How to Stand Out from Your Competition
No matter which niche you are operating within, you are going to face competition. So how can you successfully stand out from the crowd, and be able to land more business?
The simple answer is to outspend them – this strategy will generally work, anywhere you apply it. However, as a person in the gig economy, you will be keenly aware that outspending your competition is rarely the option you have at your disposal: you need smarter methods.
So, avoiding the obvious in applying a larger budget to your efforts to rise above the rest, here are a couple ways to think smarter in how you are approaching your audience.
Buying Highly Targeted Media
Analytical data on the efficacy of your efforts is something that only gets more granular and robust every year. You can use tools (that are typically free, or low cost) to measure the results of any effort – even often in real time. Return on investment, or ROI, can (and should) guide your every step.
Likewise, the platforms for reaching any audience are also expanding and diversifying. You can still use monster advertising platforms like Google or Facebook to reach large, general audiences. Employing the data collected and held there, you can zero-in on your targeted people, typically quickly and effectively.
But in today’s web landscape, you can also dive more deeply into your specific niche and find services that are catering directly or exclusively to your desired, segmented audience. In this way you can apply any advertising budget more wisely and aim it more strategically at the people who matter most to you.
- If you are serving the restaurant industry, you could target restaurant news sites, industry-serving sites (like the National Restaurant Association) and find groups of passionate restaurateurs on social media platforms. Advertising and other activity in these areas will only help your visibility and increase the power of your brand, locking you in-step with decision makers specific to your offered services.
- If you are an emerging creative visual artist, you can use platforms like Shopify, Etsy, Zibbet, etc. to showcase your wares and offers. Using high quality images, is a must. Having a detailed marketing plan, also helps. Optimize your listings and employ best practices on the site you are using, and you can find receptive and passionate audiences for your offers – candle makers finding candle buyers, and so on.
The point is, if you know more specifically who your people are and where they are congregating, you can take advantage of those situations. You stop throwing money into the world of “whatever works” and start controlling the spend and focus of “I got you, brother.”
It’s All Who You Know
Standing out from your competition, ultimately comes down to how well you know and connect to your audience. If you can better serve them with the details and specifics they are looking for, you will beat your competition, every time.
This is great news to the small business owner or emerging artist who feels their budget is not quite in line with their competitors: You can beat them in heart and soul, and can still win the game, in the end.
By understanding your audience and their needs, you can tie in your product offer to be very direct and effective:
Incentivize your audience – a money-off offer, a time-sensitive thing
- Give your product prominence – highlight why your folks really WANT this thing
- Worry your competition – by answering more of the audience’s needs, you will separate yourself in a business sense, and make the competition worry about how to keep up with you. Good for you.