However, the idea is the same.
It’s one of the most fundamental ideas in marketing.
What is a USP?
One of the greatest marketing minds on the planet, Jay Abraham defines USP as:
The single self-serving advantage you offer your customer above and beyond your competitors.
And here’s another one from Mr $5000 an hour.
If you have no point of difference, marketing yourself is impossible.
Without a focus on your special way of doing things, for your business or blog, promoting yourself is simply a waste of time.
Take the huge number of social media support blogs on the web. They all seem to set up shop as ‘consultants’ and yet gleefully copy other people doing the same thing. When you look at their Twitter stream, it’s like some are just talking to themselves.
Not to get too far off topic, but it turns out that social media is well, social.
In music terms, your song needs a hook. A repeated melody or riff that makes it memorable.
Know who your audience isn’t
If you’re trying to appeal to everybody, or even to more people, it’s likely you’re inadvertently watering down your content.
Let’s say you’re blogging about soccer (or is it football? – can we settle on a term!) and you have a deep love of the sport. As you start blogging you look at your traffic (or lack thereof) and start thinking, “OK maybe I need to broaden my horizons and write about all sport?”
What you’re doing here is undermining the one thing that helps you to stand out from the crowd.
Your love of that specific sport.
Plus, you make the true soccer lovers, who do manage to find your blog, have to sift through the other posts about croquet and billiards!
At this point another problem may arise. Waning enthusiasm.
Writing can be hard enough when you’re passionate. But it’s harder when you either don’t love, or have limited understanding of, your subject.
Write/Blog what you love
If you want to stand out, and enjoy the process of publishing more, focus on what gets you fired up naturally.
Make the process fun and write in a personal, natural way. Develop your voice by publishing only on topics that you feel passionately about and have some unique experience or perspective on.
This is what attracts most people to blogging in the first place.
How to uncover your USP
Most of what makes you unique is right here now. It just has to be revealed.
Here are some questions you can use to discover your USP:
- What do I do that sets me apart from everyone else?
- What unique experience and background do I have that I can draw on?
- When people give me feedback, what do they say that they enjoyed or got out of the interaction?
- What resources both personal and environmental have I failed to recognize?
- How can I communicate the benefits of what I do to the people who need it?
- What kind of person will want what I have to offer?
- How can I communicate that benefit in a potent way?
If you find some of these questions challenging, find a friend you trust to help you out.
And you could read Seth Godin’s article What’s your super power?
Creating your tagline
The tagline is the single most important piece of communication on your website.
This is what marketers and salespeople call the elevator pitch. It summarises the benefit of your blog or business in one sentence.
WordPress Tribe makes the most powerful online publishing platform accessible and empowering to everyday people.
In fact, now that I read that, I think my tagline might need updating!
This isn’t useful for just your website. It can be used in almost any circumstance — the most powerful benefit being your own internal clarity of purpose and self-confidence.
A work in progress
Don’t create a USP and then forget about it. Make this process of articulating and clarifying your focus an ongoing exploration.
An amazing thing, the human brain. Capable of understanding incredibly complex and intricate concepts. Yet at times unable to recognize the obvious and simple.
We sometimes forget to acknowledge and use the most simple and obvious things because they’re right under our nose. Don’t ignore your most valuable assets out of familiarity.
A truly unique performance
Finally I give you an example of someone who has embraced this principle of uniqueness driving their marketing. Witness the strange and memorable world of Reggie Watts.
What aspects of your own life experience are you underutilizing? How could you turn those things into a USP?