Differentiate your consulting business and gain a competitive advantage with a solid value proposition.
What differentiates you from other consultants? Why should a client work with you instead of one of your competitors? What makes you uniquely qualified to help your clients address the challenges they face? Are you communicating this message in a way that is clear, concise, and compelling?
Many consultants rely on price, location, level of service, years of experience, personality traits, testimonials, awards, guarantees, or a seven-step process to differentiate their business. But these differentiators are easily replicable, and not all of them matter to your clients.
In the United States, management consulting is a $250 billion industry. To attract your ideal clients, you have to show them that you are the best possible choice to solve their problem. The most powerful way to differentiate your business is to focus on providing value to your ideal clients. The best place to start is to craft a clear and compelling value proposition.
Five steps to crafting a compelling value proposition.
A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. It clearly defines your offer, specifies whom you serve, and describes the unique benefits and value your clients will realize by engaging you as their consultant. If you offer more than one service, you will want to craft an overarching brand value proposition and a value proposition for each service. Here are five steps to crafting a compelling value proposition:
1. Clearly define your offer. What do you do? What problem do you solve? How does each service work, and how does it benefit your client?
2. Specify whom you serve. Who is your ideal client? What is their job title? What pain points, frustrations, and challenges do they want to overcome by working with you?
3. Describe the value you deliver to your clients. How does your offer connect to the needs of your ideal client? What value or benefit does it provide? Does it solve a pain point or frustration? How does the service you provide play a pivotal role in helping your client achieve the desired outcome?
4. Craft your value proposition. There are several formulas for crafting a value proposition, but at a minimum, it must specify your offer, whom you serve, and the value you deliver. Play around with a few different ways of conveying this information and create several versions of your value proposition. Focus on being clear, not clever. Once you have a solid draft, share it with a few people and ask them what the offer is, who it is for, and how it benefits them.
5. Make your case. Once you have a strong value proposition, make sure it appears on your marketing materials, including your website. Sprinkle in additional differentiators — pricing, location, level of service, years of experience, personality, processes, and social proof — to reinforce your value proposition. To stand out from the crowd and showcase your expertise, focus on content marketing. Each article, ebook, video, podcast episode, or white paper should provide value to your ideal clients. If you take the time to create content that helps your ideal clients solve a problem or face a challenge, you will quickly differentiate yourself from your competition.
Your value proposition is at the heart of your marketing efforts, so it is worth the time and effort to make it as strong as possible. If you’re not sure how to begin, think about one of your favorite client projects. What did you help them achieve? Who was the client? What was their title, and for what industry did they work? Is this an area of specialization for you? This week, take some time to clarify your value proposition and then think of ways you can incorporate it into your marketing materials. In the comments, share your value proposition or experiences. And if you’d like some help crafting a compelling value proposition and refreshing the copy on your website, schedule an exploratory call.