We’ve heard the phrase imitation is the highest form of flattery. Or is it? Truthfully, if you are just starting out in the business it’s probably the worst enemy for your professional growth. Our industry boasts amazing talented people but it’s also flooded with copycats. I’ve seen this many-many times. I’m sure you’ve seen it too. Professionals using other industry professional’s images to promote themselves or their work. It’s sad and heartbreaking at the same time. We need more authenticity.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are stumped or are lacking inspiration don’t be disappointed. It happens to everyone. However, take the opportunity to dig deeper and try to understand the industry that you have chosen in depth. Educate yourself. If you are just starting this might be an indicator that you need more time to hone in on your strengths and weakness or it’s time for you to specialize in one area of the industry vs. trying to be “Jack of all Trades”. A common misconception is that by copying someone else’s work is going to guarantee success.
The reality is that when you chose to do this you are impacting many along the way. Allow me to break it down for you today:
1. What is truly incredible about a wedding is the story of love behind it and the remarkable couples that we meet. It’s imperative that each couple’s vision is customized and tailored to their taste. By copying someone else’s work you’ve already deprived them of that.
2. Designers/Planners spend the most of their professional life building their distinctive portfolios and because of this many recognize their brand. Instead of presenting their work as yours it’s best if you present it as an inspiration piece and honor or credit them as the source.
3. The person that benefits the least form your copycat approach is YOU. You see, when you do this you run the risk of not being able to produce the event. More than likely, you do not have the same the infrastructure as the person you are trying to emulate or the same partners to execute it. In addition, you automatically lose credibility. It’s easier to walk a potential client through a presentation that you are comfortable with rather than have to pretend you understand the logistics of a project that is not your own.
Abraham Lincoln said it best: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”. Moral of the story is, just be you’ll appreciate the results more.