Existing customer information: You may already have a wide variety of information available on your customers and targets, from demographics and buying details to previous research and website analytics. Start your process by gathering as much information as you have on hand and sorting through it. This will give you a valuable starting point, and also help you identify knowledge gaps and lines for further inquiry.
Extended research: The Web provides a wide range of sources where you can learn more about your targets, from observing them on social media to reading the publications that they read. Observation and data gathering is an important step to fleshing out some of the less tangible details of how your audience structures conversations, discusses their most pressing issues, and the language and vocabulary that resonates.
Conversations with customers: If you have a question that is critical and you can’t find the answer, ask. Customer interviews, focus groups, surveys, and informal one to one chats with customers and prospects can yield critical insights that let you solve a key problem or have a major breakthrough in terms of how to serve your audience.
For more information on how to create effective profiles, see 7 Ways to See What Your Target Audience Wants and Create Epic Content.