Stop worrying about them
Recently I was chatting to a thought leader in my mentorship about their competitor stealing ideas from them. In my career I have experienced this. As problems go though, it’s not the worst. Instead, I would argue that, especially in the early days, I spent far too much time worrying about what other people were doing to the detriment of my business.
We can often do this in life. Instagram and Facebook provide us with potentially great tools to connect with others and grow our businesses but they have their issues. FOMO and insecurity are just two examples.
Let’s look at this when it comes to business as that’s where the stakes are not just how we feel, it has real economic impact.
One of the biggest challenges I see entrepreneurs deal with is when they think about their competition. Competitor analysis is a critical component to building a thriving business.
Far too often, however, we make some key mistakes as soon as we start looking at what others are doing.
We start doubting ourselves.
When you see your competitors who are killing it, it can be easy to allow the ‘imposter phenomenon’ to take over.
We decide to change our entire marketing strategy.
When you see your competitors do something in a very different way to you, it can be easy to panic and think that they have got it all sussed and we need to turn our marketing approach or business model upside down.
We become jealous and spend time justifying to ourselves and others why they ‘shouldn’t’ be successful.
This is a dangerous one. When we look at those we compete against, it can be easy to read through what they are doing and find plausible reasons as to why they are full of it or…
We identify things that they do that are similar to us and assume they copied us.
While it’s true that sometimes this will happen, spending copious amounts of mental time on this can set us back significantly.
The truth is sometimes our competitors do have incredible businesses, have found a brilliant way to market, sometimes they are bullshitters and occasionally they’ll copy us. Despite these things being true there are some other elements you need to focus on when looking at your competition if you want it to be a fruitful endeavor.
Focus on how they are positioning themselves. How do they want to be known? What is their bio like? How is that different to how you want to be known?
Focus on how they are delivering their products or services. What are their offerings? How are they marketing or selling them? How is this different to you?
Focus on how they are creating content. What is their long-form content (YouTube/podcast/blog) like? What is their social media approach like? How is this different to yours?
Focus on their results and what seems to be working for them. What are they doing best? Why are they getting results in that area? How is this different to you?
Focus on their weaknesses. What are they not doing well? What are you doing better than them?
Finally, focus on all of the lessons you can learn from them. Write them down and turn them all into specific actions that you can take or actions to avoid.
Doing a competitor analysis by sticking to these questions will provide you with so much more value and better results than falling into some of the traps mentioned earlier.
We can also apply this to life. When you start looking at others and you start to feel less than… what questions can you use that help you avoid this feeling and actually benefit from the experience?
P.S. The Changing Minds Podcast is out now with some very cool episodes. You can find the latest episodes here.