When you’re entering the online world of business, it can be daunting to realise there’s hundreds of sites that offer similar, or the same services as you. This alone shouldn’t put you off your venture. There are ways you can appeal to an audience and as I’ve heard it said in the online world, ‘there’s a seat at the table for you’!
How you set yourself apart from the competition plays a big role in your success. In the blogging and influencer world, people talk about having a ‘niche’. When you are starting a business or beginning to monetise what you do, this can also be translated as having a ‘Unique Selling Proposition’, or USP. It’s also sometimes called a Useful Value Proposition.
A USP is your selling point. It’s what sets you apart from the crowd and why a customer should choose your business over the others. Your USP should be clearly visible to visitors when they land on your site. It’s generally broken down into a headline, a paragraph and even a few dot-points about what you do.
So, how do you figure out your USP?
It takes a lot of looking inwards and researching your competition to not only find your uniqueness, but also be able to communicate this clearly and immediately when someone lands on your site.
What problem does your business solve?
Firstly, visitors need to know how you can solve their problem. This is different from simply what you offer. As an example, here we offer website consultations to assess the health of people’s sites. This is what I offer. But how I solve someone’s problem is by helping them grow their business/brand by providing them with web solutions that will help maximise their site’s conversions.
For another example, think about what is more appealing:
We offer pest control services for your home
Your home will be safe from the attack of pests
The first version is what the business does. The second version solves their customer’s problem of fearing a pest invasion. The second version is more dynamic and speaks directly to a visitor’s need. Solving a problem often includes emotive language – here you’re appealing to people being able to rest at ease, because their home is protected.
Find what sets you apart
Once you’ve figured out how to solve your customer’s problem, you’ll need to add what sets you apart from your competition. If you’re unsure what sets you apart, you can always add a ‘bonus’ into what you do.
Two websites that sell the same hair straightener. One offers free shipping.
Two postal services that cost the same price to ship. One guarantees next day delivery.
Two web hosting services. One’s support centre is open 24/7.
What sets you apart from the competition doesn’t always have to be price-related (although it can be, if you can swing it). Think about what your customers would value from your business and add it in.
For Newcastle Creative Co, what sets our services apart is that we personally check your site to find web solutions tailored to your business’ needs. This kind of holistic approach to your website (SEO, digital marketing, ecommerce stores, great design and conversion optimisation) is hard to find in one place. Another USP is that Julian and I have been working in this industry with our own clients since 2012 – we’ve got the professional experience to back us up.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a WordPress consultant with that much experience (seeing as the WP landscape quickly changes). A lot of information you come across is hard to trust because the people giving it don’t have the same level of experience as we do.
How To Write a USP for your Business
-Solve a customer’s problem.
-Use straightforward, clear language.
-Break text up with short sentences and dot points.
-Add in your offers or bonuses.
-Place your USP on the home page and main entry pages.
-Get others to read it and recite it back to you, in their own language (this will test how clear your USP is!)
-Use vague language.
-Use too much text. Short and punchy is best.
-Make it about you. It should be all about the customer.
-Turn it into a slogan.
How do you feel about writing your own USP now? Give it a go! It’s not only valuable for your business but also for yourself to clarify what you offer. USPs may take some time to get right, so don’t be afraid of working on it or tweaking it as you go.
For more advice on running an online business, you might be interested in: