What is your USP?
Before you ask Unique Selling Proposition….
Do you have one? No You, not you firm?
Most firms spend too much time, dreaming up out of the ether, some (supposed) edge and then attaching a label to it.
- Better quality….
What is more important these days, where Brand You is becoming your door to success, is to understand and know how to leverage your USP.
Don’t think this is a lesson in talking yourself up, flattering your ego, developing a set of traits to suit your buyer persona. No this is an exercise in you sitting down with a piece of A4 and defining (or refining) your USP. Once you have done that ask yourself: “Is it fit for purpose”. If you are not sure, ask someone else to look at it and explain what you do or wish to do with your career. If there are a few edges that appear a bit rough, then do a quick SWOT analysis and see where you need to focus your efforts in developing it.
Usually what this exercise throws up is a deficiency in some of the soft skills, rather than that *Stuff* that lawyers seem to excel at: which is premised normally on billing.
At this stage you might be tempted to say “OK got that one” but it requires you to go much deeper. You need to work out whether you care enough to want to develop or change those characteristics that will enhance your USP.
Take something like people management or leadership, two skills that lawyers seem to think they are good at but normally take no time to develop in a systematic way but rather acquire the skills by osmosis on the job. What are you going to do in the next 90 days to develop those skills still further:
- Study them might be a start;
- Read a book;
- Go to YouTube and see if there is any material;
- Do a search on Google blogs and see if there are any blogs that touch on these;
- Look externally to your law firm to do a placement that might just help.
Frankly the list is endless but one thing that is for sure if you do nothing, guess what – you are likely to be in the same position you are now. Or as Charlie “Tremendous” Jones says: “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
This exercise is one that is likely to become a lifetime habit if you are a serious student of developing your USP. Don’t take things for granted and don’t confuse your USP with your elevator pitch. Sure one does encapsulate the other but how can your life and professional skills be summed up in the time it takes to travel in an elevator? They can’t.
So, next time you are thinking about your marketing edges, think about your USP because from that will flow many more opportunities.
For more on developing profitable business, innovating in professional practice and implementing social media, subscribe to the RSS Feed of my Blog. Follow me on Twitter at @0neLife, or @Ju_Summerhayes connect to me on LinkedIn or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your practice, check out my coaching and consulting firm via LinkedIn, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 075888 15384.