Let me be clear. This is the problem you face.
Nowadays, even Santa Claus has trouble defining his Unique Value Proposition. Indeed, he looks like all the others, does the same thing as scores of similarly-dressed guys, and even in a shot of them lined up, you cannot pick out the real Mr. Claus from the imposters.
You, too, look and sound like a clone.
Do a better job of defining your Unique Value Proposition. Don’t just sculpt it a little, sculpt it massively.
Like Oprah. Like Bob Marley.
Be crystal clear that your UVP belongs to you and only you. Evoke something familiar in the mind of your contact. Make the UVP so beyond memorable that no one you speak with can recall anyone else fitting that description.
Folks like you and me know Oprah. For example:
- she is a media tycoon who had the highest-rated TV talk show for 25 years
- she is articulate, personable and inextricably associated with the trend for people to share their personal business more openly than in the past
- she is the richest African American of the 20th century and the greatest black philanthropist in American history
- she is an extremely shrewd businesswoman who will succeed in whatever she sets her mind to
- anyone who can go by one name, or even one letter (a la her magazine O), has the strongest personal brand that you can possibly hope for.
Or we know Bob Marley. Even though he passed on 30 years ago, we know:
- he’s the founder of reggae
- he died young
- he was from Jamaica
- he wore his hair in dreadlocks
- he was the first singer-songwriter to spread interest in, and knowledge of, Rastafarian culture.
See what I mean?
I am a blogger. I am whip-smart. I develop marketing strategy and tactics to clobber Goliath. I am keen to share my knowledge of internet marketing like a journalist shares breaking news. I can juggle a million tasks and not drop one, and when I speak publicly about my blog, I have a take-no-prisoners presentation that you will remember.
Yes, sometimes I struggle with my UVP, just as some of you might.
Because I admit that you may still know someone else who fits this description.
So I sculpt it more.
As a former entrepreneur, I identified markets for export and went after them as a hunter, opening up 3 countries to high-cachet, branded foods. I put together a program for study abroad that took place less than 9 months after inception; it received 5 applicants for every available spot. I built a lean, mean, lead generation machine, when I served as the marketing hub of a small coaching company, increasing its funnel from 8,000 to 130,000 prospects.
And so forth.
But after building my Unique Value Proposition out so specifically, yes, I do boil it down again. Folks don’t want to listen to all that. So, I continuously adjust.
The 4 things that your Unique Value Proposition must precisely spell out
According to executive coach and job search guru Linda Van Valkenburgh, your own value proposition must contain 4 elements:
- your role
- your skill sets, especially the top 3
- proof, i.e. certifications, licenses, a book you’ve published, increased responsibility, and promotions you can point to
This last point cannot be overemphasized. Like the recent Republican debates, people like to talk about themselves without backup–without their specific accomplishments. Don’t forget: Gather your results and metrics before you open your mouth or take fingertips to keyboard. That is what will make you different and unique.
Here is a Unique Value Proposition of one networker who I met:
- I am a Senior Executive candidate for a real estate conglomerate
- I am superb at visioning, negotiating and taking first-mover advantage on commercial opportunities that I spot
- I have managed commercial portfolios of over 10 million square feet, leased over 4 million square feet of space at over 100 US locations, and performed risk management due diligence on 15 large scale transactions, many with an international focus from Paraguay to Switzerland
- I have been instrumental in growing revenues to $200 million dollars.
Even saying I am Santa Claus will not identify me only. Nowadays, there are tons of Santa Clauses.
- Work on your unique value proposition to include the 4 key elements listed above.
- Get feedback from others regarding how your UVP matches you and only you. In fact, get a 360 degree assessment of what others think of you and channel that feedback into your more sculpted UVP. Then, get LinkedIn recommendations which associate you with that UVP.
- Practice saying your UVP. Practice it again and practice it live, with an audience. See what they think, and incorporate their recommendations.
Give it to me straight–what is your Unique Value Proposition?
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