October 4, 2018

What’s your USP?

Written by Lisa Slater

Freelance Copywriter

In the competitive world of freelancing, it’s not enough to just say you are better than the competition; you need to show why you are better. What makes you different? What is your unique selling proposition, your USP?

Are you faster, cheaper, more reliable? Is your product bigger, healthier, easier to use, higher-quality, better for the environment, longer lasting?

Having a clear USP allows your product or service to stand out; it sets you apart.

However, sometimes being unique can be difficult, especially if there is a lot of competition. If you’re struggling to stand out, here are some top tips for how you can find your USP:

Understand your target audience

The first stage in understanding how to stand out is to decide who you are trying to attract. Who are your ideal clients? What would appeal to them? You could even ask some of your best clients why they chose you over your competitors, then use this information to define your USP.

Research your competitors

Research the competition. What are they not offering that you could? Find out where they are focusing their attention and perhaps you can focus yours somewhere else. If everyone else competes on price, can you compete on speed? If everyone else charges by the hour, can you offer fixed-fee services?

Do something different

Offer something free

Can you offer free delivery, a free gift, free content, free warranties, a free audit or review, a free trial? Offer something your competition doesn’t, something of value that will appeal to your target audience. If you can do that, you have your USP.

Reduce the risk

Offer money-back guarantees, extended warranties or cancel-anytime contracts. Risk plays a big part in our buying decisions. If you can minimise the risk, then you could be more appealing than your competition.

Offer more convenience

Do you open later? Do you offer evening appointments? Can your clients pick and choose which services they take? Do you provide a 24-hour helpline? Are your payment terms flexible? For some clients, convenience and flexibility are imperative.

Get recommended

Have you won awards? Have you got the highest reviews in your industry? Are you a preferred partner of a reputable company? Have you got industry accreditations? All these things show clients they are in safer hands with you.

Refine your services

Cutting your services to specialise in one thing, or tailoring your business to one industry, will allow you to market yourself as an expert in a specific area. For example, you could be a web designer that specialises in building websites for estate agents, a copywriter that specialises in email campaigns, a business coach that only works with tradespeople. By narrowing your client base or your services, you will find it easier to focus your marketing efforts and master your niche.

Once you know what makes you stand out, ensure this is clear in your marketing and advertising. Show clients how you add value; show them why you are a better choice than your competition. Use your USP to your advantage.

The Dinghy USP

At Dinghy, we specialise in insurance for freelancers. Our policies allow you to turn your insurance on and off as you need it. In other words, you only pay for what you use. You can find out more about what else makes us different over on our About page.

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About Lisa Slater

Lisa Slater has been a freelance copywriter since 2014. She understands first-hand the ups and downs of freelance life and is passionate about supporting other freelancers. In 2017, she founded Make Your Copy Count Ltd and began offering training workshops to help those with limited marketing budgets win more business through their written sales and marketing communications. Her first book, A-Z of Blogging was published in January 2018 and is packed full of blogging tips.

Read more blog posts by Lisa Slater


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