How do you know if you're unique enough? What makes you stand out? How do you market yourself so that your ideal customers choose you and not your competitors?
These are some of the questions we answer today with the help of our awesome guest Belinda Weaver. Belinda is a copywriter who helps people who are learning to be copywriters to up their game. And today she talks to us about how to make yourself choosable.
Yep – that's a word. And you sure want to find out all about it!
SOME EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: (0:10) Want to get more sales from your email marketing? Grab our Click Tricks. (3:50) Did Belinda really have a pet peacock called Cocker? (5:10) Do you really need a USP to stand out from the crowd? (7:20) No USP? No problem! (8:45) How do you make yourself more choosable? (10:00) Lean into the combination of ingredients that makes you unique. (13:06) Tell people what it's like to work with you. (16:44) Share your passion and why you got started. (18:52) Be yourself and don't be afraid of feedback. (23:02) Subject line of the week with Belinda Weaver.
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Do you really need a USP to stand out from the crowd?
As business owners, we all worry about the idea of standing out. Why should people choose you? Do we worry too much about this? Is this a valid concern? Our friend and awesome copywriter Belinda Weaver shared with us that having a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is indeed Marketing 101. We're told to come up with our USP and our differentiator and to have a great elevator pitch that explains what we do, who we do it for, and what makes us different.
These kinds of things are drummed into us. And Belinda calls this the unicorn fallacy. It's this idea that in order to be successful, you have to be unique and different. But when she first started out as a copywriter, Belinda didn’t know what made her unique yet. So instead of trying to focus too much on that, she decided to become as good as she could be and then figure out what made her unique. And she thinks a lot of business owners should do the same.
As a copywriter, Belinda always asks her clients what makes them unique. And funnily enough, she never expects a great answer because she doesn’t have a great one herself! In fact, at first, she thought there was nothing in particular that made her unique. But she kept showing up, earning an income, and making progress. And at some point, she realised that maybe she didn’t have to be different in order to be successful.
No USP? No problem!
Is anything ever unique anyway? Even if you invented something brand new, is it going to be unique for long? According to Belinda, having a USP isn’t completely irrelevant. We probably all have something that’s uniquely and brilliantly us, but if the USP becomes a gimmick that holds us back from what's important, then it’s not useful.
If we get paralysed in trying to find our USP and don’t do the things we could be doing to get more business, then there's no point in finding a USP in the first place! We sometimes get so worried about what makes us different, unique, special, or rockstar-worthy that we do nothing. And that's not cool.
How do you make yourself more choosable?
Making yourself choosable isn't just about standing out from your competitors. Yes, there are people who do the same thing as you, but there are often different solutions to similar problems – alternative routes we could take and different types of businesses we could use. So what can we actually do to make ourselves more choosable?
Belinda tells us it all starts with the idea that you don’t have to be unique. The best in the market isn’t always the favourite. So instead, try and get in front of people and become their favourite. Because what we do as buyers is make decisions on who we choose. We don’t want to look at the whole Internet. We want a short list, which is often made of the people we know. Consumers are always trying to cut their choices down, so send out signals in your marketing to help you become people’s favourite.
Why you need to share reviews and testimonials
As buyers, we want to know that you, as a business, are capable of solving the problem we have – that you've done it before and can do what you say you do. So how do we know? We know because you’ve done it for other people and you did it well enough to get reviews and testimonials.
And also that you’re not a complete twat to work with! That can be the difference, and it's how you become someone's favourite. However, according to Belinda, that's an area a lot of people shy away from. So show that you can solve a problem, that you’ve done it for others, and let them see what it’s like to work with you as a human. Because when you do these things on a regular basis people start to know, like, and trust you. And that’s what makes you choosable – you don't have to be totally unique and not even the best!
Lean into the combination of ingredients that makes you unique
If you look at most businesses, a lot of them aren’t unique at all. We all use the same ingredients. But a business is like a cocktail, and it’s the combination of the ingredients that makes it unique. So in Belinda’s case, it’s the fact that she’s a copywriter from Australia who lives in the States and that she set up her business to have the flexibility to raise a family, which she now has. Her work revolves around her children and her pug.
Some of these things might not sound relevant initially, but this is the unique cocktail that makes Belinda choosable. This is what makes her distinguishable, especially when it comes to courses and memberships. Because Belinda certainly isn’t the only copywriter who offers copywriting courses and a coaching membership. But even if someone is a leader in a particular space or industry and you don’t like them or the way they portray themselves, you’re not going to want to work with them. Personality really comes into play too!
Tell people what it's like to work with you
According to Belinda, there are more elements that should come into your marketing and that a lot of businesses overlook. Something crucial you want to be doing is explaining what happens once someone joins your programme and what the process of working with you looks like. Also, don't forget to share reviews, testimonials, and credibility markers all the time.
Why? Because these are the things that make buyers feel safe with you. As consumers, we all have this natural anxiety when we make a decision. What is going to happen next? So let people know what happens when you start working together and give them proof that you’ve done it for others. That makes them feel safe and certain, which can be a great way to get people to choose you.
Take care of all these things first and then the swaying point, if all things are equal, is about whether people enjoy hanging out with you. Do they respect you? That can be a huge influence on someone making decisions, but only as long as you’ve taken care of the other elements first. And if you do that consistently, people get to trust you and know you. So the likability factor is the tipping point.
This is something we do too for our own membership, The League. We give a video tour to our new members so they know what's involved, and how to navigate the content and find their way around. This definitely helps people overcome certain objections, and Belinda explains it’s about shifting a lot of the information we reserve for people who have bought from us to our prospective buyers.
Why? Because that's what gives them the roadmap of working with you, especially if you're someone who does launch marketing. It's about pulling a lot of the content that we normally keep behind the paywall into your pre-launch material. That works because it allows you to show people what happens when they join, and that helps them feel safe.
Share your passion and why you got started
Another thing we can do to make ourselves choosable is to share our passion and why we got started. Belinda, for example, became a copywriter before she had kids because she wanted a family-friendly business. A lot of her business journey is getting it all done around two kids and a pug, and she shares a lot of that in her marketing and her emails.
As a result, a lot of the stories she tells attract people who feel Belinda understands what it’s like to be them. By bringing her passions and why she started into her marketing, she's able to make strong connection points with her audience.
There are also other more frivolous things she shares – such as what she enjoys in life (whether it's tea or coffee or her favourite TV show). Belinda calls these Velcro hooks, and the more of these you share, the stronger the connection with your audience is because we continuously build that know, like, and trust factor.
So we don’t wait until we launch. In fact, when we send our big, long pre-launch email campaign, people are ready to sign up. Because they've already decided they like us and want to work with us. They've already chosen us.
Be yourself and don't be afraid of feedback
Of course, it goes without saying that for every person who chooses you, there are going to be people who don’t. Belinda believes there’s a vibe for every tribe, and for everyone who does like you, there will be people who don’t. And we have to be okay with that.
In all honesty, this bothered Belinda when she first started – she thought she had to be “professional” and never alienate people. But after a couple of years, she realised she was making herself too vanilla and not interesting to those who would be interested. So she started leaning into who she is by being herself more. Because you don’t have to keep up a façade.
And when she started being more herself, she got a much greater response. Yes, there are other courses and memberships out there, and some people are going to choose those instead of you. And that’s fine. But if you water down or lose the things that make you you, then you’re going to lose everyone. It’s best to have people who really dig you than to be bland as all hell.
And sure, you'll get feedback. Some of it will be great and say that you're the best thing ever. When that happens, it means you've created what we call the environment of zero competition, where nobody else has that unique recipe. And that's because your personality, your offer, your history, your fee, your services, etc. are unique to you.
But you’ll also get negative feedback and people who will say they'll never buy from you – for whatever reason. Don't be afraid of negative feedback. If you're going to put yourself out there, you have to get tougher skin. There are people who feel it’s okay to say rude things to you, and you have to learn to ignore them.
That doesn’t mean you’re not going to read some of those comments sometimes and end up questioning everything you’re doing. But you have to build your muscles to bless and release – catch that narrative and let it go. Because the more you concentrate on negative feedback, the less you focus on the people who are actively interested in what you do. So bless and release, and move on.
We hope you take this as permission to go out and be yourself, do the best work you can, and deliver more of yourself in everything you do so you can attract the tribe that is right for you.
Subject line of the week with Belinda Weaver
Belinda has not one but two subject lines for us! Her best-performing subject line is super straightforward: “The Copywriting Incubator. I have news”. The Copywriting Incubator is the name of Belinda’s programme, and this subject line works for her as it literally labels the content of her email – a practice Belinda swears by. Because she believes we don't open emails when the subject line is mysterious.
But Belinda’s favourite subject line is “Quick question” which contains a 9-word question that usually re-engages people. Belinda likes this one because when you’re looking at your inbox you don’t want to see emails that need a 20-minute reply, do you? You want something you can quickly answer so you can then get out of your inbox. So this subject line lets people know that this is going to be super fast, and it works because Belinda is only asking for a few seconds of your time.
Useful Episode Resources
If you want to find out more about Belinda you can find her on her website. And if you’re a copywriter, she has a quiz that tells you the one focus you need to have to accelerate your copywriting business.
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