By Leesa Barnes
” In the last 90 days, I’ve discovered individuals who have copied content from my sales pages. In fact, one person started promoting her virtual event using the exact name that I use for my annual telesummit.
Of course, I was upset. My heart started beating, my hands started shaking and I wanted nothing more than to send a cease and desist letter from my lawyer.
But there is a way that you can handle content theft without getting a lawyer involved. Here are my tips on how you can approach the person the person who has stolen your content so you get the results you’re looking for.
First, take a 15 minute breather. I find that when you fire off an e-mail in the heat of the moment, you tend to regret what you have written. So instead of replying right away, go for a walk, grab some tea, or head out to the gym. Just take a quick break before you take any action.
Next, craft an e-mail where you do not pass blame. One time, I approached someone who had ripped off content from one of my sales pages. She replied to my e-mail stating that she had hired a copywriter to write the content for her. She had no idea that the copywriter plagiarized my content and sold it to her as the finished product. So, here’s a case of someone trusting a freelancer to get the job done, and the freelancer was dishonest.
When you write an e-mail to the person who plagiarized your content, treat it as if the person did not do something wrong. Yes, I know they did something wrong, but the tone of your e-mail should lean towards being forgiving.
For example, you can say in your e-mail:
“Hey, the content on your webpage looks exactly like mine. You may not be aware of it, but since I wrote that content first, can you please remove it or give me credit?”
Last, reward honesty. About 90% of the time, if your e-mail has a tone of forgiveness, the person will come out and admit that they were wrong. Recently, someone who attended my Social Media Telesummit launched her own virtual event. The topic of her virtual event was similar to mine and sadly, she copied content from my sales page for her own.
After approaching her over twitter, she admitted that she knew very little about marketing and felt that the only way she could complete a sales page was to “copy” from who she considered to be the best.
At this point, I felt the need to provide a little bit of coaching. After doing so, not only did she change the content on her sales page so it read less than mine, but she enjoyed a very successful attendance at her virtual event.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you provide free coaching. Also, if you are writing blog posts or articles and you’re giving people permission to copy and paste it on their own blog or in their e-zines, then this is a different story.
However, if the person has copied your content without giving you credit, then this is grounds to send them an e-mail and aske them to stop.
In my virtual event marketing blueprint, I’ll teach you how to create a name for your virtual event so that it does not plagiarize someone else’s. I’m also going to teach you how to write sales copy so that it’s original and fresh. The live training starts on May 19 and there are still spots available. Click here to grab your spot before the price goes up on May 14, 2009.
Leesa Barnes is an award winning blogger and critically acclaimed author who helps businesses get active using social media in 3 simple steps. To learn how you can become Marketing Fit, visit http://www.marketingfit.com to get your complimentary to get your complimentary kit called the Marketing Fit Success Kit containing a social media checklist, mindmap, MP3 file and a complimentary subscription to the Marketing Fit ezine.