How to smash competitors, go viral on Tiktok, and make NFTs

published on 16 January 2022

Note: This is directly copy pasted from our private newsletter

Picture this: You spend days brainstorming of startup ideas, and then you finally find one that just clicks. But, a couple Google searches later, you find out a company is building out the exact same thing 😩 That must mean your startup is dead right? In most cases, it actually doesn’t.

Today, we’re breaking down competition and other fun topics in our playbooks:

  1. 😳 How to smash competitors
  2. 🎯How to get your startup viral on TikTok
  3. 💸Quick Guide to NFTs and Bitcoin 

😁 2 quick announcements:

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💵 Lastly, we want to shout out to Armita Hosseini, a high school student, for writing a killer book on finance. Here’s a quick snippet: 

Through the use of short explanations and engaging graphics, Roadmap to Financial Literacy gives readers a holistic understanding of the world of finance they will enter after high school. It consists of four chapters: building credit, loans, saving & investing, and budgeting. Each chapter delves deeply into different financial products, habits, and systems. It is the go-to book for teenagers who want to gain an introduction to personal finance and how to apply it to their own lives from an early age.

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Let’s get started:

Playbook #1: How to smash competitors

Competition is arguably one of the most misunderstood parts I’ve seen in early startups. Mainly because I’ve had the wrong perception of startups for a really long time. But, a key thing I’ve learned is that competitors are actually great. Competitors validate that your problem is real in the first place. In fact, if you have literally no competitors doing remotely a similar thing, you should be worried. If you find yourself in this position, here’s how you can go about it:

  1. Look for a betterwayto solve the same problem.You can do this by reading online reviews/AppStore reviews on the product. It’s the perfect place to find customer complaints or features. However, it is incredibly important to note that the feature is two things:You can find 10 people who want that feature The 10 people want that feature badly and urgently. Not just a nice-to-have. 
  2. You can find 10 people who want that feature 
  3. The 10 people want that feature badly and urgently. Not just a nice-to-have. 
  4. Target a different customer segment Zapier is an automation tool. You can create automation flows such as Get new Email —> Copy file in Dropbox —> Alert me in SlackTheir target customer are startup founders who want no-code tools. Meanwhile, Alloy is an automation tool, but for eCommerce stores. Flows are like:Shipment is delayed for x days —> Send text to customerTheir target customer are eCommerce owners who want to take less time with growth. 
  5. Zapier is an automation tool. You can create automation flows such as Get new Email —> Copy file in Dropbox —> Alert me in SlackTheir target customer are startup founders who want no-code tools. 
  6. Get new Email —> Copy file in Dropbox —> Alert me in Slack
  7. Their target customer are startup founders who want no-code tools. 
  8. Meanwhile, Alloy is an automation tool, but for eCommerce stores. Flows are like:Shipment is delayed for x days —> Send text to customerTheir target customer are eCommerce owners who want to take less time with growth. 
  9. Shipment is delayed for x days —> Send text to customer
  10. Their target customer are eCommerce owners who want to take less time with growth. 
  11. Build the same thing, but for enterprise. Notion is like a better Google Docs. But, they probably make most of their money from enterprise sales (selling to large corporations). They cater to enterprises by offering in-depth templates for engineering, sales, growth, and finance teams. It also has a built-in organization system, which is similar to Google Drive. Other than that, they don’t differentiate that much from Google Docs and Google Drive. 
  12. Notion is like a better Google Docs. But, they probably make most of their money from enterprise sales (selling to large corporations). They cater to enterprises by offering in-depth templates for engineering, sales, growth, and finance teams. It also has a built-in organization system, which is similar to Google Drive. Other than that, they don’t differentiate that much from Google Docs and Google Drive. 
  13. Never compete based on price alone. If your startup and a competitor are going after the same customer, price will likely not budge the customer to buy your product over the competitors’. Especially if they have previously used the competitors’ products/software. That’s because brand loyalty can’t really be explained with money. It’s more like you love it or you don’t.
  14. If your startup and a competitor are going after the same customer, price will likely not budge the customer to buy your product over the competitors’. Especially if they have previously used the competitors’ products/software. That’s because brand loyalty can’t really be explained with money. It’s more like you love it or you don’t.
  15. If you want to make a side hustle vs. a billion dollar company, you should be viewing competition way differently. Building side hustles that can make passive income is a WONDERFUL project to undertake, especially when you’re younger. If you’re in high school, making a side hustle that makes $5,000 a month is incredibly admirable. Sometimes, side hustles might even be preferred to billion-dollar startups when you’re a high schooler because they give you good flexibility.If you generate an idea and then you find out there’s a huge company out there doing the exact same thing, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Start by cold emailing businesses around your area. After COVID, literally walk in and pitch on the spot. You’d be surprised at how many people have not heard of the company and, because you’re right there, they’ll obviously want to use your service. Key thing with side hustles is you probably can’t scale to a startup later on, but you’ll learn a LOT of the similar stuff when it comes to running a startup and generate thousands of dollars a month at the same time. 
  16. Building side hustles that can make passive income is a WONDERFUL project to undertake, especially when you’re younger. If you’re in high school, making a side hustle that makes $5,000 a month is incredibly admirable. Sometimes, side hustles might even be preferred to billion-dollar startups when you’re a high schooler because they give you good flexibility.
  17. If you generate an idea and then you find out there’s a huge company out there doing the exact same thing, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Start by cold emailing businesses around your area. After COVID, literally walk in and pitch on the spot. You’d be surprised at how many people have not heard of the company and, because you’re right there, they’ll obviously want to use your service. 
  18. Key thing with side hustles is you probably can’t scale to a startup later on, but you’ll learn a LOT of the similar stuff when it comes to running a startup and generate thousands of dollars a month at the same time. 

Playbook #2: How to get your startup viral on TikTok 

TikTok is a super special form of social media. It’s actually much easier to grow your startup on TikTok compared to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. because every single video has virtually the same shot at becoming viral. 

Here’s how to grow your project on it!

  1. Short sub videos 

TikToks are made of many different clips. But a common mistake people make is talking for 30 seconds straight at the camera. That’s boring. No one wants to listen to that. 

Instead, turn every single video clip to 5 seconds max. It’s best if you can get the beginning clips to be around 3 seconds to attract attention. 

The reasoning behind this? If your video is fast-paced, people have no time to ask themselves “Is this a good video?” They’ll just watch it!

add here 

A half-second pause IRL is ok. But on TikTok, it’s awkward. Make sure you edit the clips so that ends right when you finish the sentence. This also just naturally makes the video more fast-paced, so try it out!

  1. Quantity > Quality 

This sounds counterintuitive, but its much better to post more mediocre TikToksrather than a really good TikTok like once a week. That’s just how the TikTok algorithm works. 

Another thing on quality: by quality, I don’t necessarily mean the content but more of the editing, lighting, extra text, all that. Most of the TikToks you see on your FYP are probably not high production, so yours doesn’t need to be too! People are probably more likely to like your content too if it’s more similar to most of the content on TikTok.

  1. The best way to grow other than posting original content is duetting 

Duetting is a massive game changer because it means that users can “remix” other people’s content to fit their own TikTok account. It’s also way easier to duet because 1) you’re bouncing your content off of someone else and 2) you can “interact” with large creators. 

  1. Interact with content similar to yours 

The algorithm wants to put your account in a specific “group” in TikTok. For instance, people who like cooking videos will probably get more food-style videos later on their FYP. This means that if you interact with similar accounts (through liking, commenting funny things, sharing) related to your niche, TikTok will show your videos to the same group watching the videos. 

  1. Spend the most time on the first 5 seconds 

You should be spending 30% of the planning time on the hook. Perfect it. Make sure you say it right, redo the intro a bunch of times to see what fits, and bam… you got a winning video. 

  1. Say words like these in the beginning:

“I guarantee”

“You” or “We”

Playbook #3: Quick Guide to NFTs and Bitcoin 

Bitcoin is essentially a digital currency which was invented in 2008 by a man named Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi’s identity is unknown to this day, so we do not know who really created bitcoin. The beauty of bitcoin is that it is a cryptocurrency so it is fully online. You can hold a dollar as it is a physical object but since bitcoin is fully digital, it cannot be held. 

Furthermore, the reason for bitcoin’s wide usage is because it is decentralized. This means that there is not one entity controlling the supply of bitcoin, the users decide the value and there is no middleman in transactions. This allows for a seamless experience for both the buyer and seller of bitcoin. 

On the other hand, if we look at the U.S. dollar, the federal reserve controls the supply and can decide to increase inflation or decrease inflation, which ultimately affects the price of the U.S. dollar.

Bitcoin has become very popular in the recent view years. Often regarded as the most profitable investment in history, cryptocurrency has been a recent go-to investment for investors. In fact, Bitcoin was originally worth $0 when it first came out in 2009 and has since skyrocketed to over $50,000 in 2021. 

How does Bitcoin even work?

Bitcoin is run on a technology called blockchain, which is a digital ledger that records all cryptocurrency transactions. This technology makes it near impossible for anyone to hack Bitcoin. Blockchain can be thought of as a list of blocks and each block is a collection of transactions. Each block can be viewed in a public ledger, so no one can cheat the system.

The way that the public ledger is formed is through something known as cryptocurrency mining. Computers around the world mine bitcoin to manage its transactions. That explains how the currency is decentralized as there are thousands of miners around the world helping form the public ledger of bitcoin rather than one entity. The reason people choose to mine bitcoin is because every time you mine bitcoin, the miner gets a small slice of the bitcoin they mined. This incentivizes more people to mine, thus helping verify all bitcoin transactions.

What are NFTs?

You might have seen recently either in the news or on social media something called an NFT. NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. The term non fungible means that an item is unique and cannot be replaced with something else. Think of a trading card of a famous baseball player for example. There are many different products you can buy in the NFT market. Most famously, art is commonly bought. 

Beeple, a famous NFT artist, recently sold a collage called “Everydays — The First Five Thousand Days" for over $70 million. Yes you heard that right, seventy million. Not only him but many artists are making a killing selling their NFT art online. Consumers are buying these pieces for either the purpose of collecting the art or just holding it as in investment to sell it later on. 

However, some controversy arises since owning an NFT gives you the rights to a visual art piece but the art itself can be screenshotted or copied. Because of this, many people do not believe that NFTs are worth buying.

How cryptocurrency will massively change the future

Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency out in the world right now. In fact, there are more than 4,000 cryptocurrencies out there each serving a unique purpose. You might have heard of a coin called DogeCoin. This is a meme coin which was initially created as a joke but has actually become popular because of the internet and now is actually worth $0.05 per coin, with a total market cap of over $6 billion. 

Currently, bitcoin is too volatile to be used as a currency for most people, but there are cryptocurrencies which are less volatile which can actually be used to buy goods and services.

Other fun things:

There will only ever be 21 millions bitcoins in circulation, no more, no less.

The creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is rumored to have over 1 million bitcoins.

Approximately 3.79 million, or 23% of the total bitcoin population is rumored to be missing as people have forgotten the passwords to their bitcoin wallets.

That’s it for this month! We hoped you enjoyed it :) And, if you want to get your business club members our playbooks: just fill out this.

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