Crafting a value proposition statement (VPS) is a key part of defining your small business. In a nutshell, it’s a clear statement of what you do, how it benefits, for whom you do it, and what makes you unique. Without it your business offering may not be clear to your prospects. This is essential for business with complex offerings – whether product or service.
A value proposition is usually found on the home page where most visitors see it straight away. It’s usually fairly short, up to three sentences in length or may contain bullet points and could be accompanied by an image. A clear value proposition should contain the following:
- What are you selling?
- Who is your target market?
- What problem do you solve?
- Why are you better than the alternatives? (is it unique?)
Here are a few examples of clear value propositions found above the ‘fold’ on their home page:
What they do and who they do it for are pretty clear. Their uniqueness may not be as clear, but the ‘explainer’ video offers additional help to navigate the functionality and benefits.
This next one is also very clear. It’s not always the best decision to put an opt-in immediately next to your value proposition, but you can test this out. I love the picture of the software dashboard too. The image you choose should add to the clarity of what it is you’re selling/offering.
And just for contrast, let’s look at this example of one that’s not so great:
Their value proposition statement isn’t very clear on what they do or who it’s for. I think the image is to show an example client, but it should really show the product. While their product is good, they don’t do it justice with their vague wording. If you scroll further down it does clarify what they’re all about, but not everyone will take the time to find out.
When you look at your own value proposition statement you should ask the following questions:
1. Is it clear and easily understood?
Test this on strangers and have them answer a few questions for you about what they think the business is about.
2. Do you use business jargon?
Jargon or industry terms are the fastest way to lose customers. Keep your vocabulary accessible and plain. YOU might think it sounds boring or simplistic, but YOU are not the target market.
3. Does it avoid hype?
This is not the time to throw marketing at them. Avoid superlatives like ‘best’ and focus on the benefits they would receive.
4. Is it unique?
Compare your claims to those of your competitor. Are you highlighting what makes you different? Better? Or do you sound like all the rest?
Value propositions are the first thing most prospects see on your website. It offers clarity around what you offer and when paired with a compelling design, call-to-action, and user experience it can help convert the prospects into clients.