What to do when someone is copying your work

It can be such a mindset challenge when someone is copying your work. I believe most people have no intention to copy others, but the situation can happen quite often. In this episode, I talk about how to navigate a copycat situation and how to identify if you are being an accidental copycat yourself.

In this Episode:

02.33: What is a copycat? And what does it mean for business owners?
03.57: What to do if someone is copying your work
06.17: How to keep a step ahead of copycats
07.30: What to do if you are being the accidental copycat?
10.24: Why being a copycat isn’t cool, and how you can make sure you don’t become one

Links:

Transcript

It can be such a mindset challenge when someone is copying your work. Now, I believe that most people have no intention to copy others, but yet this situation can happen quite often. In this episode, I’m going to be talking about how to navigate a copycat situation and how to identify if you are being an accidental copycat yourself.

Hello, and welcome to The Clare Wood Podcast, where myself and incredible guests share about money, mindset, financial successes, and how to manage your money in a fun and practical way to create wealth and abundance in both business and your life. I’m your host, Clare Wood. I’m a business coach and a money mentor. I strongly believe that money has the power to positively change the world. I can’t wait to help you transform your mindset around money, create a love of numbers, and build the business of your dreams so you can live a life of financial freedom, giving, and global impact.

 

Before I dive into today’s episode, I wanted to remind you about my 2022 planning retreat that is happening in January at the Sunshine Coast here in Queensland, Australia. This retreat is two days of planning, creating your budget for next year, getting super clear about your goals for the new year, doing some money mindset work, and connecting with some really high level entrepreneurs. I am now taking applications to come along for the retreat. So if you would like to find out more about it, please click on the link in the show notes for today’s episode. If you are also starting to think about your 2022, I also do have some private coaching spaces available. Now my private coaching is normally booked out. I don’t even have it on my website anymore. However, I do have two places available to coach with me in 2022. So if you would like to find out more about what that looks like, you can reach out to me via my website, which is clarewood.com. Or again, you can book in a discovery call via the link in the show notes for today’s episode. 2022 is nearly here so now is the time to be planning for the results that you want to achieve in the new year.

 

What is a copycat? And what does it mean for business owners?

 

What is a copycat? According to merriam-webster.com, a copycat is someone who imitates or adopts the behavior or practices of another. What does copying mean in business? Well, perhaps someone has named their business the same as yours or their course the same as yours. Maybe they’re writing social media captions that are identical or very similar to yours, or perhaps they are point blank copying templates, course content, or blog articles. Copying can look like a whole range of things. For the purposes of today’s episode, I’m going to talk about the mindset side of this situation and share some suggestions for how you can navigate through if it happens to you and also how to identify if you might accidentally be imitating businesses that you admire and how you can turn that situation around. Sometimes a business owner copies others intentionally, but I believe that most people do not do it intentionally. And maybe this is me looking for the goodness in people, but I have to confess that I know that I have done it on a completely subconscious level. And I’m going to share more about that a bit later on.

 

What to do if someone is copying your work

 

But to start off, let’s talk about what to do if someone is copying you. Now, copying is not cool. I am not a lawyer, so I am not going to discuss the legal side of these issues here today, specifically around if someone is using your intellectual property. So as a very first point of call, I would always say to get legal advice first and foremost if someone is copying your work. Please make sure you get expert advice about your specific situation. Like I said, I’m going to chat more about the mindset side today. If someone is copying you, it can help to reframe a lot of those negative emotions around what is going on from a place of love.

Remember that most people are trying their best. And again, maybe this is me wanting to look on the bright side, but I really don’t think that most people do it from a place of ill intent. So what action should you take if you were seeing someone is using your stuff or something similar? I’ve had Tracey Mylecharane, who is a solicitor on my podcast twice now. And she has this saying, which I wanted to share with you, which is that prevention is better than cure. So what this means is that it’s better to avoid the situation happening in the first place than trying to fix it up afterwards. This means getting your legal docs lined up in terms of trademarking and in terms of understanding your legal rights, first and foremost. Here in Australia, once content is created, it is automatically copyrighted. One of my big tips in terms of preventing this situation happening is to create, get the content out there and do it quickly when you think of an idea. I know sometimes I’ve thought of a podcast episode or a social post and then I see one of my competitors speaking about it, and I think, “Damn, I should have jumped on that quicker.” So when you’ve got ideas, get out there and share it sooner rather than later.

 

How to keep a step ahead of copycats

 

My next tip for when someone is copying you is to keep being creative. Something about copycats is that they are always a step behind an industry leader. So if you keep coming up with fresh and original content, your dream clients will continue to be magnetized towards your business. And flowing on from that, be authentically you. Something no one can ever replicate is your energy and who you are. You have a unique story, a unique background, a unique way of talking and a unique set of stories that make up who you are. So bring as much of your authenticity into your content as you can. I will often see two business owners selling an almost identical offering, but I will choose to buy from one person over the other because well, I like them more. I like their energy. I like the way that they explain things. I like the way that they share. So just remember that even if someone is creating really similar content, no one else can ever be you.

 

What to do if you are being the accidental copycat?

 

So I’ve spoken a bit about what to do if someone is copying you, and this is going to be a little bit uncomfortable, but what about if you are being an accidental copycat? As I mentioned earlier in the episode, I know that this has been me in the past. Let me share an example of how this has happened. I came up with a new freebie, which is called 10 ways to your next a 100K.

It is the most epic freebie full of value. By the way, if you want to get a hold of it, you can do so via the link in the show notes or today’s episode. But I digress, let me come back to it. So I came up with this new idea for a freebie. I was so proud of myself. I poured my heart and soul into creating a really amazing downloadable. And then I saw one of my very dear business friends, Steph Taylor had a freebie, which was called 10 ways to your next 10K. Now hers was up there and established so I know that it must have been there well before me and perhaps I came up with exactly the same concept for the name of the freebie. I know mine was a 100K and hers was 10K, but it just felt a little bit too coincidental how similar the name of the freebie was.

I’d obviously seen my friend’s freebie and on some subconscious level, it had sat there in my mind. And I created something with almost exactly the same name. I was absolutely mortified, as you can imagine, I mean, who wants to be copying anyone, let alone one of your friends? I was mortified so I raised it with her and I said, “Hey, this is what I’ve come up with. I’ve obviously on some subconscious level seen what you’ve created and created something similar myself.” And thankfully, Steph is amazing and super understanding and she’s in a very different industry to me. And obviously the content in her freebie was very different to mine. So she said she was fine for me to keep using my freebie, which is called 10 ways to an extra 100K. I guess the point that I’m trying to make here is that it can be so easy to be an accidental copycat. And that example with Steph is just one example. I know in the past, I’ve also been so inspired by mentors of mine that my content can end up sounding similar to them, or even my aesthetics on Instagram can end up looking similar. And of course I know I would never do that intentionally, particularly to people that I admire so much. But on a subconscious level, we imitate those that we admire.

 

Why being a copycat isn’t cool, and how you can make sure you don’t become one

 

So that’s helping to understand why we do it, but there’s a number of reasons why it’s not cool.

 

  1. Number one, it doesn’t feel good. I have to admit I was so embarrassed when that situation happened with Steph.
  2. Number two, people will notice. Imagine if your clients are following the other person as well and they start to notice that the content’s similar.
  3. And number three, as I highlighted at the start, it might be down right illegal if you are copying someone else’s work.

 

So how do you make sure that you aren’t being subconsciously influenced? My best tip is to unfollow and unsubscribe. I have chosen to unsubscribe from some of my favorite mentors email lists and to mute them on Instagram because I started to notice that my content was starting to sound and look similar. And that is obviously not something that I want for my business. I also choose not to listen to podcasts of my competitors. I mean, every now and again, I might pop by someone’s website or their social media, or listen to an episode here and then, but I’m intentionally choosing not to be in the energy where I could be subconsciously absorbing things. I don’t like to have this content in my regular line of sight. So how do you get back to creating your unique tone of voice and being really you? Firstly, focus on your core message and point of difference. So I know for me that my jam is profited because I’m a CPA, I’m an accountant by trade. And what I’ve done through my business journey is I’ve really combined that background with this mindset work that you guys will be hearing a lot about on the podcast. So those are my two core content pillars. If I find myself getting off track, I just remember to come back to my core offering and the thing that makes me really different to anyone else out there. And the second thing, like I said earlier is to come back to you. Remember, no one else can ever recreate your energy, your essence, or your stories.

I hope today’s episode has resonated with you and that you are able to take some things away to implement back into your business. As I shared at the start of this episode, if you would like my help in your business in 2022, you can reach out to me to find out more about private coaching or you can check out my retreat that is happening in a January at the Sunshine Coast here in Queensland, Australia. And all the details are via the link in the show notes for today’s episode.

So to sum up what we spoke about today, when you have someone who is copying you, first and foremost, seek legal advice. Secondly, focus on the essence of you. And thirdly, create, create, and create really quickly. Thanks for tuning in. I hope you have a very abundant week.

Thanks so much for listening. If you love this episode, please share it with your audience. And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @clare_wood_coach. And also make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss an episode. Have an abundant week and I look forward to talking to you again next week.

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