You already know that each and every day more business are opening up and competition, if it hasn’t been already, is getting fierce. Combine that with the fact that potential customers are holding onto their money more carefully, it is making it more difficult than ever to stand out and profit.
In order to thrive, you need to get an edge over the competition. Here’s how:
1) What’s Your Shtick?
A shtick is a Yiddish word that means your gimmick or unique talent. In other words, what’s your USP: your Unique Selling Proposition? What makes you different from your competition? What do you have to offer that they don’t? For example, I stand out because I come up with outside-the-box personalized strategies that are delivered in a straightforward way.
You notice I don’t compete on price? Saying I offer the lowest prices would diminish my value. Plus, competing on price is always a losing battle. There will always be someone cheaper than you. So don’t fall into that trap – even if you lose potential customers.
2) Narrow Your Focus
Trying to be all things to all people does one thing – it increases your competition. Specializing, on the other hand, narrows your competition. It also helps you become the best at what you do. For example, instead of offering business and marketing information to online entrepreneurs, I focus on helping more established online entrepreneurs. I go beyond the basics. Specialization can virtually eliminate your competition.
3) Become Invaluable
Offer products, information, and resources that make you invaluable to your audience. When planning your business, ask yourself this single question – what can I do to offer more value to my audience? Of course, you have to know your audience well to answer this question.
I offer surprise bonuses and free webinars to my list on occasion. It helps me keep them interested in what I am doing, and also give me ways to find out more about them and their needs.
4) Be Memorable
You cannot be boring in this competitive market and survive. Now that doesn’t mean you have to be over the top either. Instead, be yourself. Capture the interest of your audience and customers by sharing your personality with them in your content, interactions, and even in your products or services.
I’m known for my “cherry bombs”, bluntly stating my point of view about something going on in the coaching industry that I don’t like or think is wrong. Prior to this, I tried to be the ‘nice person,’ the one who has nothing bad to say in case I offended someone. Not only was that not me, but it also made me like almost every other marketing coach or mentor out there. Just being myself has created my wealth.
5) Pay Attention to Your Customers
Chances are you already have some very valuable information regarding what your customers respond to. Take a look at what they buy, when they buy, what emails they open and what links they click. This information will help you hone in on how to offer value and how to be memorable. It may also help you specialize.
6) Build a Community
Connect with your audience and customers on a regular basis. Invite them to get involved through a number of means. For example, invite them to connect with you on Facebook. Ask questions and invite comments.
7) Repeat Successes
Pay attention to what works for you and repeat it. For example, if you find that checklists are downloaded more than free reports you know that your audience enjoys checklists. If they buy more during the summer than in the winter then offer them more during the summer.
Staying ahead of your competition doesn’t just mean following their actions online and reacting to them. What you really need to do is to create a plan to be proactive by differentiating yourself and focusing on your customer more. That’s how you’ll survive and thrive long term.
About the Author: Shannon Cherry, APR, MA is your creative relationship marketing expert. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more clients, selling more products and services, and boosting their business. Get more tips and tactics with your free stop leaving money on the table report, where you’ll learn small ideas to add more profits in your business by visiting http://www.ShannonCherry.com