Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery or so the saying goes and I suppose copycats are par for the course when you’re successful in creative business but I’m not going to lie, they bug me. One of my clients recently had her design ripped off by a fellow blogger. Now that design had already been published, so said blogger was not as smart as she was nervy. Earlier this week I checked out the site of a woman who inquired about working with me a few months back. Seems she was “inspired” by the site of a client on my list, et voila!
Trouble is her site is still a mess of disconnected low-level images – albeit larger ones – without the cohesion, story or interest of a brand.
Creativity Requires Courage
If you’re creative and you’ve been copied, you may be tempted to keep your ideas a secret, to play a smaller game, to withhold the truth of who you are and keep your vision underground until you've done all the growing you need to do.
Your creativity is a gift that’s meant to be shared and nobody can take that unique expression away from you. It’s yours. You’re doing the work and your journey is part of your gift and expression. You’ve put yourself out there and as much as other people want to be like you, that is genetically impossible. Thank biology for that. You know where you're going because you've carved out a vision, strategy and brand, that is ALL you.
Besides, it’s a tiny globe and the blogosphere is even tinier so poachers will be pinched. In my client’s case, it was her fans who came to the rescue, who pointed out the copycat and took her and the blog that published the rip-off to task. Because that’s the thing about people who are invested in your brand, they’re invested in you. It’s what you say and do that impacts their lives.
As for those inclined to copy, I get that you’re not sure who you are yet and that’s why you’re trying everybody else’s image on for size. But you can't get there following someone else's roadmap because you're driving another car. Heck, you don't even know where that roadmap is supposed to go!
So here’s a shortcut to your success. Look in the mirror and get to know yourself. That's you. Then, stop believing the lie you've been telling yourself, the one that says you have to be someone other than who you are to succeed.
You are enough.