It should be a simple question. Why should someone hire or refer your business? The problem is few business owners can express what makes them different and better than their competitors. If you want to succeed, you must stand out. Your prospects can easily search online, while your referral sources probably know other people who do the same thing you do. To compete, you need to communicate your unique selling proposition (USP) and unique value proposition (UVP).
Your USP is a statement about your competitive advantages – why someone should hire you over your competitors. Your UVP focuses on the benefits your audience can expect from working with you – what value you add to the relationship and how you help. Every business owner must be able to articulate these statements in a way that people will understand, remember, and repeat to others.
Here’s some tips to help you get started defining your USP and UVP:
1. Stop trying to be all things to all people. Entrepreneurs often talk about what they do and who they help as broadly as possible, but if you are trying to attract everyone, you are minimizing your differentiators and competing against more businesses.
2. Know your audience. Who specifically do you want to target with your marketing? Identify the best audiences to pursue and develop a marketing message that speaks to their needs and interests.
3. Be specific about your differentiators. Think about how factors such as your education, experience, interests, activities, contacts, services, etc. add value to your clients and referral sources.
4. Focus on a niche. People value specialists. A niche gives you a specialty, which means less competition and better quality and more lucrative leads.
5. Be authentic. Be true to yourself or you will come across as phony. It helps to develop a personal story that speaks to what motivates you to do the work you do or what you enjoy most about your work and your clients.
6. Consistency is key. All your marketing should reiterate the same message and reinforce your USP and UVP. That includes your networking, website, writing, speaking and other activities.
Remember your goal is to develop a distinctive and positive message that is easily remembered and helps you stand out from the competition. Spend the time to do it right and reap the rewards.