“Value Proposition” is one of those businessy-sounding words that makes most creatives yawn. Perhaps you’ve heard it before, or maybe not. Either way, it sounds like one of those cliché phrases…like “creating synergy”, or “getting alignment” or “Good ROI”.
Here’s the deal: if you want to build a successful creative business, you need to offer a good value proposition. The greatest businesses offer great value propositions. Poor businesses offer weak value propositions (or fail to deliver upon a great value proposition).
A value proposition is simple. It’s a statement that tell customers how your product or service is amazing and why they need it. A good value proposition will answer three key questions:
- What problem does my product or service solve? Every client or customer, no matter who they are, has a problem to be solved. The problem may be incredibly obvious or much more subtle. As a creative, what problem are you solving with your creative product or service?
- What makes my product or service awesome? This is where you get into the specifics of what makes your creative service or product amazing. You’re a creative, so this part should be easy for you! What makes your work incredible? If you’re too humble to answer, ask a friend (or, better yet, as your mom – she will definitely tell you).
- What makes my product or service better? Unless you’re selling a one-of-a-kind niche thing, like novelty gold plated llama saddles, you will not be alone in the marketplace. You will have competitors. So, you need to tell customers why your creative product or service is unique and better. You need to be truthful, of course, but find that aspect of your work that makes it stand out.
Keep in mind, “Better” doesn’t necessarily mean having superior creative quality or artistry. That may be the case in art school, but it’s not necessarily the same in the marketplace. ‘Better” usually comes down to three things: superior quality (obviously), faster, or cheaper.
In order to offer a good value proposition, you need to be able to answer these three questions. If you have a hard time answering them, ask other for help. If you can’t answer these questions honestly, then you may need to work on improving your product or service.