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.

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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.

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