Are You Stealing Content? How to Avoid Being a Copycat in Your Business - Christine Kane

Content is EVERYWHERE, and it’s so easy to find and share it nowadays.

That’s what today’s topic is all about—a question that comes to us from a very conscientious entrepreneur who wants to know how you make sure you’re not stealing someone’s content.

Kelly writes in,

“I teach a lot of this stuff myself…how do people like us share what we are learning with and from each other without feeling like we are borrowing, stealing, copying or otherwise being shady LOL. I deliver it in my own authentic way but want to make sure that I am giving credit where it is due!”

This is a really good question, because all of us are creating content all of the time, and now more than ever, the content is out there!

It’s going to be tough to give credit to content in today’s world.

The key is how you teach it and how you frame it.

For instance, in my Uplevel Academy, I have two tracks with how I frame my content. The Strategy Track, and The Soul Track.

One piece is the left brain—the business side…how to do the marketing, creating an ezine. The other side is soul…all of that supposedly soft stuff that I know gets in the way of peoples’ success. That’s how I frame—that’s how I contextualize what I teach.

What I would say with you, or any expert that’s out there is to really pay attention to how YOU teach your clients.

When you’re just in the moment and talking to clients, watch yourself. When your client has an “Aha” moment, what did you just say? Something about how you are filtering information is really hitting home for them…and THAT’S what you want to pay attention to.

This is what I call framework, and contextualizing things. The key is that it really takes a little time, and discomfort to find your own way with this—Sitting, creating, and giving yourself that space so that you can find your way with this.

Being entrepreneurs, we can tend to be all over the place with our ideas, but at some point you need to carve out the time to create the things that are yours—and you KNOW they’re yours. Take those ideas out of your head and lay them out in ways that are going to hit home for your clients.

What do you do if someone steals your content?

What I tell my clients is that your energy CANNOT be ripped off. Your spirit can’t be duplicated (but of course it’s not OK to violate trademarks or logos…that’s a whole other thing..and that’s what lawyers are for!).

You can tell when someone isn’t congruent with their teaching. You can’t sustain success ripping off other people.

Share your comments with all of us below! When you’re sitting down and creating content, how do you get beyond the fear of copying what others have said?

  • Pauline Haynes

    Thanks, Christine – spot on as always. This is a great reminder – all that is has always been. I liked your article so much that I re-posted it to FB! No, I did not take credit for it. Besides, there’s only one CHRISTINE KANE!

  • Darin Johnson

    I am just starting my site, but one of the recommendations from Ray Higdon is to use a concept called ILT (Invest, Learn, Teach). This is a method of Blogging that Ray Higdon has used on his blog and it allows you to take any content and put your own spin on it plus you can give your own tips that you learned form it.

  • Grace

    Thanks, Christine, for that reminder! The thing I try to do is stick to weaving my own story in the content. That’s going to make really difficult for someone to use my content as their own.

    Someone else’s story may have elements that are similar to mine, but nobody’s story is EXACTLY like mine.

    Someone would have to do a lot of bending and twisting to use my content as their own, without adaptation. Such is the stuff of in-congruency.

    And as you say, for everything else…that’s why we have lawyers.

  • Calliope Callias

    I Loved the reminders you are giving us here.
    I have had trouble with both of the themes you are bringing here.
    With feeling that everything have been said already. SO, what do I have to offer that is new. So, I loved the reminder that even if I say the same thing with someone else, if I use my own true way it will be different than anyone else. It will touch people differently.
    Also, the reminder that it is really about Our Own Energy that we are putting in our work and that can never be ripped off!
    Thank you for both.

  • Trudy

    Thanks Christine – this is really helpful. Many years ago, a person in one of my coaching groups decided she could do what I did, without any any any training, took material I had given to participants, and set herself up as a ‘coach’. Lock stock and Barrel, the material even included quotations I’d given, she simply copied them into her name heading.

    For a long time this really chewed at me; intellectually I know the energy is different. Reading your words above really helps again.

    The one really great thing to come out of that experience is an absolute respect on my part for the intellectual and heart rights of people who create material and put it on the web.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  • Becca

    I love this abundance mindset – it is so easy to slip into fear and lack mindset. Thanks for the reminder!!

  • Roxane Lessa

    Great reminder! This is really important in the art world, obviously. I love the comment you made about catching yourself- what did I say that had my client have a breakthru?
    And that no one can rip off your unique energy- they can try, but it will feel inauthentic.

  • Karen Pierce

    Hi Christine! Thank you for your thoughts here. I know someone who has sent me a couple of articles via email, and within her message attached is an assumption I could “repurpose them” because the articles were in alignment with my message. I’m astonished at this attitude! Who would I be kidding? And if I’m having to “repurpose” someone else’s material it means I haven’t found my true authentic Self’s message. I’m just imitating someone else’s authentic self. I know I don’t have to worry about ripping off anyone else when I take the time to sit quietly and listen to what my heart is wanting me to put out there. You’re so right about nobody really being able to rip you off, because if one continually listens to their heart and acts on that with the messaging, it will have a consistency, a deeper truth, and people will get real results. When messaging is ripped off, it doesn’t take anyone very long to recognize an imitator when they don’t get results promised. An imitator doesn’t really know how to get deep results with what they’ve “repurposed” from another.

    • Sherri McLendon

      You’re right, the choice to repurpose someone else’s content is a gray area. However, some coaches create derivative content from others’ work. Technically, this is allowed under copyright law, but personally, I tend to notice who attributes their sources and rank their credibility higher than those who do not.

      A better option is called “curating” content. That’s when you highlight a dominant claim or fact within the content someone else has created, agree or disagree with it, and explain your thinking. This is a great way to show opinion or thought leadership, and it honors both your contribution and that of the person whose work you’ve cited.

      That being said, I once chose to release a client because he chose to plagiarize content from Wikipedia without attribution and passed it off as his own in a published work bearing his name. My respect for his significant personal contributions to his field was tarnished by his willingness to take a shortcut that was out of integrity with his work ethic – and mine.