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Avoid the Mistake That Even @Copyblogger, @ThinkTraffic, and @DerekHalpern are Making by using a Value Proposition Template

mistakeI’m sure your business or blog isn’t quite like any other.

But there are other businesses and blogs in the same general field, right?

Maybe you’re competing with the most prominent blogs like Copyblogger, ThinkTraffic, and Social Triggers.

They have the benefit of being well-established, and you’re likely to have big competitors like them no matter what your blog or business is about.

Fortunately for you, you can use the common business mistakes that these “giants” make to your advantage (and you’ll learn how to do that in this post + video)…

What They’re Doing Wrong?

https://youtu.be/uKKzq12oMXA

Click here to download the Find The Core of Your Value Proposition PDF.

And here are links to the sites “critiqued” in the video:

How You Can Beat Them

You probably can’t compete with the subscriber numbers of huge sites or with the media coverage big companies get.

And maybe you can’t cover as many topics or build as many products as they do.

Until you can genuinely compete on those things, you shouldn’t even try.

Instead, you need to figure out what you can do better than they.

Maybe you know more about a specific topic.

Maybe you have a unique style that’s very different from your competitors (and compelling to your prospects/readers).

Maybe you can write the best blog or can improve customer service by working in multiple languages.

You have to do something better than your competitors.

Why else would anyone choose to buy your products or read your blog?

But being the best at something isn’t enough…

Are You Believable?

Let’s say your product lasts longer than any other similar product in the world. And let’s say its durability is important to your customers.

Just saying that your product will “last longer than any other” is useless because all your competitors are likely to say the same thing.

But if you can give simple, believable proof that validates your claim, it can be a very good reason for people to choose to buy your product instead of any competing product.

Often, proving your claims will set you apart from your competitors just because they don’t do it.

In other words, if you’re the only one who proves to have a long-lasting product, it doesn’t matter if your competitors’ products are just as durable; you’ll be the only one people believe.

That happened with Schlitz beer that became the leading beer brand because they advertised their manufacturing process. (The process was practically identical to every competitor.) They were the only one to prove their beer was clean, and so people believed them to be the only company who makes clean beer.

Protect Yourself with a solid Value Proposition Template

As you saw in the video, even big companies and blogs make the mistake of not showcasing their unique value.

If you don’t help people see your unique value (your value proposition), they’re very unlikely to figure it out on their own.

They won’t read through your site if you don’t immediately prove you have something unique and valuable for them to find.

A strong value proposition (and communicating it) is maybe the only way to beat established competitors.

So, ask a friend to look at your home page for a few seconds (not longer), and ask them what do you offer, what separates you from your competitors, and why should people believe you.

If they can’t answer those questions, you should change something.

At the core of your value proposition is something that’s unique to you, something you can prove, something your prospects/readers value.

What it is might be obvious to you, but it usually isn’t clear for anyone else.

As long as you’re the only one who knows what makes your business or blog unique and valuable, you’re going to struggle.

If you need help with finding the right things to focus on, download the free PDF of a value proposition template that explains a 5-step system for finding the core for your defining features.

The comments section is here for a reason. If you have anything to ask, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

About Peter Sandeen

Peter Sandeen dreams of sailing with his wife and dogs on the Finnish coast-unless he's helping someone build a clear marketing message and strategy that creates sales consistently. Download the quick 5-step exercise that shows what ideas are most likely to make people want to buy your products and services.

73 thoughts on “Avoid the Mistake That Even @Copyblogger, @ThinkTraffic, and @DerekHalpern are Making by using a Value Proposition Template

  1. Wow, Peter – this is a really impressive video, and it takes a lot of guts to compare huge, well known sites. But I do find it interesting that your own tagline is very generic: “Helping You Convert More Visitors to Subscribers and More Subscribers to Customers”. However, your opt-in portion is very specific. Can’t wait to check it out.

    I’ve also blogged about the mistakes this site has made. It never generated any comments, because #1 – I’m still small and #2 – people don’t like to step on any toes. But I think all sites, big or small deserve to be criticized. In fact, I encourage everyone to practice something I try to do: I’m working on relaunching my site on self-hosted WordPress. I ask for critiques via social media regularly and via survey to different networking groups of potential customers and colleagues.

    It has given me incredible insight in how to make a better website. Thanks for this great post! It takes a LOT to get me to watch and stay engaged in the video, and you did that brilliantly.

    • Hi Willi,

      You’re right about my tagline 😀

      I’m working on a site update, which should be ready in a week or so. The tagline will change. That being said, a tagline doesn’t have to be unique “alone” (though it’s good if it is). And (to my defense ;D ) I could point out that there are not that many people in the conversion optimization space, so even a less-specific tagline can work fairly well.

      But yes, it should be and will be more specific 🙂

      And you’re also right about how important it is to get feedback from your targeted group. Usability studies are often the best way to increase your conversion rate, which isn’t something most people seem to realize…

      Cheers,
      Peter

        • Hi Willi,

          The biggest question that comes up on your site is “Are you an administrative consultant or a writer/writing coach?” Those two have little to do with each other as far as I can see.

          Using one site for two different purposes is unlikely to create good results.

          What do you think? Did I miss the point of the site?

          Cheers,
          Peter

          • See that’s what I’m hoping to develop as a unique selling proposition – that I can do *both* and small business owners can benefit from both, as outlined on my services page.

            So when I do my redesign, I will have to come up with a way to make them look seamless. I have a lot of work cut out for me!

          • Hi Willi,

            Okay… That might prove to be very difficult because people might not think there’s any connection between the two topics. If you can focus on only one of them, I suggest you do. When the range of services you offer doesn’t seam cohesive, they can make you look un-focused (which unfortunately translates to “not the best option for any of the services).

            What do you think? It might be that I just don’t see the connection between the two.

            Cheers,
            Peter

          • Ah, I see what you are saying. It is confusing you. Essentially I’m a virtual assistant – providing writing services is unique for a VA, but a lot of VAs do it. I may need to check and see how they are phrasing it when redesigning the site. Thanks so much!

          • You’re a VA? I did not understand that…

            I wonder if your potential clients are going to realize it when you call yourself “administrative consultant and writer.” Is that what they think of when they need a VA?

            I get that they might need help with administrative tasks and writing. But does “I need a VA” translate to “I need an administrative consultant and/or a writer?”

          • AC is a term I picked up from a popular blogger. Because I have typically done more than just admin tasks, but do consulting as well, I thought it fit. Perhaps I should leave off writer, but keep writing services on my services page. You have been a huge help!

  2. Excellent video, Peter. And you’re right … hosting is one of the most difficult services to truly differentiate. We’ve a had several conversations internally about this subject, and we know can do better.

    There’s on aspect of Synthesis that’s truly unique, but we’re not emphasizing it enough. And there’s a new aspect we can add to really amp it up. Maybe we can get a subsequent review from you, but I’m just happy you’re pleased with the actual service at this point. 😉

    • Hey Brian,

      Thanks 🙂

      Derick actually already suggested a Skype chat, which we had earlier this week. We talked about the new service and its landing pages. He said he’d bring the ideas up internally and make some quick changes, but maybe he didn’t get to it yet.

      And yes, I’d love to continue the discussion. Can you shoot me an email, so we can talk a bit more? (peter {at} petersandeen.com)

      Cheers,
      Peter

        • Hey Brian, it looks great, but you’ve got some kind of glitch; when I’m looking at the testimonials at the bottom, whenever I run the mouse over a new person, the page refreshes to the top (running Chrome). Looks great, though! 🙂

        • Hey Brian,

          Much better 😉 It’s much closer to being clear about why people should choose you.

          But I still think the site could be much more effective if you got your value proposition across better.

          The problem isn’t (anymore) that nothing would seem unique to you. Instead, I (the visitor) don’t understand what it is that makes you unique, or if I understand it, I don’t know what it really means or what makes it believable.

          For example, you say, “99.9% uptime.” That’s good. But I’ve seen the same claim on pretty much every other webhosting company’s site. And because of that, it doesn’t have impact.

          Could you, instead, say something like, “3 minutes and 9 seconds of downtime in 2012” or “the longest downtime in 2012 was 44 seconds”? That would give a much more concrete idea of just how great your uptime is.

          Or for speed you say, “…can sustain twice the traffic while consuming about 1/8th of the resources.” I’m good with numbers (really), but still that’s hard to grasp. A graphic could help. But then again, the claim itself isn’t as clear as it might seem; it doesn’t directly mean that your customers can get 16X as much traffic as they could with some other option (and what would that other option be?).

          Maybe you’d instead go straight to pointing out that “Copyblogger Media’s sites get xxx,xxx visitors per day, and they all run on Synthesis. And if they’d be on any other host, it would have to cost at least 10X as much because of less efficient use of resources. And because of good use of your resources, you can deliver unusual performance with a low cost.”

          I started writing another example, but this comment is turning into a review 😉 But there are some things that you could change, and you should see higher conversion rates because of those changes.

          I’d be happy to talk via email or Skype. Let me know if you’re interested in more ideas/details or even a full review (or a guest post about conversion rates/value propositions? 😀 ).

          Cheers,
          Peter

          • We are talking about unique value proposition still, right? If so, it’s right in our headline (seems you missed it, which is strange since you’re also a customer).

            What’s the one thing Synthesis offers that no other WP host does (or can)?

            It’s not speed (other hosts can *claim* speed).

            It’s not security (other hosts can *claim* security).

            It’s the content marketing and SEO tools. No one else offers that, and given that Scribe is patent pending, they can’t offer exactly what we offer, ever.

            You’re focusing on copywriting techniques to differentiate. That’s just another way of claiming superiority for a commodity feature. If that’s all you can do, then that’s what you have to do.

            But the preferred approach is to have a truly unique feature and corresponding benefit. That’s what we did with Synthesis. It’s no longer “just” superior WordPress hosting, it’s more … and it will continue to evolve to live up to it’s carefully chosen brand name.

          • Hey Brian,

            I noticed the headline… But.

            You don’t actually say it’s Scribe. Nor explain how the page optimization happens. It looks like it’s a feature of Synthesis now (do you give Scribe to Synthesis customers free?). Without the explanation/demonstration, it’s easily confusing (“What is this page optimization? Does it work? And how does it work?”).

            And maybe this is another copywriting technique comment, but the headline means (or this is how I understand it) that you offer WordPress hosting, content marketing tools, and SEO tools. Not that they’d come as a package. And when they’re listed out like that, it can seem like you’re not focused on hosting, which translates to “They’re probably not as good as purely hosting companies.” This is entirely a copywriting thing; you can make the same message get across without the wrong implications.

            So, what makes you different? Yep, it’s partly that you have those different things to offer. It’s an important part of your value proposition, too. But alone it’s not very strong because unless you make people see special value in getting all those things from one provider, they’re not any more valuable than getting the same (=somewhat similar) things from others.

            What I think is the key part of your value proposition? The fact that you run content marketing focused businesses yourself. Successfully. Using the same tools (hosting, SEO…). And that you’ve built the whole system (Synthesis and other products) to be ideal for content marketing focused businesses (everything from how the tools work and what they can do to how you support your customers).

            That’s the key differentiator—people get exceptional reliability, functionality, and quality from you for running content marketing focused businesses. The different tools are just features of that benefit. Offering the tools isn’t the thing. Instead, it’s a way to reinforce and prove the real idea (that you know the reality of running similar businesses and that you’ve built the products based on that experience). I’d explain the benefit as “I know they can understand what makes a difference to my business because they use similar marketing methods. I know their tools are meant for people like me and that they’ve done a good job with them because they have the experience of using the tools themselves.”

            What I thought was an issue before was that your value proposition didn’t come off clearly. I still feel that way though not as much. Even though I’m your customer (Synthesis, Scribe, Premise) and I know and trust your reputation, I still don’t see your value proposition on the site. Or, okay, I can find it, but it takes quite a bit of digging to really get to it, and I find it mostly because I know what I’m looking for.

            If speed etc. isn’t the key idea in your value proposition, why is it the first thing to be featured below the headline area? If you want to get the idea that you offer unique tools/features (as you said), those should be prominent. And since you’re building the credibility on your own success, why not show/tell that you use the same tools (and maybe show how you use them) to get that primary idea across as quickly as possible?

            All in all, the site is much better. It doesn’t feel like it’s just another web hosting company. But I think you have the building blocks for a stronger value proposition and the means to get it across more clearly if you get clear about what the key ideas are, in what order you should talk about them, and how you can make people feel/believe them.

            But hey, I’m biased 😉 I try to find the weak spots in people’s value propositions and their communication all the time. And to be clear, your value proposition is already way better than “average” and you get it across better than pretty much any other web hosting company I’ve seen. I just know it could be even way better 😀

            I wasn’t clear in the previous comment. The copywriting things (how you present things) make a huge difference in how strong a value proposition is. Not because the value prop would change, but because how you communicate it affects how people understand and perceive it, which is just as important as what it is. I think you’re using proof points as benefits (offering “page optimization” is a way to prove you can help content marketers better than others, which is a key idea in your value proposition), you’re not matching your prospects’ thought patterns about the high-level benefits you want to talk about (the high-level benefit is that you help them with everything about content marketing, right?, but you don’t talk about it like your prospects would, IMO), and you’re not highlighting the most important things (=talking about things in an order that would create a cohesive message). That’s just my view though. And I’m happy to give more detailed examples if that didn’t make sense 😉

            Cheers,
            Peter

  3. Super-nice video, Peter! Way to take on the big boys. You’ve made a great case for spending quality time with your value proposition and it’s very generous of you to offer the tools to do it with!

    • Hey Steve,

      You saying, “super-nice video” is quite a lot 😀 Next step, getting comfortable in front of the camera…

      Let me know what you think about the PDF (which is kind of a “teaser” for the book I’m writing about value propositions 😉 ).

      Cheers,
      Peter

  4. You sure have the gusto to analyze the flaws of some of the best out there!

    Now, looking at my site (which is free, because I’m saving money for a laptop and a charger), the tagline’s okay (teenage writer, different stuff, or better stuff) but the opt-in form is generic. At least I have them, but is three too much?

    • Hi,

      Your tagline isn’t bad by any means. But it could be a bit more specific because nothing else on the site (immediately) explains what the topics are.

      Why not add one (or two) words into the tagline that specify the general topic you write about? It would give people a clearer idea of what they can get.

      And the opt-in form should promise some specific value. Now it’s just “updates,” which isn’t really valuable. Tell people how the updates will make their lives better 😉

      Cheers,
      Peter

  5. Believably and authenticity are so much easier when we are small. I also think risk taking is easier with a smaller, more niched audience. For instance, it’s easier to say, “Oh Shit” on the stock photo, when you won’t receive 50,000 comments about it being inappropriate. I see being small as an advantage.

    • Hi Renia,

      That’s very true 😀

      Then again, as long as you keep your brand consistent, you can do whatever fits it even if you have a huge audience. So, if “oh shit” is something you can say without surprising your audience, there’s no problem.

      In other words, the advantage you have when you’re small, is that you can change your “brand” without getting a huge amount of complaints and losing tens of thousands of subscribers 😉

      But yes, when you’re large, people expect a certain formality from you.

      Cheers,
      Peter

  6. Peter, I like how you went at 3 of the most popular sites and confidently broke them down. I’ve been interested and studying web usability for over 10 years now, and always can learn something. And this video was excellent! I think, as you mention, we need to really find the value proposition for both our sites and clients, and that can be daunting, as we have to really dig deep to avoid the common VP’s we see on all the sites.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  7. Great video. Here I thought our site was unique. I need to improve our conversation rate. Yes I have testimonials, but you really have to look for it. You are so right about what I thought was my value proposition. Thank you for the PDF. I am just waiting for it to be emailed.

  8. You make a great point that even if you have a great value proposition, you might not be communicating it effectively enough. Nice to see that getting this right can give the little guy an edge. 🙂 I also really like how simply you explain the “unique” factor, that if others can say the same thing, then it isn’t unique. Makes sense. It’s good to know that being unique doesn’t mean you are reducing your target audience, but instead you are just getting that same audience to choose you over someone else. Great post. And, great comments & replies here, too. Thanks!

  9. Peter this is really helpful. So, first off I want to say thank you. Finding the core of your value proposition is very important for differentiation. Apparently the value proposition is something that even the big dogs can miss. High value post like this are why I love the online marketing community. Good stuff, good stuff!

    Okay, so now I have some homework to do. I have download the 5 steps and I will be in touch once I get done with the ratings scale. I think that we have carved out a pretty good niche for ourselves and that we have a pretty good value proposition. But Ill have to put it to the test!

    Until next time,
    Al

  10. I’m new to marketing and in fact, I hate it. I just prefer behind the scenes writing without giving thought to traffic, customer response, etc. I just like to write about my journey in business.

    The problem with that is I never get past the “planning” stage and actually get out there and market. Marketing scares me because I imagine door to door sales people who get doors slammed in their faces. I shudder at that thought, which is why blogging is my style. I write. If people find what I write, I’m happy, but don’t ask me to go find the people. LOL Same with my coffee house. I’ll bake. I’ll greet you when you arrive, but don’t ask me to go out and find the people.

    I’m trying to change that. So far, in just one day of The Great Online Marketing Scavenger Hunt, I am finding myself already outside of my comfort zone, but I am having fun. Thank you for your document that I found via a link on this site. It makes me think about the marketing side of business and what I have to offer.

    • Hi Colleen,

      Sorry to hear you “hate marketing.” I hope you’ll find a form of marketing you’ll even like 🙂

      I get the image of a door to door sales people, but marketing doesn’t have to be like that…

      Let me know if you have any questions.

      Cheers,
      Peter

      • The kind of marketing that would work for me is one that is more personable and not out of a desperation to sell something.

        I am completely turned off by sales people who sound like they are reading from a card and are programmed to give their elevator sales pitch in 30 seconds or less, like they are a robot on a mission to play the numbers game. You know, like “if I pitch to 100 people, I might get 3% who respond, who might give me 1% sales….blah blah blah….”

        I am more likely to be a person who feeds you first. Are you hungry? C’mon in and sit down and have something to eat. Can I get you a cup of coffee?

        Then I will tell them about my product or service…once… and if they are interested, yay! If they aren’t, so what?

        For instance…the marketing scavenger hunt…tell me how many people playing this game REALLY REALLY care about the people writing? Or are they trying to get through the tasks to earn points to get a prize ? Do they really care about the bloggers whose sites they are visiting? Or are they just going to make a comment, take a screen shot, post it for the points, and move on to the next task?

        I’m not like that. I don’t want to complete a task just to get it done. I want to take the time to care about the person behind the blog and see how can I be a blessing to them?

        I don’t know what kind of marketing will work for me because I can’t even complete the tasks on the list because it’s a numbers game and not a personal experience.

        • Hi Colleen,

          I’ve heard pretty much the same thing from a lot of people.

          Fortunately, you can do very effective marketing based on actually helping people first. What a novel idea 😉

          Give them something free that will really help them. And later offer them more help if they want it, which costs something. No need to push anyone into something they don’t like. And you can actually spend time with people 🙂

          That kind of a marketing strategy could work well for you.

          Let me know what you think.

          Cheers,
          Peter

  11. Hi Collen,

    Well the good part is no doors to slam online. So no worries, and as far as finding the people. Just having fun doing what you are doing. The best way to get traffic is guest posting. Getting infront of your audience where they already are. Find the blogs that already have a good following (pretty popular) that is in your area of interest or that writes about what you are interested in and see if they allow guest posting then write for them…and actually going through the scavenger hunt will be very helpful in getting your feet wet with the whole online marketing process. If you have question. You can ask I believe in the google docs section. Hope thats helpful. Take care and good luck!

    Al

  12. Peter – This was extremely timely & useful as I’m having my new blog designed by though I believed I had my Value Prop, I’m going to refine greater after reading the PDF.

    I agree as a newbie I’ve spent the last 2/3 months all over the web and initially didn’t know who was the most credible until seeing them on multiple sites or being referenced often. I like how Jeff Bullas & Social Media Examiner have their number of subscribers to posted. Even Macus Sheridan from The Sales Lion shows all his social sites subscribers.

    Loved your YouTube video and just saw this from James Wedmore the other day that would be good for your link at the end, seemed easy to do: http://www.jameswedmore.com/youtube-annotations/

    Thanks again, this was awesome.

  13. Hi Peter,

    Thank you for your informative video and getting straight to the point!

    As a freelance writer, I sometimes struggle with writing my own marketing copy because I am talking about my services. Some writers have a difficult time writing for themselves. They’re more comfortable writing for their clients.

    I downloaded your report and will take a look at my website to see how I can improve it. The one area I struggle with is web design (can set your website apart from others). I’m not a web designer and can only tweak my templates so far. Speaking of templates…I’m not thrilled with the designs I see on the market. I would think that a web designer would know and understand how to use color and white space, but I don’t think they do.

    • Hi Amandah,

      I know the feeling all too well 😀 Seeing what you’re doing objectively is always more difficult than seeing what others do.

      And I second your opinion about most designs. You can get a “good-looking” site with them, but if you want to go further, most of them offer little chances for it unless you know how to customize them manually.

      That’s why I’m building a new design for my site from the ground up (even though I’m not a coder)…

      Cheers,
      Peter

  14. This was a real eye-opener; it really changed my perspective, and I won’t be able to look at either my own site or anyone else’s the same way.

    What really struck me was that all three of the sites you critiqued are well-known, well-liked, and provide some extremely useful content/ services and *because* of that, I as a visitor to those sites, never would have seen what they were “doing wrong” as you said. I’ve already been “converted” and don’t need further proof of value. They are thinking about visitors like me, and not considering the perspective of the person coming to the site for the very first time…

    With small business owners, I’ve seen this same thing off line as well. We can get so focused on creating value- and even get social confirmation of it- and then promptly forget to promote that value in the most obvious ways.

  15. Wow. Not only did you explain what a value proposition was by critiquing 3 excellent sites you showed us what it was. You made a valuable takeaway, sent us to your list, plus added an additional value by offering your personal feedback in exchange for our sharing your takeaway with our twitter audience. Thank you.

  16. Peter this is amazing. There is a lot of stuff out there, but yours always stands head and shoulders above the rest. You ARE one of the big boys (in the nicest possible way!)

    I have worked on the value proposition exercise and a tip for anyone who might be struggling is to use your own client testimonials to come up with your list.

    When I analysed mine, I was quite surprised that things I thought were vital actually didn’t seem to be that important to my clients, and yet a lot of them mentioned my creative input and the fact I “got them” so fast, neither of which had made it to my original list or even occurred to me.

    Anyway, just an idea!

    Thanks again Peter!

  17. Very awesome video and read. Thanks so much for sharing your information and knowledge, it’s extremely helpful! I’ve already done the worksheet and found that I seriously need to change somes stuff.

    Danny, keep this guy on here, he’s rockin’ it. LOVE his guest posts for you. Thanks again Peter!

  18. Hi Peter,

    I don’t think I’m ready to tackle building my own website from the ground up. Then again, I could start with my author website because the only page I have is a landing page. My head hurts at the thought of building a website from scratch. 😉

    • You don’t have to build it from scratch. Go to bluehost.com, get some cheap (but good) hosting and there’s a one-click install for wordpress. Go buy a theme from Themeforest or any number of other sites (google WordPress themes) and install it.

      There’s nothing to getting going. You don’t have to touch code. I’m a web designer so this is something I fully understand. Don’t be scared, you can’t break it to the point of no return (unless you do mess with the code) 😀

    • Hi Amandah,

      I’ve been rebuilding my site now for a couple of months. It would’ve taken a lot longer if I hadn’t started with the Genesis framework. And as I mentioned in the video, I’m a happy WebSynthesis customer.

      But I think everyone has their own preference 😉

      Cheers,
      Peter

  19. Hi Jared,

    I use WordPress and BlueHost. Thanks for the tip about Themeforest. I’ll check out their templates to see if there’s a design I like.

  20. Hi Amandah,

    I agree with Jared its not as big and scary as it might seem and Im not a web developer lol. So I come from the stand point of a coding dummy =-) I would just add that you might want to consider checking out Hostgator as a hosting servicer as well personally I like their customer service a bit better than Bluehost and they also have a one click set up.

    Take care,
    Al

  21. Hi Peter,
    Thanks for explaining the value proposition with these great examples.

    I am a student of Derek Halpern & I just dig his content, but your critique makes so much sense. I am in the process of redesigning my site & the timing couldn’t be better.

    Damayanthi

    • One of the things that may not be apparent is the fact that much of what he said I needed to change was left like that on purpose :-). I don’t reveal my subscriber numbers because it’s not more than 100,000 subscribers (Right now I’m at like 92,000). I’ll reveal it when I cross 100,000 though.

      With regards to the free download on the site, I also don’t offer a bribe right off the bat for my main signup forms. I do have landing pages like this, where I give more specific offers, though:

  22. I have done a couple of these things. I created my own header and personalized it by putting my own picture in it, even though my blog is through Blogger (didn’t use any kind of stock photos/template for my header). I also came up with a unique short tagline which is something I’ve never heard anyone say. And I post a photo collage of all of my awards and accomplishments in the sidebar and make sure to have my visitor stats showing so people know just how “big” I am. Be unique, transparent, and somewhat entertaining, and it helps a lot.

  23. What a great post! I’ve been working a lot on my USP since starting up my business. What I think really makes me stand out is my unique way of recovering from an eating disorder. I didn’t recover in traditional therapy, but I really took off when I started looking at my life from a holistic perspective. For me and my clients, it’s not about the food, not in the least. It’s about the bigger picture of what’s going on, where the imbalances are, and underlying beliefs (usually something like “I’m not enough”).

    I’ve downloaded the PDF and look forward to checking it out and discovering more!

  24. Thanks Peter.

    This is a topic that is discussed frequently in the world of marketing and writing. It has been repeated over and over again. So why do we still discuss the unique core of our value proposition?

    1. Although each of us is essentially unique, most of us have trouble tapping into the part of us that makes us stand out from the crowd. It is much safer to share what we have learned from others.

    2. Because all we see around us is perception -and- we have a tough time seeing ourselves as unique, we seem to need a mirror to get to the bottom of our value to others.

    3. We haven’t done the work required to dig deep enough to find our core. I, personally, am still working on it. When I changed from decades in real estate to the professional business writer career in 2011, I had to totally re-identify my core value proposition. While – at my core – I am the same person, putting that value into words and actions as a professional writer is different.

    Thanks Peter for having such a strong teaser in your headline. Because of your daring, many more people will look at their contribution in the world and ask, “What is my core value proposition?”

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