Research is a double-edged sword. It can lead to hours of informal education on topics having little to do with yours. Your mind cruises the information highway following every intersecting road. Your initial focus wanes and, before you know it, it’s  to fix dinner and that article is only half done.

Ain’t research a bitch? Maybe not.

You can learn a lot, as I did about two years ago. That’s when I realized I find “selling” rather predatory,  and that I had ignored articles about anything remotely connected to “sales” and targeting. However, I embraced “” and attraction.

“Selling” targets prospects, marketing attracts a “buyer persona”. It’s that buyer persona that can rescue your schedule from time-eating meandering.

Cover your eyes if you already know what’s coming next. Uncover them after counting to 10, very slowly.

In ancient Latin, persona meant "mask.&qu...

In ancient Latin, persona meant “mask.” Today it does not usually refer to a literal mask but to the “social masks” all humans supposedly wear. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What’s a buyer persona? It’s a profile. Not just any profile, though. It describes your ideal customer, client or reader. Need an example?

Let’s pretend. You want to sell an old sewing machine. It’s not an antique, but it isn’t one of the modern computerized machines that would fly if it had wings. You turn a dial to select its special stitches, you thread it by hand and it has a foot pedal.  You need to decide where to advertise it, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money doing so.

[bctt tweet=”Easily distracted? One simple concept can help you recover!”]

Since it’s an older computer-free machine, a woman who is younger than 40 might not know how to use it. That same woman probably doesn’t spend a lot of time online and prefers reading newspapers. There aren’t that many newspapers left, but there are alternative newspapers that she can pick up at the grocery store.

At this point, your buyer’s persona is female, 40 or older, who reads weekly newspapers. Where will you advertise?

While that’s a quick example, it illustrates one way to build a persona. You can see how inbound marketing specialists find the exercise useful. You can also see how building a persona also makes writing easier, and how it can also keep research on track.

You don’t have to be terribly gifted to build personas,  so they’re great for organizing research paths before sitting at the computer. You’ll focus on finding information for just one person – the persona. Since you’ll ignore any information that persona cannot use, include education level, possible entertainment preferences, and other characteristics that might guide your choices.

Choosing proper research sites eliminates distractions and hours of intersecting information, leaving more time for your personal needs, especially the healthy lifestyle changes you’ve put off. If you’re altering your time  , persona building might be a welcome addition.

So, the next time you’re tempted to stray from your appointed research path, break out a pen and sheet of paper, grab your coffee and give birth to a new persona. It’s probably the only birth that actually saves time.

 

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Copyright 2015 Insanity's Daughter
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