How To Use LinkedIn To Develop Your Buyer Persona
by Robert Ellis, on February 8, 2016
If you already have a LinkedIn account and business page then use LinkedIn to develop your buyer persona. Seriously, it's a great way to take advantage of a lot of free information.
If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, why not check out this eBook to help you get started with LinkedIn, bookmark this page and come back when you're up and running!
Creating your buyer persona is a very important part of your Inbound Marketing Strategy. Without it, it would be a lot harder to focus the content you are creating, a bit like shooting a gun with a blindfold on - you're never going to hit the target.
When creating these personas there are many different ways that you can find the information but using Social Media is one of my favourites. Why? Because you can find real people who like your product, grab loads of information about them on their profiles and it wont cost you a thing!
Let's get started.
You're going to want to search for people with specific attributes attached to their profiles. The words you search for depend entirely on your product or service so we're going to need to role play a bit here.
Let's say you're a food manufacturing company's CEO and at the moment you can only supply within the UK. You're looking to learn more about the purchasers in the companies you are selling to.
Let's follow these instructions with my keywords and settings first and then, when you're familiar with the process, you can give yours a go!
First, use the advanced search function by clicking on the word 'Advanced' next to the search bar at the top of LinkedIn.
Select 'people' on the left hand side and then check all of the boxes in the 'Relationship' section.
This ensures that you are searching through all of your potential connections and not just the people who have connected with you and your connections.
Now, you want to look for people with 'Purchasing' in their job title so go ahead and type this into the Title section. Make sure you select 'Current' from the drop down menu or you could end up with a list of people who have been purchasers for companies in the past but have moved on.
You should also think about other words that people may use here. For example you could add 'OR Supply Chain' to improve your results.
Now, remember that you can only sell within the UK? You're going to want to cut out the rest of the world.
Why do this?
Well, you could add Fernando, purchaser for Spanish Foods LTD, to your list but he's not going to be relevant to your target audience in England. He's just not going to have the same pain points so he has to go! Sorry Fernando.
You can do this either by selecting the country from the drop down menu or, for more localised results, typing in your postcode. You can then select a radius around the postcode.
Before you click on the 'Search' button, it's time to select the industry you're in. This list isn't exhaustive and different people may select differnt things on their profiles so you're going to have to experiment a bit here. You can either select more than one industry or try your search a couple of times and see who works out to be the most relevant.
For this search I've decided to aim high and go with supermarkets.
You now have a list of people.
And, already I can see from the first profile that instead of using the purchasing in the job title, some people have used the word procurement. Experimenting with this kind of wording is important to get the best results!
So, how do you use this list to build your buyer persona?
The information you are looking for depends wholly on your product or service.
Look at that person's summary, take notes, use a HubSpot Buyer Persona Template and start filling it out.
Look at the next person, add a tally for any points that are the same as the previous person. Add other relevant points. Create a spreadsheet if you need to, the more information you gather the better.
Look at the next person and repeat.
Use as many people as you think necessary to build up a picture of who it is that needs your product. If you find there is more than one main persona then don't be afraid to split them. Having a few specific personas is a lot better than having one generic one.
What to do with your new persona
Buyer personas only work as part of a Marketing strategy, they won't just magically acquire you new cutomers on their own.
To learn about what an Inbound Marketing Strategy could mean for your business, click on the button below.