Have you ever been told there is no such thing as competition? I’ll be unpacking the truth of this in this new podcast episode.
The topic of competition is very close to my heart because I’m about creating unique businesses. Competition always pops up when we discuss uniqueness in Elevate. And what often comes from a very heart-centred place is the idea that there is no competition, just stay in your lane, you are unique and you’ll be fine. While I believe you can almost make competition obsolete to the point that you don’t have to worry about it, it does not mean that competition doesn’t exist.
To understand how to make yourself unique and cut through the noise, you need to be aware of what you’re competitors are saying. Competition can also be a triggering word as it suggests that we have enemies. I’m completely happy for people to reframe this in any way they want but for this episode, I’ll be using the word “competition”.
Competition and collaboration
We are not here to trash down other businesses and we can collaborate. But how many times have you seen a collaboration that’s really icky because one person does something similar and instead of collaborating, you are vying for attention? When you look to collaborate, you want to align with businesses that complement you. Else you are selling the same thing to the same audience, which is a conflict of interest.
A joint venture is different and can work on occasion. Even then, it’s important to come from a different angle from the person you are sharing with. Yet, there are also times when it doesn’t make business sense to collaborate with each other.
So when you are looking at your competition, you need to look at your points of differentiation and where you can make yourself different to what is out there. You don’t need to go outside of your zone of genius or area of integrity to be different. While different is good, it still needs to be useful. Ask: how can you make yourself usefully different?
There are people out there doing the same thing as you. Niche is the first place to begin looking at making your business different. However, it doesn’t matter how far you niche down, there will always be someone else doing what you do as a core business model. They probably offer the same outcomes, solving the same problems and to the same people.
Having a niche will help you articulate your importance to future clients to that they can understand why they need to work with you. So that you appear as an expert and can see the substance behind you. This is why you need to look at niche.
Going beyond the niche
Going beyond these basics, when you align a business side-by-side, how are they working with people? What are they doing with their ideal clients? Within your market, there is another market. For example, you might work with people who want to lose weight but within that market you have mums who have given birth, people with heart conditions and so on.
Really delve into who your competition focuses on the most. Look at the different entry points, how are they working with their market? What do you agree and disagree with their approach? Where in their process can you see you do something differently? And where does your way help your ideal client?
Let’s say you’re a weight loss coach helping new mums lose the baby weight. A new or different way of doing things could be that you try and fit in a particular diet or exercise plan around the baby. So it’s only relevant to your market. It’s about relevancy. It’s about making your angle and USP relevant only to your ideal client.
When you look at what your competitors are doing in the market, it’s to see the differences in how you do things. It’s not about seeing how you can fit your business in to collaborate with others. But don’t do the comparisonitis where you see what they are doing and decide you can’t do something similar because otherwise, you’ll feel like you’re treading on their toes. There will always be other businesses doing what you do – even if you don’t realise it.
I’m not suggesting you copy another business but don’t be afraid to own your niche and a unique selling point. You will always find people who offer what you do. So don’t hold yourself back by worrying about stepping on other people’s toes.
Find your unique angle
You can’t find your unique angle for your unique selling point unless you know what your competitors are doing. You’ve got to do that research so you can find your position within the market. Then you can find the messaging and positioning that will get attention through all the other noise going on out there.
Yes, it is possible to stay in your own lane once you establish your unique selling point so that you can put your flag in the sand. When you have the confidence that people cannot find your service elsewhere, that’s what creates the feeling that competition is obsolete. When you’ve done your research, you can know what you do in your way and have the confidence in delivering it. And when you have that confidence, you can price effectively and do not have to compete on price in the marketplace.
If you are looking to really find the USP in your business that stands you apart from all others out there, I have spaces in my year-long Elevate programme which looks at all areas of your business. I also have intensives on messaging and USP.
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