I talk pretty constantly about one simple but uber-critical component of any brand, product or company’s messaging: the value proposition. AKA the unique sales proposition (USP).

In fact, about one-third of Copy Hackers Book 3 is dedicated to value propositions.

Why? What’s the big deal?

Value propositions help separate you from your competition. Great value propositions focus on the one thing that is both unique and highly desirable about your solution.

That said, if you don’t have any competition, congratulations! You’re in good shape. You don’t need to worry about differentiators… yet. You can just worry about learning everything the hard way as a pioneer, only to have the settlers come along and copy you until you HAVE to come up with a desirable differentiator and, in turn, a value proposition.

For those of us who have businesses with competitors, we need a value prop.

And – here’s the news – coming up with your value prop doesn’t have to be hard. Let me tell you why.

Picture yourself at SXSW, standing in your booth, watching people walk around and ask questions. Jason Calacanis comes up to you, and he decides to give you 30 seconds of his time to chat about your product, service or site – which we’ll call Ahhhsum. Here’s how the convo goes:

JASON: “So tell me about Ahhhsum.”

YOU: “Sure. It’s easy project management software.”

JASON (sighing and looking distracted): “Another one of those?”

YOU (remembering your value prop): “Well my software is that one that plugs into Gmail, so you can turn emails into tasks.”

Although the important part of your sentence is the last part… the middle section is the part that really matters.

The middle section uses this mega-valuable phrase: “the one that

In just those 3 little words, you indicate to everyone that there is something distinctive about your solution and that they should listen up because you’re about to say what that differentiator is.

So, going forward, think of your value proposition as the completion of any of the following phrases:

My product is the one that ____________________________.

My service is the one that ____________________________.

My solution is the one that _____________________________.

Voila! Instant value prop.