Banish Your 'Comparisonitis' And Bring The Joy Back To Your Business

The internet is a crowded place to be these days, so if you are a business owner feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of competition in your market, or you’re struggling to feel as though you stand out against the swathes of competition that you see every time you log into Instagram, then you might be suffering from a bout of the dreaded comparisonitis.

But do you want to know something pretty cool? I have a cure, and I’m going to share it with you so that you can banish this condition from your life and to get your business mojo back. You see, what I’ve learned during the past 6 years as a people photographer is that it really doesn’t matter how crowded your market is, there is more than enough room for everyone to budge up and make room for eachother. All you have to do is make sure you are really clear in your mind what your specific area of specialism is compared to everyone else’s, and then get really good at talking about it. Simple, right? Here are my top 5 tips for ridding yourself of comparisonitis aka the thief of all joy, and getting happy with your place in the market:

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1, If you’re in a crowded market, don’t lament this, feel really positive about it! It means there’s strong demand for what you’re offering, which is definitely a good thing to know. The more the merrier is my approach.

2, Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business a while, the MOST important thing is to nail down your niche and own your space. If you’re a wedding photographer, don’t be just another “wedding photographer”, be super clear about the one thing you do better than anyone else: what can you do that no-one else can? How do you approach your work and how is this unique? This could be something you are especially great at, something you love more than anything else or something you always get amazing feedback on. Whatever it is, know it, show it, talk about it, repeat it.

3, When you have your niche clearly defined, think about who specifically you want to work with and how those people are going to find you. Are you putting yourself out there enough? Are you visible in the right places for the people you want to work with to see you? When is the last time you shouted from the rooftops what exactly it is that you do and made it really clear for people to understand? If you are not doing this, you are waiting for ideal clients to drop into your lap, which doesn’t happen all that often, more’s the pity. There are so many ways to communicate with your audience, from various social media platforms to face to face networking, to blog posts and guest speaking on podcasts. Whatever your preference, get out there and talk about what you do and who you do it for!

4, Do you have a proper content strategy regarding the material you put out on your blog and social media? Are you helping your ideal clients with handy hints and tips that might help them or appeal to them in some way? Having a few really clear messages that you repeat over and over will help your audience know exactly what you do, so don’t be afraid to keep to key themes. This approach is infinitely better than worrying about what other people in your field are posting, or why they are posting it: it’s highly likely that their ideal client isn’t the same as yours in any case.

5, Community over competition all the way: this is my favourite thing about Instagram and other social media platforms! The fact that we have the opportunity to show support for fellow professionals, be happy for them when they succeed and share in their positivity is something we should all be grateful for! If others are achieving things you want to do, there’s no reason why you can’t too, so be inspired by others, not demoralised! If you have a specific goal you’re working towards, make sure you do everything you can do make that happen and don’t worry a jot about what other people are / aren’t doing. If it doesn’t make you feel good to look, don’t look!

So there we have it, my 5 top tips for staying in your own lane. I hope this helps bring clarity to where you fit into your market, and encourages anyone and everyone to get super comfortable talking about what you do. We are all different and bring our own unique qualities and experience to the party, so celebrate what makes you different from the rest and then go ahead and celebrate your peers for their own special qualities too. Supporting others in your industry will give you all the feel-good vibes and helps you to build a community where you can share experiences and learn from each other. The perfect antidote to the comparison game, don’t you think?

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Sara Dalrymple is a London headshot photographer for creative businesses who want to stand out online and attract more ideal clients. Specialising in putting even the most camera shy subjects at ease she creates fresh, personality-filled headshots that are all about boosting your confidence and growing your online presence.