How to Pinpoint Your ‘Hook.’ Find Your Unique Selling Proposition in 6 Simple Steps
By Jill Fanslau April 11, 2018
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” – Dr. Seuss
When it comes to selling a product or service, fitting in is overrated. Too often, businesses and entrepreneurs try to create something for everyone. The end result is generic, trivial, and, well, boring.
You can’t be everything to everyone.
You can’t have the best ice cream and the best ribs.
You can’t be the best organizational tool for solopreneurs and large multinational corporations.
You can’t have the best high-intensity interval classes and the best bodybuilding classes.
Sure, it can be scary to go left when everyone else is heading right, but the upside to going left is huge.
Embrace your uniqueness
Take Rick Barry. He’s an NBA Hall of Famer and one of the greatest free throw shooters of all time.
What made him so great? When at the free throw line, the former Golden State Warrior would grip the sides of the basketball, bend his knees, and then simultaneously lift both arms and hoist the ball into the air.
That’s right: Barry perfected the “granny-style” shot.
It was incredibly accurate. Barry made 3,818 of his 4,242 free throw attempts, good for a 90 career shooting percentage from the line. (For perspective, the average FT percentage in the NBA during the 2016-17 season was 76 percent.)
Barry’s technique involves less moving parts. It gives the ball a better chance to sail in a smooth, perfect arc toward the basket without elbows or wrists getting in the way.
Barry found an unorthodox — but undeniably effective — method. He’s the only player to lead the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the American Basketball Association (ABA), and the NBA in scoring for an individual season. He’s an eight-time NBA All-Star, and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
When he finally retired from the league in 1980, he ranked first for field goal percentage.
Barry zigged left when everyone else zagged right, and his success at the line is nearly unmatched. If he had gone with the conventional free throw style like everyone else, would he have been a record-setting free throw shooter? Maybe . . . but it would have been a lot tougher for him.
And he definitely wouldn’t have been as memorable.
The same goes with creating and promoting your product. If you want to make money, you need to find your own effective “granny style.”
Marketers call this your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). It’s the element that makes your product stand out from the crowd of similar products — and it can change everything for you.
Identify your USP
Finding an effective Unique Selling Proposition (USP) can be difficult. After all, how many businesses and products are truly one-of-a-kind?
There are thousands of life coaches, personal trainers, electricians, therapists, authors, yoga instructors, digital marketers, clothing retailers, and so on. What makes yours stand out?
Quick note: Don’t be unique for the sake of being unique. Selling fur coats in a heat wave may be unique, but it’ll make you zilch.
Here at AWeber, we have terrific automations and an easy-to-use interface, but we choose to highlight our amazing award-winning customer service as our USP. We’re not just biased. Our customer solutions team takes home Stevie Awards every year (the Stevie Awards are like the Oscars in the customer solutions world).
There are a bunch of Email Service Providers a customer can pick from. They ultimately pick us because they know they’ll always have a live expert to help them.
While other ESPs are cutting back or nixing their customer service hours altogether, we’re adding to ours. Reach an AWeber email expert 24/7 via phone, chat and email.
Haven’t signed up for your FREE AWeber account yet? Create your account today!
So what’s your USP?
To uncover your USP, answer these questions in as much detail as possible:
- What product or service are you selling? If you’re an affiliate, what businesses or products are you promoting?
- Who is your target audience?
- Who are your competitors and what are their USPs?
- What does your business or product do well in comparison to your competitors?
- What are your customer’s pain points?
- What is your most important customer-focused business objective?
Now, answer this question in one line or less: What makes you different? What is your USP?
Once you’ve answered the 6 questions, ask yourself: How does my product or service solve my target audience’s biggest problem?
Then try to boil it down to a short and concise answer. (One to two sentences MAX.) This sentiment is your promise to your customer.
Put your USP everywhere so it stays front of mind. Make it your computer and cellphone background. Frame it on your desk. Sign it at the bottom of your emails.
Live it, breathe it — and make sure it applies to your product.