It’s no secret that successful people and businesses inspire copycats. I hear it from potential clients all the time “I want a brand just like Jenna Kutcher” or I love the charm of Hope Taylor’s website. I get it, they are lovely and beautiflly designed, however, as soon as these comments come up I immediately have read flags. Will this client want to look within to build a brand from scratch with me or are they going to be making a HUGE branding mistake?
We’re all tempted to copy those who we look up to, but let’s look at a few quotes about “copying” others:
“You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and die.”
“If you copy, then it is not self-expression.”
“When people are free to do as they please, they typically imitate each other.”
And, I’ll share one more for good measure:
“In everything, truth surpasses the imitation and copy.”
The number one branding mistake I see creatives making with their brands is copying others – not branding from within or branding their true selves.
Inspiration is one thing, but I cannot tell you how many times I see people wanting to do exactly what another successful photographer, wedding planner, or influencer is doing.
Following advice is great and learning from the wisdom of others is crucial, but it’s important to learn the principles and then add your creativity, personality, style, and authenticity to what you’re doing.
When I build brands and websites for clients, I help them focus on choosing inspiration that represents who they really are. When you are truly and unapologetically in love with your brand, people make a connection to who you really are and they almost feel as if you’re friends or long lost soul sisters.
If you’re branding to be just like your peers and using the same colors and fonts as everyone else simply because you think it’s what your clients want to see, there is absolutely no way you’re going to stand out in your industry. What’s that equal? A big time branding mistake!
When clients meet you in person, they’ll feel more apprehensive if what they saw in your brand is inconsistent with who you are. That “instant connection” they felt online will be missing, because that’s not who you really are.
Want to make it easy for people to connect with you online and offline?
Want to make sure that people are at ease with you and build a relationship from the first time you “meet” them online to the thank you card you send them when you wrap up their project?
Brand from within and brand your true self.
You want to be unforgettable but in a good way! You definitely don’t want to have your brand come off as fake or phony or you’ll do more damage than if people never came across you at all.
P.S. – Wanna skip the whole reading thing and just give it a listen? Watch the Real Talk Video from this blog post right here: