Thursday, February 3, 2011

Unleashed Your Unique and Special Proposition (USP)

 Your Unique and Special Proposition (USP)

A few points on the definition:
  1. The USP must be very specific. E.g. “Head & Shoulders will remove your dandruff”, not “Head & Shoulders is an excellent shampoo”.
  2. Your competitors cannot or will not offer it. This is why it’s no good saying “I’m talented, creative and hardworking” on your resume, or “We provide outstanding service” on your website. Chances are your competitors are not writing “I’m clueless, devoid of imagination and lazy” on resumes, or “We never answer the phone” on their websites.
  3. Don’t worry about reaching ‘mass millions’. Rosser was writing in the golden age of mass marketing. These days, according to Kevin Kelly, a creator only needs 1,000 true fans to make a living, which is a bit more manageable.
Now I know a lot of creative people have a hard time with marketing language like ‘brand’ and ‘target market’ and so on. As an introverted poet, I can relate. But sometimes in the course of this course, I’m going to have to call a spade a spade, or in this case a USP a USP.

How do you develop your USP

Here’s how!
I’m a fan of Mark McGuiness’s worksheet for developing yours (and his work in general). So I highly recommend you take a look at his great way to break it down. I’ll delve into my answers below.
Mark suggests getting at least two answers to all of the questions below.
Firstly, answer them yourself. Secondly, get someone who knows you and your work well to answer them –your customers, colleagues or friends. That’s where you come in.
This is because a USP is about other people’s perceptions of you. What makes you remarkable in their eyes may not be obvious to you. I’m going to keep my answers purposefully short because yours are more important.

1. What are you better at than anyone else?

Being open to change and learning new things. I like to think I’m someone who lives a life of adventure, constantly challenging myself. My friends say I’m a motivating type and a connector.

2. What do you enjoy doing the most?

The art of entrepreneurship, travelling the world, meeting new friends who I inspire or am inspired by, and playing Ultimate Frisbee (and sports in general).

3. What do (or could) you provide that no one else is providing?

Show you how to run your business, if you choose to, from anywhere in the world by using efficient systems, online tools and social media to streamline your work and free up time to do other fun things.

4. What annoys people the most about your industry?

A lot of people talking the talk but not walking the walk of a life of personal freedom. Tim Ferris does not work a 4 hour work week nor would he want to. I’m not interested in never working. I love what I do.
If I won the lottery tomorrow it would not make me happier because I am doing exactly what I want to be doing. That’s where I want to help other people. To get to their ultimate place of happiness and personal freedom.

5. What is remarkable about you?

I believe I’m remarkable for having an eternally optimistic love of life that sees me through.
(You can read what others say about me on the ‘Testimonials Wall’, it reminds me why I do what I do to touch the lives of others – and gives them a shout out too. Thank you all).

6. Do you have an unusual combination of elements?

I’m an integrated marketer who loves new technology and sharing how to use it effectively with others. I am a free spirit with a strategic business mind.

7. Do you have a big personality?

I’m not Gary Vaynerchuk. But I have a big sense of adventure, a Kiwi accent, a cheeky sense of humour and the ability to laugh at myself. I just wish I could project my voice more!

8. Write a USP statement

This acts reminder of what makes you distinctive and here’s the format to follow:
I am unique and different because I provide [USP] which no one else in my field provides. No one else can or will provide this because [insert reason].
So. This is where YOU get to step up and tell me what you think my USP is. Go ahead don’t be shy. Please someone…;)

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