Holly Chantal

Monkey See, Monkey Do: Why You Shouldn’t Always Watch Your Competition

Have you ever noticed when you’re out to eat with a large group of people, if one person takes a sip of their drink, the majority of the group will as well?

It happens unconsciously, you most likely don’t even notice picking up your drink yet your brain grabs onto the power of suggestion and tells you you’re thirsty too. Monkey see, monkey do.

While this seems pretty insignificant when it comes to sipping your cocktail (unless you find yourself toe to toe with Charlie Sheen) this power of suggestion can have a real impact on your business.

When you see what your competitors (or colleagues) are up to – it’s tempting to follow suit.

You begin to think things like: “Well if it’s working for them, maybe I should do it too” or “They seem to have it so much more together than I do, I need to keep up.”

Here’s the thing though: Looks can be deceiving.

Just because someone looks or sounds successful does not necessarily mean that is the case. Plus, in most scenarios doing something because “all the cool kids are doing it” isn’t a very good reason to jump on the bandwagon. *wink*

When it comes to your next move, you will be better served if you turn our attention inward.

Does this strategy make sense for your business? Does it fit with your personality and strengths (or will you be a fish out of water)? Is it appropriate for your stage of business? Do you get excited when you think about moving forward?

With a little introspection your gut will tell you if you’re on the right track or not.

Does that mean you shouldn’t pay attention to what others are doing?

Absolutely not, of course you want to keep up with what’s going on in your industry and the next up and coming marketing strategies in order to stay competitive. Just make sure you’re picking and choosing the strategies that fall within your genius (or you have a team that can implement for you) and that it’s appropriate for YOUR business and YOUR target audience.

A perfect example is Jan, who I met at a networking event recently.

As everyone was talking about their business, the topic of Facebook Live came up and how everyone was using it – except Jan.

Jan immediately said “I know I should be doing Facebook Live, but I’m just not really sure how”. To which everyone chimed in and said that all she needed was her phone (Jan as a flip-phone believe it or not), and that they all thought it would be PERFECT for her.

They told her she shouldn’t be afraid, it was so easy! She would be great on camera! Video builds trust so quickly, everyone will love getting to know her online!

With all of this resounding support for Jan getting a new phone and diving headfirst into Facebook, Jan began to get nervous and I could tell that it was not something she was at all comfortable with.

After everyone was done talking, I pulled Jan aside and asked her about her business and who her target audience was. Turns out – she’s partnering with nursing homes and retirement communities and helping their occupants stay mobile.

Totally screams Facebook right? NOT.

As we talked it became immediately apparent that her audience is not even on Facebook and so would never see her on Facebook Live.

Her sense of relief was visible, and she felt so much better that marketing herself on video was not something she “should” be doing and she could stay focused on what was actually working for her.

Jan’s not alone. Monkey see, monkey do is a real mojo killer for many online business owners.

When it comes to marketing your business – don’t just jump on the bandwagon with what you see others doing. Blaze your own trail by focusing on the strategies that feel right, that get you excited, and that actually make sense for you!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *