Before you start actually creating content, it’s a good idea to check out the competition. Now don’t get intimidated when we say competition. This isn’t a war or even some heated sports rivalry. But in business you will have competitors. Your brand soulmates may even be part of the competition! That’s totally ok. In fact, it can be good to be friends with the competition.
Why? You’re going through the same thing! And while you may be in the same business, odds are that your ideal audience isn’t exactly the same. You may offer the same services, but you are totally different brands. You may be attracting more creative clients while your competition sings the siren song for tech start-ups. They likely aren’t going to steal your clients – or vice versa.
Whether you’re friends with the competition or not, sit down and pick 3 potential competitors to complete the Competitor Analysis for.
Print an Analysis for each competitor and fill out accordingly. You’ll want to note what service they provide, what social media channels they use, how often they post, how big their audience is, and what is their most popular content. Next evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. What are they completely rocking, and where are they struggling?
Next look at what makes them unique. Is there an attribute that makes them stand out? For example, I was looking to order some flowers for a friend’s birthday and stumbled on this amazing florist who has some incredible copy. If I was a florist and filling out this worksheet, I would definitely put that down as something that made them unique!
Does your competitor have a list builder opt-in? What is it and does it make you want sign up? And finally, what are their best ideas? Do you like how their services are set up? Do they have an amazing blog series? Write it down.
Once you’ve filled out your worksheet for each competitor, compare them. What do they have in common? What separates them from each other? What do you like and dislike about each one?
From this analysis you may learn what kind of content you want to create – or on the flip side, what kind of content you want to stay away from! It is important to remind you here: you are just looking to them for inspiration and as a guide for what is standard in your industry. You should never copy your competitor. Not only is it unethical and often illegal, it is always a bad idea. Their ideas work for them because of who they are! You need to find what works for you.
Before you leave the idea of competition, look at the three brands you picked. If any of them really stand out to you, reach out to them. Maybe you can become brand soulmates – or at least learn a thing or two.
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