Top 5 Customer Persona Generators

customer personas

To ensure that your agency or service-based business attracts and targets only ideal prospects, deeply consider who your clients are at the human level—especially at the earliest stage of the sales cycle.

Here’s a simple, standard ‘equation’ you can use to start:

“I / We help [target industry or niche] to achieve [specific value, result, or solution to their pain point] by providing [core service offering(s)].”

Now, consider your take on the statement above and use it to think about individual buyer personas, also called customer personas.

Why Do I Need Customer Personas?

Many businesses neglect to create their buyer personas. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, you might be shocked to discover how little most businesses know about the people who engage them.

Satisfying clients is integral to the success of any business. Whether you’re designing a product or considering the color palette for your re-brand, your customers should be the prime consideration. Having a clear idea about your typical or core clients is extremely helpful to every part of the business—from prospecting to post-purchase customer service.

Resistance to Creating Personas

Lack of time and expertise are the primary reasons why businesses resist the exercise. The good news is that there are online tools you can use that will not only help you make client personas quickly, but will also walk you through the process of making them more useful too.

Making a client persona doesn’t restrict your business, as some may believe. By identifying your ideal client or clients, similar or ancillary customers will, almost inevitably, follow.

Instead of chasing anyone, you focus on a key group of people that act as your vanguard or core customer base.

If you knew you’d increase business by 35%, you’d be on board instantly, right?

Great, so let’s take a look at five fantastic tools for creating your client personas.

1. Xtensio

This is a free, robust tool that allows users to create a variety of shareable documents and presentations. It proposes to rid users of the need to use multiple platforms and applications. Whether you’re creating a presentation, strategizing, or designing a web page, you can do it all from within Xtensio.

It includes a toolbox for strategy, marketing, operations, and business development. Sign up for access to Xtensio’s powerful features, free, and then hone in on the user persona template. It’s an attractive and easy to use template that you can use for any business to get a handle on your clients fast. Create multiple personas, collaborate, edit, download, and share.

Use the user persona comparison template when you are ready to take things to the next level. Identify which departments or individuals in your business are set to benefit from identifying user segments, and illustrate and explain your segmentation.

2. Make My Persona by Hubspot

Hubspot’s persona generator is a step-by-step wizard that will walk you through the process of creating a useful client, customer, or user persona for your business. A nice touch is that it allows you assign photos to your personas as well as names.

It’s focused on professional clients and customers, or business to business use. Expect to be asked for information regarding not only their job title and career goals, but also the tools they use at work, who they report to, and who reports to them. This won’t be necessary information for everyone who wants a buyer persona, but some will be delighted by this.

Get started with Make My Persona by creating your first persona online and sending Hubspot your email address for the return of your editable Personal Word document.

3. Up Close and Persona

Fun, easy-to-use, and full of information about personas along the way, Up Close and Persona fits comfortably into this top 5.

Also focusing on B2B personas, it’s very detailed compared to other persona generators. It will not only help you target your clients more effectively, but it can also help you position your business within your industry.

It reminds you that marketing, like creating your client personas, is an ongoing process. You can keep gathering business intelligence and keep using it to improve your products and services and make them increasingly relevant.

4. User Forge

User Forge gives you more freedom to create your own criteria than other persona generators. If you know what’s important to your marketing efforts in terms of segmenting your audience, then this might be the one for you.

Create quotes, blocks of text, and lists to help you and your colleagues narrow down your ideal clients and focus your marketing efforts.

5. Smaply

They say that an image is worth a thousand words. Smaply gives you the tools to visualize customer experience by creating personas, stakeholder maps, and journey maps.

Making a Smaply persona is a smooth experience. You can create a very clear persona that you can then share with your colleagues. They’ll look so good that you’ll want to share them. They are easy to duplicate and edit, and you can quickly switch between multiple personas and export them as PDF.

The combination of persona creator and stakeholder and journey maps is very useful. You can describe the steps that a customer takes before purchasing a product or using a service. And you can include the factors that influence her decisions and actions. This exploration can really help a business get a handle on customers’ wants and needs.

However you choose to create your client persona, it’s advisable to include the following:

• name
• age
• gender
• professional title
• role in decision-making (decision maker, influencer or advocate)
• relevant demographic information
• professional worldview/mindset
• motivation
• what they’re looking for
• pain points (what’s standing in their way)
• the buyer’s most common questions

Create a single sheet for every persona. Give each one the space and attention it deserves.

With this selection of online tools, you’re sure to find the tool that suits your approach to generating a persona. Any of them will help you to focus on your clients or customers and get your ideas into a solid, shareable format.

In the process of formalizing your ideas about your ideal clients, you are likely to discover new things about them and opportunities for your business.

Author: Kelly Campbell
Kelly Campbell is an Agency Growth Consultant based in New York. A former digital agency owner for 15 years, she helps creative and tech agencies transform—focusing on people, positioning, pipeline and profitability. Kelly is also an IA/SEO consultant to Facebook and NASA. She writes for Website Magazine, speaks at digital marketing and agency growth conferences across the U.S., and has been featured in The New York Times, Woman Entrepreneur and Forbes. She is the host of THRIVE: Your Agency Resource, a bi-weekly video podcast sponsored by Workamajig that helps agency owners navigate growth.

1 Comment

  • I’ve tried a handful and uxpressia.com is now my favorite. I am not affiliated with them at all.
    Biggest perk was being able to share personas with my clients, without making them pay to view more than one.
    Otherwise Xtensio was also a great choice.

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The reason I hired Kelly versus the hundreds of other consultants out there is that when it comes to scaling an agency, she’s actually done it. She built her own highly successful agency piece by piece, and that kind of experience is invaluable. But not only does she share her knowledge; she holds me accountable – and I’m already seeing results. If you’re an agency owner that’s looking to grow, I highly recommend her.

Lou Kotsinis, BCS Ineractive
Lou Kotsinis
Co-Founder, BCS Interactive
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