Ah, the promise of a unique selling point… it’ll differentiate you, make you more memorable, and more attractive to clients. And every second article on personal branding will tell you to define it. Now! Quickly! Or be doomed to failure!
So you sit down and start jotting down what you do, and how you help your clients. And you start teasing apart what makes your offering unique…
And you start to worry that your offering is not, in fact, unique.
You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake
It turns out there are umpteen other solopreneurs in your local area that offer the same service.
And a gazillion big-time gurus that offer the same service.
You start to despair, you think you’ve wasted your life, you’ve gone down the wrong road, your business is a failure because it’s not unique. 😭
And then you remember that you have clients. They love your work. They not only pay you for your work, but they say wonderful things about you.
All without having a USP… so do you actually need one?
Do you need a unique selling point?
Eeeeehhhh… kind of…
If you want to grow your personal brand, become more widely known, and grow your business, it definitely helps to stand out. There’s just no denying that being a bit different, being unique, is something that helps you become more visible.
Plus, having a USP can make it easier for your dream clients to understand if you are the right fit for them.
So how do you stop sweating bullets about your unique selling point, but still stand out, attract your dream clients, and build a unique personal brand?
How to stop sweating bullets about your unique selling point
I want to share three things with you.
First of all, do a search for “great examples of USPs” and you’ll realise you are not alone in your struggle to identify your unique selling point.
One article I found cited M&Ms USP as “melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” It’s a cool slogan, but is it a unique selling proposition? I mean, have you ever heard of Smarties? They’re like sugar coated milk chocolate buttons. They also melt in your mouth, not in your hand…. so, not so unique after all.
Another article cited Best Buy’s USP as being “find a lower price and we’ll match it”. I did a Google search for that unique selling point and found 170,000 results and Best Buy wasn’t even on the first page.
So take comfort in knowing that you are not alone, and that many of the gold standards of unique selling points may not actually be unique at all.
Which brings me to my second point. Just ditch “unique” – at least for now.
Ditch unique – you don’t need it right now
As part of defining your personal brand, write down your Main Selling Point. Your MSP. Because your MSP is a lot easier to define, and is still really useful. Your main selling point is just the biggest reason you can think of why people want to work with you.
Should you work at making it more unique? Sure, as your personal brand evolves, keep an eye out for what really sets you apart. What areas within your MSP you tend to be more drawn to, what aspects excite you… and work them into your main selling point as you figure them out.
Which brings me to my third and final point – you might not feel like you have a unique selling point. But you do…
Now embrace unique again
As a solopreneur, you are the business. And you are unique. Ask your mum if you don’t believe me.
So do some self-assessment. Take some personality tests. Ask previous clients what you’re good at. Ask them how you come across as a person. Figure out what personality traits make you so unique.
And lean into them. Amplify them in your content. It won’t be hard, because they are natural to you. But sometimes we need permission to fully embrace the things that make us unique – defining them and consciously deciding to amplify them gives you that permission.
Now you have some attributes that make you unique. Those attributes will help you stand out – and coupled with a strong selling point, they’ll help you attract your dream clients and build a unique personal brand.
It’s in the bag, baby
So stop freaking out because you don’t have a unique selling point, just focus on the main reason people come to you for help.
That’s much easier to define than a unique selling point, and as you grow you might find that you organically start to figure out what’s unique about your offering. Or maybe not – maybe your offering never becomes particularly unique.
But you will remain unique. That’s your shortcut as a solopreneur. Amplify the attributes of your personality that people engage with. Communicate those attributes, along with your main selling point, and you essentially have your unique selling point in the bag.