One of the most important concepts in marketing yourself or your business is your USP or Unique Selling Proposition. The USP explains how you stand out from the competition. It is often known as the competitive differentiator. The emphasis is usually on what you do better than the competition. For example, is your focus on price, service or convenience? The standard method of creating a USP is to identify this and convey it to your customers.
I believe however that simply communicating the ways you are better than your competition is not good enough. The modern day world of social media marketing and web based marketing means that your brand’s emotional impact has become more important than ever. This means that how you make people feel when they are exposed to you or do business with you is crucial. Because there are so many competitors in almost every industry you can think of, you need to stand out as different and not just as better.
By this I mean it is crucial that you demonstrate to your clients and potential clients how you are different to everyone else in your industry. How? By relying on the one set of differences which make you unique. I am talking about your personality: your quirkiness, habits, style of communicating or thinking. I am talking about bringing YOU more into your marketing, into your Unique Selling Proposition. Often, we restrict how much of us we reveal to the world because we are attempting to be ‘professional’. That makes sense. We want to position ourselves as experts in the field or providing a reliable service and that we take the customer seriously and it’s about them, not us. However, nowadays, with so much choice available to the customer they are asking one question… “Why should I do business with you?” The answer can’t just be about the competitive advantages you offer. It has to be about how you are different and that comes down to how much of the real you that you let them see.
Whenever I look around at the people I enjoy doing business with the most, the common denominator about most of them is that I feel like they are authentic, real and they let me see who they really are. I feel that the speakers or salespeople that talk to me in a real sense as one person to another connect with me and convince me far more than those who pitch me using some pre-planned and prepared lines or rehearsed script.
Online I try and communicate as best I can with you as personally as possible. I am weird, let’s face it. But I think we all are in some ways. It is in learning about someone else and their ‘quirks’ that we learn to like them and trust them more. The ‘perfect’ people who are too shiny or happy and never admit any weaknesses are very suspect and I for one make it my life mission to find their chink. (which is an example of my own chink).
So, what am I basically saying? Whatever you do, whether you are talking about promoting your business as an entrepreneur, applying for a job, online dating or when you are managing your brand inside a big organisation, consider your USP and how you can retain your professionalism while letting others see more of the real you. Let people in and you will find they will feel closer to you. Obviously, you need to be aware of boundaries, but if you can let the real you come out some more, you will find yourself building better relationships with those you work with and meet.