No one likes a Copycat. We all grew up with that friend or that person that was constantly copying or imitating what we did or said. Even though it may have seems flattering at first, it QUICKLY got annoying. Today I want to go over 5 tips to deal with a copycat.
We have all heard the age old comment that, “imitation is the highest form of flattery”, but is it? In a day and age where we deal with a constant stream of comparison and copying, it’s easy to lose ourselves in what others are portraying. It’s not fun to feel like someone is copying our work, so how can we learn to deal with it?
1: Know what you are signing up for
Stepping up into the influencer space can be very daunting, especially with all of the comparison and well.. Influencing there is. It is pretty inevitable when someone in this space starts to copy or draw inspiration from other infleuencers or brands in this industry. The problem comes when the line between inspiration and copying is becomes a little fuzzy. Just like that, things can get pretty well annoying. Because this is so fresh for me in my life, I had to sit down the other day and realize that I signed up for this life. Just as a celebrity signs up the paparazzi, a barista will have their fair share of rude people (trust me, I know), and a blogger inevitably will get a copycat.
Like the great Coco Chanel said, “If you want to be original, get ready to be copied” – Coco Chanel
2: Try to not take a copycat personally
When I first started blogging, a lot of people didn’t understand it. Like many of you who are entrepreneurs or who have taken an unconventional path, a lot of people don’t get it. Some of those people voice those opinions, some judge silently from the side lines. The more successful my business got the less I seemed to care what those opinions were. Sure, it was hard feeling like there were people that didn’t like what I was doing or what I stood for, but it didn’t seem to matter much when the ball really started rolling in my career.
When I look back in hindsight and I think about these people or words that I heard these past few years, the only time I really get upset, is when I start to see those same people copying or imitating my work. Of course I understand that sharing content and posting about my life, really does force me to be an open book. I know that I “should” be understanding and should probably expect it, but nonetheless, the annoyance doesn’t waver.
Because Arturo and I spend countless hours creating content and concepts for my brand, the idea that someone can just take the same idea and use it for themselves???? Well, it seems unfair. I know you are probably sitting there thinking, “everyone copies everyone, that’s what Instagram is”. Even though I hear those thoughts and I have the same ones, there is something that just grinds my gears when I experience these things. Because I didn’t want others to affect my work space or my mental process, I quickly had to realize that I needed to not take it personally. Maybe that person is struggling with their creativity, maybe they truly love my work and want to create similar content. MAYBE they don’t even know they are doing it. (shrugging girl emoji)
3: Take it as a compliment
With that being said, if you break it down, someone who is copying you could think it was a good thing. There are a lot of people I see in my life that I tend to jump the gun on. I see that they may have the same shoes as me, or buy the same camera. I IMMEDIATELY sigh and think, ” of course they are doing that, because of me“.
Let’s be honest though guys, I could very well be reading into it OR be a little vain when it comes to certain things. Sure, there are 100% people in my life that have straight up created the same content as me, but also. It’s not all about me. I could have bought a pair of shoes I saw on another influencer and paired it with a similar outfit…
4: Know that your feelings are validated
Okay yes, I know it’s my job to find the Silver Lining in everything, but you truly are validated in your feelings. It is straight up stressful and annoying to see these things happening. Sometimes I not only see people copying my work, but I also see MANY other people in this space copy what the “big dogs” do in this world. Sure, I get it, draw inspiration from them, use their presets, DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO. But I really do believe that there is a very fine line between imitation and straight up copying. This goes for content, coloring, outfits, equipment, everything.
I truly think that if so many people stopped copying what that other person was doing, they would find their creativity and truly thrive.
So why am I saying all of this? Why do I have the right to say all of this?
Well, I was doing this very thing.
5: Take a look at your own life
When I first started my Instagram, not even my blog, just Instagram. I drew inspiration from MANY different bloggers and celebrities. When I did this, I really did find my passion for fashion and what my style was as a woman. That is one reason why I do completely understand drawing inspiration or creativity from someone who has practiced their craft for years. The real problem came when I started to cross over that line I talked about earlier. It went from being inspired… To buying the same exact things, taking pictures in the same exact way, and wanting to somehow morph myself into these successful bloggers I was seeing.
I was slowly, but surely, losing my voice and my identity.
It’s a really strange thing to lose a sense of self at an older age. I know many of us go through this in middle school or high school, but this was different. I was seeing all of these amazing women being who they were, and I just wanted to be them.
Was this inspiration? Heck no, it was straight up copying. The thing that I hate the most, and exactly what I’m talking about today.
So why did I bring this up now? Because I genuinely feel like I finally found my voice. I realized what it meant to truly be me, and create content for my business that wasn’t inspired by anyone else. Just Olivia.
If you are struggling with a copycat, know that it will be okay. It is completely frustrating and annoying, but it doesn’t make that person any less. Maybe it will take them awhile to find their voice, just look how long it took me? Know that your feelings are validated, but having someone imitate you should feel like a compliment. A really annoying compliment.
Maybe you are the one who is copying. That’s okay too, but I urge you to take a step back and look in the mirror. Seek out what your passions and creativity are, and know that no one else can be you. Don’t stop taking inspiration from others, but also don’t try and be them. You are uniquely you, not some copycat. (but if you have a cat, that’s real cute too)
Comment below with your experiences. Whatever end of the spectrum you are, I want to know!
Never Forget, Every Story has a Silver Lining