Has The Economic Downturn Got You Thinking About Starting Your Own Business?

During times of economic downturns, high unemployment and widespread layoffs, many people decide it is time to have more control over their own destiny and therefore go into business for themselves.  While each person’s background, knowledge and specific business they decide to go into will be different, two things remains essential to be successful.  The first is having a Unique Selling Proposition or USP and the second is communicating your USP as quickly and effectively as possible.

What is a USP?

What’s a USP?  It’s what makes a prospect buy from you versus your competitor.  Whether you are selling products or services, you have to show the potential buyer that you are faster, cheaper or better.  Starting a business and not being able to differentiate your business from an established competitor is a recipe for disaster.

First let’s start off with what a USP is not.  A tagline is not a USP.  A tagline is usually a one sentence line that many businesses use in their advertising.  A USP goes much deeper and requires much more thought.  A USP essentially says – why should I buy from you?  Too many business people use the same old tired lines like “satisfaction guaranteed” or “we have 1000 widgets in stock”.  If everyone is saying it, then you saying it makes you a “me too” competitor, not a better one.

When creating your USP, it has to answer the “I Hope So” and “So What” test.  Let’s look at the examples above – “Satisfaction Guaranteed” – I should hope so.  If you are not going to guarantee what you sell, then you shouldn’t be selling it.  “We have 1000 widgets in stock” – so what?  Having 1000 in stock means nothing if they are not the widgets I want or need.

So how do you decide on a USP?  Start off by list as many things as possible that a potential customer would want when looking for your product or service.  Now take a look at what your competitors offer.  The difference could be your USP.  So if a prospect wants 15 things and all your competitors only offer 9, then your point of differentiation are the remaining 6.  Now you just need to summarize those differences into a succinct message.

Time to Tell the World You’re Open for Business
Now that you’ve decided on your USP, how do you let the world know you’re in business and are different than everyone else?  There are obviously hundreds of ways, but for this blog I am going to concentrate on only one.  Video marketing.  Why?  Because it is quick, very effective and very inexpensive.  And during the start up phase of any business, what you want is the highest return on investment ( ROI) in the shortest amount of time.

Why is video marketing so powerful?  According to some studies, people remember only 10% of what they read and 50% of what they hear and see.  Additional research shows people are 3-4 times more likely to respond to video than the written word.

As if that information weren’t enough, according to a users view study done by Kelsey Group, after viewing an online video: 55% of consumers visited the web site, 30% went to the store and 24% made a purchase.  Can your other marketing efforts boast those type of results?  Most can’t and don’t!

And here’s the icing on the cake…I’ve seen video listings show up on the first page of Google in as little as an hour.  That is truly amazing!

There are many ways to make inexpensive videos including screen capture software like Camtasia or even the popular Flip video camera that comes with its own software built in and lets you easily upload to YouTube.

Once you’ve made your video don’t upload just to YouTube.  Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and other Web 2.0 websites are also great places where your video can and should be seen. 

To learn more about how video marketing, go to http://www.VideoMarketingASAP.com


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