If you’re like me and you end up going to networking events a lot, you may just get some crazy marketing person come up to you and ask you your ‘USP’. Then they’ll stand there with a smug grim on their face while you try and work out what the heck they are on about.
So what is a USP?
Well, it stands for “unique selling proposition”.
In non marketing speak, it is a definition of what makes you special and sets you apart from other freelancers. It’s about creating a unique reason for customers to use your services and not your competition.
It makes you more unique, valuable and visible in the market.
For example, Federal Express (FedEx) dominated the package shipping market with “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” The deployment of this USP allowed Federal Express to emerge as the dominant leader in the industry, taking market share rapidly, and also increasing its sales and profits.
Obviously, you need to be able to back this up too, you can’t just sat it.
Do Freelancers Need A USP?
Absolutely. Your USP will be one of the tools you use to makes you stand out. It will help people understand why it’s worth spending more with you than some guy they find on any old freelance job site.
In theory, if it’s a truly unique reason, then you’re the only one who can possibly deliver what the client wants. That’s when you can start commanding the prices you want.
When you create your USP, don’t get too precious. This will be a work in progress and you can refine it as you grow and develop as a freelancer.
Don’t forget, that your USP is a sentence or phrase that explains what makes you special. So when you develop your USP, you need to put yourself in your prospects’ position.
Think about your freelance services from the point of view of someone about to hire you. What’s important to them and what would be a compelling reason for them to choose you over your competition?
What does your service do for them? How will you solve their problems or improve an outcome?
Customers are not interested in features. However, they are very motivated by benefits.
Freelancing is obviously a competitive market, and you can’t be all things to all people. So maybe it’s worth trying to find a niche. An area in the market that you can take ownership of because of the unique benefits you offer. For example, there are designers that only create websites for churches.
So, to summarise. A good Freelance USP should be:
>> One sentence.
>> One that everyone can understand.
>> Contain benefits that are unique to you.
Then when you have it, use it on all your communications.
Also, add yours below to inspire other readers.