Being able to describe your business in one sentence means you thoroughly understand who you are, what you do, for whom you do it, and how they benefit. This is your unique selling proposition.
What is a unique selling proposition?
Your unique selling proposition makes your business stand out from its competition.
Forming an opinionated and deliberate USP helps focus your marketing strategy and influences messaging, branding, copywriting, and other marketing decisions. Your USP should quickly answer a potential customer’s first and most immediate question they have about your brand: “What makes you different from the competition?”
Your USP plays to your strengths and should be based on what makes your brand or product uniquely valuable to your customers. You have to differentiate around some aspect your target audience cares about, otherwise your messaging won’t be nearly as effective.
What your unique selling proposition really is…
In reality, your USP is what sets your business apart from others because of what your business takes a stand about. Instead of attempting to be known for everything, businesses with a unique selling proposition stand for something specific, and it becomes what you’re known for.
If you’re familiar with StoryBrand, you can get some clues about your USP from the Philosophical Problem section of your company’s brandscript. That’s where you “plant your flag” around an issue, or “take a stand” that sets you apart from your competition as it relates to the problem you solve for your customers.
Many businesses make the mistake of attempting to stand for everything when they first get started. They want to do everything well, and they want to be all things to all people. They want to be known for having the highest quality products AND the lowest prices.
The problem is this: When you attempt to be known for everything, you don’t become known for anything..
Clarity is the foundation upon which sales happen. The more clear you are about what you do and for whom, the easier it will be to reach your audience and serve them in a way that keeps them coming back for more. Being able to describe your business in one sentence allows all that clarity to pack a punch.
Plus, wouldn’t it be great to finally have a great answer to, “What do you do?”!!!
Who is your target audience?
Most of the resistance I get from clients when working on a USP with them is around their target audience. While your product or service may actually help everyone, you’ll get more traction faster if you get specific about who you want to serve.
There are many ways to define a target audience. Demographic data (age, gender, location, income, education) combined with psychographic data (interests, mindset, point of view, values) can result in a very specific target audience description.
Add to your definition any factors that are important to you. For example, maybe you want to focus on serving a particular geographic area. Or maybe a particular industry.
X = your target audience, who you serve
What do you offer?
The products and services you offer are the solutions you have for the problems faced by your clients and customers.
All of their problems stand in the way of them reaching a goal they’ve set for themselves.
It’s not enough to describe what you do or offer. Your unique selling proposition needs to connect directly to a business challenge, preferably a tangible, urgent one.
Y = your offer, preferably tied to a business challenge
What is your most important customer-focused business goal?
Said another way, how does your business help your customers reach their goals?
Our customers have goals. They’ve also got problems standing between them and reaching those goals. If businesses exist to solve problems, what problem does your business solve?
Here at WebsitesInWP, we solve a variety of problems for our clients and customers. We can design, build, secure, maintain, and support your WordPress website; assist you in creating brand messaging for use on your website and in your email and social media marketing; and optimize your site speed, your email campaigns, and your sales funnels.
That’s a lot of different things. Describing this business in a sentence that isn’t 50 miles long will be a challenge. You might think the same thing about your own business. So let’s take a step back, look at the big picture, and answer some questions from that perspective.
Let’s make a quick spreadsheet (Excel, Google Sheet, Pages templates included here)
COLUMN A: What problems do we help our customers solve? (List them all out, creating however many rows you need.)
COLUMN B: What goal is the entry in column A preventing our customers from reaching? (Work down the column answering for each entry in column A. Repeat goals as necessary, as multiple problems could be in the way of any one goal.)
COLUMN C: For each goal in COLUMN B, distill down to 3 buckets (goal categories defined by you) and assign accordingly for each row.
Now, do a sort by COLUMN B.
For each goal in COLUMN B, look at the problems in COLUMN A. Do they make sense as a group? Do they all still prevent the same goal? Make any adjustments you need to.
Do the same sort on COLUMN C and ask the same questions. Make your adjustments.
COLUMN C gives you 3 decent options for…
Z = our customer’s goal, the benefit they get from working with u
Now you can describe your business in a sentence!
Let’s look at this sentence: “I help X do Y so that Z.”
- X is the “my target audience” part
- Y is the “my offer” part
- Z is the “their goal, how they benefit” part.
So let’s take mine in pieces, shall we?
Remember, clarity is what we’re after. Interesting is a camera-close second.
X (the “my target audience” part) = online business owners with Divi websites
Y (the “what I offer” part) = transform their website into a 24/7 marketing power tool
Z (the “how they benefit” part) = they can attract and help more of the right people
Now, let’s put it together (this is where grammar matters, by the way):