What I am going to suggest are 5 strategies you can use to research your competition in order to gain your competitive edge.
In order to use these strategies you need to employ the same persistence as a stalker (minus the creepy, obsessive tendencies; no restraining orders allowed.)
So don’t harass or intimidate. Instead be sneaky and be smart.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Finding a competitive edge is important because everyone is on the lookout for how to stand out from the crowd, or how to differentiate their business.
The information you dig up could provide the ultimate advantage you need to increase your conversions, boost your sales or maximise your online presence. It is called a competitive edge for a reason. It is sharp and intense, and that means good things for your business.
First, I’ll breakdown, for you, the sleuthing strategies, and then we’ll talk about what information you are looking for.
5 STRATEGIES TO RESEARCH THE COMPETITION
Subscribe: You want to subscribe to their blog. Their emails contain the super-secret (or not so much) exclusive information they only give out to their subscribers. So drink the Opt-In Kool-Aid and press the ‘join now’ button.
Read the Comments: Read the comments on some of their posts, (no, not just yours to see if there is a response.) Really look through what people are saying and how Johnny Blogger responds.
Check out their Resources: Read their books, watch their videos, listen to their podcasts. Immerse yourself in their resources. If you feel so inclined and financially able, take their courses.
Find Them Off-Site: Look for them away from their own blog/business. Do they do guest posts? Speaking engagements? Attend multiple conferences or workshops?
Now you have 5 strategies (and no, this is by no means all of them, but enough to get you started.)
WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
You’re ready to do all these sneaky and smart things to research your competition, but what do you look for?
Your main objective is to find areas where you can obtain a competitive edge over your opponent. Yes, just like in a UFC Fight.
Need a little more guidance? Here are some tips for what you need to pay attention to:
How exclusive is their ‘insider- information’ only provided to their subscribers? Are they telling you about personal experiences they don’t write about on their blog? Are they giving away free tickets, or books, or resources that you would otherwise have to pay for?
Learn what they are providing to their subscribers that works, and find a way to provide something better.
How much do they interact with their readers? Are there lengthy discussions happening in the comments, or do people get a quick ‘thanks for commenting’ and that’s it? How ‘active’ are they with their audience?
Discover how you can respond to your audience that would be more engaging and effective than theirs.
QUALITY & CONSISTENCY:
How good is their content? Are there constant spelling and grammar mistakes, or does it look ‘almost-perfect’ (because you are going to do it better, right?) Is there a consistent quality being published or is it all over the place?
Find their content weakness and make it your strength.
How does their voice/tone come across? Do they seem really stand-offish and superior? Or do they seem extremely approachable to their audience and invested in their experience? Looking at their social media is a good public measure for this.
Look at their ‘sociable’ standard and aim higher or lower, the trick is to be approachable enough that people want to interact with you and create lasting connections.
What are their off-site contributions? Do they do 3 guest posts a month? 5? None? Do they go on podcasts, make their own podcast, or collaborate lots with other entrepreneurs? Or do they do the least minimal ‘outside’ involvement they can?
Find out how they stretch their limits and spread their skills and stretch yourself farther (no yoga required.)
These strategies will help you to get started researching your competition, no analytics analysis required. I could give you a list of plenty more, but I have BIG plans for that at a later time. These strategies are a digestible size for you to take action NOW!
So, grab some caffeine, a pen, and some paper (or your electronic ‘go-to’ device with Evernote) and start digging.
If you feel daunted, overwhelmed, or are just not interested in doing the dirty work, I am happy to do it for you (no pressure.)
So go and find the competitive edge you need to ‘one-up’ your competition. The information that you obtain can get you some fantastic results.
Pay attention to how you can provide more value to your audience, AND how you can avoid their mistakes. Happy hunting!