So many Solo Pros get caught up with looking at what others that offer a similar service are doing, but I’m going to encourage your to stop. When you start running your business by watching your competitors, you end up sabotaging your own business.
Here’s why and how to step up and lead.
Following your competitors can be bad for business because:
- You’re not selling generic services. You bring an entire life-time of experience, education and personality to the table when your work with your clients. Many times, that’s why a client wants to work with you. If you’re not emphasizing your unique brilliance, you’re getting lost in the pack AND you could be missing a huge selling point.
The Fix: Zero in on your unique brilliance and what you bring to your service delivery that’s different from what others do. Maybe you deliver more research and analysis or more hand holding and specific training.
- You may be under charging. When you set your fees according what the competitors are charging, you could be under valuing what you deliver. You can also get yourself stuck with clients that are only hunting for the lowest price. They tend to be the biggest headaches.
The Fix: Focus on setting your fees based on value and impact rather than an hourly rate or what your competitors are charging. Make a list of every single thing you do for your client (don’t forget small things like email support, phone access or research). Get comfortable with communicating what you do and how that impacts the client’s end results. If potential clients don’t understand the value, upgrade your target market to those that do. Leave the price gougers to your competition.
- You may get caught in the undertow. I alluded to this in the tip above. When you get caught in a bidding war with a competitor where the client is only interested in the lowest fee, that may be a client you’re better off without. They’re not interested in the end result – which is what you’re delivering. If you cannot get into a conversation with your potential client about the value you deliver in all that you do, then it’s time to move onto another client.
The Fix: Build a relationship with potential clients and work to educate them on the impact that your services can deliver. For example, don’t focus on how ‘pretty’ the website you design will look. Focus on how much traffic will increase and how many conversions to sales it will make, then tie it to a dollar value. Communicate how much more money a client can make by using your services. It takes work but there’s a huge payoff.
- Use your own words. So many business owners and potential clients are tuning out because service providers all sound the same.
The Fix: Instead of falling into the practice of using all the same buzz words as your competitors, listen to your own phrasing and word choices. Those will make you stand apart. Tell your own stories and use vibrant language rather than empty words that don’t resonate with your ideal client.
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Author Info: Barbara Saunders is the Solo Pro Business Success Mentor and Founder of the Solo Pro Academy, she’s here to guide you to a prosperous custom-fit business. She hosts the Solo Pro Radio show everyday at 10am Pacific on FaceBook/SoloProRadio. When you’re ready to turn your business into the custom-fit income-generating machine you’ve been dreaming of, give her a call.