Value Proposal: you know what yours is?

A few days ago, my personal colleague brander and dear friend Ilana Berenholc interviewed me about the value proposition for the blog of the Brazilian subsidiary of AICI (Association of Image Consultants International). Here you can read the post titleValue Proposal: Voc knows qual é a sua? .

I found it interesting to translate it (with the help of Google) Spanish in case Portuguese costs you. There goes that: 

Value Proposal: you know what yours is?

In Brazil, Image Consultants complain that the market is saturated and, when we look closely, the feeling is that everyone does the same thing. How to fix this problem?

This is a serious problem because, if the perception is that everyone does the same thing, they simply become Commodities. The price goes down more and more and the customer does not mind choosing one or the other professional, because they don't see any difference between professionals.

In personal branding, we work not only on how to achieve relevance and difference, but above all how to identify the value proposition: why choose one consultant and not another? what's the value you're going to add to one or the other based on your experience, of his abilities, of their values, of the way they do things?

Image consultants, what I would say is that they work their own brand, find your differential, separate your offer from the rest. Separating means adding more value than others. However, it's easier said than done.

How would you define the value proposition?

I'm a publicist. For me, a brand is a unique value proposition. So, a personal brand is a unique proposal of personal value. It's as important what we do as how we do it.

The value proposition answers a question: What problem do I solve? And also, in another approach what opportunity do I detect?.

If I say I'm an Image Consultant, I'm using a definition of my professional activity. But that's not a value proposition.. A value proposition would be to say “I get my clients to stand out and improve their career profile thanks to my work”. This is a value proposition.

The value proposition focuses on your client, not in you. Talk about image consultant, career consultant or staff brander does not solve any problems for the client. The way to solve problems is by explaining to your client exactly how it will get from point A to point B.

To work on the value proposition, I recommend answering these four questions:

  • What is the problem we solve? (pain)
  • What is the opportunity we detected? (gain)
  • What is the need we meet?
  • What are the benefits we bring?

Here are four different ways to find our value proposition.

An example: If you define yourself as “senior manager”, I can't know what problem you solve. “Senior manager” just explains the professional category within the company. However, if you focus it as a “promote the development of professional certifications for different groups”, here I understand perfectly the problem you solve. In the first case, you just say what your position is within the company, and in the second, you give an answer to your client's needs.

Another example is Sarah Harmon, Head of Spain & Portugal Linkedin Talent Solutions, that in his profile, instead of writing his professional title as his position, Wrote Chief Motivator - LinkedIn Iberia, transforming the way companies hire, sell and grow. (Motivator chief on Iberia's LinkedIn, transform the way companies hire, sell and grow). In this way, explains the problem it solves for businesses.

Eye! We cannot create a value proposition that is not based on a reality

Our value proposition is made up of a number of attributes. If we look at a well-known brand, for example IKEA, the attributes we recognize most are price and design, attributes that no one had united before. Our value proposition is made up of rational and emotional attributes, those most derived from our values. And it's much harder to imitate an emotional attribute.

One example is a client I worked with: He's an audit manager.. All customers want to work with her because she's always happy, with a smile ready. She broke the established idea that auditors are very serious people, Grey, Boring. Its value proposition is to “Audit Manager, specialized in Real Estate and Infrastructure. Auditing with a smile.”

My advice to all professionals who seem cloned to others is to work hard their value proposition. I recognize that this is not easy in any personal branding process, but it's the key to differentiating. I recommend that it be done with the help of a specialist, a brander staff or someone who can understand the identity of the professional: How exactly am I? How do others see me? What are my hidden attributes that I don't know?

As a summary, value proposition is something that answers three questions: what problems we solve, what opportunities we detect, what needs we cover. To do this, we need to understand our main attributes, and for that we need the help of someone who understands how we really are. It is important that we understand that we are made up of rational and emotional elements, which are connection elements.

On values, you claim that transmitting is better than explaining. Explain it to me.

The person who is aware of their values can use them in their communication. But there are nuances. If I tell you I'm a supportive person, that I like to help others or that I'm altruistic is one thing. If you see me on Instagram helping an NGO, I'm conveying those values in a much more powerful way than explaining it.

There are several ways to express our values; we can put words, Videos, images and other things. If a person posts a video singing with their child on Instagram Stories, that conveys vitality, Joy, transmits a quantity of information that another format would not allow.

We have to understand the game we get with social media, knowing that everyone has their code. LinkedIn is not the same as Instagram. The latter allows us to show better not only who we are, but how we are. We must use more facts and less words. We have to use all means not only to explain what our professional offer is, but also explain who we are, how we are, and how we can help.

Is there a risk that professionals will submit similar value proposals?

Of course there is.. The thing is, we know our competitors very well., but our customers don't. And, Often, who wins is the one who has the best SEO, the one who managed to position his website better than the others. And that's something we have to fight against.. Often, the first one that appears on the Internet is not the best.

The important thing is that we have testimonies that guarantee that we are good and that show that we work in a way that no one else works. We need to build on the momentum that good feedback from our customers can give us to fight these SEO experts.

The difference can come with testimonies of our work. This is the best way to fight our competitors who don't have the same level as us.

I understand that Brazil is a country with a lot of competition – there is no place in the world with so many professionals who are working in the same area. To do this, working on the value proposition is essential.

The value proposition is only for those who already have experience or someone who is just starting out now can also identify yours?

Both can identify and compete on an equal footing. Someone who starts can not use his previous experience, but you can base your value proposition on your competencies.

A young person has few vices and has the advantage of being able to adapt to the customer's needs because they are less contaminated. Release more energy. And in common with experts, has the support of its values, that may be your way of connecting with your customers. Young people work more easily in the digital environment and can also use this competition as a differential. They also have a more modern and up-to-date training, and more creativity, it's a brutal weapon.

It may be more difficult for young people to work with a president of a 50 Years, but they can start working with other customer profiles. There's an English phrase that I really like that translated would be “Collect the apples from the tree that are at your fingertips first.”

Anything else to end?

We have to use a crossmedia strategy, using a lot of means. We have to get back on the idea that offline media has a unique advantage. If you show up in an interview for a TV show, within a few hours you'll be on the TV channel's digital portal. You'll benefit from both environments – OFF and ON – in a single interview. The same goes for a magazine, an interview on the radio (with his podcast)… If I can give you some advice it's that, even though today there's a great digital offering, we should remember that most offline media have an online mirror, so it's worth not forgetting that there's a world with a big audience, which also has digital repercussions.


Photo byCody Davis onUnsplash

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13 thoughts on "Value Proposal: you know what yours is?”

  1. Developing our 'Value Proposal’ Or – as I like to define it in my particular case – my 'Value Added' proposal’ is a key element of our personal branding strategy.

    Speaking first person, there are four elements that I always include in my traditional and online resume (Linkedin, Etc.):

    – My main PROFESSIONAL achievement
    – My main PERSONAL achievement
    – My fundamental DESTREZAS
    – My ADDED VALUE proposal

    I think these are the distinctive elements that, apart from my academic knowledge and my experience, are the most important in decanting and attracting opportunities to me. The same, I don't want opportunities or human teams that aren't aligned with what comes out of what I'm telling in those four sections.

    Moltas gracis Guillem for your right contribution.

    • Thank you Oscar, I think you can't sum it up better. I was tempted to call her. “Value Added Proposal” but it sounded like value-added tax. Now, in my trainings I use the acronym PBV (Personal Brand Value). A hug!

  2. Very interesting Guillem the post, today I just wrote one about value proposition to complement our video on this topic and now when I look at yours it seems to me that I will recommend in my article as another valuable content to look at so that people approach their proposal.
    Good idea to translate the post ;) it looked great on you. A hug

  3. I join the congratulations on your article, especially in the section that refers to young professionals with little or no previous experience, the process of self-knowledge to develop the value proposition becomes vital to differentiate yourself from other professionals as well as from the career that resonates with their values and skills.


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