Does looking at your competitors make you feel stressed and inadequate?

Well, you’re not on your own. Pretty much every single entrepreneur we’ve talked to struggles with imposter syndrome and are left feeling dejected when they see what others are doing.

Emma recently sent me a link to a brand challenge a competitor was running. My stomach instantly clenched in knots and that negative voice in my head started saying…

“See, you’re not good enough.”

“They’re SO much better at this than you.”

“You can’t possibly compete with that.”

“Maybe you should start looking for a proper job.”

“You’ve got no chance.”

“Who’s going to want to work with you?”

I’d been feeling really positive and happy before I saw that link. Afterwards, I felt like rubbish. It was crazy.

When we ran our recent Brand & Blossom online course, one of the tasks we asked our members to do was to research their competitors.

Many of them said afterwards that the task had left them feeling; “Stressed”, “Negative” and “Not good enough”.

The problem is, when you’re looking to create or grow your brand, you’re missing a HUGE trick if you don’t research others in your niche.

You need to stand out from the crowd, and to do that, you need to understand what others are offering and who they’re talking to, so that you can figure out a way of making yourself different.

So how can you look at your competitors objectively, without feeling pants about yourself?

1. Your purpose

Before that voice takes over, close your eyes, take several deep breaths and remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing.

When you create a brand, one of the foundational elements it should be built on is your brand purpose, often referred to as your Why. Only you have this purpose, NOT your competitors. It’s one of the things that makes you unique. It should give you the focus you need to stop that negative voice. Ask yourself:

🌸  Why have you chosen to do what you do?

🌸  Did you have a problem which you overcame using a solution you created that you want to share with others?

🌸  Is your business driven by the desire to help others?

🌸  What made you choose to sell what you’re offering out of all the thousands of things you could have done?

To read more on brand purpose click here

2. The Journey

Competitors who appear to have it nailed are very likely to be further ahead on their business journey than you. But they had to start somewhere too. They’ve stood in the exact shoes you’re wearing now. They probably felt the same. And it’s likely they would have looked at others ahead of them and struggled with their negative voice too.

🌸  Remember that you’re further ahead on your journey than some. Look back to where you’ve come from and celebrate your progression.

3. Feedback

Consider all the customers you’ve served to date and the feedback you’ve received. Their positive comments should be what you refer to in moments of doubt. Your customers are your greatest judge and what your business is all about. If you’re helping them feel better, find what they need, or achieve their goals, then what are you worried about?!

🌸  Create a scrapbook of comments and refer back to it in moments of crisis.

4. You are unique

Only you can serve your customers the way you do because there’s only one of you! The relationships you build with people, the stories you tell, how customers feel after reading your posts or talking with you is unique to you.

Your competitors won’t be able to offer that special experience.

This is the point of discovery calls! Customers could get the thing you offer from countless others, but they will base their decision on the connections and feelings they get with you in the call.

And if you sell products, you need to focus on creating these connections via social media and email; inject as much of you into your content as you can and make your customers feel special!

The stronger the relationship you build with your audience, the more likely they are to buy from you regardless of price.

5. Be selective

It’s important you’re familiar with your competitors from a strategic perspective. However, you can choose the time you view their content wisely.

If you’re having a bad day, or are feeling at a low ebb, DON’T look to see what others in your niche are up to; it won’t be a pretty experience.

Set aside some time each month when you scroll through your competitors feeds or check out recent offers. But do it when you’re feeling mentally strong and with the specific purpose of research. Remove yourself emotionally and look at them through an objective lens; this isn’t about what they’re doing better than you, it’s about making sure that what you offer is different and relevant.

🌸  A great tip we were given is to unfollow your competitors on social media, so that you don’t see their posts pop up when you’re feeling low. Make a list of their social handles and check in with them when it’s the right time for you.

🌸  Also remember, that you see lots of posts relevant to your niche because the social platforms recognise that you like that type of content. It’s very doubtful that your audience will be seeing the same recommended accounts or advert that you do.

Final thoughts

Try to focus on finding the people who will benefit from working with or buying from you and serve them to the best of your abilities. This is what will make you special!

And consider this; think about how many books there are in a library or online. Millions! And how many of them will be talking about the same thing? Thousands! But there’s always room for more books, they just need to offer something a bit different.

And if you need help dealing with imposter syndrome, figuring out your purpose or how you can be different, book a discovery call with us!

Jill Pryor and Emma Collins - Brand Clarity, Design and Visibility

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