Once you’ve got background information on the whole USP thing, how do you craft YOURS?
I found a great method described in a blog post titled 5 Ways to Develop a Unique Selling Proposition. The title is, however, a bit misleading. In two ways: 1) It’s not that you pick the one you like best. You do all five and 2) They also only list four ways.
But they’re good. I added a 5th way, which is the one that appears first. I’ll summarize that blog below. To read the full post, click the link .in the prior paragraph.
Talk to Prospects and Potential Customers
Interview customers, prospects, and people in your industry to find out what they complain about. There is a great format for how to conduct these interviews in Running Lean.
Through these interviews, you’ll learn what problems they need solved (or more accurately are willing to pay to be solved).
Unabashedly Appeal to an Ideal Customer
No business serves everybody. No business serves anybody. So don’t try. Instead, figure out whose money you’re best interested to attract, and talk to those people.
And below is a quote from a Seth Godin blog post, it helps illustrate the importance of owning whatever is different between you and anyone else. His point is to not pay heed to people who are skeptical of what you’re doing. Instead, cater to people who get it. Those people are your people.
“Instead of working so hard to prove the skeptics wrong, it makes a lot more sense to delight the true believers. They deserve it, after all, and they’re the ones that are going to spread the word for you”.
Leverage Unique Personalities in Your Industry
People within an industry listen to these people. As such, you should too. These people are not necessarily famous. I, for example, have joined every SEO and Content Marketing groups I could find on both Facebook and LinkedIn. These groups are run by specific people who all are a unique personality. I monitor and engage with those groups, and this gives me insight into what problems the other members of those groups are facing.
Don’t Be the Best, Be Different
When you strive to “be the best” in any industry, you’re going head to head against an established market leader. Don’t do that. By talking to people you can find out where the market leaders fall short. To stand out, you need to do something they don’t.
Engage with people as people, not as “just” prospects. They have lives outside of whatever it is you want to do for them. When you interview people, don’t be afraid when the conversation veers off in what may feel like an interesting direction. The person is revealing something that may be helpful to you. Also, don’t be shy about sharing some of your life outside of work with the people you interview. People connect to people as people first, and business associates second.
This article is part of a series
In case you’re interested in learning more, this article is part of a series of articles. To read the lead article in the series, select the link below.