Ep. 82 What To Do When You Get Knocked Off

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Today I want to talk to you about one of the, I guess I could say, more annoying sides of being in the info product space, and that is when you are copied, or knocked off, what do you do?

So this actually came from one of my Digital Insiders. For those of you who don’t know, who just started following me, my Digital Insiders is my high end mastermind hybrid coaching program where all my clients have one on one access to me. So she came to me because she had been running a SLO offer, it was converting and she found out that she had been ripped off.

Now I think the first part of this conversation is I want to identify what are the types of rip offs. So there’s one, which is a complete copy, where somebody rips off your funnel, they rip off your content, it’s literally a copy. So that’s one kind of rip, which obviously is entirely illegal. The second type of rip off is the more common one. This is where somebody sees your product, sees your funnel, they mimic it, so they do a lot of similar things, the sell a similar product, but it’s clear they didn’t completely copy you. It’s more like when Nike shoes come out and then Nikea shoes come out, and it’s the knock off. And in a free and fair society, that is legal even if it’s really, really annoying.

So how do you deal with this? Because if you put out a product and it’s a good product, it’s only a matter of time until this happens. So the first thing I can tell you, and the most important thing is that your unique selling proposition is critical. This is the thing that makes you different. This is the way you look at the world, the methodology that you use.

So it’s really important for every single product you put out there, you want to find that USP, you want to create an argument, in fact, in Funnel Gorgeous Society we’re currently working through Funnel Copy, the certification program that certifies you to be a master marketer. And one of the biggest arguments I make for great copy is that when you have an epic sales page, you’re actually creating an argument for why your product is the best. And inside of that argument is a unique way of viewing it or looking at it, or something that you do differently. And that is one of the biggest barriers to knock offs because no matter if they imitate your content, they can’t take your USP from you.

And honestly, a lot of times your USP you can actually trademark if you want, if you call it something. I don’t know, I don’t know what trademarks we currently have right now in our business, but you can actually trademark it. So for example in Offer Cure we have the rainbow rule. We could trademark the rainbow rule and make it so nobody could sell a product that had a rainbow rule.

Now, obviously it’s not perfect, right. So the second thing, the first thing is the USP, the second thing is brand. Brand identity is critical because this protects you, because people become loyal to brands. So even if the Nike shoe and the Nikea shoe are fundamentally the same, people are going to buy Nike. Why? Because of the status and loyalty associated with that brand.

So those are the first two things that will help protect you for when the knock offs come, because if you put out great products they will come. USP and brand. The third thing that you should always have in your marketing is you should have regular content that throws rocks at your competitors. Not specifically at their names, but at the methodology.

So for us, again, let’s use Offer Cure as an example since it’s our most popular program. Offer Cure, we can talk regularly about all the other offer products out there that miss the mark and why. We don’t have to call people out in names, but we can continue to rehash our argument over and over and over again in different ways to remind people that our product is the one that we want you to buy.

The fourth thing that you can do that’s really important, is to spend more than your competitors. So Dan Kennedy is quoted as saying, “The person who can spend the most to acquire a customer wins.” And that always has felt counter-intuitive. But the idea is that if your competitor is spending $5000 a month in advertising, and you’re able to spend $50,000 a month in advertising, what’s going to happen? Obviously your ads are going to get shown more, more people are going to buy your product, people are going to think of your product faster than they think of somebody else’s.

So what do you have to do in order to make sure you can spend more money? There’s a couple of things you need to know. Number one, you need to know funnels, which obviously if you’re following me, you know that I am, you know, I love all things funnels. So you need to understand funnels and you need to use funnels in your business, because funnels allow you to either make a profit as you spend in ads, or break even as you spend in ads, which again, if you understand this idea, you’re willing to spend money and crush your competition. So for us, in our Offer Cure funnel, sometimes it’s not. But we’re willing to spend the money because we want to be front and center, we want to be top of mind. That’s really, really important.

Now what happens if your funnel is not break even? Even good working funnels sometimes can’t break even because the cost of advertising is just too high. In which case, the other thing that you need to know to really defend against knock offs is, you need to understand lifetime value. Lifetime value is a key metric that many companies use to determine, “Okay, how much will a new customer spend over the lifetime of them being in the company?”

Obviously, it changes as your company changes. But once you know that number, if let’s say the lifetime value of your customer is $200 and you’re running a funnel and you’re not profitable, but you’re willing to spend up to, let’s say $100 to get someone to buy in your funnel, your funnel is not going to look profitable on the outside, but you’re going to continue to be profitable as a company if you understand lifetime value. So understanding lifetime value and using funnels are the two ways that you can spend more than your competitor. And that is incredibly critical if you’ve got competitors on your heels.

The next thing that’s really important is to always be innovating. Copycats are never going to be as innovative as the original creator. So you always want to be thinking about the next thing and the next thing and the next thing that you can do and the ways you can continue to delight your customers and show that you’re at the forefront of innovation. And that’s really important.

So those are all the ways that you can protect against knock offs. And I think I’m just going to end this podcast by saying, these are not the defenses for a complete rip off, where it’s literally copied word for word. Everything I just told you in the first 7 minutes of this podcast was how to deal with the legal knock offs, that you really don’t have any legal recourse for, but for ways to continue to protect your company.

When you have a direct copy rip off, plagiarism, you want to deal with that as quickly as possible. So obviously the first thing that you can do is go directly to the person, tell them to take it down immediately. The second thing you would do is get a lawyer to do a cease and desist. You can also do a DCMA takedown, which is when you submit to Google, or if you’re on a hosted platform like Clickfunnels or Kajabi, you can reach out to them and say, “This person literally copied.” And sometimes those companies will help you take that content down.

If none of that works, at that point you could sue for damages. That obviously is going to cost you some money, so you really want to weigh whether that’s worth the money and time that it involves. But I would say that it is important to deal with them as much as possible.

Now there are a few of those rip off sites that are always around. They’re usually, you know, hard to trace who the person is. It’s very weird and kind of secretive. Some of those are hard to take down. And I will just kind of give you a little bit of reassurance here as I sign off today. I’ve had some of my courses on those rip off sites for years, and I’m still a profitable and successful business owner. The people who buy from those sites will never be your customers anyway. They are not stealing customers, they are marketing to thieves and thieves are never going to be the people that keep your company in business. So stay focused on the loyal subscribers and customers that are happy to give you money for the amazing products you put out. Appreciate you all, talk soon.