Communicating your value so your marketing message will stand out

It’s NOT About YOU: The Hard Truth About Communicating Your Value


I need to communicate my value better.” This is one of the top three priorities I hear from business owners and entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses. If you want to communicate your value better so you can get more clients who value and will pay for what you can do for them, you are not alone! I struggled with this for years.

The #1 biggest mistake I see business owners make is defining value by the wrong yardsticks—namely, their own or their discipline’s, not their clients’.

In my case, I assumed that my ideal clients valued the same things as me—Top training and credentials and a unique toolkit. A lot of the business owners I’ve coached and whose websites I’ve reviewed make the same mistake.

Value Is In The Eyes Of The Beholder

The value you communicate is not about you. It’s about your ideal clients. It’s about what they value most.

Yes, training and certifications do matter a lot. People can and will check those out online or on your “About” page. In most cases, however, it is not why they will choose you above others in a crowded market.

The #1 Insightto improve how you communicate value and boost your marketing impact is what I learned from my Mississippi mentor who drills into her students’ heads:

Now listen all y’all. I want you to tattoo this on the insides of your eyelids…

It’s not about youIt’s about they’em!

An effective marketing message shows that you understand and value them, your ideal clients; that you can empathize with them and their pain; that you are a likable, relatable, and authentically caring person.

Your ideal clients want to trust you as a person, and they love to feel like you know them already, even before their first appointment with you.

While your ideal clients will want to know that you have solid, reputable credentials so they can breath easily trusting that you to know what you’re doing, the deciding factors are answers to questions such as:

  • “Can I trust you to help and not hurt me?”
  • “Do I believe that you will listen and understand me?”
  • “If I invest my trust, time, and money in seeing you, will my urgent needs be met?”
  • How will seeing you help me survive?

Once you’ve improved their survival, you can let them know how you will help them thrive.

Learn How Your Ideal Clients Define Value​​​​​​​

There are many ways to learn about what your ideal clients value. One of the best ways is to look at the records or reflect back about the ideal clients you’ve had or currently have. Another is to ask them directly, especially those who you’d love to clone. I talked about this in my earlier blog post, The Ideal Client Cloner 3-Step Formula.

Here is an exercise you can use that combines both approaches:

1.  Create a simple spreadsheet listing your favorite clients of all time. Include as many as you can, but 10 will do. A spreadsheet is better than a table for this because you’ll be able to sort and play with the information more easily.

2.  For each ideal client, enter:

(a)  What they wanted when they first saw you. For example: Did they want you to help them solve a problem? If so, what was the problem? Why? Or, did they have a specific goal or aspiration for coming to you initially? Did they want a specific result or outcome?

(b)  Whether you helped them with what they wanted. Key here is the word “wanted.” We’ll get to what they needed next.

3.  Now, for each client, enter:

(a) What they actually needed. This may be the same as what they wanted, but often is different. For example, if you are a financial planner, they may have wanted help deciding about a financial transaction, but after that, you helped them plan for their children’s education or their retirement.

(b) Did you have the opportunity to help them with their underlying need or needs?

4.  Then, capture what results you believe they got for:

(a)  What they came to you for first.

(b)  What they stayed with you for.

5.  Optional, but of great value:

(a)  Contact the clients on your list and ask them what results they’ve valued most from working with you.

(b)  If you’d like to, ask them similar questions to 1-4, above.

(c)  Ask them to spend a few minutes talking with you by phone, or invite them in as a group for a VIP lunch, dinner, or other ideal client engagement event when you can talk with them as a group.

Data is King

After these five steps, look at the information in your spreadsheet. Sort it to spot patterns. Look at:

  • Whether there are striking differences between what your ideal clients wanted versus what they needed?
  • What results your ideal clients typically want. (Why they come to you.)
  • Are there commonalities between what your ideal clients want? Likewise, for what they need?

Play with the data. Have your staff participate, especially those who think most differently than you do. While you can delegate the data collection to a member of your team, there’s nothing like getting your hands dirty in data.

You’ll get a feel not just for what’s there, but for what’s not there. And, you’ll begin to have a compelling profile about who you love to work with most and so you do your best work with them. You’ll see what they value and, now, you can speak to that.

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