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Why Your Unique Value Proposition Matters As a Freelancer

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As a consumer or marketer, we keep hearing the term "unique value proposition" (UVP) thrown around. It can feel like jargon associated with products, but honestly it is an important point of definition for individuals offering services as well. Based on all my hustles, here's a thing or two I've learned about how to define UVPs for products and services, and I thought I could share the same with you in this post.

But First, What is a Value Proposition?

Imagine you're at a crowded farmer's market. Every stall is overflowing with fresh produce, but one stand catches your eye. The vendor is radiating enthusiasm, their display is meticulously arranged, and they're offering free samples of a unique, locally-grown heirloom tomato variety. That vendor understands value proposition.

In essence, a value proposition is the benefit you offer to clients. It's your heirloom tomato – the unique something that makes you stand out from the sea of other freelancers vying for the same projects. Think of it this way - clients have problems they need solved. Your UVP needs to clearly communicate how you can solve their specific problems in a way that others can't.

By the way, an important distinction to remember - value propositions are about why you resonate with clients, while positioning statements focus on how you compare to competitors. There's some overlap for sure, but understanding the difference can be helpful when crafting your messaging.

Defining Your UVP

Getting down to business and creating your UVP, here's a roadmap to follow -

  1. Identify Your Ideal Client - This might sound obvious, but who is your dream client? Are you a web developer who thrives on fast-paced startup environments, or a graphic designer who specializes in crafting elegant visuals for established brands? Understanding your ideal client's profile is crucial. The idea is to show them how you are the right person for the job. And from the get go, we should be able to make them feel that and give them that experience of actually collaborating with you.

  2. Consider Your Skills and Experience - What are you an expert in? What sets you apart from other freelancers? Maybe you have a background in engineering that allows you to approach content writing from a data-driven perspective. Perhaps you possess a unique blend of design skills and coding knowledge, making you a perfect fit for clients needing interactive web experiences. Whatever your strengths are, identify them clearly.

  3. Think About Your Unique Approach - How do you deliver your services differently? What's your signature style? For example, we offered a potential client a quick explainer video audit, highlighting areas for improvement and suggesting tweaks to their script and visuals to show them how we're different from the rest of the herd, and how it'd be collaborating with us. Even though we didn't end up landing the project, showcasing this approach and going the extra mile and offering valuable insights upfront demonstrated the kind of service we provide. Think about what sets your process apart and how you can leverage that to your advantage.

Once you've answered these questions, you can start crafting your UVP statement. Here's a template to get you started -

I help [ideal client] achieve [desired outcome] by [unique approach].

For example, if you're a freelance writer who specializes in creating website content that boosts SEO (Search Engine Optimization), your UVP might look like this - I help busy marketing managers improve their website traffic and search engine ranking by crafting compelling, SEO-optimized website content. This of course is only the very first step, but it acts as a strong base for you to lay the foundation of the story that defines this UVP.

Showcasing Your UVP

Now that you have a powerful UVP statement, it's time to shout it from the rooftops (well, maybe metaphorically). Here are some ways to showcase your UVP to potential clients -

  • Craft a Solid Bio and Portfolio Website - This is your digital storefront. Make a great first impression by highlighting your skills and experience, and showcasing your best work. Don't just list your services – use your UVP statement as a guiding light, weaving it into your bio and project descriptions.

  • Network with Potential Clients - Don't be a lone wolf! Attend industry events, connect with people on social media, and join online communities. Let them know what you do and how you can help them achieve their goals. This is all about building relationships and making yourself known.

  • Do Free Work - This can be a double-edged sword. While it's a great way to demonstrate your value to a potential client and improve your chances of showing your value, it could be super painful if you don't end up landing the job.

  • Pick Your Projects Strategically - Be selective about the projects you take. I may have been guilty of this as well, well, you know, just kind of positioning myself as an expert in everything - but boy, have I learned from my past sins. Don't spread yourself too thin! Focus on projects that align with your UVP and showcase the kind of work you want to be doing. Remember, quality over quantity.

Maintaining Your UVP Edge

Crafting a UVP is just the first step. The idea is to do this before each client just to make sure you've aligned with their expectations and you know how can present yourself accordingly. Here are some ways to ensure your UVP stays sharp -

  • Continually Assess Your Work and Brand - Are you offering solutions to the problems of the clients you want to attract? Does your work showcase the kind of projects your ideal clients are looking for? As you grow and evolve, your UVP may need to adapt as well. Schedule regular check-ins with yourself to evaluate your UVP's effectiveness.

  • Gather Client Testimonials - Positive feedback from satisfied clients is pure gold. Showcase testimonials on your website and social media profiles. Hearing good things about your work from others can be incredibly persuasive to potential clients. A good word from your peers and your past clients always helps.

  • Stay Up-to-Date in Your Field - The freelance landscape is constantly changing. Keep your skills sharp by taking online courses, attending workshops, and staying informed about industry trends. This will allow you to refine your UVP and offer even more value to your clients.

Here are three important questions to constantly ask yourself -

Does the quality of your work and the overall customer experience you offer meet set expectations?
Is your pricing aligned with what you provide and what your ideal customers are willing to pay?
Are your existing clients your ideal customers?

In Conclusion

Your UVP isn't just a marketing tool; it's a reflection of your unique personality and approach to work. By defining your UVP, you're essentially defining your brand as a freelancer. Know your strengths, showcase what makes you different, and don't be afraid to hustle!


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