Tips for writing a great USP for your creative business
I’m Rosie O’Neill, a creative copywriter, but even I find it tricky to write about my own business sometimes. It’s natural to find writing about yourself a little uncomfortable, because your business matters so much to you and it’s not always easy to see it objectively. For that reason alone, lots of us put off starting that difficult ‘About’ page or press bio – or simply rush through the writing to get it over with.
Writing a simple USP is a great place to start when it comes to writing about your business, as it can make a strong foundation for longer pieces and it’s perfect for your Folksy ‘About Me’ section. It’s also a good way to start thinking about your business from a customer’s perspective, which will help with all sorts of things, from marketing to designing new products.
Featured images: Stoneware vessels with broad paint strokes by FiPB Ceramics
What is a USP?
USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition (or sometimes, Unique Selling Point). You might also find it described in places as a mission statement or tagline (when it comes to an indie craft business, a tagline is usually more informative than the typical clever catchphrase associated with big brands).
It’s a short but purposeful statement that conveys your business and engages customers. A good USP tells potential customers who you are, what you do, and why they should care – and it does all of that quickly, before they’ve had time to think about checking their emails or making a cup of tea.
When it comes to selling online, time and attention are usually in short supply, so it’s well worth taking some care over your USP. It’s something you can use in lots of different places (I’ll share some examples below), and you can even use it on family and friends when they ask you what you do – like a concise elevator pitch.
How to write your USP
If your writing skills are a little rusty, I have a super simple formula to get those wheels in motion and build up a USP for your business.
Start by asking yourself:
- What do I make?
- Who do I make it for? What kind of home or person would suit my products?
- How does it make their life better? Is it the perfect gift? Who for? How does it improve their home or outfit?
Once you’ve got some answers, you can start narrowing them down and putting them together into something tagline-shaped. The more concise and specific you can be, the better. Your business is not generic – it’s full of heart and personality, so your USP should match! Try to keep it to one or two sentences.
Not everything that you pull from the questions above will fit into a neat USP statement but, don’t worry, anything you don’t use might be good to have on hand for a longer ‘About’ page.
Examples of a good USP
Here are some examples of USPs for small craft businesses:
- I craft delicate silver jewellery for thoughtful, romantic gift-giving.
- I make traditional keepsake textiles for meaningful heirloom gifts.
- I’m an artist and printmaker selling screen-printed coastal artwork, perfect for modern homes.
- Earthy, handmade pottery, thrown by hand to give your kitchen character and warmth.
Write and experiment with several versions of the same thing. Consider your word choice carefully – especially adjectives. Think about what feeling your brand is trying to evoke.
Test out different words and compare them. If you get stuck with this, try typing ‘[your word] synonym’ into Google or whichever search engine you prefer.
For example, ‘delicate silver jewellery for thoughtful, romantic gift-giving’ might also work as ‘graceful silver jewellery for special occasions’.
You also want to make sure you’re filling this statement with interesting snippets that demonstrate your personality. A few things to think about might be:
- Do you have any social proof that you could include? Have you won any awards or been featured in some press?
- Where do you make your products? In a beautiful studio? On your kitchen table?
- Why do you make your products? What are your designs inspired by?
And some examples:
- Mollie Makes award-winning stationery brand. Cute, colourful paper goods to brighten up your desk and your day.
- Screenprinted by hand in my sunny, ink-splattered studio, I design contemporary artwork to make a bold statement in your home.
- Intricate beaded jewellery, inspired by nature and made by hand for a thoughtful, unusual gift.
Where to use your USP
Now that you have your USP, it’s time to put it to good use! A great place to start is your Folksy shop and your website (if you have one). On Folksy, your USP is perfect for the header sentence that you fill in for the ‘About Me’ section of your shop – find out how to do that here https://blog.folksy.com/2016/10/19/new-about-page. You can also use it for your shop tagline – do that in the ‘Shop Appearance’ section of your seller dashboard.
On your website, you could use your USP as a headline statement on the homepage or pop it at the top of your ‘about’ page.
Here are some more suggestions:
- Your social media bio (more on this below).
- Business cards / other printed marketing pieces. This includes any little notes, flyers or thank-you cards you slip in with your orders.
- Product packaging. Think swing tags and the backs of greetings cards – even little stickers if you have something short and catchy.
- Your biography for press / blog / podcast features (scroll to the bottom of the article to see mine!).
- Email signature.
BONUS: Writing your social media bio
Your USP is perfectly placed to help you craft a compelling social media bio. To start with, it might help to come up with a few variations on your USP so that you can use something similar, but not identical, in different places. Twitter, for example, only allows 160 characters, whereas Instagram is shorter, at 150 characters – so you’ll have slightly less space to play with there.
When writing your social media bio, don’t neglect your link. On Twitter and Instagram especially, make sure you’ve got your clickable link set up to go straight to your Folksy shop. Got more than one link you’d like people to go to? Use a free service like Linktree to collect a small list of links to send customers to.
It’s best to have one main place you’d like to send people – whether it’s your shop or your newsletter sign-up, people are more likely to take action if you give them ONE clear choice.
Once you’ve decided, make sure you use some of the space in your bio (usually after your USP) to TELL them about it.
Use a clear, active instruction to encourage people to click on your link. Ideally you want to tell someone what they are clicking on and WHY they should. Add some urgency or a benefit if you can.
Some examples of a good call-to-action for your social media bio:
- Shop my seconds SALE now:
- Shop my art prints on Folksy:
- Buy handmade gifts here:
- Sign up for 20% off now:
Hopefully you’re now a USP-writing pro! It’s a great opportunity to think about what you do and why, as well as getting clear on your target customer, so do give it a go. Feel free to leave your USP in the comments below, I’d love to see what you come up with.
Find lots more tips in our dedicated Marketing for Makers section