How to create personas

Last updated: October 16, 2017

Available For:

Marketing: Free, Starter, Basic, Pro, Enterprise
Sales: Free, Professional

Personas are fictional, generalized characters that encompass the various needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns among your real and potential customers. They help you understand your customers better. Creating personas allows you to segment contacts, assign them to workflows, and import contacts with a persona. After you create a persona, four smart lists will automatically be generated for that specific persona. These lists will be for all contacts, marketing qualified leads, leads, and customers who have been assigned that persona.

Define your company's marketing personas

To create marketing personas for your company, use the following questions to help put yourself in the shoes of your typical customer and determine your persona’s role, goals, challenges, company, and more. Try to answer all of the questions here and then come up with some of your own. Don’t be surprised if you discover two or more distinct personas emerging from your research; that’s exactly what this exercise is meant to uncover.

Personas detail questions to ask

Role:

  • What is your job role? Your job title?
  • How is your job measured?
  • What is a typical day?
  • What skills are required?
  • What knowledge and tools do you use?
  • Who do you report to? Who reports to you?

Goals:

  • What are you responsible for?
  • What does it mean to be successful in your role?

Challenges:

  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • How do you overcome these challenges?

Company:

  • What industry or industries does your company work in?
  • What is the size of your company (revenue, employees)?

Watering holes:

  • How do you learn about new information for your job?
  • What publications or blogs do you read?
  • What associations and social networks do you belong to?

Personal background:

  • Age
  • Family (single, married, children)
  • Education

Shopping preferences:

  • How to you prefer to interact with vendors (email, phone, in person)?
  • Do you use the internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how do you search for information? What types of websites do you use?

How to research your personas

HubSpot Academy

Best practices

Buyer personas are:

1. Common behavior patterns

2. Shared pain points (professional, personal)

3. Universal goals, wishes, dreams

4. General demographic & biographic information

Learn more here about why it's important to set up your personas from our Academy team!

Read more
  • When creating forms to use on your website, use form fields that capture important persona information. For example, if all of your personas vary based on company size, ask each lead for information about company size on your forms.
  • Interview customers either in person or over the phone to discover what they like about your product or service.
  • Look through your contacts data to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.
  • Take into consideration your sales team's feedback on the leads they are interacting with most. What types of sales cycles does your sales team work with? What generalizations can they make about the different types of customers you serve best?

You can learn more about personas here and use this worksheet to help you develop personas that make sense for your business.

Add persona

On your marketing dashboard, hover your mouse over the Top Personas widget, then click Add persona.

Please note: if the Top Personas report does not appear on your dashboard, you can add it by following the instructions here.

Alternatively, you can edit the Persona property from contacts settings by navigating to your contacts dashboard, clicking the Customize dropdown menu, and selecting Edit properties. Search or browse for the Persona property then click Persona to edit. Scroll to the Dropdown options section and click Add another persona

Choose a picture and enter basic information

You have the option to upload a picture for your persona by hovering over the plus icon and clicking Add photo. Next, enter a name for your persona and a persona description. Keep in mind that the description will be visible externally if you use the property in a form. 

HubSpot Help article screenshot

Add internal notes

Next you will add internal notes on your persona's roles, goals, and challenges. These notes are only for you to see internally to help you keep track of your personas. 

HubSpot Help article screenshot

Add demographic information and give the persona a story

Now you can add demographic information about your persona's age, income range, education, and location. In the Story text box, you can write additional details about your persona that help in further defining their needs and interests. You can include any information here that contributes to the overall persona, such as where they go to find information and their hobbies.

When you're finished adding demographic information and creating a story for your persona, click Save

HubSpot Help article screenshot

View your new persona

You can view your personas at any time from your marketing dashboard or by returning to the Persona property. You can see the contacts assigned to a specific persona by filtering your contacts dashboard using the Persona property. With a Marketing BasicProfessional, or Enterprise account you can also view the automatically created persona smart lists in ContactsLists (e.g. Marketing Molly Persona - All Contacts). Contacts can self-identify with a persona if you add the field to a form, or you can add a contact to these lists by manually setting a contact's Persona property value.

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