Saturday, 5 April 2008

Unique Selling Point

Posted by Tahirah

I left my job - or at least dramatically changed my job role - and I thought I deserved a break before Uni kicks back in. So during a few gloriously bummy days of nothingness (or nothing-much-ness at least) I've had a bit of time for reflection.

Last Saturday (29th March), on my last day of voluntary work with BBC London on the HOME Project, I met a really inspiring person named Beverly Hills. A Black British actress (in everything from Holby City to the Bill), childrens TV presenter, jazz singer, workshop facilitator and a bunch of other stuff, including being a mother. She epitomises the term "portfolio worker". On this day however, she came to me in the form of a skill set advisor. She was very charismatic, and I was awed by not only her work ethic, but her life story - what she told us about herself anyway. She said that in this business - the creative industry sector - we are all products, so we all had to find our Unique Selling Points. It was interesting that someone with a career as varied as hers gave us this advice, but she said her personal USP was her skill of communication, and it was this that weaved all her career strands together.

So today I've been pondering over my USP. Do I have one? At this point, no. I have no specialism. I don't yet excell or have total knowledge about any one area, and I just tend to be some what clued up on many different ones. Then on top of that, I have billions of ideas.

I was once told by a pyschic that my head is an oyster. (She meant in this sense, not in umm, any other random way "oyster head" could interpreted)

But my ideas don't always link. For the most part, their common ground is that they are related in some capacity, to the creative industry. And now I'm wondering if its sustainable to believe that I can take over all the bits of MY "world" that I want to. I'm trying to kick down a door that everybody is trying to get a foot in, the Capital alone is inundated with uni kids like me who want to make it, so how can I make myself special and stand out?
Furthermore, would I be satisfied just sticking to say, radio? Can I quell my impatience and skittish habit of flittering from one idea to another long enough to conquer one thing before I can legitimately allow myself the scope to move onto the next? And to be dreadfully honest, wouldn't I be lying if I said I was working hard enough to get myself there?
The competition is bloody fierce, and there are no real opportunities to speak of; for example, after a search for new presenters on MTV Base, the positions rather dishearteningly went to seasoned DJs/VJs/Presenters Ace & Vis and Sarah Love, who are all mammothly talented, but it would have been great to see some fresh talent get a look in. Thus, you have to make opportunites for yourself.

So back to my question. What is going to be my USP? Maybe I'll be the ideas girl. I wouldn't mind that too much. Providing dynamic ideas across the industries. But there is only one way that will work succesfully. I'd have to put the work in to see them through, and have the persistence to get them noticed....or else I'll be the "ideas girl", ranting about how I could have done something someone else did first much better while sitting on the couch in my living room...