3 Project Obstacles That May Be Holding You Back

Today’s is a guest post by the radiant Michelle Nickolaisen.

As someone who works with solopreneurs & entrepreneurs on getting their projects organized and finished, there’s one scenario I hear on a disturbingly regular basis: the person in question has this amazing idea (their eyes light up when they talk about it, their enthusiasm is infectious) that’ll not only help their clients, but move their business forward & put money in their pocket. But, instead of starting on it, they just…let it sit. Indefinitely.

Obviously, this is not okay with me. Taking an idea and turning it into a concrete reality – or watching someone else do the same – is something I find incredible every time it happens, and the thought of all these amazing product/service/business ideas just sitting around drives me up the wall. And the people I talk to aren’t usually wildly happy about their idea going unused either – but the fact remains that they just can’t seem to get started.

The “project obstacles”, as I call them, to getting started usually fall into one of three categories: psychological reasons, busy-ness, or logistical reasons. Let’s go over each of these & talk about how to knock these obstacles down!

Psychological reasons

Unsurprisingly, this is where a lot of people run into issues. They’re afraid of starting. Or they’re afraid of finishing. They’re afraid of failure or they’re afraid of wild success. Often, without you even realizing it, your lizard brain will manage to attach itself to some ridiculous fear that then sits in the back of your mind, looming over the brilliant idea and dulling it.

The first thing to do if you think this might be an issue is what I call the “two year old technique”, for reasons that will soon become very clear. You can either have a friend help you out with this or journal it out by yourself. Simply sit down and ask yourself (or have your friend ask you) why you haven’t started this yet. To every answer you give, the reply is “Why?”

Example: “Why haven’t you started working on this idea yet?” “Well, I’m not sure how it’d be received.” “Why?” “Because I’ve never done anything like this before.” “Why does that bother you?” “I don’t want to be a laughingstock – what if other people think it’s stupid?” Bingo.

Simple? Yes. Surprisingly effective? Yes.

Oftentimes, just vocalizing (whether out loud or on paper) these fears will make us realize how silly they are. But, you know what, sometimes putting yourself out there is just plain scary. In which case, the antidote is excitement.

This idea must excite you or you wouldn’t want to work on it, right? (If this idea doesn’t excite you, let someone else do it and find one that does. Life is too short not to work on exciting things, y’all.) Figure out why it excites you. Why is the end result going to be so awesome? Is it going to boost your credibility? Or connect you with more people who need what you do? Will it help people while giving them a juicy taste of what it’s like to work with you (thus, bringing you more clients)?

When you actively work on figuring out and articulating why this idea excites you so much, you can use that to motivate you through your fears or worries. Whenever you start to doubt, return to your motivations and remember why you’re working on this idea in the first place.

“I’m too busy” and/or overwhelm

“Busy” is the new black. Especially with solopreneurs & entrepreneurs, we tend to wear our “busy-ness” as a badge – a sign of “Oh, I must be doing well, look how busy I am! See?!”

Now, I’m not saying you aren’t busy. Running a business is hard work. But even the busiest people can and do make room for new projects on a regular basis. If they can do it, so can you.

On the flip side is the fact that often, “busy-ness” is a state of mind and not an actual reality. If you’re booking more appointments than you really should be, not leaving any breathing room for anything else, or working on “busy work” (you know – things that make you feel like you got something done but do jack-all for real-world results), then this might be the case with you. Raise your prices. Re-think how many appointments you can realistically do per week – set a limit and then stick to it. Keep track of what you actually do on a day-to-day basis to figure out what you’re doing for busy work or what’s sucking up your time – social media is important, but spending 3 hours a day on Facebook or Twitter isn’t.

Overwhelm is the evil twin of busy-ness. But if busy-ness is often a state of mind, overwhelm always is – I like to say that if anxiety is caused by living in the future, overwhelm is caused by living in the future of your project. When you’re overwhelmed, you’re worrying about things that aren’t even a factor in reality yet. (More on overwhelm, from the fabulous Danielle LaPorte.)

Instead of being overwhelmed, be prepared. Know what needs to happen in the future – have a plan – but instead of thinking about what you’re going to do in the future, think about what you’re going to do right now and what you’re going to do next. Period.

Logistical reasons

You’d be surprised, but more often than not, sitting on an idea has much more to do with the first two obstacles than with this one. You’d think that logistical reasons would be at the top, but I often find after talking with someone, that they’re actually at the bottom.

However, when they do come up, these obstacles can still be a big pain in the ass. And so, here’s three ways to nip ’em in the bud:

  • Bring the idea down to earth. Here’s what I mean by that: figure out what the essence of the idea is, and then find a way to recreate that essence on a smaller scale. For example, let’s say you have this some-day vision of putting on a health & wellness conference. People will come to speak about exercise, food, nutrition, and all sorts of other yummy topics. Instead of just letting it sit on the “someday” backburner, you can turn that idea into a webinar series with guest speakers, and sell the finished recordings as a bundle. Or, if you want to put on a retreat, do a digital one first – you’d be surprised what you can do with technology nowadays. At an event that I co-hosted, we had a yoga teacher lead everyone through a live session using streaming video. Think about how you can honor the core of this idea with the tools + resources you have on hand right now.
  • Brain clean & pick step #1. (I say “brain clean” instead of “brain dump”, because that just sounds so undignified. You know it’s true.) Write down everything you can think of that you’ll need to do to complete this idea. Every single step. Often, we don’t know where to start with our ideas, but that’s because we haven’t really thought about it. Once you have your task list, a starting point will usually stand out – one thing that has to come before everything else. No single starting point stands out? Then start anywhere. All too often, we paralyze ourselves with choice when it’s not the choice that matters, it’s taking action.
  • If you don’t know where to start, ask someone who does. Find someone who’s done something similar to what you want to do, and ask them how they got started. Of course, you’ll want to be respectful of their time and energy – and requesting a lengthy, detailed email isn’t. Say something like “I really like what you did with (project x). I’m working on something similar and I’m having a hard time getting started. Can you tell me what you did first to kick things off?” Don’t ask for an outline of everything they did, just what they did first. People are often perfectly willing to share useful tips.

And there you have it! The three main project obstacles that pop up, and how you can defeat them.

So…tell me now; what idea have you been sitting on? And what are you going to do today to start turning it into a reality?
[message type = “custom”]Today’s guest post was written by the awesomely radiant Michelle Nickolaisen from Let’s Radiate. Michelle is a project wrangler for hire. Whether you’re looking for someone to take the reins on your project, or need someone to coach you through the process, Michelle’s gift for productivity, organization and systems is the answer you’ve been seeking. Contact her today to get started.[/message]

What’s Your Twitter Strategy?

Recently I asked a few of my friends how they balance Twitter and the rest of their lives. I chose these people because, in my opinion, they have totally nailed how to leverage Twitter to grow their businesses while enriching their lives.

These people are excellent at building relationships, connecting with others and sharing their message with clarity and consistency. I think we can all benefit from their advice.

Rachael Acklin from Brand Harmony Studio

My success in using Twitter for my business, and in building my brand, is based in a paradox:

I understand that Twitter is a strategy, but that it’s about relationships, and that relationships are NOT a strategy.

Understanding that making deep connections helps my business in the long run – because I’m strengthening the parts of my brand that are in deepest alignment with who I am – frees me from trying to force it to be something it isn’t.

Twitter isn’t a spam machine, and it isn’t a replacement for my email marketing or blogging. For me, Twitter is about being visible.

I show up, I treat people with the love and respect and curiosity that’s my signature way of living my life, and as a happy result, the perception of my business and my brand remains positive and strong. And I end up with more referrals and tire-kickers and people who love being part of my circle.”

Rachael also runs The Caffeinated Business Community for solopreneurs who are building a business, and a lifestyle, from the ground up.

 

 

Michael Martine of Remarkablogger

I don’t “balance” Twitter with anything because it’s too important to me. Twitter has priority. Twitter gets me opportunities, helps me build relationships and makes me money. I spend at least 3 hours a day on Twitter and it’s worth it.”

Michael’s “How to Write an eBook That Doesn’t Suck” is a must-read for anyone wanting to create a new product. HINT: This info is extremely valuable whether your product is an ebook or not.

 

 

Bridget Prilloud from Intuitive Bridge

Don’t spend your time trying to increase your follower number. It really doesn’t matter how many people follow you. It’s who follows you that matters. Instead, focus on creating quality relationships. In terms of marketing, make sure that you don’t market too much. I try to keep to a 9:1 social message : marketing message ratio.”

Sign up for Bridget’s always-inspiring SoulNotes where you’ll be totally convinced she’s written them just for you! She’s amazing that way.

 

 

Matthew Kimberley from How to Get a Grip

It’s all about the lists. I actively follow no more than 150 people, and keep them in a private list called, imaginatively enough, “The 150”. The idea came from Srinivas Rao. He’s a clever dude.

So, Tweetdeck gets fired up in the morning. I check my @ replies (never check my direct messages, far too much crap) and scan my list of 150, sending out a reply here and there.

Occasionally I read something cool online. It takes about two seconds to copy and paste a url into Tweetdeck. I’ve set notifications in Tweetdeck to only pop up when I get a reply, which is a few times a day. If I’m actively promoting something, I schedule my tweets.

For two fifteen minute blocks in the day I’ll actively jump onto Twitter, looking for conversations to have and stuff to retweet. This is the only time I look at my full feed. I follow anybody who looks interesting. In all, I don’t spend more than half an hour on Twitter each day.

It’s easy to get sucked in. Don’t get sucked in. Get a grip.”

Matthew’s book “How to Get a Grip” is finally available in the US through Amazon. Kindle edition will be released on 9/1. I pre-ordered mine and cannot wait to get my paws on it!

 

How do I tweet while balancing everything else? Well, honestly I don’t all the time which is why I turned to these friends for advice. I tend to work in waves of creative solitude followed by a hungry desire to reconnect on Twitter.

So…how do YOU tweet while still maintaining balance in your work? Leave a comment and let us know.

PS: None of the links in this post are of the affiliate nature. Rather, it’s a chance for me to thank the contributors while pointing you to their awesomeness. All of which I’ve tasted and can assure you is spicy enough to warrant your deepest consideration.  

Two Twitter Tools I Can’t Live Without

 

 

As it proudly states in the footer of this site, I am a Twitter whore. The only part of having a jam-packed schedule I don’t enjoy is that it takes me away from all of my favorite Twitterbugs.

But Twitter’s not just for sharing great local pizza joints and chatting about the latest geek toys. It is an extremely powerful source for marketing your brand and driving traffic to your site.

Here are two Twitter tools I can’t live without and the strategy I use each of them for:

Tweepi

There are a bunch of other free programs that do what Tweepi does, I just happen to like this one best. I use it to flush out followers who:

1. Have not tweeted in over a week.

2. Do not engage in conversations or RTs.

3. Somehow snuck into my following list by methods unknown (and there are usually a lot of these!)

At least twice a month I go in and manually unfollow any of these offenders. It’s a great activity for when I’m feeling too brain-dead to write but still want to work. Typically I dump about 10% of my total following, which in my mind only makes room for more. This brings us to the second tool…

Tweetadder

Yes, this is an automated program (and yes, this is an affiliate link to it) but when used properly Tweetadder is a powerful traffic driver and networking tool.

Tweetadder has many functions but the only thing I use it for is to search for new people to follow. I find someone in my niche who I admire and is successful, and who appears to keep their Twitter stream relatively clean, and I program Tweetadder to create a list of the people they follow.

Several times a week, I’ll send out about 100 follows to people on this list. After three days, if those people have not followed me back, Tweetadder gives me the option to unfollow them.

Many times when people receive new follows they’ll click the link to check out your site (you DO have a link to your site in your Twitter bio, right??) If you have created a good list to follow, not only will you get a boost in traffic but it will be high-quality targeted traffic (omnomnom).

Slow ‘n Steady

I’m not into creating a huge list of followers fast. Getting 10,000 followers doesn’t mean shite if none of them are paying attention to you. What I AM into is an enjoyable Twitter experience that effectively drives quality traffic to my site. Building your list slowly but steadily with care and attention is absolutely worth the time.

Happy tweeting, Twitterbugs!

PS: If you want to learn more of the tips and tricks for getting started with Twitter social marketing strategies, check out our ScaredyCats Guide to Social Media

 

Authentic Marketing – Are You Doing It Wrong?

 

 

I wanted to beat the word “authentic” like a red-headed step child. When I first started writing this post a few weeks ago, I was ready to rip that word a new asshole. Seriously, I was locked and loaded while poor, unsuspecting “authentic” had a big bold bulls-eye on its head.

The concept of authentic has been overused and abused so badly, little remains of its former self. Internet marketers have juiced their copy up with the word like it was anabolic steroids. Self-proclaimed marketing experts insist that authenticity is the magic bullet into consumers’ pockets.

My original post didn’t get very far. The reason being I quickly realized I could think of no other word to replace it. Ugh! This pissed me off to no end.

Honesty? Newp. Transparency? Fail.

So I dug through its etymology:

mid-14c., “authoritative,” from O.Fr. autentique (13c.), from M.L. authenticus, from Gk. authentikos “original, genuine, principal,” from authentes “one acting on one’s own authority,” from autos “self” + hentes “doer, being.” Sense of “entitled to acceptance as factual” is first recorded mid-14c.

According to Princeton’s online modern dictionary, the definition for authentic is “undisputed credibility.”

It has a more estoteric meaning and is deeply engrained in the self-help, life coaching and psychology industries. Here its meaning almost goes back to its earlier roots of “self” + “being.”

But all these beautiful definitions have been rendered meaningless by misuse. Or have they…

The topic came up last night during the Tribal Dialects class (omg don’t miss another, we had a BLAST, sign up in the big yellow box so you’ll get the next invite). I mentioned my strong dislike of the word and Peter Crowell asked me what my word for “authentic” was. I had to admit to everyone my failure to find a suitable replacement.

So what do we do?

Collectively we have the power to define our own language.

Truth is, I used to really like the word. It meant something special…profound, even…to me.

For the purposes of self development, being authentic is about being true to yourself, not anyone else. And if you’re trying to be your “true self” to everyone else whilst ignoring your own inner journey, I’m sorry but you’ve missed the point entirely. You’ll only get to the heart of being your true self when you are true to yourself. Not anyone else. (Yes I know I’m repeating myself but this is important!) As I’ve said before and I’ll say many, many times again…just be who you be and screw the rest.

But can we just pah-lease stop mixing in the pretense of being “your true self” with trying to sell other people your shite?  Because in my book that’s pretty fucking inauthentic, amongst many other things.

For the purposes of marketing, I believe Seth Goldmine Godin says it best “Authenticity, for me, is doing what you promise, not ‘being who you are.'”

With marketing, everything needs to be measurable. This is an unchanging truth. “Being” is not something I can gauge. How the hell am I supposed to know if you’re being your true self?  I don’t even know if I give a crap, honestly. I’ve had a couple long term relationships where I was never sure if they were being their true self (in fact most of the time I hoped and prayed they were not).

However, if you say you’re going to do something if I give you my monies…that’s quite measurable. It’s the only expectation I have when I buy someone’s product. This is authentic marketing, following through on your promises…not telling everyone the truth about that scar on your upper thigh.

So I encourage those of you who love the word to reclaim it from the hands of misguided marketing “experts” and copy writers.

But for us guise here? I think the only way to use it properly is to develop a super sekret code word for “authentic.” Don’t you agree? I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t love a sekret code word?

Okay…you ready? You SURE no one’s looking right? This. Is. Sekret!

See-Thru Purple Panties = Authentic (WIN!)

And if you intend to tweet an authentically-you tweet, please use #STPP so we all know that this is the REAL you and not some cheap imitation of you.

That is all. Oh! And I love you.

 

Are Your Tweets Destroying Your Business?

 

 

We tweet because we love to. It’s where many of us online entrepreneurs get much of our socialization. Our friends are there, our support systems are there…but it’s important to remember…our businesses are there, too.

Everything you tweet is marketing.

Little Susie Q. learned this lesson all too well one day. Her moon was approaching, so she was bitchy as hell. She’d had a few too many peach sangrias, hadn’t eaten all day and felt the world was against her.

Instead of curling up on the sofa and watching The Human Centipede for therapeutic satisfaction, she mistakenly sought comfort and companionship on Twitter.

She tweeted:

“If ONE MORE customer complains about my new g-string line breaking ima shut my damn doors.”

Then a few minutes later…

“After I slap each of them. Lose some weight and maybe the shit won’t break bishes!”

Susie’s friends laughed and chimed in. They wanted to be supportive of their obviously stressed-out-to-insanity friend. They wanted to make her feel loved and see her laugh.

The group spent the next couple hours tossing nasty and inappropriate jokes back and forth to “cheer” Susie up. What they were actually doing was dismantling Susie’s business with each tweet.

Social Engagement and Marketing are Tightly Intertwined on Twitter

Little Susie Q. lost half her Twitter followers that day. Her site got very little traffic and for the first time in months she had not a single sale.

She had torn apart her own customers in public. Her precious, gracious, loving customers. The ones who bring her MONEY (which her friends, as much as she loves them, never seem to have). She almost certainly alienated dozens more potential customers through her reckless behavior.

Thankfully, this was a temporary bump for Susie’s Purple Panty Empire but it was a painful one and she still doesn’t like to talk about it.

Susie spent hours every day mending her image and re-emphasizing her marketing message that women deserved to feel sexy. It took months to get things back to square one again.

Real Friends Don’t Let Friends Tweet Drunk

DMs are there for a reason. You CAN reach out to your friends on Twitter. You can even trash-talk your customers or clients on Twitter. But for goddess’ sake, do it with one person in private. DM me if ya gotta, I LUV a good rant. But please, don’t broadcast the bitter bitchy stuff. You might not get as lucky as Susie did…

 

Your Target Market is Dead!

 

 

Little Susie Q. wants to open a purple panties shop in downtown Bumblefuck. She hires a marketing consultant who performs the obligatory market research. Together they nail down Susie’s target market: women ages 25 – 50, median income $65k, location within a 10 mile radius. They figure out what these women want (to look sexy) and position their purple panties as the definitive solution. Then, and only then, does little Susie Q. open her doors to the public.

If Susie and her marketing consultant had not done this preparation they would probably waste tons of dough advertising to Susie’s wrong people.

She might mistakenly target people in East Jibip when no one there is willing to drive all the way to Bumblefuck. She might send wasted mailers out to fraternity houses or struggling single mothers (who are just fine wearing their ripped granny panties, thank you very much).

Without these demographic data, Susie would be taking a shot in the dark with everything she did for her marketing.

So goes the story of brick-and-mortar marketing. This is the way it’s been done for centuries. It’s worked very well, too. It’s made millions of people billions of dollars. And if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

But see it’s not just broke for people like you and me. It’s entirely and completely irrelevant. Yet these “marketing experts” insist that their historic model will fit into this new paradigm.

I promise you it won’t.

When looking to these so-called experts to define target market, Entrepreneur magazine advises “… entrepreneurs who aim at a small target are far more likely to make a direct hit.” while Inc. online warns ” Don’t break your target down too far!”

Running a business online today means that you have a over THREE BILLION potential customers at your fingertips. The marketing industry has never been faced with this situation before and it’s crystal clear to me they’ve no idea how to deal with it.

The problem is now inside out. It’s a complete reversal. We no longer need to study demographics. We no longer need a target market.

Long Live Your Perfect People!

What we do need to define, in a pristinely crystal-clear manner, is who our perfect people are. Because today we have finally and forever been set free from the confines of target markets and demographics. We get to choose who we want to do business with.

This is a foreign concept and one that I see so many people struggling with. It’s actually much easier to just pay someone to do a little research and let the market define which customers to target.

Figuring out who your perfect people are, on the other hand, requires some deep soul searching. It means we have to be certain what our message is, who we want to work with and how we can change our world with that work. These are not always easy questions to answer!

In fact, when I work with someone to help them figure out who their perfect people are this can be the single most difficult hurdle for them to overcome. Partly because it requires them to put aside everything they thought they knew about marketing, and partly because it is an intensely personal process.

This subtle shift, from target market to perfect people, is absolutely key to your online business’ success. It is also key to your having a business that nurtures and energizes you as opposed to one that drains you and leaves you feeling used up. It can mean the difference between running to your computer every morning more excited than ever or dragging your feet and dreading opening your Gmail page.

What can you do today, right now, to conjure some clarity about your perfect people? What problems arise for you around this question?

PS: Purple Panty Union t-shirts are now available! CLICK HERE to order yours today 🙂

 

Top 10 Reasons I Won’t Follow You Back

I try to keep my Twitter account neat and tidy. Twitter is not only an important rung of my marketing ladder, it’s also one of my favorite places to hang out.

A messy stream is something I simply won’t tolerate. Messy sock drawer? Sure. But I like my Twitter stream squeaky clean.

To maintain this without turning into a total snob who never follows anyone back, there are a few steps I take. One of the most important (but admittedly time-consuming) is to do a little reconnaissance before following people back.

10 No Follow-Back Rules

1. No Interaction

This is the first thing I look at. If there are no conversations going on in your history, I’m out.

2. Strange Interaction

Yes, I actually click the conversation bubbles and check to see if you’re TRULY interacting with others or are randomly leaving strange and irrelevant comments…because that’s just creepy.

3. Nothing But RTs

This is a new form of silliness brought on by some advancements in Twitter automation. So if you have your account set to automatically RT everything, I will automatically not follow you back.

4.  Silly Salesy Names

If your Twitter handle is “KickAssBiz” or “EZCashMachine”…fuck off. We have nothing in common and this is never going to develop into anything. Let’s not waste each other’s time.

5. Dumbass DMs

This is my second line of defense. If you send me a dumbass DM the deal’s off.

Here’s an actual unedited example:

[pullquote style=”left”]Following will be benefitial. High value content. Read 30 pages free workbook Understanding Emotions?” [/pullquote]

 

Because I want to learn how to understand my emotions from you?

 

Here’s another one:

[pullquote style=”left”]”Hi, thanks for the follow. I love to connect with you on twitter. Discover The Nine Secrets To Really Achieving Your Goals In Life! http://”[/pullquote]

 

Goddammit! This knucklehead isn’t aware he only has 140 chars and his link got cut off. Now I’m never gonna know the nine secrets…grrrr!!

 

 

[message type=”warning”]Smartass DMs that mock Dumbass DMs are brilliant for starting conversations with new followers but can get you into a bit of trouble.

140 characters are apparently too much for some people to read and often times new followers do not get to the end of my DM to see it’s a joke.

I’ve been yelled at, reported as spam, publicly ostracized…but does that stop me from being a smartass? Hells no. Because the right people get it and that’s all that matters.

Wanna know what my DM says? Follow me on Twitter [/message]

6.  Super Model Avatar

Black, white, Asian or alien…if your avatar looks like a super model I dig no further. I’m more than convinced you are actually a small, greasy salesperson on the other side of that account. You hoped I’d be lured by love and lust…and while I am known to be a Twitter whore…my stream’s worth more to me than just another anorexic-but-pretty face.

7. Eggs

I don’t follow eggs unless I know them personally. For example, there’s a friend who loves birds and kept the egg because it was appropriate. This is a very rare case. The rest of you, get off yer ass and upload an avatar.

8. Nothing But Links

This goes back to number one, really…if there’s no evidence you’re human I want nothing to do with you. Spewing out nothing but automated links is a waste of everyone’s time…not the least of which your own.

9. Miserable Sods

Once I do start following someone, if I notice they have nothing to spread but misery I unfollow. It takes so little effort to be pleasant and upbeat on Twitter…I’ve done it with a raging hang-over after a night of bickering and bag-packing…so you can do it too, at least every once in awhile.

10. You Smell Funny

I’m sorry, but I’m very heavily affected by the sense of smell. So if your feet stink or you don’t wipe properly or you haven’t bathed in a week I really can’t have you in my stream. Take care of yourself and get back to me when the “coast is clear” as they say.

 

Strategic Competitor Intelligence…or Come Together, Right Now

Competitors have become a thing of the past and there is a fascinating paradigm shift taking place in marketing today, especially for those of us lucky enough to be marketing online.

It’s no surprise really, when we begin to look at the meanings behind the words. Everything in our universe operates in a cycle, even language.

Since around 1600, the definition of the word compete was derived from the Middle French (M.Fr.) word compéter meaning “be in rivalry with.”

 

This is how most of us are used to thinking of competitors: those with whom we’re involved in a rivalry.

People who need to be spied on. People who can’t be trusted. People who would steal our livelihood out from under us if we don’t keep a VERY close eye on them.

Wankers, basically. Right? People we envy, don’t really want to get to know but feel obligated to pay at least some attention to lest they steal one of our precious ideas. Which may seem to happen all the time, but it’s only because they got there first while you were worrying about what they were going to do next.

Competere: com – “together” + petere – “to strive”

If we look to the earlier 14th century Late Latin (L.L.) root competere I think we begin to get a better picture of who our competitors are today, in this new epoch of online marketing.

To compete, used in this context, means to come together. Strive together. Work together. Seek together.

 

[message type=”custom” width=”50%” align=”center” start_color=”#fffff7″ end_color=”#ffe387″ border=”#d7acd0″ color=”#832674″]…I have to stop for a quick moment to note the word together has just struck me as being so odd…don’t you love when that happens with words? When we pull our awareness to The Familiar it suddenly becomes The Extraordinary. And now, back to your regularly scheduled blog post…[/message]

 

Marketing online today requires an absolute belief in this not-so-new definition of competitor.

Here’s why:

We are all niche marketers at this point. At least anyone reading this post is. And each of us only needs a very small piece of the virtual pie to be able to make a comfortable living.

Let’s say I want to break into a new niche. I do some research and find there are 30 other people out there selling personalized purple g-stings and I decide to go for it.

If each of us 31 personalized purple g-string marketers keep to ourselves, we might sell a few panties but none of us is going to build an audience large enough to really make an impact.

Just ask anyone who tried to break into niche marketing hoping to qualify for Google welfare (a.k.a. AdSense revenue) when it first began. It all felt so very…competitive then.

But if all thirty-one of us got together…if we cross-promoted each other’s sites…if we collaborated on personalized purple g-string product packages…if we formed a personalized purple g-string marketing coalition to raise awareness on why everyone needs a special g-string in their life…well, the sky’d be the limit!

The real beauty in this approach is there’s absolutely no risk.
It’s. All. Win.

While there may be 30 other purple panty selling sites, there’s only one ME selling them. This means that even while we’re dealing with a limited market (people wanting personalized purple g-string panties), I can still focus on the even smaller segment of those people who really like ME. Those who get ME as opposed to the other panty guy.

 

[message type=”custom” width=”50%” align=”center” start_color=”#fffff7″ end_color=”#ffe387″ border=”#d7acd0″ color=”#832674″]Yes, I know. This isn’t the best analogy but I’m not a fucking poet, ok? Plus, I’m on a tight editorial schedule and my boss is a real bitch and so it has to be the purple panties. You get the point.[/message]

 

In short, when we rid ourselves of the old baggage tied to the word competitor, we create the space for unexpected and lucrative new marketing opportunities.

Suddenly we’re allowed to form friendships. We’re able to reach out to those other 30 purple panty people. We may even begin to collaborate and strategize together.

Above all, these friendships will keep us feeling nurtured and energized. They will serve to replenish our spirits, not just our wallets, as we continue together on this journey of world-changing entrepreneurship.

With that small shift in perception we are no longer an island unto ourselves.

We have help.

We have support.

And, goddammit, if you’re one of my friends, we have fun!