According to Entrepreneur, providing value makes your customers “feel that there is so much value in doing business with you that they would never even think about going elsewhere.” So what exactly is providing value? Providing value is the perception of your customers that they have received something useful from your side hustle. This doesn’t have to be strictly through the products and/or services you sell, though it can be. You provide value by becoming an expert in your field and listening and responding to your customer’s needs … both inside and outside of the sales arena.
A Few Ways to Provide Value
There are many ways you can provide value to your customers. Here are a few ideas to get you on the right track.
Give away something for free
- Create informative YouTube videos about your niche
- Write blog posts that will be helpful to your potential customers
- Give away a free ebook
Offer services and/or products that go above and beyond
- Understand exactly what your customers need from your product … and figure out a way to provide it
- Figure out what your competitors are offering … and do it better
- Offer something new that your competitors don’t
How Providing Value Is Better Than Any Marketing Strategy
1) Build Trust
The first reason why providing value is better than any marketing strategy you currently have is fairly simple. Providing value builds customer trust.
It works like this: By continually putting your customer’s needs first, you create an environment where your customers will feel valued and appreciated. When your customers know that you are thinking of them and have their best interests at heart, they will begin to trust you and your brand.
2) Customer Loyalty
The trust that you build by providing value will naturally translate into customer loyalty. Loyal customers are your number one fans. Write a blog post? They will probably want to read it. Put out a new product? Chances are, they will be interested.
Loyalty is one of the best traits you can have in a customer, and there is a lot you can do to build it. Consistently providing value will lay a strong foundation on which customer trust — and eventually loyalty — can be built.
3) Inspire Advocacy
Loyal customers tend to be great advocates! People love to talk about the brands they like (and trash the ones they don’t like). This, in turn, will bring new potential customers to your doorstep — potential customers who have heard great things about you and your side hustle and are itching to try it out themselves.
You can foster this by signing up for an affiliate program or even creating your own referral program. By offering your current customers some sort of reward for recommending you to their acquaintances, you will increase the value you provide even more, and you will be bringing in more business to boot.
4) Customers Will Come Back For More!
This one is pretty obvious, but it is still worth saying. Providing value to your customers makes them happy, and happy customers will often come back for more. Generating repeat customers is one of the best marketing strategies out there. By providing value to the customers you already have you will ensure that next time, when they are looking for something in your niche, they will come to you first.
5) Stand Out From the Competition
Providing value to your customers (and potential customers) is a great way to stand out from the competition. By providing value, you can become known for your great customer service and your superior products/services. Once customers know you are the best, they will seek you out over your competitors.
6) Advertising Blindness
Many people these days have developed something marketers often call “advertising blindness.” Simply put, potential customers often don’t notice online ads anymore because they have become accustomed to scrolling past them without a second glance. This is particularly true of sidebar ads but also holds true for advertising that shows up within social media news feeds, or between the paragraphs of blog posts.
Even worse, some people even become annoyed by overly aggressive advertisements. Ads that appear too often, or negatively impact someone’s online experience (like those annoying ads that cover half your screen when you are trying to read an article) can turn a potential customer off of a company entirely. Likewise, people are often turned off by ads that seem deceptively subtle and try to masquerade as something other than what they are.
Providing value circumvents all of these issues, and can even help to mitigate any negative impact that may occur through running paid advertisements. If you are providing value to your potential customers, they will feel less used, and therefore be more accepting of any ads you put out.
7) Marketing is Expensive!
If you’ve been doing this side hustle thing for any amount of time, you’ll know that marketing can be pricey. If you’ve just begun … well … you will figure that out soon enough.
One of the best things about providing value to your customers is that it often doesn’t cost a thing. Some of the most common value-providing strategies (think YouTube videos, podcasts, blog articles, etc.) are extremely affordable to produce — or even free. By focusing your efforts on providing value rather than spamming ads, you will be able to save a large chunk of change.
8) You Can Charge More
Sure, providing value to your customers will help them trust you, and happy customers will bring in more business, but did you know that providing value will allow you to charge more for your products/services as well?
The concept is simple, if not obvious. It all boils down to customer loyalty: A customer who is loyal to your brand will, in most cases, be willing to pay more for your product than they would a competitor’s. When you take care of your customers by consistently providing value, they learn to trust that buying from you is worth the extra cost.
Providing value is perhaps one of the strongest tools you have in your marketing arsenal. When combined with other marketing and sales strategies, the value you provide to your customers will make you an unstoppable force in your chosen niche.