From over 25 years of experience in marketing, copywriting, conversions and online business, I can easily tell you that one of the most difficult tasks for people when it comes to marketing is defining their differences. In fact, at Marketing Words, we have a questionnaire all new clients are asked to complete. Among others, it contains the question, “What is the single most important unique competitive advantage (UCA) you offer?” What answer do we see above all others?
It is left blank.
Or a question mark is inserted in the space.
That’s because the quest to analyze how you are different or better than the competition is a mind-numbing process for most people. Coming up with a short, impactful phrase that immediately lets others know what their strengths are and how they outperform the competition is like digging a ditch with a teaspoon.
What about you? Ever struggled to figure out how to position yourself in a crowded or competitive market? It’s tough, right? After all, that’s why people hire expensive brand experts and agencies. That’s where thought-provoking statements like:
• Brilliant Craftsmanship
• Ambitious Results
• Pioneering Solutions
• Nimble Creativity
… come from.
It’s not difficult to define your UCA if you get to know yourself. It’s even easier if you get other people to help!
4 Easy & Effective Ways To Define Your Branding Statement
Do you have testimonials on your website? You should. Go back and read through those right now. As you do, take notes about common themes or phrases that repeatedly pop up. Here are a few from the Marketing Words testimonials section:
From this list (or synonyms for these), what two- to three-word phrases can you come up with?
• Expert Conversions?
• Creative Advisor?
• Inspired Results?
The more words you add to your list, the more options you’ll have to explore until you find just the right phrase.
Don’t have testimonials? Get some! Call or email your clients and ask them to take five minutes of their time to provide a short statement about you and the work you’ve done with them. Or, if they aren’t comfortable or don’t have time, they can simply jot down five to 10 words that describe you.
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Be completely honest with yourself. Nobody else is around looking over your shoulder. Think about your own impressions of you at your best. We tend to focus more on our weaknesses than our strengths, but when you’re on your A game and all the planets are aligned, what awesomeness comes pouring out?
Use these fill-in-the-blank statements to prod you in your thinking.
When I work on _________________________, my _____________________ really shines through.
I get stellar results with ________________________ when I focus on _______________.
It is in my nature to be ______________________ when I concentrate on _____________.
I almost always get compliments about _______________________________________. Clients say I’m _____________________________________________________.
One of my all-time favorite business peeps, Sally Hogshead, goes even deeper using a systematic approach to uncovering your exceptional qualities. Sally explains, “I was that expert. I’ve created brand messages for some of the biggest brands in world. Companies paid me handsomely to find the perfect words for their brand.
“Imagine if a focus group of 100,000 professionals describes who you are at your best. Then, a branding expert (that’s me) selects the best descriptions of you. You end up with the two or three ‘closer words’ to position yourself. These two or three words would be like a tagline for your personality.”
You could attract your ideal client more easily and:
1. Develop a specialty
2. Become famous in your niche
3. Exceed expectations in one particular way
Instead of a branding statement, Sally calls this your “Anthem.” And she has created a really easy system called the Fascination Anthem Builder. Based on her book “How The World Sees You” Sally’s program guides you through building your Anthem and finding your most valuable differences that truly give you a unique competitive advantage.
I addition, her first book, “Fascinate: How to Make Your Brand Impossible to Resist” is every bit as intriguing. Get them both
So, what’s my Anthem for MarketingWords.com?
I’d love to hear what yours is. Share it below and let me know how you came up with your Anthem.