Creating a Buyer Persona
Buyer persona generators are an effective way to start the persona creation process. These fictional representations of real customers bring to life the people you are trying to reach with your message.
But, building these buyer personas requires an upfront time investment. Even more challenging, if this tool isn’t crafted just right, you’ll waste your effort capturing information that doesn’t help your marketing or sales team.
Not to mention, when you’re getting started, the blank page is intimidating with its blinking cursor and its less-than-subtle reminder of all the work ahead.
So how can you gain momentum early in the process and ensure you’re heading in the right direction?
One strategy is to utilize a buyer persona generator. We’re going to give you several options.
However, there is one important factor we’d like you to keep in mind: generators are the starting point, not the finished product.
There is no harm in using templates or generators for guidance. These tools become problems when we don’t customize the information to ensure the information has meaning to the people who need it most.
1. SEMrush Persona
This tool has you select with a stock photo in a polaroid template to start your persona creation. You can filter through dozens to find the one that will fit. Then, you can select from three templates: default, B2B or user persona.
After you make it to the main template, there are several standard categories of information. You’ll identify motivations, frustrations, goals, demographics, etc.
When you finish you can save & share the information easy to share link.
- This generator is highly customizable.
- You can add and remove content blocks as well as fields.
- You can also rearrange the information and change the block colors to emphasize important elements.
- You can’t import a buyer persona photo.
- You can’t create a buyer persona name. It must be randomly assigned from the generator.
- You can’t save the document as a PDF.
- You must have an account to be able to save a buyer persona that others can edit. Otherwise, it is read-only.
2. Hubspot Persona Tool
This tool starts with you selecting a cartoon avatar to represent your persona. This could be an effective approach to reduce the bias you’d get from seeing actual stock photos.
Then, you’d complete a series of questions about demographics.
After completing about 7 sets of questions, you’ll have a chance to customize your responses and add or delete boxes in the last section.
- This generator is simple
- You can add and remove content blocks.
- The boxes can be rearranged.
- You can download a PDF or share a link.
- The cartoon avatar can feel too simple and childlike.
- Answering all the questions before getting to the customizable form can be overly structured.
- If the text doesn’t fit in the box, you must custom format the template.
- The PDF downloaded version design isn’t in multiple columns like the template, which makes scanning the information more difficult.
3. Buyer Persona Generator: Live Persona by Delve.ai
Cost: Based on monthly visitors to the website (We were priced at $280 per month)
This tool provides a handful of generated buyer personas. In this way, it’s more than just a template.
Based on data from your website, this tool can help highlight different characteristics of your visitors. However, when it features goals/needs, the bullet points matched recently published blogs, which means the insight probably needs verification.
Important note: the free version only uses three days of Google Analytics data to build the trial personas. Also, you can only look at one persona, and you don’t get to choose which one.
- Gives you a new way to look at Google Analytics data.
- One feature allows you to conduct competitive research.
- There is an analytics tab that answers some broad behaviorial and demographic data questions.
- The persona tool auto-populates a stock image, that sometimes doesn’t match the description. (Example: 58-year-old woman actually looks like a woman in her 20s or 30s)
- There weren’t customization options if a persona didn’t match other sources of data.
- There is more to a persona than just Google Analytics, and as of right now, that’s the only source contributing to the insights.
Cost: There is a freemium version with one free project. The starter subscription, which includes 3 projects is $16 a month. The pro version is $36 a month and has unlimited projects.
This tool opens with a blank dashboard until your start your first project. You can choose to create a journey map, persona or impact map. The design features on this tool are more sophisticated compared to the free SEMrush or Hubspot option. Overall, this is a clean tool that offers a robust freemium to determine whether or not it is the right fit for your team.
- The software includes a journey map and impact map that can be connected to the specific buyer persona.
- However the starter versions of PDF or CSV exports. The Pro version provides a PPTX export and it can include branding.
- The design is customizable.
- The free option allows you to export the persona as a PNG only.
- The PNG is small, which makes it challenging to use efficiently.
Cost: $16-79 per month
Like Uxpressia, this tool opens with a blank dashboard. Like SEMrush it has a selection of built-in persona photos. The design is somewhat different than other options in that the persona photo fits into the document’s header. It looks and feels a lot like a blog. Although, it’s not quite the buyer persona generator like Live Persona by Delve.AI.
- The design is unique and modern.
- The interface is user-friendly.
- Easy to maintain regular updates.
- There is a story and map feature to help your team better connect with the entire buyer experience.
- You cannot download a PDF version of your persona. In fact, you can only send invites to collaborators.
- Shifting the content sections around isn’t as simple as other platforms.
Cost: € 19 to € 29
This tool shares many commonalities with Uxpressia. However, its interface feels less modern. It does offer a variety of drag-and-drop design elements like sliders, images, galleries and numbers. When you export the document it is less modern compared to other tools, but overall it is user-friendly.
- The freemium plan offers 3 journey maps, 3 personas and 3 system maps.
- There are other helpful tools like journey maps and stakeholder maps.
- The pro plan allows for exporting both PDFs and Powerpoint.
- The free version only allows exporting the document to PNG, which means the more information the harder it is to read.
- The design is less sleek.
7. Outsourcing to Buyer Persona Agencies
The reality is a template or generator isn’t enough to create a buyer persona marketing and sales teams will actually use. So, you have two choices.
The first is to invest time and resources into conducting the research that renders useful insights. The second is to outsource this work to agencies that specialize in buyer persona creation.
For example, recently, we had Adrienne Barnes from Best Buyer Persona on the Pragmatic Live podcast. She shared strategies for meaningful segmentation, and she gives her answer to the question, “how many buyer personas should be created?” Her agency specializes in conducting comprehensive research that informs more specific buyer persona creation.
- This approach is customized.
- Your personas are based on primary and secondary research.
- Pricing is uncertain.
- There is a heavier upfront time investment.
- You have to vet different agencies and contractors to ensure quality work.
The key takeaway is buyer persona generators and templates can help you by giving you a clear outline. These tools can also provide a simple method for displaying the information in a visually-appealing way.
The buyer persona is only as good as the content it contains. So, the research that you do to find the right information will determine the value of the buyer persona.