Who Are Your Competitors?
Really, who are they?
Where do their customers come from?
What are they doing to reach the customers who you aren’t reaching?
What do their promotions look like and how do yours compare?
When I start working with a new client the first questions I ask is what does the competition look like. If you start working with a writer or marketer who doesn’t ask you for that tidbit of information, it should throw up a red flag. I mean really, I can’t help you if I don’t know who your competition is!
You Don’t Always Have To It Differently Than Your Competition
I need to know what your competitors are doing so that we can do it better! You can’t improve on what someone’s doing or differentiate yourself from them until you know how they’re getting the results they’re getting.
Tony Robbins is someone I really admire and his advice on this topic makes a lot of sense. Tony says if you want to be the best pastry chef in the world, you need to learn how to bake. You could take a ton of classes, read a million books and interview a ton of people to figure out how you can be the best. Or you can model someone who is already there. It’s taken them years to get where they are, not to mention all the mistakes they made along the way, until they figured out how to bake the best cake.
If You Think You Know It All After 20 Minutes, You Are Missing The Point
If you take them approach and in this case are watching them bake their cake and if you find yourself thinking, “Wow this looks like it’s going to be a great cake but I bet if she just put more chocolate in that cake that it would be a lot better,” give your head a shake! Slap your own face.
Who are you to say how it could be better if you can’t even bake? It’s an exception, not a rule that you can master what has been mastered in the field you are going into with no experience, background or mentor.
Trying to improve on the recipe of a cake until you’ve learned how to master the basic recipe, means you risk wasting precious time and energy you don’t waste on your journey to greatness.
Maximize Your Minutes With Mentors
Every minute matters – make the most of them. Shorten the learning the curve by finding a mentor. Once you’ve learned the basics and have a nice foundation, which shouldn’t take long if you are working side by side with a master, then you start to make improvements.
Because guess what? For all you know the master cake baker already tried to add more chocolate and it was a flaming failure, leaving him with “egg on his face” (I really couldn’t resist).
If you haven’t done your homework on your target audience and the competition that already lives there, you could make costly and unnecessary mistakes. Think of it like this, but touchdowns are usually scored when you slip through a hole and no one saw you coming – the best teams watch films on the other teams. Not so they can play like them, but so they can understand them and know exactly how they are going to use their weaknesses against them to WIN.
I’m curious, how much research do you do for your business? Any great tools you like or awesome processes you want to share? Leave them here – love to start a discussion.