What’s Your USP?
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Closely attached to the issue of image is deciding on what your UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION is as a speaker.
What do you bring to the table as a speaker that no one else has? When I used to do a lot of speeches on customer service, I was just one of many possible speakers on that topic who my potential clients could choose from.
What would happen is a client would say they wanted someone to talk about customer service issues. Perhaps they were dealing with two or possibly even three speakers bureaus. Within the client’s budget they would then be sent videos from the top five people that each bureau had to recommend.
Even assuming that two of the speakers sent by all the bureaus were the same, the meeting planner still had to look at thirteen separate videos to decide on a speaker for that topic. I personally don’t like these odds. And neither should you. How to combat these odds?
Put yourself into a position where you combine image and topic expertise and become a unique entity. One of the best ways to do this is to target specific industries and gain expertise in the industry. As an example, when someone wants a speaker on marketing who has knowledge of the financial service area, I am one of the few who comes to mind.
If they are looking for an expert in marketing in the SELF STORAGE industry, I’m their guy. After all, I wrote the book on self storage marketing and speak at all of the industry conventions.
So to develop a USP you need to concentrate on two areas. First, in the area of topic: try to find a topic that you are both passionate about and where there aren’t 2,000 speakers who have chosen the same topic. Also, pick a few industries to specialize in. Make sure those industries are broad enough to give you the opportunity for getting plenty of speaking work.
The goal is to make it so you have NO competition when competing for a speaking engagement. The best way to do this is to write a book on your topic which is specific to a given industry.
My example would be my book called “Secrets of Self Storage Marketing Success.” If someone wants someone to speak on marketing as it relates to the storage industry, my name is on a VERY short list.
My problem, in this example, is two-fold. First, self storage is a very narrow market. Second, once they have used me as a speaker a few times, they want someone new.
The solution is two-fold for me. Keep adding markets, and keep writing more niche specific books.
Use my example to decide what you need to do.