Have you ever felt like your business is just part of a mob, all of you frantically trying to grab the attention of the same clients?
The fact is, ALL businesses face competition.
That’s not a bad thing; if somebody out there is already successfully offering your service then you know there’s a market for it.But, you won’t get very far if you simply try to copy what your competitors are doing. So, you need to work out what your unique selling proposition is.
What Is A Unique Selling Proposition?
Your unique selling proposition (USP) - also known as unique selling point - is the ONE thing that makes you, and your business, stand out from your competitors.
You don’t have to be the only person providing a certain service for it to be your USP - you simply have to bring a different spin or approach.
When you google ‘USP examples’ you get articles that list things like Doctor Pepper’s ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ line.
That’s a really clever advertising campaign, but I don’t think it’s very representative of the average small business.
A USP doesn’t need to be catchy, or clever; it just needs to be something your business offers that makes you MORE irresistible than your competitors.
A couple of examples:
- If you’re a product-based business, perhaps your returns period is significantly longer than your competitors, making the transaction less risky for your customers?
- As a B2B service provider, maybe your ‘onboarding’ process is so slick that it has your clients tripping over themselves to refer you to their contacts?
Caveat: I would be very careful about choosing price as a USP - especially trying to differentiate yourself with lower prices. If price, rather than value, is the sole purchasing decision factor for someone then they’re probably not your ideal client.
In my case, when I first started out as a VA it was difficult to really say what differentiated me from my virtual assistant competitors. I offered all kinds of admin services for all kinds of businesses.
However, as I transitioned my business to marketing strategy and implementation, my uniquely practical and straightforward approach to marketing is now what helps my ideal client choose me over my competitors.
How To Write a Unique Selling Proposition
If you’re sitting there scratching your head about what your USP could possibly be, never fear! I’m going to walk you through my foolproof 4-step process to writing your key selling points.
Caveat: before we begin, be sure that you’ve nailed down your ideal client, as well as the problems your service solves for them. You’ll struggle to define your USP without being crystal clear on your service offering!
Ready to begin? Let’s go...
The 4 Easy Steps To Define Your Unique Selling Point
STEP 1: Work out what makes YOUR service unique
It’s time to leave modesty by the door and get into self-promotion mode now!
Grab a blank piece of paper and spend 10 minutes brainstorming all of your professional and educational experience, as well as the achievements and skill sets that are relevant to the services you provide.
Then spend a few minutes going beyond your business and think of all the skills and perspectives you’ve gained from your hobbies and interests over the years. It ALL contributes to who you are as a business owner.
STEP 2: Why should a client choose YOU?
With your unique experience and skills fresh in your mind, it’s time to write down as many reasons as possible why your target market should choose you and not a competitor.
One really obvious thing to do here is to listen to your actual clients.
So, look at your existing testimonials, or ask for some, and review the language your clients use when describing you and your services.
What are they raving about? What made them choose you? Why not directly ask them that question?
STEP 3: Choose your ONE thing
From the list you created in Step 2, select ONE thing which you believe to be the main reason clients choose to work with you.
If you can’t see one clear reason, then it might be worth working on step 2 a little longer until it becomes clearer.
STEP 4: Write your USP elevator pitch
Now it’s time to formulate your USP description using a short and concise ‘elevator pitch’ framework:
‘I provide [ideal client] with [services you provide in your unique way] so they can [unique value/ results they can enjoy].’
So, in my case, it might go something like ‘I provide overwhelmed B2B business owners with easy to implement marketing strategies to help them reach more clients.’
So, What Do You Actually DO With Your USP?
Once you’ve written your USP, it’s not something to tick off your marketing checklist and then stuff in a drawer, never to be looked at again.
Instead, your unique selling point should form the foundation of how you shape your marketing and content strategy.
Of course, you don’t actually use the word USP in your marketing - you’re just going to highlight what it is throughout your messaging to help your audience see the benefits of your offering.
So, print off your USP elevator pitch and keep it in sight. Refer to it EVERY time you create content for your business and soon it will become second nature to you.
Hopefully, these easy steps have helped you to define your unique selling proposition.
Once you have it nailed, do let me know - just pop a comment below!