Hunt with a rifle, not a shotgun

Today’s Q&A Saturday is a special one.

Because it’s a two-for!

  1. We’re gonna look at of the biggest problems people face when working on their USP
  2. I get to share one of the best lessons I ever learned from legendary copywriter, Gary Bencivenga

Let’s dive in!


Jonathan Riviera asks:


I’m looking for some help with my USP.

The training (you) did was off the chain and now I’m trying to work through my USP.

This is my USP to my listeners – as to why they should listen to my podcast network.

I think I’m too close to this and I can’t really see what makes us special – so I figured I’d ask for your take on it to get some insight.

Thanks for your help.


Jonathan also sent along the work he’d done on his Value Proposition Question, the details of which I’m going to keep confidential…

But I will share his Value Proposition Question because:

  1. There’s no harm in it, and
  2. There’s a big lesson for everyone to learn form it.

He sent in:

“If I am a business owner or marketer who listens to podcasts to learn more about business and marketing, why would I listen to the podcast factory network?”

In my experience, 90% of the problems with a USP can be fixed by nailing the Value Proposition Question.

The secret to getting it right is nailing the ideal customer.

Most folks think they know who their ideal customer is.

And I know Jonathan. He’s got marketing savvy. But he fell into the classic trap of folks working on their USP:

He’s aiming at more than one ideal customer.

(The word OR in a Value Proposition Question is a big hint)

This is what Gary Bencivenga refers to as “hunting with a shotgun.”

Now, I don’t hunt — but I want you to go through a little thought exercise with me to clarify what this means…

Imagine, for a moment, that you’re outside in the Great Wilderness of Canada — on the hunt.

And trying to bag yourself a deer because your family is starving.

(If you’re against hunting, don’t worry – it’s post-zombie-apocalypse, and you’ve run out of tinned food, so it’s ethically OK.)

You come across a small clearing and you spot two majestic bucks — with big ol’ antlers — just standing out in the open and munching on some leaves.

This is exactly the moment you’ve been waiting for, after tracking through the woods for the past 4 days.

They’re standing about 10 ft apart — and they’re clueless that you’re there.

(…because you stalked in downwind, you crafty bugger!)

Now, when you’re hunting with a shotgun approach, what you’re essentially doing is pointing your gun right between the two targets.

Your shot is off by 5ft in both directions. And you’re only hope of hitting something is the off chance that the buckshot from the rifle cartridge covers a large enough area to possible score a hit.

Even if some of the pellet spray hits, how effective is it?

Most of it just hits fresh air.

And how quickly did those two bucks just crash into the woods, never to be seen again?

The opposite of this is when you hunt with a rifle.

You focus on just one of the targets. You scope RIGHT in, and aim exactly where you want your shot to land.

Chances of you scoring a bullseye just became much higher.

Ask any marksman: When you get good enough, all you need is one shot.

So, my advice to Jonathan was to head back to the drawing board and figure out exactly who his “ideal” customer is.

Make sure you’re hitting that target first.

Then, shift your aim and bullseye the next ideal customer.

If you want to start tracking your sights on your ideal customer, fire me over a meeting request below. We can shoot the breeze about how to bag you a tasty USP.

No obligations. No commitments. No fee. Just a 20-minute chat.

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