Self Publishing And Marketing Books 
The Buyer Persona

by Dave Smith

On Create A Marketing Plan, I wrote briefly about the book Goodnight Moon. Using that example, one buyer persona for your children's book would be the child's mom. 

NOTE: This is just one of many possible "mom" buyer personas you could create. The idea is to create a person that will represent the larger group you want to reach.

Because this is a persona, we give the person a name (Jamie). It's easier to think about Jamie than it is to think about "married young white mothers with a college degree who stay at home and don't have much money". We can get to know Jamie, imagine what she's like, and even use a photo image to represent her. It's easier to imagine how to tell Jamie about our book than to "reach this target market".

Based on your marketing research, a buyer persona might look like this. We include lots of detail about Jamie to let us relate to her.

Jamie (the mom)

  • Age 25
  • Married - Husband is Jeff
  • Household income: <$40,000
  • One child, Braden, age 1
  • White
  • Occupation: Work At Home Mom (WAHM)
  • Both spouses have a college degree
  • Husband works in an office environment as a business professional

Jamie is a young, married mother who wants the best for her child. However, her low household income means that money is tight. She stays at home all day with her son, Braden, who is one year old. 

When Jeff gets home from work, he spends some time with Braden while Jamie cooks dinner. This gives Jamie a much needed break from paying attention to Braden and gives Jeff a chance to spend with his son. After dinner Jeff usually does the dishes.

Now that Jamie doesn't work, she sometimes gets lonely. She has joined a local mommy group so she can hang out with other young mothers. Talking with other adults helps Jamie stay sane. About half the mothers in the group have a college degree, and Jamie is starting to develop real friendships with a few of them.

When Jamie isn't hanging with the other moms in her group, she likes to go for walks and push Braden in the stroller. Because money is tight, she doesn't buy many books. She usually goes to the public library to get books that she can read to Braden.

During the evenings, while sweet little Braden is sleeping peacefully, Jamie likes to spend her time on Facebook talking with the other moms she knows and catching up with her old college friends. She also visits parenting Web sites and subscribes to a magazine on parenting.

Buyer Persona Insights

Knowing a little about Jamie, we know that she might find out about your children's book from these sources:

  • Other moms
  • Her family
  • Old college friends
  • The library
  • Facebook
  • Web sites
  • Magazines

This tells us where to deliver our message about the book to Jamie.

Based on what we know about Jamie, we could develop a message that would make her want to buy (or suggest to her local library to buy) a copy of your book. We could appeal to Jamie's desire for Braden to do well in school, and show how your book will help Braden become a better reader or learner.

This is just one example of a specific type of message to a specific type of buyer. There are endless variations on types of buyers and types of messages, and different media (magazines, websites, radio, libraries, etc.) where the message can be delivered.

©2011 Dave Smith Used by permission

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