What to Do When Your Followers Copy Your Content

On this podcast I share about my experiences with my followers copying my content. I share my own personal development journey and the mindset shifts I went through as I continued to see my social media content on other brand's profiles. I learned to switch my mindset and focus on strengthening my content marketing strategy. I continued to prioritize my social media marketing and kept my energy focused on the tasks and thoughts that were moving my business forward. | The Wanderlover

Have you ever had someone replicate your work or use your content without crediting you? In this episode we look at why it feels so triggering (4:40), switch to a confidence mindset (9:30) and actually embracing the copycats (11:30).

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Audio Transcript

Hi everyone! Welcome back to The Wanderlover Podcast. I just went live in the Wanderlover Business Academy members-only Facebook group, and I encouraged everyone to introduce themselves, their Myers-Briggs and human design, all in a live video.

The first thing that comes to mind when someone tells you to go live is probably like “Oh hell no, there’s no way I’m doing that.”

But then another part of you is like, “Maybe you should try. Maybe it’ll be good for you. Maybe it’s good practice and you won’t die.” I totally understand the first thought for most people is, wow, I’d rather shoot myself right now.

But that is the whole point of entrepreneurship stepping outside your comfort zone and in the community, we’re still very small. So it’s a very safe space for us to all practice, doing things that we’re uncomfortable with. And that is the beauty of entrepreneurship and having a community of people who get you.

If you haven’t joined the Academy yet, we are waiting for you!

It’s been so much fun having one-on-one conversations with those of you who already signed up. It’s my favorite thing: watching the a-ha moments, watching the mindset transformation.

When new entrepreneurs decide to commit to themselves, when they decide, you know what? I only have this one life to live. I know what my heart desires and I’m going to trust that I can achieve it, so why not start now? Why not give it a shot? Because I’m only going to regret it if I don’t try.

And when you are talking to me, when I have these conversations with people, I noticed that they get over their excuses instantly. Most of the time it’s because I’m here to call you out when you are playing small, when you’re really caught up in the excuses and having someone to talk to where you can’t lie to them, you can’t lie to me. I will call you out.

But having the competence and the awareness that all the lies you’ve been telling yourself about why you can’t all the limiting beliefs, when those go away, that is when inspired action happens.

In this first week, when I am coaching you, we get over all of those mindset blocks. We decide on your business. So for the eight weeks in the academy, you know exactly what to focus on and what to move forward with. It’s self study. It’s eight modules, but you can go as fast or as slow as you like.

The Online Landscape

In this week’s episode, I want to talk about What to Do When Your Followers Copy Your Content. I feel especially called to share my opinions on this matter, because over the past few weeks, I’ve just noticed more and more instances of my followers copying either my landing page, my bio, my workflows, and most recently my products.

This isn’t just like, get inspiration and adapt your own twists to it. In some instances, it’s a carbon copy. I will preface this episode and my opinion by sharing that my entire life I’ve always gotten SO so triggered every time someone copies me, copies my work, copies my outfits. Every time I feel like someone has taken a part of my ideas or identity, I’ve always historically been so triggered.

And in this online space, I knew even since my influencer days, by putting your work online, it is a lot easier for people to replicate because everything is so shareable. Everything passes from one creator to the other. And you know, you never know where work originates from.

Over time, I’ve really had to reassess my opinion and my reaction to finding out when people copy me.

The First Instance

The first instance of something like this ever happening outside of my personal life, under The Wanderlover, when I was in business. The first instance of someone “doing me wrong” was when I found out another Instagram account had been using my photos without permission and without crediting me.

This was maybe back in 2017, everything was still new on my business was still new. I was spending so much time finding the perfect location for the photo going there at the perfect hour spending so much time shooting the photo and then editing the photo. A lot of effort went into creating the final product of the photo that I shot and shared on Instagram.

I remember the first time when you experienced something like that, you’re just in complete disbelief and you feel so wronged. You’re like, this is my work. How dare they just reuse it without telling me without giving me credit? You feel like they’re going behind your back trying to get credit for something that you deserve.

So when this first happened, I immediately DM them being like, Hey, this is my photo. You do not have permission to share it. I cannot believe you would do this behind my back without even crediting me. And I just went off. I was like, if they’re doing it to me, they’re probably doing it to so many other creators. And this is just cutting our value short because they’re just repurposing without our permission.

After I sent that message, you know, I felt pretty good about it. I was like, huh, I showed them. Now they’re in their place. Lo and behold, a few months later, the same thing happened. And guess what? Over time, it just kept happening over and over. And then I had to reflect and be like, am I going to message every single person, every single time that they copy me or am I going to take back control of my time of my thoughts of my feelings and let it go. Right?

And that was when I had to decide, is it worth my time to hunt down these people, some of them with just like a few hundred followers, right? And they’re just trying to make it, they’re trying to find their groove in the online space. Am I really going to call them out in this day and age where everything is so easily shareable, everything is so easily accessible and copyable.

The Best Course of Action

The best course of action when you find out that someone has copied your content is just to let it go focus on your own business, bring the power back to you and keep moving forward.

Everything is in some way, shape or form borrowed, or it is imitated.

And everything is just in this circulation of inspiration and execution. And sometimes when people are just starting out, they may need content. And sometimes they’re just trying to find their way, right?

So nowadays, instead of hunting down each and every person that has done me wrong, I take it as a compliment. You know the saying imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. There is truth behind that, and being able to change your perception of a situation brings the control back in your hands.

Reframe Your Mindset

You have the power to change how you perceive and how you act going forward. And on top of that on top of being able to let go, let it not trigger. You have all the control, take back all the power.

You can also be turning this negative incident into content like this one, like a podcast episode. And I think that is one of the most important lessons of entrepreneurship that when you get to a certain level, people are going to start noticing they’re going to start criticizing. And inevitably other people are going to start copying.

In Entrepreneurship, you really can’t let the little things irritate you, you just can’t let them affect you because in the grand scheme of things, in the grand scheme of where your business is growing, where it’s heading, how many people it’s impacting, letting little things, get you worked up and even worse, investing your precious, precious time into trying to get them to take your content down or to teach them about what is acceptable on the internet.

Instead, investing your time and energy into ways to get more clients, to serve your clients, to move your business forward.

Do you see the two paths that you always have a choice? And you can choose whether to go down the path of following up of constantly seeking people who are out there copying you, or you can just move forward in the other direction. I know it’s hard. I know instantly you’re going to feel like people have wronged you and people wrong. You all the time on the internet when you are a public figure as your business grows.

I want you to now take it as a compliment, reframe all these little negative instances into signs that you are growing, you are being noticed, and your work is so good that people are copying.

If I look back on the times in the past, when I’ve felt extremely triggered, I can confidently say from a point of view, now that I was fearful and I was scared that my authenticity and my brand would have been compromised. If someone else were to have copy or used my work.

So it almost came from a fear that I was being replaced, right? Like I am so unique because of this. And because my work is being reused and replicated that I wouldn’t be unique anymore. And now I realize that is simply not the case because I’ve built my brand with my voice, with my photos, my creativity, my face behind it.

Even if someone were to use my copy, my photos, my products, it wouldn’t have the same soul behind it, it wouldn’t have the same experience. It wouldn’t have the same effect. It just wouldn’t right. Like all of my coaching services, all of my programs, all of my digital assets are mine because it comes from my heart. And so if someone else were to even try to replicate it, I just know that there is no way it would be as good as mine because I created it.

So if you think about it from that perspective, if you think about it from a self-confidence perspective, are you intimidated that someone else is maybe taking bits and pieces of your brand? Are you intimidated by the fact that they may take customers and clients away from you, right?

Because if you come from a place where you are just so, so confident in what you have to offer, you know that there is only one, you, you know, that your work cannot be replicated. Then there is absolutely no reason for you to care if someone is using your brand.

And if you are one of my followers who have either intentionally or unintentionally replicated, but maybe you thought it was taking inspiration from, but it was actually replicating my work. I am not here to reprimand you – instead, I would love for you to explore some of my private coaching options, where we can talk through exactly how you can create your own irreplaceable brand, where you can find your own voice, find your own way to connect with your audience so that they are aligned with your own message.

Instead of being confused by you trying to be someone else, there’s absolutely no reason for any of you to feel like you need to be seeking external validation, seeking external copywriting, to convey your message trust as an entrepreneur trust as CEO of your own company, that you have exactly what you need to create the best content that speaks to your audience right now. You don’t need to be looking at anyone else. You just need to be yourself. I hope this episode was helpful to those of you who are experiencing or going through something similar.

If you are an online business owner, know that this is probably going to happen to you sooner or later. It is nothing to be fearful of. If anything, it is a compliment that you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing.

Other people are looking to you for inspiration, so you’re doing something right.

If you’re not an online business owner yet, and you want to become one and you want to have a community of us supporting you when things like this, sometimes unfortunately happened. But we are here who understand what you’re going through, and we’re here to help you through it.


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