When you head to a (virtual) room for some (remote) networking, what is your ‘elevator pitch’? What is that sentence that makes you stand out as a creative?
We all heard the importance of developing a clear mission statement, elevator pitch, and angle for your ‘persona’.
It’s a great exercise and something that can truly help you reflect more on who you are and getting clear on your USP: what the advantage or solution your offers to your audience.
Yet, today I am challenging you to go a bit deeper with your research (it’s a new year, after all).
In order to find your USP, personal brands will look at the combination of the value they stand for, their greatest strengths, the reason why they serve their audience, and also their unique traits as people.
Your USP can be a combination of the following:
- your content topics
- your tone of voice
- your audience
To elaborate on each point, you can approach a different angle based on your brand:
Content topics: this can be a great way to get more clarity around what type of creative you are and help find our USP. Some creatives are open to inspire a variety of audience but tend to gravitate towards a handful of strong topics that they are truly passionate about. If this feels too constrictive, then do not focus solely on topics.
Your tone of voice: you may be a rather funny chap, or a wildly cheeky gal (like yours truly). Some entrepreneurs have perfected their tone of voice to be unique and so fresh it’s almost impossible to miss it. It’s a beautiful art that really lies in classic literature, and thankfully not one that is completely lost.
Your audience: This can be another great way to refine your USP. Creatives who love to explore a variety of topics but serve a specific audience tend to have a laser-focused array of content that truly taps into the specific problem their audience is facing.
Your USP combine with a mission statement looks a bit like this (feel free to steal and fill the blanks)
I help (my target audience) who (main problem) by sharing about (solution or rational benefit) on (topic)
Obviously, being able to create a mission statement/bio/tagline that is relevant to your USP can be key. However, most creatives still overlook another key element marketers often use in order to truly connect with potential customers and to really find your USP, and that is the ESP.
What the heck is an ESP?
ESP, or emotional selling proposition, defines all the emotional triggers that prompt a person to take action. It’s quite different from the unique selling proposition (USP), which defines all the logical reasons to choose you over somebody else.
Emotion is the one thing that influences consumer behaviour the most, and that can be also easily applied to your audience. In order to tap into the ESP, you must think of the emotional values and benefits for your audience, such as:
- Feel important and valued
- Feel part of a unique group
- Feel whole and remembered
- Feel attractive and hip
- Feel safe and accepted
Your ESP may include one of the following:
- your own why or mission
- your purpose
Your own why: the reason why you show up online can be another great way to create a USP, as it ties in with your own personal story, a potential obstacle you have overcome in life, or even the solution to a problem you faced, creating a stronger bond with your audience.
Your purpose: On a micro-level, all of your content should serve a purpose, yet you may have one specific problem your audience is desperately trying to solve. Your purpose may change and evolve as a creative, but when it comes to your individual pieces, you really want to put purpose first.
Think about this for a minute: what is the purpose of this piece of content? If my audience got one thing from this what would that be?
Putting it all together
￼I am a massive believer in being as clear as possible about how to find your USP as well as the ESP is essential, and that’s how I try to simplify and streamline all of my efforts, not just as a creative.
Once you understand the core elements you can bring to the surface to shape your content, you can clearly define what makes you unique as a creative.
Your updated USP and ESP in a mission statement goes a bit like this:
I help (my target audience) who (main problem) by sharing about (solution or rational benefit) on (topic) so that they feel (emotional benefit).
In order for people to connect with your content at first impression, getting clear on how you can connect with your audience will make you stand out from the crowd.
Being able to get clear on what makes you unique to make your content stand out every single time. If you want to generate action, you have to generate emotion. Make this the driving force of your content, and nothing can truly stop you.