I was asked a really good question on a forum and I wanted to share that question here. Given the subject matter of the forum, I wasn’t able to get into all the specifics but I have a little more space on my blog to talk about it.
So here’s the deal: Saturation is a concern that businesses have. They’re worried that there will simply be too many competitors in the marketplace. In the forum I was on, it was one freelance writer concerned that there would be too many other freelance writers but of course that’s not the only place where saturation is a concern. I’ve heard of book authors and SEO firms and foreclosure consultants all concerned about saturation; I’ve worried about it in a number of industries I’ve worked in as well.
But here’s the thing to remember: Saturation is only a problem when you are exactly the same as the majority of other competitors. If you offer the same freelance writing services as 100,000 other people then saturation is a problem because you’re competing against 100,000 other people. Your prospect will be overwhelmed by 100,001 proposals and pitches and resumes and C.V.’s all touting superiority (but demonstrating similarity).
If you want to avoid saturation, you need to make one simple tweak: You need to differentiate your business. Identify a smaller group of prospects (perhaps a subset of the larger group that your competitors are fighting for, or a completely different group that is overlooked by your competitors) and focus your offering exclusively on the needs of that group.
You’ll sell more because your marketing communication is focused on that group and your product is more in sync with what they are looking for. You’ll reduce or eliminate the competition because they’re all scrambling against many other competitors or a big group while you are connecting in a more relevant way with a smaller group.