How to Avoid and Deal with Copy Cats
We’ve all heard the dreaded saying, “imitation is the highest form of flattery”. But being copied is not flattering. It’s infuriating. Let's get right down to it - here are 3 ways to deal with a copy cat.
The best thing to do: get a good attorney to write a cease and desist letter that you can customize and email when you need to and send it with love and grace (probably the hardest part). Don’t regret lashing out at someone.
Understand copyright laws and know that your product has to juuuust about be identical – meaning, you have to be able to lay the copied product on top of your creative work and it has to be the same – in order to take legal action. Send a cease and desist anyway. Most likely, it will scare them enough to stop selling their ripped-off version of your creative work.
Second thing: find a support group. Seriously! I know it sounds crazy, but we all have to have somewhere to vent. A community like Creative’s Academy, Stationery Academy, or a Facebook group for creatives is a great place to find people who are just like you who will understand and help you through the frustration and hurt.
Third thing: We challenge you to be so unique that copy cats can’t win. Think bigger. Think better. Think about what’s next for you.
We're not saying to turn a blind eye to the copier. Moving on to something bigger and better doesn’t make leaving your old design or product behind easy. And it doesn’t make the copier in the right. But, it does challenge them to be more unique. They can’t continue to copy you and your work and get by in life.
Relish that you are leading your industry. You created something unique and something that consumers want. Use it to inspire you. Use it to be more unique. Innovation is key.
See a friend's work be copied is heartbreaking. It has probably happened to someone you know. Maybe it has happened to you too.
What happens? Head trash. This is when we start mentally decline. We blame our decline in sales due to the same product being offered at an often much lower price point. We start to think, "is it worth it?". We blame ourselves for not being creative enough. We start to think with a scarcity mentality.
We start to think we're a failure. Let me tell you - the biggest success stories come from the people who get up faster than anyone else after falling. The faster you can get out of the "head trash" mentality, the better.
What if we changed out mindset to take another look at our perceived value and how we communicate it to the consumer? What if we used it for fuel to our creative fire? What if you got back up more quickly?
It doesn’t make it easier. It doesn’t make it go away. But, it does help you get through it. I challenge you to be unique. Use your ideas and your unique talents to start creating.
What makes you unique is more than just your gifts and talent. It’s also what you have the potential to become. How are you improving your skills and craft?