Have you ever compared yourself or your business to someone else? If you’re saying – no, I'm surprised to hear you've never even thought about your competition.
Comparing yourself to others is a pretty natural and it’s also completely normal thing.
So, when and why is it a good thing and how you can leverage competition in order to grow your business?
A lot of people let competition dictate what they dare to launch, create, and share with their audience.
If you're ready to get out of the comparison trap, keep reading.
Why We Compare Ourselves To Others
Comparison gets the best of all of us. There are times you can't help but compare your outsides to what you see other people doing. You wonder if you're doing it the right way, if THEY are doing it the right way, and why you're not not getting the same results as them?
Today we'll cover three different ways to look at competition and to look at the people you consider your competition. Hopefully by the end of this, you'll realize that competition might be just what the doctor ordered.
If you're building a personal brand where you are the business, it's going to feel really personal, so I totally get that. I've been there.
1. Why Competition Is A Good Thing
That's right. It is not a bad thing to have competition.
It is not necessarily a bad thing to even compare yourself to that competition.
Your competition is an indicator–giving you information about the marketplace, yourself as a business owner, and where you might stand in the marketplace.
It shouldn't define whether you go forward or not with a project or not. Competition actually means there's a market there. There are people interested and already buying what you want to create.
While it's amazing when you come up with an idea you think no one else has had–it's actually the ideas that someone else has had and you're going to do it slightly different that likely will give you more success.
For example, something I have done in the past, and this is something, it's not rocket science, but if you read reviews on Amazon for books, there's tons of books on all different sorts of topics. We know this.
Look up your topic and you’ll see most things have multiple books on any given topic. Let's say I look at books about launching (which I’ve done).
You'll see that people have some very specific feedback for those authors. What can you do just by looking at those reviews is you can see what they're missing, what those authors might be doing well, what they may not be getting right, and you're going to get information about the people that are actually buying their product.
Again – I want to stress that I'm not saying to listen to those people and then automatically change your business. Competition and reviews of your competition are indicators…they give you clues.
How To Start Using Competition Today
I think it's really valuable to go in and be like, “Wow, all these books here seem to be missing this one, two, three thing. That's exactly what I do. That's exactly how I operate.”
Look for those indicators and notice what's going on…
“Wait, I'm that missing piece. This is awesome. There is space for me here.”
It not only gives you just information about the market, what people really need, what people really want, what people are looking for, what they're unsatisfied with, what they're really satisfied with, what they love to see more of, what they're looking for, but you're also looking at that validation personally.
You're like, “Wait, I do have value.” You're looking to give yourself value, but you're also looking at the overall market value.
2. Do You…Keep Your Friends Close And Your Enemies Closer?
If you’ve ever heard this phrase, you might think I mean to lurk and watch your competition like a hawk. Competition aren’t really your enemies at all!
The closer you keep people and businesses to you that are considered competition, the more clearly you're going to see what and how you can be different, how you are different, and you'll be able to see more clearly what you do bring to the space.
One of the elements that make someone stand out as one of the better performers on shows like The Voice and American Idol (I know, random example) is someone who could put their own spin, their own twist, their own voice into let's say a song we've heard over and over and over again.
Want To Keep Competition Close? Ask Yourself This:
The lesson here is to ask yourself what's your spin on whatever the topic is. I mean, there's no shortage of launch-related products. Starting your business online products. Coaching. It's a huge marketplace.
People are looking for that connection with you first, someone that they can listen to, understand, get to know, and also learn that skill that you're able to teach them or take part in whatever you consider your business.
I don't want to say it might be a community, it might be a product, it might be you’re a teacher. I'm trying to cover a lot of ground there, but basically being really clear about what your competition offers helps you understand what you're offering and where your value is.
3. What If You Looked At Your Competitors As Your Community?
Number three. What about creating an environment of cooperation, about supporting your competition to help them find their right customers? Or to open up the door to receive ones that are more suited to you?
When I used to teach pilates, I remember it felt overwhelming to see the number of pilates teachers who were getting certified every single month. I know even in my own certification class, there were just tons.
Now, unless you work at a studio, you're looking for clients all the time. That's actually when I first started using Google, online marketing, and YouTube videos.
I was looking for any way to stand out, to find clients, to build my training schedule, to establish myself.
There were a few clients that I didn't want to “get rid of” even though I knew they'd be better suited elsewhere. Even though I knew they weren't suited to me, I kept thinking, “Man, this person really should be with,” and it was another person that I knew that taught pilates. I just felt like they would be a great match personally and just based on her expertise.
But it scared me to think I was giving away my business.
Eventually I did bring up the topic, recommended my friend who was more suitable for the person – and they are happily still seeing that individual for their weekly Pilates sessions!
My Business Dream
This is actually my dream for the world of business and launching.
If more people felt okay – saying no to paying clients and customers…
“You know what? You're not actually right for me and that's okay. I don't need to hold on to you just because you found me first. I think you should go and talk to this person.”
For instance, I might be like, “You know what? You really got to go talk to Farideh because she's all up in the Facebook ads for launching. She loves that, plus I just feel like you guys would mesh really well.”
Or, “You know what? Nathalie's not really teaching her class live anymore, but I bet you would really like the way she teaches because she does this, this, and this. It feels like you need a little bit more technical help.”
Those are things that I have said to people in the past. Or, “You know what? It sounds like you are ready to do a Product Launch Formula launch. Why don't you just invest in Product Launch Formula with Jeff Walker and just go with it?”
That's my dream is to create this environment of cooperation and make it more of a community of providers, of information, education, and services.
I hope that you start to think about competition in a slightly different way.
Here’s a quick recap:
- Competition isn't a bad thing. It's an indicator. It gives you information about your own business, about the market, about your audience. Period.
- Keep your friends close and your competition closer because it helps you stay really tuned in to what you offer, your value, and also helps, reminds you to differentiate yourself. Reminds you to be okay with doing things differently.
- Think about and strive to create an environment of cooperation by really asking, “Is this client right for me? Is this customer right for me?”
Ready To Embrace Your Competition And Launch?
One more thing I wanted to say is that competition isn't there to tell you do this, do that, or do the other thing.
Yes, you should pay attention to when your competitors are launching, when they're not launching, when they're talking about new things in their business, but you don't have to let that alter what you're doing.
Be aware, curious and interested in what they are doing…not scared. Sometimes seeing yourself as a detective will shift your whole perception of your competition.
Again, this is something that I try to impart in Fearless Launching is look at your launches, look at your business as more of a detective.
Instead of saying, “Oh, darn it. Somebody's already doing this.” Or, “Oh darn it, they're launching right at the same time I am.”
How about you say, “Oh, that's interesting. What can I do to make sure that I'm still going through with my launch, but what can I do to make sure that I stand apart from this and I'm not like on the shelf basically next to my competitor, but take that out of the equation completely?”
I hope you take some time today to start thinking about your own competition. It is important to know who's in the same space as you and what they're doing and maybe make some guesses as to why.
We go into more of the topic of competition, finding out what people want and how to differentiate yourself in the Fearless Launching community.
If you’re ready to to figure out what you're launching and who those competitors are and getting more information from your soon-to-be customers about your competition, grab the free launch toolkit.
In the meantime, embrace your competition. Embrace them. Okay?