What to Do When Your Followers Copy Your Content

Have you ever had someone replicate your work or use your content without crediting you? It's super triggering! In this episode, I teach you how to switch to a confidence mindset and actually embrace the copycats!

Have you ever had someone replicate your work or use your content without crediting you? It’s super triggering! In this episode, I teach you how to switch to a confidence mindset and actually embrace the copycats!

Tune in or read the blog version below!

Read the Blog Version

Hi everyone! Welcome back to The Wanderlover Podcast. 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 posts, 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 been so triggered.

I knew that as an influencer on social media, by putting your work online, it is a lot easier for people to replicate because everything nowadays 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 Time Someone Copied Me

The Wanderlover Instagram feed

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

This was back in 2017. 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 post that I shot and shared on Instagram.

And then I found my photo on someone else’s page because one of my followers had let me know.

My Reaction

The first time you experience 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. This is just cutting our value short because they’re just repurposing without our permission.

After I sent that message, I felt pretty good about it. I was like, huh, I showed them. Now they’re in their place.

The Bigger You Grow, The More It Happens

A few months later, the same thing happened AGAIN.

And I reached out and spent all my time trying to get the content down.

But guess what? Over time, it just kept happening over and over.

Response to follower copying
My response to someone who copied my work

That’s when 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?

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?

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.

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

When you’re so focused on your OWN path, it becomes impossible anyway trying to chase down all the copycats. I have hundreds of posts, podcast episodes, blog posts, and images, that it’s simply not worth my time.

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.

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, and how many people it’s impacting — letting little things get you worked up and investing your precious, precious time into trying to get them to take your content down — is simply NOT worth your time.

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

Choose Your Focus Wisely

Do you see the two paths that you always have a choice?

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.

What you focus on expands.

I know it’s hard, I know instantly you’re going to feel like people have wronged you.

But people are going to wrong you all the time on the internet when you are a public figure as your business grows.

Celebrate Your Success!

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!

People only copy who they admire, right? If your content sucked, no one would want to copy it.

Celebrate that you have people WANTING to copy you, and continue focusing on what expands your mind and business growth, instead of lowering yourself to their level.

Self-Confidence is Key

If I look back on the times in the past when I’ve felt extremely triggered, I can say 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.

It came from a fear that I was being replaced. I thought I was so unique because of one thing, and because my work is being reused and replicated that I wouldn’t be unique anymore.

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.

“Often imitated, never duplicated” ✌🏼

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. All of my coaching services, all of my programs, all of my digital assets are mine because it comes from my heart and my experience.

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?

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.

Shoutout to My Copycat Followers

If you are one of my followers who have either intentionally or unintentionally replicated 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 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.

And I’m sending you love if you feel like you’re struggling to find your magic in the online space.

Conclusion

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, join the Business Academy!

If you’ve enjoyed this episode, it would mean so much if you could leave a review on Apple Podcasts. This helps us spread The Wanderlover mission to those who need a dose of inspiration today, thank you!

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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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Hi, I’m Danielle

My mission is to help you design a location-independent lifestyle through online entrepreneurship, to achieve time freedom, location freedom, financial freedom.

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