The world is noisy and is becoming noisier everyday. Every app seems to be pushing more and more notifications and people seem to always be on the go. With all this happening, what is the best way of getting noticed? Provide tremendous value first. Let’s break this down:
What is value?
Value is a dynamic term that changes based on the context it is used. Value refers to a situation or circumstance that is better off because ‘it’ happened. Let’s say someone is trying to eat a bowl of cereal and they have no spoon, you provide the spoon, thereby providing value – they could have ate the cereal without the spoon but the experience was enhanced because of you handing the spoon to them, this is value in its simplest form.
How do you find value?
Step 1 – Find out what is important to them, not you.
Building from the cereal example, if you had handed a fork instead of a spoon, this would not have been valuable which begs the question – how do you find value? Firstly we will define value as what it is not. Value is NOT what is important to YOU but rather what is important to THEM. You might eat cereal with a fork but they don’t so it is not valuable. Conduct research, what do people in their situation usually need? How do you get it for them?
Step 2 – Anticipate needs and future requirements by understanding their journey so far and where they might go and what they might need.
Now, switching gears from cereal to business. Businesses have their core operations and are always looking for opportunities to expand into areas they know exist but haven’t got to yet or areas they don’t even know exist.
I’ve recently come across a company called ‘The Forage’. Their mission is to help students connect with businesses of all sizes through virtual experiences (5-6 hours long) that train students (while they study) to give them an edge when it comes to job hunting time. They are currently based out of the US and based on their recent seeding round (venture funding), it looks like global expansion is on the horizon. I’m passionate about the education sector and helping students get the job they want. It would’ve helped a lot if a platform like ‘The Forage’ was around when I was studying. Anyway, my plan is conduct market research in the Australian education market looking at university students as well as domestic market expansion opportunities such as high school students, then quantify the size of opportunity and a plan to capture it. After that, package it nicely and send it to the Co-founders with no strings attached. I can’t control whether they reply or whether they even need it but my best chance is to provide value with no strings attached. Using the matrix below, bottom left and top left are known by the business and the bottom right and top right are where value COULD be added, the text inside is the actions that could be taken.
Step 3 – Journey over destination, keep providing value and iterating your approach
Their definition of value might be different from mine, and that’s ok. The more I try, the better I get and eventually a company’s definition of value will match up to mine and they we will be off to the races. If you stop trying to provide value, you never will provide value.