Land More Clients with a Strong Personal USP

What if you could get significantly more work … just because you knew one marketing secret?

During last week's first session of our new "Selling Yourself" monthly teleconference series, I listened in as Katie Yeakle hosted a panel (featuring AWAI alumnus Cathy Cairns, self-promotion expert Ilise Benun, and marketing guru Bob Bly) that described this technique.

The session was titled "How to Prospect So Successfully That Clients Offer You More Copywriting Assignments Than You Can Ever Possibly Handle" – and one technique we learned is how to develop a strong USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for yourself or your copywriting business.

From the AWAI copywriting course, you already know that a strong USP is critical to writing a good promotion or marketing just about anything – and that includes yourself.

In Wednesday's teleconference, Cathy Cairns described how she developed her personal USP that launch her copywriting career.

Cathy is a big fan of the famous late copywriter Gene Schwartz (see Section 41 of your Accelerated Program). While she was taking the AWAI copywriting course, she was also learning as much as she could about this particular master's work, his style, and his techniques.

Armed with her new-found knowledge, she developed a self-promotional package that not only used Schwartz's methods but also painted herself as something of an expert in the "Gene Schwartz" style of copywriting.

And here's what happened:

Cathy mailed her self-promo package to her dream client. And even though she had virtually no experience, she got the job. Turned out the marketing director LOVED Gene Schwartz 's work. Cathy's lack of experience was never a factor.

The client? Direct-marketing giant Nightingale-Conant.

Developing a strong personal USP is a form of Michael Masterson's Secret of Transubstantiation. (Also in Section 41). The focus shifts away from you as a person and onto the image of yourself that you've created in your prospect's mind. It let's you get beyond the fact that you might not have experience and right down to what really matters: how you can benefit your client.

Spend a few hours this week developing your personal USP. If you have a strong one, you'll have a good answer for your prospect when he asks, "What do you have to offer that's different from everybody else?" As a result, you'll find that you'll get your foot in the door more often – and land more clients.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: March 1, 2004

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