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.
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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 bias. Our customer solutions team took home TWO Stevie Awards this year. (The Stevies are basically the Oscars of customer support.)
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 in our Chalfont, Pennsylvania headquarters to help them — whether it’s via chat, email, or phone.
While other ESPs are cutting back or nixing their customer service hours altogether, we’re adding to ours. Right now, you can talk to an AWeber solutions member Monday through Friday from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Haven’t signed up for your FREE AWeber trial yet? Create your account today!
Our ultimate goal: to roll out 24/7 customer support in the near future.
So what’s your USP?
Download this list of six questions below. Answer them to pinpoint your business’s hook.
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.