Building a Purposeful + Profitable: Means Knowing Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Something I've noticed lately among value-based microbusiness owners is a tendency to believe we need to get our purpose right before focusing on profit.
There is an intuition that if we don't know our purpose, our why, we will get caught up in tactics or shiny object syndrome and fall into the "me-too" shackles of competitive business. That intuition is right and points to something critical for building a profitable business, but it isn't the whole of it.
Purpose is a cornerstone for long-term profitability, but let's not forget purpose has many facets.
Why does your business exist? If your purpose is more than just your passion, you'll start to develop the many flavors and textures that make your brand enticing to the people you want to reach.
If your purpose stays wrapped up in what you want - if it is just about you - it might not be a profitable business.
Creating a USP (unique selling position) is the fastest way to move from a self-centered purpose to an extraordinarily useful expression of your purpose. Your USP answers the most important question ever asked of your brand.
If I'm your ideal client, why would I want to buy from you?
This question is problematic for most microbusiness owners. It is tempting to skip over or avoid altogether, because it brings up some really uncomfortable feelings of insecurity and uncertainty. To ease, or avoid this pain, we often resort to thinking a charming personality, intuitive abilities, experience of being an over-comer, or other intangibles like, having a holistic view, being ethical, reliable, mindful in approach, big-picture thinking, are the basis of differentiation.
Self perceived values naturally lead to an, "I'm better" conclusion. This innocent mistake causes most disconnects in converting an interested prospect to a paying client.
Conversion, or getting a prospect to say yes means the person buying believes you are better than the other choices.
Value is perceived
Perception underpins everything we think, believe, love, and do. When it comes to perception, we only respond to what we know, because perception is grounded in our experience and conditioning.
A unique selling proposition is priceless if it is perceived as valuable by a prospective buyer.
This is where it gets tricky. Unless we understand how a prospect perceives value, we won't be effective in our marketing efforts.
For the most part, no one likes uncertainty. Even if we want to do something new, to take action or change circumstances, if we don't feel sense of certainty, we will wait or just pass altogether on what is being offered. When we feel a sense of certainty it is easy to say yes. If we are even slightly confused, we say no.
We've all had an experience of just knowing, at a gut level, that an offer is right for us without being able to pin-point just exactly how we know.
How do we tap that gut-level sense of right-fit
We have to know how our ideal client perceives value to help them see the connection between their desires and our ability to deliver.
The only way to tap the gut-level sense of right fit is to design everything to be a right-fit for someone. Understanding value through the eyes of ideal clients and designing for them isn't about compromising your passions or why, it is expanding your purpose to include "who" you serve in a more intentional way.
Connecting purpose with USP
The USP has been a missing component from purpose because of a simple misunderstanding from thinking passion alone will be enough.
I'm not saying this is an easy or intuitive process. In fact, it is one of the most challenging and often frustrating aspects of marketing a business.
In developing Empathy Marketing with my collaborative partner, Abby Kerr of The Voice Bureau, our purpose came from a deep understanding of just how difficult this is for many value-based businesses. We work with people who have a strong calling and conviction. They know their "why" but just don't know how to authentically express their USP (how they are unique -- and a better fit than all other choices). Empathy Marketing is a process for understanding a brand's value through the eyes of an ideal client or through another's perception.
Seeing yourself, seeing your brand through the eyes of a prospect, and understanding things from their point-of-view is a powerful experience. Try seeing the world through your ideal clients lens and perspective and while keeping those glasses on, turn and look at your brand. Are you including their priorities and desires in your purpose?
Do you know how to articulate your unique selling proposition? Connect with me on Google Plus to continue the conversation.
You might also be interested in:
How do you define an ideal client?
Is SEO a waste of time for solopreneurs and microbusinesses