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Where the Freelance Economy Meets Unique Value Proposition

In my most recent book, Sell Local, Think Global, bookcoverI tasked small business owners with finding their unique value proposition.  What many people don’t realize, though, is that the concept of UVP is equally applicable in the freelance economy.

When you’re an on-demand worker, in many ways, you’re a business of one: sales, marketing, PR, accounting, research, project management, and more.  As such, you MUST ask yourself: what specific value do you bring to the table?  More importantly, what makes you stand out as unique?

According to KPCB’s Internet Trends 2015, freelancers now account for 34% of the US workforce…and the category is still growing (to the tune of 50% in a few years.)  With competition increasing, it’s no longer about the “-ERs”: better, faster, cheaper, etc.  Instead, it’s about the “-ESTs.”  What do you do BEST that keeps clients from considering another worker?  

Maybe your “-EST”s are service-related.  Perhaps you are able to offer:

  • UVP-What-Makes-You-DifferentFaster response time
  • The ability to offer more service for less money
  • A high level of expertise
  • Higher educational or specific credentials
  • An excellent reputation
  • Availability at a particular time of need

No matter what you identify, try to boil it all down into a single UVP statement:

  • I’m the best at…
  • I offer the following unique traits…
  • I stand apart from other freelancers because…
  • I’m more/less expensive than other workers because…

Now, think about it in terms of profiles for your apps or online resources.  If you had the choice on UpWork between hiring a powerhouse admin with a clear unique value proposition or the next hypothetical assistant dude, who describes his experience as “has some,” who would you go with?

Whatever you do, don’t try to be all things to all people.  Imagine if Apple announced it was planned to be number one in phones, marshmallows, and board games next year.  Even with all the resources at its disposal, Apple couldn’t possibly connect to all three markets simultaneously.  Unfortunately, that’s exactly the mistake most people make when they first start working for themselves: they taken on every project that pays, regardless of how they fit together, and then blame themselves when they drop the ball.

UVPpencilsSo, take the time to narrow down your focus to a small handful of tasks, craft a clear UVP that covers your scope, and integrate it into your professional profiles and marketing materials.

Long story short, “pick yourself first.”  It’s easy to rise to the top of the freelance pool when you learn exactly what you’re best at and you commit to do that thing better than the competition.

If you need more help figuring out your freelance unique value proposition, head over to and download the small business UVP worksheet for free!

Finally, if you’re looking for a serious UVP intensive, you can always schedule a FREE 20-minute call with Olga Mizrahi.  Just contact me for details: olga [at] chunkofchange [dot] com. 

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