“I can’t put my best work on my website – I don’t want my competition finding out what I’m doing and copy me.”
“I don’t want to go into that niche of photography – there’s too much competition and I could never make any money at it.”
While it is fair to say that your competition can make things a bit more difficult for you, competition itself isn’t the real challenge. The challenge comes from trying to distinguish yourself from your competition, and offering something that no one else can. Competition in itself is a good thing. And if you learn how to view your competition in a slightly different way, you’ll see how you can use your competition to grow your business.
1. Lots of competition means there is more opportunity.
When you decide to open up your photography business, if you can look around your community and find other photographers to model, that’s a good thing. Don’t look for the photographers struggling to survive; instead look for good role models that are making a healthy living at it. If there are 25 wedding photographers in your community all making a full time living at it, that means there is enough business to go around.
2. More competition means more recognition.
Imagine if you came up with an entirely new concept – something no one had ever heard of before. It may seem like a great idea to move forward with it. But in reality, your potential customers will have to be educated on it before they know they need your products/services. If a customer already knows the idea exists, they simply have to go out and find the business that meets their desires and demands. If you have a slight twist to an old niche, you’ll stand out from the crowd.
3. More competition means more role models.
Thanks to the Internet, you can learn from others like never before. You can visit other sites, read information and watch videos, and learn via phone or live seminars everything you need to know about becoming a better photographer. Don’t copy others. Instead, find inspiration in what they do and use it to better yourself along the way.
4. More opportunities to build your reputation.
If you are in a small community of 10,000 people, you have limited resources to showing your community how good you are at photography. You might have a newspaper or two, a few community magazines, a radio and television station, and a few charity possibilities each year. But thanks to the online world, you can grow your reputation around the world. Even if you want to stay local, you’ll be looked at as a solid business owner if you start gaining national and international recognition.
5. More competition forces you to be the best you can be.
If you are constantly being compared with others, it forces you to do the same. Competition helps you become more creative, and forces you to make decisions that will set you apart on a regular basis. There is no growing complacent with competition around, or you’ll quickly find yourself at the bottom of the heap. Instead, follow and network with your competition regularly to sharpen your skills and be the best you can be.