Branding Challenge Day 7 – Support The Competition
So many marketers promote products that tout a way to CRUSH your competition. I’m here to tell you that your competition isn’t your enemy. In fact, this day of the challenge is all about the support the competitors get from you.
You may have seen me do this quite a few times. I’ve told my readers about PLR providers who I compete with – without using an affiliate link at times. And let’s say I’ve written a blog post promoting a certain product, but someone who I know to be regular reader posts a link to an alternative product in their comment, I don’t snarl about how it might siphon off my earnings – I allow it!
Why would I have this unusual reaction to permit and encourage the promotion of my competitors?
Because I care about my readers, plain and simple.
You need to care SO much about your readers that you’re willing to share the spotlight and even the earnings with marketers in your niche.
Why not hog them all for yourself?
Well, think about it from a consumer’s point of view. When you want to know about a non-fiction niche, you don’t choose just one person to learn from, do you?
I don’t know anyone who does.
We usually look for multiple resources – whether it’s cooking, knitting, relationships, marketing, parenting or any other topic.
Whenever I chose to homeschool my kids for a few years, I bought up dozens of books about it. When I wanted to lose weight, I nearly spent as much money on how to books as I did diet foods. When I was having my first baby I asked for every resource on the topic imaginable.
The Best Thing About Supporting Your Competition
Your readers have found and subscribed to you because they trust you. They like you. They respect your insight and your connection to them.
The respect that you’re going to earn when you share other people and products with your readers s going to feel amazing to you.
It’s okay to share products as an affiliate and form JVs with other marketers and earn income from those affiliations. But it’s also good form not always to make everything about money.
It’s always a good idea to promote something without an affiliate link. You will also notice that this page has nothing to sell on it. It contains useful information and asks nothing in return. That is apart from building loyalty.
When I promote a product without using an affilaite link my readers write and tell me they appreciate it.
Here’s another perk – because of your good deed in supporting your competitors, many of your competitors are going to return the favor. It can also lead to many lucrative paid joint ventures and product collaborations.
As for branding, not only is the good will button pushed whenever you do this for your readers (providing good resources to them), but let’s say you create a blog post promoting someone you’re competing with in a positive manner.
They may very well link to your blog post to their own readers. It’s like their way of saying, “See? I’m considered an expert even by my competitors!” (Only in a non arrogant way).
When someone is sent to your support of another marketer they already trust and respect, then you instantly become someone worth looking into as well. It’s like leveraging another person’s list – if you want to look at it selfishly.
Don’t Support Just Anyone
That brings us to making sure you don’t damage your branding potential here. You have to be careful about who you link to. There’s no willy-nilly supporting going on here – you want to promote like-minded marketers.
Going to ClickBank and just doing a search for hot gravity products and people to promote is dangerous. You have to conduct some research and become a fellow fan before you stick your neck out for this person.
If you’re totally unfamiliar with someone in your niche, then start digging. Start signing up to lists (use a special email for this). Start buying a few products to gauge quality.
Make a list of what you like about the people you’re investigating. Look at things like:
- How they communicate with their subscribers.
If they spam their subscribers, that’s not a good sign. People will blame you if they sign up to that person’s list and then receive a flood of spammy emails.
- How they interact with their readers on their blog.
I see many blogs where the blog owner posts a blog post, gets comments from their readers but never reply to any of them. I find it rather odd, and almost rude.
- How much they care to keep current with their niche information.
I love fellow marketers who always have an ear to the ground about what’s happening in their niche. That goes for any niche I’m pursuing or needing information on myself.
- How good the quality of their paid products is.
Quality counts. Even if you’re supporting a competitor by linking to one of their freebies, you should still get familiar with their paid products because we all know that’s where the freebie is eventually leading.
- How well they respond to customer service needs or inquiries.
Sometimes it pays just to send a question in. Kind of like putting a note in a bottle in the ocean, you want to see if it gets found, read and responded to by that fellow marketer. I like supporting people who care about their readers – and that means answering emails.
- How careful they are about people they promote.
What’s that saying about lying with dogs and getting fleas? Well basically, what it means is if they promote shady characters, you have to examine why they do that carefully.
Now I know I promote someone several people have questioned me about – Kelly Felix. But I was questioning him before anyone even questioned me. I gave this guy a second chance to show me he was a quality marketer and he did it – Bring the Fresh was good information, it worked, and I saw evidence of him personally handling his customer service business. People can have second chances with you.
These are all things I personally watch for whenever I want to consider mentioning someone to my own readers. You may have different criteria, and it might even be specific.
For example, if you’re in the health niche, you might have a firm policy against promoting anyone who recommended something you deemed an unhealthy diet practice – something bordering on dangerous.
Ways to Support Your Competition
There are many avenues where you can pour out your support for a person who generally competes with you. That would be a blog, in a forum post, or through your own email autoresponder system.
But what kind of things can you say about your competitor – someone you’ve been trained to hate and CRUSH all this time?
Here are some ways I like to support my competition:
- Tell Others About Their Rare Ethics
- Share My Amazement at the Quality of Their Products
- Offer Commentary About the Cool Personality of My Competitor
- Envy the Expertise My Competition Possesses
I like to do a mix of this, and it’s something that comes naturally to me. Whenever I feel this way about someone who happens to also be in the marketing niche, I just share it with my readers.
But the reason I wanted to make this part of the official branding challenge is because I know what other people are learning – they’re learning ways to battle with competitors and steal traffic.
That’s so wrong. This world of the Internet is about sharing and labeling quality, not stomping the heck out of each other so that we bury all of the good information in a niche.
If you’re the kind of leader I hope you are – the kind who got into his or her niche because they wanted to change lives – then I know you’re going to start building up the “go to” resources for your own followers – even if that means you may not profit directly from it.
What Others Are Saying