Marketing for Sports Instructors - Creating A Persona

Sports Instructors – Who is your target client? 

It goes without saying that when it comes to finding a new client, the person most likely to buy from you will be a perfect fit for what you do. The question is: how do you find that person? One of the first steps to finding your perfect client is understanding who that person is. That is why we suggest you write down the attributes they have. We call this creating a persona.

Why take the time to create personas?

There used to be a school of thought that a ‘spray and pray’ approach to marketing was the way to go. This type of marketing aimed to reach as many people as possible, irrespective of who they are, with a message that applied equally no matter who received it. But nowadays, when people are increasingly targeted with marketing messages relevant to them, this approach is wasteful at the very least. To be more successful, you need to craft messages that resonate with the person you are targeting.

In order to do that, you need to understand who it is that you are targeting. Once you know some key details about the type of client you want to attract, you can develop an approach that is more likely to grab their attention. That is where personas come in to play.

Marketing for Sports Instructors - Creating Marketing Persona - Target Client

What should the personas contain

To start off with, you should think about the demographics that your ideal client has. For example:

  • Age range
  • Marital status
  • Children?
  • Education level
  • Typical occupation (including whether they are self employed, full time or part time, working in a physical occupation or not)
  • Household income

The next step is to consider how your ideal client lives. So think about:

  • What does their typical day look like? Is that the same Monday to Friday and then different at the weekend?
  • How varied are their lives – does their job involve a lot of travel or do they go to the same place every day?
  • Do they have a full time job, or do they tend to go from one contract to another?
  • Where do they spend their time physically and online? How do they spend their leisure time?

The third part of the persona should contain a few psychological characteristics of your target individual;

  • Why are they looking to work with someone like you?
  • Generally what motivates them?
  • Are they competitive or not?
  • How open are they to trying new things?
  • Are they confident? Or shy?
  • What are their biggest fears?
  • What makes them happiest?

How do you start to develop the personas?

Once you have thought about all these details, it is time to start creating your personas. This involves writing the details down in a way that someone unconnected with your business could identify your target clients simply by reading through the personas you have created.

  • Draw up a template for your different personas – you can easily do that in Word, Excel or simply with pen and paper. Just divide up the document into different sections and fill them in.
  • Think about your existing clients – certainly the ones that you love working with. What is it about this group of people that is the same? Are they all young people? Do they all happen to be highly driven entrepreneurs? Do they all display a strong competitive streak? This should give you a good starting point
  • Give your personas a name – it is important to make the personas as human as possible. You could even consider adding a photograph of what you believe that persona would look like. The richer the detail you can include the better.
  • Develop a few personas of your ideal client – three to five is a good number. This is particularly important if you have a range of courses or classes that you offer.
  • Build some flexibility into your personas, for example “Sarah is between 20 and 35 years old” or “John is a successful businessman earning between £50,000 and £100,000 per year”

One of the keys to this exercise is making the personas real enough that you can step into their shoes and see the world from their point of view. That way, when you craft your marketing messages you will have a better idea of what will appeal to those types of people.

Marketing for Sports Instructors - Creating Marketing Persona - Ideal Client

What to do with your personas

Once you have a few personas for the types of clients you want to attract, you can start to think about how to market to them. This is a subject for a different blog post (possibly several posts) but at a minimum you should use the personas to think about;

  • The type of language that will appeal to the personas you have created
  • What is likely to answer their concerns or answer their questions
  • How you can inspire and motivate them
  • Where and when your marketing messages are likely to have the biggest impact

And remember that the personas are not fixed forever. You can – and indeed should – review and revise them regularly. As your business develops you will learn more about the sorts of people you work best with and that should be reflected in the personas you target.

With that in mind, get started building your target personas today and laser focus your marketing on the right clients for your business.

About the Author Julie Freeman

Marketing @ OffPeaks. A Swiss expat to London, passionate about the mountains - hiking them, running them or biking on them. Also passionate about helping sports instructors grow their business.

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