Dayton, OH-based designer, Neil Renicker, of Renicker Studio, regularly sends me links to his latest blog posts so I can choose the most relevant and inspiring for other freelancers. (You are also welcome to send me blog posts for consideration, BTW.)
Here’s an excerpt from the one I like best of his recent batch. It’s a post about how to stop competing and instead use what you learn about your competitors to focus your positioning:
You should be looking at your competitors – but not to mimic them. In fact, you should be doing just the opposite. If your biggest competition has the local market for a certain strength, you should be marketing another strength. Stop “competing”.
If you’re a graphic designer working solo, you’re quickly going to find that you’re one little drop in a vast sea of others just like you. It can be hard to break in – especially to break in to the design world online, where the community is huge and the talent pool is incredibly high.
Your options are to work really hard and try to put out more work on the table than everyone else, try to be better than everyone else, try to blast the world with more of your awesomeness… Or, you could work smarter. You could spend a month thinking about a niche – some pocket of the design world, or some feature of your personality that makes you unique, and stick with that. Stop competing with your designer friends, be OK with their coolness, and own a new position of your own. There’s probably plenty of room for all of you. (Read the entire post here.)
Here are a couple more of Neil’s posts: