A little while ago, one of my regular clients asked me to have a look at his website content and tighten it up. The thing I immediately noticed was that, as with so many websites, it was all about “why you should use my type of service” rather than “why you should use me.”
He seemed to me to be selling himself short, since he provides an excellent service. His explanation was that, since many of his competitors were so much larger, he was afraid of coming off worse in any comparison.
I didn’t agree at all, so I rewrote his content to show what I meant. I emphasised how customers would get expert but personal service from an intimate, human-sized company, rather than being a number lost in some giant organisation. He saw the point and has used the revised version.
Whatever size your business is, however limited your resources, however many competitors you have, you have something unique to offer — and, if you don’t, why are you in business? Which means you have something to market, if you can identify it.
You’re probably familiar with the concept of the Unique Selling Point (or Proposition), but it’s important for far more than understanding your business. It’s your greatest strength, and it’s what your entire marketing campaign should be built round.
Of course, your model won’t be for everyone. In the case of the client I mentioned, no doubt some customers would prefer the anonymity and safety in numbers of a giant company. However, if customers are going to be attracted to you, they’ll be attracted by your USP, so that’s what you need to hit them with.
It has to be genuine, of course — marketing based on lies is an extremely short-sighted strategy and is only likely to work if your plan is to take the money and run. Which I wouldn’t suggest anyone should do.
On the other hand, you have the perfect right to emphasise what you’re strongest at. There are three possible reactions: “Yes, that’s just what I was looking for”, “I never thought about it that way, but it makes sense” or “That’s not what I want.” The last never was your customer, but marketing to your strengths means you’ll gain far more than you lose.
So value your USP and use it as the heart and soul of all your marketing. It’s who you are as a business.
Image courtesy of Steve Snodgrass via Creative Commons licence