B079: What is a unique selling proposition?

By September 13, 2019The Simplifiers Podcast

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This will help to simplify what a unique selling proposition is, aka. your USP. It’s a business term that gets tossed around a lot and if you’ve ever been like, “Uhh Mary, what’s a USP again?” I’m here to break it all down and simplify it for you.

Earlier this week, I spoke to Leonie Dawson all about how to market yourself without social media. I was blown away when I heard her revenue figures. She’s running a multi-million dollar business with clients worldwide and only working (on average) 10 hours a week.

Holy cow! Leonie is living proof that this is possible without driving yourself into the ground. Something she’s doing is working, and I think a large part of it, is that she’s nailed her unique selling proposition.

So let’s break that down…


What is a USP?

In short, it’s the thing that differentiates you from your direct competition. If we were talking burgers here, it’s McDonald’s ‘special sauce’ which you can’t get at Burger King, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Your USP is the thing that makes you memorable, notable and well… unique. Now, you might have a little ‘Negative Nancy’ voice in the back of your head saying, “Oh, there’s nothing really special about what I do. I just do this…”

And if that’s the case, I want you to pat her on her head (metaphorically speaking), and simply say, “Thanks for the feedback.”

Remember… there’s only ONE of you on the planet. That, my friend, is special and unique!

How to create your own USP in 3 simple steps

Let’s walk through the process of determining your very own unique selling proposition. To do this, pull out your journal and jot these 3 titles down:

  • Speciality
  • Guarantee
  • Methodology

1. Focus on your unique speciality

  • Set a 7-minute timer
  • Think about your specific areas of expertise or skills
    • how is that special in your line of work?
    • what are you (totally) known for, (even if it’s just your best friend and mom who knows this, at the moment?)
  • Jot down your ideas of what your speciality is
    • for example, if you’re a wedding planner, do you specialize in non-traditional weddings, Asian weddings, or military weddings?

Create your speciality USP phrase

Write the USP which you decided above, as…

We specialize in… ________.

2. Focus on your unique guarantee

Next, I want you to do the same for any guarantees that you make to your clients and customers.

These are things that you already promise to clients and customers (and of course, always deliver on). These are the things that make you a world-class solution in their eyes.

Here are some examples:

  • You respond to all emails within 4-6 hours Monday-Friday
  • You guarantee the work will be completed in 5 hours, or your money back
  • You offer after hours care on Wednesday evenings for busy parents

Whatever it is, jot down your ideas. Or even brainstorm a few new guarantees that could set you apart from the competition, if you put them in place.

Create your guarantee USP phrase

Write this USP as…

We guarantee that… ________.

And lastly…

3. Focus on your unique methodology

  • Set your final 7-minute timer
  • Write down key points about your methodology. How do you deliver products and services to them, in an innovative, slick way?
  • do you use super simple time-saving software that helps track progress on the work completed?
  • do you offer weekly strategy check-in calls, so they stay in full communication with you throughout the life of the project?
  • maybe it’s simply that you document all meetings and calls in easy-to-understand meeting minutes
  • Or is there another way you reduce stress for your customers?

The methods you use to make your customers’ lives easier, may be second nature to you, but to them, it’s EVERYTHING!

Think through the things you do naturally. Which of these things do your clients compliment you on in your testimonials?

It’s likely your methodology, your award-winning customer service skills, the bells & whistles, and/or your special way of working that is part of your unique selling proposition.

Create your methodology USP phrase

Write this methodology USP as…

We use this (software/tool/etc) to provide you with… ________.

Refine and shape the wording of your 3 phrases, as you see fit.

Unique selling proposition vs value proposition

Keep in mind, your unique selling proposition is DIFFERENT from your value proposition.

Your value prop relays the tangible results and benefits a customer will get when they use your products and services.

For example:

We help _(your Ultimate Ideal Client)_ to achieve _(desired outcome)_ and help solve _(their greatest pain point)__ through our products and services, which are _(what you offer)_.

That’s a value proposition.

So, if you’re curious about the difference between The Simplifiers value proposition, and The Simplifiers USP, here goes…

The Simplifiers value proposition

We help small business owners learn to simplify, make more money, and help them overcome the overwhelm through business coaching and providing virtual assistants, so they can heroically #DoTheThing.

The Simplifiers unique selling proposition

We specialize in helping business owners learn how to do less in order to accomplish more. We show you how to simplify down to laser-focus on the tasks that are most important and will make the biggest difference in your work.

We guarantee you’ll find clarity on what to do next if you use the simple 7-minute timer technique when overwhelmed.

We use Google’s G-suite of apps to provide you with simple, easy-to-use templates that you can implement into your own business and workflow.

One final whisper

Your unique selling proposition is your unique, specific take on delivering what that value prop promises.

Back to the example of a wedding planner… I’m sure there’s at least 20 (if not 100!) wedding planners in your city trying to attract newly engaged couples to hire them (right this very second.) All of them say they are great at what they do. But only a handful specialize, guarantee, and offer-one-of-a-kind methodologies.

For example, one wedding planner may:

  • Specialize in military weddings
  • Deliver on their valuable guarantees
  • And offer one-of-a-kind methodologies that either help their clients eliminate stress, save money or save them time…

And if they are communicating that succinctly and simply in their marketing materials, I’m willing to bet they are SMASHING their sales & marketing goals.

It makes them a fierce competitor in the market for that niche. It helps them distinctly stand out from the other wedding planners who instead say, “Oh, I do it all. I plan any kind of wedding under the sun.”

Which one sounds more compelling to you?

Don’t forget, this is a work in progress.

You can do this, I believe in you.

It’s time to SIMPLIFY.

If this thought of the day inspired you…

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Thank you!

Show credits: – Suzen Marie, our Podcast Editor. Jeffrey Lynn, our Video Editor. Lyden and Janine Yardley, our Show Notes Editors. Manminder Athwal, our Blogger. Our advisory board includes: Aubri Nowowiejski, Chris Justice and George Mills. And I’m your host, Mary Baird-Wilcock. Thank you so much for listening and telling your peeps about us.

As always friends, keep things simple.

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