A year ago I read “Steal Like An Artist: and ,” by Austin Kleon. It was a quick read, I remember reading it in two trips to the pool with the babes.
Truly gem after gem of awesome actionable business advice.
He even quotes the Bible:
All to say: NOTHING IS ORIGINAL.
Now this is not a book review, although I would highly recommend you do check the book out. However, the takeaway I want you to get in one sentence + a glimpse at the image above : curate and steal from artists [we’re all artists + it’s all art] in order to up-level your business and set you apart from the rest.
The irony, eh? Steal to be different. Yup...that's the theory.
Be inspired and take action in the inspiration. No one is telling you to copy + paste. You may need to go read the book, if that is what you’re thinking.
No secret, but I adore my sissy pooh Beyonce. I am obsessed with her marketing and her interaction [or lack thereof] + marketing. No I won’t be dropping a surprise launch at midnight and announcing it on twitter. But just in case I change my mind, go follow me on twitter, I would hate for you to miss out on the in real time scoop. Anywho, I am a pop culture junkie and I study pop culture's strategies, marketing and "launches." I take the parts that I like and remix it to fit my style and business.
Meanwhile on the lovely internets where online biz peeps and bloggers hang out, I see two methodologies [maybe four tops] being played out. It looks a little like this:
1. Work with said coach [or stalk ALLLL their free content]
2. Begin using language of said coach or blogger.
3. Business model is modeled after said person. [Carbon Copy]
4. Crickets to their offer that looks like the 545,678,787 *insert more numbers + commas as you see fit* other people hitting copy +paste of said coach.
What they need to do is hit CTRL + ALT + DELETE or COMMAND + ALT+ ESC for my mac peeps.
It's time for a reboot and a strategy to steal like an artist.
Remember, nothing is original. So the idea has been cycled over and over, before you even were exposed to it. And my friend, you are too amazing to just be spitting out sloppy seconds [ or even worse...remember that huge # we couldn’t agree on earlier].
Would you eat a piece of gum that has been chewed by just four people before you get your turn?
I'm grossed out just thinking about it. Imitation and straight up stealing other's intellectual property and website design is the same thing.
You look lame.
Your work doesn't seem as credible.
Oh and very importantly...please note you can be sued.
To be great and to steal like an artist, you take the element and embrace it with everything that embodies YOU.
So all of your life experiences, the way you think, the things you like, the things you love...everything that embodies you.
Apple was not the first company to come up with the concept of a computer tablet. Toshiba was. Apple took the concept and built upon it and created the game changing iPad.
In order to keep up with all this stealing, I use Evernote. In Evernote, I created a stack SLAA [I pronounce it slay! as in yass girl yass slay that into something amazing!]
A stack in Evernote is basically a file folder to group together your notebooks to keep things organized.
SLAA Notebooks I have:
- Copy Swipe
- Email Copy Swipe
- Facebook Ad Copy SLAA [SLAA is behind this as I have another folder specifically for my facebook ad’s copy]
- Launch Swipe
- Opt-In Swipe
- Sales Page Swipe
- Set Up
- Welcome Emails
Copy Swipe - If I’m on a website and see copy that just stops me in my tracks. Like wow, did you just seduce me with words. I clip it into this folder, so I can evaluate why was it compelling + what made it stand out.
Email Copy Swipe - I receive an email, that I actually read all the way through. High five for keeping my attention and passing the scan test + making me go back to the top to read in detail. These get forwarded to evernote by my email.
Facebook Ad Copy SLAA [SLAA is behind this as I have another folder specifically for my Facebook ad’s copy] - I have ad blocker on my computer, so I rarely see ads. However, if I’m on facebook on my phone and see an ad that made me stop and look...I’ll take a screenshot and add it to this folder by creating a note or adding it to an existing note.
Launch Swipe - You know how you see something really cool, but forget about it when you want to tell someone else about it? Yeah. This folder exists for that very reason. Whenever I see amazing launches going on and I receive emails or see website pages that absolutely rock my world; I clip, screenshot or email them to this folder.
Opt-In Swipe - same premise here as the other folders. If I receive a really amazing opt-in, I forward that baby right here.
Sales Page Swipe - My sales pages are pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. However, I love the dynamics + psychology behind sales pages. You know the nerdy not so cool reasons of why do people buy. So when I see a unique page that doesn’t look like the million others BUY NOW, I save it in this here folder.
Set Up - there’s absolutely nothing in this folder. nada. zilch. I’m sure one day I’ll remember why I created this folder and then I’ll probably use it. [Sorry about this]
Welcome Emails - you guessed it...if I receive an amazing welcome email, it goes in here for me to analyze at a later date.
The truth of the matter is, I don’t clip or email or even screenshot weekly, but when I do see something striking, I send it to SLAA. When I’m uninspired or knew I had a good idea, but couldn’t quite remember what that idea was, I take a look at my SLAA folders.
An excerpt from Steal Like An Artist
Don’t just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style. You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes. The reason to copy your heroes and their style is so that you might somehow get a glimpse into their minds. That’s what you really want — to internalize their way of looking at the world. If you just mimic the surface of somebody’s work without understanding where they are coming from, your work will never be anything more than a knockoff.
Never do I copy + paste, but I find a way to remix the element or elements so it is my own. I evaluate what made me notice it, so I can create something that would make you stop and notice.
It’s so easy to scroll past the same meme and image because we have been exposed to it over and over and over again. Our mind doesn’t even register it anymore.
So the first time you saw it, that person did their job in grabbing your attention.
And since nothing is original, it’s your job to create strategies and systems to help you to keep your lady focused. How do you steal like an artist?