I’m a learn-it-yourself kind of guy, which means I learn by doing. As a result, it’s often hard for me to teach; instinctive learners like myself don’t always understand the progressions used by other types of learners.

By contrast, Michel Fortin’s always excelled at breaking things down for his readers, and his current post hits home: finding your own Unique Selling Proposition (or “hook”):

Time and time again, I’ve told many aspiring copywriters and marketers that a USP is what distinguishes you from the pack. It increases perceived value, expertise, and credibility — without needing to state it outright.

But since I hear this question often, particularly from copywriters just entering the field, I sense that it’s because people need a little help in defining their USP.

I’m guilty of forcibly confronting my readers with the concept of the value-added copywriter.

The idea is simple: in this age of cheap (or free) content, word jockeys will end up working for pizza money, and only those who bring more to the table than vowels and consonants will truly prosper.

Fortin’s post touches on that, but it’s really about defining yourself in a way that makes prospects want to call because you do something unique.

I’ve received a whole chunk of email lately from new copywriters looking for tips, and my first two are always “get a Web presence and then figure out why anyone should call you in the first place.”

After all, if you can’t explain to me why someone should hire you, how are you going to explain it to your prospects?

Give Michel’s post a read, and think about your “hook.”

Then read my own rant on the subject.

No one expects you to define your copywriting message any more than you were expected to know your career choice at kindergarten age, but damnit, I am expecting you to think about it.

And to keep writing, Tom Chandler.

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