Lately I've been reflecting on the concept of competition. Competition has never been an issue for me. I'm super quick to admit when there are better social media managers, web designers, and brand managers than me.
I live and work in an industry where we are quick to pit ourselves against others and bring down the competition by comparing our products or services to theirs attempting to prove over and over why we are the best.
So why would anyone admit that their competition is better than them?
My theory; If you can strategically team with the best, they’re no longer your competition… they are your asset.
As many of you know a couple of years ago I participated in a competition with the Marcus Graham Project where a team of the best designers, marketers, and creatives in the country were charged with the mission of creating a marketing strategy for the Cavs and Goodyear co-branding efforts.
At the start of this competition I was immediately thrown into a room of my competition. These people were dope. I mean… DOPE! I’ve never seen so many creative talents in one room before. I scanned the room and quickly I knew I couldn’t compete.
So I didn’t.
In my mind I knew this competition would be over in 3 days but I would be in business forever. So I thought, how can I leverage the opportunity to be in the room with so much talent? I challenged myself to look for the best creative in the room.
At the end of the competition, I realized the best wasn’t one of the participants. It was one of the mentors. I was impressed by his leadership, his capabilities, and of course his talent. He was in the position of training the creatives in the room. I followed him on IG and thought to myself, "Yeah this guy is dope". I knew that in order for me to be one of the leading marketing and branding agencies in the area, I needed the talent... his talent. So I made up my mind that I needed to connect with this guy and convince him to join forces with me.
Fast forward to now in 2020. Jason is now the Art Director for my agency, CoCreative. He designs and develops creative collateral for all my clients! He and his wife have also become some of my really good friends. I am still blown away and amazed by his work, his vision, and his creative eye. Jason Garret is a force to be reckoned with. He is quite honestly the best designer in Cleveland, OH.
I can’t stress this enough.
You don’t have to go out here competing with every person within your field. If you see DOPE content, skills, or talent in someone else you’ll go further by joining forces with the competition rather than making them your enemy.
Building relationships with people push you further than being an island ever will.
Be strategic in your dealings. Stop tearing down your fellow creatives, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. Beat the competition by not competing... join them.
Frechic Burton-Austin is the Brand Strategist and co-owner of CoCreativeCle.com and sole owner of C7Branding.com, an award winning small business company specializing in digital business identity solutions. Frechic creates marketing and branding strategies that allow business owners to reach their ideal clients everyday.