How to use personas for sales growth?

Regardless of whether you start another term of your operations, or you are just establishing your own language school, you have to put yourself in your customers’ shoes from time to time. How you communicate with them translates directly into marketing statistics and volume of courses’ sales. If you still do not have defined personas, see the article to learn how to build and use them in a language school.


Who are personas?

Personas are fictional characters of our customers, to whom we match our offer. When creating the marketing and sales strategy, it is easier to have in mind a given customer category or this single persona, instead of thousands of users who may become our students. Proper descriptions of personas will allow you to reach the right recipients more effectively and create stronger relations between the school and students.

It is worthwhile to divide potential students into categories, or – in other words – perform segmentation of your business. Certainly, this is more difficult when the language school offers simultaneously courses for various groups of recipients: children, youth, adults and companies. Therefore, it is important to devote some time and define each of them precisely.

Personas reflect a model customer jointly with her/his needs, fears, motivations, goals or buying preferences. Identification of those features will help you to better match the message, plan future actions, and solve faster your customers’ problems.


When to define them?

You encountered personas for the first time when establishing your own language school. This is when the decisions had to be made on who we offer language courses to. Have you run a language school for several years? Do not rest on the laurels – defining your personas is an ongoing process, because your school is constantly developing, times are changing and so are your customers.

Creation of personas is useful not only when you perform content marketing, for example the corporate blog, or you create educational materials, but also when you send out sales mailings or you turn to students via social media. You can develop a precise and customized strategy for communication with your recipients.


Where to look for data?

DATA are the basis for development of the fictional profiles of your customers. Where can you find them?

  • Within the company – each school employee comes into different contact with students and this affords to them various perspectives, so it is a very good idea to perform interviews within the company.

Sample questions:

  1. What makes our school to stand out?
  2. What problem do we solve?
  3. What questions the customers ask most often?
  4. What do our customers say, what do they like, what they don’t like, what worries them?
  • The website – this is the basic source of information, so if you still don’t have a website, we will give you some clues how to design one. Google Analytics is a very effective tool to watch our recipients. You will find there the demographic data, interests, devices and channels, from which they are transferred to the website.
  • Surveys – you have surely made a questionnaire more than once after the end of courses, whether in hard copy or electronic version. Revisit them and analyse what your students liked and what they would rather see changed.
  • Social media – social networking sites, e.g. Facebook, have quite an extensive statistics tab, where you will find information about people visiting your fanpage. It is worthwhile to watch all discussions, topics, shares and comments of customers and derive useful information therefrom.
  • Forms – they are most often found at the website or at the landing page, where you offer an e-book for downloading or a free online lesson. Owing to them you can obtain all kinds of information about your potential or current students, but remember that the more pieces of information there are, the fewer people will complete the forms 🙂


How to build personas?

Initially it is worthwhile to define who your customer is not.  This is about excluding users not interested in the courses offered by you or those for whom the courses are e.g. too expensive.

The questions you should develop

Category Details
Demographic data (Who the recipient is? In what age? Where do they live?
What is their educational background?)
Work, education (Where do they work? In what position? Do they study?)
Interests, passions (How much free time do they have?)
Rituals (What does their day look like? Do they commute?)
Buying preferences (Where do they shop? How much do they spend? Do they pay using a card?)
Problem (What problems that you can solve do they have?)
Goals, values (What do they value in life? What do they care about?)
Doubts (What is your customer afraid of? When scares them off buying a course?)
Channels (Where do they look for information?)


A useful tip: The best idea is to place such data in a template presented on a single page, with a photo of the persona possibly added. It is of utmost importance to present the information in a transparent and easily analysable manner. First of all, try to enter specific information, additionally you can supplement it with quotes from your recipients.


Owing to development of model customers, you are able to match a perfect message to real customers. And finally compare two examples:

Message 1:

An English language course in our school is characterised by top quality, professional teachers and one hundred per cent effectiveness.

Message 2:

Do you want to learn a language but you have only one hour within a day? This is enough to speak Spanish after six months of our course – well, because this is what you dream of… don’t you?

Which message sells in your opinion? This is exactly why personas are created. 

See, where to use personas further:

Customer Jouney Mapping – your school
in the eye of the customer