Photograph by Erin Seaman Photograph by Erin Seaman

Landing clients is an essential task for every business. In Running Lean, Ash Maurya—a serial entrepreneur who blogs about lean startups— shows how to write a unique value proposition (UVP) that will grab first-time visitors to your website during their few seconds on your landing page. Maurya is writing for startups, but most of his advice is relevant to firms of any age.

Focus on a difference that matters:

Derive your UVP from the No. 1 problem your product solves. If the problem is worth solving, you’re more than halfway to a strong UVP already.

Target early adopters:

Your product isn’t ready for mainstream customers yet, so don’t water down your message by focusing on them. Instead, aim solely at early adopters by presenting bold, clear and specific messaging.

Pick your words carefully, and own them:

Use one or more keywords consistently to associate your brand with them—and boost your search-engine ranking in the process. Learn from how luxury automakers have defined themselves in a single word: “design” for Audi, “prestige” for Mercedes and “performance” for BMW.

Highlight your product’s ultimate benefit:

A good UVP shows prospects how they’ll benefit after using your product. If you’re marketing a resumé-building service, you may think that the benefit is “an eye-catching resumé that stands out.” But what your prospect actually cares about is what a standout resumé can lead to: “landing your dream job.”

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