Come Out on Top of Your Competition

Did you design your blog to fit in perfectly with the rest in your niche? Do you sell similar products, stage your photos a similar way? Stop! You’re analyzing your competition the wrong way. There’s an easier way to come out on top; win against the competition and offer what they can’t- You!

It’s exhausting to “Be Someone Else”.

You’re priming yourself for burnout by trying too hard to fit in. Be real and create what comes naturally. In addition to presenting polished and complete work, you should present work that’s completely you in every way.

The Benefits of Being Yourself:

There are so many benefits that come with putting a little of yourself in everything your business offers:

1. The Struggle Ceases: Workflow is smooth and natural when you’re simply”¦yourself.

2. Your Audience will Come: Being yourself will bring you the right audience.

3. No One Else has it: You’re the unique asset in your art. No one else can offer it.

Inserting the Real You Into Your Business:

Applying yourself to your business is tricky. Of course, there’s some filtering and editing to do, but the result should still bear your signature:

1. Exclude Influences: Make some time to create without influences. Turn off the computer and TV. Work without referencing your favorite websites and magazines.

2. Offer Your Talents: Use your unique talents to make your brand pop and stand out in your niche.

For example, I love drawing comics. I could start a weekly “Adventures in Thrifting” comic on my blog. (Featuring my favorite things: robots and zombies!)

You’re Still a Professional.

Being yourself doesn’t mean getting overly comfortable and releasing inferior work. Continue to distribute quality work that you’re proud of, just make sure you work some of your divine spark in to the mix. The right audience will find your work. They’ll see a little of themselves in it and relate to it. When they do, they’ll be back for more.

Remember: Just being yourself is your ultimate tool for standing out and making your mark, both on the web and in the creative community.

*image Be Yourself

Vanessa wrote this post. She is a full time copywriter and webmarketer with a passion for art, creativity, and thrift. She writes about thrifting, creating, and saving money every weekday on her blog, Thrift Core.

15 comments | Click here to reply

I love this, Brittni! It really made me stop and think. It’s so important to be yourself, especially when you’re trying to stand out in this HUGE world of blogs.

Please Note

So glad you enjoyed Vanessa’s post. I know this advice of “being yourself” gets passed around a lot from blog to blog, but there is a reason for it: IT’S SO TRUE.

Once you are able to free yourself from trying to be someone else (or trying to be better than someone else), you are free to just BE. And that’s where the real good stuff starts to happen.
-Brittni

papernstitch

Thank you so much for reminding me to turn off the rest of the world and to listen to myself for a bit! I feel like I haven’t done that in ages. Can’t wait to get started on work that I really love.
Thank you! 🙂

Rebecca

That’s fantastic Rebecca. Let us know your results.
-Brittni

papernstitch

What a great post! As a start up business owner this can be really hard to remember. I was just telling myself the same thing last night. Don’t try to speak to everyone, you’ll build a better readership and clientele by being yourself. I needed this post today – thanks so much! 🙂

Stephanie

“Don’t try to speak to everyone, you’ll build a better readership and clientele by being yourself.” That is so true Stephanie!
-Brittni

papernstitch

Two words. Love. It.

I can’t tell you how discouraged I get when I see artists imitating another’s work or style. I know there’s that saying going around to “steal like an artist,” and yes, we do find inspiration in a multitude of places, but you can really tell when someone goes the extra mile to make an idea his or her own. It boils down to this–do you want to be a trend-follower and an imitator–or a trend-creator and an innovator?

Mai

Thanks Mai for your thoughtful comment (as always). Yes, I read that Steal Like an Artist article myself as well. And I do agree that we all find inspiration in various places. The tough part to pin down (sometimes) is whether or not something has been copied or is just merely a coincidence, or a product of the times. My buddy Kate and I have been talking about this quite a bit lately, and we are planning on exploring this topic on our blogs in the future.

By the way, I really like the question you are posing…Do you want to be a trend-follower and an imitator–or a trend-creator and an innovator?

Something everyone should ask themselves before sitting down at the workbench.

-Brittni

papernstitch

Thanks for your insights and response Brittni. There’s no shame in borrowing ideas and allowing yourself to be inspired by what we see others doing–because hey, no one really lives in a bubble. But I think those inspirations should be the jumping board for further development on our part.

The fact is, if we want to stay relevant to our market and sensitive to what people are “into,” then a study of the current trends is a must. But I think there are always ways to “personalize” a trend. And you’re right…it IS tricky to make the distinction between trendy products of the times and coincidental “copies.” This will happen, and I suppose it’s really not the end of the world if it does. :o)

Mai

This is such an excellent post! And I definitely agree that sometimes it is difficult to tell when things are really being copied or if it is merely a coincidence/product of the times. I have a friend who is wrongly being accused of being a copycat and that is no fun either. She is pretty much stalked by the person who thinks they are being copied and has had some really nasty things said about her unfairly. I look forward to reading your future blogs on this subject 🙂

Lynn

Vanessa, what an awesome post! I think sometimes we really forget that the best thing about people is that everyone has a different story and a different take on life. Let’s keep using our own personalities to make the world a more interesting place, rather than blending every one together!

P.S.
I would love to see a robot/zombie/thrifting comic. 🙂

Crystal

Whenever I sit down to create something I remind myself that if I love it what I make, other people will love it too. That’s how I think about “putting myself” in my business. Great topic!

Melanie

This was a great post. Sometimes there is so much pressure to be successful especially when you are starting out. It’s nice to be able to to what I love, but in the back of my mind there’s a nagging voice saying,”but this passion of yours has got to pay the bills too.”

So I look to what other successful people are doing and think that if I do something similar to what they’re doing maybe I’ll have the same success as them and that’s just not so. They most likely got to where they are for being themselves and doing their own thing. I find it difficult at first to do that because I’m putting myself out there and when at first I don’t get the response I was hoping for from my customers, I take it personally.

But I’ve learned to have confidence in my designs, to “turn off the noise” and to listen to what my intuition is telling me, to be patient, and to keep following the beat of my own drums. And now we’re getting a great response to our collections.

Tabassum

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Thanks for this post, very helpful information, I’m going to apply it to my blogs

Jill Casey
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