3 Things You Should Do When Someone Copies Your Work
This morning, I woke up to see that someone new to fonts on Creative Market had started using the same formatting and city-title concept that I've been using for months. I literally did a double-take when I saw it, thinking "I didn't make this, right?" Bummer.
So, as could be expected, I got into a little bit of a rage and started thinking of ways I could get this person to stop. I mean, I'm seeing this only two days after my entrepreneurial father warned me that people would try to knock off my stuff soon. Won't people notice??
As I cooled down, I started to remember the countless marketing books I've read and what they all say about this – don't waste your time, make better stuff.
I realize every situation is different (sometimes, yes, you should definitely take legal action), but this morning, here are 3 things I'm doing to handle this situation:
1. BREATHE + ASSUME THE BEST
Settle down, take a deep breath, evaluate the situation. This person has two fonts. I have 30. As long as I keep doing what I'm doing, they'll struggle to catch up to the amount of content I have. Also, it could be that this person, new to the game, saw my work on several pages and figured that's what cover images needed to look like for their fonts to be successful. Doesn't explain the city-name thing, but still. Assume the best.
2. BEAT THEM AT THEIR OWN GAME
Content is king, people. Put out more content than your copy-cat can keep up with. Consumers will gravitate toward familiarity, and if you keep putting out great content consistently, they'll see you more and trust you more.
3. GIVE THEM TIME TO FAIL
I read a great quote in an article today as I was going about my justice-fury:
And as you are steaming ahead in growing your business, let them struggle with the realities of getting a business off the ground. Because, let’s face it, if you’re so lacking in imagination that you have to steal someone else’s idea, then you don’t deserve to be successful, and probably won’t be. - Hannah Martin
The people copying you are obviously not that creative if they feel the need to rip you off. We're dealing with the same issue in our other businesses at the moment as well. People see what we're doing, are maybe "inspired" by the model, and blatantly copy it almost immediately after we announce what we're doing. Imitation is flattery, I suppose, but they'll quickly realize that what works for us may not work for them. And the same goes for you!
So! Take a deep breath, keep doing what you're doing, and let it run its course. Odds are, if others are blatantly copying you, you're doing something right.
- jen wagner