A unique selling proposition is to your potential clients what a Command™ Poster Strip is to a wall.
It tells people exactly what you do, how it helps them, and the process by which you do it.
Many entrepreneurs struggle with finding their exact unique selling proposition–AKA USP. I like to call it a brand bio because it’s a short statement about what your brand does.
For years, whenever people asked me, “What do you do?” My weak reply was, “I design websites.” It didn’t tell anything about what makes me stand out in my field, why people work with me, or even why they’d want to work with me. I had to fix that, but where did I start?
Your unique selling proposition has one job: to tell people how you help them. That’s the core of a good unique selling proposition. With the brand bios that I co-create for my clients I like to add to that a way their audience can measure what happens when they work together along with the mechanism by which they help them. I call it the H + M + M equation (Help + Measure + Mechanism).
Once my clients into that mindset, we’re able to break down the process of zoning in on their USP. Here’s how I started. Ask yourself these questions to begin crafting your USP.
Crafting a USP is about 3 things: people, their problems, and your solution.
Some folks call a unique value proposition your help statement. I like that because it really presents what a USP should be about: how you help your clients by bringing the best of your talent to the table.
Here, we’re going to super-breeze through my step-by-step formula to create a USP in under 8 minutes flat. By the end you’ll have a unique selling/value proposition that’s easy for you to say and intrigues people when you tell them about what you do.
People: Who do you work with?
Who are my clients? Knowing who your ideal clients are is very different than who you are currently working with. Most entrepreneurs at the beginning and mid-level stages of building their business work with clients who buy while they build to working with their ideal client. The great thing about this is there’s a gem of a client or two in there who fit our ideal client profile and this can help us know the type of audience that we serve best.
If you’re not sure who your ideal client is yet, start with my Client Profile Generator to pull together the basis of what your ideal client looks like. It’s a short, but helpful exercise that will put you in the moment of what coming face-to-face with your best client is like so you can better know who to work with.
Problem: What do my ideal clients say that I do for them?
For the most business owners and entrepreneurs, there’s a certain amount of blockage here … even after you’ve built up a client base). In my case, I could tell anyone the process of what I did and the technology behind my design work, but saying it in everyday-speak wasn’t something that came naturally to me because I’m a techie!
As female entrepreneurs, we often block the good we do in our business by significantly downplaying the results we get for our clients. We know that we do this & it doesn’t always happen on purpose. We don’t amp up the amazing thing that is our work and sometimes it’s us simply not knowing how to say what we do to someone who doesn’t do what we do so that they can understand it.
So I’m going to give you a quick tip.
This is the easiest way to get past that blockage: go back into client emails or recall the last conversation you had with that ideal client and copy/paste it into your USP. One client of mine told me how much she appreciated that I made the process of getting their church’s website updated and working fast and easy without making their team feel dumb–especially since they weren’t super tech savvy.
What type of problem did your client tell you that you help them with?
Your Solution: How did you help that client?
How did you help that client? This is, for you as the expert, where the fun begins!
Now is where you state how you do what you do. Saying a simple, “using X,” where “X” is the technology, method, or system you use will be enough.
If you’re an accountant who uses Quickbooks to help your clients, then “X” for you is Quickbooks, as opposed to saying something like, “the latest in accounting technology.”
What I Recommend
Your unique selling proposition is the bait for catching your clients’ attention. Talk their language first, then add in your industry specifics (without getting too techical).
Here are links to wonderful brad bios that have the three parts of a dynamic unique selling proposition that I outlined above. I’ve included some keywords to show their results and the mechanism (the how-to) so that you can see more clearly why these work so well.
Emmy’s amazing USP is to the point and pure gold for understanding the components of a USP. Keywords: “stand out,” “branded videos”.
Yasmine’s crafty USP stands out because it’s audacious and bold, but she still has all three parts of a dynamic USP. Keywords: “make an impact,” “fearless way”.
Megan’s USP shares with her target audience exactly how she can help them and what she adds to their business. Keywords: “adds personality,” “so you stand out”.
If you are a decision-fatigued business owner and need help with zoning in on your brand bio & business’ brand strategy, set up a meeting with me and let’s get clear on where you can improve to get in front of the clients you want.