Have you heard of the "comparison trap" as it pertains to social media? We have a tendency to compare our lives to what we see in our news feeds. It can quickly turn to jealousy and trying to get what those other people have.
The same can be applied to entrepreneurs. We tend to look at others in our industry and wish we had the same following, the same beautiful web design, the same upbeat personality. But in reality, the goal should be to stand out. Be yourself + find a style that everyone isn't already using.
It's okay to know what your competition is doing, but don't get caught up in following them. The same goes for your industry. Yes, know what's going on in your industry, but don't rely on it.
How will you stand out if your brand and website look like your competition, and you're doing the same thing everyone else is?
Make a list of successful company websites from other industries. What features do you like best? How can you apply these other styles to your business?
This same rule of looking outside your industry applies to finding clients. Don't focus all of your energy on one type of networking.
Take business networking events, for example. They can be good to find referral partners, but it's also important to get out there where your clients are. Will you find them in the yoga studio? Health stores? Local mom groups? Connecting with potential clients in their environment will lead to a more natural relationship.
Also consider social networking vs. in-person or one-on-one networking. Don't focus exclusively on just one of these and ignore the other. Social networking is great for introverts because you can show your personality from the comfort of your own home. But at the same time, those deeper one-on-one connections have a much more meaningful impact.
Your turn! Where have you found your best inspiration? Where or how have you made the best connections?