Whether you have a competitor or you have competition copying you, it can drive you mad. It can make your self confidence plummet through the ground, your anxieties through the roof and make you as mad as hell!
But look, if they’re copying you, it’s good. They clearly admire your work and want to be just like you! Likewise if a competitor is in your face, in your network then equally you clearly have a badass business idea and they want a slice of that pie.
But it can drive you mad, the temptation of constantly checking up on them will simply drive you to distraction and knock you off course. You need to stay focused and trust your own business and know you are awesome and obviously doing something right.
My own experience has totally opened my eyes on how people love to just jump on the bandwagon, become lazy start ups because they just copy someone else’s ideas.
So, what can you do if you find yourself in a situation where you have copycat competitors?
Here are my top 10 tips:
1.- Keep calm. We might want to completely eliminate them from our online life, block them from seeing our content, remove them from our mailing lists. But let’s face it, there’s be another one pop up. How many web designers do you know? How many personal trainers do you know?
2. Know the law – if you are trademarked and that’s being infringed then seek legal advice
3. Learn from them – Find out where they position themselves, what they offer and that will give you clarity on what sets you apart so you can use that to your advantage
4. Keep track of their activity on social media – You can see what they are NOT doing and plug the gap
5. Know that it’s healthy – Having competition in business is a healthy thing. It helps us drive your own business forward and helps you affirm your own goals
6. If someone is copying you, just step it up a gear – Simply do it better
7. Don’t say anything malicious or negative about them online or otherwise – This will just make you look like the unprofessional one. Deal with it with grace. You can choose to ignore them and just move on, or if they are blatantly copying i.e same blog posts/same social media posts then contact them, and give them the opportunity to remove it. The fact you know you’re onto them is usually enough to stop them in their tracks.
8. Don’t engage in a pricing war or change your previous strategy – however tempting this is. Remember, the reason they’re copying is because you were doing something right in the first place.. stay on course.
9. Don’t feel threatened – There are lots of people in this world to share between us. Your clients and customers will buy off you because of WHO YOU ARE. They resonate with you and have built up relationships with you, so know that you are continuously aligning yourself with the right people, as will they.
10. Keep being amazing! – Get out there, be you, know you’re awesome. So awesome that people want to be you and have what you want.
The fact is, this is life! your friend might copy your dress, or want the same shoes you bought last week, the same applies to business. People want attractive things, but your content is your content and it will never be theirs because it comes from your heart, from your experience.
But of course, you have to also flip it over and realise that business ideas aren’t cut and dry. If you’re in a similar field, undoubtedly your content and ideas are going to be similar. Web designers all offer webdesign, but it’s how the execute it that makes the difference.
So what happens if someone accuses you of copying when you haven’t?
My immediate feeling would be to say that of course you’ve not copied. So do the following:
- Ask for examples of where they feel that duplication of work has occurred
- Provide proof (if possible) of original work and sources, and back this up with evidence where possible
As easy as it is to say, don’t let it affect you. If you know you are producing original work, then there is absolutely no reason for you to worry. If you operate in similar circles, then maybe look at stepping away and distancing yourselves and read over steps 8-10 above.
Always stay true to yourself.