How Market Leaders are Made
In the era of winner take all, market leadership is an important topic. So why then do 99% of Realtors, software entrepreneurs, ecommerce business owners, service companies and others not become market leaders?
And market leadership can mean a variety of things to different CEOs or business owners — sales, service, authority, trust, visibility, marketshare, etc. Online it means a strong brand, lots of traffic, engaging content, and a good sales conversion process (content funnel).
There are 3 reasons for failure to become a market leader:
- a belief you don’t have the skills, funding, or worthiness to lead the market
- a belief that market leadership isn’t important
- a lack of sincere belief in your unique value offer
Get Over the Hurdles
Excellent executives work to optimize their companies. That’s a given today. But they don’t stop there. They work to overcome challenges to become the very best.
If you believe that market leadership offers poor benefits, that you can’t deliver the winning UVP, and that the marketing and financial resources will never arrive, you must change your attitude.
Obviously, the actual market leaders got past these hurdles. In real estate for instance, you hear plenty about the top sales people who dominate. Look back at their career and you’ll find their humble beginnings. Sure they bumbled along, but that doesn’t mean you have to stumble through as well. You can do it better. It all starts with a good attitude.
Market leadership starts with you. You decide where you want to go. From then on, it comes down to strategy. With strategy, your UVP and execution will be elevated beyond that of your competitors. Since business is marketing, it’s your marketing strategy that positions you as the next market leader.
Acceleration is Vital
No matter what you have to offer clients/customers right now, you will arrive at a point you’ll feel good about. How about getting to that point of confidence fast?
Speed and acceleration is the key. Whoever continuously learns fastest about the market and what customers want, how to deliver more value, will be able to produce better engagement, trust, loyalty and sales growth via their online content.
You can achieve market leadership. You only need to let yourself be open to it and let it take its natural, fast course. Yes, nature is fast. The speed of your ascent is determined by desire and willingness, open-mindedness, talent, strategy, money and resources.
It’s also determined by your marketing effort and your willingness to go all out to make marketing your ultimate weapon. Your marketing strategy creates your sales future. To build market leadership, you’ll need digital assets in the form of great content and excellent search engine optimization, persistent visibility, engagement and events, paid advertising, a wonderful website experience, along with digital analytics tools that help you learn and optimize performance.
Market Leaders build their campaigns on an insightful Digital Marketing Audit
Competing is for Losers
It sounds like a cruel statement, however competing un-differentiates you, tires you out, and makes you mediocre, related to the competition. Positioning and building leadership makes you unique — unrelated to your competition. It’s the differences that matter.
Consider Elon Musk. Is there anyone like him and his company? Does he let anything stop him? Consider his humble beginnings in South Africa, Toronto, and onto California. He had market leader on his mind all the time.
In this video below, listen to Elon Musk’s former business partner Peter Thiel, speaking at Stanford University on the competing topic. Interestingly, Thiel himself criticized Elon Musk for being “inimitable” and too hard to copy, which is precisely why Musk is a leader — he has no competitors.
A Personalized, Relevant, Unique Value Proposition Wins
The ultimate goal is to create a leading and unique brand that no longer has to compete, as in Google, Facebook, or Amazon. To keep the iconic leader status and unique brand, you need to be good in your niche whether real estate, travel and hotels, sports, online services, or consumer tech. Iconic brands have learned how to position precisely to market demand. Big visibility and laser focus on inimitable value: that’s why they’re tops.
2 things come to mind to create market leader status: creativity and tools.
Creativity means you’ve got an open mind to achieve leader status via whatever path is possible. Tools means you can read customer’s minds and then position your value proposition so they won’t even think there is an alternative. This is how Google does it.
When you think of social media, Facebook comes to mind, and when you search online, only Google comes to mind, and when you think of buying something online, Amazon comes to mind. When you think electric cars, Tesla comes to mind.
On the other hand, Netflix has been slow to innovate, and hasn’t kept its service unique or unparalleled. Most consumers think of it as the only cheap entertainment source during the pandemic. But when the pandemic ends, Netflix stock will plummet.
Is their content creative? Not really. They just made entertainment available. Apple came along with a $5.00 service and subscribers switched right away, without even knowing what Apple was offering in its new online streaming service.
Acceleration is an Advantage in Itself
It often takes years and excellence to be the market leader, but you don’t have that much time. Which means you’ll take the express route to market leadership. There is no rule that you must go slow, that’s just myth.
Just as startups use an accelerator process with funding and management consulting to go from conception to launch very fast, you can do this on a short timeline. Developing quicker reduces costs, maintains staff, keeps you focused on key priorities and reduces the chance of failure.
First Mover and Acceleration
Think about acceleration for a moment. It presumes that you have a destination and you can go as fast as nature will let you. It’s the freedom, willingness, and intent to get there faster. And getting there first brings a lot of first mover advantages.
Some startup entrepreneurs say they wouldn’t even try outside an accelerator. So then is acceleration the key to becoming market leader? Consider how your sales efforts would improve if you learned faster and deeper about your customers. Yes, AI marketing tools can help you find the knowledge that’s holding you back right now.
Given the rate of business failure, there’s no time to waste to achieve market leadership.
Reduce Time to Market Leadership
One AI marketing firm with a very unique product for Realtors got their product up and running in less than 2 years including venture capital financing.
If you don’t have the capital for rapid development, there are other things you can do to accelerate time to market leadership.
They’re on their way to market leadership, and perhaps even new markets. However, will they fail to sustain? There’s no doubt they have an extensive detailed business plan for their investors, but do they have the strategy that incorporates the 13 factors below?
We’ll find out in the years ahead. I’d like to think your market leadership will involve an AI marketing solution and creative content and SEO. It’s essential to be the best at marketing and promotion.
A 4 Step Process
A quick general process to market leadership would include:
- describe your unique, differentiated UVP and how and why it is better than your relevant competition (positioning)
- identify your target customer and how you’re going to reach them (digital channels)
- describe how content is going to get your message drilled into your audience (messages, content, persistence)
- describe how you’ll move them from awareness to purchase (lead funnel optimization)
Right now, you may have some market share, and a desire to speed sales up. You might have a recognized product or brand. Or you may be last in the market.
The point is, you need to believe market leadership is possible. You don’t know how you’re going to do, but now you’re believing you could do it, and that gives you the courage to plow ahead into the unknown scrambling over all hurdles.
Smart entrepreneurs can get weighed down at this point, because just as they dream of leadership, all the limitations and challenges come to mind too. It’s at this point you need to develop a habit of focusing on your strengths, audacity, optimism, and somehow through a miracle this will happen.
Some call it faith in oneself. Others call it focus, while some call it commitment. Barriers and negative feelings are going to pop up and try to snuff out your forward movement. But filled with desire, commitment to yourself, and the knowledge there is a path, you will succeed.
Strategy is the path to your goal. Everyone can walk that road, and you’ll get there as fast as you’ll give yourself permission to. That journey could be quicker than you imagine, so be your own startup accelerator.
13 Key Market Leader Power Builders
- feed and build your desire to be the market leader – business people don’t fail because they don’t have experience, connections, time, a process, money, resources, talent, and opportunity. They fail or underperform because of a lack of desire, motivation, or passion or whatever you might call it. You have to plant and tend that garden and grow desire, even if it makes you anxious.
- understand your market better than anyone else – if you can’t get data insight from NAR or your local MLS, then look into how marketing software can help you know what your target is buying and why.
- be strong in the general market and leverage that in turn to dominate niche or micromarkets — it’s easier to build in a top down approach, than to build a niche expertise and work your way up. Niches may be stuck in niche heaven forever and never be able to escape their specialized brand image.
- build a unique value proposition that is well differentiated from your competitors – study what they offer and ensure your services are memorable, impactful, and are persistently in front of clients. Create a new product, category, and customer connection to make you the outlier that venture financing people look for.
- build your brand image on your UVP — your branding has to point to your real value proposition, not an idealized one conjured up from brand leaders in your space. Your brand has to beat the others and separate you from the pack on some key points.
- network and constantly build relationships with the right people — use social media and business time to connect with more people and insist on connecting with the best associates you need to grow your reach.
- work more intelligently with your connections — bring more of your value to your connections, help them, educate them, and help them solve their problems and feel good about their business.
- move on opportunities quickly — don’t wait for perfection, instead get into it and fill in the blanks as you go. This process makes you grow naturally so you really understand what you’re improving.
- focus on keeping clients happy — if you can’t keep your clients happy, they may not be the right clients. Write down what specific clients want, why they want it, and what emotional rewards it delivers to them. Really satisfied clients don’t leave you.
- be a better marketer – use AI marketing solutions, SEO, content marketing, content strategy, social media, ppc together to get your message and brand out there and be omnipresent.
- find the expertise you lack – finding that missing piece can be transformative if gives you new market knowledge, power, and management skill.
- acquire the financial funding you need to make your entrepreneurial effort work — development, expert staff, marketing campaigns all need a lot of money so finding an angel investor should be a priority.
- adopt and leverage new technology earlier and faster than your competitors — having better tools for CRM, marketing, and transactions puts you in the pole position
Desire + Audacity = Success
Audacity is the ability to overcome fear and limitations by going for it. As a topic, audacity deserves a lot of attention. Is audacity a character trait or a response to unavoidable challenges? If you think of all the reasons you can’t become top dog in a market, perhaps audacity is the most intelligent response. And the most productive.
The more you think about why you need to be market leader, the reasons will come and your desire will build. You need to spend time on the why because it powers your drive.
This habit of audacity is something that top entrepreneurs have. It’s audacious to think anyone can be successful but a lot of people do become successful and capture the market. You hear about them all time, those Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musks of business. Desire and audacity are their key traits, and they need to be yours too.
I’ve met some market leaders in real estate and they’re not smarter, better financed, knowledgeable than other agents. They are bold, audacious and something drove them to want market leadership more than anyone else.
You deserve to be market leader as much as anyone else. Be audacious and take intelligent risks. The rewards will be incredible.
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