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Elevate Your Client Experience By Identifying Your Brand Superpower
UX PT. 4 | Upping your client experience will always attract more clients, but this resource will help you create a cohesive experience catering to your unique clients and what you do best!
I’ve loved the topic of client experience so much that I’ve got a million things I want to talk about! And when I started editing this puppy, I just didn’t want to keep this juicy goodness hidden away behind the paywall! So, enjoy an extra little something-something for the free subscribers this month! And at the end of the week, we’ll share one last article on client experience for our paid crew to wrap everything up!
Let’s dig in…
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For the last month, you’ve heard us talk basically nonstop about the importance of serving your users and catering to their specific needs. But how do strategically craft an experience that feels consistent and cohesive? That isn’t just a bunch of pretty cool things tossed together messily into a confusing experience? How do you go beyond just your clients’ needs, tapping into their motives and desires as well?
How do you define your Unique Value Proposition? Your UVP? Your superpower?
Welcome to the UX Canvas: a tool you’ve probably never heard of but that all the top businesses—from creative to tech and beyond—can rattle off from memory!
While there are many different versions of this template, addressing different questions and covering needs service providers don’t, this layout is our favorite for photographers. We like it so much, in fact, we’ve created our own just for you!
Whether your print this puppy out or just leave it open on your computer while you grab your journal, this exercise will help you get closer to serving your ideal client’s exact needs. As you think deeply about your client experience, this will help you add things your ideal clients want without wasting time on things that just don’t matter to them. And best of all, it’ll help you understand how to market your superpower with clarity and conviction!
How do you use the UX Canvas?
Simply fill out the nine categories in the order we present them. You can do this on a single piece of paper like the one above, or you can just list out each component in a normal document.
Fill this out once but continue to revisit it—maybe once per quarter, but at least once a year—so you can continuously refine your offerings and make improvements! Remember, if your ideal client changes, your UX canvas changes, too.
Let’s break down each piece of the canvas.
Breaking down the canvas
The canvas consists of nine parts, which you should fill out in the order listed:
Unique value proposition
1. Business: what do you do?
Your business is the value you bring to the world. It’s the most basic version of the primary things you offer in exchange for money! Keep these simple and concise.
“Album and print design”
“Family, maternity, and newborn photography”
“Planning guidance and support”
2. Users: who do you do it for?
Users are the people who use or buy your product. Think of these as your ideal clients. But don’t go in telling me about Made-Up-Melissa and the caramel macchiato she drinks daily. Just write down the simplest version of who you’d ideally like to serve.
“Engaged couples in Minneapolis”
“Mothers in Northern California”
“Destination couples without a planner”
“Creative small-business owners”
3. Problems: what do they want to solve?
This box is for the problem your ideal client is trying to solve. And now it’s time to put your creativity to use! Don’t just go with the obvious “they don’t have pictures, and they want pictures.” That’s much too broad. Instead, think specifically about what the past clients you’ve loved have struggled to do. This box should have multiple problems in it. Be creative, and avoid the obvious!
“Her fiancé absolutely HATES having his photo taken, but she love images of them together.”
“Her kids are absolute hooligans who will never sit still for photos.”
“Every time she thinks about her baby growing up she wants to cry and wishes she could freeze time.”
“She has a hard time expressing her brand style to a photographer to turn into branding imagery.”
4. Motives: what drives their choices?
Motives are the driving forces that spur them to act. To hit “inquire now” or finally book that gosh dang consultation call.
These are things in their environment or moments they encounter in their daily lives that make them wish they had a photographer like you. Motives aren’t necessarily problems they’re facing directly—though they might be similar! In short, they are the factors that push them to sit down and do their first Google search that hopefully sends them to you!
“Her friends posted beautiful wedding photos on Instagram, and she wants those too.”
“Her parents mentioned wanting an album of their grandchildren.”
“Her oldest is going away to college next year, so she should get family photos before then.”
“She’s struggling to book ideal clients, but she thinks great photography that really reflects her personality could be the fix.”
5. Fears: what’s holding them back?
We all know the booking process isn’t without its hurdles. There’s always something you have to overcome if you want to actually convince your ideal client to take action. And your motivation has to be stronger than their fear! But how can you possibly address that fear unless you know what it is? So, now it’s time to ID what’s holding your user back from taking the leap. Why might they be hesitant to commit? Think about everything (and be completely honest) that could keep an ideal client from booking.
“They're having a church wedding, and they aren’t sure a photographer can handle a more solemn, darker environment.”
“They’re worried another photographer might be cheaper.”
“They don’t understand the photography process.”
“They have no idea how to dress the kids for a professional photography session.”
“They'll have a wide range of skin tones in the picture, and most photographers are terrible at capturing that.”
“They don’t get why brand photography is so important anyway.”
“Their family might judge them for taking boudoir photos”
6. Solutions: how does your business solve their problems?
This is where you get to swoop in and be the superhero! Enter superpowers! Now that you know this client’s specific desires and the things that are holding them back from getting what they want, describe how your business can solve the problems and alleviate their fear.
“My expert experience with a lighting kit ensures photos will look crisp, clear, and radiant in any situation.”
“Because of the value I include, the price will feel like a deal.”
“I’ve created an educational workflow to walk them through the entire experience.”
“I’ll book a styling call with them before their session to help choose the wardrobe.”
“I’ve spent a decade perfecting editing for a wide range of skin tones, even within the same image.”
“I deliver images that are guaranteed to connect them with ideal clients and showcase their products.”
“I never share images publicly without their express permission.”
7. Alternatives: what might they do instead of booking you?
Now, the question everyone hates the most: what might lose you the booking? What might a potential ideal client decide to do instead of working with you? It’s important to know these so you can make it clear why these options won’t give them what they want! So, get creative and think of options your ideal client might take instead of choosing you.
“Book a cheaper photography option.”
“Get prints made at CVS.”
“Have a neighbor take some quick family photos at home.”
8. Competitive advantages: why are you the best choice?
This is always so hard for photographers to do, but I need you to brag about yourself a bit! What distinguishes your business from the other photographers they could book or options they could explore?
“I’ve won multiple photography awards.”
“I ease the burden of prep and planning.”
“I offer custom design consultation for their prints and albums, rather than burdening them with the task of doing it themselves.”
“I come to their home to photograph their family, making a photography session even easier.”
9. Unique value proposition: tying it all together in a few sentences
Now, it’s time to see what you’ve created! Combine everything you wrote in other areas into a unique value proposition that helps you clarify your uniqueness. This sentence will be your guiding statement as you refine a real marketing strategy, write content (especially your website!), and even post on social media!
“I am a wedding photographer in Minnesota who specializes in making it easy to get the heirlooms you’re dreaming of because of my custom design consultation and full-service heirloom printing. You don’t need to worry about waiting to see all the photos, because my 24-hour sneak peeks and three-week gallery delivery time will get these precious photos to you in no time!”
“I am a family photographer in California who specializes in showing you that getting great photos of the kids can be a breeze, even when it feels impossible to get the whole family looking in one direction for a photo! With a wardrobe styling call, options for in-home sessions, tons of tricks in my toolbox to keep your kids enjoying the session, plus a relaxed, natural style, you’ll get photos you’ll treasure forever with ease!
Now that the canvas is filled out, how do you put this knowledge to work?
The output of this canvas is not just getting to your unique value proposition. The output is what you do with the new clarity you have on your business!
Put your canvas to work in these ways:
Analyze the written copy on your site to determine if it actually addresses the problems and fears your client has.
Make social media content that speaks directly to the problems, motives, and fears directly, with honesty and understanding.
Make sure each part of your website is in line with your unique value proposition, calling repeatedly back to what makes to special rather than like everyone else.
When you create new services, freebies, and steps in your process, and add-ons, make sure they speak to your unique client and your special value.
The UX Canvas is a powerful tool if you know how to use it. Now that you’re armed with your unique value proposition, as well as clarity on your clients’ fears, motivations, and desires, your job is to put it to use!
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