I’m going to give you more than just reassurance, you’ll learn 5 ways to stop copycats and plagiarism from ruining your fun. As creatives and most importantly, as solopreneurs we have this little fear always in the back of our mind saying “wait, it’s not safe”.
Photographers experience it all the time: Photos are shared with watermarks. Graphic designers: Designs are shared with a nervous click. Web designers: Pinterest might help others mimic your hard work. Calligraphers: Your “style” might not be so unique after tonight… And the list goes on. I’ve heard all the fears. And even for product-based businesses: what if others claim my products as theirs? What if they steal my branded imagery and use it?
I get it. I truly do. It’s not fun to put all the effort (and money) only to have someone else come and put their name on it. Not cool, copycats! But we are all exposed to that. I know there is nothing new under the sun, but at the same time we all bring a unique spice to our audience, and we provide something no one else can, that’s the beauty of making your brand truly yours.
And to help you fight these fears and to never let copycats and plagiarism a problem again, here are 5 tips:
When you know who you are, who you serve and why you serve them, it is easy to send out your message. It is easy to align your visuals and your words to deliver that secret sauce that only you can bring to the table.
Be brave and put yourself out there. The world needs your gift. Use it wisely and give it a strong branding foundation, get a professional to help with it if you can afford it and feel confident in every step you are taking.
Plagiarism can’t touch you when you bring on the big guns: a real plan with strong branding.
Now that you have a strong foundation for your brand and business it’s time to set your goals real high. I like to do a little reverse engineering to see the exact steps I need to do to achieve it. Want a booming email list? Give out great value in ana opt-in. Want to make 100K in a year? dive it by 12 and then by the number of clients you want to serve, and now you have your pricing average. You can set your goals and follow them and check them off your list. You do you, my friend! A solid strategy will keep your brand authentic.
Copycats might try but they will always be lacking strategy.
Don’t be a stranger, mingle and support your community, interact with them on social media, reply to their newsletters, etc. I’m an introvert and I know how that sounds, but your brand now needs some amazing friends so your it gets a stronger recognition factor. This is about having the world see you and know immediately who you are.
Plagiarism is harder to apply to you when others are recognizing your content!
Let’s keep that strategy flowing: Your message should be loud and clear. Who you are, who you speak to, and how you speak to them. Bring out your amazing branding foundation and let it guide you to make the best choices. You don’t only want to convert (although that’s pretty sweet) but you need to connect. This is your message, make it loud and clear.
A strong message makes copycats stay in the curve. They can’t compete with genuine words and the real you.
All the above points actually come together to give you this: brand awareness. When plagiarism happens and copycats are sharing your work with their name on it, but you have a strong brand, guess what? It doesn’t work. Others know it’s not you, and they get to sink in the slow, painful death of thinking “why is this not working?”.
Well, to start, my dear copycat: this is not your brand, which means this is not your goal, this is not your audience and definitely not your message. Business owners have a duty to their business to grow that brand awareness, be brave and put your stuff out there. When you apply all of the above, your brand is so strong that no matter if they try, this is a bad move on them. They are the ones who look bad, they are the ones that just lost all trust.
I am a photographer over at I and L Photography, guess who just shares images without watermarks on social media? This gal. I am a branding and Showit web designer over at Penguin Designing, guess who shares even the sketches? This gal.
The stock photos in our members’ library: anyone can use an image that has a card on it. They could claim in their message that they designed it. Even though it is not true. They can. Copycats are always lurking for the opportunity, but they will not stop the real designer from selling that card at Target for all of us to use. If that designer had been afraid and put their name all over it, it would not have been so pretty and it would not have made it to the shelves. Remember, have a plan, and be brave. Your brand awareness will be your copycat repellant.
How do you deal with copycats? Is this a fear you have when thinking about sharing your goodies or even hiring our professional images because someone else might use them? Tell me in the comments! And seriously put these steps to work and never let copycats and plagiarism affect your business!
Hope you find something pretty for your brand today!