Discover Your USP and Use It To Power Up Your Sales

Discover your USP & differentiate yourself from the rest

Discover your USP and stand out from the rest

The key to effective selling is what advertising and marketing  professionals call a “unique selling proposition” (USP). Unless you can  pinpoint what makes your business unique and makes you stand out  from your competitors, you cannot target your sales efforts successfully.

 So what is USP?
USP is the reason presented by the seller that a product or service is  different from and better than that of the competition. This is the  benefit that your customer or client receives that makes your business stand out. It’s what makes you different and earns you a special place in the minds of your potential customers.

The point is, differentiating your business is a Good Thing, whether you’re talking about the business itself, your products or your marketing. Think about it from your customer’s point of view. With tens or hundreds of potential options out there, you have to answer the question, “why should I buy from you?” If you don’t answer that question quickly and effectively, your potential customers will move on.

USP Is Not About Being the Best
Having a great product or superb content is probably not enough of a difference to make your business stand out. In most markets, having a great product is just the price of admission.

When you’re small, it’s hard to compete on product or content quality alone. You need to change the conversation. Instead of screaming “hey, look at me, I have great stuff too,” you want to confidently say, “hey, I’m all about X, we do things differently. If you’re into X, we’re the only place you can get it.” The answer is that you don’t compete at all. Instead, you become the best at something no one else is attempting.

Discovering Your Unique Selling Proposition
There are a lot of different approaches you can take to discovering your USP which might end up being a combination of things. There’s no one right answer and depending on what business you are in, even a small amount of differentiation could lead to a much greater shot at success.

Here are a few simple ways to differentiate your business. These aren’t the only ways, but it’s a starting point to get you thinking.

Use Your Personality
If you’re running a very small business or are the primary owner of your business, sometimes your personality alone can be a powerful difference. You have to have a personality that resonates with people to pull this off however. Putting your personal stamp on many aspects of your business will allow you to create something no one can directly compete with.

Explore The Intersection Of Ideas
Interesting things happen at the intersection of ideas. Mix collective buying power with the social web and you get Groupon. Mix retail buying with the web and you get Amazon. Think about the industry your business is in, and what you could add to the mix to make it more interesting and unique. It doesn’t require inventing something new, just combine two things you already know about.

Narrow Your Target Market
You can choose a narrow target market who has never had a business like yours cater specifically to it. For example, become a Financial Advisor just for Registered Nurses (RN), or a CPA just for Restaurants or an Event Planner just for large outdoor events. Think about this from the customer’s standpoint. If you were a RN and need help with financial advice, you would be inclined to choose that person who that specializes in RN.

The other benefit of specializing in a narrow market segment is that promotion becomes much easier. You know where to find your target market  and you will better know what marketing message will be appealing.

Finally, Remember You’re Not Trying to Appeal to Everyone
As you begin to develop your USP it might seem like you are leaving out some potential customers as it is a natural tendency to want to please everybody. But when you try to please everybody, you end up pleasing no one. The goal of your USP is to connect more strongly with some people, and not so much with others. This is what you want because when you connect strongly with a smaller lucrative market your revenues will increase quickly.


7 Rules To success on Social Media – According To Coke

Coke’s SVP (left) with Fortune Editor at large Patricia Sellers

Coke’s SVP (left) with Fortune Editor at large Patricia Sellers

In social media, Coke is it. Coca-Cola is the biggest consumer brand on Facebook. Recently, at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit Wendy Clark, SVP of Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities at Coca-Cola was interviewed. She shared her seven rules for building a mega-brand in social media:

 1. Be share-worthy in everything you do.

In a market that is now completely socially connected, we increasingly are thinking about our audience in two ways: our Initial Audience–those we can reach directly (52 MM Facebook fans, 600K Twitter followers, 18MM My Coke rewards members, etc)–and our Ultimate Audience, which is those people whom our Initial Audience can reach for us. For Coca-Cola, our Facebook fans are just over one fan or friend away from the entire Facebook community of 1 billion+. So if we do our job well of developing useful, compelling, interesting and share-worthy content, our fans become our sales force for us.

 2. Listen. Then respond authentically and humanly.

The days of hiding behind two-sentence corporate statements have to end. This is easier said than done. We’re still unlearning this. Consumers and all constituents expect more. Coca-Cola isn’t a faceless corporation to them; it’s a brand they love and enjoy throughout their day. So when they interact with us, they expect that same experience: a human interaction. There are more than 15,000 Tweets everyday on brand Coca-Cola; any that are a question, we answer. We have to. Consumers’ expectations are that we’re listening and responding.

3. Think big. Start small. Scale fast.

If you have an ambition that you want to double the size of your business in, say, 10 years, you had better have a big innovation pipeline to help get you there. When we’re at our best, we think massively, but we beta and test that thinking in small bets to learn. To meet our innovation (and growth) ambitions, we are trying to get much better at discussing failures or learnings. For a big company like ours, it’s critical. Because we’re built for scale and if we don’t get better at testing, learning and then scaling, we have the potential of scaling the wrong thing perfectly.

4. Social is not a silver bullet. But social can make everything else better.

So much is made of social media and marketing that we can tend to overrate what it can do. We do not see social marketing as a standalone. Rather, our mantra for our media and connections planning is “social at the heart.” So we think in terms of ideas and campaigns that are social (share-worthy) at their core and then we think about how we can amplify the ideas and campaigns.

 5. Content is the new currency. Create accordingly.

With 72 hours of content uploaded every minute on YouTube, the world is not suffering from lack of content. With this in mind, content creation has to be useful, interesting, important, share-worthy. We learned this in seeing the difference in interaction level between status updates and Tweets that we wrote vs. those that our agencies wrote. We also learned that replication isn’t always a good thing in social marketing. When we had a hit viral video in Coca-Cola Happiness machine, our first instinct was to replicate the film. We did that and had a fraction of the views.

6. We might be shepherds, stewards and guardians of our brands, but we no longer control them.

At best, we get to participate and co-create with our fans. I’d estimate that 10-20% of the content and conversation on our brands comes from us. The other 80%+ comes from others. So we need to get invited in to these communities and co-create with our fans.

 7. Think of your constituents as storytellers.

Taking the principle of Initial and Ultimate audiences, we’re increasingly thinking about all of our constituents as storytellers, not just receivers of our content. This includes our consumers, employees, NGO partners, media, etc.. So our principle becomes that we create content and tell stories that we want to be retold.





Are Your Competitors Stealing Your Sales Leads?

At this very minute someone might be stealing your leads, it might sound crazy but this is happening every day on  the Internet.

Prevent your competitors from stealing your leads

Some important facts

  • Every day 506,000 people are shopping for products and services on the internet.
  • Every minute 305 people are looking for goods and services like what you provide.
  • Google tells us that 9 out of 10 persons will visit your website before calling you or reaching out to you in any way.
  • Microsoft tells us we have only 10 seconds to get the attention of visitors to your website before they hit the back button.
  • An effective website will generate 1% leads from the persons who visit the site.

How do you make sure your competitors are not stealing your leads?

1. Make sure your home page has a very compelling story that will captivate your visitors – If you have a lame website then your visitors will not stay. Your website should look professional and enhance your brand.

2.  Make sure your website is easy to read, easy to get around and easy to understand – Do not use jargon and industry terms that the average person does not understand. If you must use industry terms,  provide more details or explanation.  If a 5th grader does not understand your site then it is probably too complicated.

3. Have a landing page – Sometimes known as a “lead capture page” is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result or an online advertisement. The general goal of a landing page is to convert site visitors into sales leads.

4. Provide free offers – offers of a free white paper, product or service that will help your visitors solve their problems will give them a reason to stay on your site and use you as their solutions provider.

Next week’s post will be on how to create a compelling website.


7 Benefits To Increasing Your Facebook Page Likes or Fans

1) Facebook Users Spend Almost 150% More Money Online Than Non-Users

A well documented study by eMarketer found that the people who used Facebook spent almost two and a half times more money online than those that did not use Facebook.  The heavy users, who are the ones that hit the like button the most, spent an average of $67 online as opposed to $27 spent online by non-users. 

2) People Who Click the Like Button are the Most Engaged Facebook Users

According to Facebook…

“People who click the Facebook Like button are more engaged, active and connected than the average Facebook user. The average “liker” has 2.4x the amount of friends than that of a typical Facebook user. They are also more interested in exploring content they discover on Facebook — they click on 5.3x more links to external sites than the typical Facebook user.  As publishers work to identify the best ways to reach a younger, always on audience, we’ve found that the average “liker” on a news site is 34.”

3) Showing Up First in Facebook Search Results

Facebook has more traffic than any other site in the world, including Google.  The two key components that determine Facebook search results are the number of likes a page has and the keywords used in the title of the page.

4) The Viral Syndication of Content

The more fans you have, the greater chance you have of your posts going viral.  Facebook reports that the average user has 130 friends.  This means if you have 10,000 fans, then you have a 1st level reach of 1.3 million Facebook users (10,000 fans multiplied by 130 friends each).  This is the power of Facebook.  One great post could lead to millions reading your message.

5) More Traffic to Your Website

Here are some impressive recent stats from Facebook integration with businesses…

  • The average media site integrated with Facebook has seen a 300% increase in referral traffic.
  • Users coming to the from Facebook spend 85% more time, read 90% more articles and watch 85% more videos than a non-connected user.
  • Levi’s saw a 40 times increase in referral traffic from Facebook after implementing the Like button in April 2010 and has maintained those levels since.
  • When a Ticketmaster user posts a specific event they are attending, or may want to attend, to Facebook, it generates $5.30 of direct ticket sales.

6) The Higher Your Fan Count, The More People Will Like You

On Facebook  some people decide whether or not to become a fan based on the number of fans you already have.  Having over 200 Likes will effect on how many people choose to like your page.

7) The Facebook Fan Count is the New Better Business Bureau Stamp of Approval

If you place the Facebook widget in a prominent spot on your website, then it can dramatically influence the conversion ratio of your entire site.  By seeing that 100s of people have recommended or liked your page on Facebook, it gives your website visitors a perceived sense of trust that leads to more conversions.


Make Your Transition To Facebook New Business Page Easy

On March 30thall Facebook Business Page will look differently. If it has not been done, Facebook will automatically update all business pages to the Timeline format which personal pages now have. If you wish to see what your present business page will look like, select the preview option in the Facebook advisory message at the top of  page.

Preview the new format of your page and tweak it before publishing

You can choose to adopt this format now but here are eight important things to know that will help to make this transition as smooth as possible.

1. Cover Photo

The first page your fans will see will have a large image or cover photo. You can now use your own cover photos at the very top of your timeline to show a new, striking visual layer to your service or product offerings.

The image is quite large and it will be public, so choose something or have an image created that represents and enhances your company and brand. If you are into retail like Walmart you could use this image.

Walmart's cover photo reflects the brand

If you want a really memorable cover photo, there are third-party applications such as SiteCanvas, my and Cover Creator that can create jazzy cover images using your photos.

The cover photo can be up to 850 pixels by 315 pixels but may not contain any of the following:

  •  Price or purchase information, such as “30 percent off” or “Download it at our website.”
  •  Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section.
  •  References to user interface elements, such as ‘like’ or ‘share’, or any other Facebook site features.
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

2.  A Smaller Profile Picture

The height of the profile picture has drastically changed and is now only 180 by 180 pixels. You could use your logo or another image that summarizes your brand so visitors will know immediately what you are about.

3. Changes To The About Section

The about section has long been a part of your Facebook page, but now it’s more predominately featured at the top of your timeline.

About section for companies with a physical location

It’s important that you update this section of your timeline, depending on  which of the two versions of the about section applies to your timeline.

i) Local businesses: If your timeline is associated with a physical location, then it will look like the image on the right.

About section for companies without a physical location

ii) No physical location: If your timeline features a brand without a single physical location, then it will look the  image on the right.

The section lets you add a description of up to to 255 characters. It’s important to be extremely clear and concise, giving first time visitors a clear understanding of what your company is about since this is on the fist page they will see.

4. Default Landing Tabs Will Be Things Of The Past

Facebook has removed the ability to create a default landing tab, so if you have one your customized welcome tab will not be the first page new visitors to your site will see. Instead they will see what will be your cover photo and Business Page time line. You can use your other customized tabs  and they can now be up to 760 pixels wide.

5. Photos, Likes, and Apps Are At The Top Of The Page

Photos show in the first spot, but you can change the order of everything else so people see what matters most. You can show a maximum number of 12 apps, so make sure to put your most important ones first.

With 12 apps make sure to have your most important ones first


6. New Administrator Panel

The administrative panel is small, compact and track all  activities on your page. You can see at a glance your new ‘likes’ , who comments or share your post. The insights of post engagement and reach are displayed on a graph which is easy to understand.

7. Message Fans Directly

Now people can contact you privately using messages. Notifications about new messages will appear right in your admin panel.

8. You Can Change Your Business Page Name

Another great this that this change brings is the ability to change your Facebook Business name. If you did not make the best choice for your business page name, you can now request to change it by using this link .

As Facebook continues to grow, develop and change we can be certain that more changes will come so be on the look out. Do feel free to share with us any challenges you face, comments or questions you might have as you transition to this new Facebook format for Business Page.