by Adam Pearce

There’s this breakfast place near to my house. Every Sunday, as I pretend to be the young, cool hipster that I’m not, I sit myself down on their uncomfortable metal bench and order the avocado smash with poached eggs. Each Sunday, I’m greeted by a super smiley Swedish lady who always asks how I’m doing and if I want their new ‘Super cool Kenyan blend’. It’s lovely.

Anyway, yesterday morning, I sat down as usual for my hipster fill, only to be greeted by the same Swedish lady, but not with the usual smile. She slapped down the menu, rushed off to the next table and didn’t say a word. When my food arrived, I noticed my eggs were a little overdone, the sourdough toast didn’t seem as buttery and the avocados a bit over-ripe.

As I wandered down the street afterwards, I started analysing the price of my hipster treat. Over $18 for breakfast? Jeez, and that was even before the tip. Why didn’t I think about this before? Well, it was simple - the persona that was created by this lady had overridden any kind of questions like this. I loved the experience of the place, the food was really just an extra. Now, of course, the super smiley lady was probably just having a bad day, but it was bad for business. In terms of Shopify stores, we see this ‘slip of the split personality’ frequently- it’s not intentional, but it can have a big impact on the success of a Shopify store. Here’s a short guide on how to get your split personality and maintain it.

Question 1 - who do your customers want you to be?

A really tricky step of creating a Shopify store is adopting the thoughts, feelings and personality of your target market. For most Shopify store owners we work with, many admit that they’re not the target market for their product or service. Even if they are, they often admit there are differences in the way they would personally react to their product and the way it’s conveyed on their site and in their marketing.

A simple way to do this is to establish key information about your target market, by understanding the following questions:

  • Who are the most engaged customers of your competitors?
  • What social media and site marketing tactics have your competitors used that have gained reactions and engagement?
  • What are their likes, dislikes, shopping habits?
  • When and how do they interact on social media?
  • What do they do on there weekends?

The beauty of social media means that this information can be extracted and analysed, just as we do with our Demographic Profiling Report for our clients. Once these type of questions have been answered, Shopify store owners can then start to build out a persona for their store, and use this to guide the design of their store, as well as create copy and marketing material.

Question 2 - do you have a store persona dictionary?

Ok. So you now have an idea of the kind of persona your store should have, it’s now important to create a brand rule book or what we call a store persona dictionary. Essentially, this should be a simple document used by anyone who designs/builds/writes anything on your Shopify store or any of your marketing. This should include the following:

  • Adjectives list - A list of adjectives that will be used on your store that reflect your target market. For example, are your customers using ‘Awesome, Cool, Sick’ or ‘Incredible, Beautiful, Delightful’ to describe your printed T-shirts? These can then be used as a reference point when creating copy for your site or marketing.
  • Sentence construction -You’ll notice Blend commerce has a style of constructing our copy. We use lots of periods. Lots. This fits with our store persona - slightly sarcastic, to the point, helpful. For some, this works, but for others, this doesn’t work at all. Take a look at your competitor's sites. See if they use lots of punctuation, see how long their sentences are. This part is tricky, but with good research, you’ll be able to develop a set style that keeps your store consistent with what your target audience is looking for. Check out our content marketing services for more information and guidance.
  • Intro’s and closes -Are your customers ‘Hey’ ‘Howdy’ or ‘Hello’ kind of folks/dudes/ladies and gentlemen? Try to think about your store as a person talking to your customer, if it helps find an image of a person (famous/non-famous/the Swedish lady you like from your hipster breakfast joint) and imagine them talking to your customers about your business.
  • Page type structure -If you take a look at the Blend Commerce pages for Launch, Grow and Automate, you’ll notice there is a similar structure on all of these pages, as well as the type of language we use too. For us, we know that our clients like to know a lot of information about what we can and can't do, this helps them to make a more informed choice about working with us. If your product is more of an impulse buy, by a customer with a little time and lots choices, you’ll want to ensure you have much shorter copy on your pages. Having a set structure for product descriptions, for example, is a great way to ensure you maintain that split personality, without blending into the true you. I’m sure you’re great.

Question 3 - does your store have one mouth?

Just like my experience with the Smiley Swedish lady, it comes as a bit of shock when we’re used to people talking to us in a certain way. If we think about a Shopify store, there are ton’s of ways we ‘talk’ to potential clients and customers:

  • Website copy
  • Email marketing
  • Social media posting
  • Social media ads
  • PPC advertising
  • Blogs/content marketing

All of these ways of ‘talking’ need to appear as though they come from one mouth, to avoid the confusion or even annoyance with your target market. If you’re handling all content creation yourself, it can be daunting, but equally having help from multiple sources can also lead to the confusion if the styles are not consistent. One way our clients have found this balance is to initially work with a designated copywriter for a period of 3 months, and then adopt the style of that copywriter moving forward. This is a service we’ve provided for a number of clients, with many telling us this was a good investment in coaching too.

There’s a lot of information here, I know. But taking these steps to develop your split personality has proved extremely valuable to many of our clients. If you’d like to discuss how to develop your split personality too, hit the bit purple button below to book a consultation.


Adam Pearce
Adam Pearce

Adam is the chief copy writer, marketing consultant and maker of tea at Blend Commerce. Oh, and he helps Shopify store owners Launch, Grow and Automate their businesses.

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