Now it’s time to go more in depth about breaking down the profits of the competition. I have to say it again-- we live in an extremely lucky time where you can just research the competition using what’s freely available to you on the Internet.
Do some simple Google searches and some investigation into competitor’s sales figures, if available. Read their customer reviews and comments, and other easily available information. All of this can really help you. It’s a matter of organizing the data you find and making sense of it all.
The point is that you need to figure out what’s selling. So first, identify who your true competition is. Which are the companies you most admire? Which are the top authorities in your niche? Who has the biggest list? Who has the most successful products on the market? Remember to research companies that are most closely related to your own. You can certainly investigate related companies, but most of your time should be spent on direct competition.
Then, you need to figure out what’s selling. Take a look at their most successful and least successful products. You can find clues both in success and in relative failure. Every successful company out there has had products that did really well and products that didn’t do so well. You need to know what makes these companies tick, inside and out.
Analyze Their Sales
Side note for those selling online: If you’re in the Internet marketing space, then you can examine platforms like JVZoo, Nanacast, ClickBank, ShareASale, Cj.com, or wherever else they’ve listed their products for sale. Where is their affiliate program? Often, the sales information will be readily available on sites like this. You can sometimes even figure out approximately how many units have been sold, at what price, what their conversion rates are, and so on. This is extremely valuable information and it’s readily available.
If you’re in the physical marketing space, or are a Kindle author, you can use other tools. Amazon.com makes a great deal of information available. You can research everything from physical products, to Kindle books, to sales data, to trends. Kindle publishers and physical product sellers on Amazon are particularly lucky because Amazon provides an incredible amount of specific data you can analyze. They provide best-selling lists, the sales ranking of individual products (the lower, the better), and more.
If you’re simply not able to uncover any sales data, then look for customer reviews and general customer chatter on the web. If no one is talking about the product on the web, on social media, on blogs, and more – then it’s probably not a hot seller. That statement is not a fact, but it’s most likely true. Look for products in your niche that people are talking a lot about and that have a lot of affiliates behind them, that are clearly making sales, and that are dominating that space.
Combine Successful Ideas to Form New Ones
The point is that if you know what’s profitable, you can combine successful ideas to form new ones. Make a list of the most successful products in your niche. Take a look at their sales pages or product pages. Think about the clout the company or person behind the product has.
Why is that product so successful? That’s what you’re trying to figure out. As you’re well aware of by now, it’s not just the profitable idea that’s important, it’s also the execution – that’s something we’ll go more in depth about later on. You can start to gather the clues that will give you that answer as you analyze the competition.
Consider what your goals are for your business. When you think of the ideal success for yourself or for your business, which individual or company comes to mind? Study them, emulate them, offer more than they offer, and be better for your customers than they are.
There’s No Such Thing as a New Idea
So many people get caught up in thinking that they need to have the next big breakthrough in their marketplace to be successful. They think they need to come up with something so incredibly different and unique that it’s going to make an unheard-of splash.
It is true that you need to make a splash, but it is not true that you need to come up with something no one has ever thought of before. The wheel has already been invented. Again, there are no new ideas on the planet – there are just new, fresh combinations of old ideas.
Let that sink in for a moment. You are going to investigate “old ideas” to come up with new ones. You’re going to come up with creative twists. You’re going to piggyback on the success of already successful products. That is what the most successful companies in the world do.
When you break down the profits of the competition, you’ll become inspired based on those already-profitable ideas to brainstorm ideas that will be newly successful, based on what already works.
It sort of takes the pressure off when you think about the fact that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You just have to make it better. You’d have to present it in an entirely new way. You can’t dive into a marketplace and ignore what’s already out there. You can’t expect to be successful if you don’t know anything about the market at all.
I highly suggest that you start with the ideas that are obviously most profitable. Work your way down from there. If you know topic X is more profitable than topic Y, then use topic X as your starting point. It seems so obvious, but it’s advice far too few marketers pay attention to.
It has to be said that if you’re not interested in that certain topic or type of product at all, if you can’t find passion in it, then ignore it even if it will be really profitable. You have to want to follow through, which can’t happen if you’re not truly in tune with that idea.
The idea will weigh on you and slow you down if you aren’t passionate about it. It might have been very profitable for that “other” company, but it won’t be for you because your execution won’t be inspired. There are tons of hot topics I could choose to write about, but I don’t because I don’t have an interest or passion in researching, learning and teaching about that topic.
I want to take a moment to talk about copying. I am in no way telling you to copy anything that’s out there. You’re simply using general, profitable ideas as your starting point. You’re going to come up with something that is essentially unique, based on a general idea. Instead of starting completely from scratch with an idea you’re not sure will work, you’re starting from an already profitable idea and adding something special to the marketplace – something that’s your own.
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