Nov 182011

They tell you to craft a USP … a unique selling proposition.

Not to Be Invisible

Why vs. What

They say it defines what you do, almost who you are. Whoever “they” are, you struggle with pulling that USP together, hoping it will, indeed, define what you do.

But why you do it is much more important. You can easily get to the “what” if you understand the “why.” And why you do what you do is contained — lock, stock, and barrel — in your unique self proposition. Yes, a personal mission statement that is less about the work you love and more about why you do the work you love.

Just to be clear, I’m not discounting the creation and use of a traditional unique selling proposition. Any entrepreneur or freelancer has to have one and follow it. But today, as I thought about being a technologist and why I do what I do, I realized that the USP acronym fits in a very personal way.

Personal USP

Without further ado, here’s my U.S.P, presented in the context of being married to the work I love.


Love the work I do and the marriage between technology and small business.


Honor the ideas, inspirations, and implementations of small business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers … all over the world. Honor the innovation and sheer insurmountable passion of those who create what small business consumes.


Obey the creative need and the technologist’s call upon my everything.

Obey the need to put into motion what I know, the desire to solve problems alongside entrepreneurs, and the free spirit that allows me to do it the way I want to.

Happily married for over 25 years!

Before you go, here are some resources on creating your own unique selling proposition for your small business or freelance services. (You’ll have to do the “unique self proposition” thing on your own … they don’t cover that!)

Resources for creating a “unique selling proposition”

  1. Definition of unique selling proposition from the Small Business Encyclopedia
  2. Ad and television giant, Rosser Reeves is credited with thought leadership on USP
  3. 10 Examples of Killer Unique Selling Propositions on the Web
  4. Discussion of USP at The Economist
  5. 3 Tips from Small Business Coach Theresa Delgado

What’s your Unique Self Proposition?

Share what’s on your mind in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Link to this page:

If your unique self proposition includes increasing your giving for the upcoming holiday season, please consider budgeting a portion of it to help my friends at save the horses. Details in her recent post about current, (heart)breaking situation. This is most important for animal lovers, horse lovers, and equestrians — but giving is good for any worthy cause. Thanks for letting me duck in here and add this appeal. :)

About Vernessa Taylor

Hi, I'm Vernessa Taylor. I write most of the articles, tutorials and reviews around here. Join in the discussions, share your thoughts, ask questions and lend a hand when you can. Need something? Ask! Check out my About page to learn more about me and my work as a technology consultant and internet coach. Don't forget to connect with me on Google+ and Twitter @CoachNotesBlog.

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  24 Responses to “My U.S.P. – A Technologist’s Marriage Vows”

Comments (23) Pingbacks (1)
  1. Vernessa, I love the idea of creating a personal USP! – Honestly, we are both so on the “same page” I feel that I could “borrow your USP. It’s a great one and fits me well too. :)
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..What Can You Do if Restoring Your WordPress Backup Doesn’t Work?My Profile

  2. Vernessa, You blew me away with this one! I love the concept and off the top of my head I’m not sure I can come up with a USP really quickly. I need to sleep on this one. Thanks for putting my brain to work :)
    Ileane recently posted..New YouTube DesignMy Profile

  3. Hi Vernessa!

    I truly love the idea of a unique “self” proposition. It’s so important to remember why we do what we do. Sometimes we just get so caught up in the doing.

    Here’s why I do it. I love, love helping people to advance their business in any way I can. Customer service is in my blood and my business is the perfect way for me to truly utilize my skills. I also do this for my family. I can do the work that I enjoy on my own terms and still have plenty of time to spend with the ones I love!
    Alicia M. Jay ( recently posted..Quick Questions About Retaining CustomersMy Profile

  4. This is really inspiring post, I like this fantastic idea that unique self proposition, this is really matter,
    bt i love content writing. i have enjoy this worthable reading :)
    thanks for sharing :)

  5. Vernessa:

    I’m glad you made this post b/c now I have to remind myself why I do what I do.

    I love the fact that I can work where ever and when ever I want. This flexibility makes it possible to be with family and friends everyday.

    With schedules and lives being so hectic, it is the perfect part-time or full-time job for most people. Funny thing is, I’ve never worked sooo much on something without being told:). THAT is when you know you’ve found your passion.

    You can structure this business in a way that fits your lifestyle and I HIGHLY suggest aspiring Internet Marketers to think about how they want their life to be. Some love meeting lots of people, in which case they could teach a local group about blogging or online marketing, for example. And, some love lots of solitude time (affiliate marketing is one possibility). Whatever their preference is, they can structure their business around that.

    OK, back to work:)

    • Hi Charlie,

      I’ve never worked sooo much on something without being told:). THAT is when you know you’ve found your passion.

      Yes, that is very telling! You hit upon a few soul-deep considerations in your USP: choice and flexibility. We all want to be there. :)

      And that’s some good advice to marketers, Charlie. Very productive time away from work! Thanks for sharing a few minutes with us.
      Vernessa Taylor recently posted..Graphic Proof: JetPack Stats From Hijacks Your Commenting SystemMy Profile

      • Hi Vernessa:

        I think I have to add to my advice to Internet Marketers because I don’t think I made it really clear (now that I read over it).

        Think about how much interaction you want with your customers / clients. Ex. If you put your phone number out there you might get flooded with calls and will need to hire call takers. However, if you only select clients you want to work with you can build your business in a manageable manner.

        This reminds me of an article I read on the Boeing Company. They took so much orders that their resources could not handle it and production was backlogged. Their strategy backfired and they actually had a lot of cancellation and lost a whole bunch of customers.

        OK, it time I shut my mouth, huh? Happy Holidays to you and your readers!

  6. Love this…so very timely for me as I embark on a journey of re-branding/re-creating for 2012 this is an exciting place to start and the most critical. It’s so much work to build, grow, add, learn, that who we authentically are and what we love has to be 1st and unique only to us and to build from that can only lead to success. I just love your advice…now gotta work on mine!…Once it’s together, I will definitely share with you. Happy Turkey Day too!

  7. It’s great that I ran across your article at this time because I am working on the Brand of Marcie. I’m getting close to having a clue but I need to answer the question, “Why hire Marcie?” Before I do that, though, I need to answer the question, “Why do I love writing?”

    Lend me your brain here. Writing is a gift as well as my passion and purpose. Would my U.S. P. be “I love writing because I enjoy making people feel special by sharing their stories or giving them the platform to share their stories”? I’m finding that I’m making things harder than they need to be.

    • Hi Marcie,

      “I love writing because I enjoy making people feel special by sharing their stories or giving them the platform to share their stories”

      That sounds like 3 sentences that partially capture “the Brand of Marcie”!

      To wit … “I love writing” … I enjoy making people feel special by sharing their stories … I enjoy giving them a platform (upon which) they can share their stories …

      Not so hard, eh? I’m sure you can add more that have to do with your love of youth, Chi-town, and community service. :)
      Vernessa Taylor recently posted..Graphic Proof: JetPack Stats From Hijacks Your Commenting SystemMy Profile

  8. Great post about USPs and how important it is to consider these points in marketing.

  9. It is evident that small things in life can teach you great things. Well who would think that marriage vows can also suggest you to improve your USP.

    Links removed at request of company due to their link removal campaign

  10. Married to work – something that plagues many people. Though sometimes it’s required for forward progress. Thanks for posting this out for us to contemplate, Vernessa.

  11. Should I say “Interesting”. “Enter-resting” or “Inner-resting”. I love ambiguities and being artful about it. Thanks for the renewing ideas :)

  12. So I have a quesion to those reading this thread. What is your own USP? Secondly, do you feel that most people are also rans? I know that I have found more people are those who try to be the same as everyone else.

    My USP is that I will reamin at the front of social media technologies. Where many people who market their services online and try to be everything to everyone. I will be the goto resource for all things social.

  13. Very awesome post Vernessa! Your USP is great. Here’s mine:

    I do what I do because I want to save the world, starting out small and growing every day to have a bigger impact on the people around me, one blog post at a time, one project at a time and one friend at a time!
    I love what I do more than love, my soul’s asking me to do it and I follow my intuition. Hopefully, one day my aspirations will make sense on a larger scale.

    My unique self proposition..
    Happy 2012 to you :-)

    Franziska San Pedro
    The Abstract Impressionist Artress
    Franziska San Pedro recently posted..Einen Stuhl restaurieren, Teil 1My Profile

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