Three ways to make your strengths part of your USP

Claim your strengths.


Several years ago I attended a speed-networking event where I met a would-be entrepreneur who had some very obvious problems with figuring out what she actually had to offer. When it was our turn to talk, she pulled out five different business cards – all hers – and explained that “I do a lot of things.”

As you might imagine, it took her just those few seconds to totally destroy her credibility. She came across as a poster child for the expression “jack of all trades, master of none.”

Am I saying you have to come across as one-dimensional? Absolutely not. I am saying it’s essential for effective marketing that you be very intentional and focused when describing what you do and for whom.

A big part of your marketing is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition), also referred to as your value proposition. This is the Cliff Notes version of what you do differently than others in your field; it’s what keeps you from getting lost in the crowd.

The challenging part of developing a USP, rather than an SOSOSP (Same Old Same Old Selling Proposition) is that you probably have a ton of competition out there. SEO specialist? Tons. Graphic designer? Tons. Consultant? Tons.

While there’s no one magic pill that will instantly shift your marketing from bland to brilliant, getting crystal clear on your USP is an important step. And one way to create a value prop that truly is unique to you is to intentionally incorporate your strengths into it. Here are three ways to create that strong statement describing just how you make life better for your ideal clients.

Pay attention to what your clients love and value most about you.

Is it your humor? Your warmth? Your serenity? Whatever it is, include it in your value proposition. You can do this either explicitly, in the words you use, or implicitly, in your delivery (how you say those words). This can help you implement the following tactic.

Differentiate yourself by sharing how you provide value.

I’m not talking about a data dump that lovingly describes all your cool processes and procedures in excruciating detail. Instead, I’m talking about sharing the manner in which you provide your services.

If there’s a lot of competition in your field, then how you do the work can help you distinguish yourself.

Share your value in a way that’s as unique as you are.

For example, one of my most important values is fun. I strongly believe that, even when you’re doing tough work, you can incorporate an element of fun into it. It’s important to me that I let prospects know that I’ll bring some lightheartedness as well as hard-nosed accountability to our work together. That’s why the title on my business card reads, “consultant and as-needed butt kicker.”

How can the manner in which you provide your excellent services set you apart from the competition?

Identify and promote strengths you may currently overlook or undervalue.

Chances are good that you’re one of those people for whom certain activities come so easily you barely recognize them as strengths.

It can be tough to remember that, just because you find something to be as easy as falling off a log, that doesn’t mean that everyone feels the same way. An activity you consider super-easy may very well incorporate one or more of your key strengths.

One of my favorite tools for developing clarity about your strengths is an assessment developed by Dr. Donald O. Clifton at the Gallup Organization. The StrengthsFinder tool is based in the field of positive psychology, which is basically concerned with what people do right.

When you purchase StrengthsFinder 2.0, you’ll receive a code enabling you to take an online assessment of your top five strengths. Once you have your results, you can read up on how to intentionally and strategically capitalize on them in your work – and talk them up in your USP and other marketing messages.


What does your USP sound like? What approach have you taken to create an intriguing statement of the value your clients get from you? Please share in the Comments section below.

And as a special “thank you” for sharing your great ideas with us, I’ll send you a no-charge copy of Seductive Marketing: Answer These Five Killer Questions to Entice Your Audience.

(Thanks to the folks at ShutterStock for posting the image of the kick-ass woman. I look a lot like her, don’t you think? ☺)

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