23. Don’t copy your competitors — 30 Days Of Medium

James Thomas
Jun 20, 2018 · 6 min read

Welcome back to 30 Days Of Medium.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading, clapping and commenting so far! Today’s topic is — Don’t copy your competitors.

You can catch up on the first 22 days of my 30 Days Of Medium challenge below if you missed them:

0. 30 Days Of Medium

1. What do you need to build your own website? — 30 Days Of Medium

2. How to find a business you love — 30 Days Of Medium

3. How to build your own website — 30 Days Of Medium

4. How to measure your website’s performance — 30 Days Of Medium

5. How to get more customers by answering their questions -30 Days Of Medium

6. The successful business website cheat sheet — 30 Days Of Medium

7. How to measure success — 30 Days Of Medium

8. Understanding the Online Sales Funnel — 30 Days Of Medium

9. What is traffic and why is it important? — 30 Days Of Medium

10. What is Google URL Builder and why should you use it? — 30 Days Of Medium

11. Double your traffic by automating your social media schedule — 30 Days Of Medium

12. How to tell what sells — 30 Days Of Medium

13. How I grew my Medium following 6,500% — 30 Days Of Medium

14. How you look at things matters — 30 Days Of Medium

15. How to SELL services to small businesses — 30 Days Of Medium

16. How to win more deals with effective proposals — 30 Days Of Medium

17. How to setup an online store in 10 minutes — 30 Days Of Medium

18. How to work from anywhere — 30 Days Of Medium

19. Why your website is sabotaging your sales — 30 Days Of Medium

20. Where does your traffic come from? — 30 Days Of Medium

21. How to actually recognise burnout — 30 Days Of Medium

22. How to hack your schedule and get twice as much done — 30 Days Of Medium

23. Don’t copy your competitors — 30 Days Of Medium

24. How to SEO optimise a blog post — 30 Days Of Medium

25. Be unique or be forgotten — 30 Days Of Medium

26. Going with your gut — 30 Days Of Medium

27. People don’t pay for average — 30 Days Of Medium

28. How to do keyword research — 30 Days Of Medium

29. Why The Pareto Principle is the world’s biggest hack — 30 Days Of Medium

30. Your content is more profitable than your telephone — 30 Days Of Medium

Nobody pays top dollar for a carbon copy

Lots of small businesses want to copy their competitors.

This is understandable, especially if your competitor is doing well but ultimately wrong.

Nobody pays good money for a copy of something.

Would you pay top dollar for a copy of something?

No, so why would your customers?

You are never going to be a better version of your competitor than they are. But you can be the best version of you that you can be.

Being unique is a competitive advantage

Now, there’s nothing new under the sun.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t be unique or stand out in your marketplace, whether it’s a local, national or global one.

If you’re trying to establish yourself in a local marketplace (your city for example) the worst thing you can do is try and copy an established competitor down to the font they use.

It gets harder to be unique the bigger the market you target.

But locally, you have every chance to be known as the go to business for a specific thing.

Or, that business with the cool brand.

I’ll tell you who doesn’t get the business locally — the business who is a carbon copy of a larger successful competitor.

How can you use this to your advantage?

I saw an accountant recently who had a huge digital slant to his business.

His whole brand was focused around the technology they used and how they are digitally savvy.

It was actually pretty clever, and it was genius.

Accountants are traditionally very conservative when it comes to marketing.

As a result, I’ve noticed it’s one of the industries where it is hardest to differentiate between providers.

Which seems crazy, because once you find an accountant you like and trust, you’ll likely stay with them for life.

I’ve had the same accountant my entire business career and don’t have any intention of changing, he is awesome.

So if a customer mostly sticks with their accountant for the long haul why make it so difficult to acquire new customers by not differentiating yourself?

When I initially went to look for an accountant, I turned to Google. There was nothing that really helped me decide who to call and try out. Thankfully, I met with the right accountant almost immediately.

The point I’m making is, this digitally savvy accountant has since stuck in my mind and captured mind-share with me. The first time this has happened with an accountancy practice (sorry though, I’m sticking with my guy).

By not copying every other accountant and having the same old conservative website and brand, this accountant has set himself apart from the rest of his competitors and this is probably a large part in why his business continues to grow.

Different = growth

If you want to grow, be different.

Don’t do everything, do something very well. People don’t pay for average.

If you need to do everything to start with, be different. If you are in a traditionally boring industry averse to innovation, innovate.

Come up with a catchy brand, marketing campaign or new way of looking at thing.

The easiest way to get noticed is do what the other businesses are not doing.

I’m not saying don’t copy small things from your competitors. As I said, there’s nothing new under the sun.

I’m saying don’t try to become a carbon copy of them.

Take small things you really like, then apply your own style and take on things to build a business that is unique to you.

It’s your business after all, not someone else’s.

You might also like this:

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James Thomas

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Owner of squareinternet.co. Writing about how to build, grow and scale a business online.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +540K people. Follow to join our community.

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