Most freelancers, whether they are web designers, graphic designers, photographers, article writers, etc. used to be or still are working a 9-to-5 in their respective field and over time have built up a solid portfolio that they use as their main selling point.
Don’t get me wrong. Your portfolio is very important and often times is your potential client’s main reason for hiring or not hiring you. However, there are dozens of other freelancers doing the same work you do in your area and potentially several thousand competing with you in the global market.
Now, you might say “But I’m on the first page of Google. Why do I need to be bothered with a USP? Plus, only big companies have USP’s.” That’s a good question and here are 3 good answers for it.
Google rankings change often
Just because you’re on the first page of Google for one week or a few months, doesn’t mean you’ll stay there forever. You may be ranked number 2 or 3 for several weeks, but then go down to 4 or 5 or even lower in the next few weeks even if you’re really good at SEO or have hired an SEO expert.
I recently saw this when searching the term “freelance web designer Atlanta”. I had been doing the search for about a month and noticed some moderate to big changes in the positions of the web designers that were showing up.
Good SEO doesn’t equal a sale
It’s true that SEO can bring a lot of your potential prospects to your site, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will hire you when they come. That’s why having a USP can greatly offset a lower Google ranking and also gives a huge boost to an already high Google ranking.
You see, when your prospects put in their search term and see the results, they’re going to have a lot of freelancers to choose from with a lot of the same skill sets. So, why not make it easier for them to choose you with a clear, concise, benefit-focused USP that is easy to find on your website?
It’s a myth that only big businesses need USP’s
As I mentioned in the above example, there are going to be many competitors offering the same kind of work that you do, just as M&M’s has many other chocolate companies competing with them for market share in the chocolate industry. How do they stand out? They do it by stating that their chocolate “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” They prove it, too.
How do you stand out? Are you a web designer that not only knows HTML and CSS, but also PHP and HTML5? You could translate that jargon into the USP, “Get awesome responsive and interactive websites that can be viewed perfectly on any device.” Now, that’s something extremely unique and powerful to offer your clients.