What is a USP?

in Top copywriting tips

In a previous post, we looked at features and benefits. In this post I’d like to take things one step further and discuss your USP – your unique selling point. Your USP is what makes you memorable. In crude terms, in a business context, it’s the thing that will make a prospective customer pick up the phone and call you rather than your competitor. In the charitable world, it’s the thing that makes people understand why they should support you rather than another charity. To work out your USP, you need to know three things.

What do your customers (or supporters) want?

This is relatively straightforward. For example, people come to me because they want something written.

What motivates your customers (or supporters)?

This takes things one step further. People don’t just want something written – something motivates them to ask me to write it rather than doing it themselves. Because they haven’t got time to do it themselves? Because they don’t think they’re a very good writer and worry that if they put something together themselves it might do more harm than good? Because they know that good quality writing will result in more leads and therefore more business?

Why do your customers (or supporters) choose you over your competitors?

The simplest way to find this out is simply to ask them. Because I write well? Because I grasp what they want first time? Because I’m friendly and approachable? Because I’m professional? You get the idea. Once you know these three things, you have the information you need to work out what your USP is. I have two, one for when I’m working with charities and one for when I’m working with businesses:

For charities it’s: Making words work for you (focusing on the fear that many people in the sector have that they lack the expertise to write something that’s good enough)

For businesses it’s: Growing your business with the power of words (focusing on the benefit that good writing brings to your business)

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