Thanks to sweet ol' social media, everything has multiplied. Selfies are rife, Stories are being uploaded every nanosecond and businesses are booming. Er, that’s businesses, products, service-based businesses, brands and influencers, multiplied by about X 25 million [at last count – and that’s just on Instagram].
All of a sudden, we have choice. Lots of choice. We have 590* candle businesses to sniff [shout out to all those candle makers keeping the world smelling ace] - and that’s just in my suburb [basically], with an equal amount of florists. There’s a whole lot of eyebrow technicians to eyeball [kudos to @megtheshapeco and @thebrowclinic for keeping eyebrows on fleek], balloon biddies blowing up and popping off [yay for @thelittlebigballoonco] and a HUGE market for social media marketers. Plus many, maaaany more categories I haven’t mentioned.
So how does one stand out among all the web-y noise? Especially when it’s like peak hour on a Mumbai train. Read: super crowded.
[Sidenote: don’t get me wrong - there is a place for every single amazing one of you and even your candle-loving-eyebrow-fleeking dog. This is the new eco system, fuelled by freelancers, small business owners, creatives and more – but that’s another blog post and I’m just trying to make a point to segue in to the point of this blog post].
You need a bloody good USP.
USP = Unique Selling Proposition. From Wikipedia - A unique selling proposition (USP) refers to the unique benefit exhibited by a company, service, product or brand that enables it to stand out from competitors. The unique selling proposition must be a feature that highlights product benefits that are meaningful to consumers.
What’s my USP? Thought you’d never ask.
Mine / Neon Moose’s USP – is tenure [google it]. Tenure with:
Writing / copywriting: Ok I'll just come right [write?] out and say it: I have been freelancing and writing for magazines since 2001 [Eek! That's like, SEVENTEEN gulp YEARS]. Seventeen [cringe] years of penning hundreds of articles [working full time for 4.5 years across 3 street magazines will do that] and hundreds of radio ads [working full time for 2.5 years across two radio stations will do that too] and now [17 years on!] freelancing for various magazines and blogs.
Social media: It all started 10 years ago [hello 2008], when the publishing house I worked at needed a Facebook and Twitter account.
You know, back when Facebook was all about writing on your friend’s ‘wall’, MySpace (remember top friends?) was 'it' and Instagram was no where to be seen. Obviously, social media was a v different vehicle back then!
In every writing / marketing job, I got the gig of 'social media chick' [yes I got a lot of, ‘Wow you get to go on Facebook all day? Cool!’]. A gig where I got to dabble and hone in on this ever evolving craft.
That’s 10 years of working, learning and staying abreast of social media [and all its shiny new features!] up my creative sleeve. I even have the case studies to prove it.
Marketing: My very first job circa 1999 was marketing assistant for a phone company. Yup, I was knee deep in Nokia 5110s and cold calling. Eek! Over the years I got to learn marketing in the digital age, having worked in 2 x corporate marketing jobs [one a hotel and one a local council]. with [thankfully] not a 5110 in sight. These days, you'll find me marketing for my clients, with a solid online/offline strategy, creative campaigns and bang on execution.
Another USP? Me. I had a quick google and apparently no one is doing me… My ideas, thoughts or creativity. Or the marketing campaigns I bring to the table. The social media ideas I throw down. The words I write. All me. For my clients.
For a service based bizzo, tenure + me = a good USP for clients-to-be. Just ask my current clients 😉
So what’s your USP? I’ll start. Your USP is… YOU. Like no one can do me, no one can do you.
Your ideas. Your thoughts. Your creativity. [See? There IS a place for everyone in this online/offline eco system!]
Plus let's not forget your point of difference and what separates you from your competitors.
For example, if you're a small business that pedals beauty products which are eco friendly – echo it everywhere, sista! [or brother]. A tattoo artist and only use squid ink*? You best be tattooing it on your customer's foreheads. Produce wine locally? Then YES WAY ROSE, you market that shi[ra]z with a home grown angle [if your target demo is local, of course].
You get the gist.
Subtly weave your USP across different marketing avenues - blogs, social media, PR, whatever - and people will grow to know and love your business.
‘You are unique and that is your superpower.’ – every meme-uploader ever. Well that's pretty much bang on.
As businesses keep cropping up, our USP’s need to become stronger.
Because chances are, there’s a whoooooole lot of other people who do what you do.
Don’t hate. DIFFERENCIATE.
NO USP? NO WORRIES + READ ON:
Identify your ideal customers / understand your target audience.
What are their problems and how can your product or service solve them?
How do your products or services separate you from your competition?
Once you’ve worked this out – voila – you have a USP.
AWESOME COMPANIES WITH AN AWESOME USP:
The Aussie Smile Co - 'organic activated charcoal' teeth whitening kits.
Snow Fox - skincare containing 'a plant based potency like no other'.
Doggy Grub - dog food made with 100% natural, human-grade ingredients.
From the Wild - plant-based cakes [GF, paleo, vegan and soy free] from the Adelaide Hills.
MOJO Kombucha - 100% certified organic, live sparkling probiotic drink.
*Actual figure may or may not be entirely true.
*You do know I’m being redick, right?