Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Today, we are continuing our conversation on the Business Model Canvas. In part one of this series in episode 16, we talked all about sales and marketing channels and how to set up the right channels and the right sales strategy to really make your business model engine work.
Today, I’ll be going one step further to talk about how we use the business model canvas to create a compelling message that is going to instantly connect with your audience in an authentic, non-sleazy way and move them to take action.
Because if you don’t know how to talk to your customers and you don’t know the right words to use, you will never build that authentic relationship that you want and you won’t be effective at serving them. This means frustration and low sales for you, and of course, less of your impact out there in the world making a difference.
Why the Right Words are Important
We have all experienced this: You create a post on social media, you write a new sales page for your website, or you draft a newsletter and you don’t get many clicks.
For those who also operate locally: Maybe you’re are at a networking event and you open your mouth to share what your company is all about and what the problem is that you are trying to solve, and the person across from you gets a glazed look in their eyes before saying something polite and dismissive like, “Oh that’s so interesting….” Then they change the subject.
Our words don’t always resonate with our target market. Why? There are three main reasons:
1. The first reason is that the person is not experiencing the pain point you are talking about. This is a great sign that you are speaking to someone who is not in your target market. Your words don’t resonate with them because they don’t feel the pain that your potential customers feel, and so obviously they won’t have the same level of interest in your subject area either.
2. You are using the wrong words to describe the problem you help solve and your proposed solution. Because of this, your customer does not realize that your product is for them and that it can help them solve their issues. When you use words that sound nice to you (and not your customer’s words) to describe things, they just might not recognize the solution they have been looking for, even when it’s staring them in the face.
3. You have not opened their eyes and helped them see what they cannot see on their own. Oftentimes people know what they want to achieve, feel, and experience in their lives but they don’t know what will actually help them get there. It’s your job to help them see what the missing link is so that they can achieve their goal with your help.
Better Messaging for Your Purpose-Driven Business:
It’s such a shame that there are people out there actively looking to solve an important problem in their lives and they can’t see the solution even when it’s staring at them in the face!
So, it’s your job as a business owner to get super clear on what your customers are looking for. This will allow you to help your customers, to make a positive impact in their lives and to make your sales and marketing efforts more successful.
It’s also your job to understand the words your customers use to describe their problem and the ideal scenario they want instead. Using their words allow you to connect to your audience with empathy so you can help them see what they cannot see on their own, and help move them to get the results they are after.
This applies to ALL business types: brick and mortar business and e-commerce, simple physical products and complex service offerings.
How to Find the Right Words to Connect with Your Audience:
Connecting to our audience using the right words is all about understanding your value proposition. For those of you who are familiar with the Business Model Canvas – you know that in the very center of the canvas is a large box called Value Proposition.
What is the Value Proposition?
You probably already know that your value proposition describes the bundle of products and services that create value for your different customer groups – the ones who use and purchase your project.
But what many of you might not know, is that the creators of the Business Model Canvas knew that value proposition was much more complicated than just listing out your products and services and moving on. That is why they created the Value Proposition Canvas.
What is the Value Proposition Canvas?
The Value Proposition Canvas is meant to be completed before the Business Model Canvas because it helps you to understand your customer needs and wants on an intimate level. It also helps you to design a product that is actually going to solve their problems and bring them the types of results they are looking for.
The Value Proposition Has Two sides:
The right-hand side of the value proposition canvas is all about your customer. It has a large circle where you put in what you think your customer’s main pains are and what they are struggling to achieve. You also put down what the main “gains” are for your customer and what they want to feel and experience instead.
The left-hand side of the value proposition canvas is all about your product or service. It has a large circle where you list out the features of your product/service that relieve “pains” for your customer and the features that provide “gains” for your customer.
You want to make sure that you have a good match between the customer and your product/service. This means that they should not be any features inside of your product or service that are not meeting an important need for your customer.
Using the Value Proposition Canvas Correctly
If you have used the Business Model Canvas and you have not done a value proposition canvas, then you should go right after this episode and download the tool. It’s available on Strategyzer’s website – the creators of the Business Model Canvas.
But before you dive into the Value Proposition Canvas, let me tell you my tips for using the canvas correctly so that you come away with a really strong match between your customer and your product, AND that you also come away with the right words to use to connect with your audience and move them to take action.
Fill in the Value Proposition – get all of your ideas down for what you think your customer is trying to achieve, what their main struggles are, and what the ideal scenario for them is instead. Then, move over to your products and services. Right down all your ideas for your product features and describe how those relieve your customer “pains” and help them to experience “gains” instead.
With this messy canvas completed, it’s now time to go out and speak to customers to find out if your ideas are correct. I always suggest doing a 1-on-1 phone or in-person interviews with customers. These conversations will help you to really understand your customers on an intimate level so you can make sure you know what problems they are experiencing and how they view the ideal scenario instead. Don’t just run online surveys or polls because 1-on-1 dialogue will give you much richer answers.
Make sure you that you record these interviews (after getting permission). By recording and transcribing these interviews afterward, you will gather great insights into how people describe themselves and their problems.
You will not longer by using your words and not connecting with your audience, you will be using words your customer understands, thinks about, and uses actively in their own lives.
Go back to your value proposition canvas and make updates based on your interviews. You will have words changes to make, features to cut out, and new components of your offering to add in!
With this clear understanding of your value proposition and new ways to describe the problem you solve and your solution, you can now tweak your brand messaging and your sales and marketing verbiage to align better with your customers.
Of course, makes sure to align your own personality and your own values to this verbiage to make sure that you are 100% authentic and true to your mission.
With a solid value proposition that is clear and concise, you can now tweak your brand verbiage so that it instantly connects with the right audience in an authentic way – making it easier to reach more people who need your help and make the impact you want to see in the world possible.