Steal From The Very Best! – Show #8

In your industry there are some key players – the big dog so to speak, the business that everyone else is gunning for or trying to emulate.  This can be either in your local market or maybe nationally.  For business software it’s Microsoft.  I don’t know who it is for your business niche but you do.  It’s the business name that comes to mind when you analyze your results each year and need something to compare.

I can guarantee when you go to trade shows, user group meetings, marketing seminars, etc.  they always bring in someone from one of those key players or maybe a consultant inside your industry that is working with a key player.  It makes it easy for them to relate to business owners in your niche and you get a few ideas you can copy and implement without too much creativity or innovative thought.

Here’s the problem – the ideas you get from them are at best hand me downs.  Probably ones they used over the last couple years that are past their prime.  Even if they are current – by the time you implement them in your business the key players have moved on and are implementing their next innovation.

If you’re like me you don’t really want to always settle for being second or third place behind the key player – you want to leapfrog past them and BE the key player.  The only way to do that is to find inspiration and ideas from the absolute best.  Study innovators throughout history both recent and not-so-recent.  I’m a firm believer in the phrase ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’ in that you can learn something from any time period and any business niche and implement it in your own business.  The internet has opened avenues for us that were never before possible.  You can join a discussion forum or community in any market niche and pull ideas from anywhere on the globe.

I talked to a couple large local clients recently who see the huge popularity of youtube and facebook and want to find a way to capitalize.  We looked at a couple of key players in their market to see what they were doing – found some videos with a couple thousand views and facebook pages with several hundred fans.  That’s nice, but not where these guys wanted to be.

Instead, we studied facebook pages with hundreds of thousands of fans and youtube videos with hundreds of thousands of views.

Transfer those ideas into your marketplace and YOU can be the key player.

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