I remember going to a business networking meeting a few years ago. A lady who worked in recruitment made the mistake of asking my what my ‘USP’s were’. As if I had a car boot full of them.
“Don’t go there miss!” I thought in my head.
“I’m still figuring that out really,” I said outwardly. “How about you?”
“Oh, our USP is customer service,” she said confidently.
I looked at her blankly for a moment. “It’s not though is it,” I replied eventually. “That’s just a benefit. Anyone can claim that.”
“Also,” I continued, “customer service isn’t really a selling proposition. It’s just a requirement of doing business and keeping clients. Something we expect.”
Which basically sledge-hammered that conversation…
I think a lot about uniqueness. One school of thought is that you get to pick your uniqueness. And that’s true insofar as how you market your business. You can tell me your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is anything you like. But is it really accurate?
You only really get to a real USP through years of trial and error, and deliberate steps to reflect and learn more about yourself. It’s one reason journaling can be so effective.
So what’s my USP? I’m not the only one talking about storytelling. And barely a week goes by without someone asking me if I’ve “heard of Ben Settle”. Which causes me to roll my eyes so hard they pop out of my skull.
I’ve come to believe my USP is more to do with output and logic. Breaking a communications problem down into steps, and producing a compelling set of ads, emails, mailers… whatever the format is.
It probably looks on the outside like I go down a lot of rabbit holes – AdWords, Infusionsoft, storytelling, Facebook ads. But mostly these are different expressions of output and logic.
So let me ask – what do you think your USP is?