By Kristen White

It would be a dream if you were the only one in the world who had a book to promote, a story idea to pitch or a product that is completely unique.

The reality is there is generally not one but dozens maybe hundreds or thousands of others with similar experiences and agendas, so you are not alone in your topic, but your perspective can be completely individual.

You may be thinking…what does that have to do with me?  Why should I care about other competitors in the marketplace?  The reason is those competitors are vying for the same attention you want from media and the marketplace.  The best way to distinguish yourself is to be truly different.  But you can’t be different if you don’t know what your competitors have already created because there is not the brand and product awareness needed for you to create the contrast.

This is a critical question to consider from many angles. What do you offer that makes you a better interview or guest speaker than the next person? How can you say it differently or more provocatively?

To find out more about your competitors and how to differentiate yourself, do your research:

Read! Read! Read!

Pick up publications that feature competitors in your industry.  Trade publications are great resources for finding out what others are doing and may even contain lists of those in your industry.  Once you find out who does what you do, you can start to find out how they conduct their business.  The more you know, the more you can truly review your own business or product or book and see if you have a unique proposition in the market or rehashing what someone else is doing.

Know what competitors offer

Being unique even in a homogenous industry is encouraged.  The more you seem like everyone else, you lose your opportunity to build value to what you offer.  For example, if there are a dozen event planners in your area and you try to offer the same services with no special features to your service, it is easy for a potential client to go with the lowest bid.  But, if you know that you can offer not only event planning but also offer public relations services which no one else is providing, this could make you different from the other planners and make you the better option even with a higher bid. By knowing your competitors you can bring a distinctive experience to the table. Be unique in a sea of sameness!

Shop your competitors and their keywords

If it makes sense for your industry, buy from your competitor or go into their store.  If you are a service-oriented business, try to attend an event or speaking engagement that hosts or is associated with the competitor.  Getting close to them in their environment will tell you a lot about how their customers or clients respond to them.  This is helpful in understanding how you can create a better experience for your business. Here’s a great blog post on how to shop your competitors’ keywords.

It should go without saying in this technology-driven age but…make sure to check out competitors’ social media and online footprint.  This will give you tons of information on what they offer, any recommendations about their services or any media they have done.  A little bit of time and research goes a long way to make you stand out from the rest in your marketplace.

Kristen White, creator of Business Beyond Your Book™: Build a 6+ Figure Business Transforming Lives, guides authors to create highly visible, customized, successful online businesses based on the content in their books. As an award-winning business coach, a bestselling author, media personality, filmmaker and host of Mandala available on Amazon Prime Kristen White has guided many on this path to living the Laptop Lifestyle as an author.  Download a copy of her Free Gift, 22 Proven Paths to Make 6+ Figures in 2018 as a Highly Visible Author and Thought Leader. Unlock the insider secrets of other successful millionaire entrepreneurial authors and design your business plan for this year today!