You’re pretty smart, right? You must be; you’re here.
So, I’m guessing you get the concept of the customer persona, and you’ve spent some time imagining your ‘one person‘ to improve your marketing.
But… is one customer persona all you need?
Not every business is so monogamous. If you’re multi-passionate, then your situation may be more complex.
If you suspect that ‘one person’ isn’t enough, I’ve found an interesting way to work with this issue.
As Danny Iny says, “Answers are easy. Asking the right questions is hard.” So let’s start with the big question:
Is There More Than One ‘One Person’ for Your Business?
If you think there might be, then we’re in the same boat.
Turns out this problem is pretty common. You have more than one exciting idea, and you feel like you’re missing out if you focus on just one of them.
For example, I have a successful freelance writing business, but I’ve also started up a blog to help people earn money from freelance blogging. Plus I have this great new business concept that I want to explore in the coming year…
But it’s important not to over-complicate things. The more lines you have to follow, the easier it is to get tangled! So let’s look at the possibility of keeping just one customer persona first.
Do You Have to Split Your Business into Pieces?
Are the different lines of your business entirely separate, or is there some overlap? Could you merge them into a single interdisciplinary superbusiness? Would you want to?
Not every multi-passionate person needs a different ‘one person’ for each of their passions.
You can successfully combine divergent lines of business. Look at Marie Forleo, who coined the phrase “multi-passionate entrepreneur” and embodies it in everything she does. Look at Corbett Barr, who recently merged his personal blog and business blog back into a single concept at Think Traffic.
How can you tell if this approach will work for you? Well, for it to work, you need to find ‘one person’ who loves and wants every single one of your multiple lines of business. And -this is the key—they want it from you, not just from anybody.
In Marie Forleo’s case, that means one person who’s looking to gain self-realisation, personal fitness, and business success, all wrapped in a fun, direct, girl-power package. That’s doable. And Marie has won tens of thousands of followers by talking straight to her one person.
In my case, it would mean someone who wants to gain a successful freelance blogging career and ready-written blog posts from me. That’s unlikely. Some freelance bloggers do outsource writing work, but they don’t outsource it to me – my fees wouldn’t leave a less experienced blogger any profit.
OK, your turn. Grab something to write with, and note down all the things you hope to sell. Can you imagine one person who wants all of it? Do they want it delivered with your style and flavour? Do they have the time, the energy and the budget to engage with all your products and services?
If so, then congrats! You’ve found your one multi-passionate customer. Think of them while you’re taking care of business, and others will follow.
But if your passions and business ideas don’t merge neatly into a package that appeals to one special person, what’s to be done?
How to Manage Multi-Passionate Marketing
First, absorb Danny’s advice in this video about handling multiple projects without overstretching your energy and attention.
Then, decide how much you can put into an additional project over the next few months. My existing business was already running smoothly when I decided to start my new blog project, but I still got so overwhelmed that I cried sometimes. Make sure you’re not overloading yourself!
I couldn’t create a single, detailed customer persona that worked with all my business avenues, but I had a good picture of my ‘one person’ for each of them.
Now, I think of my collection of ‘one’ people as one family. They don’t have a lot in common, but there’s a pattern of relationships that bind them together. I need to speak to each of them for different reasons, and I can’t address them all alike.
If you have business lines that are divergent enough to need multiple customer personae, you may have a ‘one family’ too.
How can you tell? Take yourself out of the picture, and see what’s left.
Get to Know Your One Family
Now, this is not the same thing as a ‘tribe’. Your one family isn’t defined as, “those people who like and support me”.
Your one family is defined by the relationships between the family members. Not their relationship to you, but to each other.
Each of them has something the others want, even if you step out of the scene.
As long as you are on the scene, it means that you can make those people happier by helping them get what they want from each other, as well as from you.
I can help my readers connect and negotiate with potential clients, and I can improve the blogging services those clients get from my readers. Win-win. Plus a win for me, because I get to make everyone happy while cementing my authority as a freelance blogger.
Who’s Leading Your ‘One Family’?
In your little family of ideal customers, one will tend to be the leader. They’re the one exploring relatively uncharted territory, noticing trends and sharing their favourite discoveries. They dig the grass roots of the internet as well as the multi-million dollar blogs.
This is the type of person that your other ‘one people’ are ultimately listening to (often in aggregate) when it comes to trying something new or unfamiliar. They’re like the child introducing the parents to new things. And if you create something they love, they’ll talk about it.
When the leader of your ‘one family’ talks, the others listen sooner or later. We all know how persistent a child can be when they’re fascinated with something, right? A recommendation from the family leader can convert the whole family, since each of them already needs something you offer.
How to Research Your ‘One Family’ Tree
Mapping out your own ‘one family’ is simple. Not always easy, but it is simple. Just follow these 6 steps and you’ll be all set.
- Start at the beginning. Read Peter Vogopoulos’ post about your one person – if you already have, read it again! – and fill in the worksheet once for each of your multiple customer personae.
- Check your assumptions. Don’t have more people than you need in your ‘one family’. All you need to cover here is your ideal customer, and only for lines of business that can’t have the same ideal customer.
- Extend the profile. Go beyond the worksheet and add details you haven’t been asked for. Do they drink tea or coffee? Prefer cats or dogs? Baths or showers? Don’t spend forever on it, but note some of the quirks that make this the one person you’d really love to connect with.
- Take yourself out of the picture. You’re not part of the family, so forget what these people do for you and look at their own interests, fears and desires.
- Trace the relationships. Look at how the family members influence each other. Do they work together? Buy and sell from one another? Teach each other? Know each other socially? What value does each of them have to the rest of the family?
- Figure out who leads your family. Not the decision maker, but the person most likely to be involved in passing on new information. You won’t always be able to identify the leader right away, but with time you’ll see the flow of information. Then you can consciously tap into that flow to help you connect with the whole family.
Believe in Your ‘One Family’
Now you know your one family inside out, and each of them wants what you’re offering.
Great! Go and show it to them.
Go on. Just show them.
…You’re still here. Why are you still here?
Listen, don’t be shy. This is your one family. They love hearing from you, they enjoy everything you bring to them, and they support you. They believe in you. They value you.
They need you.
Now go and help them out!
Sophie Lizard (@sophielizard) teaches writers and non-writers to increase their income and build their professional reputation through freelance blogging. Grab a free copy of her Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs: 45 Blogs That Will Pay You $50 or More to get you started!