Monday, October 13, 2008

Imitate Your Competitiors with a Niche Twist

Let’s talk about how you can explode your business with new profit that won’t cost you anything because you are going to copycat what your successful competitors are doing. Only you will have a niche with a twist. As I said in the description for this version of Monday Morning Marketeer, plagiarism is illegal, however, imitation is the best form of flatter.
You could add a whole list of truism here: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, why re-invent the wheel and if she can do it, I can do it.

A rather well known author once said that there is nothing new to write about under the sun, just a different way to write about it.
I have been in various businesses since 1976 and some of them extremely successful. Mostly I attribute this ability to continually re-invent myself in various businesses to my ability to think outside the box, do things that others won’t do so that I can have what others don’t have, extend myself always to others because what I teach I manage to perfect but also my ability to be somewhat of a chameleon. I have always managed to assimilate things that others are doing but yet make them my own. Some call this unabashed copycatting but I call it a niche twist.

And where do I get these niche twist ideas to start with? I am constantly observing the habits of other successful business owners. They are not always competitors but they always have some synergy to what my business is. I subscribe to countless newsletters and I at least try to scan all of them, even the long sales letter, infomercial type stuff. As a matter of fact, that’s probably where I got the idea for the information I am sharing with you right now.

As a marketeer I subscribe to advertising, marketing, information technology, sales and self-enhancement news letters always with the goal of every day getting better and better in every way. These are just a few, often I subscribe to financial letters and public opinion newsletters, internet marketing, blogger news, just to name a few.

This is how I discover who is successful, how they are doing it, what trends are out there and I am also able to establish my own perfect customer persona. This is also how I find new applications and figure out a way to niche twist what others are doing to suit my circumstances. As I have said before plagiarism is illegal but an adaptation of new technologies or applications or updating old ones to create a new spin on a new or old idea is perfectly acceptable.

With my technology show I am constantly looking for new technology that I can use to market my products and services. When social proof video hit the marketplace and podcasts became the rage for techies and kids, I found a way to utilize that technology. I now have five Talkcasts thanks to a friend who decided to do an organization show on Talkshoe. She no longer does it, but I am approaching 5,000 downloadable listeners that I can track.
Could I have done an organization show, heck no? But I could talk about Positive things in Pittsburgh and get guests to talk about them.
Most of my news for Positively Pittsburgh Live Talk Cast is culled from e-mails sent to me by lists that I subscribe to.

I find my technology guests pretty much in the same way from the networking and social networking groups that I frequent.

I also get Google alerts on things I am interested in and many times pick up good ideas there.
When clients ask me to look at their web design often my research for them teaches me things that I can niche twist for them or me. I am always on the look out for new graphic ideas, fonts, lay outs and what is the first thing that I see on a successful website. How can I adapt this for myself or my clients?
Also what are they doing badly that I could improve upon?
Is there something that stands out and attracts then I figure out a way to incorporate that into one of my projects, again by adaptation not copycatting or exact imitation, do you thing others are not copying you? Come out from under your rock.

A few years ago I heard the owner of Red Hot Copy talk about a swipe file of really appealing copy or advertisement. I do the same thing. I tear out pages in magazines and create files on great items that I find on the internet, so when I run out of ideas I can go to my magazine or my internet swipe files. All successful marketers do that.

I also have a box of neat things that I get in goodie bags at conferences so when I am looking for an ad specialty for a client or myself I am not constantly trying to come up with something unique, I just niche twist what I have already found.

I also watch other people’s offers to get ideas of what they are discounting, extra services that they are providing, what they are giving away for free. I learned long ago as a child to observe people. I was very shy and so I would sit and watch and make up stories in my mind of who they were and what they did. Sometimes if you will be like a child exploring things with that absolute sense of wonder you will find some great things to copycat or imitate. Observing others success is a great way to increase your bottom line without spending money, and then niche twist it. Find out how you can use similar tactics without exact copycatting and niche twist it for your particular business.

Your calls to action today:
1. Do not assume that a less successful business has nothing to teach you, they may be really good at one thing that you are not. Find it, modify it, and turn it into success for yourself.
2. Dale Carnegie said, "How do you learn how to be a millionaire — ask a millionaire!" Find out what successful businesses are doing and how they are doing it and niche twist it for your own success.
3. Don’t discard those long sales letters, scan them for one good idea you can use.
4. Remember there is nothing new under the sun, except that you find a new application, a new niche, a new turn of technology, that’s where great ideas come from and ideas are usually free.
5. Expect that if you have a great idea someone will copy it. So why aren’t you doing the same but making it uniquely your own?

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
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