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How to cope with copycats – how competition can actually make your biz better!

How to cope with copycats – how competition can actually make your biz better!

So you’ve started your biz. You’ve finally got your logo and website sorted, and the orders are starting to trickle in.

You’re feeling motivated, you’re hustling hard in every spare minute, and you’re confident that your product and business is going to be a success.

And then you see it.

Another business offering the exact same product or service as you. Same colours. Same materials. They’re even talking about their business in the same way that you do.

Your heart drops into your stomach and you start feeling a bit ‘ick’ all over.

Your mind races…

What should you do?

Can you contact them and ask them to stop?

How could they do this?!

Maybe you should just give up?!

Whoa there Mama – hold up!

Let’s talk about how to cope with copycats and how competition can actually make your biz better!

What can you do about copycats?

  • The bad news is that unless your words, products or ideas have been copyrighted, trademarked or patented you have no legal standing when it comes to copycats.
  • Yes you can contact them but it’s unlikely they will respond in the way you hope – especially if they’ve already put a lot of time and money creating this as a part of their own business.
  • Let it goooo! Honestly, there is not much you can really do. Spending your time following what they’re doing is a big ol’ waste of your time and energy – focus on growing your biz and audience instead.

How competition can make your biz better

  • A competitor in your niche that has a growing audience is a great sign that you’re on the right track. Use it to motivate you, rather than derail you.
  • Competition, especially an identical copy to your original idea, pushes you to think outside the box you may have otherwise stayed in. Seek new ways of presenting your product or service to catch your customers attention. (Which I can guarantee you will be different to theirs). Who knows, the changes you make to stand out, might even make your original idea even better.
  • Competitors in your niche can be the perfect learning opportunity. Check out their social media and see what is, and isn’t, working for them. Borrow the concept, make it your own (and better) – and get hustling!

 

How to stand out in your niche

Business is about so much more than just the products or services we offer.

It’s about the way we make customers feel, right from the minute they come across our website and read our words, or when they receive our products for the very first time.

Competition is a GREAT reason to make sure we are using all of these opportunities to really stand out from the crowd. Offer exceptional service and you won’t give them any other choice but to come back or rave about you to their friends.

 

Play up your point of difference

There may be a million others out there selling the same product or service that you are – but there will only ever be one you.

Find your story, voice or way of delivering that makes you unique and make sure you play up this difference to your audience. It could be by weaving your story into your social media, or uniquely styling it in a particular way, or perhaps you offer a more personal service than others on the market.

Whatever your difference is – sell that – rather than just your product.

 

Be consistent and reliable

Often a copycat is only doing so because they’re searching for their own why and in many cases they soon move on to something else. Show your audience that you’re the true original by staying consistent and authentic to your brand.

 

Be laser focused on what you offer

If you want your audience to know who you are and what you offer – you need to be crystal clear on this first. Having a strong brand identity is vital.

Forget stumbling around when you’re asked ‘What do you do?’

Avoid the… ‘Ohhh… ummm. I have this blog… and I kinda have this little shop that I sell handmade children’s clothing’.

Nope.

Use every opportunity you get, to talk about your business and nail your pitch.

‘I have an online boutique selling high-end children’s clothing for weddings and special occasions’

If you’re unsure of exactly what you do – your audience will be as well.

Fight the urge to become a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.

It can be tempting to think that when your signature product is copied you suddenly need to offer more range, more variety, more, more, more! – to keep your customers coming back.

But what you really need to do is focus even more intently on how you can perfect your current products (and your marketing of them) to make sure they are the ones on the market that people can’t ignore. Forget quantity in your business and focus instead on being the very best quality.

Most importantly though if you’ve had a product or part of your business copied recently, don’t be disheartened and give up! It’s completely cliched, I know, but imitation is a form of flattery. If someone has bothered to copy your idea and create their own business out of it, then they obviously believe it has the potential to be a success.

The question then becomes, do you?

Meet Bettina

bettina-picBettina Rae is a yoga teacher and counsellor who runs her own online yoga studio for Mums. She has her own fair share of competition, with big competitors in her industry, and has even had a few smaller (near identical) copycats popping up in recent months. But she knows her point of difference; she offers personalised and specialised yoga for Mums during pregnancy, early postnatal recovery and during the intense early years of motherhood. Her active community of Mums also gather monthly for women's circles, group meditation, healing and support. She facilitates the online program; VIVE – 21 lessons to ditch overwhelm, reconnect and truly enjoy motherhood. Connect with her on her Facebook, Instagram or her website.

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About Tracy

As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.

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