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Do you know the value proposition of your products and programs?

A value proposition describes the benefits customers can expect to gain from your products and services. At times we THINK we know the value of our offerings, but then we put something out into the world and it flops.

Why is that? I think it’s because we sometimes get caught up in creating and forget one very important fact…

Value lives in the client.

As entrepreneurs, as much as we love our products and services, they have no value in and of themselves. Our offerings are only valuable in relationship to our customers and the pains they relieve or benefits they provide to them.

So how can you be sure that you’re creating offers that people will actually want to buy? Go through this 3-step process before you create anything.

Step 1: Get crystal-clear about what your ideal client is trying to accomplish.

What is your client trying to get done in their work and in their lives? We all have competing goals, needs, and tasks vying for our attention.

There are jobs to be done and problems to solve. We have a personal image we want to maintain (to look trendy or competent) and we want to feel a certain way (have security or peace of mind).

As much as possible, you want to be getting these answers directly from the people you see as your ideal clients. Survey or interview current customers, take informal polls in Facebook groups, get curious about them and get answers in their own words.

What you think is important to them might actually be a low priority compared to other needs.

Don’t think about what YOU want to create while you go through these steps. Get into their shoes and think about what you can help them do, feel, be, overcome, or achieve. You’ll translate this valuable feedback into offers later, but for now you’re just focused on their needs apart from your services.

Action Step: Make a list of their tasks, problems to solve, and needs they want to meet. (Examples: improve a skill set, grow a business, look good with clients)

Tip: You might actually serve more than one type of customer. It’s important that as you go through this process you focus on one customer segment (a.k.a. ideal client profile) at a time.

Step 2: Know the outcomes and benefits clients are seeking.

What positive outcomes and benefits are clients looking to receive from getting help? You want to get as specific as possible here and go beyond surface-level answers. For example, if they say they want to learn a new skill set, ask why they want to learn that particular skill.

If someone is taking my Facebook ads class, it’s likely not because their dream is to be a Facebook ads master. They probably want to grow their email list. Why do they want to grow their email list? Because they want to make more money in their business and they know email marketing is a great way to do that. That’s the actual underlying outcome they desire from learning about Facebook ads – to get more leads and sales.

Here are some questions to get your wheels turning while you go through this step…

  1. Which savings do they most value – savings in terms of time, money, or effort?
  2. How do they measure success or failure?
  3. What quality or performance levels do they expect?

Action Step: Make a list of the positive outcomes or “gains” they are seeking. (Examples: leads to results, easy to understand, helps me communicate ideas more clearly)

Step 3: Know the pain points your clients are trying to avoid.

Pain points are anything that annoys them while they are trying to accomplish something, or a bad outcome they want to avoid.

Pains might be functional (a solution that doesn’t work well), or they might be more emotional in nature (they get stressed out every time they do something). They might also manifest as obstacles that slow them down or stop them from accomplishing a goal.

Again, be as concrete as possible. If they say they don’t want to waste time doing something, ask exactly how long is too long?

Here are some questions to get your wheels turning while you go through this step…

  1. How do they define too costly? Takes a lot of time, costs too much money, or requires too much effort?
  2. What are their frustrations? What keeps them awake at night?
  3. What barriers are keeping them from getting help? Investment costs, learning curves or other obstacles?

Action Step: Make a list of the negative outcomes or annoyances they are trying to avoid. Include barriers and risks. (Examples: lack of time, not enough money to invest, wasting time with ideas that don’t work)

Next Steps

Repeat this process for other customer segments, if you have more than one.

Now that you know more about them, you need to go through a similar process of evaluating your offerings and seeing what pains they relieve and how they help clients create positive outcomes.

You’ll want to check for fit and make sure you are meeting customer needs and delivering in ways that really matter to them.

There’s a difference between what you do – your activities – and the value that you provide. Once you have clarity around your clients and offerings in this way, it will be much easier to express “what’s in it for them” when you’re working on marketing or speaking with potential clients.

Remember, value lives in the client. Once you understand the value you offer your client, it will be much easier to create the right programs and offerings to put out into the world.

What steps are you going to take today to get into your clients' shoes? Share them in the comments.


  1. Rena McDaniel on March 11, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    I really enjoyed this! A lot of food for thought and it has already given me so many great ideas to work with. thank you.

    • Julie Lowe on March 11, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      I’m so happy to hear it was helpful and sparked some ideas, Rena!

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