As a business owner, a large part of your strategy is to outshine competitors but savvy entrepreneurs know that it is also smart to create and maintain with them. Zeke Adkins, Contributer The Enterprenuer 1
Imagine if you could sit down with all or even some of your competitors for a coffee and have a straight talk about their business, the challenges they face and what the future will look like. That information would be very valuable to have and use. As a B2B start up business dealing with photographers and artists, there are a lot of unanswered questions. You wish that you had a crystal ball to see how your choices play out. Digital marketing, social media, digital strategy, analytics and content marketing are all things to keep on top of. Asking your competitors for their advice and experience can be a good thing.
If you don’t ask you will never know so I created a list of questions that I send out to businesses that I admire or have great success. Visual images are a key component to the marketing mix and so photography, illustration and graphic design businesses should benefit from this trend. Here is my list of top questions for my competitors:
- How did you prove to yourself and others that you would fill an unmet need in the market?
- How did you initially acquire and retain clients?
- How many clients did you start out representing in the early days? Do you still have any of the original clients?
- Do you have a digital marketing strategy and do you see good returns from this strategy?
- Of the major Social Media options which is the one you find most successful for your photography business – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn?
- What gets you up in the morning and what are you passionate about and why?
- What do you think the next big thing in photography is?
- If you could go back in time and change anything from those early days – what would it be?
Reaching out to your competitors may be a little scary at first. They may say no and they may just ignore you. But if you make the first move, you may get the opportunity to hear some of the answers to your questions and start a sharing of information relationship. This could lead to an informal business relationship that continues on after that initial meeting and benefits both parties. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but talking to the competition just might be the big pay off.