How to stand out when you don’t have a USP
Every marketer (including me) says you have to highlight your USP (unique selling point) to make your reader understand why he or she should choose you.
But I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and conclude that very few business can honestly say they offer something no one else does.
If you think about what you do and how you do it and then look at your competitors, I’m pretty sure you’ll find at least one that does the same thing (or at least something that’s very similar).
As a copywriter, I help my clients communicate their brand through words. The problem is, so does every other writer I know.
I don’t have a magic formula for content creation: just years of experience, common sense and ability to see beyond the obvious.
The only ‘unique’ thing about my business is that I do the writing. There is only one me (for which I am sure my husband and kids are eternally grateful). Therefore no one else writes like me, interacts like me, or has the same ideas as me.
That poses a problem.
If you don’t have a bona fide USP how can you possibly stand out from every other company in your industry?
It all comes down to communication
It’s not about what you say, but how you say it.
If you can communicate with your readers in a tone that they understand and engage with, you’re halfway there.
Of course, you must also make sure your content answers any questions they may have.
It also has to show them how your product or service will be of benefit to them (i.e. how it will make their life easier).
That way, even if you don’t have one standout feature, you will be able to show the reader why they should choose you over every other provider they’ve look at.
How to be different
That sounds all well and good, but does it look like in reality?
Well, you’re looking at things like:
- Unique website design (i.e. not a template)
- Original images rather than stock images
- Clear navigation
- Well-written, benefits-focused content that’s SEO friendly and on brand
- Clear headings and subheadings
- A conversational tone without any jargon or marketing speak
- Simple language and sentence construction
- Short paragraphs
- Original content that dares to be different to your industry’s norm
That’s quite a list, but if you work with someone who knows what they’re doing, it’s straightforward to achieve.
Sally Ormond is an international copywriter. Working across all industries, she creates on-brand content for on and offline marketing as well as internal communications.