Copycats and how to deal with the pesky creatures
On various occasions, I get a call for help from someone who has discovered that another person has started to copy their own content. And here is what I advise when faced with this upsetting situation.
Firstly, whilst incredibly frustrating, don’t fall into the trap of becoming so consumed with this person that you take your eye off your own business. This will be giving her a wholly unfair advantage if you start to let things slip at your end because you are so enraged and obsessed with what they are doing. You will be walking straight into their trap. Acknowledge what they are up to and then ….. ignore them!
Yes, easier said than done I know but if you don’t, the situation will eat away at you and cause you no end of stress and sleepless nights.
If they are directly copying work that you have copyrighted or are using your trade name etc, you can go through the legal channels to get them to stop. However, if they are just taking your ideas and using for their own business, there is nothing you can do to stop them. And to be perfectly honest, how original are your ideas? There is rarely a new idea out there these days. Everything tends to be a variation of something that has been done before.
Focus on YOUR business and YOUR customers
What you need to be doing is focusing on YOUR business and YOUR customers.
If this other person has to copy your ideas, they are going to seriously struggle in the long term when the harsh realities of running a business kick in. If they are so short of their own ideas and have no imagination, they will just be a poor imitation of you.
And there is only one you. And that is the one everyone loves. They are NOT you and never can be. Your work has your personality and vibrancy injected into it. This other person cannot physically have this. Some people may prefer their style of working and some will prefer yours. That’s life!
Keep in contact with your own customers. Keep talking to them, finding out what they love and what they would like to see more of. Keep building those relationships so if your customers see her work, they will still come back to you.
Don’t waste any more of your energy on this person. Use all your energy for continuing to focus on building your own fabulous business.
And at the end of the day, be flattered. People are obviously sitting up, taking notice and talking about you or otherwise you wouldn’t have attracted this attention.
Are you breaking Facebook rules
Over recent weeks, I have had a number of new ladies join my Facebook group only for them to have their posts deleted and a message being sent explaining why and what to do in future if they want to stay in the group.
I have also had a few ladies contact me as they have found themselves banned from other groups that they were in.
I’m sure the majority of us use other social media groups to build relationships and promote our businesses but before you fall foul and get yourself banned, try adhering to these simple rules.
When joining a new group, before doing anything else, READ THE GROUP RULES
It’s so simple but so many don’t bother to do it. The rules can usually be found in the group description or sometimes at the top of the page as a pinned post. If you don’t read the rules, you are pretty rude and don’t be surprised if you get kicked out.
And here are a few other things to consider:
Mistake 1 – Promoting Yourself in a Non-Promotional Group
It’s quite simple – you will get banned. There are a number of groups that don’t want their feeds saturated with ‘you can make a million in a week – come find out how’ or some other promotional spam. Even if it’s not spam, if it’s a non-promotional group, you can’t promote in it. Simples!! Which part is not understood? It really annoys me that people join my group and can’t be bothered to read the description and group rules. if they are that lazy, I simply ban them.
Mistake 2 Jumping on Someone Else’s Post to Promote Yourself
This is what happens. Someone asks a question or starts a conversation. They strike up a conversation with their ideal client and are building a relationship with them by giving them valuable help and advice. You see this and decide to jump on board. You leap in to tell the ideal client what you can do to help them and tell them to get in contact.
Let me tell you, THIS IS PLAIN BLOODY RUDE AND UNACCEPTABLE
Don’t be so lazy. Go start some conversations of your own.
Mistake 3 Sending Friend Requests and Private Messaging Other Members
This has to be one of the biggest irritants of all time. It’s false. It’s spammy. It makes you look unprofessional and desperate.
Before approaching anyone privately, you need to build a relationship with them. Not just jump on them as soon as you see a glimmer of an ideal client.
If you are genuinely offering free help to them or giving them some valuable advice in private, then ok. But if your sole intention is to sell to them, don’t be surprised if they report you to admin and you get yourself banned instantly from the group.
Mistake 4 – Joining a Group and Making your First Post a Promotion
Why would you do this? Again, it makes you look unprofessional and desperate. You wouldn’t go to a dinner party where you didn’t know anyone, walk into the room and start shouting at everyone what you do. You would (if you have any manners) walk in, introduce yourself, ask others what they do and get to know people a little first.
You need to start building relationships and trust before bleating about what you do. I would suggest at least a couple of weeks of interacting with others and getting the feel of the group before any type of promotion.
Mistake 5 – Arguing with Admin
Yes, sending private messages to admin that you have a special case for promoting your latest craze and telling them how to run their group is likely to get you banned also. I have had a few of these in the past where people have contacted me to say how everyone wants promotions to be allowed freely so I ought to change the rules. Nope!! My group. My rules. If they don’t like it they can go somewhere else.
In future, use some common sense and some manners when joining groups for the first time. Yes, we all mistakes but learn from them and be respectful to others. Alternatively, set up your own group and do whatever you want!
If you are running your own business, when was the last time you updated your cv? Probably not since you went self-employed I am guessing. Well, why would you? You run your own business and are not looking for a job so there is no need.
But just stop a moment. This could be a really useful exercise to determine if you are the right person for the job. And I can’t take credit for this idea. It came from my husband.
He was made redundant recently, quite out of the blue. He had been employed for many years so his cv was wholly out of date. We sat down together and I helped him update all his information. Some of this was work related but there was also a host of transferrable skill he had picked up from hobbies such as work with the local football team.
He was so nervous when we started but when he read it back, he was a little taken aback. He couldn’t believe this was him. He thought the cv sounded too good to be true. But every word WAS true. He had just failed over the years to realise how many talents he had and what assets he had that other people wanted.
It was then that he turned to me and said he thought everyone should have to re-do their c.v. every six months to give themselves the confidence boost that he had gained.
And it got me thinking. What a good idea.
How about you go write a job description for the perfect person to run your business. Remember to list all the essential skills required and the additional desirable skills. Ask the question as to why the applicant would like to work for the company and why they feel they are better suited than anyone else.
Now go apply for this job. And be honest with yourself.
One of two things may happen.
Firstly, you realise how bloody wonderful you are and what skills you have to offer to the world. This can be a huge confidence boost as in the case of my other half.
Or, you may realise you are lacking a skill or desirable asset. And if that is the case, as you have now identified this, you can go find out how to fill that gap in your skill set. This will only make you better and more effective at your work which in turn, will help your business grow.
Have a go and let me know in the comments how you found this exercise.
Not enough hours for studying your online course?
Have you ever signed up to do an online course or follow a program full of good intentions and enthusiasm but then found you just don’t have enough hours in the week to dip into it?
When I run a new program I always give my ladies pre-course homework which includes top tips for blocking out time and treating their investment with the importance it deserves. But inevitably, life happens and things get in the way.
But it’s not always this way. It can just be a case of poor planning. You think, oh, it’s ok, I’ll start next week and catch up. And then the next week comes and you put it off again. And so on.
What then happens is that you forget why you signed up in the first place. Everyone else on the course or in the Facebook group seems to be miles ahead of you. You get disillusioned and you add the online course or program to a number of others gathering dust in your computer archives.
Sound familiar? Yes? Well, I am guilty too.
A couple of months ago I signed up to a course that cost me thousands of pounds. Whilst I have half-heartedly dipped in and out, I haven’t been truly focused and have slipped way behind everyone else. It was then that I thought I ought to practice what I preach.
Here is my solution …
Rather than wasting my hard-earned money and also rather than moving significantly forward with my business that I know this course can teach me, I am taking a different approach.
I am booking myself a few days away. Yes, more money, but much more economical than wasting the thousands that I have already spent as I will make more with my new learnings. I am pretending I am going to a conference.
Why? Because if I did sign up for a conference, I would have to go and wouldn’t have the day to day distractions I have by trying to study at home. And it’s going to be a nice little break for me.
Just a two-night stay will give me 3 days of uninterrupted learning so I can get back on track.
If you have found yourself in the same predicament, why not try this for yourself? You don’t have to stay in a luxury hotel. If funds are tight, how about seeing if a friend is away on holiday and would let you use their house? (I’ve done this before and they were more than happy for someone to be around for a few days rather than the house sit empty.) If you love camping, this can be incredibly cost effective. Download all your materials so you don’t need internet access (even less disruption) and take yourself off. Please do be sensible with safety precautions of course though. Go online and find a last-minute deal. There are some great bargains to be had.
And then when you return, make sure you have a plan to stay on track with your online course in the future. I have just booked myself a weekly slot at my local library. UK libraries allow you a desk and computer with internet access for free up to two hours. You can have longer at a small cost but you may be amazed what you can achieve in two hours when you get laser focused and have no interruptions.
Give it a try and let me know how you get on. Just by realising that growth and learning are vital to your future business success can help you plan this into your weekly or monthly routine.
If you have any ideas of your own, please leave a comment below.