What is a Search Persona and how to use it to attract your next client
When you sit down to write your blog, what gets your inspiration juices flowing?
Is it a certain type of music? Or maybe it’s looking outside your window at the beautiful view. Maybe seeing your dog nap on the rug next to your feet gets you feeling all cozy and happy and the words just flow out from there.
For me, I love sitting on the couch, listening to soft French music, and dreaming about who I can help with my knowledge. I close my eyes, and dream about the person on the other side of the screen, reading, feeling the energy through my words, and then going out and taking action based on the information I passed to them.
That’s why I believe that understanding your search persona is the first step of doing SEO correctly.
Ok - so you might be wondering - what is a Search Persona exactly?
Read on below, or listen to the podcast episode here:
A Search Persona is a character profiling of the type of person you want to target with your writing. It can be based off a real or imaginary person that you’d love to help with the knowledge you have.
But why is this important? Why not just start with identifying the keywords that people are searching?
Here’s the thing, if you dive right into keywords, you might be attracting a lot of people to your site, but none of them want to buy what you are selling. Unless you are writing for your blog as a hobby (which is totally cool too!), you need to understand the person you are yearning to connect (and bring value to) with the words you are pouring your knowledge into and then putting out into the great big world that is the internet.
Not sure where to start when it comes to defining your Search Persona? Well, I’m here to help!
Download your very own Search Persona Worksheet here and follow along below as you answer the questions.
Follow these prompts to understand the psychology behind the person searching:
Step 1) What is their basic identity?
When you think about your services and/or products in your business, who is the core identity you are wanting to attract? Here are some ideas:
A single mom who is struggling to balance her work and childcare.
A fitness focused person who wants to run a half-marathon this year.
A passionate entrepreneur who is struggling with their finances.
Remember you can always build more than one search persona, but it’s smart to start with one and then identify others.
Understanding the core identity is a great starting point and you can keep it simple by answering these questions:
How would they describe themselves? Parent, Professional, Leader.
What is their age range? 20 - 30, 30 - 50, 60 - 70. If you aren’t sure, don’t worry. Just guess. You can always change it later.
What is their personality type? Extrovert, Outgoing, Shy, Obsessive, Perfectionist.
What is their main occupation? Business Owner, Employee, Volunteering, Retired.
Jot down all ideas that came to your mind. You can always do more research later.
Step 2) What are their challenges in life?
Think about what your person struggles with in life + biz? What keeps them up at night?
These can be things related to what you are trying to sell them. For example, if you target single moms and you are a nutritionist, maybe you know they worry about getting in healthy meals for themselves and their children on a consistent basis.
I also want you to think about other things that your person worries about that has nothing to do with your business. For example, maybe single moms also worry about their dating availability, asking for help from their community, and understanding what hairstyle will suit her face shape.
This type of information might later help you in unexpected ways. For now, just list out any ideas that come up. If you are really stumped, consider asking people in your network or straight up asking your ideal client. The worst that will happen is they say no but it doesn’t hurt in asking.
Social Media is also a great tool for snooping into other people’s lives. Think Instagram Stories, Twitter, and LinkedIn. As an old coach used to call it: “friendly stalking”.
Step 3) What do they love?
What brands do they love to follow? What do they do in their free time?
Again, this can be something you start by guessing and relating to what you like. You can then do more in depth research through Social Media or directly asking a couple of people.
Understanding other brands that this persona follows can be a great inspirational point for collaborations and parallel topics. For example, if you discover that your single mom persona also loves yoga, and you are a nutritionist, you can pair up with some yoga studies to do nutrition workshops for yogis. See how every bit of information can be useful?
Step 4) What communities are they part of?
Thinking about what groups or organizations they participate in can be another great opportunity for collaborations and also figuring out where to get features. Also, think about who their peers are. Do they have any mentors? Who do they deeply respect?
If there is someone your Search Persona has already given their trust to, how can you show up so that trust can be transferred over to you?
You can research networking events, conferences, and retreats that you can go to and meet your ideal Search Persona. Doing this research can translate into offline events, as well as online gatherings.
Now that you have all this information, what’s next?
Once you’ve gathered all this information, I want you to brainstorm at least 5 actions you can take over the next few months to get closer to your Search Persona. This may be to write some blog content related to a new topic you uncovered, or schedule some discovery calls with some people to understand them better.
You can also use the information to map out your content for the next month, making sure that everything you put out aligns with the information you collected.
Download your Search Persona Worksheet here to brainstorm on all these topics and get inspired.
Understanding your Search Persona doesn’t just have to be about SEO. Actually, I believe doing SEO can impact many parts of your business.
Remember to stay curious and open up to new ideas and needs that your Search Persona is talking about. Try and approach this exercise from fresh eyes and ears and you will be surprised. And who knows, you might get some clients in the process.
Want to translate your Search Persona into a full SEO strategy that attracts your next paying clients?
Apply here for the 90-Day SEO Coaching package and I will help you connect the dots between your Search Persona, and real keywords they are searching.