This is a straightforward guide to dealing with competition. Basically – how are you different from ‘X’? How to answer that question? I’ll show you in this blog post. This is actually going to be super straightforward, I hope you’re ready for this!
Any service business is going to have a bunch of competition because it’s very easy to say that you do services, it’s very easy for me to go to on AngelList and cold email people that are looking for iOS developers and say that I develop iOS, there’s nobody that’s going to check that, at least not a little while.
#1 Make a list of competitors that come up often
Your sales guys have to know the difference between you and all those firms. If you take a bunch of calls and you are always hearing the same names, these are the ones that you want to pay attention to.
When I was at Inspire Beats one that came up on almost every call was Lead Genius so I became a master at Lead Genius, I had to learn all about that. At Dom&Tom, people would mention Fueled. At Fueled, people would mentioned Huge or Fuss. These are all agency names in New York City.
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So, who are your biggest competitors? Train your sales guys and train yourself on the biggest differences between you and those firms. You know who most of your competitors are, you can also find them on tools or on Google.
If you’re in mobile app development I would search ‘App developers’ and then your city to find your competitions. Especially if you’re here in the US or Canada or UK or Australia, the ones on the first two pages on Google are your biggest competitors, those are the ones that you need to learn about as much as possible.
Also, if you’re in web development learn about Leadpages, about Unbounce or Squarespace, learn about the tools that would let people build a website or mobile apps themselves and tell them WHY you guys are better.
#2 Buy or demo competitor products
My advice is that if you’re in mobile app development, pretend to have a mobile app and go talk to a sales guy from Fuss and see how they sell you, go talk to a sales guy from RGA, the larger ones and see what that sales process looks like.
Is that morally and ethically okay? I don’t know, is it? Ask yourself. If it doesn’t match with the way you want to live your life, don’t do it, i’m just telling you what it actually works here.
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What if after all this research – you realize everyone does it better than you?
#3 Improve your product
There’s a few ways to do that:
3.1 Taking time to figure out what you can add to get customers more interested
For X27, we actually started as a content marketing company, we would only write blog posts and it was like a clone of Scripted.com. it was 200$ for a blog post. We were all kind of feeling bad about it because, how much a ROI is one blog post is really going to give you if you’re not buying in bulk and it’s not part of a strategy?
We had to take the time to talk to our customers about why they weren’t buying and also talk to the customers that did buy about what value we could deliver to them outside of that. That’s how we pivoted into more marketing services.
3.2 Find a new market that hasn’t heard of you
If that’s not the case, you can’t get better or if there’s too much competition, for instance app development for software-as-a-service startups or web development for small businesses are totally flooded in my opinion, find a new market.
For example we do marketing for Mobile App Development companies. There are a bunch of agencies out there that do marketing for B2B. I haven’t found a single one that only does for Mobile App Development, UXUI design, branding, advertising agencies so in this market we are the only people that know what we’re doing.
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Another B2B agency can come in and say that they’ve marketed this professional services firm but I can always come back and argue that they don’t specialize on Mobile App Development and that wins every time.
Find a new market that hasn’t heard of you, basically niche marketing, should you move from marketing for everyone to marketing for dentists, or just for fast food restaurant franchisee owner? There’s million dollar businesses in all of those and that’s the solution if you can’t improve your product and take on the entire market or you can improve your product and dominate the one niche that you’re in.
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