When was the last time you spent a fistful of money on clothes at the mall?
Prices are ridiculous there nowadays but I went anyway. See, I had a couple gift certificates for the local mall from last Christmas, and my recent birthday, so I decided to combine them and go on a spree.
I’m a guy but I’d like to think I have some fashion sense. But when you’re in a store do you ever study the mannequins all dressed up in something snazzy?
You get all charged up and when you try on that exact ensemble have you just looked like a mess? Sometimes I try to mimic their outfits and I look like I’m trying too hard to be something I’m not.
It doesn’t work for me.
Tools for THEIR business…
…May not work for yours. Let me explain. Just as clothes and shoes fit everyone differently (ah..isn’t being unique the spice of life?), business strategies, tools, and practices have different effects in all markets.
Advertising on Facebook may work great for “them” but not you.
Having a Facebook Page may convert Likes into opt-ins and sales like crazy for “them” but it falls flat for you.
That killer copy or sales page that works for so-and-so was an epic fail as a template for your product.
- Each product, service, and seller environment is different
- Target audiences differ and where they shop and how/why they buy differ
- Selling in a voice not your own can alienate your audience and diminish trust and sales
- When you mimic another business you bend and warp your content and imagery to match an image you didn’t create. Your authenticity takes a hit here.
Tools for your business
It isn’t about abandoning all the business ideas you have to chase the guru advice of someone else.
It isn’t about ignoring those who have had success in similar markets with similar products.
It’s about striking a balance between your genuine voice and processes and exercising discretion when importing small (but proven) elements from others’ strategies into your business.
What works for you
Finally, what works for you won’t necessarily work for others. Quality business strategies are rarely one size fits all. There have been plenty of times I’ve tried using a page layout, similar wording online or tried an offline venture to earn some side money that didn’t pan out.
When it didn’t work out, I brushed off and kept moving.
The things you do try: test, test, test. Count on trial and error rather than miracle formulas or cut and paste instructions that “look good” when and where you saw them.
Just remember my lousy experience trying to model after mannequins
Have you tried something another successful business owner was doing only to have lackluster results? Ever try to copy a sales letter, pricing or advertisement that you swore should have worked but didn’t?