Why competition never matters

By  •  Updated: 01/25/23 •  3 min read

One of my F*ck around Friday projects has been to build a list visualisation tool so I can see exactly who’s on my list.

This is a random sample from the first 1,000 subscribers:

Notice some patterns:

This is why competition doesn’t matter.

On top of all the things that differentiate you from your competition, “YOU” is one of the strongest ones of all.

Let me show you how this works:

Alex Cattoni is an amazing copywriter with an A-list reputation.

This is her:

Young, female, attractive, American.

What do you think the overlap is between her audience and mine?

Some, but not a lot I’d guess.

Now, I’d never do this, but I could present the EXACT same content as Alex and I’d attract an audience that she never will, and vice versa.

The list goes on, and none of these biases have anything to do with our content.

Despite all the talk of diversity, we’re more likely to work with people who are like us.

I don’t intentionally lean in to being a Gen-X, British male, but somehow that’s the majority of my audience.

I don’t need to be divisive, Im just me.

A (slightly mad) schoolteacher once told me:

“Everything is exclusive. I don’t understand that X-Men book you’re reading any more than you understand my essay on Beowolf.”

He was right. Nobody has content that’s suitable for everybody. Throw in your own experience and voice and the overlaps get even smaller.

This is why you should never worry about coming across competition. The world is an enormous place and there’s enough buyers for every creator to make a living.

The content isn’t the only thing that’ll draw your audience in. The other thing is YOU. There’s enough other out there who are like you to become the 1,000 true fans that it takes to create a hugely successful business.

Why I did this.

There’s a second practical reason to why I pulled these images.

It makes it WAY easier to visualise one reader when I write. One who actually represents my list instead of some imagined avatar.

You can try it out here

Just paste in a list of emails and it’ll find the gravatar images if they exist on the web. I’ve run lists of 50,000 through it today so it’s pretty sound, but let me know if you hit any problems?

Stephen Pratley

I build email lists, that grow into one-man businesses.