I hit $60k MRR by ignoring the competition, and why you should too
How to have a more uniquely positioned offering by ignoring the competition
Greetings from beautiful Rome!
We went to Cirque du Soleil last night where it was confirmed that humans are pretty amazing.
Cirque du Soleil is always an experience unlike any other. And expanding on that theme, today we’ll talk about setting yourself apart. We’ll do so not by studying the competition, but by ignoring them.
The entire time I was building and selling my last SaaS app, prospects would ask me how my product compared to competitor X or Y.
Usually something like: “I don’t know, I’ve never heard of them.”
Or “I’m not sure, I don’t pay attention to what others are doing.”
To this day, I don’t know how my product–a LinkedIn outreach automation tool–differed from the competition. I do know there were plenty out there, and I was told mine was priced higher than pretty much all of them.
Still, I went on to generate around $60k a month from that product.
There are many reasons we might do competitor research as we’re planning and developing our product.
Generally we do so in an attempt to find unique positioning for our offering through messaging, target audience, or feature set.
Or we may be looking for some sort of competitive advantage through pricing, or community.
The intention here is good, and sometimes competitive research can lead to valuable insights.
The problem comes when, after analyzing the competition, we are tempted - consciously or not - to want to be more similar to what we see, not more unique.
If we notice that all our competition is in a similar price range, we might start to think they all priced this way for a reason. They must know something we don’t.
Or if we notice a set of common features, we can start to believe we need all those features too.
Let’s remember that our main objective in creating a valuable offering comes down to two things:
Solving a valuable problem.
Getting our solution in front of people with said problem. (Even if a solution exists, there are likely plenty of people who don’t know about it. So we can get in front of them. Alternatively, in the case of people who have found a solution, we can provide a better one.)
As long as we keep this in mind, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. In fact, I’d argue that by not paying attention to your competition, you’re more likely to create something unique with its own personality and positioning.
If you are solving a problem that you discovered in the real world, then you have all the information you need. You know there are people with a common problem who are not aware of a viable or sufficient solution.
Don’t be afraid to just do your own thing. Solve one problem well for your initial customers, and let them guide you from there.
Let their needs define the future features.
Over time, use the words you hear them say for your messaging.
Do your own pricing tests and don’t assume you need to price like your nearest competitors.
If you do this, your positioning will make itself clear over time and your product and offering will be guaranteed to be unique.
Zero to Marketing - Here’s a fun newsletter/site by Andrea Bosoni, where he explores how he’d grow specific businesses. It’s great for exercising your marketing brain.
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