Your Unique Value Proposition is the single most important piece of content on your website. The work that you’ll do to define it will inform all of your other content, and all of your marketing efforts too.
I won’t lie, this part of the process is probably the hardest for most people. In fact, I recently read an article that made the case that standing out from your competition is “bad for business”… and the crowd went wild!
Readers loved the message because they were given permission to let go of all the traditional marketing advice telling them they NEED! to define what makes them UNIQUE! OR ELSE! And I know why: because it’s hard.
But the takeaway message really wasn’t “don’t stand out.” It was actually, “don’t let it hold you back or keep you stuck if you can’t figure out what makes you a special flower, just get to work.” I agree. But I don’t recommend you avoid thinking through the hard questions just because they’re hard.
I’m not a fan of stab-in-the-dark marketing — it causes overwhelm, frustration, and can expensive, depressing, and discouraging. While it may seem like skipping over this hard step will make your life easier, it’ll actually make it much harder in the long run.
But here’s a secret: it doesn’t have to be hard. And it doesn’t have to be set in stone either. You can fine-tune your positioning as you come to understand yourself and your business better. Your positioning may change over time, and you might even test different approaches to see what works best.
You don’t need to be a unicorn
“What makes you unique” requires a lot of research and soul searching, that’s true. But I think one of the reasons why this is so difficult for people is that they think they’re being asked to become a zebra-striped unicorn that smells like marshmallows — something that’s never existed before in all of history.
Not true. You just have to be different in the mind of the customer, and they’re not comparing you to every other option in the world — more likely, just 3 or 4.
If you don’t know what your strengths are, ask your customers. I recommend collecting customer feedback and looking for patterns. How do customers feel about you? That, ultimately, is your brand in this moment.
Here are some reasons why you should do the hard work of figuring out your value proposition:
- Your customers will consider several other options before making a decision, and they have an enormous number of choices that all look very, very similar. The businesses that DON’T look similar will get their attention.
- On the web, you have mere seconds to articulate who you are, how you can make your prospective customers’ lives easier, and how you’re the one to do it better than the other options they’re considering. Understanding your unique value will help you frame the right message, create the right offer, and target the right customer — and ultimately increase your chance of converting site visitors into customers.
Most businesses go on and on in their website copy, with jargon and “business speak” and it all sounds the same. A concise, clear message is more work in thinking things through, but clarity is far more effective for the customer.
Don’t worry about becoming a unicorn, but about your strengths and how your customers will benefit from working with you. Then you’ll articulate those on your home page so your customers know they’re in the right place, that you solve the right problem, and you’re the right company for them.
How to Create Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
Your UVP tells your site visitors: “Cool! This is for me and it’s exactly what I need.”
ConversionXL has a fantastic guide for how to create a great UVP, I can’t say it any better so I’ll just direct you there. I send this link to clients all the time. If you’re looking for something that’s even easier to follow, check out CopyHackers’ Value Propositions and USPs: “My Product Is the One That…”
Now, I have to warn you: creating an amazing UVP is something well-paid marketing consultants, copywriters, and conversion optimization specialists do for their clients; it’s no easy task.
If you struggle, don’t let it hold you back or make you dizzy and stuck. Just get started. Don’t aim for perfection, a website is never perfect. Aim to articulate your unique value as best you can for today and let it evolve.