Continuing with lessons learned from the Space Commerce Business workshop, today I’ll be talking about defining your value proposition in the marketplace. While this is primarily aimed at freelancers and small business owners, it’s also something to think about when you’re interviewing for full- or part-time jobs: how do you add value?
Putting Together the Pieces
Diane Dimeff, Chief Advisor for the Space Foundation, originally sorted out these questions in a table format, where the aspiring small-business owner could fill in the blanks. These blanks included:
- Company Name (you)
- Business Proposition
- Benefit (to customer)
- Category (of your business)
So for me, operating as a space proposal writer, my answers might look something like this:
- Company Name: Bart Leahy, doing business as (dba) Heroic Technical Writing
- Market: Space companies that need to write proposals but don’t need a full-time writer
- Business Proposition: Part-time/contact technical writer, less cost-effective than having engineering staff write content
- Benefit (to customer): Quality proposal by a space-literate, professional communicator without the need to hire additional full-time staff w/benefits
- Category (of your business): Individual proprietor, less expensive than professional staffing firms, minimal overhead/paperwork
Great! So how do you put that into an “elevator pitch” or marketing language? Here’s the prose version I worked out after several drafts:
I am a professional technical writer for human spaceflight companies seeking revenue from NASA or other opportunities but don’t have the workload or money to hire a full-time technical writer. I am a U.S. citizen with 13 years of experience with NASA and commercial space organizations. I “speak space” while helping engineers articulate their technologies in a way that addresses customers needs and wins contracts. I can be hired to write or edit at competitive rates with minimal overhead. I work quickly to tie engineering communications to getting people into space.
It’s a start, at any rate. What’s your value proposition? Why should someone hire you?