As a business owner, you want to ensure that you present yourself in the best way possible to potential clients online. While the era of the “elevator speech” is rapidly fading away, there is a new concept in its place – the Value Proposition.
If you research marketing or copywriting you may frequently stumble across the term “value proposition.” It’s aptly named since it is one of the most valuable parts of your online marketing plan. But what is it and how do you write one?
Here’s a quick, helpful guide for writing a value proposition for your business.
What is a Value Proposition?
A value proposition is a fast, effective way of presenting your value to a potential client that entices them to either investigate further or call immediately.
The purpose of a value proposition is to appeal to the needs of your client in their language and to distinguish yourself from your competition.
One of the most common problems people face when trying to present their value is that they confuse their features for benefits and fail to distinguish themselves from their competition.
In order to write a clear, helpful value proposition, follow the quick guide below to fix these common issues.
The Difference Between a Feature & a Benefit
A feature is a part of a program, tool or individual that provides a benefit. Think of it like this: a new car offers many features such as backup assistance. The benefit of this is that parallel parking or backing out of a drive way is much easier.
To clarify, a benefit saves your potential client time, money or improves their life in some way.
Why it matters: If you present yourself in your value proposition as a list of features then it doesn’t solve any of the client’s problems. Answer this question: How does your client use your features to their benefit?
Here’s an example:
FEATURE: Fast delivery.
BENEFIT: Our fast service saves you time and our proven track record of effective delivery means you can worry less about your outcome.
In this rewrite, we present the same features but the benefit is also included. Your client wants fast service because it saves them time. They want effective service because it gives them confidence and they can worry less. Someone reading the second proposition is more likely to investigate further or call immediately.
What Makes You Different?
Competition is tough for local contractors, law firms, dentist and other local businesses. Make your value proposition sing and you will stand above the fray.
You have to determine what makes you different. A great question to ask to figure this out is: What is the most common frustration your clients face when working with other companies?
Why it matters: If you can’t differentiate your service from your competitors then the potential client is likely to opt for the cheaper option or try to pressure you into matching the cost. To them, there is no reason to pay more for your services because you haven’t brought anything new to the table.
Here’s an example:
STATEMENT: We provide great service to your area.
DIFFERENTIATED: We are a family-owned business that is focused on spending more time with each client than any other company. We provide the best post-service customer service we can. The job isn’t finished until you are happy.
In this rewrite, the business is differentiated from its competitors on a few levels. Firstly, this proposition shows that this is a family-owned business rather than a corporation. The common frustration that is addressed is that some clients feel abandoned by the company once the service is finished. This company is different from the competition because they provide great customer service even after the initial service is finished.
What do I do with a Value Proposition?
You should feature your value proposition at the top of your home. We recommend including it on the About page and your main services and products pages.
Try to keep your value proposition within a few sentences long. It should be a short, quick way to appeal to your clients and give them the “why” and “what” of your business.
Be sure to distinguish not only why you are different from your competition but also how you solve your potential client’s pain point. Your service should provide a benefit that saves them time, saves them money or improves their lives in some way.
Not only does a value proposition help clarify your business to your customers but it also helps you, as a small business owner, wrap your brain around your own marketing plan.
If you struggle to distinguish yourself from your competition then perhaps you should adjust your business strategy so that it is clear what your market is and how you can appeal to them. You’re sure to find marketing is much easier when you have a clear, concise value proposition to work from.