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Freelance’s Value Proposition and Business model: The value map

Before we start working, it’s a good idea to spend an hour on some remarks about what value we want to offer to our stakeholders. This time can secure weeks or months of work, or even save us weeks or months.

Beyond the requirements, our value delivery is mainly related to how our work is likely to meet the needs and feelings of the client. For us, it is important to understand what our customers feels, what he thinks and how what he is asking us will match with their real needs. It important, and is best it had done before beginning the work “paid off.”

Of course, this activity has nothing to do with the requirements analysis (and vice versa), rather we focus on high-level definitions. A Value Map is an investigation that we carry out on ourselves and on what we produce.

As suggested in Value proposition design [A. Osterwalder, Pigneur Y., G. Bernarda, A. Smith, Wiley 2014], the elements of the value of our map are:

> Product / Service (s)
> Pain Relievers (the problems solved)
> Gain Creators (the enabled value)

Every element will contain an outcome list. We’ll need to establish a priority between all the entries in each list.

The value map will be compared to the customer profile, in order to find a match between the entries on each side. Of course we don’t have to expect that all the customer profile entries will have a mirror entry on the value map, there’s not such thing. What we need is that the top priorities from the customer’s point of view have an answer in our value map. If it hasn’t, we have to be aware we have the opportunity to adapt our offering to meet at least all the top priorities or to explain why we don’t.

The correspondences should adhere to the following diagram:

Value Map

Customer Profile

Products or services Job to be done
Pain Relievers Pains
Gain Creators Gains

The goal is to highlight which aspects of our offer will determine the actual value received. In order to clarify what are the real objectives of our work, beyond the technical requirements and quality content that we will in any case maintain at the highest level.

The relation between the value map and the customer profile has the same nature of the menu of a good restaurant for the taste of the guests.

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