USP is crucial for success. Basically, it is the point that will differentiate you from the competitors in a way that will increase sales and conversions.
Throughout this article, we will discuss everything related to USP, starting off with the simple definition and importance and ending with the best ideas for unique selling points for your online courses.
So, if you are ready, let’s start!
The following article covers:
Let’s start from the very beginning - the definition. Basically Unique selling point or otherwise called a unique selling proposition, is a feature/quality that helps your business or specific product/service stand out from the rest.
The importance of having a specific USP
If you are aware of how to position your business, you will surely succeed. However, I suggest that first of all, we understand why USP is vital on a deeper level.
- USP helps you stand out and communicates the message of offering more value than your competitors do
- It will assist you in convincing the customer who has only seen your service or product ones, that it is the one they need
- It can also help you to communicate a unique message of your brand.
Subsequently, good USP will make you memorable, and here are some other benefits that come with it:
- A good USP is customer-centric; therefore, it shows customers that your service or product fulfills their inner needs. Subsequently, you become appealing to them on a subconscious level.
- Make you stand out from the rest and make it more memorable. It is vital to keep in mind that the market for the online e-learning industry is constantly expanding, and competition is growing, so you have to be different.
How to define the USP of your course
We are already clear on the definitions, benefits, and importance of a good USP; now, I believe it is time to take a look at the practical part. So, how to define the USP of your course?
It will require some time and effort but save you a great deal of energy and resources in the long term. Below, you can see the main steps you have to take in order to define the best unique selling point for your course.
Step 1 - Define Target Market
The very first step should be the full comprehension of your target market. When you are aware of the needs, wants, and expectations of your potential customers, only then will you have the power to meet the demand and offer something that sells.
Be as niche specific as possible. What do I mean by this? You may offer lots of courses that are related to your industry. However, the industry is wider than a niche. E.g. if you are a lifestyle coach, you will have a wide audience of potential clients. However, at the same time, one course may be about “Improving your financial life,” meanwhile the other one “Improvement of your dating/romantic life,” those are in different niches and need different marketing/promotional strategies to reach and “touch” the client. Subsequently, those also must have different USPs because what sets you out with the one course may be completely unrelated to the other one.
How will this help you with the USP? Well, it is simple. When you know your target audience, you can track the various trends and tendencies among them and understand what is more appealing to them. Afterward, you will create a USP that will work best for the specific niche of your choice. Accordingly, it will be efficient.
Step 2 - Identification of the unique features of your course
Never miss out and underestimate the vitality of this step. You’re definitely different because, first of all, what sets you out from the rest is your look, voice, and overall style; there IS NO ONE ELSE LIKE YOU. So, believe that there are definitely some features your course offers that others do not, and you just need to find those AND STICK WITH IT.
Maybe the unique selling point of your course is the highly conversational style of your videos, as if you really are communicating with students even though classes are pre-recorded. Or, maybe it is additional learning materials that are all written and created by you rather than from third-party sources.
Try to find the benefits that come with your course and think from the client’s perspective. E.g., if you were the client and you were to purchase the course, what would you like to see, and what features would convince you to eventually make a purchase?
Step 3 - Competitor research
Another vital step in your journey of identifying or creating a new unique selling point for your course is competitor research. When you are clear on the audience and strengths of your own product, it is NOW time to look out and evaluate the methods your competitors are using. You can identify their weak and strong suits and analyze what you should do and figure out how to work smarter.
Competitor research tips
- Surf through the internet to see what kind of paid ads they place and to which landing pages those ads redirect users.
- Use SEO tools, in this case, a very helpful tool will be Semrush, which offers a separate tool for competitor analysis. It will display paid and organic keywords, ranking factors, domain authority, and various other factors related to your competitors that will help you in the final evaluation for further strategy building.
Step 4 - Write better
Even if you have a good selling point, it will not “sell” unless you ‘sell” it. Let me break this all down for you. In today's market, people do not care about one more feature unless you position the feature as something that is in demand, THAT which will solve their problem and meet THEIR expectations.
One way to position the USP to make it meaningful and irresistible is the right delivery through writing. E.g., in the description of the course, mention the USP you are positioning, use powerful and emotional words, and also try to give a solution with the USP to the potential client’s main problem. In short, complete all the required steps to create a selling marketing copy in the form of the course description. You might as well use vital keywords and keyphrases to make the description SEO-friendly and increase your chances of ranking higher in search engines, e.g., Google.
How to write better?
Here are some special tips for you:
- The focus points should be the final outcome and the USP - solution
- Be precise and write in simple, readable language
- Write to the point, not going back and forth about flowers when the topic is about programming
- Use powerful, emotional words, and various such techniques to awaken emotion (especially this will work for lifestyle industry courses)
Step 5 - Test
Being confident is good, and being smart is even better. So, what is left to do? Testing!
Now when you have gone through all the steps and are sure that “it is it, I have created the best USP,” it is time to get real and just test it. Position the course on social media, start selling, and open landing pages. I would recommend doing A/B testing and selling the same course with different graphics and descriptions with different USPs to see which one will work best.
How to test the USP? - Tips
We already described one working method above, and now let’s take a look at a few tips that will help you:
- Pre-sell your course
- Ask for feedback
- Research forums
Never be afraid of failure; if you want to succeed, you have to experiment.
7 selling points for your online course
If you complete all of the steps mentioned above, you will find the best unique selling point for your course. However, let’s take a look at some successful and efficient examples to grab a better idea of one.
Example 1 - Flexibility
If the online course you offer is in a pre-recorded format, you can construct the benefits around the flexibility of timing and availability of self-paced learning. However, in order to prevent causing fear in students (as most of them “need to be watched,” also make sure to mention the tests, quizzes, and passing scores and that you will be available for the feedback and answers to their questions.
Example 2 - Employment opportunities
Maybe you are offering a course about “How to pass interviews successfully,” and you can position your USP to be the further employment opportunities the potential clients will get.
Or, if you are offering a whole training program about “Graphic design,”: your potential USP can be offering an internship or employment opportunity for the best students.
Example 3 - Affordability
Your USP can be constructed around the price as well. Although most pre-recorded courses (yes, even the high-quality ones) are cheap, you can find a more expensive niche or offer a course at a lower price for some time in order to gain the trust of the audience. However, be accurate because sometimes it may create the opposite effect and make people think that the course is cheaper due to lower quality.
But, if it is a training program or live session courses/webinars, you can play around with the price and offer one below the market average. However, make sure to have good promotional materials to ensure the quality at a lower price and sell more products, making the main benefit (USP) of your course the price tag.
Example 4 - Accessibility
Nowadays it is vital to understand that people are going to access your course not only sitting near a working desk with a computer. Many people prefer accessible online learning from mobile devices, e.g., while traveling.
Therefore, you need to ensure that your website’s interface is mobile-friendly and adopted to various other screen sizes. The overall appearance in terms of colors and fonts also should be minimalistic and not distracting. So, you can focus your efforts on accessibility and good design to stand out from the rest.
Example 5 - Effectiveness
When someone is looking for an online course, they do not just want to spend their time and money on nothing; they expect results in terms of skills and efficiency. So, make sure you deliver what you promise! Make a truly useful, high-quality course that will be effective, outline the outcomes of the course and make it your USP.
How can you achieve the effectiveness of the course? Well, it is a complicated process consisting of many elements; the main ones are:
- Make sure you provide a well-thought-out design
- Provide various learning materials besides the videos or live classes
- Give your students feedback, and ask them for feedback in order to further improve
- Outline the PRACTICAL outcomes of the course. We often forget to outline how the skills gained will be applied in practice focusing too much on the theoretical part.
Example 6 - Engagement
Now, one of the most efficient USPs for any course would be engagement. You can outline in the description how many engaging activities your course will provide, e.g., interactive designs, debates, games, etc.
Engagement is one of the essential features a course should offer because students can be easily bored.
- Courses should be interactive and include quizzes, tests, and passing scores.
- Include motivational, warm-up games and various in-class activities
- Ensure that students are engaged in discussions
- Hold Q&A sessions
Example 7 - Community
Do not underestimate the power of networking. Everyone nowadays is looking for a good connection, and what is best rather than staying in touch with people around the same industry? Make sure to offer a good in-class community by engaging students in various group activities and discussions. Those discussions can be even in written form.
People are looking for a peer group to make the learning process more interesting, make new friends, and generally grow as a person. Therefore, when you ensure a healthy environment and work on the creation of the course community, this can really make you stand out from the rest and draw potential clients’ attention to your course.
Create your unique online course
After discussing merely every point related to the topic of USP, starting off with the definition and ending with examples of efficient ones, I believe it is time to get even more practical. As I love to say, let’s get one more step closer to the dream.
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