2: MAKE IT DIFFERENT
You've probably encountered the terms USP, unique selling proposition. It refers to what makes your product or service unique--in a way that will help you sell it.
This can be quite difficult to identify sometimes. If yours doesn't have a USP at the moment, your creative challenge is to come up with one.
MAKE SURE IT'S RELEVANT
Do notice the qualifier: " [different] in a way that will help you sell it." A gimmick is not enough, it has to be relevant to the product or service itself. I see a lot of marketers forgetting this.
For instance, I know of one screenwriter who had his query letter delivered by a GorillaGram (a guy dressed as a gorilla). Now if he had been pitching "Planet of the Apes" that might have been a good idea. However, the story had nothing to do with gorillas or anything related to them. That made the GorillaGram a empty gimmick. Different, but not in a good way.
YOU'RE A STORY TELLER...SO TELL A STORY
One example of powerful story telling is from a company that sells subscriptions to financial newsletters. They always couch their sales pitch as a dramatic story. For instance, instead of just offering you an energy stocks newsletter that will help identify possible disasters, they might describe the day the Middle East erupts into a major war...the region's oil stops flowing...the major cities of the world grind to a halt...food has no way to get to markets...you are alone in your house, your children are hungry, but there is no bread on the table... You get the idea.
They are also skilled at making mundane things sound exotic and secret by giving them a different name. If I were to adopt this method I might tell you about "The Author's Key." I might describe this as the document that determines whether you are successful (and I'd tell a little story about what this success would be like) or a failure (and I'd tell you a little story about how horrible that will feel). I'd say that this document is like having a key that unlocks the doors of the world's top agencies...production companies...publishing houses. I'd never tell you the mundane name of this document (have you guessed it yet?) but I'd offer to sell you a report that will reveal all of its secrets. Truth be told, often I find that method quite annoying but it has made them a fortune.
If your product or service actualliy does have a story that can be the USP by all means tell it. If you can give it a different descriptive name without being dishonest that also can work.
LOOK FOR SUPERLATIVES
Is your product the most anything? The shortest? The longest? The longest in the making? The most quickly written or produced? The most expensive? The cheapest? The first time two paticular elements have been mixed (e.g., "Pride and Prejudice"/Zombies)? The first time in a long time that something has been done? The oldest? The youngest or newest?
FORMAT OR PACKAGING
If the product itself isn't very different, how about the way it's presented?
One author took pages of newspapers and blacked out most of the words; the ones that were not blacked out formed the content of his story.
A graphic novelist whose stories were about the inhabitants of an old house had the cover of her book die-cut so it appeared that we were looking through the house's windows.
These days many books have an associated website. Simply slapping up an "about" page and a blog, however, may not attract too many readers. Someone self-publishing an erotic novel might have a link to a website where readers can take a private quiz in order to get their kinkiness rating.
What can you offer people via another medium that adds value to their experience?
WHAT DIFFERENCES APPEAL TO YOU?
One way to get ideas regarding a good USP simply is to be aware of what differences attract your attention. What makes the products you enjoy different from others you could buy? Every time you become aware of one of the differences, consider whether and how you might take advantage of it with your products or services.
(A lot of creative writers stop being creative when it's time to market their work. One way to keep having more ideas all the time is to use the methods I describe in my most recent book, the second edition of "Creativity Now!" You can get it from Amazon or your other favorite bookseller.)
Oh yes, I nearly forgot...The Author's Key to Golden Riches (I just thought of adding 'to Golden Riches', kinda cool, eh?)...the mystery document is...the query letter. Sounded better as the Author's Key to Golden Riches, didn't it?