It’s simply this: ‘Are you playing follow the followers, without knowing it?’
Follow the followers, is like follow the leader, except almost everyone is doing the same thing. When applied to marketing, follow the followers is what we see with literally (and I mean literally, not figuratively) 99% or more of small businesses.
Following the followers
Online and offline, almost every small business I see is copying what their competitors do, in order to win more clients or customers. The thing is, each business owner in that follower chain is equally lost. They see others doing something to promote their business and assume that MUST be the way to do it. In fact, it isn’t. It’s the way not to do it.
Because every time you copy a competitor, you risk being stung by one, usually both, of the following:
You risk copying something that is totally ineffective. You have no way of knowing if what you’re copying is generating results. You also don’t know if the approach would work for you, even if it was working for a competitor. You’re copying just the visible part of their marketing, which is a tiny snapshot.
You risk making yourself invisible, by looking just like your competitors. You drift into the background, by using the same ideas as everyone else. A way to know if you’re already doing this, is if you regularly find prospective clients to be fee-sensitive. With nothing else to tell you apart from your similar sounding competitors, prospective clients use fees as a way to determine value. You need to work on this immediately, if this is the case. There’s more on how I can help you, at the end of this post. We are currently working in the worst economy in living memory. The marketplace is tough and there are no signs that things will go back to the so-called ‘good old days’ of pre 2007. Playing follow the followers was ineffective even when the economy was booming. Those businesses still went bust or just managed to stay afloat. Today, it’s commercial insanity.
Don’t follow the followers
Your prospective clients or customers are still there and they still have money to spend, though they do a lot more research now.
The question is, how serious are you about doing what’s required, in order to break free from looking just like your competitors?
Totally committed to doing all the comfortable stuff
Every business owner reading this, will say they are totally committed to doing what’s required, yet just a handful will act on the information. The rest will carry on, copying the same generic approach, because it’s easy. It’s comfortable.
Yes, all small business owners claim to put 100% into their business, however, what most of them really mean is that they will work hard, BUT only do 100% of the things they are comfortable with. The thing is, success lives outside that comfort zone. That’s why success is so rare.
For those with the courage to do what’s required
For those who are committed to doing what’s required, it’s time to learn how to do the right things correctly or find someone who can show you exactly what you need to do.
A good way to find expert marketing help you can trust, is to ask your friends and successful business contacts, which marketing professional they use and whether they would recommend them to you.