To me this is perhaps the most essential question you need to answer if you want to have a successful business.
I came across a post, How To Make Potential Customers Pick You Over ‘The Other Guys’, which aims to help you answer the question and then how to convey your uniqueness to potential customers.
The post offers 10 questions to ask yourself to discover your uniqueness, though in all honesty I don't think they're necessarily the best things to look for to discover what makes you different.
Here are the first 3 questions:
1. Are you more experienced?
2. Are you quicker?
3. Do you have better customer service?
The rest are similar. I'm not sure how unique you become by having experience or providing better customer service. Those seem to me things your customers are going to expect. While I don't care for the specific questions to discover your uniqueness I do agree very much in the idea.
I do like the 10 ways the posts suggests to convey your uniqueness. I'll let you check out the post to see what they are.
Let me share a bit of my own experience. As most of you know I offer web design/development services. So do millions of others. Why should someone hire me. While I always felt I did a good job, charged a fair price, offered friendly services, etc., none of that is really enough to separate my services from everyone else.
As many of you also know I've spent a lot of time learning how search engines and search engine optimization work. At first I thought I should simply offer those services, but that just put me in another industry of many with no way to distinguish myself.
But by combing the two and offering seo design I do start to separate myself. SEO became more a way to stand out as a web designer and so helps make me more unique.
Taking things further I work with WordPress a lot. First it was on my blog, then it was for other people's blogs. As I learned more about WordPress I could see it was more than blogging software and able to serve as a full CMS. I started putting more client sites on WordPress and becoming an expert in WordPress. Now it's another way to make my business unique.
There are many, many web designers. By using seo as a selling point I'm now competing with less of the. Adding WordPress to the mix has me competing with even less. I'm certainly not the only web designer who knows seo and works with WordPress, but both do make me much more unique than your typical web designer.
By no coincidence, the more I make myself unique the more my business has grown.
How are you separating your business from the competition? If someone asked you why they should hire you instead of someone else what would you tell them?