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FutureNow Article
Friday, Jul. 6, 2007

Aren’t You My Competitor?

By Bryan Eisenberg
July 6th, 2007

A GrokDotCom reader asked me the following question:

I was reading a blog entry done by a fellow blogger today about niche competition. I think he has a good reason for not sharing his thoughts about the niche that he is interested in.
Do you have any opinion about it? If you were to be at his position, would you do the same thing too?

For the better part of a decade, we’ve published hundreds of articles, several books–including 2 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers–trained thousands of people, and consulted with the goal of educating the entire marketplace (including competitors) about the value-of/how-to convert website visitors into sales, leads, subscribers, etc.

During this time, we’ve armed our subscribers, competitors, licensees and friends with powerful ideas on how to better use web analytics, design more effective landing pages, how to use Google Website Optimizer, what makes people buy, why people share things through word-of-mouth, how to make your pay-per-click and search engine marketing more effective, and even about our methodology for pulling all these things together: Persuasion Architecture™.

We do it happily! As our friend Sean D’Souza likes to say, “Give the ideas. Sell the system.”

The bottom line, dear reader, is that not only are ignorance and apathy our competitors, but everyone, including you, is a competitor. Everyone can help you with your business. The point is to share and learn from each other. Hopefully, by sharing your ideas, you’ve built a strong brand and reputation. By building-up others you will build yourself. A rising tide lifts all boats.

There are a couple of realities to face if you think you can keep your knowledge to yourself. First of all, even if you communicate it well, it doesn’t mean everyone completely understood, or could duplicate, it (whatever “it” may be). Secondly, everything people do online is being watched by someone else; eventually, someone will figure it out and share it. Don’t share trade secrets, if you can avoid it, and be certain that people are actually watching you.

The more you give, the more you get. If you gave away every idea you ever had, people would still step up to ask you to help them, or do it for them. The same can’t be said if you don’t share with them at all.

This is what I love about blogging and the culture of sharing that I hope it retains. The problem we still face is sorting through all the noise. My favorite line from the niche competition post:

You are like 99% of the other bloggers that keep the real juicy stuff to yourself and share the fluff as if it’s the juicy stuff.

This may be why there is already a blogging revolution going on. Have you shared with your community lately?

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Comments (10)

  1. [...] decided to ask Bryan Eisenberg’s opinion about niche competition. And his input really make sense. It’s true, there’s no way we can keep our knowledge [...]

  2. Thanks for the input Mark :)

  3. Thanks for the input Bryan! :)

  4. When most business people are asked the question, “who is your competition” they typically give my favorite answer, “we have no competition”. This is just a stupid answer.

    As Brian so eloquently points out, anyone that is in front of your client, vying for the same dollars that could be used to purchase your services, is a competitor. They do not have to be selling related services at all! Competition is everywhere and by keeping your knowledge under your hat you lost the opportunity to set yourself apart.

    In our viral world information flies fast and furious, if you truly do have a skill or solution that is unique, my opinion is to let everyone know about it. Being the first, the founder, inventor, and the evangelist will allow you to reap rewards well beyond the benefits of keeping things under wraps.

    To wrap up this already long, “comment”. Stop focusing on what your competitors are doing and start looking at your customers. Above all, do what is best for them and you will win every time. When it comes down to it, and you are in a sales situation against a competitor, it rarely comes down to whose kung-fu is better but who connects with that prospect better. Who can help them achieve their goals which have little to do with your offering and more to do with them increasing their level of success.

  5. Sorry Bryan, MS Word changed the spelling of your name and I didn’t catch it. Next time we speak you can call me Gary :)

  6. yeah Larry, what matters most is when customers are happy ;)
    heck, who cares about niche competition if there’s no money to be made? lol.
    btw, Bryan… I have serious mistakes on my previous comments.. maybe it was my browser.. sorry.

  7. Competition?…

    Sometimes you have to let someone else say a thing for you, because you’re too close to your own situation or opinions to be able to express what you mean as clearly as you’d like. That was my experience today reading an article from last m…

  8. don’t give away the STORE certainly, but this new economy is frequently built on helping others out, it comes around. help each other to prosper and build a new economy. I like that quote “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Think of the big picture not just your most immediate battles or some petty squabble for dominance.

  9. I love this quote because it’s true: “You are like 99% of the other bloggers that keep the real juicy stuff to yourself and share the fluff as if it’s the juicy stuff.”

    The problem with “your competitor” and society is that for some strange reason people get more pleasure out of seeing the person besides them be less successful than them. That’s just society unfortunately, there’s roughly 2-3 kind people out there out of 10 that are willing to help you so you just have to find those people and ignore the rest of the noise :)

  10. I totally agree with you. 99% bloggers out there keep their ideas secret. What they are telling is already on the Internet. Only 1% are willing to share their success secrets. I think that’s the main reason why most newbies give up during the initial stages.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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