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.


Top 5 Social Media ROI Metrics For The Business Owner

Assess time, money and other resources you put into Social Media

Every astute business owner wants to determine the return on investment made in all aspects of their business, including Social Media and Social Networking.  Here are five ways to determine ROI  for these important marketing media.

1. Reach – This is the number of  Twitter followers, Facebook fans, LinkedIn group members you have  and is directly related to your social media success. The more people will see your content, the more people will spread your messages.  Track how your reach is increasing over time. If you’re not attracting new followers as time goes on, focus more of your social media efforts on generating new fans and followers. You  must build your reach to increase the value you get from social media marketing.

2. Traffic to website/blog – In social media marketing, one major goal you should have is to drive traffic from social networks to your website and/or blog. Look at your website/blog’s referral sources to determine how many visitors came from social media sites. For example, when you post a blog update use to shorten the link to your blog since will  track number the of persons who click on the link and therefore traffic driven to your website.

3. Lead Generation– This is arguably one of  the most important metrics to use when measuring social media marketing ROI. Take another look at the traffic you’re generating from social media sites. Of that traffic, how many of those website and blog visitors are converting into leads? Of course having a lead conversion form on your website to capture visitor contact information is extremely important in this process.

4. New Customers – Now take the lead data one step further. Are your social media leads actually turning into customers? And just how many of them are? Being able to attribute actual customers gained is perhaps the most powerful indicator that the time you spend on social media marketing is actually worth it.

5. Conversion Rate – What’s the visit-to-lead conversion rate of your social media traffic? In other words, of the social media traffic you’re generating, what percentage of those visitors become leads? While this may seem like a useless metric in itself, the conversion rate can be very useful when comparing one channel with another. For example, you can compare your Facebook conversion rate to your blogging conversion rate to analyze the ROI of those channels relative to each other.


Use ROI to determine your success on Social Media

Do share with us your how you determine the success of  investing your resources in Social Media and Social Networking?






Will Small Businesses Benefit From Facebook Business Page Changes?

You may have heard the news that Facebook business page layout is imminent, or taken a look at your Facebook Business Page and noticed a redesign. It’s more than just a new look, these enhancements give you the following:

  • Improved social marketing abilities
  • More networking opportunities
  • Easier usability for both users and page administrators

Here are five specific improvements for you to bear in mind as you implement your Facebook tactics.

1. You can now add more detail to your Facebook business profiles. The new design provides multiple sections telling visitors and prospects more about what you do. New sections include a company overview, mission, awards, and product detail. Not only can you share more information, but you can also filter out posts. Page admins can select between an “Everyone” and a “page posts only” default link for the wall. And the “Everyone” link automatically filters the comments to show the most relevant information instead of posting chronologically. Posts by friends, local users, and ones that received a lot of “Likes” and comments will bubble to the top.

2. Facebook introduced profanity and moderation tools that will help page admins achieve better control of negative content.

3. Page tabs have been replaced with a vertical panel of links on the left side, below the profile picture. This panel gives a little more space for longer, more descriptive titles than were available with the tabs.

4. There is a new strategic referral section – There is an area that will show users which of their friends also “Like” your page as well as any mutual “Likes” they have with your business such as “Favorite Pages.” .

5. “Use Facebook as Page” option. This allows page admins to make comments on other pages as your business’ page (instead of from a personal profile). Let’s say your company really likes what Tender Touch For All is doing with their various events to provide care for seniors and veterans, this new feature gives your business the ability to let them know from your page. So you’re not only talking directly to Tender Touch For All from your business’ page, you’re also talking to everyone who looks at their page as well. This opens the door for new business, and it’s a great tool to leverage strategic partnerships.

Although you have the ability to engage from the page now, people still want to know more about the people behind the business. So consider the personality that you want to reflect for your business and start to build it into your page through comments, posts and likes.

Facebook has always been a great way to connect with consumers. And with this new layout, it’s now easier to connect with other businesses as well. If you’re still skeptical, head over to our Facebook page to see what it’s all about. It may take some getting use to, but you’ll love the improvements.

Do share with us any other new improvements or even drawbacks you have discovered.


8 Guidelines For Using Facebook’s Name

Mark Zuckerberg - Founder of Facebook

Facebook is very has set clear guidelines on how to make correct references in writing/text to its name. Here are 8 of these official guidelines which will help you stay clear of any illegal infringment on Facebook’s property

  1. You can make a reference to Facebook (online and offline) to describe your presence on Facebook and your use of the products and services that Facebook offer. Your reference must be truthful, and cannot suggest that you are affiliated with, sponsored, or endorsed by Facebook.
  2. Written or Textual references to Facebook should never be hyperlinked to anything but your login page.
  3. Never combine your name with Facebook’s name.
  4. Facebook should be in the same font size and style as the other content.
  5. When referenced in text, Facebook should be capitalized.
  6. When inviting users to like your Page, say ‘like our Page‘ or ‘become a fan by clicking Like on our Page‘. Do not invite them to ‘friend’ your Page – users can only become friends with other users.
  7. Do not use Facebook, or any other of our trademarks, as a verb. They should not be pluralize either since trademarks may not be modified in that manner.
  8. When referring to Facebook as the method by which you are organizing an event, you must make it clear that you, and not Facebook, are responsible for the event.

5 Tips To Succeed In Social Media Marketing

Here are 5 tips to help you start getting better results from social media with very little investment and with strong systems in place to measure your success.

Measure Your Success On Social Media

#1: Identify Your Target Market and Listen to Them

The first step to measuring success in social media marketing is proper scope. There are new social networks popping up each week. It’s a waste of resources to join every new social network only to find you have no time to manage them. Find out where your most active customers & influencers spend time online – then listen and take notes.

Here’s some tools you can use to tune into the conversation: Technorati, Google Blog Search, Bloglines and  Twitter Search. More advanced social media monitoring tools include Radian6 and Techrigy.

#2: Get Involved in Conversations

The second step towards success is consistently utilizing social media to engage prospective customers. When you start listening to conversations, you might hear some things about your company that aren’t very complimentary. That’s ok. Your job now is to engage these customers and find a way to help. Be willing to acknowledge mistakes when they happen. Customers are surprisingly forgiving if a company engages in an honest and egoless manner.

If you’re one of the lucky companies who only have enthusiastic and happy customers, recognize their desire to interact with you and be generous with your time. Be open to engaging with them on their turf. They’ll reward your brand with greater enthusiasm – which is a message that spreads through social networks like wildfire, and solidifies your brand.

Happy, satisfied Retro Lounge & Grill customers

For instance, on Twitter both Starbucks and Whole Foods share customer comments, local specials, and ask customers what their favorite items are. On Facebook, Retro Lounge & Grill share their upcoming events, specials and ask their fans what is their favorite thing to do at Retro? It’s casual and open, yet share important information and get feed back. This activity go a far way to enhancing the attractiveness of these brands. Check out some of the brands on Twitter, and implement some of their conversation techniques.

#3: Give! Give! Give!

How involved is your team in communicating with prospective customers, influencers and current customers on social networking sites? How often are you publishing great content that helps your prospects do their jobs? How often do you blog, Tweet, post photos on Flickr, comment on other blogs, Podcast, upload videos, etc? The more content that you produce and publish on social media sites, the more traffic you can attract back to your website. If your site is designed well to convert visitors into leads, these activities will help you increase sales.

#4: Master the Tools of the Trade

Social media strategy should tie to business and communication strategy, rather than being based on the available tools. But it is not possible to develop a social media strategy without at least having an understanding of the various tools that are available, their functionality and purposes, and the kinds of audiences and conversations for which they might be best suited.

Master The Appropriate Social Media Tools

It’s critical to tie your business strategy to your social media strategy. However, without a knowledge of what social media and social networking sites enable you to do, it’s hard to know how to do that. It’s important to establish a blog as your home base. Then, learn the capabilities of each site to help you interact. For example, Twitter provides an almost unfettered ability to connect with your prospective clients. But, it only allows you to type 140 characters at a time. So, maybe a video posted to YouTube would be a better way to publish a “how-to”. Linkedin & Facebook let you see who your contacts know. But, Facebook makes it much easier to connect with them. LinkedIn Answers is a much better place to answer business focused questions than any other social network.

It’s important to learn how to use these sites in order to get business value out of your social media activity. Talk to an expert to determine where to spend your time to get the best return.

#5: Use Website Analytics Software to Measure Leads and Sales.

Many experts agree that social media will affect the next generation of search engine optimization techniques as search engines start to use the signals we collectively leave as we network and share media online. Presently, social media activity affects the success of  inbound marketing techniques like:

  • Search engine ranking
  • Social book marking activity
  • Social networking connections
  • Video/podcast views/listens
  • Inbound links
  • RSS subscriptions
  • Comments on your blog
  • Mentions of your brand
  • Number of times people search for your brand
  • Visitors (first-time and repeat) to your website or blog

The end goal is lead generation and sales. Use tracking codes, a solid analytics package like FREE Google Analytics and closed loop marketing in order to track the visits, leads and sales that occur as a result of your social media activities.

How do you define success on Social Media?  Are you succeeding, are you happy with your progress? Do share via our comment section.