What makes an effective USP?

By Susan Clegg, AVN Team

A compelling USP (Unique Selling Proposition) helps to position your accountancy practice in the right way within your target market.

By focusing on the areas you want to focus on, your USPs help to attract the kind of clients you want to work with and develop a strong brand identity for your firm.


What makes an effective USP?

An effective USP answers the first question in your prospect’s mind – what makes you different? It sets you apart from the competition and gives your prospects something to compare you on other than price. It could be a specific service, your amazing customer care, the guarantees you offer – something that you do really well.

But being different isn’t enough; it has to be meaningful and valuable to your target market.

A vague ‘we’re different’ ‘we’re proactive’ ‘we care’ doesn’t mean anything to your prospective clients. If they can’t understand how you can benefit their business, they have no way to evaluate you against your competitors.

And beware of creating a USP that’s just a slogan. If it doesn’t reflect what you actually do, any benefits will be very short lived as clients realise that your practice doesn’t live up to what it promises.


Top tips for creating an effective USP

Despite the name, your USP doesn’t have to be completely unique – it only has to be something your clients value, that your practice does really well and that you want to do more of.

Remember you can have more than one USP. In fact, if you solve multiple problems for your clients, you need a USP for each one. And if you want to target more than one type of client, you need a USP for each of those too.

Your existing marketing may already have some great USPs you can use, even if they aren’t the main focus. Go through what you already have and take a look at the success rates of each piece of marketing.

Get your team together to brainstorm ideas. It really helps to get a range of perspectives on this.

Look at your competitors’ websites and social media accounts – how do they differentiate themselves? What’s missing – i.e. what aren’t they talking about that you could? What can you do that’s different?

Do NOT make low prices your USP! It’s not a differentiator. Anyone can compete on price and if you make that your USP, that’s all your prospects will be interested in, with all the hassle that comes with it.


Need more help with marketing your accountancy practice?

Come to the AVN sales and marketing workshop where we focus on what works for accountants – How to attract, wow and convert your perfect clients. Find out more here.