How to Define Your Unique Selling Proposition

It will be extraordinarily difficult to succeed if you don’t have something that sets you apart. This is referred to as your unique selling proposition (USP), also called your unique value proposition. Why should someone buy from you vs. anyone else? What extra value can you offer? Look closely at what you want to offer to people as part of your business model. Then, you’ll need to answer the following questions from the very start of your online business.

1. What are you offering?
Lay out the details of your product or service you plan to sell. What are the features? What does it do and what does it look like? For example, is it a 7 day ecourse on how to set up a WordPress blog? Is it a 6 month coaching program that gives people direct access via email to you personally? Be very specific.

2. How does it solve customers’ problems?
How does your product offering solve your customers’ problems? State the problems your customer is facing, from doing your market research. Then describe how each feature of your product or service solves those problems. Think about how your customer would see your solution, not knowing you at all. If you can answer the question ‘What’s in it for me? from the customer’s view, you’re already halfway there.

3. What is different about it?
You have to create a product or service that is distinct from your competitors. While it is possible to be successful by creating a ‘me-too’ site, it will be much more difficult. How is your solution different from other people’s? Are you offering something extra, such as training or additional services? Do you offer your product in multiple formats, such as audio and video? Do you provide extra tools to make your solution easier to use? If you can’t identify any features that are different about your product, now is the time to go back and create something.

4. Why should someone buy from you vs. your competitors?
This is by far the toughest part of creating your USP. It will also be one of the most important parts of your sales copy. Tie together the problems your potential customers are facing, the features of your product, and how they solve their problems. Then pull in your extra ‘proof’ of why people should buy from you. You could have social proof through testimonials of how well your solution works. You might have a track record of experience in your industry. You could also have great examples of your solution in action. Which of these are most important to your market? Pick one or use them all depending on what you think your prospects need to hear.

If you have already done extensive market research, then you know what problems your customers are facing. Make sure you thoroughly understand what your target customers want and what your competitors are already offering. Then you will be able to identify exactly what you can do differently or where you can add something more. Put all of that together and you have your Unique Selling Proposition.

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