November 6, 2015 | Rachel Vaughn

Are Buyer Personas the Cure for Writer's Block?

Writing for inbound marketing is a process fraught with pitfalls. There’s the “due-in-one-hour-time-to-panic” surprise deadlines, for one. The occasional lack of useful reference material is another. Not to mention the persistent threat of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which looms over your fragile wrists like the restless ghost of Jacob Marley. More common, however – though maybe not as perilous – is the danger of falling into a rut.

 What many people often fail to realize is that writing is hard.

When your job description includes churning out new ideas and poring over copy to ensure that you’ve hit the right tone, phrasing, and necessary details to engage readers all day, nearly every day, you dramatically increase the likelihood of suffering from creative burn-out. Following that, it’s not uncommon to feel stuck on how to write for a target audience. Getting mired is part of the process, but employing buyer personas can help to keep writer’s block at bay.

Be Someone Else

Outside of the marketing industry, the notion of buyer personas can seem a bit alien. Writing as anyone other than ourselves seems counterintuitive to communicating effectively. This might go a long way to explaining why so many marketers often make the mistake of writing for themselves, thus confusing their likes and interests for those of the actual customer. But this isn’t a strategy that will be most effective in the long run.

Rather than using yourself as the customer, use buyer personas to try on another person’s skin (not literally; this isn’t Silence of the Lambs) and write from their perspective with their motivations in mind. This will give you different experiential and psychological wells to plumb in your writing, which helps to keep your content fresh and on track.

Explore New Fields

I consider research one of the best perks of content writing. The reasons are twofold: I'm a nerd and it’s fun. Not every market you write for is going to be familiar or offer immediate, obvious angles from which to approach the material. That’s where my boyfriend, Google, and a keen sense of curiosity come in. Writing for different buyer personas allows the opportunity to explore a new industry, product, or service without having to be part of it. It’s not a win each time, since delving into faraway travel destinations or the latest smartphone tech isn’t exactly on par with developments in cement pouring, but on balance, you still leave with something that you didn’t know before. Likewise, your new hoard of information will help to move your writing along more smoothly and, if you’re lucky, keep you interested while you write.

Find Common Ground

Your own buyer persona, if you had to write one for yourself, may not overlap in many obvious places with that of your goal readership. Marketing and web design wouldn’t seem to have a lot of similarities to dentistry, for example, or even real estate. But a persona is still modeled after actual people who occupy positions in the companies and businesses you’re writing for. As actual human beings and definitely not murderous robots (probably, anyway), that means you’re already alike in more ways than not. While you should generally avoid writing with yourself as the customer, looking for common pain points and motivators will make relating to your intended audience easier. Finding a way to connect with a buyer persona can make writing content more natural and engaging.

At VIEO Design, we’re great at creating buyer personas and playing Cards Against Humanity, but only one of them makes us any money.

Need help crafting the ultimate buyer personas? We have the perfect solution.

Crafting Effective Buyer Personas-Click Here to Download

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Rachel Vaughn

Rachel Vaughn

As a content marketer for VIEO Design, Rachel Vaughn brings serious research chops and boatloads of personality to everything she writes for VIEO and our clients. In particular, she spends her time writing blog posts, website pages, workflow emails, and other marketing materials designed to engage readers and help them connect with VIEO and our clients.

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