Don’t be mean – simply analyze your competitors’ products and authority and be what they’re not! Or, be what they are, only better. You can stay in the white hat marketer category and still learn from the competition in several ways.
You’re not doing all you can for your business if you don’t use the competition to boost your online presence. There are some ways your competition can help. Gather intelligence first.
When your competition is successful, you’ll be able to see what works and use the same techniques for your own success. It’s good to see failures, too because you won’t have to waste your time doing something that clearly doesn’t work.
For example, if they work hard on a big launch of a product you’ll be able to see by their success (or not) whether the product was the reason for the success or perhaps the launch day or time was off, resulting in a total flop.
It’s valuable information to have and use. Your competition helps you define yourself. When you know your competition and what they’re all about, you’ll know better what you identify with – especially to your audience.
This information helps you discern how to compete in the niche you’ve chosen. For example, if your competition isn’t targeting a certain group in your niche, it becomes a perfect opportunity for you to become a leader for this area of competition.
Convert your competition’s customer base to yours. You won’t be taking them away from the competition (and even if you did, it’s not your fault you’re better at what you do), but only giving the audience a wider spectrum from which to learn information and choose products.
Online customers can tell you a lot about what’s working with the competition and what isn’t. For example, use the social media sites, forums and other sites to see what they’re interested or confused about and then offer solutions that nobody else is addressing.
Tout your expertise in the niche. You may have some advantages the competition doesn’t. Find out how their expertise compares to yours and then flaunt your own accomplishments and knowledge of the niche.
For example, if you’re a financial planner in the “outside” world, tout your credentials if you’re in a niche which requires finances and planning. The best way to outfox those in your niche and soar to the top of the heap is to know your competition.
By watching what others are doing (or in some case, not doing), you learn much about what to do next in your own business. But, best of all – you learn where the gaps are in your niche, or where others are failing your audience – and you become the go to person for that topic.