One of the biggest challenges to competing in an online marketplace is to know confidently what sets you apart from the rest of the pack. This value you add for customers, compared to others out there doing what you do, is referred to as your unique value proposition (UVP), also referred to in some circles as your unique selling proposition.
Why should someone invest their time, money, and effort with you instead of someone else? What extra value can you bring to the table? Look closely at what you would like to offer to people as part of your business model. Then, you’ll need to answer the following questions for your online business.
1. What is your offer?
Lay out the details of the product or service you plan to sell. Outline the features in detail. What does your service or product do and what does the package look like? For example, is it a 7 day ecourse on how to set up a blog in Wordpress? Is it a 90 day coaching program that gives people direct access to you personally via telephone? Be very specific.
2. How does your offer solve customers' problems?
How does your product or service offering solve your client’s problems? State the problems your target customer is facing, which you should know from having done your market research. Then describe how each feature of your product or service solves those problems. Think about how your customer would see your solution, not knowing you at all. If you can answer the question “What’s in it for me?” from the customer’s viewpoint, you’re already halfway there.
3. What is different about your service or product offer?
You have to look at ways to create a product or service that are distinct from your industry competitors. Sure you can try the "yeah, me too" site, but it will be much more difficult in the long run to distinguish between your offer and the person next door. How is your solution different from other providers? Are you offering something extra, such as live training or additional done-for-you services? Do you offer your product in multiple formats, such as audio or video? Do you provide extra resources or tools to make your solution easier to use? If you can’t figure out any features that are different about your product, now is a good time to get creative.
4. Why should a customer buy from you vs. your competitors?
This is probably the toughest part of creating your UVP. It will also be one of the most important parts of your sales and marketing copy. So here's what you do --- tie together the problems your potential clients are facing, the features of your product, and how your product can solve the prospects’ problems. Then pull in your extra “proof” of why people should buy from you. You could gather social proof through testimonials of how well your solution works. You might have started to establish a track record of experience in your industry, and if not, spend time asking for feedback as you go about delivering your services now. You could also have great "case studies" or examples of your solution in action. Which of these examples would be most relevant to your market? Highlight one or use them all depending on what you think your prospective clients need to hear.
If you have already done the essential market research, you know what problems your customers are facing. Make sure you thoroughly understand what your target customers want and what your competitors are already offering. Then you will be able to identify exactly what you can do differently or where you can add something more. Put all of that together and you have your Unique Value Proposition.
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About the Author: Tanya Smith is a creative business strategist and coach specializing in showing independent service providers how to simplify, save time & stand out with simple strategies that engage more quality leads and clients. Her company Be Promotable provides fresh actionable strategies and virtual resources to promote business owners as power players in their market. Get free tools to simplify and stand out online at:www.tanyasmithonline.com