Changing your thinking about competitors
Competition is a fact of business life. But you can change your mindset about your competitors from one of scarcity to one of abundance.
In this Episode:
- 03.08: Focusing on what you can control
- 05.18: How to stay positive and lift yourself up
- 06.20: Why you should unsubscribe from your competitors
- 11.34: Having an abundance mindset
- 12.25: What to do if another business copies you
Love them or hate them, competitors are a fact of business life. But today I want to chat about how your mindset about competitors can change everything when it comes to how you think about competition and business.
You’re listening to the Clare Wood podcast, where we talk all things business, finance, marketing, and mindset for entrepreneurs, sharing practical tips, and actionable advice to help you take your business to the next level. Introducing your host: me! I’m Clare Wood, I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, and a reality tv addict, and I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life, because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two. Now let’s dive right in to today’s episode.
As usual, before we get into today’s episode, I am going to do a little shout-out to somebody who has left me a review on the podcast. It’s my way of giving a little something back to say thank you, thank you so much for your support. I can’t tell you how grateful I am when someone shares an episode with their audience or leaves me a review or hits subscribe. It means more people get to find out about this podcast, and get the opportunity to listen and learn from the information I share.
The person I want to give a shout-out to is Milina from June + June Photography, who is based in Brisbane, Australia. She is one of my Money & Marketing Makers, the recent program I’ve launched. Milina says she “has learnt from the podcast the equivalent of hundreds of dollars spent on workshops, coaches and online courses, for free.” Well thank you so much for taking the time.
So to start out, we are going to talk about what is a competitor? It may seem like an obvious question right? But to a certain extent, everyone can be a competitor from a certain respect. Let me explain. Let’s say someone is looking to take their business to a new level. They could choose to invest with a business coach, a mindset coach, a mentor or heaps of other people. For example they might decide to invest their money in Facebook Ads or a new brand. So this is my first thought, around you mindset around your competitors, because when you start realising there are a whole bunch of ways a client can spend their money, you’ll realise, it’s not just you against another person in the town who does the same said job as you – because that can feel like the only competitor in the world, but actually, there are a bunch of different ways your potential client could spend their money. I don’t know if that actually makes it any better or worse for you but, the point I’m trying to make is, instead of focusing on that one person who seems like the whole world, start to realise, there are a heap of ways people can spend their money. So rather than get caught up with who you are and aren’t competing with, let’s chat more about you and how you can up level your marketing.
Focusing on what you can control
This is a hard truth I still struggle with. It’s not always the person that is best at something, that will be the most successful person in business. Take a moment to absorb that. It’s not the best lawyer, best copywriter, or best hairdresser that will be charging the highest rates. The business that achieves the best financial results will be the business best at marketing their services. So to position yourself better in the market, you need to market yourself better. And that is a whole other podcast episode in itself, but it is something worth exploring if you are struggling to win business. Instead of focusing time and energy on what your competitors are doing, focus your time and energy on improving your own marketing. I see too many business owners doing rants, calling out their competitors poor behaviour, and my advice would be to not waste your time and precious energy into what other people are doing – invest it back into you! Into your business, into creating amazing assets for your business and most importantly for into your dream clients. I know it is easier said than done, but it really is a waste of energy to obsess over other people, because ultimately, you can’t control what they do.
How to stay positive and lift yourself up
One of my old bosses from corporate life, used to say to me, “you can be the darkest star, or the brightest light. With great power comes great responsibility.” At the time I thought, whatever, but as time goes on you realise you can spread darkness and negativity or you can choose to spread positivity. The good thing about spreading positivity is that not only does it feel good, but also, it’s actually good for business. Bitchy brands attract bitchy clients. Try and put out positive vibes when it comes to your marketing and it’ll come back to you with the right kind of people. To help in this space I have actually created a little freebie for you guys – 5 Ways to Build Yourself Up (without knocking others down). If you want to get a copy of that freebie, jump onto clarewood.com.au/podcast/episode24.
Why you should unsubscribe from your competitors
Another big hack, unfollow direct competitors. This is a biggie and when I suggest this to clients they freak out. There are a few reasons why they say they can’t – I’m friends with them, I don’t want them to know I unfollowed them, or I need to keep an eye on them and make sure they aren’t stealing my stuff. I’ll go into all these later on, but one thing I’ll say, unfollowing your competitors will be a game changer around your mindset of dealing with competitors. If you don’t want to unfollow then mute their stories or get their emails to go to a different folder so you don’t see it all the time. That is one of the biggest traps, when something is landing there all the time, you can enter into a spiral with obsessing about them and thinking your content isn’t as good etc. It’s not a productive use of your time.
For me I have recently had a massive breakthrough in my thinking with dealing with competitors. What used to happen to me was when a potential customer would come to me, I would start a convo about working with them, then I would see that they had signed with another coach which you would invariably find out. I have to admit, a little bit of my heart would break. I would get into a cycle of questioning why they didn’t like or choose me to work with. Recently, I had a few ‘ah-huhs’ which have turned me around. I looked at my own behaviour and it happened because it was about me choosing to work with a certain designer and I was horrified that that person didn’t think I chose them. I work with so many incredible designers in my network, that I have worked with a various stages. And same with copywriters. I have someone who regularly helps me with my blogs, but also got someone different to help me with my web copy. It doesn’t mean I don’t like working with either, or one is better then the other – it’s just that they are different. This was a huge realisation for me because I realised the same. It doesn’t mean I’m not an excellent coach, it is just that are certain points in time they went with a different coach because perhaps they were more affordable, had more availability, or perhaps that person had positioned themselves better with a certain skill that client needed. You can’t control what others do, you can only control what is in your circle of influence. I suggest you just focus on that. My ‘ah-huh was that rarely are service-based businesses mutually-exclusive. Just because someone has or is working with someone else, that you might view as a competitor, it doesn’t mean that they will never work with you. So remember to keep your relationship with them, positive and optimistic and they may work with you in future.
Having an abundance mindset
The next breakthrough I recently had, was when I was talking to someone about my Makers program and she messaged and told me she’d joined another program at the same time as mine. Initially I felt upset, and then I had a thought, maybe she could do my next round of Makers program after she finished this one, and then I thought I hope she has an amazing experience with the other coach because if they do and get great results then next time my program comes up they will have had a great experience with similar online courses and willing to invest again. Isn’t that such a different way of thinking to how I used to think. Instead of operating from a space of scarcity, I’m operating from a place of abundance.
The same can go for you in any profession. If you are a hairdresser and someone goes to another hairdresser and has a bad experience, then they won’t want to go to a hairdresser again. But if they do, they are probably an awful client because they’ll be nervous and challenging to work with. We want all of our competitors to do great too, because that is going to be a really good thing for all of us.
If you are in B2B and another web designer works with your dram clients, off the back of that their business could grow and therefore more design work, and you may need to come in as well to support them. This truly is an abundance mindset. There are plenty of customers for everyone and the more one person succeeds, the more we all succeed.
What to do if another business copies you
I don’t feel a conversation about other competitors would be complete without talking about what if a competitor is stealing your content, concepts or copying what you are doing. Obviously there are times to take legal action, and I’ll let you talk to a lawyer about when those points are, but a lot of the time, there is grey area. Maybe they have copied a concept, for example, in the past I have setup a 5 day challenge to uplevel your business and then I saw a competitor had launched a similar challenge a week later. But the thing is, there are a lot of concepts out there and they potentially could have had that in the pipeline for a long time, or not even inspired by what I’d launched. So you can’t get caught up in the trap in obsessing over what other people are doing. People that are copycats will not become future leaders and the best way of future proofing your business is to be playing in a different league to anyone else, and delivering something unique which differentiates you from the rest of the market. Again, forget about what everyone else is doing and focus on yourself. Invest that energy, thinking about them, into creating new concepts, designs and ideas which are innovative for your business, create points of differentiation and focus on things that can’t be replicated, such as yourself, your team or your business attributes, be trailblazing and constantly repositioning yourself so that copycats are always behind you.
To sum up today:
- Focus on what you can control, for example uplevelling your marketing
- Stay positive, don’t enter into a space of being negative about your competitors, focus on lifting yourself up and download my 5 hacks on how to build yourself up, without pulling others down, go to the show notes.
- Unfollow, mute and unsubscribe from your competitors and stay in your own lane.
- Focus on an abundance mindset. There are plenty of customers for everyone.
- Continually focus on your area of differentiation and your own strengths.
Thank you so much for joining me today, if you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe to receive future episodes, and I’d be so grateful for a review on apple podcast! If you’d like a copy of the show notes or any of the links mentioned today, please jump over to clarewood.com.au/podcast and remember that Clare is spelled CLARE, have a wonderful week and look forward to chatting to you again soon!
About your host
Hi, I’m Clare Wood – I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, a reality tv addict, and a passionate business coach. I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life; because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two.