I’ve been hearing this term a lot lately: “Value”. “Provide Value” to your readers, your customers, and potential clients. But what does that really mean? I’m gonna get philosophical on you today, so I want you to close all of your other tabs, and get ready to think deeply and meaningfully about your business.
Do you know whether or not you’re providing value? How do you know? How do you measure that (especially when you’re just starting out)?
Last week I wrote a post about why your website isn’t selling your services.
I want to dig even deeper. Past the cosmetics of the website- and into the value that you share with your readers and followers.
Great copy and a professionally designed website are two wonderful things. But they can’t do your job.
Your job is to remember why you got into this business every morning you wake up. Your job is to learn how to speak to your clients or customers in such a way that not only tells them that you have a business, but that you give a shit about that business- and you give a shit about them.
That’s how you know if you’re providing value. Whether it’s social media, your blog, or your email list. Remember that what you say has an impact on people, whether they even know it or not.
If you talk at people instead of to them, they’ll pick up on it and eventually learn to ignore you.
Provide value by making people feel valued.
Some ideas for providing value as an online business owner:
- Write helpful blog posts that are packed with details. Don’t be afraid to give away too much. If you help me with something I’m struggling with, I’m a lot more likely to pay you for something later. If you create something fluffy or vague, people will smell it a mile away.
- Create free downloads – worksheets, workbooks, calendars, lists, meal plans, lesson plans (whatever pertains to your niche) Be mindful of whether or not your free download is actually solving a specific problem. Only put things out there that you’ve given your best and that you think will actually help people.
- Ask your followers for their feedback. Nothing makes people feel more listened to than when you just shut up and listen. Send out a short survey to your followers, or email list. Post it on your blog. Frame questions so that they hit on a specific area people are having trouble with, and ask them to elaborate.
- Know what problems you’re solving. Know what your readers, fans, and followers want. I think G.I. Joe had some wise advice on this…. something along the lines of “Knowing is important”?
- Show your readers how you’ve been successful in some area, and the steps you took to get there.
- Provide income reports on your blog. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of bloggers/entrepreneurs sharing their income reports with us. I find them so inspiring (and yes, also a little depressing when I fall into the comparison trap). But they help me and inspire me to keep doing what I’m doing by showing me what’s possible if I stick it out. Income reports also really build my trust in that blogger because she is really putting herself out there, sharing financial information and traffic stats with lil’ ol’ me- for no other reason than to encourage and inspire me to keep at this blogging thing. (Can you tell I’m a fangirl of income reports?)
We’ve all been to that one woman’s website. The one who has her shit together. The one who you know is making the big bucks. The one we may or may not have a girl crush on. Her awesomeness radiates from the page, and there’s nothing she can’t do. You know this without ever having met her because every word she writes is gold, and everything she offers is priceless.
But how did the Marie Forleo’s of the world achieve their ultimate internet rockstar status? (Wait, did I just admit I have a girl crush on Marie Forleo?)
This profile of the successful online entrepreneur can either inspire you, or drive you into a pit of despair on any given day. You want to know how she got to where she is? She was you at one point. And she spent a lot of time with people like you until she had you figured out. She created value with everything she did until she had an empire of raving fans.
By listening to, and actually caring about the people she was working with, she finally started to see a pattern in the problems they were having, and realized that she was the one to fix them.
And she probably didn’t succeed her first time around.
Think about your business right now.
Write down three ways you provide value right now. Then write down three things your are doing in your business that you could improve on to show your readers, fans, followers, email list that you care. Things that you take time out of your day to do because you know that it will help them, or bring them joy somehow. And then do those things that you’ve written down.
Record your progress in a journal over the next few weeks. Are you getting more blog comments/email subscribers/engagement from fans? Let me know in the comments: