In a society where a whopping 56% of people are making a second income from a side hustle (1), knowing how to market yourself and your brand has never been more important or relevant. If you are an entrepreneur looking to level up your life this year by launching a side hustle or enhancing an existing side hustle, start with your value proposition. Forget vision and mission statements, the core building block of any business is its value proposition. Learn what a value proposition is; why you need one and how to build one right here…
What Is A Value Proposition?
A value proposition is the unique value a business can provide a customer. An effective value proposition communicates how the value will be delivered; the target market and why the customer should choose this business and not a competitor. It is not a tagline or a slogan, it is more sophisticated than that as it consolidates a company purpose everyone, including its own employees.
Why Do You Need One?
You cannot construct a powerful marketing strategy without understanding the fundamentals of your business and the fundamentals are found within your value proposition. Furthermore, a team which has a superior appreciation of its organisation’s value proposition is stronger than one without as the team will be moving in synergy with the same purpose.
How To Build Your Value Proposition
Step 1: Ask Yourself Some Key Questions
Tease out the fundamentals of your business by asking yourself some key questions:
- What is my offering?
- What need is my offering addressing?
- How will I deliver my offering?
- Who is my target market?
- Who are my competitors?
- What are my points of parity?
- What are my points of difference?
Step 2: Use The Value Proposition Canvas (2)
Alex Osterwalder is one of our generation’s best business innovators and thinkers. He founded Strategyzer, invented the Business Model Canvas (3) and is as near to a business rockstar as you can possibly get. It was Osterwalder who created The Value Proposition Canvas, a technique which is now taught on MBA courses amongst the finest business schools across the globe and you will use for Step 2.
Step 3: Consolidate Your Thinking
Steve Blank is an American tech entrenpreur and he is the man who is arguably responsible for the start of Lean Startup movement (4). He started his career in Silicon Valley and also happens to be friends with Alex Osterwalder. It is almost as if Blank anticipated we would need an opportunity to consolidate our thoughts after using his friend’s Value Proposition Canvas and with that, he gave us the “XYZ” application of the value proposition (5):
We help (x) do (y) by doing (z)
Use the information you have developed in the prior two steps and start inputting them into this formula.
Step 4: Build Your Value Proposition
After following the first three steps, you have all the information you need to build your own value proposition! There are well known ones here to help inspire you and their tagline counterparts to keep you away from the “tagline temptation”.
Soundcloud – Find the music you love. Discover new tracks. Connect directly with your favourite artists.
Stripe – Web and mobile payments, built for developers.
Uber – The smartest way to get around.
Nike – To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
Soundcloud – We move music
Stripe – Payments infrastructure for the internet
Uber – Move the way you want.
Nike – Just Do It
Be kind to yourself and remember any process is an iterative one… Start writing and then keep writing until you are happy with it.
Step 5: Use Your Value Proposition To Level Up
Knowledge is only power once you use it. You know your value proposition… Use it! Use it to level up your side hustle; use it to get a better performance from your team by giving them it as a collective goal/standard to strive for; use it to design organisation strategy and use it to keep your organisation on the right path… The path to success.
- L, Sillett. (2021). 70% of Young Brits Are Embracing The Side Hustle. Available at: https://www.airtasker.com/blog/uk/70-of-young-brits-are-embracing-the-side-hustle/
- Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Bernarda, G., Smith, A. (2014). Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
- Osterwlader, A and Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.
- S, Blank. (2013). ‘Why the lean start-up changes everything’, Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2013/05/why-the-lean-start-up-changes-everything
- S, Blank. (2011). How to Build A Web Startup – Lean Launchpad Edition. Available at: https://steveblank.com/2011/09/22/how-to-build-a-web-startup-lean-launchpad-edition/