Blog Friday Q&A

Friday Q & A: How to Find Your Ideal User Personas, How to “Add Value” to a Mentor’s Life When You’re Just Starting Out, and What Tools We Use to Track Metrics

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Every Friday, we’re answering your questions about business, startups, customer success and more.

Happy Friday!

In our new Groove Friday Q & A segment, we’re answering any questions that you have about, well, anything.

A huge thank you to Anastasia Uldanova, Peter Kakoma and Kevin Enloe for this week’s questions.

Check out this week’s answers below, and jump in with your own thoughts in the comments!

How Do You Find Your Ideal User Personas?

Finding your ideal user persona is a much more important mission to a business than most give it credit for. In fact, it’s absolutely critical; companies who fail to do this, fail to survive.

User personas are very specific “profiles” of the type of customer that’s valuable to your business. Most businesses have more than one, but having too many will make it difficult to connect meaningfully with any one of them. At Groove, we have 4-6 “target” personas that we try to attract, though it fluctuates as we learn more and more.

There are really only two ways that we’ve been able to make progress narrowing down our user personas:

  1. Really aggressive customer development. Spend many, many hours talking to your potential customers, and, if you have them, your actual customers. Learn exactly what their backgrounds are. Their hopes and challenges. Their fears and dreams. Their demography. Ask them specific questions about these things, and use their answers to build an educated hypothesis around your ideal personas.
  2. Equally aggressive testing. We learned very quickly that we had spent 6 months and $50,000 building our product for the wrong personas. Don’t do that. Do your customer development first, and then test your hypothesis. The easiest way to start doing that is with your messaging. Tailor your marketing copy specifically to different personas, and see what works and what doesn’t.

Once you’ve done that, it’s important to work on figuring out which personas are actually valuable to your business, and which ones respond to your messaging and product, but are unlikely to ever pay you money or refer paying customers to you.

And that’s where customer development comes in once again.

How Do You “Add Value” to a Mentor’s Life When You’re Just Starting Out?

I see this kind of question a lot, and I think that there are two important things to do:

  1. Reframe your thinking on this. Instead of thinking “I probably have no value to offer because I’m just starting out,” challenge yourself to think about the value you can offer. If you assume you can’t offer value, then you definitely can’t. But by getting creative, you certainly can.
  2. Think about what you have that the mentor does not have. It’s not money, and it’s probably not business advice, but that’s not all there is.


That last point is exactly how I got our first advisor.

What Tools Do You Use to Track Metrics?

We use a lot of different tools at Groove, and we’re constantly testing new ones. But when it comes to metrics, we’ve been using the same stand-by’s for quite some time:

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Your Turn: Ask Groove Anything

I’d love for this new weekly segment to be successful, and provide a valuable repository of answers from our entire community for entrepreneurs everywhere.

To do that, I need your help.

Here’s what you can do to get involved:

  1. Ask questions. Post them in the comments of this post, or Tweet them to us at @Groove.
  2. Answer questions. Every Friday, we’ll post a new Q&A segment. If you have anything to add or share regarding any of the questions asked, jump in! Many of you are far more qualified than I to speak on some of the topics that people ask me about.
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From “aha” to “oh shit”, we’re sharing everything on our journey to $10M in annual revenue. We’re learning a lot and so will you.

About the Author

Alex Turnbull is the CEO & Founder of Groove (simple helpdesk software for small businesses) who loves to build startups and surf.

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