How to Stay One Step Ahead of the Competition
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A single leak in new information could become a turning point for your affiliate marketing business.
Being able to reach the market before the rest of the marketers even catch wind could lead to thousands of additional dollars in revenue due to a lack of competition. Additionally, an early lead in the industry could aid in developing your authoritative stance within the industry. It’s suddenly you and your business that has their finger on the pulse so all eyes on you.
This article will share four different ways see the next wave of opportunity.
You will learn how to tap into trends, understand the shift in youth society which impacts big business, leverage a legal requirement which can reveal the next big seller, and discover the individuals that truly matter within an organization (the ones that know the insider scoop).
Act #1: Plot the Trends
As of now I find that there are three great sources for keeping up-to-date with the online trends:
- Facebook’s trending ticker
- Google Trends
- Amazon best sellers
Facebook’s trending ticker is a great resource for finding out what’s happening in near real-time (though there is some delay by about five minutes or so). Upon noticing an item, clicking through to see how active it’s getting (likes, comments, shares), you should then …
Go over to Google Trends and input that item into the search. From within the Google Trends results you can plot its rise and (usually) predict its future. If this item seems to be one that has lasting power you may then want to …
Look at what’s currently selling in the best sellers list over on Amazon. On the best sellers list you can find products (and ideas for offers) that are going to earn you money versus being just a piece of news or flash in the pan-type deal.
An item that suddenly hits the radar, that’s verified by the trends, and already has offers for the market can become quick wins for your affiliate business. By creating a process of plotting these trends you can always gain an edge over some competition if they’re laggards in this regard.
Act #2: Monitor the Youth
I believe one of the easiest ways to keep track of trends and what will be the “next big thing” is to talk with the youth because they:
A. Have disposable income
B. Are often the earliest adopters
C. Become the future consumers of said offer
It generally seems that the average person past the age of 30 are slow at adopting technology (just look at the demographics of major social networks in the early stages versus now). I feel that this is largely in part that people don’t want to invest a whole lot of time into something that might not catch on. However, for the youth it’s something worth trying because they have the time and energy which is why they often become the earliest of the adopters.
Your best bet for keeping the pulse on what’s happening (in regards to getting that info from the youth) would include:
- Simply asking them their opinions about what’s currently good
- Looking at demographics as part of quarterly releases from tech companies to see if it has a growing number of youth users
- Following trendy blogs and websites that cater to the youth communities to see what are the hot topics and suggestions
While your competition is polling older individuals about what they want and need you can be predicting the next set of needs and wants by monitoring what’s trending for the youth this way you can get your foot in the door well before the competition gets around to the next wave.
Act #3: Record the Shipments
I’ll keep this section short and sweet because it’s a pretty easy concept (and process) to understand.
1. Shipments coming into the United States need forms called Bill of Ladings.
2. In these logs you can find the manufacturers to products.
3. You can use companies that compile these logs to search for manufacturers.
4. This also gives you the ability to type in the competition and find their source.
5. You can then contact that manufacturer and attempt to start business.
Basically you’re pulling the rug right out underneath your competition. You’re gaining access to their suppliers and depending on your income you could possibly nudge them out of the business by offering the supplier higher volume (and incentives) so they begin working mostly with you.
It also gives you the chance to look at other manufacturers which may be producing newer items compared to what the competition is getting which will also give you an edge.
Though it doesn’t entirely fall in line with affiliate marketing this act is still very valuable for understanding the major players in the market so you can keep tabs on the competition.
Act #4: Talk to Insiders
Finally we get to the part where we tap into our network – mainly if we have access to insiders.
This is where who you know really matters.
You can expect people within the industry to spill every piece of detail but you can get some quality leads on where it’s going based on your talks. It’s a matter of feeling out how they react to the conversations.
For example – if you had a friend working in a major industry you’re promoting and you bring up something in regards to legalities which gets them worked up and complaining about the industry than you might get a clue that there may be a rocky future for it. The same can go the other way by talking about your thoughts about the industry and hearing their opinions (which may tip you off on where it’s going and what new items will come out of it).
To get to these people:
- Start with who you already know by reaching out to friends, family, and business associates
- Attend conferences and take important individuals out to lunch to talk about the industry
- Subscribe to the company newsletter or monitor their reports to investors
There is a thin line where things can get a little shady depending on how far your pry into the inner workings of a company so just be safe and obtain your information through ethical means.
Knowing these tid-bits of information can let you make appropriate plans on what to do for the coming times; this will give you a proper edge on your competitors.
What methods do you use to keep one step ahead of the competition?