The Oprah Guide to Your Unique Value Proposition

Let me be clear. This is the problem you face.

no unique value proposition here

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
oprah is articulate and personable across her media empire

The premier example of a Unique Value Proposition.

  • 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
  • results.

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.

Make sense?

Even saying I am Santa Claus will not identify me only. Nowadays, there are tons of Santa Clauses.

Mojo Moves

  • 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?

MuCash lets you make donations quicky in increments as small as a single penny. By leaving a small donation every time you find something of value on Mojo40, you can help me (Diane) keep creating content like this for you to enjoy.
Did you enjoy this post?
  • Sharon O’Day

    Whoa! Time to put some serious time into sculpting mine! Thanks for giving us the precise tools, Diane!

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      You are welcome. I know you have all the makings of a fantabulous value proposition, Sharon, as I was blown away to read of your accomplishments. So go forth and incorporate that sculpted UVP at your soapbox; your experience and insight do indeed convey your energy and your results!

  • Pat Moon

    Thanks for the insight, Diane. I know I need to work on my UVP. My question is: how to best incorporate my UVP with the building of relationships?

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      If building relationships is one of your three very strongest suits, then by all means, incorporate that in the skills list, and use metrics for illustrating. For example, if you wish to refer to the relationships in your personal sphere, state how many years long are your relationships, how numerous are they, what level of support do you receive in terms of numbers/bodies/frequency of contact/etc. Or, if you are talking in a work context, someone who can finesse and elicit cooperation across a large matrixed organization, is a jewel indeed. There are ways to measure that.

  • Debi

    Diane. Your advice and replies to everyone’s questions and comments is Always so insightful. I enjoy reading the articles questions and comments even when they don’t relate to my personal situation

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Debi, I soo appreciate your commenting. There are few things in life as dear as a friend who is always near, always there with support, and always encouraging. This is my last few keystrokes before I go to bed, and I am glad to share them with you… along with all my successes (and failures, which also come from time-to-time)!

  • Anastasiya Day

    Great article Diane! Thank you for your advice and for sharing: ” The Oprah Guide to Your Unique Value Proposition” with us. Have an amazing weekend :)

  • Wendy Hanlan

    Oooh sounds like a GREAT project! What do you think about hiring a pro to help with crafting your personal UVP? Is it worth the investment?

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      I think so! A second set of eyes can be uber-helpful to curb unruly ideas that don’t add up to a coherent story.

  • Hughie Bagnell

    Excellent article on UVP Diane!MOJO certainly does move! …Thank you, Hughie :)

  • denny hagel

    This is certainly something that needs more attention in my life. Thanks for the information and tips…and motivation! :)

  • Jennifer Bennett

    Love this! What great things to reflect on! Thanks for sharing!

  • conflux

    A great reminder for every established business – never forget your UVP. But also more so for a new business or an entreprenuer just starting out – if you can’t establish your UVP, it would be very hard to gain traction in the marketplace.

    UVP is particularly useful within the Mojo40 context in that whether you are starting your own business or seeking a new gig, a UVP is key. Nice job, Diane! Keep up the good work! Your UVP is clearly evident on this site!

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Thank you, Conflux, let’s march forward together!

  • Robyne Camp

    Those Santas are New York City Volunteers of America Santas. VOA is New York City’s largest houser of the homeless, and my husband and I are happy to to support them. In fact, this photo was our Christmas card this year.

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Lucky me that I was on the mailing list! Robyne, I so appreciate your adding this comment…. next time any of us send greeting cards, we can think about how to support those good causes that depend crucially on our generosity. Thanks to you both for showing us how.

  • Sara

    Every job candidate, career coach, outplacement specialist, and recruiter should read this…in fact everyone in the business world would benefit from the impact of this post and the incredible value derived from crafting a clear unique value proposition.

    Be sure to forward to friends, clients and colleagues seeking a new career opportunity!

  • Cathy O’Dell

    This has great insight. Those seeking a new career should take heed.

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      I appreciate your endorsement. Anyone who would like further help or asisstance in re-contouring to get with a career or industry that is growing, can be in touch, my email is diane (at) moj40 (dot) com.

  • Unique Value Proposition

    This post is really what I am looking for. I am really lucky today. Thank you admin!

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Ahem, Admin is a person, it’s me!

  • J Norman

    Fantastic information. There is a chance for me yet. I may just stop bubbling around and actually land a job. Thanks Diane

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Hey, you WILL land a job, and all your enthusiasm will come across as you lather up those bubbles…

  • Lizette Balsdon

    Brilliant post! Thanks – this is something I’ve been struggling with. :-)

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      So glad to be helpful, Lizette

  • disqus_cCe1WiIdYW

    this was the best value proposition description i have read ever!!

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Glad you stopped by… I can use the encouragement! Sending you encouragement, toooooo!

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