Hey swim schools, do you really know your target audience? You’re probably thinking the obvious answer; families whose kids need swim lessons, of course! But, if you’re really looking to fill your pools with more kids and waiting rooms with more parents, then we have to dive a bit deeper than that, and we do this by creating buyer personas. Buyer personas are the semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers. They are created to narrow down your marketing focus so that your resources, money, time, and effort are spent on the people who are going to benefit your business the most.
When you're designing your content and marketing materials, you want to be sure that you're speaking to your ideal buyer personas. If you aren't marketing to families who are not only regularly attending your swim school, but also sharing their positive experiences about your school with their networks, your marketing strategy is missing out on opportunities. By verifying your buyer personas, however, you can more effectively reach your target audience. Here’s what you need to know about buyer personas and how they positively impact your business:
1. Ask the right questions. When you start to look at buyer personas, you need to think about your current customer base and ask yourself some questions to better define who your favorite customers are. As a swim school, for example, you might want to know:
- The approximate age of the students you want to target
- How many children, on average, your ideal family has
- The household income level
- The approximate age of the parents/guardians
- Where these families live geographically
- How far families commute to your location, on average
- Who your competitors are and how they are different from you
- Why your target audience should choose you over the competition
2. Utilize A/B testing. Your website is a treasure trove of information about how your customers perceive the information they're being provided. By utilizing A/B testing, you can more effectively determine whether or not specific pieces of your website are appropriately geared toward your buyer personas. Test the content you're creating, the emails you're sending, and the structure of your website, to discover little changes that might make a big difference for your customers. When you do make changes, make them one at a time to more effectively test their impact.
3. Gather information from your existing customers. As your swim school grows, you'll have a wide pool of current customers to choose from. Do they fit the buyer personas you designed early on in your business, or do your buyer personas need some adjustments in order to match the customers that you're successfully connecting with? By collecting information from your current swim students and their families on a regular basis, you can more effectively develop buyer personas that match your existing customers and will help you better focus on the kinds of families that you want filling your pools.
4. Don’t go persona-crazy. As awesome as personas are, be careful that you’re not making one for every type of person who walks through your door. Best practices indicate that the ideal number of buyer personas to create per business is 2-3. We understand that you want to cast the widest net possible to try to capture all the fish that you can, but narrowing your personas down to just a couple will give your marketing strategy focus and better results. Better focus allows you to invest more time and effort speaking to the people you know will convert as long-time customers instead of wasting time and energy on those who will get cold feet.
5. Negative personas are actually your friends. Negative personas are the representation of customers that you don’t want to spend time and effort marketing to. You’re always going to have outlier customers who don’t fit a specific persona, but there are also those people who are not going to benefit your business. You want to define those people as negative personas to better know who you are not marketing to so that your valuable resources can be spent where it matters.
Your buyer personas tell you who your customers are and what they want from your business. By refining your buyer personas and verifying their effectiveness on a regular basis, you'll find that you're better able to target the right swim families and bring them into your swim school. If you need help creating buyer personas for your swim school, please contact us. If you want to know more about how StringCan can help your swim school grow, click on the download link for a free eBook! We’d love to dive right into your business!