Serve Your Audience, Not The Competition

This post is Day #20 in the 31 Days to a Better Work + Life Balance series.

Oh jealousy. 

This little trait can get us off balance in a big way!

It pops up whenever our "competitors" are in sight or another business looks farther along than us.

It can make us anxious, unproductive, defeated, stuck on numbers.

It can turn us into big fat copycats or "me too" businesses, losing our creativity.

We get so caught up in it, comparing and measuring, that we forget who we started out to help in the first place.

Serving The Audience

If we spend too much time looking at other businesses/blogs instead of the needs of our audience, our work is going to go downhill really quickly. At some point we begin to believe the lie that checking in on competitors might help us help others. It never really works this way though, does it? We just get more and more stuck.

Here are just a few ways we can start to shift our focus back on our audience and forget about the competition.

Play The Detective

What are the biggest needs of your audience? What problems keep them up at night? How could you further improve their lives? If you're starting to feel a little disconnected and unsure what they need, ask them! Another great place to go searching is through reviews, forums, comments and feedback. Wherever your audience might be leaving their thoughts and questions - start there. If you can find out where their biggest pain points are, you can come up with creative ways to solve them.

The Wow Experience

Just about every marketing book I've ever read mentions the Wow Experience. Basically it just means putting yourself in your customer's or follower's shoes and figuring out what would make them say, "Wow! I have to tell someone about this." You never want them to have a bad experience so do everything you can to prevent that. But then don't just stop at meeting their expectations with a good experience. Try to think of some ways to go above and beyond what they expect. What would make them feel super taken care of and like you've thought of everything?      

Use Your Strengths To Find Balance

Another reason watching competitors doesn't help your audience is because you can't be someone you're not. You can't just shoot for doing what they do - but just a little bit better or working a little harder. Your audience needs you to be you. They come to you because of your awesome style or unique gifting or they just like the way you do things. So use what's yours already. Find out why people love working with you and find ways to enhance it. Use your strengths to solve their problems in a very personal way. No competitor can touch that.

Want to do your own brainstorming session? Download the free printable here.