You run a yoga studio. You know the client you totally love – let’s say her name is Jackie. Jackie turns up to all your classes on time (in fact, she’s often early). She always comes up to you at the end and says: “Thank you – that was an amazing class”. She’s a monthly member (paying by Direct Debit) and comes to your studio 2-3 times a week, sometimes even 4 times. She often brings her friends along with her, and in fact, a few of her friends have since joined up. Jackie is one of your tribe. She is your ideal customer.

You love teaching her, and she loves your lessons. She always seems to get a lot out of the class. You deliver great value to her – you can see that since she’s started coming to your lessons she looks stronger, more toned and seems to be much more relaxed. She is improving all the time and has managed some of the more complicated moves like Crow and Eagle. You can see that your yoga classes are really helping her.

She has booked into a few of your workshops which run at the weekends – the basic workshop, and then also, when you had a visiting teacher doing Yin and Sound Bath, she came to that too. She left you a 5* Google Review raving about how yoga has changed her life (and her body!). And she mentioned your studio to her friend that writes a local health and wellbeing blog. And you even got a great bit of press! Jackie is a really loyal customer!

Who is your ideal customer?

Now, seriously. If you could pick an ideal customer, Jackie would be the one. Jackie is the perfect example of an ideal customer. If you just had loads of Jackies who were coming every month, loving your classes, paying on a monthly subscription and making you happy, then business would be good. So let’s go and find more people like Jackie. Spend your time marketing to find more people like Jackie.

Obviously, all kinds of people with all kinds of problems, needs, wants, desires can come and practice at your studio. And you will no doubt welcome them with open arms. Some of them might end up being your ideal customers and some may not. You are not going to turn away customers that don’t 100% fit the bill, but you are only going to focus on marketing to those that do. You have limited resources and money to focus on marketing, so focus on the customers that you can serve the best. A good way to know how to focus on finding more of these ideal customers is to create a customer persona.

Creating a customer persona

A customer persona is really helpful for marketing. Your persona is a fictional character (but often based on a real-life customer or set of customers), and it basically is a very detailed description of your target customer, in this example, a yoga student. As I have said it’s likely that you will have more than one customer persona because you might have more than one type of class that you teach or more than one type of client. If you are the yoga instructor of this example, a customer persona will include all the things about your ideal yoga student.

A good way to do this is to ask people like Jackie. I always say speak to your existing clients – that is some of the best research that you can do.  Ask them the questions below, and if you are not a yoga studio but another kind of health and wellbeing professional then tweak the list below to be relevant to whatever you offer.

Building your persona

Here are some of the things you may want to find out about your customer. For example, you may want to know a bit more about them – who they are and what they do.

  • Demographic info, like their age, gender and income.  (you could ask them income range)
  • What they do on a daily basis, their routine (are they working/ stay at home mum).
  • What is their job – are they a full-time mum running around all day, or working full time at a desk?
  • Where they work and where they live.
  • Do they have children, if so how their ages (this might be especially relevant if you have clients that are suffering from postnatal issues)

But you also need to know about some of their other habits and their motivations. For example:

  • What media they read – this is both magazines and online blogs/ publications.
  • What social media channels they use (and what hashtags they use/follow or which influencers they follow).
  • Who influencers their decisions?

And to be sure that you’re creating a service that meets their needs, you need to know:

  • What their problems are (what is keeping them awake at night?)
  • The sort of language that they use (the lingo).

More specifically, you need to know what brings them to your classes.

  • What is important to them when it comes to health and wellbeing, and in your case, why do they do yoga?
  • How much money they spend on yoga/ health/ wellbeing.
  • How much are they prepared to pay for a yoga session and how much are they prepared to pay for a workshop.
  • What sort of yoga teachers do they like?
  • What times of the day and week do they like doing yoga?

Do you have more than one ideal customer?

There might well be more than one kind of ‘target’ customer depending on what profession you are in and what area you have focused on. If you are highly specialised, you might only have one target customer. For example, you might only teach pregnancy yoga. In this case, your yoga student persona will have different needs/pain points and desires than those going to a regular (non-antenatal) class. Your ideal clients will probably have some limitations as to what moves they can do (they won’t be lying on their tummies, for example), and they might be suffering from pregnancy-related conditions (painful breasts, morning sickness, etc.), which make some of the yoga sequences difficult.

Mentally they might also have different needs. Practice with their breathing techniques, which are great for birth and mindfulness/relaxation might be very important for them. Let’s call this pregnant lady Penny. The persona for Penny will be quite different to the one for Jackie. Remember, the more you can understand your customers, the better you can serve them. This is really helped by creating a persona. Each time you think about your marketing you can think about that persona.

Create different personas

And yes I do know that men do yoga too! The two examples I have given so far are female, but I quite often go to classes with men.  I have just seen the launch of Broga at my gym (targeted to men), and apparently, it offers a full body workout as well as bringing mental and physical strength. I am going to try it out as obviously women can do Broga too! Now let’s call Adam our Broga-loving student. His persona is going to be quite different from that of Penny and Jackie. They are all customers of your studio, but their demographics, needs, wants, pain points, challenges, work, daily routines are all very different. That is why creating a Customer Persona for each one is key, so that you can understand how best to help them and market to them. If you need some help to do just that, get in touch!