Transcript from the "Creating a Value Proposition" Lesson
>> So how does this kind of then translate into reality, right? How do we take all that we've learned so far and start shaping that into some kind of content? The very first step is to create something called a value proposition. And a value proposition is a company's promise to deliver a specific value or benefit to a customer.
[00:00:22] And an outline of how it proposes to fulfill that promise that they're making. So when you start off before you write any copy at all, you got to start off by assembling what is the promise that I'm making here? What is the value that I'm gonna provide? And how am I gonna explain how I'm going to provide that value?
[00:00:46] So our value proposition typically breaks down into three components really, first of all is that how does my offering solve a particular problem, right? So let's say for example, I'm having a look around trying to think of something, so this water bottle, this is a water bottle that I purchased, and it solves a very particular problem.
[00:01:12] The most water bottle don't fit into like a laptop bag because they're circular, right? So the particular problem that this solves is it will fit nicely into a laptop bag, there you go, that's the value proposition for this water bottle. And people have different problems that they come across.
[00:01:28] Now, sometimes you need to actually point out what the problem is, people don't realize they've got a problem until you tell them. Other times they already know what their problem is. So again, you need to know the journey and where people are on that journey. So what's the problem you're solving?
[00:01:42] And then what benefit can people expect to get, right? So okay, this water bottle solves the problem but what benefit does it provide? Well, it provides me with more space, right? More space in my laptop bag. And my laptop bag is less bulky, less awkward. And also, obviously, I've got water with me when I need it.
[00:02:06] So those are the kinds of benefits that you're getting. So benefit is how it improves my situation or my life, how it helps me overcome those problems. And then the final aspect is why should I choose this water bottle over one of the competitors? And actually in this case, it's because the problem that it's solving most water bottles are circular, and so the benefit is the reason why you will choose it over the competitor.
[00:02:35] In other cases, it might be a completely different reason, right? So for example, one of the reasons that, [LAUGH] this is embarrassing, but one of the reasons people hire me is for my enthusiasm, right? So it's because I actually care about their product and their service and I get really into projects.
[00:02:55] Although necessarily, I'm particularly more knowledgeable than another person. And I once had a client say to me how can I say no to you Paul, it be like kicking a puppy, an overexcited puppy. And that's one of the reasons people hire me, and I kind of come to know that.
[00:03:10] And I need to communicate that through the things that I do, it's part of my value proposition, I guess, I've never thought of it like that, but I guess it is. So yeah, how do you go about creating this value proposition? How do you think about it? Well, actually, if you've ever done any kind of user research or you've got any experience in user experience design.
[00:03:30] Then actually the kind of answers are almost sitting there in front of you. And then there's this thing called a value proposition or Value Proposition Canvas, and it's just a methodology for that I've kind of just outlined really, and it consists of three parts. What pains are you addressing?
[00:03:49] What gains are you creating? And what features are you providing, all right? And in actual fact, if you've done any news or research and if you've got half decent persona, you kind of already know the answer to that. Cuz your persona will tell you what pain points people are experiencing.
[00:04:06] It will tell you what goals that they're trying to achieve, and it will tell you what kind of tasks that you need to do it, right? So let's take an example, let's take a middle aged mom, right? A middle aged mom, one of the pain points she might be experiencing is that she's always tired, right?
[00:04:29] One of the goals that she might have is to lose the weight that she gained during pregnancy, okay? And so her tasks then are to do exercise and eat healthily. So if we've got, say, a fitness app, we can target it at moms in that way by talking about the those pain points, right?
[00:04:56] And that goal and those tasks, yet, that same fitness tracker or fitness app could be able to teenage boys, right? And exactly the same functionality in the app but how the value proposition would then be very different, so what pain points do teenage boys experience? Well, it might be that they feel skinny, right?
[00:05:21] And so they wanna get a bit buffer. And their goal might be to attract a partner, right? They wanna be sexy. And so the tasks that they need to do again are fitness, same tasks, right? But look at how different that would make the way that you wrote it and produce content and even how you designed it, right?
[00:05:45] One of the things you often see on fitness apps, which always confuses me on fitness sites is that there's lots of beautiful perfect people, right? Who are super jacked and fit and all of it. And yeah, that's creating an aspiration that people wanna reach, but that aspiration is often so out of reach that actually alienates people of doing the app.
[00:06:07] So if you were aiming at teenagers, you would show pictures of teenage lads looking fairly fit and attracting attention from their desired partners. If you're aiming at middle aged mom's you'd see healthy fit middle aged mom playing with their kids, you don't suddenly show some gym fit bodybuilder.
[00:06:29] So this is how we can start building up a picture of our value proposition, by thinking about our audience who they are, what they wanna achieve, what their goals are. And either even affect not only your imagery, not only your content but the tone of voice that you adopt.
[00:06:48] For example, in America thing is called Axe body spray and that kinda thing, in the UK it's called Lynx. And they know their audience so well, and if you read the back of one of their shower gels, okay? Normally, they talk about things like uses aloe-vera, if you're looking at another a shower gel.
[00:07:16] But because these guys are aiming at teenage boys, it talks about cactus milk and it talks about smelling great for girls and that kind of stuff. They very much built it around that audience using their language, their terminology in that kind of stuff. Now, I know all of this sounds like kind of evil marketing talk here.
[00:07:37] But actually it kinda matters because it's about making connections with people. It's about communicating in a way, in a language that your audience understands. And we'll come on to that in more specific detail later, and how a failure to do that can be quite problematic. But for now, let's talk about how to communicate your value proposition specifically online, okay?
[00:08:02] So you've got this kind of idea of what the benefits are of your product, what the features are of your product. You kind of know who it's saying that, what problem it's enabling them to overcome, etc. Now, we need to turn that into something that we can put on our website.
[00:08:20] And basically there are three sections that every good landing page, homepage, whatever should have. The first is your strap line, the second is your benefits, and the third is how you deliver on those benefits. So often that would be features of some description features of your service, your product, whatever else.
[00:08:40] So that's what you're gonna do, once you've got idea of what your value proposition, the first thing you're doing is writing these three things, right? So let's start with your strapline. Strapline are really hard to write, they're probably the hardest thing to do and there are a lot of rubbish straplines out there.
[00:09:01] Cuz what your strapline needs to do ideally is it needs to say what the thing is, right? Is it a course? Is it a workshop? Is it a have a SaaS product? Is it a app? Whatever it is. And also emphasize some kind of benefit that thing is gonna provide, right?
[00:09:23] So actually, this is a strapline I initially produced for one of my courses, right? And the worries about around finding new clients, which is great in terms of identifying a pain point and a goal, but it's really rubbish at saying what it is. Is it a book? Is it a course?
[00:09:47] Is it a live event? Or is it a pre-recorded thing? What is it? So actually, here was another one that I love which was a strapline, well, I didn't love it, it was terrible. The strapline of speak to your loved ones this Valentine's, right? Cuz it was around the Valentine's Day.
[00:10:08] Now, if you didn't know, that could have been anything, it could have been a dating app. It could have been a social media channel. It could have been sending cards to loved ones. It could have been anything. It didn't summarize what it was, it was actually on Skype, all right?
[00:10:26] We wouldn't necessarily have got that from the Strapline. So Strapline needs to be descriptive as well as touching on the benefit that it provides. So you need to brainstorm different ideas, come up with lots of different ones. You don't need to get it perfect because probably your client or stakeholder is gonna interfere in it anyway.
[00:10:42] But you can at least teach them that it should have these components in. And then also, of course, you can do AB testing on different ones to see what works the best and what doesn't. After straplines, then you wanna get into your benefits. So to start with, just write yourself a bullet point list.
[00:11:02] How does this product service, actually, help people, right? So this particular course, which is about finding clients if you run an agency. You're less likely to run out of work, you're gonna win the kinds of clients you want and you can increase what you charge, right? Those are the kinds of benefits that it provides.
[00:11:24] But anything has got its benefits to it, so make a bullet point list of what those are, right? So you've got a strapline, which summarizes everything at the highest level. You've got a set of benefits. And then finally if you want your features, right? How are you gonna deliver on those promises you're making with the benefits.
[00:11:45] So with a course, it'd be something like a lesson plan, but other things it might be some functionality of your app or the way that a service is delivered or whatever else. So there are value propositions that you need to create, which consists of your strapline, your benefits, and your features.
[00:12:05] But there are other areas that you need to consider as well. For example, there are the objections I talked about earlier. So this is a more recent version of the same call to action I showed you earlier for my newsletter signup. And I list in there the benefits, you've got a strapline, which is to improve your knowledge of user experience design, digital, marketing, and digital leadership.
[00:12:30] Then I touch on who it's for because that was another thing that was missing previously. I also give people a list of some recent newsletters that they can check out for themselves to see if the content is relevant. Then there's the things that I had previously. Things I can unsubscribe in one click, that I'm not gonna sell your email address to anybody else or that kind of thing.
[00:12:55] So along side we've got a bullet point list of benefits that we've created, we've got a bullet point list of features, and we've got a strapline. We'll also need a bullet point list of objections people might have and ideas for how you could address those. What could you say to reassure people in that.
[00:13:15] And once you've got all of those components together those four components, now you're ready to start creating your copy.