Knowing your value sounds like something from a self-help book (and it probably is), but it's as important in your business life as it is your personal.
As business owners, it's so easy to get caught up in the factual details, especially if we're selling a product - what it looks like, what it does, how you use it etc.
And many of us know the old 'features and benefits' drill, but can we take it further than that?
A recent experience
A little while ago I embarked on an online programme to help me create and deliver talks to businesses owners. The programme was created by speaking coach, Aly Harrold and includes one-to-one time with Aly.
I met Aly through a networking meeting where, of course, she was speaking. As a natural cynic, I'm very rarely so moved that I go straight home (ringing my mum on the way to tell her about this talk) and look at spending my hard-earned cash. But with Aly, I did. And I didn't even really take notice of what the actual programme was or involved!
Why? Well, what Aly didn't do was tell us all about how she runs workshops, programmes and a Facebook group. Nor was this about any offers, events or other speaking dates etc. It wasn't even about what exactly she delivers as a service and and how. Instead, Aly told us a story about how speaking gave her the confidence she needed after changes in her life.
Aly told us a very real, very genuine (I believe us marketers like to use the term "authentic") and relatable story about how she grew personally through the power of speaking. And what I was sold on was confidence.
I wasn't buying Aly's time to speak with me one-on-one, I wasn't buying the online steps and programme; I was buying belief and confidence in myself.
Here's another example...
I've recently worked with a young food business, Octopus's Garden Seaweed, created by Jane Antrobus.
Octopus's Garden Seaweed sells small-batch, artisan seaweed products (I'm particularly addicted to pickled seaweed). The products are made using only natural, organic British ingredients by Jane, who is a master when it comes to creating fun and quirky products with seaweed.
But more than a delicious and exquisitely-made food product, what Jane sells is an experience. Jane sells something that will set a foodie's intimate supper club apart. She sells something a restaurant can use to give them the subtle difference between "really very nice indeed" and "exceptional!!". She sells interest and experience.
I'm also working with the author of a children's book. The author isn't just selling a book; they're selling a small part of a parent's toolkit to help children learn about the bonds they share with loved ones. You may think that a rather grandiose claim, overstating the benefits, but I challenge anybody whose child has a cuddly toy to sleep with to disagree with me that that toy is way more than a toy. It's comfort, it's familiarity and it's a child's first love outside of parents (sometimes I wish my little one showed me as much affection as Ted Ted gets).
The added bonus
Whether you're a freelance creative, a maker, crafter, food producer or any other kind of business-owner, once you find the true value of what it is that you really offer, you won't just feel more confident and comfortable when it comes to marketing, but you'll be more assured of yourself (and your rates /prices) when it comes to selling too because it will be based on what people are really buying from you.
So, what is the real value of your business?