Visualize your ideal customer with a persona made in Milanote

Follow this step-by-step guide to learn the modern process of creating a customer persona in Milanote, a free tool used by top creatives.

How to create a persona in 8 easy steps

Customer personas (or buyer personas) are fictional, composite characters that represent a segment of your audience—based on customer research. They're used by marketers, designers and creative teams to paint a clear picture of the target audience.

The best personas are more than just static PDFs. They include imagery, video, stats and more to paint a realistic picture. They should grow and evolve naturally as you learn more about your customers over time.

In this guide, you'll learn the modern approach to creating a persona using Milanote. It lets you break out of the linear document and combine text, images, tasks and more to build an engaging, useful snapshot of your customers.

1. Gather existing customer data

Good personas are built on real data and insights. They're a true representation of your ideal customer or a key segment, not a made-up character.

There are usually many good sources of information available, including your website analytics, recent surveys or real-life conversations with customers. Quotes from actual customers can really help bring your research to life. Start by collecting it all in one place.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a new board for your persona.

    Create a new board

    Drag a board out from the toolbar. Give it a name, then double click to open it.

  2. Drag files onto your board

    Upload a file or document

    Click the "Upload" button or just drag a file onto your board. You can add images, logos, documents, videos, audio and much more.

  3. Add a note to capture customer quotes.

    Drag a note card onto your board

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left hand toolbar.

2. Describe customer needs & pain points

Defining your customer's needs is extremely important. It allows you to identify how your objectives can align with the interests of your customer. Pain points are just as important, as removing these challenges will likely be the key to winning your customer's loyalty. This step will help give you a clear view of the problems to solve for your customers.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Add notes to describe customer needs and pain points.

    Drag a note card onto your board

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left hand toolbar.

3. Map out the ideal experience

Next, combine their needs and pain points to describe the ideal experience. This is the creative part of the process. It's where you can set aside any current limitations and imagine the best experience for your persona. A good question to get you started is "if there were no constraints, how would your product or service improve their life? "

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Add a note to describe the ideal experience.

    Drag a note card onto your board

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left hand toolbar.

4. Bring your persona to life

Now it's time to start adding that carefully collected research. Authenticity is critical for developing empathy. Your persona needs enough detail to allow you to step into someone's shoes and see your products and services from their perspective.

Give your persona a real name and upload a representative photograph. Add in some basic demographic information such as age, marital status, occupation, location or income level as a snapshot.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Add a note to summarize your persona.

    Drag a note card onto your board

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left hand toolbar.

  2. Choose a photo to represent your persona.

    Use the built-in image library

    Search over 3 million beautiful, free photos then drag images straight onto your board. Powered by Pexels.

5. Tell your persona's story

Giving your persona an engaging back story is our next task. Here, more is usually better. Write a bio for your persona in as rich detail as you can—based on your research.

You might rely on these details later to lead you to a wonderful insight. Try to avoid adding unnecessary information that adds clutter or causes confusion. Add a little extra personality by listing their favourite brands.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Add a note to tell your persona's back story.

    Drag a note card onto your board

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left hand toolbar.

  2. Drag logos or files onto your board.

    Upload a file or document

    Click the "Upload" button or just drag a file onto your board. You can add images, logos, documents, videos, audio and much more.

6. Organise & refine

Once you have everything you need, it's time to organize your content into logical topics. The goal here is to present the most important points in an inspiring and concise format. Highlight important parts, add titles and get your persona ready to share with your team or client.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a column to group related topics (like research).

    Drag a column onto your board

    Name it, then drag any relevant notes, images or boards into your column to stay organized.

  2. Resize images

    Resize images

    Drag the corner of an image to resize it. Double-click the corner to return it to its original size.

7. Share with your team & client

Now you have the foundation for a great customer persona, it's time to get input from others. Invite team members or clients to give feedback and build on your work. This ensure everyone can add to the persona over time as new information and insights are uncovered.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Invite a team member or client to provide feedback.

    Invite editors to your board

    Open the "Share" menu from the title bar of your board. Add email addresses of the people you'd like to collaborate with—they'll receive an invitation via email.

  2. Start a comment thread.

    Start a comment thread

    Drag out a comment from the toolbar on the left and place it on your board. Other editors can reply to your comment.

  3. Mention teammates to get their attention.

    Mention teammates to get their attention

    Type '@' in any text field to mention someone who has access to your board. They'll receive a notification and be able to respond to your comment.

8. Create personas for other customer segments

You can now begin to break your audience down into sub-groups or segments. There's no 'correct' number here, but we recommend creating three to five personas to represent your audience; this number is big enough to cover the majority of your customers yet small enough to still be specific.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a new board for each persona.

    Create a new board

    Drag a board out from the toolbar. Give it a name, then double click to open it.

And you're done!

The next part is up to you. Persona development is an important step in a variety of creative projects. An ideal follow-up exercise would be to use your new personas as the focal point of a brainstorming session. What new products and services can you dream up based on your persona? Use the free Persona template below to get started in minutes.

Start Your Persona

Get started for free with Milanote's easy to use Persona template.