Yes, we're all individuals! (Now, let's see your PUSP)
Image source: h.koppdelaney
Sometimes I find people are a little too paranoid about disclosing their idiosyncrasies – in business or otherwise.
‘What’s this?!’ I hear you protest. Only the other week ago, you were banging on about how great people are when they tell the world how great they are!”
To that I say, "Hold your fire!" I stand by what I said....
When it comes to talking up your business or your services, most professionals blow their trumpets with loud, proud conviction and enough fanfare that the guy glued to the TV behind the counter in the convenience shop down the road actually almost looked up for a moment.
REALLY! it’s USP this and USP that! (that’s Unique Selling Proposition for the uninitiated).
However, it’s a different kettle of fish when it comes to otherwise astute professionals showing off self-love for their personal USPs. Very different. So different in fact it's like a kettle of barramundi sitting next to a tin of sardines. AKA Quite Different.
I think it's often because personal quirkiness is somehow seen as unprofessional. As opposed to merely being proof that the professional person is, you know, human.
Often, when I’m getting to know a client and their business for the purpose of providing words for their marketing collateral or to pitch to media during a PR campaign, they will say something like “DON'T WRITE THIS DOWN, but when I work I ... do my best work when Jay Z is blaring from the speakers / ... need to wear a pair of my old worn jeans because I put so much into it any nice clothes would just get ruined / ... start at midnight / ... feel most inspired after watching some Japanese animations / ... swear a lot ...”
It's right about that time I start writing things down. It's the time when I know I’m going to get a full frontal look at my client’s PUSP which sounds gross but actually (according to me) stands for Personal Unique Selling Proposition.
It may not be your unique human traits that demonstrate how great you are at what you do, but they do set you apart from the crowd and give an interested party a glimpse at the inimitable wonderful you. They also provide a subtle sign as to your spirit; your enthusiasm; your dedication; your style; your personality.
Don’t be afraid to include references to your own unique personality, appearance, habits or quirks into your branding and your messaging. In a saturated market, a reference to your cheeky, irreverent nature or penchant for pin-striped suits could be the difference between a potential client taking a punt on you over a competitor.
And on a personal level, it’d be a bloody boring old world if we all had the same length hair, waist measurement, voice pitch or social style. Be yourself. It’s too exhausting not to and those comfortable in their own skins and open to sharing a world with people whose skins are different to their own will love and appreciate you for who you are.