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The SuccessLab Podcast: Where Entrepreneurs Collaborate for Success

Jun 8, 2014

In this episode, I’m in The Lab with Adele Revella, founder of the Buyer Persona Institute. She discusses how business owners can use buyer personas to their advantage, how to find insights to build your buyer personas when you don’t have a customer base or existing audience to get information from, and how to ask the right questions.

Discussion with Adele Revella:

  • Building a buyer persona profile just describes the buyer, but that is often not as useful as understanding what influences the buyer's decisions. The Buyer Persona Institute focuses personas around the Five Rings of Buying Insight. 1) Priority Initiatives 2) Success Factors 3) Perceived Barriers 4) Buyer's Journey 5) Decision Criteria
  • If you don't have customers to interview, start by defining a buyer you want to target, what problem you want to solve for the buyer, then one option is to hire a recruiter to develop a focus group of people who are similar to your buyer. You can also attend events (online or in person) and talk to people there. Offer them an incentive though.
  • Typically talk to approximately 10 people...give or take. You don't need a large number of people to start to see patterns.
  • During the interview process, you want the buyer to tell their story. "Take me back to the day that you first decided you needed a new ____." That is the only scripted question, from there it should be structured but not scripted.
  • Business owners and marketers use what they’ve discovered to refine their content marketing, define their core message, develop content that helps potential customers through the purchasing journey and answers their questions.

Blog referenced during the interview: The 5 Marketing Lessons I Learned From My 5 Years in Sales

The Buyer Persona Institute Masterclass.

This week’s Biz Hack: I’ve talked about Boomerang for Gmail before, but wanted to delve deeper into some of the ways business owners can use it.

  • Scheduling emails to go out. Why this is useful…say you’re working on the weekend or late at night and the timestamp is important to you, you can schedule it to go out during business hours. I use this is for media pitching to optimize when my pitch will hit an editor's or reporter's inbox based on slower news days or when I know their deadlines are or during slower times. This allows me to schedule the email to hit their inbox at the optimal time. This works for clients too - time your email when you know you’re more likely to get a response.
  • Recurring messages. Automate recurring messages. If there’s a task you find yourself doing weekly, monthly and so on, you can schedule a reminder email to be sent to you or your team. Good for meeting reminders, status updates, and the list goes on.
  • Boomeranging or returning messages back to your inbox. If there’s an email you don’t want to deal with just yet, but it requires action, you can set it to return to your inbox when you know you’ll have time to tackle it. This gets it out of your inbox until you’re ready for it. Similarly, if you are sending a message you can schedule it to return to your inbox to remind you to follow up based on different triggers such as if the email is not clicked, not opened, or if there’s no reply. I use this again for media pitching. If I don't hear back on a pitch it reminds me to follow up, or if I’ve requested something from a client and they haven’t sent it to me.
  • Notes. One final cool feature is the ability to add notes to boomerang reminders. Basically you can append messages to emails you’ve scheduled to return to your inbox.

Some people are using Boomerang as a marketing automation tool (great for those who may not have the budget for a marketing automation platform). Say you have a prospect you are sending an email to, you can schedule it to hit their inbox at the optimal time, schedule a series of follow up emails (which you’ll have to manage based on their response or lack their of), set the message to return if they don’t respond to remind you to follow up.

Boomerang puts all of your scheduled, rescheduled and recurring messages in one place so you can manage or cancel them if need be. All of the features mentioned here are free, but there is a pro version which unlocks a few other features and removes certain limits.

Action Item: This week’s action item builds upon last week’s goal setting. Determine what your One Thing is. "What's the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?" Check out "The One Thing".

Quote of the week: It’s simple, straightforward, and from Seth Godin: “Soon is not as good as now.”

Next week we’re in The Lab with Tina Garza, owner of AccountingProse. We talk about what entrepreneurs need to set their bookkeeping and accounting up for success or get it back on the right track. Information every small business owner can use. Be sure to tune! Until then, have prosperous week!