Value Propositions and Bold Promises Demystified!
What’s a value proposition? What’s a bold promise? Why does it matter? How do I turn them into sales? All your questions answered on the #MelissaHullBlog.
Value propositions and bold promises — what are they really, and how do you get it right for your business?
These two selling points can be one of the most effective ways to capture the attention of new prospects in a single sentence. That’s why successful businesses and entrepreneurs work so hard to get them right.
But for many of us, once the last word is written, we feel like we fell short somehow. Something feels off, but you just can’t put your finger on it.
Well, that’s why we’re talking about two pieces of your brand that answer the big question: Why YOU?
What’s A Bold Promise?
A bold promise answers the question, “Why you?” in a way that’s so compelling it moves people to act immediately. And it’s called a “bold” promise for a reason.
My bold promise is: I can launch and monetize your speaking career in 90 days. That means, within in the first three months of working together, you will have booked your first paid gig.
That’s my bold promise. Do you know why I can make it? Because I know I can deliver.
Here’s the thing about bold promises – they have to be bold, but they CANNOT be false.
When I first started this business, I did case study after case study to prove I could deliver on this single promise. I’ve been the victim of false promises and coaches who don’t deliver, and I refuse to do that to even one person in my business. So I made sure I had more examples of proven promises than I thought I needed.
Then — only then — did I make my bold promise.
How Do You Write A Bold Promise?
So what’s in a bold promise? How do you find the right one for your business?
Here’s the goal: In one sentence, your bold promise should tell your ideal customer WHY they want to choose you.
Let’s think about that. Why do we choose anyone for anything? RESULTS. That’s why your bold promise should clearly deliver your best-proven results — and then add a time element to it.
Promising to deliver within a certain time frame makes the results actionable and credible. People don’t just want to know what you can do for them; they want to know how long it’ll take, too.
When you’re ready to try your own, here’s the formula:
“I can deliver/launch/fix/create + proven results + in + time frame.”
What’s A Value Proposition?
A value proposition is the ingredient of your business that solves a problem your competitors can’t, don’t or won’t. It’s not a slogan or tagline, though it can be used to guide your slogan or tagline.
Value propositions are what set you apart from your industry by defining how you’re different than the rest. It doesn’t simply state your products or services — it goes beyond what you do to explain why you do it differently.
For example, Unbounce is a software that allows you to easily create and monitor your own landing pages. If you’ve ever used a program like this, however, you probably know that building your own landing page is a learning curve that requires a fair amount of time and energy to get right. That’s why Unbounce created a value proposition that appeals to business owners who want a landing page without the tech headache.
“Build, publish and A/B test landing pages without I.T.,” says Unbounce on its homepage. Basically, this value proposition tells prospects it can give you what competitors do — but in a form so simple you won’t even need to call in I.T. for backup.
It explains what problem they solve, plus it states how Unbounce aims to solve a problem their competitors haven’t.
The #1 Mistake I See With Value Propositions
“What if I can’t think of anything that’s different about my business?”
“What if the only difference is how much I care about my clients?”
That’s the biggest difference there is, my friend!
Building off our last blog, a solid brand message or brand story can be one of the most powerful ways to set yourself apart — even if it’s only a story about your personal experience in the industry!
My entrepreneur friends always worry that their personal experience or personal touch isn’t enough of a “difference-maker” to market their business on. But that’s exactly what you should be highlighting!
As we discussed last week, your personal experience is the one thing you have that no one else will ever be able to take from you or copy. No one can have your life, your brain, your spirit, your passion. And that’s exactly why you’re different! So share it!
Just make sure you explain yourself with enough impact to really connect.
Still unsure? Read on.
Learn From The Best: A Value Proposition That Works
How many charities can you think of right now? Quickly, try to list 10 right off the top of your head. I bet you can.
Now think about how many charities help provide clean drinking water to communities in trouble? You’ve probably heard of a few by now, right?
Then what makes Charity: Water so freaking successful?!
It’s all in their story.
Take a look. This is the first few sentences of the founder’s story:
“After a boozy decade of nightclub promoting, Scott Harrison declared spiritual, moral, and emotional bankruptcy, and started over. He spent two years in Africa, saw the effects of dirty water firsthand, and came back to New York City on a mission.”
Now doesn’t that make you want to read more? Scott’s story is compelling because he was a regular guy, just like you and me, when he started changing the world in a very big way.
For many of us, we hesitate to give to charities because we don’t know where to start, who to trust, or what kind of difference we can make. So when Scott tells his “regular guy” story, it makes us all feel like we can be part of something incredible, even if I’m still just “regular old me.” We can trust him because he’s like us.
And his value proposition speaks to the “regular guy” fears in all of us. We may love the cause, but we’re afraid of all the stories we’ve heard about charities spending their money in unethical ways. That’s why Scott gets right to it: “100% of your money brings clean water to people in need.”
His bold promise is that Charity: Water will not treat your money with abandon. They value every dollar, just the way you do, as a “regular guy.” Right away, Charity: Water sets itself up as a non-profit that was started by people like you and me. It’s a charity you can trust, relate to, and feel good about.
And just like that, Charity: Water has done its job in the department of bold promises and value propositions — all because they identified a brand story that was powerful because it seemed ordinary.
So don’t worry if your value proposition seems ordinary. Just make sure it’s honest and rooted in your real story. Want bonus points? Add some vulnerability, and you’re sure to create a brand that truly connects with people.
Now, think about the question, “Why you?” and be honest! Don’t try to make your value proposition into something it’s not. That’s the only way to get it wrong, really. Instead, stick to your gut, speak your truth and put some passion and intention into it.
If you do that, the right words will come.