There’s an old saying when it comes to competitor analysis: Average people learn from their mistakes, but smart people learn from other people’s mistakes.
Many DJ business owners have taken this advice, and therefore look at the competition not with jealousy, but as a way to learn and improve upon what they’re doing.
Do your competitors make you better? If so, how do they make you better? Any sober analysis would suggest that, at one time or another in the life of your mobile-DJ business, you’ve at least reacted to something a competitor has done. Maybe it was uplighting, or, more likely, a game or a dance that you saw them perform that you knew would be great for your own program. You didn’t invent the photo booth, right?
Look at the competition not with jealousy, but as a way to learn and improve upon what they’re doing.
The point is, you can learn an awful lot from your competitors. Here are some ways you can take advantage of their experience.
- Writing website copy that connects: Peruse your competitors’ websites and look for web copy that connects with the audience—meaning, pay attention to copy that doesn’t talk too much about the DJ’s own service, but, rather, the needs of the customers. Look for the words “you” and “your.”
Take a screen shot of these pages and set up a Pinterest board of website copy that stands out. Read it and re-read it, and eventually you’ll absorb the subtle selling techniques that others are using. Then update your own website copy to reflect it. If done correctly, you’ll have customers who pre-select themselves rather than you having to sell them.
2. Clean up your branding. At certain price points, you’ll see DJs with one thing in common: they don’t use stock photos. By improving the visual brand of your website and using real photos, people will begin to see a reflection of themselves on your site. DJs that have done this have realized an uptick in subscribers to their list, a spike in requests for consultation calls, and, ultimately, more customers. We all know that DJ who, during his early career, had a generic landing page and did not convert one lead into a customer. Don’t be that DJ forever!
At certain price points, you’ll see DJs with one thing in common: they don’t use stock photos.
3. Choose a competitor who’s doing Facebook brilliantly, and visit the pages of their audience and create an ad campaign that mirrors theirs. Pay attention to visuals and the tone of posts.
4. Get on your competitors’ mailing lists—not to copy what they do, but to learn the psychology behind the copywriting, sales copy, the value proposition of their services, the benefits their services bring to their customers. If you’re not comfortable using your own e-mail address, create a generic email account. The goal isn’t to compete on price, but to determine the level, quality and depth of relationship they have with their prospects.
5. Read their blog posts, then add you own voice, personality and experience to the mix. It’s not plagiarism, by the way, but creative sharing.
6. Create a list on Facebook; keep it private if you prefer. Put your competitors in this list and daily look at what they’re posting. Many times it will correspond to what you’ll see in the emails, but it’ll keep your finger on the pulse of what they’re doing.
Read More: Is your website destroying your DJ business?
7. Put your competitors on a Twitter list and watch how they tweet, and, more importantly, how the market responds. What’s being retweeted, replied to or favorited? This is called social listening, and you can learn much by doing this. Next, search your competitors’ names without the Twitter handle. This is a way to see if they’re the object of customer complaints—they’re not answering the customer or prospect’s questions, for example. It’s unlikely by tweeting at these complainers you’ll get their business (they might complain no matter who their DJ is), but it’s a good way to keep presence of mind of what not to do.
8. Look who’s coming up in the search results of Google for the keywords you think your customers use. Better yet, put your competitor’s URL into Buzzsumo.com and find out what keywords they’re winning at. Then put those keywords into KeywordTool.IO to generate some variations on those keywords that you might be able to compete for.
Put your competitor’s URL into Buzzsumo.com and find out what keywords they’re winning at.
9. Go to SemRush.com and perform an audit of your competitors’ digital marketing to find gaps in your own. Put their URL in and look at how they do SEO and Adwords. There are backlink checkers that will help you find out all the websites that have linked to your competitors. These can be leads for you to ask for a link to your own site.
10. To see how your competitors do PR, look for their press mentions, either on their own website, or from Google News searching their name. Set up a Google Alert with your competitors’ names. With the outlets they appear in, you should probably be there, too.
11. Remember, none of these tactics are meant to dissuade you from innovating. Just recognize that your competitor may have thought of things you haven’t, and that they often lay a lot of groundwork for you to be better at what you do.
12. If you’re doing any sort of e-commerce, selling party supplies, for example, you can monitor the sales and marketing of competitors using RankTracer Enterprise. With this tool, you can receive alerts when there’s a spike in your competitors’ sales (in real-time). You can then access research tools that help you work out what marketing and promotions those competitors used to drive sales.
13. Of course, the DJ industry is fortunate because it’s so localized. Sharing of ideas, games, and dances has been ingrained into the DNA of many DJs, who get frequent chances to exercise this at the DJ Expo every year (set for Aug. 10-13 2020 in Atlantic City, N.J.). There are also plenty of Facebook groups that encourage learning. No need to snoop and connive when it comes to competitor analysis —just ask!
This competitor analysis post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated.