The letterbox snapped shut, and the dog raced out to the door to see what delights had been posted (and whether any of it was edible).
Both she, and I, were disappointed to see that all there was on the floor were takeaway menus:
They usually just go straight in the recycling, but today they caught my eye. Was it because I wanted a hot delicious Pizza? Nope. I was surprised by how very alike they all were.
I wondered, what the hell were they thinking (if at all)?
How is a customer supposed to choose? If I did want a tasty Pizza that day, the only driving factor would be price. And they were pretty similar too.
So what’s that got to do with business? They need a USP
From passion and pleasure to trade and marketing, mimicking what your competitors are doing and failing to form your own path can be a damaging error.
Marketers are very conscious of the importance of being different. But most of us have been trained for the bulk of our lives to ‘fit in’.
In our youth, we spend a lot of time seeking frantically not to be different. No one gets bullied for not being different enough. Teenagers beg their parents to buy the latest clothes that everyone is wearing. They want the same phones and gadgets, the same trainers etc. as everyone else.
Do they genuinely want these items? Yes, but not merely because they are trendy. They also desire them because their peers have them. They don’t want to be the only ones that are different.
Thankfully, as we develop, we begin to understand the illusion that it is trying to do what is expected. We being to be individuals and learn to understand that being diverse is frequently seen as attractive. Yet, while we begin to admire being different on an individual level, it does not always transpose into our professional careers.
We habitually and readily solicit the ‘standard things’, and if we want to be distinctive and genuinely different in a way that generates an advantage—we will have to work for it.
Really though, anyone can be different. As a business, the hurdle rests in being unique in a way that is appropriate, relevant to your audience, and produces an authority.
So you need to design a unique selling point (also known as USP), and your USP needs to be relevant to your clients and create a competitive edge. Sounds straightforward right? However. That USP needs to be as sustainable as it is materially achievable over the longer term.
Grab a notebook now and brain-dump all the things that you offer that no one else does (or the way you offer it is different). In what way is your service totally unique? If it isn’t already, find a way to become so. Write it all down. Brainstorm the hell out of it. It’s that important to find out why you stand out from all the other business that do the same job as you. Otherwise, your clients will only shop for you on price. And sole traders can’t afford to have that.
Know your USP and broadcast it every opportunity you get.
This is worth reiterating. Whether that be in your marketing, on social media or your website. Don’t be like the pizza menus. Make sure your brand, images and words scream about why you offer something different
Especially when talking to potential new clients. Be unique.
You are the only ‘you’. There is no other.
Do you battle with deciding what your main focus should be? Do you ever find yourself wishing you have one clear thing you could market and sell? you might be surprised to find out that, contrary to old business advice, you don’t necessarily need to be just one thing. You don’t have to ‘niche’.
As a business coach and polymath, I help people gain clarity, focus and direction in their work and lives. I teach you to spin all your plates.
Let’s talk. I will schedule two hours of my time to spend with you. I will give you fearless and powerful insights into your own business and you can find out if being coached is something you will enjoy and benefit from.
I currently conduct my business via Zoom (or the phone) so we can be in touch easily using online or offline for our work together 🙂
Drop me a line. firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below your thoughts.