This is what will happen with Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok whether you like it or not. When Snapchat hit the market, it was a great success. So successful that Instagram started to copy some of its features. And it made Instagram even more popular. Snapchat, still today, is a success. But a lot of people have their features. And Instagram has grown into a large corporation now. So much that it’s said that it’s estimated to be worth over $100 billion according to EarthWeb.
Now, of course, Instagram’s, you know, owned by Facebook. But still, that’s a large chunk of Facebook’s market cap. Eventually, TikTok came out and people started to do the same with them. They started to copy TikTok‘s features. Just look at YouTube Shorts. It’s similar to TikTok. According to Statista, YouTube shorts has over 30 billion, with a B, monthly views. That’s a lot of views. Do you see a pattern here? Everyone is copying each other.
If something is working for your competitors and you aren’t doing it, you are going to lose market share and business. Here’s what I want you to do with your company when someone is out-innovating you.
I want you to look at what they’re doing. What’s causing their growth? Copy it. You can figure out what’s working for them by using tools like Ubersuggest. There’s also a similar web out there as well. And it tells you, “Hey, here’s what your competitor’s doing. Here’s where they’re getting all their traffic. Here’s what’s working. Here’s what’s not.” And you can also survey your audience and figure out what they like about your competition. You can use tools like SurveyMonkey to perform this and it’ll tell you, “Hey, this is overall feedback.” Some people give you random stuff. Some people will give you great feedback. But when you survey, not 10, but 30, 40, 50, 60 people, even 100, you’ll start noticing patterns. And look for the patterns and that’s what you should focus on first.
I want you to hire better talent. Not saying that your team isn’t great, but you can always have better talent. Go on LinkedIn and see who works for some of your competitors. Who are they using that’s outshining you, right? Look at the competitors that are growing faster than you, and have those amazing features or products that you don’t have. They must have some amazing talent. You just got to go find them. So go on LinkedIn, and look at their employees. Look at what business units they’re in charge of, the products or the services that you’re trying to copy. Look to see their work history. If they have continually gotten promotions and they stay at companies for a while, they are good people.
start experimenting. Copying your competition is one thing. But if you really want to win, you have to one-up them. The one way to beat them is to start experimenting. There’s no guarantee that something works the way you want. And sometimes when you think something won’t work out, in many cases it does. That’s why you want to run at least one experiment a month, and ideally, one a week. Over time, you’ll learn how to create a better product or service, and even win over your competition. And when you’re running these experiments, don’t get demotivated by the failures. Just keep in mind the more you fail, eventually, you’ll go down a path that leads you down the right way and helps you win.
I know with this strategy you probably don’t like hearing that “Hey if your competition’s doing something you’re not doing, you got to start learning how to copy, execute faster, or one up then by making whatever you copy better than them.” But it’s the reality. If you say, “Hey, I’m not interested in copying my competitor’s products or features,” like how Google may try or Apple or Facebook may try. Do you think Apple’s Cloud storage was new? Dropbox was doing an amazing job, but Apple came out. They got iCloud and started eating into their market cap. And when I say copy, it doesn’t mean it has to be pixel for pixel copycat of what they’re doing. It’s an idea. It’s a strategy.
You need to figure out how it can tie into your business, how it can fit with your customers, and how you need to mold that product or service or strategy, or feature to fit your audience. And that may not look identical to your competition. That’s what I mean by copy.