Last night, I watched videos featuring a promising singer on YouTube. I was led to the videos because this promising singer was first discovered as a child.
The singer was tapped to tour with an international performer, but the opportunity never came to pass-Michael Jackson died before the boy could be properly introduced to the world.
As I sat watching this singer, the former child wonder who is now a young man, I thought to myself how amazing it was to see that his voice was still beautifully intact. I also thought what a shame it was that no one is snapping up this young man to turn him into an international pop-star.
He has the look, and he certain has the vocals. The problem is, I concluded, is that the singer doesn’t have a sound of his own. Sure, he could imitate just about anyone within his vocal range, flawlessly and beautifully. But, why should record companies invest in an imitation of the profitable artists they already had on the books?
In other words, the singer didn’t offer a unique value proposition. He didn’t offer a reason why he should be given the opportunity of a record deal over other talented yet nameless faces in the crowd.
The same is often true when freelancers and agencies market their products and services. If you’re like too many out there, then you’re constantly pummeling your prospects with selling points, all in the attempt to gain new clients and increase your review stream.
And, if you’re like many, then you probably believe that more marketing will lead to more invoices.
If this were the case, then why are there so many service providers who find themselves frustrated and broke (or, dangerously close to broke) after “hyping” their services?
Here’s the reason: For all the hype, and for all the selling of their features, the advertiser (You!) aren’t doing a sufficient enough job of convincing your prospects that you’re a great fit for their needs, and that you’re their obvious option.
Ask yourself this:
If you were forced to, could you explain your service’s unique value to a person visiting you from another planet? And, would you be able to articulate the value in layman’s terms?
Perhaps the reason why you’ve failed in this area is simply because you don’t know how to figure out your unique value proposition. Or, you might know how to figure this out, but you don’t know how to articulate your value proposition.
Good thing for you, I’ve come up with some questions that will help to jog your brain and encourage you to take inventory of what you or your agency truly has to offer, and why clients should select you (or your agency) over another:
Does Your Agency Offer A Highly-Innovative Process?
When you think about your operational process, can you honestly state to prospects that your agency sets or exceeds an industry standard? Have you or your agency created a proprietary process that gives your brand much higher value than your competitors? If so, that’s excellent, because there are prospects who are searching for agencies who are ground-breaking and innovative.
Over the last few years, there’s been a lot of people throwing the phrase “thought-leadership” around. If you can prove to your clients that you and your team are capable of placing thought-leadership into action via the service you offer your clients in your industry, then you’ll set yourself to do business with a very select yet loyal segment of clients, for years to come.
Are You Willing To Offer Perks?
Nothing quite captures a new customer’s loyalty quite as quickly as freebies (Duh!). Sit down and consider if there are any freebies or nice perks that you’re able to offer your clients. Even if freebies are already a part of your sales process, make sure that you’re highlighting these as you advertise your services.
Here’s an example: Let’s say that you’re a freelance writer, and you offer unlimited revisions automatically as part of your copywriting service. Don’t make the assumption that your competition does the same, because they often don’t!
Instead, advertise that you offer unlimited free revisions. Think about it: You’re already offering the service anyway, but your prospective clients don’t know this! And, you can come up with a long list of additional perks and freebies that will make doing business with you a lot more attractive. This strategy works especially well when you’re selling your services by the package.
Are You Offering Clients The Best Value For Their Money?
Ladies, if you’re like me, then nothing thrills you more than scoring a high-quality product at bargain-basement prices. There was an occasion when I bought a $60 purse at a mark-down retail store for $10! The same retailer often sells coats originating at the $200 price point for only $50. It’s like Christmas every time I shop at this store!
Now creatives, I’m not advising you to slash down the price of your services. Your business model is completely different from the example I just used. What I’m suggesting is to find ways to offer your prospects the most for their money. Go as far as asking yourself if you can afford to undercut your competitor’s prices.
Ask yourself how much you can reasonably afford to give away within each of your price points. It’s always a great idea to over-deliver. People like to feel spoiled and taken care of. They especially love scoring a bounty, when they compare the money they’ve spent.
Can You Offer Top-Tier, Exclusive Service?
There are those of us (Me!) who shop at mark-down retail stores, and then there are those who shop at Neiman Marcus, or Saks Fifth Avenue. In other words, there will always be those for whom price isn’t an issue. These are the people who demand top-tier services that aren’t accessible to a large majority of customers.
Can you offer your service in a manner that attracts exclusive clients? Can you present your service offerings as top-tier and worthy of an expensive price point? If so, then there are clients who are waiting to learn about you.
Can You Diagnose The Pain Points?
Pain. It’s a word that brings to mind all sorts of negative connotations, and yet it’s a word that’s a part of our daily existence. We experience pain in all areas of life, and our clients experience pain either in their business process or in their revenue generation.
Since the services that you offer often resolve both issues, it’s to your benefit to advertise your ability to diagnose your prospect’s pain points.
Of course, you’ll need to be able to prove that you can resolve the pain and make everything, well, better. But, before you can reach that step, you’ll need to gain the prospect’s trust. You do this by letting them know that you understand their pain points. I actually discuss this in more detail here, and here.
At the end of the day, your prospects are interested in learning about the features of your services. But, I promise you that they are far more interested in how your service benefits them.
When you can explain how your service benefits their business operations, and increases their revenue streams, then it’s a bet that you’ll gain your prospect’s full attention.
Add a seductive and unique value proposition into the mix, and now, you’re in the position to resolve your client’s revenue problems, and yours.