Your story. Your competition. And a few things in between.
As you prepare to launch your company busy days, emotions, hopes and of course the nervous elation of finally seeing your dreams come to reality soon takes over. No more wondering what you were made to do. You are living it! At the start of this and any other journey, you embark with the hope that your efforts are headed towards world-changing results. But like all parents know, it is the single efforts of every small day that build towards those life-altering long-coming results. Your everyday strides are what make this journey a journey dear maker. Every choice, every block, every decision and every turn builds up the purpose of your mission. You are here to change the world–your world.
When you step out, you are stepping out as a leader in your community. You as the sole proprietor, or perhaps a partner, are the driving force behind your beginning and every adventure which lies ahead. Knowing when to launch, how to introduce your product and who to make it accessible to are your top priorities. In my experience, one thing guaranteed to catch and keep your customers attention is your story. Tell your customers everything that sets you apart. The story of how you came to recognize your dream. Tell them all you have overcome to arrive at today. Tell them your plans and hopes to grow your dream. Tell them how they are your mission–who you are here for. Tell them every single beautiful celebration of your story. Like your new company, the story of how you got here is unique and memorable. Every good and beautiful thing comes with a good and beautiful story. Tell them what you want them to never forget.
“There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story. ” Mary Lou Kownacki
When startups hit the competitive landscape, the market’s terrain shifts to make room. Companies like Pinterest, Instagram or Airbnb hit the scene and changed our world as we know it. It isn’t uncommon for brand new startups to encounter roadblocks as soon as they open for business. What is uncommon however, is finding a startup that not just survives the challenges, but grows better for them. Instagram hit the market with $0 in the marketing budget. What was the growth? Fanaticism. Customer loyalty and word of mouth grew this startup into a billion dollar company. Airbnb overcame unforeseen scandal in their first year only to see their value hit $1billion in their third year. What made the difference? They never lost focus on their mission–customer satisfaction.
If your audience is your mission, Your competition is your greatest ally.
Last week I shared that your audience is your mission. Who you are serving and what you are serving them with is everything. They are the very reason you are doing what you are doing. Much like your mission, your competition is the “tell all” clue as to what you are doing right, what you aren’t doing enough of and where you need to up your game. Your competitive landscape is the ecosystem where your startup will live, thrive or die. Every startup inevitably changes the market landscape. Meaning: When you enter the scene, you will shift the terrain. You want to make you mark count dear maker!
“Without great management and stewardship, creativity – like fireworks – will flash and then dim to dust. Creation must be made accessible for consumption. This is your real job. It takes struggle that you genuinely believe is worth the pain,” – Scott Belsky, entrepreneur, author, investor, and Adobe’s Vice President of Products-Community.
What is my advice for setting yourself apart?
Make your competition irrelevant and make your audience your world. Your product or service has to be so great, your market drops everything they were doing before to come see you shine. Likewise, your product is the focus of all of your marketing and your story is what they should never forget. When an advertising pitch strays away from the purpose of its existence, it threatens to confuse their audience. Keep your mission and focus simple dear maker. Your passion is what the market is hungry for. Let your fire burn with excellence. Keep a sharp eye and your attentiveness even sharper. The proof of your success will always rise from the praise of your customers. Lend an ear!
Until next time,
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