The Key to Acquiring High Value Clients


Hone In On Your Unique Offerings and Attract the Best Clients for You

By Kristin Hanes

Photo by  Derek Truninger  on  Unsplash

If you’re a Soloist just starting out on your own, you probably have no idea what a Value Proposition is. You’re worried about getting clients, setting up your website, figuring out pricing, and wrapping your head around the ins and outs of running a business. But a value proposition is an important part of your business plan, and can make or break the first impressions clients have when they visit your website.

Andrew Ingkavet is the owner and a music teacher at Park Slope Music Lessons in Brooklyn. Andrew said when he first started out, he didn’t know what a value proposition was either. When he looked it up, it seemed too “big business” or “corporate” to his eyes. But when he drilled down even further by taking some classes for entrepreneurs, he started to understand just how important a value proposition is.

I learned a lot about giving value before money even changes hands. Understanding what the need of the customer is and looking deeper than just the surface level.
— Andrew

The Power of the Empathy Map

Andrew went about creating his value proposition by first studying an Empathy Map, a resource that helps guide business owners into the depths of their customers’ heads.

First, you think about what a customer says versus what they do.

For example, people would say, ‘I want to find a music teacher,’ and what they would do is go search Google. The other part of it is think versus feel. So what they’re thinking is, ‘I need to find a music teacher because my kid needs help with fine motor skills,’ and what they feel is, ‘maybe this is a positive thing for my child to give them a chance to grow.’ So, it gets deep and psychological really fast. 
— Andrew

He said he used this empathy map to put together the value proposition that is now up on the front page of his website: “Parents look for activities that support their children academically, socially and emotionally. Our student-centered curriculum makes learning an instrument fun with most students staying with us for years practicing essential skills for success in school, work and life.”

The Importance of Identifying Your Ideal Customer

Another part of creating your value proposition is figuring out who your ideal customer is; their wants, desires, pain points, etc. If you try to help the world, you’ll often end up with nobody knocking at your door. But by creating an avatar, or an imaginary customer, you’ll know exactly who you’re selling to.

Once you get clear about who you want to work with, you have to make a velvet rope and not let anyone else into your world because that is who you’re serving. It’s like the velvet rope outside the club: the bouncer picks certain people. You have to be your own bouncer and tell potential clients, ‘we aren’t the best match, but maybe try so-and-so down the street.’ What happens is you end up with a core group that’s perfectly matched to what you do, and they tell similar people, and your quality of life improves because you don’t work with people you aren’t in sync with.

For example, Andrew’s business focuses primarily on teaching music to kids, so they turn away a lot of adults who want to take classes.

How to go About Writing Your own Value Proposition

Once you figure out who your customer is and what they want, get down to business writing. Remember, you only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention once they get to your website. Your potential client has to understand what your business does and why they should hire you instead of the countless other businesses out there.

Keep in mind that a value proposition is not a slogan, a motto, or a tag-line.

For some guidance, look at this infographic from Quicksprout, which may help you with your brainstorming.

A value proposition usually has several parts:

  • A headline
  • A sub-headline
  • A few bullet points
  • An image

Check out some examples of good value propositions and what makes them awesome in this article from CXL Institute.

If you like worksheets, there’s a handy one from Marketing Experiments you can access here.

Putting it Into Practice

Running your own business isn’t easy, and part of creating a good value proposition is knowing yourself, how you operate, and what you have to offer. Believing in yourself and your skills is key.

It’s scary for most people who are just starting out. They say they can’t generate business or hire clients because they feel they don’t have anything to offer. It’s a strange paradox, a leap of faith. You need a clear understanding of what you’re trying to offer the world and who you’re going to offer it to before doing anything else.
— Andrew

About Andrew Ingkavet

Andrew Ingkavet is CEO/Founder of Park Slope Music Lessons and theMusicolor Method and passionate about the life skills developed through music education. He was one of the first VJs for MTV-Asia and also created 300 Monks, a music licensing company. He is current President of the Park Slope chapter of the Soloists Collective.