November 22, 2022 · 2 min read

Don't follow your competitors, follow your customers

It was a huge mistake. I checked too often what my competitors were doing. It made me both nervous and pleased.

I saw how one of the competitors started copying my content marketing strategy and I was melancholic. I was crushed.

Their site is already ranked well in search results. It means I can never beat them with whatever I do. They can copy everything and always stay first.

But no, that’s not how it works. I already have small SEO wins and outranked highly established sites by critical keywords in my niche.

ScreenshotOne.com is featured as a snippet in Google search results

So, it is just another obstacle. I am not afraid. It will be more challenging—yes. But you know what?

It made me optimistic because I realized they had already lost the battle. They have larger budgets and started to copy. But I love what I do, and they can’t copy my feelings and sift them through the product.

Now, not them, but I am on their radar. And they should be nervous or not. I don’t care.

Copycats are a bonus. Be grateful

There is nothing right or wrong with copying my product and what I am doing. Yes, I genuinely believe it. I encourage anybody who wants to go and copy my product, landing page, content, marketing strategy and everything I do. Feel free to ask any questions on the way. I would love to help.

But I bet it won’t work.

Because you don’t know why I do what I do, what my plans and what happens behind the scenes. Why did I build this feature and write this message? And not only do you not know why, but I also don’t know what I am doing.

The copycat will help me as a kind of A/B test—observing potential customer reactions. In addition to that, I can show it as an example of my flourishing product.

Copycats are free marketing. I would be grateful.

Unconscious copying is your enemy

Checking competing products too often might force you to copy them unconsciously. That’s how you build a copycat, even if you do not realize this.

You might even notice how you start applying the same copywriting patterns and adding the same features. And if you do so, what is the difference between you and your competitor? Why should a potential customer choose your obscure version of the competitor’s product?

At the early stage of the product, when you research the market and the niche you have chosen, it is necessary to evaluate your competitors and define your positioning.

But, at a later stage, should you? And if so, who should you follow?

Cliché, but follow your customers

Once you have your first paying customers, you have the most powerful leverage in the world.

Listen to them. Talk to them. Dive deep into their business and understand why they bought your product.

What were the alternatives? And how can you help them?

Following your customers will not only help you build a great product and beat competitors, but you will also make new friends and build strong relationships.

There is no better strategy to create a great product than listening to your customers. If you know one, share it with me, please.

Don’t follow your competitors. Follow your customers.