Unlocking Your Key Persona

What is your key persona and how must you achieve it? Whether in business or real life, you must understand it and work on it effectively. In this week’s Manufacturing Sales Series, we invited Gretchen Lindell. Gretchen is a consultant at her self-owned company Gretchen Lindell Consulting. She is also an instructor, creator motivator, and blogger. The purpose of her company is to provide various small businesses with the website development and maintenance facilities.

What is your key persona and how must you achieve it? Whether in business or real life, you must understand it and work on it effectively.

In this week’s Manufacturing Sales Series, we invited Gretchen Lindell. Gretchen is a consultant at her self-owned company Gretchen Lindell Consulting. She is also an instructor, creator motivator, and blogger. The purpose of her company is to provide various small businesses with the website development and maintenance facilities.

The conversation starts with Gretchen sharing some words about her family. She shared her father in law’s business details and what he does. This was her base for making the audience understand how to build your key persona.

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She further elaborated regarding some digital spaces that were designed using a key persona like Dropbox. Gretchen also said that in order to achieve your main goal which is mostly sales you need to work on some major aspects.

You have to make sure you have the correct language, the appropriate cues, the spatial cues, everything that makes your customer want to buy stuff right away. This is how she believes you can unlock your key persona.

Further on, Gretchen held an activity to ask people to think about that one ideal customer in their minds that will definitely buy their product. She said when you think of it, that will be your key persona.

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After this, Gretchen said that what you think your key persona may be, is actually someone completely different. She also shared an example of this with curt.

Moving on, Gretchen performed another activity with the audience. Here she asked everyone to take a piece of paper and write about what is your key persona like. For this, she asked them to write the name, demographics, interests, challenges, and everything that lets her know more about that key persona.

With this, you can easily identify the demands of your customers. After this Gretchen said that comes the digital presence of a company. The best way to get a good digital presence is to google your competitors, point out their flaws and good things, and then develop your digital presence accordingly.

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By the end of the talk, Gretchen addressed the question-answer session as well. There a person asked what if your key persona is not according to your actual customer? To this Gretchen responded that at this point, you can develop a new key persona and have two key personas. With this, the episode ended.

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gretchen, persona, kp, question, business, clients, people, damon, person, spaces, kurt, alyssa, customers, key, sale, tables, folks, minutes, resonates, convert


Gretchen Lindell, Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson


Damon Pistulka  00:01

Well, Kurt, take it away.


Curt Anderson  00:03

All right. Well welcome everyone. I see some familiar names here. We’ve got Alyssa from Alaska and Jeffrey Winnie. So thank you, Valerie Kevin, when thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us. So my name is Kurt Andersen. And this is an absolute thrill and honor to introduce you our speaker for today. This is Gretchen Landau.

I have a long history with Gretchen. She’s absolute. I know people throw around rock star, she is a rock star. She actually we kind of live she lives up the road from me like this huge steep still on a good day. I might even make it up my bike with my bike. But she overlooks a beautiful lake that we live on together here. So Gretchen is a professor, she is a mompreneur.

She is a consultant. I’ve hired her for multiple projects. For my own business. I’ve hired her to come in and work with clients. She’s an expert and authority on defining and really creating that ideal client for you identifying that persona. So with that, Gretchen, I’m going to turn the program over to and everybody that’s on, we welcome you stick around. And you can go the tables that you were just at, we’re gonna have so we’ll have networking opportunities. We’ve talked to Gretchen we can network with each other. So Gretchen, take it away.


Gretchen Lindell  01:16

Oh, thanks so much for that kind. Welcome, Kurt. I’m so happy to share the afternoon with you guys a nice Friday for where you are just like it’s beautiful at my place. I’m just about to share my screen with you here. And Whoops, I meant to share this part. Okay.

So Kurt, like he does challenged me we spoke a couple of weeks ago and said I would love it if you could give my my new group of friends here a ton of value in a small amount of time. So I have about 18 minutes, I’ve been told. So I’m running the clock. But before I get started, I want to make sure that you’ve marked your calendars for the upcoming masterclass sessions on October 16, to 23rd and the 30th. You can register for those in the same way you did previously.

I usually spend a little bit of time on this slide. But I’m going to go ahead and forward past that because I have a unique story to tell you that I hope resonates with you. This is my father in law. He is Hill he was he’s retired now the owner of arrow tool and die, which was founded in 1952. And he’s a arrow to a die was a small manufacturer a tool and die. If you ask me what that means I still don’t really have a clue. Here’s another photo, I had to kind of get in there. That’s my father in law with that cute mustache. And here he is with my son today he got his helmet for football. But before he for many years, I’ve been with my husband.

And I would say to him, Hey, how about we take a look at your online presence and maybe explore some new ways of doing things. And of course, my father in law is pretty set in the ways that he’s done stuff. And if it works, it works. And arrow to die is a wonderful company. And he sold it for quite a nice sum. But the person who bought it purchased, it actually doubled the business in a year. So I hope somebody like that resonates with you, because they didn’t really change much about the way that the company worked, but rather changed who they were talking to.

And I would suggest if you haven’t done this already reach out to our host today Damon and his partner, Andrew for some advice on even going further with that if you are thinking about an exit plan, because I wish I had known them before my father in law got out of the business. So why are we here today while we’re here today, because we want to get to know your ideal e client and E customer. I bet you know that customer that you deal with in person really well. But how do we find that person online? And that’s what we’re gonna challenge ourselves to do today.

Forgive me for going quickly. But I have that 18 minute mark in my brain. So I want to make sure that we hit it. So I’d love it. If you would think about the last time you had an exceptional by exceptional buying experience. Can you think about why it was so great? And I know that’s a pretty loaded question for right here in this moment, like, oh, let me think about it. But if you dig down to the nitty gritty about it, it probably had to do that it was it didn’t waste your time. It was really easy to do. You are willing to spend money on that. And it’s almost like it was tailor made for you. And that’s kind of what we’re doing here with a key persona.

I want to show you just a couple of examples of some digital spaces that were designed using a key persona and these are some business to business businesses. So first of all, we have Dropbox for Business. And right off the bat, we get a sense. So this is a screenshot of their homepage of what it is Dropbox is all about, we know that it’s, you know, it’s there for savvy people who are used utilizing digital resources that it’s got a nice color palette to it, it’s clear, I don’t have to look around for things. It’s all right there and it has a clear call to action. Similar literally, that was a hard word to get out this afternoon. Evernote has a very clean look to it.

There’s a lot here too. Um, you know, just because we have a clean, clean design doesn’t mean it’s not chock full of information, you can see what the sub menu here, there’s a lot of different information here for the folks who are using it and, and their own really striking color palette. So today, we use personas to help guide digital design. So when we have a goal in mind, which is sales, obviously, right? That’s our point, we want to make sure that we’re using the correct language, the colors, the spatial cues, to encourage our users to take action, like buy stuff now, right?



So here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m watching the clock, five minutes are down, I got 13 minutes to run through the quickest key persona exercise I’ve ever done. So I hope you’re ready to take some notes. So who is your key persona? It’s exactly like it sounds. We all have customers who come in different shapes and sizes. And what we’re looking for in this exercise is your key persona. Not all of them.

But who is that one person, like if you could show me have a photo of the person that you hope will buy your product or service? What will he or she looks like, I’m going to tell you something, too, before I get to the couple of tips, you probably have three key personas. So for today, select one of them. And I personally would start with the one who’s the most profitable, maybe you would like to start with the one who’s most loyal.

It really depends on your intention, but each time you run through it, just have one person in mind. So here are the couple of tips. Okay. So a couple of best practices. This is something people always do, especially business owners, you assume you know who that person is without doing the homework. And so homework includes going to your sales reports and saying, who is actually buying the stuff, I might think it’s this person, but it’s actually someone else.

And Case in point this summer, Kurt and I had been working with one of his clients. And he was absolutely sure that his key persona, looked and acted one way until we dug a little deeper and said, hey, go to your email, and check it out. Who is that person inquiring about this product, who is that person who we actually need to connect with to convert that sale. And lo and behold, he realized that it was someone totally different in a different spot in the in the business’s hierarchy.

So it was really powerful. Also, review the research on an ongoing basis. I’m sorry, MySpace is there, it’s Friday. Um, with that being said, Put this on your calendar, you know, if you’re going to be spending money on your marketing, let’s make sure your marketing dollars are stretching the way that you want them to. So if you put it on your calendar monthly, that’s wonderful, maybe quarterly that works better for you.

But please do it no less than annually because you want to make sure that the the marketing dollars you’re putting out into the universe are converting for your business. And then finally, get your team involved. I can throw a ton of resources at you, I can tell you all the websites to look at the YouTube videos to watch. But your marketing team, your sales force that’s on the ground, they also know your customers. So make sure that you’re including that within your data collection process. Okay, guys, I’ve got we’re at the eight minute mark. So I have 10 minutes to walk you through this really fast keys persona, here we go.

So if you will do me a favor right in front of you, I’m going to give you about 30 seconds to do this, grab yourself a piece of paper, it can be lined, just like this, whatever. And then if you’ll draw this setup on to your paper, I would really appreciate it and so you’ll see there’s a box in the middle that says number one, I’m going to do it right now just so I make sure that I’m not cutting you off with too much time. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I’m not looking for any graphic artists here. I know you’re all in manufacturing. So you know, living your best life. This is how fancy minus okay 30 seconds. I’m going to give you five more three to one. Okay, go here we go.



Alright, so in our next section, we are going to go through each one of those sections that we just Listed off. You don’t necessarily need to write this down. It’ll be listed on the following slides. But we’re going to talk about demographics, interest, aspirations, challenges and the sales process. So here we go. For our first question set right there in the middle, there’s something really important I need you to do before you do anything else. Remember that person I had you think about that Kp your key persona, you need to give them a name.

And the reason why is because we are creating a persona, we’re almost developing a character for the purpose of being able to create spaces and language that those folks will enjoy, and then convert to sales eventually. So make sure right now you give your KPN name. And then please write down anything quickly that you can think of, in terms of their demographics. So demographic information has to do with things that are related to their identity, such as age, gender, socio economics, can you pinpoint their religion?

Do you know anything about their ethnicity? Can you tell me their nationality, all that information is plugged right into our demographic information. And just Incidentally, while you’re doing this, I’m going to give you about 15 seconds more. Curt I, unfortunately, I can’t see the chat happened last time, but they know has a link to a resource guide that I provided. And there’s some interesting information in there about demographics. So hopefully I’ll grab that, a copy of that before today’s presentation is over. Okay. 20 seconds is up. Here we go fast and furious, folks.

Question set number two has to do with capys interest. So what is your key persona interested in right now? So this is a little less weighty in terms of data, but it is still very helpful because we get a sense of like who your Kp is. So what are their favorite books past times? Does Kp admire someone? are they following someone on social media? Which is really helpful if you’re trying to find people? What types of magazines? What are they binge watching? All of that type of stuff would go into capys interests? All right, it tells you fast and furious folks I’ve got I can’t add any more seven minutes left.

So I’m going to move to Section set questions set number three, I had to make everything really verbose language driven today, so it’ll be Tongue Tied? What are your KPIs aspirations and goals? So in this section, you’re going to find out what’s motivating your Kp? What does Kp want out of life? What are they motivated by? What are they distracted by? And this one, I think this is helpful to me, because this is just the way that my brain thinks, who does Kp want to be when he or she grows up? And the purpose of this is that if we know what excites Kp, then we can build spaces that resonate with kp.


Gretchen Lindell  12:55

And you can see, I think, maybe that my



I’m watching the clock. So two more, two more seconds on this one. Okay, flipping over now to questions set number four, What are capys? challenges? So who is Kp at work? What challenges does Kp face? And what kinds of solutions does Kp need? And again, in this circumstance, this would be not something that you can find necessarily on the internet, this would be more of go out to your Salesforce, and ask them, what are some of the things that are holding people back?

Okay, and now, moving to our next slide. Question set number five, the sales process. What else do we need to know to convert the sale? So is COVID-19 slowing everything down? Of course, or, you know, conversely, is COVID-19 driving everybody nuts?

Because the production is crazy. And we don’t have enough human resources to to fill the line to get things moving? Is there a process problem with access to technology? And what can you do to make it easier? Is it time money, authority or support? So can you make an express line? I said, express line excuse me on express lane? For people who need to get through quickly? So if time is holding them back? Can you make it easier and quicker to convert a sale? Is it money?

So are people not willing to get that high stakes purchase yet from you but maybe want to test out the waters a little bit? So in this case, are there different pricing structures that you can get buy in with or a low cost solution? If If there’s no authority? How can you get a person with authority? So how do we if we’re here and we’re communicating with this one person, but they really don’t have the authority to convert the sale? How do we get access to the person who has authority and then finally If there’s no support, is there a way that you can provide support?

I know, this is probably pretty abstract. But there’s plenty of companies out there who realize, you know, maybe some of the support is just having a networking event like this one is supportive to a community. And, you know, just doing that will help with converting sales on the end of the line. And then finally escapee considering going with one of your competitors. Alright, so this is one of those things, too. That always boggles my mind, when a business doesn’t go online, to Google their competitors to find out what they’re doing. I’m like, why wouldn’t you do that all of that information is free to you.

You can go on and personally say, I like that, hate it, like it, hate it, and begin to draw the framework of the digital spaces that you want for your business. So you have access to that end, if your customers are converting on a competitor’s website? Why is that happening? Is it because they’re the only game in town who’s doing it? Or are they providing some value to their clients that you could provide to or maybe do a better job of, or provide something similar, but a little bit different to differentiate yourself? Oh, you guys, I met 15 minutes, I got three minutes left.

So I want to tell you, hopefully wrote a ton of stuff down. I know, this is overwhelming. And never, ever, ever would I suggest running through a key persona exercise. And a quick 15 minutes, this is just the start. So you take this information, please, and use those best practices that I told you at the beginning of the presentation, and use them to build on this, I’d love to give you more time and have some time where we can, you know, go out and connect with each other. I hear a ding ding.


Gretchen Lindell  16:52

What is the ding ding?



I’m sorry. So how do we use this information? We’re good once we, once we know who your key persona is we take in that collection. You can find digital spaces and create digital spaces for those that resonate with those people. So for instance, this 20 year old woman, I’m not putting a lot of money on Facebook, because I promise you, she’s not there. But if I’m trying to connect with her, you better bet your bottom dollar that I’m going to be on Instagram, and Snapchat, maybe Pinterest, but certainly YouTube.

Conversely, we have a gentleman over here who’s a professional man in his 60s, I’m going to be on LinkedIn, I’m going to make sure that my website resonates with him because he’s okay with Google. He’s using it. So I’m going to make sure that I’m, I’m connecting with him there and then investing in some Google ads. I have a minute and a half. But I’m going to say Do you have any questions for me? I’m going to stop my share here. Come on back so I can see how well


Curt Anderson  17:51

hey, Gretchen, that was awesome. So thank you. And we do know that was the ding ding Ah, can you hear me?


Gretchen Lindell  18:00

I hope so. Yeah. I can hear you.


Curt Anderson  18:02

Oh, Alyssa. up in Alaska. Hi, Alyssa, if I’m if you’re still with us, she has a question. How do you identify? Okay, how do you identify if you have a mismatch between your ideal persona and the actual ideal persona? So how do you identify if you have a mismatch between your ideal and your actual? And she



might be? So what are we talking about? You have an ideal client, but then you you have actual customers? That’s how I’m understanding that so your customers aren’t the one that you want to be your ideal client.


Gretchen Lindell  18:46

Would you? Okay, I feel like maybe Yeah, right. Yeah. So


Curt Anderson  18:49

so if you want to be awesome.



Yeah, it’s someone up here. Let’s see who that is. Yeah, she’s put her hand up. Let’s let’s have her come to the stage. And she can just answer. Oh, yeah, we’re doing it. So that’s ever bringing you the stage. That’s the that’s the great part about Remo, you’re going to be up here with us, you might have to turn your screen on so we can see you and hear you, but awesome.



And so I only have a few minutes. But thank you so much for this. So I my question is, is, um, yeah, if I’m developing a key persona, and then I kind of recognize that, that that, that isn’t those that doesn’t match the clients that I have? Do I change my key persona? Or do I just keep going for that particular? That particular person, I guess, at what point because we have very few clients so far, at what point do you realize, Oh, my key persona and my clients don’t match, I need to make a change. And so that’s kind of what I’m trying to figure out that.



So Alyssa, I would say I wouldn’t make the change yet, but I would develop two of them. So I would say to you, because you’re making money, you know, we don’t want to stop making money for sake of trying to get in this other space. Let’s continue making money. And then, you know, work on developing the spaces for those clients that you want to connect to your products. I think that in in that saying, you know, you can have more than one key persona and connect with them in different spaces. That’s one of the great things about digital media is that we have an opportunity to really tailor a digital experience to almost anyone. Awesome. Yeah.



I appreciate that.



Thank you.


Curt Anderson  20:38

That’s a great point, just so everybody knows. So this is Dr. Alyssa. She’s from Alaska. She’s the director of the manufacturing extension partnership up in Alaska. So that was the Thanks for joining us, Alyssa, that was awesome. And, and that, yes, and I love that question. And Damon and I, we have a call today with a potential client that we’re talking to. And what’s interesting is she’s going down the supply chain, where she was very b2b, really looking at corporate. And now she’s looking at some more mom and pop type businesses and even exploring a potential b2c strategy. So again, like I thought that was a fantastic question from Melissa, of like, how do you make that pivot?

Or sometimes you get so stuck in that one customer, you have to, you know, look a little broader and see either other opportunities that were missing. So I thought you nailed that. Gretchen? That was an excellent answer. Thank you. Yeah, I think it’s really interesting too. Because if you looked at and you said, Listen, I think my my product, or whatever I’m doing hits this market really well.

And in manufacturers that could be I hit this type of industry, and they’re, they like this kind of material, or they’re at this place. And this other kind of industry is over here. You can tailor the message in that if you know those two personas, well, you tailor the message, the medium, and, and change the whole thing. That’s really cool. Yeah. Excellent. And Gretchen, so and I appreciate you so so folks, the concept of our program is kind of short and sweet. put a lot of pressure on Gretchen.

And so we should pull that pressure off on her for next time. And so, um, you know, are there if you have any other questions, and the great thing, if you’re new to the remote platform, what we’re going to do is Damon so so again, introduce Damon, He’s the owner of exit your way, he’s out in Seattle. This is his platform, he is our gracious host. And what we’ll do is we’re going to leave the stage here in a minute, we’ll go back to the tables, and we can have an intimate conversation, please ask Gretchen any questions. Damon will be around and myself. Are there any other questions that anybody else wants to pop in the chat box?

And in the last regard, Gretchen would What do you how do you handle like you? And I’ve done this a number of times together, like how do you handle for the particular business or client where they feel like, we’re, you know, I call it like that entrepreneurial curse, we try to be everything to everybody, you know, we hate to turn anybody away. But then from an online identity, it’s like we have an online identity crisis, where we’re almost nobody to know, you know, we’re nothing to nobody, because we can’t narrow the focus. We can’t move the needle, we’re not attacking keywords, how do you handle folks that kind of feel like, oh, we’re, you know, they struggle to narrow that focus.


Gretchen Lindell  23:26

I feel like that’s every client ever,



that I’ve ever worked with. And it’s, you know, one of the things that I do, and it’s not necessarily with my clients, but I definitely do this with my students, is I’ll show them a red circle, and I’ll ask them whose red circle is this. And immediately, they’ll go with target. Because Target has such a strong brand identity, they know exactly who they are, and who they’re serving, that it’s so clear, not only to them, but to everybody else in the universe.

And so I think what we all strive to do is to be a target. And sometimes, you know, we had this discussion, the last time we chatted, it’s hard to turn business away it for the sake of being where we should be.

But Damon, I think you were the one who made the point of there’s only there’s only like so many hours in the day, and if we’re wasting time, we’re not, we’re not reaching the levels that we can be reaching. And so, you know, that’s why I said, Do this persona with just one persona, and then nail it, and then walk through the process again, and then nail it, you know, like, don’t move too fast in that process was saying, oh, and I had the Girl Scouts over here that I want to connect with and the I’m sorry, just arbitrary group of people. But yeah, that’s kind of my answer.



Well, ignore that like came up on the screen. If we’ve got it. We’ll be on until 1130. So but we’ll go back to the tables now and and you can ask Gretchen questions. Any of us and we’ll we’ll do that. We ready to go. I am Gretchen, just go for it.



Can I just make a quick there? Kurt? I wasn’t sure. Did you share it? Because I couldn’t.


Curt Anderson  25:14

I’m glad you brought that up. Damon, will it still be in the chat box? Because it was in the chatbox when we were in a tables and then I didn’t see it when we came over here. They already were in a table chat at that point. Can you share it now? We’ll wait just a moment you can share or if we go back to the table chat It was so be that one. Very good. Yep. Why don’t we let’s so Gretchen has a fantastic guide for everybody.

Let’s go back to the tables and she has that information right there for you. And then we can you just click on the chat box on the bottom. And you’ll see that information again will pop into a table we can talk adjust any of those questions. Megan. Gretchen, thank you so much. Thank you, everyone. Thanks, Damon. So good.

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