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Introduction Creating Personas

In this series, we introduce the topic of personas.


Hello, and welcome to Code Time. My name's Trevor Greenleaf. And in this series, I'm talking about personas.

Personas are the visual representation of your market or a segment of your market. So you have a website or a web application, or maybe you're just selling a product. You have a market, people who are going to buy the product or people who go to your website and visit your website, or application, or whatever it is. Essentially engagement, I guess you could say.

So how do you know who those people are? Well, you do your research, and lots of it, and you get a better sense of who they are and perhaps are able to identify segments of your market as well, meaning different groups, not everybody's the same. And you're going to find groups of people who want your product or service, hopefully, if your product is successful. Well, you need to put these people or groups or segments into personas. These personas are the visual representation of that user.

And they're simply like a poster or a slide. And that shows the visual representation of a person, meaning like you might give them a name, for example, like Jennifer. Now, you're not going to market to all the Jennifers, though you might. That would be kind of strange app that just markets to Jennifers. But the idea is Jennifer represents a segment of your market. That segment of your market should be large enough based on whatever your product is. For example, if you're selling something very expensive, for example like a Bugatti, you don't have a very large market. So your segments or personas should be very specific to the people that are going to buy a Bugatti.

Now, if you're selling hamburgers, there's a lot of people who want hamburgers. So that specific sort of need for the people who buy hamburgers, the market size is going to be very large. And in fact, there are many different types of hamburgers. And so you could separate that market into lots of different segments. Now that's not to say you couldn't do that with Bugatti as well, but hopefully you understand the example there. So you create these things, these personas. You usually add an image, a name, so you can reference them by name, the Jennifers, for example. And you're going to give it attributes. Now these aren't attributes that you just make up, but they're attributes that you should be able to discover.

Now, one of the really amazing things about Facebook and Facebook advertisements is that people kind of give you all that information up for free. They literally identify themselves as specific attributes, and then you can market advertisements towards them. Well, you can use that as a tool to populate your personas. So then you get a market cap to understand how many people, for example, that are in your specific character attributes for your segment one, we'll call the Jennifer persona, actually are out there. At least that's out there on Facebook. There are course lots of other places you could find data and understand that. But Facebook's probably the easiest and fastest way to do that.

Google also has a tool that you can use to identify the size of a market. Once you've done that, and you've identified your size of a market, you're ready to start creating that visual persona. So it'll have these attributes, whether they're on social media, and if they are, what social media channels are they using? How active are they on social media? Is this really a market that you could use social media to market to? If they don't have social media accounts, which some people don't have social media accounts, how do you market to those individuals? Where can you find them?

There's sometimes a very big difference between someone who uses Snapchat and someone who uses Reddit. Those are different markets in general. Now that's not always true. I'm sure there's people out there who use Snapchat and Reddit. But in general, we think about those as different markets. Now you could of course prove me wrong and show me data for a specific market that says here's users who use Snapchat and Reddit, and they do X, and they're willing to buy X product.

But, for the most part, you'll see that the different social networks, the different character attributes of a persona are different, meaning they're different for different people. The big takeaway here is that you group them into segments, and you understand that that segment belongs to that persona. So without further ado, let's go in and create a persona.