Your Competitors

The year is 1980. You are sitting at your dining room table eating breakfast and reading the newspaper. Your significant other is upstairs getting ready for work while listening to the radio. Both of you are finding out the latest on the Iranian hostage crisis. Apparently the Americans have just successfully exited the country.

Later that evening you’ll learn more about the story via the evening news. At the time, these were the only sources of information. There was far less competition for your attention. Nowadays you would have quickly jumped between a few news sites (CNN, Fox News, NY Times, etc) to see each publication’s perspective. The articles would have been shared via Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere on the social web.

In between the news stories you see that your friend’s child just walked for the first time and a hilarious video of cats standing on a turtle that is walking in circles. Could you imagine a newspaper providing such a diverse set of information on the front page? Editorial is now curated by you and your friends and to be honest, it’s a mess.

It is the current landscape though and if you want to get your message out, you need to stand out among baby photos and cats. Why does someone want to take the time to learn about your business or even you individually? Most people probably don’t. My guess though is that you are contributing to the noise.

If I were to look at your Facebook profile, what would I see? Posts about your friends? Posts about world news? My guess is that most of the updates are about you. It’s your place to brag about everything going on in your life. Have you been traveling around the world? I’m sure we’ve all seen the photos. Did you just have a baby? Yep, those photos are filling up my newsfeed.

If this is you, please stop it! O.k., maybe a few cute photos here and there. Do you realize the power you have though? You now have the ability to reach more people than any individual media company was ever capable of reaching prior to the internet. You literally can connect to half the world’s population.

That is, you can connect with them as long as you can get out from beyond the sea of babies, cats, islands, and more. Those photos and videos are now your competitors. Yes, the obvious way of getting attention is to include babies and cats in your images! However this article is not a guide on how to get people to click.

Instead, I’m simply here to provide a reminder: next time you publish that article, think for a second, will people choose that article over the baby? Seriously, it’s you or the baby. Who’s it going to be?