One of the first things most entrepreneurs must decide on is what is their USP, Unique Selling Proposition.
USP is the unique characteristic(s) to a person/business that distinguishes them from other businesses within the same industry. This selling point can be a unique service, product or style that the business offers that another does not.
Deciding and effectively communicating your USP is going to be one the most challenging tasks a business owner will face. Why? Well quite frankly because it’s a good chance that what you are doing in your business someone else is doing already.
So how do you distinguish yourself in a saturated industry where it seems every person you come in contact with is up to the same thing you are?
This is definitely a conversation that warrants much focus. I too have inquired into this conversation for myself:
What can I bring to the table that others either have not done yet or I can do MUCH better?
You may sell the same products or offer the same service another person/business offers. So what is going to be unique about you? What can you do differently in the face of “the same” that will make your business stand out?
Let’s explore some options and see if you can implement any of these tactics:
- Can you add a new twist to a product that your competitors have not done? That is, is there a product out there that you can improve upon?
- Can you offer a service no one else is doing or at a better price?
- Can you communicate your message in a unique personal style? Study successful actors and you’ll see what I mean.
- Are you able to offer exclusivity with your product or service? For example, did you know that the waiting list for a Ferrari is at least 2 years?! This is because each car is built to order and different. Talk about exclusivity!
- Is there something you do exceptionally well that you can incorporate into your business? Maybe you are in the business of selling real estate but you have a talent for design. Do you think incorporating that talent into your business can help you?
Let me just state that a USP is not the same as a gimmick. Doing something to catch people’s attention just for the sake of getting their attention won’t ultimately convert them into prospective leads.
There has to be a strong foundation to your business that amongst all the fluff will stand on its own two feet regardless of economic or operational challenges.
So getting back to why I have been thinking about my unique selling proposition…
As many other’s, I too have had my challenges; not only finding the unique characteristic about what I do but how do I express that to others. Many months went into this internal conversation.
So here’s what I came up with… and you can use this example as way for you to begin to think about your usp.
My Services: Site development – website creation, SEO evaluation, etc.
OK, so every Tom, Dick and Harry offers this… what’s going to be different about me?
I came to the realization when I would develop sites for clients that I found myself constantly coaching them in their business.
- What was stopping them from taking action?
- What was their next step in their business? Etc.,
That was my USP! It made sense. I came from a world of corporate training and part of my MO was not only to train others in the operation but to get them into the mindset of the culture. This is where I excelled. This training had translated to my online business.
Even if someone just hired me for site development, I took it upon myself to go above and beyond and make sure that they understood the process and was comfortable with taking over the reins upon the completion of the project. I did this by explaining and showing to them step by step in laymen terms how to do so.
Yes they hired me to create their website and had no interest in learning HOW to do it, but it was definitely important for them to learn how to maintain their site moving forward. It is their business and it is in their best interest to learn the logistics of how to leverage their site; from adding content to marketing.
And guess what? They loved it and I was able to get hired for repeat projects because of it. In actuality, my clients created my USP. It was from feedback they gave me that I realized that I tapped into something unique to me and my business.
It is about leaving the client feeling empowered in their business.
Today’s Action Plan:
- Write down all the characteristics unique to YOU
- Write down all the characteristics unique to YOUR BUSINESS
- Brainstorm some ideas on how you can create or develop a USP based on your findings
- Turn to your network of friends as them what they think is unique about you
- Test out your USP, evaluate and tweak where necessary
Don’t fret if you are having a rough time determining your unique selling proposition. It may not come to you right away. Do your action plan and then put it away for a couple of days and then come back to it later. The key here is to get clear on what is your USP and how you plan to market it and it’s not a process that should be rushed.
Pssst …. I have a question for you. Come in closer. Ready? So, what is unique about you?
If you care, don’t forget to share and please leave me a comment on what your findings are? Hey you never know … maybe I can tell you what I think is unique about you.