Selling Your Benefits by Thinking of Yourself as a Product

Have you been told to “create a product” out of your services? That’s great advice. However, you (or your marketing adviser) might be overlooking a product you already have: You.

Illustration by Ramiro Roman
Illustration by Ramiro Roman

YOU Are Your Best Product

Most of us think of products as something tangible that we can buy–candy, books, exercise equipment that we’ll never use–but by thinking that way we’re actually limiting ourselves.

Products can also be services.

It’s great to create e-books or CDs or any number of other saleable “packages;” however, you have a product you can start selling right now: You.

And you have just as many features and benefits as any traditional product available on the market.

Your Benefits VS. Your Features

I’m going to dip into copywriter Amy Harrison’s Glossary of Copywriting Words, Terms, and Phrases for a second…

Features = “Your features are the specific details of your product or service… Anything which describes WHAT is being offered is a good way to think about your features.”

Benefits = “The benefits are the reason your customers are interested in buying from you. They extend further than features and show how the customer’s life will improve by having the product or service in their life.”

(Thanks, Amy!).

Okay, now that we’re all clear on what Features and Benefits are, let’s see how we can apply them to yourself as–ahem!—a product.

Figuring out the features and benefits to traditional products is fairly simple. A car, for example, might look a bit like this:

Features = A car is a personal or group transportation vehicle that includes four tires, an engine, and a trunk.

Benefits = A car can get you to and from your destinations faster than walking, the tire tread keeps the vehicle from slipping on the roads, the engine makes a “vroom-vroom” noise that will impress your friends (it’s a status symbol!), and the trunk gives you plenty of room to store your groceries or that new television you were eying in the electronics section.

Easy-peasey.

So how do you do that for yourself?

It seems more difficult, initially, but it’s not. Seriously.

You just need to think of yourself as a product.

Take a few steps back and look at yourself objectively. Or, if you can’t, get some help from your clients. Chances are their testimonials have outlined at least a few of your benefits.

If you’re a fellow writer, the rundown of your features & benefits might look like this:

Features = Highly researched, well-written online & offline content.

Benefits = The time the client would have spent writing and researching can now be spent on something they prefer investing their time in. And when the writing is well done to begin with, the client saves money on editing and/or rewriting services. Who doesn’t like to save time and money?

See what I mean?

Selling Your Benefits

World-famous copywriter Robert Bly once wrote:

“People don’t buy products. They buy what the products are going to do for them.”

In other words:

People don’t want to buy you. They want to buy what you can do for them.

(Feel free to Tweet that if you liked it).

Make sure you don’t just tell people what you do. Tell them how “what you do” can help them.

Showcase your benefits.

And here’s another gem from Robert Bly: “Never assume the customer can think of the benefits by themselves.”

In other words:

What seems obvious to you might not be obvious to your potential clients.

Don’t be afraid to spell it out.

Show Off Your Features & Benefits!

Want to get in some practice?

Show off your features & benefits in the comments section below. 😉

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