Episode 103 How to Deal with a Copycat in Business with Ali Lilly

Feb 09, 2022


What you will learn from this episode:

  • Learn the essentials for successfully rebranding your business.
  • Hear stories of beauty brand copying and lessons learned from the high cost of brand/product infringement.
  • Find out how to protect yourself from copycats and imitators to safeguard your brand and your business' profitability.


Our brand look and vibe often change as we grow and evolve personally. Sometimes, you may figure it out initially, or you may need to reassess.

Do you feel like others have copied or mimicked your business ideas? How did you handle it?

Do you feel like you need a brand image or a complete change in your business?


Ali Lilly is the founder of Lash Anarchist and the host of the Lashes and Bullsh*t podcast. She is a lash professional who turned educator to help other lash professionals grow their businesses. 

In this episode, Ali shares some fantastic advice on branding and what to do about copycats. She also reveals her self-awareness that being a salon owner was not what she expected. Hear about the biggest challenge in her entrepreneurial journey, the lessons learned, and what steps she took to start again. Her experience creating a new brand and the success that followed as she stayed true to herself is an inspirational story.

In addition, she also touches on tips in picking a business name so that you can avoid costly issues in the future.


Topics Covered:

03:42 - Taking a step back from being a salon owner to follow a more aligned path

07:08 - Her biggest product seller

07:49 - Choosing a name - why 'Lash Anarchist.'

10:31 - Growing her following with two leading marketing platforms 

13:05 - Her thoughts and feelings about copycatting

15:30 - Dealing with and protecting your brand

19:57 - What to do before choosing and deciding on naming anything in your business

21:09 - Piece of advice for handling imitators

22:27 - Stepping back to move forward - overcoming her biggest challenge as an entrepreneur

24:13 - The freedom and happiness that comes with a significant self-awareness

27:32 - Facing the challenges of leading and managing people

29:00 - What she would tell herself back then when she was starting

30:10 - Wisdom she shares with those starting in the lash and beauty business

33:32 - Exciting things happening in her company that you might be interested in

37:32 - Touching on an Enneagram personality test and sharing more gems of wisdom 


 Key Takeaways:

"I feel like if you're a copycat, you're just a watered-down version of somebody else. Time will either promote you or expose you."- Ali Lilly

"If somebody were to copy me, it's very frustrating and so annoying, but it's just thinking of the bigger picture and realizing like if you have something unique and special, you're the only person that can sell it or teach it the way that you can. If their branding is just a rip-off of yours. It's never going to be the same. It's like they can steal your recipe, but the sauce will never taste the same." - Ali Lilly

"If you really come to somebody who copied something, that's yours; I think another good offense is to copyright and trademark your stuff, and really just protect it. I really do believe this; putting your information out there a lot more is going to protect you. Because everybody's going to know where that came from in the beginning." - Ali Lilly

"When you're trying to choose a name, even just for a class, like, google it, make sure there's nothing even close to a trademark because that could really come back on you." - Ali Lily

"I think one of the biggest challenges was realizing that I wasn't a salon owner, and I didn't want to be. Sometimes, you have to take a step back to take two steps forward. And you really have to kind of check your ego at the door as a business owner because you will fail. But you know, you have to take it as a learning experience."- Ali Lilly

"I would tell myself that I need to really go with the flow and that my dreams might change and develop over time. So don't get so attached to one outcome that you don't appreciate the outcome that actually organically happens." - Ali Lilly

"Just keep going; I know that we have much hype in our industry. Be patient and realize that it's a marathon, not a sprint." - Ali Lilly

"If you're in it for that, and you don't enjoy the journey that you're on, you might be on the wrong journey." - Ali Lilly

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