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Do you feel like you are getting lost in the competition because you work in a saturated market? Something I notice every time I ask my followers to send in questions on Instagram, is that a lot of you feel stuck in your business because you feel like the market is too saturated.
What does a saturated market really mean? Basically, it just means that you are in an industry that a lot of other people are also in and likely you have a lot of competition.
So let’s talk about it! Let’s talk about what it means to stand out in a saturated market shall we?
Burger King Vs. McDonalds
Back when I first got started as a business owner as a photographer, it didn’t take me long to realize how busy that industry was. Especially within the wedding photography industry. It felt like there was competition around every corner. From professionals, to moms with a DSLR camera, I felt paralyzed and like a small fish in a big pond.
Walking into a saturated industry can be intimidating, but does that mean you shouldn’t take those steps? Of course not! Think about it. Why would a burger king open a restaurant right next to a McdDonalds in the same parking lot? They sell the same food at a relatively similar price, so why would they think they could open up shop when there is so much competition?
Partially it has to do with supply and demand, but even more importantly, it’s about building a brand.
Believe it or not, there is a certain type of person who would rather purchase food from burger king vs. McDonalds and visa versa. They will choose one over the other because of how a certain brand makes them feel.
How Do You Separate Yourself?
How do YOU differentiate yourself from the competition? Why should someone buy from you? Comment on YOUR post? Work with YOU? The answer is not, “take better photos” if you are a photographer or “get different colored shirts” if you are a boutique.
The golden ticket to making yourself stand out in a saturated market is YOU.
I know it sounds like the most simple thing ever, but it’s oftentimes one of the most difficult things we do as business owners trying to build a brand.
However if you look hard enough, you can even see this being implemented in your own life and your own consumer habits. Why did you buy that new dress from the particular store that you did? Why did you choose to buy a plain white t shirt from the boujee boutique in the mall instead of grabbing the exact same one from Walmart?
Because you have a connection that was made with that particular store. Whether it be the way they made you feel when you were shopping there or the vibes of the interior, or whatever it is. You are drawn to that store over others.
People will drive farther, and spend more when they feel connected to a brand.
When Your Life Isn’t Instagrammable:
Think about your social media habits and what you do when you log onto an app and start scrolling. How many times do watch a complete stranger’s stories as they show you how they make their morning coffee? Why is it that you are so drawn to such a simple thing? Or when you get sucked into the vortex of Instagram reels and watch 2 hours of dancing videos even though you would never in your life make a dancing video?
Just because something may not be 100% you, doesn’t mean you don’t find it interesting. You need to think this way next time you hold yourself back from getting on IG stories to talk about your dog.
Or when you scroll and see a post that you know is an ad. A majority of people will scroll past it to get away from that because no one likes feeling directly sold to.
Your audience will feel this same way if the only thing you EVER do is talk about your business and what you sell. One of the FIRST things people want when they find your profile is to engage with you as a human, not a salesy robot.
Tangible Tips To Implement:
- Empower. Do not compete. Instead of trying to shove others down, try working with them. This builds connections for you and is great for networking.
- Be willing to pivot in your business when necessary. I saw that the photography market was filling up so I rolled with it and decided that I would build another business helping those just getting started.
- Be humble enough to fail often, fail fast, and fail forward. When you are willing to allow yourself to fail, you are allowing yourself to grow.
- Don’t be a carbon copy of someone else. Do not just hit copy and paste on someone else’s entire business. Inspiration is different than copying. When you copy, you blend in even more.
- Niche down. Find your voice and your specific people. Get specific on who you are, what you do and who you serve.
- Don’t be boring. Decide if you want your brand to be known for being loud and spunky or if you are more chill and quiet. Neither is boring but is considered boring is when you have no specific direction you are moving in.
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I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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