A young lady asked me once, "What is your USP?"
I was lost in that question as I drew a blank.
How was I to know? I was just getting started as a freelancer then.
The question was introspective, and I hadn't the right answer.
I mean I could have answered the same old – quality, in-time delivery, no grammatical errors and other blahs.
But I was far from being proclaimed ordinary.
How and why couldn’t I think about such a salient factor? I knew the importance of USP.
I started to question my very skills, my love for creating content, and really, myself.
Did I have a USP at all?
In an ocean of content creators, how could clients discern me from the rest?
I was not okay with being just another content creator.
Thus, began my pursuit, to identify what exactly stood me out among others.
What made me unique?
I'd worked with a few clients, and the results had faired out quite well.
So, I reckoned 'Quality' was my USP. But didn’t every other content creator swear by the quality, too?
I was certain; quality couldn't be the lone USP.
The thinking seemed to be ceaseless. A week had passed and I had no answer. Then passed another, and a couple more.
Slowly but surely, I got there. With the help of observation.
It came to me that my USPs was the way I networked with clients; it was my PERSONALTY on the phone or in-person.
They liked me for being who I was – jovial, humorous, courteous and most importantly, a good listener.
I could repeat every bit they said in one go and retain minute details.
They loved to talk to me in the first place. Securing projects followed naturally and automatically.
Furthermore, I was always available when they called/texted/emailed. I went out on a pedestal for them regardless of the kind of money I was making.
It was about being available at all times (literally).
They knew I was going to be on the other side, with a spurt of energy, ready and set to roll, be it a new project or mere rectifications.
Most clients doubt the reliability of the freelancers they hire, at least at the beginning.
I just couldn’t let them second mine.
It was about being reliable, more than anything else. My RELIABILITY, too, could tally as one of my USPs (I suppose.)
My ensuing USP realization was RAPPORT BUILDING.
Everyone’s got something for you to learn. I am genuinely interested in knowing about people's lives, ambitions, struggles, efforts among others.
And so, out of natural curiosity, and expecting nothing in return.
I struck up conversations with them about their lives, ambitions, goals, vision, and so on with measured sprinkles of questions that touched work-related topics.
I believe when you know the person well, you know what exactly what he expects from you. That is the goal of rapport building.
So here I am today, with these rather astonishing discoveries and still foraging for more USPs.
I don't know if you can call the aforementioned as 'USPs', but I believe this is what makes me the difference, and this is what enables the clients to discern me from the rest.
The axioms may say that USP must be the qualities of your product or service that sets you apart, but I reason it is anything and everything that helps clients remember you.
How would a client know about your USP without actually having a conversation with you?
The feeling of satisfaction, guaranty, and trust that the client gets after talking to you is what we're aiming for!
For me, supplementing the quality of my work, my personal touch and genuine care about the client is my USP.
May I know yours?
I would be more than grateful for your valuable gift of opinion.