This blog was originally published on Opterre.com
One of the key elements you need when you are starting your own coaching, consulting or freelancing business is a Unique Value Proposition.
The average attention span of a human being is 8 seconds, and therefore it’s important that you can explain your business, your audience and your differentiator, in two or three sentences to a potential client, before they move on to the next thing vying for their attention.
Just think of how difficult it is to describe your business when someone asks you “what do you do?” Wouldn’t it be great to explain this in less than 10 seconds?
In this article, we’ll break down exactly what is a Unique Value Proposition, how to write your Unique Value Proposition and give you some great examples.
What is a Unique Value Proposition?
A Unique Value Proposition is a succinct statement that tells your potential clients what you do, who you work with and why you are different.
It helps you stand out from the crowd and explains to potential clients why they should choose you over your competitors.
Let’s break down exactly what this means:
Unique – being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.
No one else is exactly like you, and therefore your business is specific to you. Even if your competition offers the same services, they are not you. How they deliver their services will be different from you.
Value – The importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
The value is the perceived value of your service or product to your clients. What problems do you solve? What pain points do your clients have that you can uniquely solve? What benefits will they receive?
Proposition – A suggested scheme or plan of action, especially in a business context.
Your proposition is the solution that you will provide when the client signs up with you or buys your offering. You, your skills and know-how have to be “packaged” in a way that your clients can buy from you easily.
Craft your offering by using your clients’ language and demonstrate that you know how to help solve their problems.
How to Write Your Unique Value Proposition
The Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is a simple concept but may take some deep thought (and research) to develop.
Before you create your UVP, you will need to have an excellent understanding of your target audience, the services that you want to provide, and how you will provide them.
There are three fundamental questions that you will need to answer to develop your Unique Value Proposition:
1 – Who is your target audience and who are you aiming to help with your offering?
To understand this and explain it succinctly, you will need to do some research to identify your niche or ideal client. Be specific about the industry, location, size and types of clients that you are targeting. Consider using a persona template to map out your ideal client.
2 – What value will you provide to your potential client?
What value are you providing to your client? What problem can you take away? What is the particular element of your offering that your client will find valuable? If you are struggling to articulate the value in what you are offering to your customers, ask them what their pain points are.
Draw up a questionnaire in Survey Monkey, and ask them what they are struggling with, and how you can help them. Their responses will help you to package your offering with the maximum value to the client.
“Many of the innovative companies got their best product ideas from customers. That comes from listening, intently and regularly.”
― Tom Peters, In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies
3 – What is it about you, your business and your product or solution that is distinct from the competition?
Think about your background, your style, your way of delivery, your service, product or solution. In what way does it differ from the competition?
To identify where you are different from the competition, perform a SWOT analysis. Look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your business, and then do the same for your competitors. Here is a great explanation of how to perform a SWOT analysis.
It’s important to identify how you can capitalize on your strengths to offer a compelling, differentiated solution for your target audience.
If you cannot explain to a potential client why your offering is different to your competitor and the value it delivers, then you may lose out to the competition based on the price of your service compared to the competitors offering.
“The world has a surplus of similar companies, employing similar people, with similar educational backgrounds,
working in similar jobs, coming up with similar ideas, producing similar things, with
similar prices and similar quality.”
– Tom Peters, World Economic Forum, 2000.
Once you have worked through the questions above, you can then distill your answers into a simple statement.
Examples of Unique Value Propositions
There are some example templates here: 7 proven templates for creating value propositions that work.
However, the most simple formula is:
“I help ____<target audience>_______ to ___<address pain point> ________ by offering/providing ____<unique proposition>_______.”
Your Unique Value Proposition then becomes a simple statement that you can use on your marketing material, website, social media, on your business cards or networking. In fact anywhere that you need to explain what you do, how you do it and who you serve.
Now that you know what a Unique Value Proposition is, you can begin to craft your own.
If you are still struggling with your UVP, here are 31 great examples of value propositions to get you started. We particularly like number 9!
You can test your value proposition by running Facebook or Google ads targeting competitor traffic, and point them to a landing page where the value proposition sits front and center.
Don’t worry about your competition. We know how daunting and challenging putting a new value proposition in a crowded market feels. But most companies and, even more so, most consultancies, do not have a UVP. So, by putting these recommended steps to work, you’ll be ahead of 90% of your competitors. You can easily walk ahead of them.
But if you’d like us to review your Unique Value Proposition, or if you need help in creating it. Please get in touch here – we’d love to hear from you!