If you’ve ever been on any enterprise training there are two things you’ve probably been asked….
What is your USP?
What niche are you in?
So, what’s the difference and why should you care?
USP = ‘Unquie Selling Point’ – or ‘Unique Sales Proposition’- (if Y’all is in your vocabulary)!
My personal opinion on this acronym – aside from the fact that, as a rule, I despise acronyms (because acronyms just make people who don’t speak in your industry code feel inferior!) – is that “USP” as a concept is meanignless and outdated.
Let’s face it, there are plenty of Business Coaches, Personal Trainers, Marketing Consultants, Life Coaches, Solicitors, Mortgage Advisors… blah, blah… whatever it is you do in your business, you’re not the only one doing it.
What this acronym really asks is, “How are you different from every other whatever-you-do?”
You could say something a bit cliche and trite like, “our customer service is exceptional”, “our people are lovely”, “our products are quality, yet affordable”, “we really care about our business”… so what?
Anyone who can’t honestly say those things about their business, frankly, shouldn’t be in business!
The only thing you can truly, 100%, say is unique about your business is YOU. And what makes you, YOU is your story!
Your ‘USP’ (if we insist on still using that phrase) is something ‘internal’ to your business that differentiates it from others.
Ask yourself, who is really your customer?
Please DON’T say ‘everyone’ – it’s just not true!
Sure, a wide range of people could benefit from what you do, but that is never ‘everyone’!
Everyone is NEVER your customer!
They just aren’t.
Live with it.
If you try to be all things to all people you end up being nothing for anyone
In my recent ‘Know Your Blog Niche’ webinar (watch the summary video below) I worked though the example of my business as a fiction author, writing as Amy C Fitzjohn.
I could say, “everyone can read my books” but it would be a lie.
Yes, they are available on one of – if not THE – world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon – so potentially anyone in the world could buy an eBook.
However, in reality, not everyone buys books online.
Also, my books are in English, so anyone who doesn’t speak that language is not my customer.
Many people just don’t read for pleasure, so would never buy my books (expect maybe as a gift).
Plenty of readers aren’t interested in mystery adventure fiction.
Already, with just a few common sense criteria, it becomes obvious that everyone is NOT my customer.
The same will be true of your business.
Like it or not, you won’t be for everyone – and that’s fine.
It’s more than fine. It’s great, in fact! Because once you realise that, you can breathe a sigh of relief and concentrate your energy and efforts on the community of people that WILL be your customer, and they will love you for it. You’ll attract more of the same and your advocates will bring their associates along too.
That community. Those advocates. The people who will rave about your business. They are your ‘niche’.
They are the segment of the overall marketplace that you need to focus on – ignore the rest, go on, I dare you.
Others will still pay attention to you, outside of that particular slice of the pie, and that’s OK, but don’t be distracted by them.
Therefore, a ‘niche’ is ‘external’ to your business. It’s the particular slice of the pie your business will bite into first.
Make sure it’s a pie you enjoy!
Niche vs USP
Watch the summary video of my ‘Know Your Blog Niche’ webinar for a quick exercise to start to work out who your niche really is.