You should strive to have your ideas stolen.
Over the last few days a few of my friends on Facebook have spoken out about how their ideas or strategies have been adopted (stolen). Now these are ideas/strategies they haven’t readily shared but other marketers did what all market participants do, they watch their market and adapted.
While this might seem like a problem to some it’s actually what you should strive for.
If you notice your ideas are starting to get picked up it shows you’re having an impact on the market. It should also cause you some level of discomfort but not for the reason you might think.
This should be an early warning that your idea or strategy is about to lose effectiveness. The more saturated an idea or concept becomes typically the harder it is to stand out and grab the attention of your market.
It’s Better to Have Your Ideas Stolen than to Steal Ideas from Others
I haven’t checked lately but babies aren’t born into this world with micro-USB ports (yet) and hooked up the internets loaded with a data set of knowledge. Everything we know came before us, so ultimately we all kind of take ideas from other people.
Maybe stolen is a too strong of a word in this context but the thinking aligns well. If you’re a market leader you always have your ears and eyes to the market. But if you find that more of your ideas are borrowed or remixed from others (in your market) it should indicate you’re not pushing yourself to discover new insights. Also how much of your own thinking is based on your own data?
We tend to believe what others that we trust tell us when we don’t have the data ourselves.
I fell into this trap recently when for the past few years we haven’t adopted some marketing tactics that a few trusted friends told me they never had success implementing. I realized we didn’t know for sure and we couldn’t verify they were right. Just one of these strategies is converting at such a high rate I’ve already seen others in our market follow suit.
That’s a warning for us to modify our strategy.
But there are even more important reasons why you shouldn’t be concerned:
Experts are Prolific
If you think about any expert you admire how much content do they have out in the market place? I’m willing to bet tons (and probably stuff you didn’t even realize until you dig deeper).
Experts in any market produce and release more content and ideas than anybody else.You can’t shut them up. They make connections in the shower, as their waking up, and as they continue to hone their craft they begin to develop a need to produce more and more.
This is pretty standard fare in any market and industry. It’s the passion to produce that makes an expert prolific but there’s also another driving factor that comes into play.
Experts Strive to Provide Clarity
Experts in any market realize that their main goal is to educate and provide clarity to their target market. Not once but on a consistent basis. Trust is built over time and providing clarity to a market over time helps you build not just authority but a tremendous amount of trust.
When you consistently provide clarity it’s near impossible for others in your market not to borrow your ideas and concepts. Mainly because the things you teach, say, and release make so much sense that they become common thinking and jargon. And since you’re prolific in the market as well they can’t escape your reach.
Since we are ultimately all products of our environment when others in the market follow and not lead (even though they present themselves as leading) they become more of an echo chamber. That’s why you see in any market the leader either innovate at a much higher pace or slowly decline because they fail to keep up with upstarts that learn to out innovate.
Are Your Ideas Being Stolen?
I’m under the assumption that you want to be a market leader (maybe I should have stated that upfront).
How many of your ideas are borrowed (stolen) by others in your market? Or even outside of your market?
If it’s not that many could that mean that maybe the ideas and things you release really aren’t pushing any limits? Now if you have data that backs up that what you’re doing is working then great. But if you don’t or if you’re struggling at all maybe it’s time to think about what you need to do to have others want to steal your ideas.
I’m not saying this should be your primary motivation, it shouldn’t but it should be an indicator you might want to look towards.
So what are you consistently putting out in the marketplace in the form of ideas or strategies that is worth stealing?
Image by Daquella manera