If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years freelancing and in the startup world, there is absolutely no reason to shun, envy or hide from your competition. In fact, I now do what I can to embrace who I think are my competitors!
There’s likely a good chance that others who provide similar services to you or seem to share similar ideas are likely to be your “type” of person who speaks your language. It’s a much more fulfilling conversation when the person on the other end shares your ideas and can respond logically.
Most importantly, connecting with competitors – especially more established ones – opens the door for possible collaboration opportunities, cross-promotion and free expert advice.
A lot of the time, your competition is not even really your competition. They likely have a completely different strategic end game and what you can do is learn and be inspired by their work.
For a long time, I wouldn’t dare open a blog post, ebook or website of someone who I perceived was a “competitor”. When I stopped this, I realized that I’m only hurting myself by not participating in the digital mind share. One person’s post is another’s idea!
Totally agree with embracing the competition! A client of mine has a very large partner with a very large PR agency (we’re tiny). So we’ve worked with their agency a number of times and built a strong working relationship. Not only has it made our client’s role in their PR go well, but it means they know that doing more partnerships with our client will be easier because they trust our client’s PR agency (us). Neither of us has lost a dime to the other. Everyone wins!
That’s a perfect example of why you need to embrace the idea that others can HELP you become a big fish!