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Why Your Competition Isn’t ‘Nobody’…

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Your competition isn't nobody
Your competition isn't 'nobody'

I speak to A LOT of people about their brands and A LOT of those people are quick to answer “we don't have any” when I ask about competition – while I truly admire this confidence, pretending competition doesn’t exist won’t help you stand-out. Identifying your competition will not only help you understand their strengths and weaknesses, it helps you understand yours too. Find your competitive advantage, find the marketplace where you hold that advantage and be a badass in your field. Own it.

We all think our own business is fantastic and that we do stand out, but of course we are biased. Have you ever actually analysed your competition and validated what you believe about your competitive advantage? It's a difficult task to do well but if you can analyse your competition in-depth, you're onto a winner. 

Knowing your competition will help you:

  • Understand your competitive advantages in detail
  • Understand the marketplaces where you hold those advantages and own them
  • Target your marketing efforts and in-turn increase your return on marketing investments
  • Keep your friends close, keep your... competition closer (gain clarity on who your competitors are and what they're up to)

How to identify your competition

First think about your direct and indirect competition. Your direct competition are those businesses that sell the same products or services that you do. Your indirect competition are those businesses that don't sell the exact same stuff you do, but compete with you to solve the same problems for your target audience

Here's where to look to identify your competition: 

Market Research

Asses the market of your product or service and identify the key players selling similar products or services to you.

Customer Feedback

If you have a current customer base, don't be afraid to ask them which other businesses they considered before buying from you and why they chose to buy from you over your competition.

Social Media

Social 'listening' is a great way to assess competition and keep up to date with what your customers are thinking. Monitor relevant social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, product, and any keywords relevant to your business. By listening to the conversations your customers are having on these channels, you’ll be able to identify additional competitors and analyse them.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is a good way to identify your indirect competition - you can use it identify who is fighting for the same space on the web. Customers routinely look for solutions by searching online, this means that you could be in competition with a blog or other website using the same keywords that are relevant to your business - even if they're not selling a similar product. Google keyword planner is good place to start. 

How to analyse your competition

Conduct a competitive analysis to identify what your competition is doing right and what they could be doing better, then use this information to improve your own competitive advantage. Here are the 6 simple steps to analysing your competition:

  1. Identify your competition
  2. Locate their content 
  3. Evaluate the quality of their content
  4. Identify their strengths and competitive advantages
  5. Identify areas for improvement and weaknesses
  6. Do it better 😉

So, who is your competition? How will you stand out?

Why Your Target Audience Isn’t Everyone… (and how to find your people)

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Why Your Target Audience Isn't 'Everyone' (and how to find your people)
Why your target audience isn't 'everyone'... and how to find your people.

When I ask business owners who their product or service is targeted towards, a lot of people are quick to say "everyone really". Your target audience is something that is decided early on in the product or service development process but it's a decision that could come back to bite you throughout your whole business journey if it's a bit too vague.

Your target audience isn't everyone, here's why:

It all boils down to the fact that you just can't please everyone. It's that simple. 

Even if your product does appeal to all sorts of different people, you will still need to target your marketing efforts to different audiences. Example: a teenager and a grandparent will have different priorities and make different buying decisions.


I can't tell you the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everyone

- Ed Sheeran (@edsheeran) 

How to find your people

When discovering your target audience it's important to be specific. You should think about age, job roles, likes, dislikes, income, where they live, gender, background - anything that tells you who a person is. Some people even go as far as to give their target audience a human name and imagine them as a singular person with their own story. 

You might think that being specific could exclude people but here's the thing, you're not saying the only people allowed to buy from you are those that meet the exact specifics of your target audience. You're understanding your niche so you can dominate in your market and ultimately help those who can benefit from your product or service to understand how you can help them. 

Things to consider

Your current customer base - who buys from you currently?

Looking at your current customers is the best place to start. These people are buying your products and services for a reason. Look closely, even if your current customer base seem like a mixed bunch of individuals, it's likely that they'll share one or two characteristics or interests.

Your website and social media stats - who is checking you out?

If you already have a website and social media presence, take a look at your analytics. Most social media platforms have their own analytics and insights sections, if you have a web developer you can ask them for your stats or if you design your website yourself there are plenty of free options available for checking demographics, like Google Analytics. These stats will give you a good insight into what you're doing now, but if you want to redefine your target audience and change it up, then who is looking at your site now might change in future. If this is the case, try not to get too caught up in your current stats. 

Who do you want to work with?

When it comes to small business, who we want to work with the most is important. Do you remember how back in school days you would always focus more with a teacher you liked, and mess around a bit more when you didn't get on so well with another? Now, I'm not saying we are going to mess around for those who don't fall into the "clients we love" category, we've grown up a bit since school, but I firmly believe that passion and connection breed the best possible standard of work, happier customers and happier business owners. After all, we got into this to do what we love, right? 

Who are your competition’s target market?

Just like your target market isn't 'everyone', your competition isn't 'nobody' either. If you need help defining your competition, check out this post. Once you've identified your competition, analyse what they're up to and who they're targeting. Will you be targeting similar people? 

Who does your product or service best suit?

This one is pretty explanatory and probably something you've already considered. If you make vegetarian food, you're unlikely to be targeting meat-eaters. Think about the problems your product or service solves, who has this problem, who wants to overcome this problem and the means they have to do so. 

When you have the answers to these questions you will be well equipped to define your target market.

Defining your target audience
Your People Template

Now you're ready to define your people and start getting to know them. The best way to do this is by writing down everything you've discovered while thinking about the previous questions and then put some specifics in place. The above template is included in my free eBook and Workbook here

So, who is your target audience?