You can’t do it!
“The market is oversaturated…”
If you’ve talked to anyone about your dream; if you’ve told people you’re thinking about working for yourself, You’ve likely been told that the market you wish to join is over-saturated. It may be Graphic Design, it may be to become a Personal Trainer, you might want to open a cafe. Whatever it is that you’ve set your heart on, the belief is that there are simply too many other people doing the same thing you wish to do.
Truth be told, they are most likely correct. In 2020 there will be more people trying to do the same thing as you than ever before. With the rise of digital marketing and access to technology, the facility for people to branch out and work for themselves in their given sphere has massively increased. To many this can seem like a curse, but this also means there are more people than ever, doing a bad job in the area you want to excel in!
Many small businesses survive with a small number of customers, the key is to gain a large share in regard to your own capacity for workload, while creating customers who love you and return for more. The key here is to start by being good at what you do, constantly learn and evolve your craft.
Being good will only take you so far
To not only survive, but thrive in this age you need to be different, you need to stand out and you need consistency. Don’t try to be wacky if it’s not your character, or to be different for no reason. Make your difference a key aspect of your business, built on user research.
What’s your difference?
People either under develop this aspect or go crazy with it. If you’ve ever heard “We’re different because we care” then you’ve probably thought “That’s no different to what my normal supplier says”, you’re difference doesn’t have to be exciting, it can just make the customers life easier. If you’re a Personal Trainer you may have discovered that your competitors don’t offer a weight loss guarantee with their programs, or you may offer an online booking system. Think less about gimmicks and more about functionality and ease of mind. If you can become known for one thing it is easier to talk about than trying to create many different arms of difference.
Make it simple, make it easy to remember and live by.
Our difference is that we put our clients’ customers’ needs first. We build brands and websites not based on the company directors personal preferences, but on user needs. This helps us take ego out of the design and build brands and websites that work for our clients business goals.
Research your competitors
The number one phrase we hear when asking about competitors is “We don’t have any competition, we’re different, no one is doing what we do”. Sadly, this is never true. In the global market that we live in your competitor might not be anywhere near you. They may reside on the other side of the world but still supply to your local area or have the capacity to. Try to think bigger than what you’ve seen and take to Google to find who is already doing what you do or hope to do, take note of the areas they are lacking in as well as doing great.
Even if you don’t end up doing any of the things they do, it is always best to know what is going on in your world, especially if you are in a very saturated marketplace.
Look at their websites:
- How easy is it to find the information you want?
- Is it easy to work out what they do?
- How easy is it to find their products or services?
- What pages rank highest on Google?
- Can you work out who their target audience are?
- What keywords do they use and rank highly for?
Take a look at their social media channels:
- How responsive are they?
- How often do they post?
- What do they talk about?
- What type of content gets most interaction?
Look at their marketing efforts:
- When you search them on Google, what outside publications do they appear in?
- What advertising methods do they use?
- What do they use advertising to promote?
Competitors don’t have to be competition
In many cases your competitors will only offer some of their services through their core team. They may outsource work or make referrals to trusted partners, it may seem counterintuitive to work with a competitor, but if they introduce a client to partner and that relationship works out, they still look great as they solved the clients problems.
Alternatively they can add skills to their list of services, by white labelling your services. This is a quick and hassle free way for you to gain new customers, while building great relationships in your sector.
Testimonials are validation
Whether you’re just starting or you’ve been working on your business for a while, testimonials show potential new clients exactly what you mean to people who have worked with you. A selection of reviews that sing your praises will sway a concerned customer more than a pretty picture. Setup a review system and ask everyone you work for to review your work. If they can supply photos then even better.
Don’t go crazy and create review sites everywhere you can find them, they key is to house your reviews all together so a viewer can see a number of them in one place and increase your trust value. 20 reviews spread over 10 review sites is much less impressive than the same twenty in only 2 places.
General review websites we recommend:
Industry specific reviews are also great and will be much more helpful if they are directly connected to your sales platform. E.g. if you sell on Etsy, then reviews within your products will be much more helpful than reviews separated on TrustPilot. However you need to remember that if your testimonials are housed on a platform such as Etsy, then if you ever decide to leave that platform your reviews won’t automatically transfer. You will need to do this before deleting any accounts.
Create a distinctive look
We are a branding and design agency, so it only makes sense that we’d discuss your brand. But how often do you look at a business or brand that looks bland and think “I need that in my life!”
It is reported that 75% of users judge a websites credibility based on its design aesthetics, so what does this mean for you? If you have everything in place and right, you can still fail in comparison to where you should be, based solely on a lack of visual appeal.
This doesn’t have to be complicated, if you aren’t particularly design savvy, then stick to the basics:
- Keep your design clean with space to let elements breath
- Stick to 2 fonts across your website, one for headers and one for paragraphs. Google offer free fonts that you can download for use in design and your website – https://fonts.google.com/
- Stick to a set of house colours that compliment each other. We recommend using Paletton if you aren’t sure on colour combinations – https://paletton.com/
- If you’re working on a budget, use a Google font to create your logo, but we recommend hiring a designer as this will stick with you for a long time. A good designer will be able to create a whole visual style based on the logo. If you need help with this then contact us today.
- If you have the budget then we would say hire a professional to create your website, but WebFlow offer great free websites if you have the time and creative flair – https://webflow.com
- An alternative to give you more control is to pay for your own domain and hosting, this is more costly but gives you more power in the long term. For us the only provider we can recommend whole heartedly is SiteGround. They are constantly reviewed highly and offer great support for their customers.
Solve their pain
The main thing to remember is to truly try to solve your customers pain points. Be helpful and make their lives easier.
If you’re unsure about anything then feel free to get in touch with us or comment below, we’re happy to give feedback.