They say in life you get what you ask for. Well there’s no place where that’s more true then on the Internet. When I’m working with a new website owner, one of my challenges is to change how they see their website. I need them to understand that their website is nothing more then a conversation. Over the years, I’ve found that that’s the narrative that helps me get across how a website really works. When people first think of building a website, they are generally interested in creating sites that look like other sites they’ve seen that appeal to them. So I try to bring them to back to the point that is it is not them who should like what the website looks like, but the people they are trying to attract. The best way to build a website and have it do for you what it is you need to do, is to begin with your audience in mind. If you’re a hair stylist trying to attract clients for your coloring services, it’s a good idea to match the images on your website to the people you want to sit in your chair. If you’re trying to sell the latest ombre or balayage treatment, then you might want to ease up on photos of women in their 60s who just want to conceal gray. The process of getting this right starts with a thing called the buyer persona. This little fictitious representation of your best customer will guide you in creating your website. Deciding which words to use to describe your services, which features are most interesting and which benefits will get people to come and find out more. You will probably have several distinct buyer personas to work with, however, that’s not the same as trying to lump all of your different personas into one watered down composite mess. As the old saying goes, if you try to everyone you’ll end up appealing to no one. And that’s what your buyer persona is intended to prevent. To get you started I’ve included a sample buyer persona worksheet for you to play with to your heart’s content. If there’s anything there that you need help with, you can reach me at all the usual places.