Brands are overwhelmed with options, and they want to quickly understand what makes one influencer different than the other. Knowing the right way to position yourself can mean the difference between standing out and blending in.
That’s why it’s crucial for all influencers to understand how to identify a unique selling proposition (USP) when they are going to pitch.
What is a unique selling proposition?
A USP is the one thing that makes you better than the competition. It’s a specific benefit that makes you stand out when compared to other influencers.
Forming an opinionated and deliberate unique selling proposition helps focus your strategy and influences messaging, branding, copywriting, and other marketing decisions. At its core, a USP should quickly answer a potential brands most immediate question when they encounter you:
“What makes you different from the competition?”
Your USP plays to your strengths and should be based on what makes you uniquely valuable to brands. Being “unique” is rarely a strong USP in itself. You have to differentiate around some aspect your target audience cares about, otherwise your messaging won’t be nearly as effective.
Example USP of mine
I actually have a disease called vitiligo, in which I have a loss of pigment in my skin. Because of this, I do not real tan and I always spray tan. Normally I go to a salon to get my spray tans done, but I also always like to keep self tanners at home for when I can’t make it to the salon or need a touch up.
So, if I were to pitch a self tanner company, my USP would be the fact that I have a disease that their products actually help. I also have an audience with a lot of people who have the same disease. Obviously spray tans make most women feel more confident, but for someone with my disease, it can make SUCH a difference.
This is absolutely something that is a MAJOR USP for a self tanning product. This isn’t a USP that I can use for every brand or product, but definitely for any that help with that specific disease.
These are normally a skill that you have that can be applied to anything. For example:
- Photography skills
- Videography skills
- Writing skills
- Singing skills
- Location (This is great if working with a brand that has a local store location for example)
These are less broad and can’t be applied to all brands or products. Kind of like my example with self tanners. I suggest before pitching every brand that you think about and write out a bunch of idea USPs. Often times, you might not think of your special USPs until you think about the specific brand or product directly.
- A unique problem that you have the the brand solves
- Something unique about your audience
- Relationships with someone
- Results you had with their product
Again, these will be unique to you. Get creative and find out what sets you apart!
Complete Episode Transcript:
Hey there, welcome to The Daily influencers podcast. My name is Erica Murray daily farmer marketer and brand manager, your influencer marketing coach, on this podcast, we help both influencers and brands, maximize their collaboration, grow on social media make more money and waste less time. Speaking of which, let’s jump right into today’s episode. Today we’re gonna be chatting about how you can stand out when you are pitching to brands, because I know a lot of you guys listening are smaller influencers, or you’re newer influencers. And we really want to make sure that you stand out among all the other people that are pitching these brands. Because now more than ever, so many people want to be influencers, and these brands are getting really overwhelmed with options. And so they want to quickly understand what makes one influencer different than the other. And so knowing the right way for you to position yourself can mean all of the difference between us standing out versus you blending in with everyone else. And so that is why it’s so crucial for all of you influencers to understand how to identify a unique selling proposition, when you’re going to pitch a brand. And your unique selling proposition isn’t always going to be the same. It’s different depending on what brand you’re pitching. So first off, you’re probably wondering what the heck is a unique selling proposition? Well, this is the one thing that’s gonna make you better than the competition. It’s a specific benefit that really makes you stand out when compared to other influencers. Now, USPS really came into my world when I was working with brands because a lot of brands have a unique selling proposition as well. And it really helps them to focus their strategy and influences their messaging and all of their branding their copywriting, and marketing. And so at its core, a USP or unique selling proposition should quickly answer a potential brand’s most immediate question when they encounter you as an influencer. And that is what makes you different from the competition. Now, your unique selling proposition should play to your strengths and should be based on what makes you uniquely valuable to the brand that you’re pitching. Because being unique is rarely a strong USP in itself, you can’t just be like, well, I’m a unique person. So you should work with me, you have to differentiate around some aspect of your target audience, or the brand’s target audience, otherwise, your messaging just won’t be nearly as effective. So let me give you guys an example of one of my USPS. So I actually have a disease called vitiligo, and it’s basically disease where I lose different spots of pigment on my skin. So you probably don’t notice that on me because I am a pale person. So when I don’t have pigment, you can’t really tell. But let’s say I had darker skin, if you’ve ever seen anybody that had white spots, that is the disease vitiligo. And so because of this, I don’t go out and real tan, I always just spray tan because that way I can stay pale, so I don’t have that contrast of skin colors. And then when I spray tan over it, I get the effect of looking tan without having the white spots. Now normally, I go to a salon to get my spray tans done. But I always like to keep some self tanners at home for when I can’t make it to the salon or when I need to touch up. Or when I’m on vacation. And especially recently with COVID I the salons were closed and I had no way to get tan. So I was trying out all kinds of spray tans. So if I were going to pitch a self tanning company, my USP would be the fact that I have this disease that their products actually help. And I also have an audience with a lot of people who have the same disease. And this is really different because you know, there’s tons of women that we all love our fake Tanner’s. But I actually use it because of a disease I have. So that really sets me apart from everyone else. And it creates this really cool story of how this spray tan has helped me with my confidence how it helps me feel good in my skin, literally. And so this is something that I would be using whenever I pitch a self tanning company. And I’m actually pitching one right as we speak. So this is a major unique selling proposition for a self tanning product. Now this isn’t something that I can use for every brand or product because I can’t just say like, hey, hire me to be an influencer for your clothing company because I’ve had a logo that just doesn’t make sense doesn’t have to do with that brand. So that’s why I’m saying that you can have different USPS for different brands that you’re working with, depending on what the brand is all about. So there’s really two types of USPS. There’s one type that I call broad USPS, and then there’s special USPS. So broad USPS are normally a skill that you have that can be applied to almost anything. So for example, this would be if you are a photographer and you have really good photography skills. Well you can use that as a USP that’s going to set you apart from maybe other influencers who aren’t good at photography. But it’s something that you can apply to pretty much every brand you’re pitching. Another example would be videography, skills, writing skills, singing skills, maybe it’s a specific location that you live in. So for example, if I was going to pitch a local store in the city that I live in, will the fact that I also live in that city where the store is located. And I have a big audience of people that are located in that same city, that’s going to work as a location. And that will work with any company that’s a local company in my city. So that’s just kind of an idea of what a broad USP is. And I think it’s important for you to write down like what are your skill sets that are broad, and can be applied to any brand, because you can use multiple. Now, the other one is your special USPS. So these are less broad, and they can’t be applied to all brands or all products. So kind of like my example with the self tanners. So what I would say to you is before pitching any brand, really think about a bunch of different ideas for USPS that apply to that brand. And oftentimes, you might not think of your special USPS until you sit down and think about that specific brand, or product directly. So here’s some examples of things you can think of when you’re thinking about a specific brand. Maybe it’s a unique problem that you have that the brand solves. To kind of like my other example, my unique problem is that I have vitiligo which causes my skin to lose pigmentation. And their self tanner fixes that problem for me. And that’s different than other customers that they might have. Another great example is something unique about your audience. So rather than it being something unique about just you, we’re now bringing your audience into it too, which is even more important because when you think about it, a brand is looking to reach your audience, they’re not looking to reach you, that’s just a one to one, rather than a one to many. So with my same example, I can use to USPS because as I mentioned, I have the unique problem of it a Lego, but so does my audience have a lot of people that follow me that have that same disease. And don’t feel like you can only use one USP, you can absolutely use multiple. Another great example is your relationship with someone. So another example in my life is my boyfriend is a chiropractor. And so maybe if I was working with a brand that had to do with something chiropractic, I would pitch and say, Hey, I would love to try out your products, I could even bring my boyfriend in on this because he’s a chiropractor. Or another brand I plan on pitching soon is fab wattics. They just launched a men’s men’s line not that long ago, we tried out some shorts for my boyfriend, and he absolutely loves them. And you know, him being a chiropractor, his audience, and his people are very much into health. So it’s perfect, we could both be influencers in this case, because I drag him into some of my pitches anyways. So maybe something about you isn’t what your USP is, but your partner or your sister or your best friend, or somebody that you could bring into the pitch to do it with you that can make you stand out. And obviously, you know, maybe split the payment or the free product that you get. But it’s still a great way to make yourself stand out. Another one could be the results you had with their products. And maybe you’ve used this product, and you had some crazy, you know, testimony or results that you got from their product, if you share that. And you can become a voice for their brand. And like a spokesperson that has this really cool story. That is a huge, unique selling point. Because not only do you have this great story that you can share with your audience, but they can share that with their audience. And it really makes you stand out because, hey, you’ve actually used the product and gotten really good results. So those are just some examples of special USPS. And again, these are going to be unique to you. So get creative and find out what really sets you apart from anyone else that might be applying for this collaboration. So keeping with my same example, I really want to show you guys how having this unique selling proposition is really going to make you stand out. So let me give you two versions of a pitch. And I’m not going to say the full pitch. So don’t think that you can like take this pitch and run with it. I’m giving you the gist of what one pitch would say versus the other. So the gist of the first one is, Hey, I really love your tanning products. They’ve worked so great for me, I love the color it gives me you know, I feel so confident in my skin whenever I use your tanning products versus the second one, which is my example saying, Hey, I really love your products. It’s been such a game changer for me with my confidence because I have this disease that 1% of the population worldwide also has where we don’t pigment and our skin is squashy, and the only thing that we can do to cover it up is use fake Tanner’s. They’re gonna be like, Wow, that is a great story that’s 1% of the population that’s being affected by this and now we have a spokesperson for this. Like that just stands out so much more because everybody pitch that the spray tanning company probably is getting is, wow, I love your spray tans, they look so good. And I love your product, which is great. But when you have this unique selling proposition, it gives you that extra boost and it gives them something to run with because brands know that stories sell. So in my example, the story of how it’s really helped me with my confidence in overcoming this condition that I have, makes it such a cool story that they can put out. And if I were to pitch this brand, I’d probably pitch them on writing a blog post for their website, doing a testimonial video about how it’s affected my confidence and how I feel in my skin having this disease called vitiligo where explain it. And this is a whole campaign that they can use. And if you know anything about advertising, they can also target using my video to people that have elago on Facebook ads. So this becomes its own niche within their target audience because people have been a Lego are a subset of their target audience. And they can really drill into that and niche down to that using me as their spokesperson. So you can see how it just gives you so much more weight to your pitch. So I really want you guys to sit down with the next few brands that you’re going to pitch and come up with some of your broad USPS, and also your special USPS that are special to just you in that brand. And it really makes sure that you emphasize those in your pitch so that you can stand out amongst the crowd. And going with this trend. I have a few other things that are really going to make you stand out when you’re pitching brands. So the next few episodes that I’m doing are going to be all about how to stand out when you’re pitching brands. So I hope you guys will tune in with me on the next few episodes.
Thank you so much for listening. If you liked what you heard, it goes a long way if you could take 30 seconds and leave me a five star review and share this podcast with your friends. Alright you guys, I’ll see you on the next episode.