Since Adam was still in shorts, this is a question that many have asked, pondered over and either nailed or failed to come up with a definitive answer.
So, what makes you different? What's unique about you or your business? Why am I going to put my trust in you, instead of the next guy or girl?
Why a customer decides to choose your business to buy products and services from, above a multitude of others takes some time and effort to understand. And, if you fail to grasp what it actually is, then you'll continue to experience hit and miss results until you figure it out.
If I said it was your USP, would you look at me with a knowing smile or would your face be like a blank piece of paper?
What's a USP?
A USP is quite simply, your Unique Selling Proposition and it could be absolutely anything. It's the winning difference that makes people want to do business with you over any other. Some examples:
In this great article from Copyblogger.com, who I often turn to when I'm looking for inspiration because they always seem to be able to look at things from a unique perspective: Take 15 Minutes to Find Your Winning Difference it explains and discusses your USP in more depth. The article provides 3 x 5 minute rather clever and quite brilliant thought provoking exercises to help work your way through to discovering your USP.
I'll leave you to delve deeper into that; it really is well worth the 15 minutes, but in the mean time continue reading and you'll see my USP.
What's your USP?
Whether your USP is you personally, your products, your service or something else entirely, you need to find it, understand it, act on it and live it. If you can do these things you'll have a very good chance of being successful.
OK, so like I said, here's my USP. I believe this is what makes me different, and I live by it.
My USP is based on my persona, since I'm a freelance copywriter and the business is me. Without me the business doesn't exist.
So the question goes:
Brett, what makes you different from any other copywriter, so I'd want you to do all my copywriting from now on?
My response might go something like this:
My sense of humour is a little quirky and sometimes mildly inappropriate, and that comes across in my writing style, which means that you can guarantee when I right for you it will be like no other. I write creative and engaging copy that will have customers falling over themselves to buy your products and services. I offer a reliable, affordable and friendly copywriting service and I can assure you that I'll meet your deadline every time without fail.
Ok, it's a bit long but it states quite clearly what a client will get when they work with me, and I can back it up with proof via my website portfolio. They'll either like it or they won't. You can't please everybody.
However, as long as you are confident and believe in your USP it will shine through in everything that you do, and most importantly your customers will believe it too.
Copybloggers' Sonia Simone says this: These days, your winning difference depends more on who you’re selling to more than the features of what you’re selling.
You need to stake out a favorable position in the minds of those you’re trying to attract, even while turning the wrong people away.
Let's wrap this up.
To understand your Winning Difference you'll need to put some time into it. Put your thinking cap on, read Copybloggers article Take 15 Minutes to Find Your Winning Difference, read books, do research, go meditate on top of the tallest mountain, or whatever it takes and you'll come up with a Great USP.
Happy hunting for your USP, I know you'll find it. Ooh, look...there it is!