Your Unique Selling Proposition

Purpose –  Activity: Define your Unique Selling Proposition

A Value Statement allows you to focus your time on what is most important to you. When you develop a Mission Statement or Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, sometimes known as a Unique Value Proposition, you gain clarity on direction and purpose.

Are you ready with an answer to the question “What do you do?” or “Tell me about yourself?” Do you have a clear, concise, creative, compelling answer to these questions? Knowing the answer will help you to choose goals that are aligned with purpose.

A Unique Selling Proposition is a concise, clear statement of the special benefit you provide. It’s about how you will add value with your talents. Combine your USP with your why and add colorful metaphors, images, and stories for an elevator speech that inspires interest and starts a conversation.


Capture information with the free printable Value Statement Worksheet (pdf)

In this exercise, you first cast a wide net to gather the information needed, and then condense it to the essentials. This process is similar to how a writer creates a character: they learn all about the interests and motivations of the character, even though only a small amount of the information may make it into the story. That underlying knowledge of the character makes for compelling writing. A USP and an elevator speech are similar; they are like an iceberg, with only the tip showing. With this information you can elaborate with more detail depending on the situation and the response. Crafting a value statement is not an easy task, and it is an ongoing process, but it is the best tool for finding focus.

Start with the basics:

1. Who: who are you, and who is your target audience?

2. What: do you do, with what talents? What problems do you solve, what projects are you working on, what is unique about it, what are the benefits of what you offer, what value is added?

3. Why: because you are passionate about, believe in, interested in what?

Make it interesting:

1. Start with Why. In his TED Talk, Simon Sinek says “People don’t buy what we do, they buy why we do it.” They are also most interested in our why.

2. Use a colorful metaphor that describes the benefit, process, or result of what you do.

3. Use an image that captures and communicates the ideas.

4. Use a story that connects with emotion. Describe how you first became interested in what you do.

Combine the elements into an elevator speech:

  • Hi, I’m (name)
  • I’m a (metaphor for what you do)
  • Because I believe in (this)
  • I am a (job description)
  • To solve (this problem)
  • For (this target audience)
  • I provide (this product or service)
  • To provide (these results and benefits)
  • I do this by (doing this in this unique way)

Next Steps:

  • Practice. Videotape yourself and watch it. Practice it some more!
  • Put your business card in a nametag holder for a conversation starter.
  • Memorize data/statistics that back it up.
  • Learn more about Personal Branding and Marketing U.


This is one of the weekly activities for a Year of Personal Development.