Here's another awesome guest post by Deidre Rienzo of Connect with Copy. Be sure to check out her "2022 by the numbers" -- the latest in a series she's been writing since 2013. (And let it inspire you to do your own too!)
I don’t pay a lot of attention to the competition, because I don’t generally think there is much competition, especially when you have a niche. If a prospect chooses someone else, it’s because that person’s offerings, personality or price better suits them. The best thing we can do is worry about our side of the fence — doing our best work, knowing our ideal clients, and making things easy for them.
This doesn’t mean that every 5 years or so, I don’t go down the rabbit hole.
It started with me thinking about SEO. See, I fortuitously come up on the first page of Google for terms like “website copywriter NY.” But I got the big idea to see who was coming up for “website copywriter.” My idea? I could introduce myself in case they have extra work or get approached by prospects who aren’t a good fit for them. This seems like a very marketing-smart idea, right?
I found a bunch of copywriters who a) seem younger b) clearly care a lot about SEO, and c) are focused on helping people sell. They are really good writers — wearing either neon or muted colors, giving off SUPER-FUN BFF vibes, and very clearly leading me on a journey to buy. Instantly my energy turned from calm to chaotic. That weird, icky feeling hit my stomach. The one where I’m wondering if I’m good enough or if I’m current enough or if I’m DOING ENOUGH.
Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?! After all, these writers are ranking really high on Google, working with big brands, and their sites are packed with glamor shots where they’re never looking directly at you (instead they’re staring off somewhere else, elusively.)
In my gut, I know THIS IS NOT ME (nor does this appeal to me).
But in my mind — for just a while — I was wondering if it should be.
Then I took a step back. I reminded myself why I was there: to see what I could learn.
And learning doesn't always mean: what should I be doing? Sometimes it means: what do I not want to do?
I remembered that at some point (preferably before going off the doubt deep end), I just have to ask myself a few questions while assessing the “competition”:
Do these people even do what I do (or want to do)? Are they actual competitors?
Is this where my ideal clients even are (in this case, searching Google for a copywriter)? Has anyone who has ever found me through Google actually been an ideal client?
Would this approach even resonate with my ideal clients?
Does this approach agree with my authenticity, my comfort level and my sanity?
I’m not in business to help people SELL, SELL, SELL. I’m here to help my clients make authentic connections. Because for most of us, we don’t need thousands of clients to be profitable. We need a few handfuls who are a really good fit.
Marketing with purpose is how we get them.
This is why I have always loved Ilise’s simple approach to marketing.
We are living in a world where experts are popping up in our Instagram feeds telling us they went from $700 in their bank account to $700,000 in just three months! They have the answers, and they’ll teach you! But first, you have to read a million downloads, get a zillion emails, and do several courses. Then, get a few friends to sign up, so you can get perks! I have to wonder: Do we really need all of that — or is it just clutter? Is it just a machine that makes them rich, and us stressed out? Is there a simpler way?
Ugh. I have agita just thinking about it. I’m pretty sure this technique is supposed to make us feel overwhelmed and crappy, so they can save us and turn us into million dollar mega-creatives!
Phew. If I have to do it their way, let me be a dinosaur. I’m good with that.
Ilise’s approach has always been a safe haven for me. It helps me feel less stressed out instead of more stressed out. It helps me feel empowered and actionable instead of like I’m trying to swim up a waterfall.
Oh well. Maybe I just don’t have what it takes to make 700,000 in three weeks. ;)
It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole, and start looking at what all the “competitors” are doing, but does that actually serve us?
It’s easy to let some marketing (or design or copywriting) “expert” make us feel less than, and give us massive anxiety.
It’s harder to tune into ourselves, our ideal clients, and our comfort levels. It’s harder to go against the “norm” and do something different. It’s harder to keep things simple.
After all, do we even want to be like everybody else? Because then, we’re just competing with them.
I don’t want to be a trend. If you’re my client, I don’t want your web copy to be trendy; I want it to be classic. I want it to connect with people’s hearts, help you find good fits (and send away the rest with love), and serve you for years to come.
Here’s to being you!
If you want to hear how Deidre avoids getting discouraged and built her business, baby step by baby step, listen to our recent podcast interview here. And if you're not signed up for Quick Tips from Marketing Mentor -- take care of that here right now!