“Add value.” “Deliver value.” “Provide massive value.”
It’s not a new word, this “value.” But if you’re new to the online marketing space (AKA “The Space”) you might be newly inundated with it. ‘Round these parts, they use it out the ying-yang.
“If you want people to buy from you, get known for delivering tons of value.”
“I love that chick! Her hair color is so rad and she adds so much value! She’s like a nonstop value machine. She’s my value mentor.”
“You’re listening to the Value Blast Podcast, and you’d better duck, Value Nation! Because you’re about to be hit with Value Bomb after Value Bomb.”
You know when a word is so familiar that it sounds weird and loses its meaning? I now hear it as val-yoo. Valle-yew. Vajalue. (That’s when you add value to your vajayjay.)
I like to mentally substitute other random words, like “cream cheese” when I hear it.
“That webinar was packed with cream cheese from beginning to end. I walked away with so much cream cheese that I can use in my own business.”
“I love your newsletter because it always gives me some takeaway cream cheese nugget.”
I don’t disagree with the concept of value (the V-word) —
Of bringing something to the table. Of being worth our time and attention. Of offering something we’re glad we came for.
It’s not the overuse of the V-word that truly bothers me, so much as how limiting it’s become for some of us who hear it.
The V-word has us scared to create.
‘Specially if we’re part of this entreprenerd world. We get afraid we’re not “bringing value,” because it’s become shorthand for “actionable advice you can implement to skyrocket your life and business.”
Or maybe it’s just me. Sometimes I’ll think about writing a story on my blog — about fighting with my husband over a bite of steak, or about the crusty, electric-blue Hot Sox I wore every day of 6h grade. And if I can’t find a way to shoehorn in something usable for your business, I worry that it won’t “deliver value.”
And that’s so not true. Just from a blog/ newsletter perspective, there are all kinds of other ways to provide value, worth, cream cheese, gouda, whatever you want to call it.
I get [V-word] from you if you…
Make me laugh
Get me teary-eyed
Give me goosebumps
Get me riled up
Gross me out
Make me drool
Show me something pretty, or something f’d up
Inspire me, or at least make me think I’m inspired (enough to do that thing later)
Give me a 10-minute reason not to do my work
Make me feel like I’m not the only crazy one
Make me feel like I’m less of a mess than you are (just being honest here)
Make me feel a little smarter than when I woke up
Make me say, “I remember that show/store/cartoon character/weird-ass fashion trend! I haven’t thought about that in years!”
Give me dirt on someone I know, or someone I feel like I know (Real Housewives)
Tell me something you shouldn’t be telling me
Tell me about a movie, book or TV show that’ll be my new favorite
Do something radical, like a one-sentence post with no punctuation, that makes me think, “Damn, you can do that?”
And you know what?
You even deliver [V-word] by being insufferable. Do you post selfies of yourself with utter lies about how great your life and job are, full of #gratitude to the #wonderful staff in the #VirginFirstClassLounge? I will joyfully hate-follow to the ends of the virtual earth. THAT is value.
Have you noticed this “value” trend?
Does it bug you? Trip you up?
What provides val-yoo for you?
How do you add v-word/ cream cheese to the world?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.
Kat Vancil says
I’m with you, Laura, being “required” to do something with every email, blog post, or Insta I read is exhausting. And after the dumpster fire of a year that was 2020 I’m honestly still recovering. I just want something to entertain me for a few mins while I drink my coffee and take my pills in the morning. And frankly your emails are really the only ones that deliver that V-awesomeness. I love your wild stories about cheese stores and the Fancy Yacht Gina and being told how to use bread it makes the day far less mundane.
Agree with Preeti! So hard to move forward, totally stuck wondering if what I put out there will be valuable.
Preeti Khorana says
Love this post Laura! The V-world doesn’t nothing but gets people into too much analysis leading to decision paralysis 🙆🏻♀️
Preeti Khorana says
Dawn Smith says
I know this is an older post but just stumbled upon you today on the Do It Scared podcast. Love your style. And totally agree that (the v-word) can be given in so many different ways! I’m just in the process of setting up my blog and I had already started to succumb that the paralysis that comes with wanting to make sure to add (the v-word) to every. single. word. I. write. No more though. I’m going to make my readers laugh, cry and hate me (hopefully not, actually), and let them find the value in that. So there. Thanks for the encouragement to just be me.
Lyn McNamee says
You took the words right out of my mouth!
(Yes I sang that – if you’re the right age to remember Meatloaf I’m sure you did too. If not you’ll wonder what on earth I’m talking about.)
This is a gem. Especially the insight that the pressure to provide value can paralyze you with self-doubt.
i like adding cream cheese made from cashews to the world. speaking of changing the recipe: the more voice the less need to use the v-word. 🙂
This reminds me of the s-word at my last corporate job. Now every time I hear someone say they need “stakeholder review”, I picture a guy in a cheap suit gnawing on a bloody steak whilst Yelp-ing about it from a corner office. And that? Well, I guess that adds gouda value to my life…
Laura – vis a vis your “value-hate” blog post: I feel you’re not fully leveraging the shareholder dividends that “value” brings to the table. Going forward, we need to look to the near-term to negatively approach the issue with positive cashflow but negative equity in order to raise the EBITDA of your value proposition/business case. Can I get a 15 second elevator pitch by EOD my time? Also, one last reminder: TPS report. Thaaaanks.
Plus: Totally agree. Love your style.
Hey, I just downloaded your awesome and amazing 5 secrets. I can’t believe this fantastic value is actually Free.
That is for your testomonials, you can use a stock photo of a handsome middle age accountant if you wish.
On a more serious note, you gave some great advice and a fun read. Thank you. I’m a fan.
The value thing is Corpspeak originally intendended for employees and means ”work harder, you there”.
Should have been middle aged accountant, but a middle age accountant could be even better.
One more go,,, middleaged! Tah-Dah!