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How to Compete So You'll Always Win

Posted On - 21/02/2014 08:54:48

If you don't do much to promote yourself, the stuff everyone else does will make people indifferent to youTwo people are standing in a room. One's talking, the other isn't. Who can't you hear?

This may sound daft but it brings to life a simple truth about competition and competing. If you do little to promote yourself, the stuff everyone else does will drown you out. You won't be in peoples minds. And because they won't be thinking about you they'll become indifferent to you.

Make no mistake, while you may be minding-your-own-business and doing nothing to make anyone think ill of you, doing nothing to interest them will damage you.

This is the first blog in a series by the same title. In it we're going to get to grips with how to go about promoting yourselves in the right ways. Ways that attract people. Ways that will get people falling over themselves to enquire. To help we'll  set out examples of promotional artwork you can copy or adapt for your own use.

But before that we'll be revisiting some of things that really, really matter when you compete. Because if you want the remotest chance of winning, it's not just about understanding what to do, it's about really getting why you need to go about things in the ways we suggest. Things like…

It's not for prospects to take risksIt's not for prospects to take risks. To come in and try you and find they wish they hadn't.

YOU want THEIR business.

THEY can choose where they go.

YOU have to attract THEM.

The basis of competing to win is to actually compete at all. You're not in business to make money, you're in it to create customers. And that can and will only happen if you first create enquiries.

Right now, if you're phlegmatic about being heard, everyone else's voice will be diverting business away from you. Possibly even taking it off you. You simply can't win a fight you won't have.

Now marketing presents bewildering choices. A huge number of ways to spend lots of money. But before choosing what to use, think about what you want to say. Marketing isn't about leaflets or brochures or whatever, it's about the impression you create. And that is less about what you want to sell and more about who you're competing with. Because unless you're competing against competitors, you're not competing at all. You're just making a noise and wasting time and effort.

You aren't up against every other business. It's vital to target your efforts."Everyone" is not competition. You aren't up against every other business. It's vital to target your efforts. Why compete against another Indies when they'll just compete back? Why cause a stir when you'll just look petty? When you could so easily create mass appeal by competing with the Big Names. When you could be seen as a contender saying things that resonate with huge numbers of people? What's more if you did they won't – they can't - do anything about it. Your real enemy isn't each other: it's the Big Names.

But when all's said and done what do you say? You talk about why you are different. You talk about why you are better. You have a huge number of things you could talk about. Stuff the Big Names would kill for. Your independence. Your knowledge and expertise. That you're a small local business. The list goes on. All things they don't have. All genuine sources of competitive advantage. And the very reasons why you can compete at all.

Communicating like this sets you apartCommunicating like this will set you apart. By stressing what you do excellently and your competitors either don't or, preferably, can't, you create a distinction.

And positive distinction = merit. What you're doing is communicating characteristics and traits that create an impression you are the better choice.

But it goes the other way too. Because deliberately making a point of your differences makes you stand out. In particular it implies others are aren't as good.

Now you haven't actually said they aren't but that's how people will take it. You've highlighted something positive others don't or can't do as well. Ergo you're better. Making yourselves more attractive really is this simple.

It's easy for us to suggest things are so straightforward. We're safe over here on the keyboard side of things.

But this isn't about cheap-shot statements of the obvious; we're actually trying to help. So, like we said at the outset, this workshop series will detail everything we've discussed here and conclude with a major section presenting promotional artwork. Actual examples of materials you could copy and use or adapt for your own purposes. So you can compete to win as quickly as you can. Look out for the rest of this series in the coming weeks.

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