This 10 Second Exercise Could Save You HOURS of Writing Time
by Joel K

One of the toughest things to do when writing copy for your business is clearly defining who you are and what makes you different.

There tends to be a lot of staring blankly into a monitor, trying to come up with the most clever copy you can. It’s frustrating – and a lot of people burn out before they even get going, defeated at their inability to come up with the perfect line.

What I’ve found is that instead of focusing on coming up with something brilliant, it’s much more useful to start with a statement that is simple, clear and complete. Best of all, you can get going quickly – in literally 10 seconds – because it’s nothing but a fill-in-the-blank.

To start generating a better, more accurate unique sales proposition and bring immediate clarity to your writing, complete this sentence:

“We provide [your product/service] to [key customer group] who want to [main customer objective] without [key customer pain point]

It’s really that simple! The sentence doesn’t have to sound catchy or clever, because it addresses all of the cornerstones of your business.  You can play a little bit with the wording if it helps things flow  – just make sure you’re listing what you offer, who it’s for, what their key goal is and what obstacle they want to avoid. From there, you can start dressing it up if need be.

Let’s try a few examples.

For Business Casual Copywriting, the sentence might read:

“We provide personality-filled copywriting to businesses who want to attract, engage and win over customers without having to deal with thousands of edits and changes.”

For a company like Freshbooks, the statement might be:

“We provide online accounting software to small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to easily send and track invoices without any accounting knowledge.”

And for a company like Gemesis, it could read:

“We offer man-made diamonds to young couples who want a gorgeous piece of jewelry without worrying about the adverse environmental and human rights impacts of the diamond trade.”

It can work for literally anything.

So – next time you’re stuck, give this a try! At very least, you’ll have a launching point to keep moving from.

(Another 10-second exercise that will drastically improve your writing? Hire me to do it for you.)


  1. Hey Joel, that’s a good way to go about it indeed. Although sometimes I suggest to customers to step back from writing statements like this and first complete a simple sentence:
    “My customers buy from me because….”
    The result will not create as thorough statement as what you’re suggesting, true. But it will help to uncover the main reason customers find the company worthy of doing business with. And as you know yourself, when writing copy such knowledge is on the weight of gold 🙂

    • Joel K says:

      Pawel – I like the simplicity of the idea, it’s just a bit open-ended, which can both work for you and against you. Example: They buy from me because… “They need a waterproof watch”, or they buy from me because… “We offer a level of personal service our competitors can’t match”.

      But I think, with a little direction, it would be a step in the right direction too!

  2. Mike says:

    Great post and super helpful for quickly getting to know the business you are working with. I like Pawel’s idea too but it maybe better as ….. “Our customers WANT TO OR SHOULD buy from us because …”

  3. […] I love this quick way of defining your USP from Joel K. […]

  4. Rolf says:

    Hi Joel, thanks for sharing this idea. Marketing Managers far too often have problems defining their offer. Instead of being specific they make it very complicated for an agency to understand product and target group.

  5. […] I don’t have a natural turn of phrase, so when I come across a fool proof copywriting formula, I bookmark it. Read it here… […]

Leave A Comment