Your customers don’t have their head in the sand anymore

By ShayneT  -  On 06 Aug, 2013 -  2 comments

Please forgive me, it has been many months since my last post …

Baby aside… the last few weeks I’ve been intensively working on launching a new eBook over on dPS. A book all about landscapes. Launches always throw up something new, and other than this being the fastest selling eBook of all time on dPS, in this launch something small happened that made me stop and think — wow that is awesome.

It all revolves around a man I don’t know, will probably never meet but has earned my respect — Allan Cox.

When we announced the new eBook, we included a blog post which both shared news of the book but also how proud we were of it.

Two day’s later this comment popped up …

A unique perspective.

My take on this e-book is quite unique: you see I’m Todd’s competition! Yes that’s right, I teach photography, I run photography workshops, and I live just down the road from Todd (well close anyway).

So when I saw Todd’s book for sale, my first thought was hell no, I’m not giving money to the competition. But then I thought, hang on a minute, my job is not to compete against Todd, my job is to do the best job I can for my clients. Sometimes, this means learning from your competition. So I’d bought Todd’s book, not to learn photography, but to look at his teaching style.
So what can I say about this book to someone who wants to learn photography. Is Todd a good photographer? Yes: one look at his photographs answers that question. Does he have a good way of explaining photography? Yes. Would I recommend this book to one of my clients? Definitely.

There are a lot of people out there, pretending to be expert photographers, doing a crappy job teaching the subject. Even though Todd is competition to me, it’s good to see someone doing the job of teaching photography well.

I found this fascinating.

One of the things I try and try and try and try (and for the most part fail) is to get larger businesses to embrace the idea of at a minimum acknowledging the competition. Accepting that in some ways they might just be better than you, and congratulating them for that.


Simple, because these days it’s so easy for your customers and potential customers to figure that out for themselves and if you stick your head in the ground, or even worse try to stick your customers head in the ground you’re just going to look stupid.

We all talk about the importance of trust, engagement and personalisation of a brand, but who want’s to be mates with Mr or Mrs stupid with their head in the sand?

Next time you think and don’t say well done to the opposition, try taking a leaf out of the book of Allan

Did patting his direct competition on the virtual back hurt his business in any way? I doubt it.

Am I more likely to listen and believe a sales pitch from Allan in the future because of the respect and credibility he earned from me. Yes.

And that’s something to think about.


Photo via blakeimeson