also use your personas to determine:

  • Ideal Editorial: What speaks to your personas — white papers, tip sheets? Give your customers more of what they seek most often.
  • Target Communities: Which websites and online communities do your customers belong to? Strategize how you can be where they are going.
  • Words for the Wise: Determine the keyword research info and industry terms your clients are using in searches. Target, test, and optimize use of those words and phrases.
  • Getting a better handle on your clients through buyer personas can help you anticipate the needs of future customers. Just don’t go profiling any criminals in the process, or watching crime shows too close to bedtime!


Did you know that a whopping 79 percent of marketing leads never convert to sales? The most common reason cited by Marketing Sherpa is a lack of lead nurturing. Don’t know much about the topic? Let me assure you, if you can keep a houseplant alive, you can nurture leads. (And even if you don’t have a good track record with plants, we’ll bet you do better with leads.)

Lead nurturing is developing relationships with potential customers who aren’t yet ready to buy, in hopes that when they are ready, they’ll turn to you. Generating leads can be fairly simple. It’s what you do with those leads that makes the difference between a sale and a fail.

How do houseplants fit into this? Leads, like plants, require a certain amount of care and feeding. You can’t just set a plant in a dark corner and hope it thrives on its own, or inversely, give it too much sun and water. Similarly, you don’t want to leave your lead in a spreadsheet to die a slow death, or pepper a lead with annoying emails.

Where to begin? Incoming lead processing campaigns are all about making a positive first impression. When you get a lead, figure out how “hot” or “cold” they are — how close they are to being sales-ready. This will dictate whether they are nurtured or passed on to sales.

Next, figure out what kind of information a potential customer wants from you, and how often they want to hear from you. This opting-in establishes permission for you to send future messages, and sets the relationship off on the right foot as the lead will not only expect to hear from you, but anticipate it.

Stay-in-touch campaigns are for those leads who are not yet ready to buy or interact with sales. The idea is that by nurturing with periodic messages and information, your brand will be the one they think of when the time comes to buy. You’ll want to synchronize your lead nurturing with the four stages someone goes through when they are buying: awareness, consideration, research, and purchase.

Wherever they are in the process, the content you send leads as you stay in touch is highly important. It must be:

  1. Readable. Make your content concise, easy to take in, and engaging. Get to the point fast, and get out. Treat lead-nurturing emails like mini blog posts a reader can look at quickly.
  2. Valuable. Your content needs to be valuable to your prospective customer. Put their needs ahead of your own. Make it relevant to them, and don’t be too self-promotional.
  3. Personal. Start off with designed emails, then engage later with text-only emails from sales. This provides a personal touch, though be careful not to be pushy.
  4. Timed. Successful lead nurturing typically means contacting no more than once per week, but no less than once per month.

If you really want to get advanced with lead nurturing, try an accelerator campaign. (Kind of like Miracle-Gro for plants.) This is a series of little “nudges” that help move a lead along in the buying process. When you see that a lead has visited your website, opened all your emails, or downloaded content, use those as triggers telling you it’s time to act. Have a plan in place to respond to their action with more information or an elevated offer. As the lead shows more interest, move them down the path toward a sale.

Do leads ever become stagnant or get lost in the process? Sure. You can minimize this with a lead lifecycle campaign, which insures movement and interaction continues. Have a clear lead-handoff process between marketing and sales so leads don’t slip through the cracks. Recycle leads by kicking them back to marketing if sales determines they aren’t actually ready to buy.

Once you have a new customer, don’t stop there. Send them a welcome message, and make them a part of stay-in-touch and accelerator campaigns to cross-sell and up-sell. Keep them abreast of what your company is up to and they may just repeat as customers.

If you have any questions on lead nurturing, contact us. We can guide you through the process! We’re also happy to answer any questions on plants, to the extent our green thumbs allow.