Positioning Your Practice for Success: How to Create a Value Proposition That Delivers

In Brief
It’s hard to stand out, particularly as the advisor marketplace compresses. Telling your story clearly and concisely will help you stake out your market position and rise above the messaging muddle. Here, we are providing a framework for value proposition development, with the goals of refining your messaging strategy, creating content consistency and building your business. Your practice’s differentiation can be found at the intersection of these three dimensions:

  • Your Authentic Value-Add
  • The Benefits Delivered by the Competition
  • The Needs and Values of Your Target Audience

For a Value Proposition Worksheet to help you put these ideas into practice, contact us.

It’s not a slogan, a tagline or a market-facing message. Instead, a value proposition is a positioning statement for your practice that can be found at the intersection of three key dimensions: 

1. Your Authentic Value-Add

Your practice offers something unique: industry tenure or a fresh perspective, data insights
or high-touch relationship management, a culture of ideas or execution — or a customized
combination. Identify the value you are currently delivering. Assess whether it’s aligned
with your business strategy — and if it’s not, consider corrections to your offer or aspiration
accordingly. Determine how to make it truly distinct.

2. The Benefits Delivered by the Competition

The competition is doing this same exercise, seeking an ownable identity within the market.
Get smart about who your top three competitors are and how they are positioning themselves.
Understand your points of parity and difference.

3. The Needs and Values of Your Target Audience

Your target audience is more than just clients and prospects; it includes future employees,
acquirers, centers of influence (e.g., those with adjacent client lists, like chambers of commerce,
attorneys, wealth managers and CPAs) and industry watchers, including the press. You may
find yourself emphasizing different elements of your value proposition for different audiences,
but at the start, be sure to think inclusively when you consider who will receive and respond
to your message.

After thinking through the three dimensions of the value proposition framework, consider the strategic crux where your practice can be positioned as: 

  •    Authentic to your capabilities and culture
  •    Differentiated from the competition
  •    Meaningful to your stakeholders

Having found the sweet spot, begin crafting the message. A value proposition is like an elevator
pitch: It’s concise, credible, compelling and translatable across target audiences. While you
may have uncovered 10 key attributes, refine your message down to your top three points, and
don’t be afraid to repeat them. Repetition will help you assert your positioning — and convince
your audience to believe it.

While you are creating your value proposition, test it with employees, industry peers and clients.
This can be a causal, conversational exercise. The goal is to determine if the statement resonates
with recipients and feels true to your practice. Once you have a statement that you feel confident
about, use it as both a source and a reference for your communications, from website copy to
event participation. These sorts of messaging constructs are known to marketers as messaging
houses; while they can take many forms, we’re offering one example here:

Also, consider how your value proposition can come to life through social media. Developing
key themes over time will help to build your business, focus your strategy and humanize your brand. For more insight into how advisors like you can navigate the social spaces, read our primer, Success on Social Media: A Quick Guide to Amplifying Your Business.

As you work with your value proposition, weaving its ideas into a range of in-person, print and
digital channels, it will likely inspire more succinct content, like go-to talking points and taglines
— all of which will benefit from the consistency of coming from the same strategic statement.
You will also begin to home in on the most receptive audiences — people who have digested
your recurring messaging and are inspired by what you have to say. Celebrating your strengths
and highlighting your values has a powerful effect, and it can draw new business, new talent and
greater client and employee loyalty.

Taking a Stand

Before creating a storm of content for the sake of “being part of the conversation,” take the time to know what you stand for and communicate it consistently. That way, each message will strengthen your
brand and amplify awareness with the right people.