Marketing. As a small business owner, you face stiff competition online. The average online shopper is bombarded with emails, sales pages and offers. He’s developed an internal filter that dismisses most advertisements as irrelevant to him. So how can your Internet marketing make you stand out from the noise and capture the attention of the people who will buy from you? Meet the unique value proposition…

What is the unique value proposition?
Successful marketing starts with developing your unique value proposition. A unique value proposition refers to how you showcase what you do in a unique way. It lets your prospects know how you deliver the goods differently from everyone else.

Your customers want you to be different.
Maybe you’ve made the mistake of focusing on your product or service. The truth is, many business owners sell the same thing you sell. It’s not only what you sell that matters; it’s how you sell it. Knowing your unique value proposition is like gaining marketing DNA that other businesses can’t copy. It’s the deciding factor between your prospect spending money with someone else’s business or yours.

A strong unique value proposition gives you an almost unfair advantage over your competitors.
A strong unique value proposition yields a higher return on investment for your marketing dollars. Knowing what sets you apart from the competition gives you a focus for your marketing, so you don’t waste time and money sending the wrong message. A strong unique value proposition also boosts your clarity and confidence about your offer, which means more convincing sales pitches and greater revenue.

How do you find your unique value proposition?

1. Get clear on your target customer – Make a list of your target customer’s demographics. Include things like his age, where he lives, how much money he makes and his family status. Next, list your target customer’s psychographics, focusing on things like his concerns, desires, behaviors, hobbies and interests. Don’t be afraid to be specific; it’s better to be the go-to specialist than a forgettable generalist.

2. Define what you solve for your target customer – Using the profile from step one, zero in on the most pressing problem your target customer wants to solve with your product or service.

3. Assess your competitors – To stand out from your competitors, you have to know who they are and how they’re marketing. Use the Internet to look at their mission statements, websites and social media. Think about how you can do it differently.

4. Define what’s unique – Write down how you solve your target customer’s problem. Then, write down why. The answer to that question sets you apart from your competitors. Think about what your business stands for to help you find your why. Make a list and allow it to sit for a while. Later, choose the one reason that most fits your small business; that’s your unique value proposition.

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