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Why is my competition getting more press than me?

Stop scrolling through your competitor’s highlight reel. Photo by  Bruno Gomiero  on  Unsplash

Stop scrolling through your competitor’s highlight reel. Photo by Bruno Gomiero on Unsplash

Do you ever go to someone’s social media profile just to “see what’s going on in their lives”? Do you end up spiralling six months deep into their feed, picking apart comments from people you don’t know and looking for subtleties that don’t exist? 

Internet stalking your competitor (or your ex or that mean girl from high school) can only lead to tears and frustration. 

When you see your competitor getting more press attention and recognition, it feels like it’s a personal attack on you, your hard work and your very good product or service. 

You work just as hard as they do, so why don’t you get the same recognition?

There are many reasons why your competition is getting more press than you. But guess what? Not a single one of them has anything to do with you. 

There are two common reasons that someone might be getting more press than you. I want to share them with you so that you stop stalking their Insta, stop comparing yourself to them, realize how amazing YOU are and get back to work!

1. Your competitor has more money than you

Do you know your competitor’s financial background? Probably not. Who knows if they have family money or a ton of savings, all of which could go towards buying sponsored content and hiring expensive PR firms.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. There is TONS of sponsored content that brands and competitors buy into instead of earning coverage. It’s meant to look exactly like a  publication has featured your competitor’s business, when in fact your competition has paid them to do that. 

If you look closely at the top of articles, you’ll see that many are labeled “sponsored,” “partner” or “collab” in tiny letters. So all that “amazing” publicity your competitor gets may actually be paid coverage (no shame in doing so, by the way, but it does require cash).

If your competitor has a lot of money (like I'm talking CASH), they can also pay an expensive PR firm that has incredible connections to get them into publications like Vogue and GQ. For instance, Warby Parker paid a PR firm $10,000 to do just this.

If you don’t have this kind of cash, don’t worry. You can still attain great PR (plug: I don’t typically charge $10,000), but it may just come at a slower pace. 

Do you have a great social media team already? Work with them to garner more attention. Do you have an extra $5,000 to try out PR and see what happens? Find a great PR person. Focus on what you have now and leverage the hell out of it instead of wishing you had $10,000 to pay that Warby Parker PR firm.

2.       Your competitor’s story is really good

Everyone has a good story about why they started their business, but most people are bad at telling it. It’s possible that your competitor has worked super hard to refine and tell a great story that people (and the media) want to hear over and over and over again.

Work on your story. If you need external help and have the cash, hire a brand strategist or PR professional to help you figure out what your story is and how to tell it to your audience.

But ultimately, good storytelling requires constant practice and time. Tell your story to your friends and family. Ask them about their favourite part of your origin story. Pay attention to when people laugh, cry or gasp during your story to pick out the best parts. Ask for feedback. Figure out what is most compelling and different about your story. 

Bottom line: stop caring about your competitor. You matter. Not them.

What kind of recognition and attention do you want for your business? Comment below and I’ll reply with a tip on how to potentially get that?

Sabina Wex