AskPat 206 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 206 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me. As always, I'm here to help you by answer your online business questions, five days a week. Today, we have a great question from Ari, but before we get to that I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is Lynda.com.
That's Lynda.com, the number one online best learning platform. Hundreds of thousands of videos that you can choose from to learn anything from business skills to leadership skills, management, online marketing, productivity, and my favorite are the different software courses. You can learn the ins and outs of your favorite software tools to be more efficient and productive. You got to check it out, from Photoshop to Evernote and all those sorts of things. You can get it right there at Lynda. Guess what? We've got a deal for you, because you can get access to all courses, for free, for seven days if you visit Lynda.com/AskPat. You can try it out, again, for seven days for free. That's Lynda.com/AskPat. Also, now, let's get to today's question from Ari.
Ari: Hey Pat. While I was on the internet looking for other blogs, I found that a lot are very similar to yours, meaning they've copied your layout or tried to replicate you in some way. I was just wondering, what are your thoughts on that? Do you feel angry? Are you honored? Glad? I was just wondering what your thoughts were. Thanks for all you do, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Hey Ari, thank you so much for the question. It's interesting. A lot of people have been asking me this lately, because a lot of people have been noticing that there a lot of sites out there and people doing things that a lot of people might not be comfortable with in terms of copying. I put a lot of stuff out there. A lot of people know that I'm successful. I come out with my income reports every single month on The Smart Income Passive Blog and things like that.
Yes, there are people out there who have copied my sites. Few people have copied the exact same templates of my sites. Some people have pure, and straight up just copied my content and pasted it on their own site, as their own, without any credit. I've had people take my images and use them on their own websites without asking me permission. I've had people use my logo, use my images on advertisements, advertising something else. Sometimes it's these really shady affiliate products and the crazy thing that's happening now is a lot of people are using images of me and my brand name, my trademark, Smart Passive Income, in advertising, targeting my fans on Facebook. So people who are my fans see my image, see my trademark, and they click on this link, and then they go to some product that says it's endorsed by me when it is completely not.
There are different . . . in terms of my reaction for these sorts of things, it ranges depending on what it is. What I had just mentioned really frustrates me. It mostly frustrates me because it misleads people who are following what I do. It misleads people who have trust in me, who I've spent time to build that trust, with my audience. People are trying to take advantage of that and take the shortcut. I hate people who want to take that kind of shortcut. There are a lot of great shortcuts you can take to be successful, but when you are purely riding off the back of another person's success, and not really providing any value of your own to get that trust and authority with that audience that somebody else has worked so hard for, then that's what frustrates me.
There are people out there who have copied my sites, for example, the layout of certain things that I've done. I think that's cool. I think that's somewhat flattering. I'm sort of honored people see what I do and frame it in their own way. A lot of people make it exactly the same. A lot of people take it and tweak it and use it in a different way, and that's totally fine. Some people copy exactly, and I'm sort of 50/50 there because, yes, I paid money for the development of the certain things, WordPress themes, ebook templates, those sorts of things. I spent money on that, but getting upset about those things, I feel, isn't going to make a difference.
It's actually going to hold me back if I worry too much about that. Again, that is not something . . . especially if it's in a different niche, which often it is and that's why I don't necessarily get angry. I just let it pass. I might, depending on . . . I guess I approach it on a case by case basis, but typically if I see somebody copying a layout on one of my websites or something like that, maybe its a piece of my website that they implement on their own site that's exactly like how I do it, I think that's pretty cool sometimes. I'm like, “Hey, this person thought that what I did and what I created was good enough to put on his or her own site,” and that's pretty awesome.
Now when it's my content, that's something that I work really hard to create. I publish it, and it should just be obvious that something that I spend, or anybody spends time publishing and putting out there, that's intellectual property. You can quote it. You can . . . there's varying degrees of this, but you can use that content in different ways. However, if you use that content, no matter what degree, it's proper etiquette, you should be giving people credit where credit is due.
A lot of times . . . I'm even at a point now, where . . . and I know a lot of bigger blogs are like this too, where they publish a post and immediately, they get backtracks, meaning there site gets pinged that their content has been published on somebody else's site almost instantly. Other sites out there, they are connected to my RSS feed and they publish content that I post. However, typically when it's from an RSS feed like that, and it sort of auto posts on another site, it comes with a link. That's kind of cool because I get a backlink that way. Although, that doesn't really matter. It's kind of cool that my content is on somebody else's site, almost like a guest post without me having to do a guest post. It does give credit back to me. There's a link back to my site. I'd almost kind of . . . I don't know. I don't understand the strategy behind doing that because you're just taking somebody else's content.
Even if you give credit to it, how are you providing unique value to your audience? I don't even understand how you can really, truly build an audience, a long-lasting audience, a long-lasting business using those types of strategies. You got to put your unique voice on things. If you're going to get inspired by somebody else's content, talk about it. That's fine. But then add your own voice, add your own spin. Talk about it even further. Go deeper into it. That's how you can take something that already exists and make it better. That's how businesses succeed now. Think of all the great businesses that happen now. They're not things that are completely invented brand new, nobody's ever seen anything like it before. They're people who take things that exist and make them better. You can do that online, too, and should be doing that.
Using common sense, I think that's the one thing that a lot of people, online, don't have, is common sense. I would assume that everybody listening to this show does have common sense and you're all awesome because you listen to the show. Hopefully you have been inspired by me in one way, shape or form. I hope you use that, whatever that inspiration was or whatever I've done for you, and put it into your business and use it. Move forward with it and make it even better. Do what I do even better. That's what I want.
Anyway, I can go on for quite a few minutes about this. But, Ari, it ranges. I think the big thing out there for everybody out there is, as you begin to grow, you're going to see a lot of people copying your stuff. You're going to see a lot of people getting inspired by it, which is good. But you're also going to see a lot of people rip your stuff off. You have to, kind of, on a case by case basis, handle that stuff. I'm at a point now where I can probably hire somebody to handle that stuff. There are that many opportunities to focus on that. But I don't want to waste my energy on those things when I could be putting my energy into things like AskPat, or The Smart Passive Income Podcast, or writing my blog, or creating new videos.
Speaking of videos, another thing that some people have done, which is probably one of the most upsetting things for me, is they've downloaded my videos. You can install plugins or tools on your desktop or your PC, your Mac, to download YouTube videos. They download those YouTube videos and then they create a new YouTube channel, some of them even using my name or my trademark, and uploading them as me. In the description, or in an annotation in that particular video, the same exact video, it links back to some affiliate link, or some offer, or some lead page, or something. Again, that's using my own content, especially my videos. That's seriously ripping off right there.
The ads, and when people use my name and face, especially. One time, somebody used my name, targeted my Facebook followers, but then used a picture of a scantily clad woman and that was just . . . Wow, okay, now you're making it seem like I'm the person doing this. I had people emailing me like, “Is this really you? I can't believe you're using this image.” I'm like, “NO!” Anyway, don't get me started. Actually, you already did, but that's okay. I'm ending it now. But I just wanted to let you all know how I feel. I think this is a great question and a little bit different from the other types of content here on AskPat, but something very important. I think as you all grow, you're going to be met with the same things. I would advise you to be wise with how you spend your time, but also make sure that you are defending yourself when it makes sense, as well.
So Ari, thanks so much for the question. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way. Thank you all for your support and for listening to the show. If you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on AskPat, just head on over to AskPat.com. It's really easy to leave a question. All you have to do is press that little button in the middle of the page on AskPat and using your mic, or whatever internal mic or external mic that you have, you can ask a question. I love hearing all the questions that come in. I can't wait to get the next one.
But before that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is Lynda.com. Again, a great tool that you can use to learn anything online. I even used it in the past to help me learn how to use my DSLR camera. Even the basic course that I used helped so much. So I am feeling like I'm a lot better with my DSLR camera and I'm about to head into some of the more advanced courses in there. But there's a lot of other training and things like that like Excel training or time management fundamentals and things like that.
These videos that they have, they're not just YouTube videos either. These are studio quality, high quality videos with a lot of learning tools to go along with them, from transcripts to playlists. Some of them even have certificates of course completion so if you're working at a corporate job, this is a great way to improve your skills and add to your resume. All those sorts of things. So again, you can get access to all of the courses for free, for seven days, if you go to Lynda.com/AskPat. Again, that's Lynda.com/AskPat. That's how they know that you're coming from my show and perhaps they'll stay on as a sponsor. That'd be awesome because they're great. They're a great company. I used them. They're amazing.
Thank you so much for listening and today, as always, I like to end with a quote. Today's quote is from Franklin D. Roosevelt, and he says, “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” I couldn't agree more. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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