You want your business to grow so you keep your nose to the grindstone and focus. You tune out your “competition,” except when you’re trying to do everything bigger and better than them. And when you see your biggest competitor post something amazing on their blog, you scowl and wish you’d thought of it first.
Yeah, I think we’ve all been there at some point. I hate to admit it, but I have. We get so focused on success that we forget to connect with others around us—especially those who we see as our competition.
But in reality, growing our list of connections is much more beneficial than trying to outdo or outgrow our so-called competitors. Here are some of the things that start to happen when we start mingling with the competition:
Learn something new
Working in our own little online worlds and home offices, there’s no water cooler to connect at. We don’t have coworkers in our departments to bounce ideas off of. But when you start building connections with people who are in the same industry as you or who serve similar clients, we start to grow as business owners and learn new things.
As a copywriter and content strategist, I’ve learned so much from others in my industry—those who are way ahead of where I am right now and those who are just starting out. There’s no limit to the knowledge, except inside your own head.
[bctt tweet=”There’s so much you can learn from working with your competition. Find out how!” username=””]
Find someone better suited for certain projects
We’re not all ideal fits for every project. Sometimes a project is outside our zone of genius or we just don’t have space on our calendars at the moment. Because I spend time networking with other copywriters and strategists, I’m able to refer people to someone better suited for a project or a timeline.
Years ago, while I was still working full time, I reached out to a fellow copywriter to ask her advice about how to grow my business. I never thought I’d hear back from her, but I did! Now we refer work to one another from time to time because while we do the same thing, we have much different styles and project preferences.
Expand your network
Being part of a community of like-minded individuals will expand your network of other business owners you talk to. And growing your sphere of influence is never a bad thing. You can learn about new projects and opportunities and even grow out your own micro-communities of professionals who you connect with and turn to in business. I’ve even grown out my network to receive referrals from “someone who knew someone.” It’s a great position to be in!
[bctt tweet=”Getting to know others in your industry is one of the best ways to grow your #smallbiz network.” username=””]
Collaboration is a great way to grow your email list and to gain exposure to new audiences. It’s also a great way to learn about someone else’s strategies and workflows. Joint webinars, giveaways and online summits with others in your industry are a great way to collaborate and grow. Hosting guest bloggers on your website (and writing them for others) is also perfect for connecting with other business owners in your industry and beyond.
I host a guest blog every Thursday and have connected with some amazing women this year. And a number of those bloggers offer very similar services to their clients. But I don’t mind, especially since most of them are preaching the same ideas that I do! More proof that we’re all on the right path!
What are your favorite ways to mingle with your competition? I’d love to know what’s become of your relationships!
Want to get started with guest blogging? Grab my guest blogging checklist here to start on the right foot!