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Go tell the world you're odd

By Chris Haycock | 05 November 2021

Is your website giving people the right impression about you - and your business? Here's how to pin down your unique selling point to create a fantastic first impression.

You're the best. You're the cheapest. You've got the best customer service. You're a lovely person to do business with. Your products will satisfy everyone, young or old.

Is your marketing giving people that impression? Are you desperately trying to appeal to everyone in the hope that you’ll reach more potential customers?

Sounds like a great idea, but I’m going to have to burst your bubble here, and tell you that you’re getting it all wrong.

You can't be all things to all people, so don't try to be. It's not worth the effort, and the chances are that you'll alienate your potential customers.

Your whole marketing message will end up being a jumble of mixed messages and your target market unclear.

Sounds familiar? If that describes you, then I’m going to convince you that you need to stop this, and start becoming a little bit odd - unique - different - or even a bit weird.

Make yourself different

What you need to do is to start refining your USP (your unique selling proposition) and differentiate yourself from others who may be competing for your future customers.

Let me ask you a question. Why do you think that the cosmetics industry creates (and trademarks) their own words?

'Nourrissant', 'Volumebloom', 'Bio Nutrium', 'Gluco-Omega', 'Pro-V', 'Argenine Resist x3', 'Nutri-Gloss'. The list is never ending.

They do this because it makes their product unique - and by doing so it makes them more desirable. Shampoo cleans your hair, but you never see advertising that says, cleans your hair better than the rest.

These clever marketers focus on individual USPs that appeal to specific types of customer, such as those in a hurry (2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner), blonde protector, or anti-dandruff, and combine it with their own trademarked names to distinguish the product from the others on the shelf.

When there are so many competitors in a marketplace it's essential that you make yourself stand head and shoulders (sorry about the pun) above the rest.

Define and refine your unique selling proposition

So, pin your USP down to an individual need and you've got more chance of selling to customers.

But why? Isn’t this going to reduce the number of potential customers? Well, yes, but that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Here’s why:

  1. It will set you apart from your rivals
  2. It addresses the primary reason why people should buy it
  3. It makes your product easier to position - and sell
  4. It'll make you more money

So, where do you begin? How do you create and refine your USP?

1. First up, you need to create a SWOT analysis. A Swot?

Yes, a SWOT. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

You'll probably agree that you wouldn't go stepping into a boxing ring with Mike Tyson without knowing a considerable amount about your own strengths and weaknesses.

It would also be incredibly stupid to jump into the ring and fight Tyson without knowing his strengths and weaknesses too.

To create a compelling and irresistible website, you need to consider putting together a SWOT analysis, which will help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities in the market and external threats.

  1. find out what your product's strengths are
  2. address any weaknesses you may have
  3. study the market closely to identify opportunities
  4. pick your competitors apart to find out where their weaknesses are

2. Next up, you need to create an elevator pitch

I know this sounds like marketing mambo jumbo, but we’re talking about something very valuable that you can use over and over.

Ask yourself this… can you tell someone in ten seconds what your business is all about?

If you said no, then you need an elevator pitch that describes what your business is in a sentence or two. I'm going to show you a quick and fool proof secret to refining your elevator pitch.

But first... why? Well, an elevator pitch is the perfect opportunity to tell strangers (who might be a potential customer, investor or partner) what your business is all about, and why it may be of interest.

The last thing you want to do is to either confuse this person, or overwhelm them with so much information that you're being boring. The idea is to create a spark of interest in which this person then thinks, that sounds interesting. I'll take a closer look.

OK, next comes the “how”?

Here's a really SIMPLE but EFFECTIVE way of refining your business idea into an awesome elevator pitch:

Use the information you've gathered from your SWOT analysis to fill in the blanks below:

My business helps _________ (your target market) to ___________ (your solution) because ________ (identify the pain point). People choose us because ________________ (your USP)

Let's give you an example for an advertising agency:

My business helps (small business owners) to (identify new and exciting advertising opportunities) because (9 in 10 in-house campaigns fail due to spiraling costs). People choose us because (of our unrivaled expertise and experience in creating cost-effective advertising campaigns that deliver results - every time).

Many business owners over-complicate their elevator pitch by telling their life story, how much turnover they're making, who their best customer is, etc. Avoid this at all costs, or you’ll bore people to death. Keep it simple, quick, and to the point.

3. And finally, the key to creating a unique USP is to go and use it!

You've now got an amazing elevator pitch, but did you know that this can also be used as your USP? I’ll explain.

You've identified your perfect customer (which could be another business or a consumer). You've also identified a pain point or existing problem that the customer may be experiencing. Then, you've proposed the solution - (you have the solution), and backed it up with the reason the customer should use you.

The actual wording you may use comes down to interpretation, of course, and should be amended to reflect who you are pitching your elevator pitch to.

However, the elevator pitch should always follow best practices in effective marketing: identify the target market, the problem, the solution, and the reason why people should choose you. These are the basic marketing essentials.

Once you've got your perfect elevator pitch, you've got a powerful proposition that you can use on your website's home page, your social media accounts and in your email signature. Use it wherever you can.

I hope I’ve managed to convince you that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with refining your USP and being a bit different. Be unique, and you’ll stand out from a very busy market.


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