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