Knowing Your

Unique Selling



What is Your Unique Selling Proposition?
You’re Leaving Money on the Table if You Don’t Have One

Copyright © 2004, Chris Marlow 

If you've done any freelance work in marketing, you may be 
familiar with the phrase "unique selling proposition" (commonly 
known as the "USP"). 

The USP tells your prospect what differentiates your product 
from everyone else's in your category. And it's the single most 
important reason your prospect will buy from you…or from someone 

But did you know that you, as a freelancer, are a "product" 
too…and that you need a USP to differentiate you from all of 
the other business freelancers working in your field? The most 
successful copywriters can say why they're the best writer for 
the job. Can you?

There are many ways to differentiate yourself from the 
competition. I trade on my agency experience and "big name" 
clients. When I help my coaching students discover their Unique 
Selling Proposition, we start with a review of their experience 
and successes. 

We are positioning one of my students as a "problem solver," 
because he's taken start-up companies to great success as a 
software salesman. Another student is positioned as "the 
headline Doctor" because she feels she is exceptional at 
writing headlines. She offers potential clients a free 
headline critique of their marketing materials, valued at 

Even if you think you have nothing in your background that will 
position you as special or unique, you're almost certainly 
wrong. One of my students is entering copywriting after spending 
a lifetime in anthropology. "How can I possibly find anything in 
anthropology that a marketer would value?" she asked. "Tell me 
about anthropology I replied." 

After a 10-minute discussion she mentioned that there are seven 
motivators that are common to all people in all cultures. "Could 
a product or service have any kind of connection to any of these 
motivators?" I asked. And we brainstormed common products and 
services that are commonly sold via direct mail, ads, or 

It turned out that there was a link to the seven motivators for 
every product or service, which allowed us to say that my student
had a deeper level of empathy for people (and prospects), than 
most copywriters. And since the ability to convey empathy is so 
critical to the success of a marketing piece, then a client 
would be well served by using her copywriting services over 
someone else's.

My student went on to create a free report to give to potential 
clients, entitled "The Amazing Link Between Anthropology and 
Direct Marketing that Can Really Increase Your Profits." We 
also created an "Empathy Scale" so she could offer to measure 
the "empathy level" of a client's past mailing.

So think for a moment. What would you say if a potential client 
asked "Why you?" If you don't have a quick answer, then it's 
time to create your own powerful USP.

A veteran freelancer and award-winning copywriter, Chris Marlow
offers business coaching to new, aspiring, and seasoned business
freelancers who want to accelerate their success. She can be
reached via
Ó 2004 Chris Marlow. All rights reserved

       Know How You Can Be Rich 

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