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This is Day 6 of 31 Days to Start a Freelancing Business (or Make Yours a Better One). Click here to read Day 1.
Today’s task is easy and might even be amusing: scoping out your competitors.
The one thing you should watch out for is getting intimidated, to the point that you decide you’re not good enough to get payment for your work. Get that out of your system right now, ok?
How to Find Your Competitors
Where are your competitors? Here are some easy ways to find them:
- Google (you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?)
- Twitter. Go to search.twitter.com and type in your industry or service or even the name of a specific person.
- Industry forums. Keep your eyes open for service providers forum participants recommend.
- Your target clients. Ask them whom they hire for specific services. They’re usually responsive on Twitter.
- Elance. Search your industry keyword and find out which Elance service providers have earned the most in the past 6 months or so.
What You Want to Know
Now that you have a small list of possible competitors, look at their professional websites. You’ll want to find out:
- what services they offer
- how much they charge
- who their clients are (look at their testimonials or feedback page)
You’ll also want to make note of:
- how well they present and market themselves (do they appear to be professional?)
- what their unique selling proposition is (what makes them stand out from others?)
- what your target clients want which your competitors don’t address
- where they get their clients (this may not always be obvious; don’t sweat it)
Basically, you want to find out how you can do better than your competitors – in terms of the services you offer, your pricing, and your work ethics.
You’re not trying to do what they’re doing; you’re going to distinguish yourself from them. Make a bullet list of how you can (and will) be better than your competitors.
All done? Post a comment below then take a break (another slice of apple pie?). You deserve it.
photo credit: -miguelito-