The Secret to Standing Out Online: Your USP.
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Today I want to show you how to make your brand and business stand out - by serving a specific audience with a specific problem.
We’re going to craft your unique selling proposition, or “USP”.
On crowded social media platforms, standing out is difficult. It’s one of the most painful challenges solopreneurs and entrepreneurs face.
So how do you carve out a little space for yourself?
The answer lies in your Unique Selling Proposition.
What Is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the unique differentiator that sets you apart from your competition.
But it's not just about being different or finding a niche.
It's about being unique in a way that matters to your target audience. It should help them answer the question: Why should I choose your business over countless other options?
The Importance of a USP
In a market saturated with similar products and services, your USP serves as a major factor in attracting potential customers.
Without it, you risk blending in and being overlooked.
Let’s imagine you’re great at SEO. If you go out and tell the world, “I do SEO”, you’re not really giving prospective customers any reason to choose you over any other SEO expert. Anyone can say the same thing.
For example, my buddy Jake Ward is skilled in SEO. But when he was crafting his USP, he did a simple exercise: He compared his strengths to his competitor’s weaknesses to understand what made his business unique.
And then he filled a gap.
Jake spent years buying websites, turning their blogs into 6-figure revenue channels, and selling those websites for a profit.
His competitors weren’t doing anything like that.
So when you visit Jake’s website, his hero language tells you exactly what he does for your business.
Turn your blog into a 6-figure sales channel. That’s not just homepage language. That's part of his USP right there, front and center.
Jake isn’t just another SEO guy; he’s an SEO guy who helps software companies get qualified traffic, sales, and revenue through conversion-focused SEO and content marketing.
This USP allows him to:
- Target a specific demographic
- Justify his pricing strategy
- Build a strong brand identity
- Gain a competitive edge
- Differentiate his business from other SEO services
Steps to Identify Your USP
As you can see, identifying your USP isn't just about picking something random and deciding, “This is my USP!”
It requires a deep understanding of your own competency combined with market research.
How to Find Your USP
- Research: First, find out what your competitors are offering, and identify gaps. When you look at their reviews, what do the negative reviews say? When you look at their products and services, what’s missing?
- Skill Assessment: Make a list of your skills, your experiences, and any unique angles. When you compare that to your market research, where do your skills fill a gap? Consider that as an option for your USP.
- Audience analysis: Jump on social media and find people asking questions about the unique thing you’re good at. Practice telling those people exactly how you can help them overcome their specific challenges. And listen to what you hear back. Does your solution resonate?
Remember, your USP should be:
- Relevant to your customer (not about you!)
- Not easy to replicate by competitors
- Easily demonstrated through your experience, product or service (tell and show)
Common Mistakes to Avoid
In trying to identify your USP, it's easy to fall into traps that can mess things up.
Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
- Just Picking Something: Just because you “pick” a USP doesn’t make it something you’re actually good at. Like when I see “personal branding expert” on someone’s profile who doesn’t have a personal brand. That’s silly. Like Jake my SEO friend, he didn’t just throw a bunch of USPs into a hat and pick one. He identified the exact thing he’s good at, that his competitors aren’t.
- Being Too Vague: Don’t use terms like "best quality", "excellent service", “I help businesses” or “I help people”. These aren’t differentiators. They’re broad, vague, and meaningless.
- Overcomplicating: Your USP should be easy to understand and communicate. You should be able to say it to someone who needs your help, and they should understand exactly what you do, and who you do it for.
A well-defined USP should attract the right customers and repel the wrong ones.
Finding your Unique Selling Proposition is not easy.
It requires an honest assessment of what you’re really good at, compared to gaps in the market where your competitors are failing (or maybe just missing an opportunity).
Remember — your USP is your calling card. It’s something that captures the specifics of who you are and what you offer.
And it’s the foundation of a successful online business.
So take the time to think about what makes you unique - identify it, refine it, and most importantly - put it front and center on your website, just like Jake.
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