How to create personas

Last updated: August 2, 2016

Requirements

Product: HubSpot Marketing
Subscription: Basic, Professional, & Enterprise

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. You can create personas in HubSpot using the Contacts tool. Creating personas in Contacts 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 are for all contacts, marketing qualified leads, leads, and customers in that persona.

Read the following guide to learn how to discover the right personas for your company and how to create personas in HubSpot.

Define your company's marketing personas

To create marketing personas for your company, use the following checklist to help put yourself in the shoes of your typical customer and answer the questions associated with your personas’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 when 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. You could also gather information on what forms of social media your leads use by asking a question about social media accounts.
  • Research your customers using the Search on Google feature within each contact record in HubSpot.
  • 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?

Click on the "Add persona" button

From your Marketing Dashboard, click on the Add persona link within the Top Personas widget.

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Please note: If you cannot find the Top Personas widget in your Dashboard, then you will need to add it back before being able to add a new persona. To do this, click + Add Report, locate your Top Personas widget in your report options, click Add.

Add new persona

To get started in the Persona tool, click Add new persona.
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Click the "Get Started" button

In the new window that pops up, read the introduction to personas and then click on the Get started button to start creating your persona.

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Choose a picture and name for your persona

Now select a picture for your persona by clicking on one of the default photos or by uploading your own. Then give your persona a name. When you are done, click the Next step button.

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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. When you are done, click the Next step button.

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Create a form field option

Create a form field option that answers the question of how the contact would describe him or herself on a form. By creating a form field option, you are creating a drop-down form property option. Now your contacts can identify with a persona when they fill out a form. Click the Done button when you have completed this step, and you will be finished with the initial setup.

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View your new persona

You can view your persona in the overview. From here, you can edit your persona or delete it at any time. You can also easily print the information on your persona by clicking the Print this persona link. Access the automatically generated lists for your persona on the left side of the screen. In order to fill these lists with contacts, you can have contacts self-identify with a persona on a form or add a contact to a list manually.

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Add demographic information and give the persona a story

Now you can add demographic information about your persona, such as their age and education. You can also add more details about the persona by writing a story that elaborates on where they go for information and their interests. To do so, click the Add demographics button in the Demographics notes section of the Overview.

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Fill out the demographics fields

Again, the notes on your persona's demographics are internal. Fill out the fields on the persona's age, education, income, and location.

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Write a story about the persona

In the Story text box, you can write additional details about your persona that would help in further defining their needs and interests. You can include any information here that contributes to their overall persona, such as where they go to find information and their hobbies. When you have completed the demographics and story fields, click the Save button. You can edit this information at any time.

Note: If this is the first persona that you are creating, it is advisable to make another so that you have more than one option on the drop-down form property.

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