"Imitation is the most sincere form of insecurity"
"Imitation is the most sincere form of insecurity" - Polly Bergen
In every industry, not just the beauty industry, there are people passing off others ideas as their own. It's so frustrating!
So what can we do?
Well I've been in this boat myself, several times I've got myself wound up over these people who were copying my blogs or posting my pictures or page statuses as their own.
Did getting angry or irritated stop them or help me?
In fact if you call these people out all it does is drive traffic to their website or pages and actually helps them to increase their own audience...remember no publicity is bad publicity.
I often hear the saying "If someone copies you, it means you are already ahead of them", so they are trying to play catch up with you, they are trying to be at your level, but you've been there and done that and now you are working on your next piece to continue on your own journey and to continue growing.
You have two choices when someone is imitating you:
- Pause your own journey and focus your time, energy and strength on being angry and irritated at them and how you are going to stop them or get payback.
- Use any emotions you are feeling to spur you on to be even better! Use that time and energy to fuel your business and elevate you even further ahead of this person.
The Problem with the first option is whilst you are on pause and consuming yourself with what this person is doing, you're own business is being held back and you're actually given the person a chance to get ahead of you which is the opposite of what you wanted!
The second option is always better. Block that person, unfollow them so they don't have the opportunity to get under your skin. Use your passion to launch your next idea!
Sometimes this is easier said than done and I totally understand that it can get to the stage where it just can't be ignored. In these cases there are a few practical things that you can do.
Firstly, ALWAYS watermark your pictures. This doesn't always stop people using them but it does discourage them, especially if the logo is hard to crop or photoshop out.
Secondly, email and/or post them a letter to cease and desist from using your photos (or intellectual property which has its own laws).
There are templates for legal letters that you can buy online from Lawyers in the UK if you need help.
The key is to remain professional. As soon as you start to become emotionally charged you will be giving them your energy that you should be using on your own business.
Do not ever let someone who is copying you intimidate you, they wouldn't copy you if they didn't think you were worth copying.
Believe it or not, you have inspired them, and if you approach it the right way you may even become friends and a mentor to them, this could be a positive to your business!
The main difference between you and this person is that you made your work with passion and creativity, and those are skills that can't ever be copied.
So go be creative, don't worry what others are doing, and as always continue to strive to be the best version of you.