Should You Keep An Eye On Your Competition?
When you own your own business or blog, making decisions can kind of be like a guessing game...
We ask ourselves, "Am I doing everything right?"
"Does my audience seem happy enough?"
"Is there something I'm forgetting?"
Especially when you're in the early years, it can be REALLY tempting to look to someone else to tell you what to do - namely, your competition.
It's probably pretty normal to at least see who is in your market.
But here's why I think watching your competition too closely can be really harmful to your work...
-You stop being your own boss but instead take directions from another business.
-Your self-made deadlines become more stressful because you're trying to keep up or want to be the first to share an idea.
-You can waste a lot of time checking in and finding out how others are doing things.
-If the competition is doing seemingly better than you in numbers or sales, you're left feeling jealous or unmotivated.
Don't Be a "Me Too" Brand
I think the worst part of constantly competing is that you stop being inspired by passion or the needs of your audience. It no longer matters to you whether you're doing what you love but it only matters what the next guy is doing. I think that's the fastest way for your work to grow stale and BORING!
Something I like to remind myself is never to be a "me too" brand.
A "me too" is when one business does something and then immediately another business repeats the same thing to bank off of the others' success.
A funny example I saw of of this is when Taco Bell did the Doritos Tacos and then Taco Johns tried the Cheeto Burrito haha.
You're really doing your business and audience a disservice when you just repeat what someone else is doing.
So how do you stay aware without becoming overly competitive?
It's hard! But one way to do it is being true to your audience and your passion. Your fans are probably coming to you because you do things a specific way. Don't disappoint them by trying to be someone else. If you see the competition doing something cool, make it a goal to appreciate it but never copy it.
Stretch yourself to think outside the box and what is already being done.
Make yourself physically go OUT and be inspired elsewhere.
(AND BE MORE AWESOME!)
Don't be discouraged! You are doing just fine, friend.