Fish Where the Fish Are Jumping

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Successful branding is based on the idea of being aggressively individualistic, however, there are times when it pays to be a copy cat. Well, not exactly a copy cat, perhaps more of a voyeur or maybe even a little bit of a barnacle. I’m talking about emulating and even leveraging your competition to grow your own business .

As important as it is to be original in your branding, it is not always necessary to be a maverick in your efforts to find and attract ideal clients. We often think of competition as a negative thing, but there are many advantages to having good competitors. Competition keeps you on your toes and challenges you to continually improve and innovate. It forces you to continually define and refine your niche so you can claim a unique position in the marketplace. Competitors can also be great friends and referral partners.

However, one of the greatest benefits to having good competitors is that it affords you the opportunity to borrow success strategies you might otherwise have to acquire through costly trial and error. If you see a beautiful website you may borrow elements of the design aesthetic to make yours more polished. If you see how a marketing guru is putting together their programs and packages, you can get ideas on how to build your own business model.

One of the best strategies to study is a successful client attraction model. Of course, you need to put your own spin on things, but when you pay attention to marketing strategies that are working for a competitor, you know you are following a good formula. Again, this is not to out right copy others, but rather to scrutinize the elements of success so you can fast track your own.

Here are some ways you can benefit from the big fish:

1. Fish in their wake. Leaders of industry attract a lot of attention. They are followed by thousands and thousands of people. However, not everyone who follows the leader ends up working with them. If you show up where your industry leader shows up, whether in person or online, you have the opportunity to interact with an ideal audience that is already gathered for you.

2.Use similar bait. Study what the big gurus promise their clients. What needs are they promising to meet? What desires are they promising to fulfill? How are they promising to meet the need? Is it a step-by-step process? What are the elements? How can you uniquely formulate and systematize your authentic gifts and own promise of value to clearly demonstrate you meet those same needs and desires?

3. Become a fish whisperer. How do your successful competitors speak to their audience? What language do they use? What is the tone of their marketing messages?Again, you should not be plagiarizing other people, however, if you pay attention to way industry leaders communicate with their audience, you will start to understand the language of success.

4. Groom your scales. Most entrepreneurs who are at the top of their game, look like they are at the top. They do not look like armatures. Whether they are presenting themselves online or in person, their appearance connotes success. They are polished and have a specific, consistent brand image. Of course, you want to have your own, authentic brand, but look at how the leaders pull themselves together and borrow ways to upgrade your own image. The higher the polish, the greater perceived level of expertise.@HeatherPoduska (Tweet this)

As you can see, there is no need to reinvent the wheel to get more clients. You just need to go where the fish are jumping and put your lure in the water. If you are savvy, you will study the success strategies of your competitors and turn them to your advantage. If you do, soon you will be the big fish on campus.

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Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.