The Power of the Value Proposition

If you want to promote yourself and be heard online, then you need to understand what it is that drives audiences and that generates sales and clicks.

And the answer to that is nearly always emotion.

If you’re trying to sell to someone by using logic or reason (as most of us developer types tend to do) then you are fighting an uphill battle. And usually, if you try and get someone to click your link by using data alone, then you’ll be falling on deaf ears.

Instead, you need to make sure that you are thinking about the emotion behind your message and that you are appealing to something deeper with your audience.

Nearly all decisions to click or buy are impulsive and that means they are driven by emotion, which brings us to the importance of a value proposition...

So, what is a value proposition?

Perhaps no concept demonstrates this better than the value proposition. A value proposition is basically the most fundamental way in which your product is going to be supplying value. There is an old saying that goes… "you don’t sell hats – you sell warm heads".

What this means is that people aren’t buying a hat for the sake of the material, they’re buying it for what it can do for them. And they don't just want a warm head, they also want to look good wearing it.

Likewise then, if you have a website that talks about fitness, what is it that you’re really selling? Why do people come to your site?

Is it simply... "to get fit"?

Chances are that the driving forces for fitness are the desire to feel more confident, to have a toned body, and to be able to start the day each morning and go through the day with tons of energy.

Or if you are a designer or developer, are you really selling a website that your client loves to spend their time looking at and clicking on? Or are you selling a tool that will make their business look professional and generate more revenue for them because it feels good, delivers a clear message to their prospects, and is easy to use?

These are things that people can really relate to, and that will really motivate your audience to take notice.

So that’s what you need to promote.

To demonstrate this, let's use Instagram as an example...

If you look at what’s successful on Instagram, then you will see that a lot of it seems narcissistic, and usually has to do with living vicariously.

We enjoy photos of people looking great, of wealthy people standing in front of nice cars and of beautiful sunsets. While this may seem vain and shallow... it is actually aspirational for many people.

It is promoting a lifestyle.

Achieving social prestige, and material success, gets an emotional response.

If you can do this with your own brand – if you can find the lifestyle and the emotional drive behind it – then you can build some dedicated and passionate fans and get a LOT more exposure.

Have you had any experience with this? For example have you ever thought that you would "be logical" about selling your product or service only to fail? And maybe other times have you been surprised when a prospect hired you simply because you could tell that they "liked you", even when you barely explained what your services would do for them?

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