She stood up there sobbing, the first of 62 of us to share who she is, why she came to this conference, and how she wanted to build her photography business.
“This is going to be a long two days,” I thought. If the first gal was brought to tears, and we still had 61 more lovely ladies waiting to share their stories... was the room just going to be a mushy puddle of estrogen and tears by the end of the hour?
But Stephanie*, the crying woman, said something next that hit a nerve. The reason she was crying was because her former business partner had stolen her business idea, her clients... and entire livelihood. She was there to start over. Wow.
Don't let the fear of someone stealing your idea stop you from getting started
Since then, it’s a story I’ve heard over and over and over again. Each time it’s the same with a different mask:
“I’m afraid to publish my blog content because someone could steal it.”
“Should I put my products up for sale yet if they’re not all the way perfect? What if someone who’s more established sees them and copies them? What would I do?”
“If I start working with clients who have a big following, what’s stopping them from just taking my work and selling it as a product to their own audience?”
The truth is that, in each of these scenarios, there’s three things to remember:
1. There are things you can do to legally prevent someone from stealing your idea.
While it may feel like you’re the first and only person to have these feelings, you’re not. Millions of other entrepreneurs and creatives have felt and experienced loss through content theft before, and there’s an entire legal system put in place to help you.
Like the myth of the starving artist (which I don’t believe in), there’s the myth that legal stuff has to be hard; complicated; carried out by only the finest of minds.
This is simply not true, and it’s a myth that my professors actively encouraged us to perpetuate during law school! One even went as far to say, “Make things confusing for your clients, that way they’ll always depend on you for answers.”
This bull honky is exactly why I do what I do, and why I’m hosting a free workshop on the 3 Secrets to Busting Copycats, which you will get access to when you download my free copy cat checklist here.
2. It’s really hard to get noticed online, let alone get your idea copied.
I remember the first website I made. I paid way too much for a custom site (I didn’t know there was such a thing as templates) and eagerly awaited our launch date. I had zero following, zero list and a dog + two brothers who knew about me.
The day finally came, and I crossed my fingers the servers wouldn’t crash with the flood of traffic my site was about to experience.
Spoiler alert: In the first YEAR of that website, I got a little over 600 pageviews. Womp womp.
Since then, it’s been an uphill battle to get eyeballs on ANYTHING I create, and I’ve actually been fairly successful at it (we now have about 20k pageviews per month, yay!).
The battle is won, but the war is not over yet. Even with all those people looking at my stuff, only a handful are actually consuming it.
(You probably skipped over everything right to this sentence! And there’s a 99.7% chance you won’t leave a comment below. Le sigh.)
If you're struggling with content thieves... click here for a free checklist to FINALLY (legally!) confronting that copycat.
Moral of the story: no one is looking at you, so do your dance.
If you’re getting copied, yeah it sucks but the upside is that people are noticing you.
3. The benefit you bring to your world far exceeds whatever lame copycats will be ripping you off.
I saved the best for last. You may not believe it yet, but the people that are eager to learn about you, from you, and with you are out there.
You are denying them your wisdom and company by staying small.
There’s no magical switch where you will suddenly feel like bursting out onto the online scene because everyone now loves you. You have to love on other people first to build a tribe of people who love you too.
So what if you put yourself out there and people copy you? Grab this guide to learn how to nix would-be copycats once and for all: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself Guide.
To review why you should stop worrying about someone else copying your work...
On one side of the fence, you have:
- staying small
- not helping anyone, including yourself
- never living in the home of your dreams
- never living the life of your dreams
On the other side of the fence, you have:
- helping others out of debt,
- saving marriages
- finding success in business with your services,
- taking the most meaningful pictures of your clients’ lives
* Name changed out of respect for this wonderful gal.