Reader Kate asks,
“Any effective ways to protect files from being shared? My clients are paying for their workouts and exercise videos and I don’t want them to think that this stuff is free anywhere else or they won’t want to pay me.”
Maybe you’re right. Maybe this is true. Or Maybe it’s all in your head.
I’m reminded of a story from Marc Eckō’s book, Unlabel.
As the story goes, Eckō was strollin’ down women’s street, a night street market in Hong Kong known for selling fakes and knock-offs. He was with a clothing buyer from the area.
As they walked, Eckō complained to the buyer that his brand was being ripped off and sold on the street.
I love the buyers response.
According to the book she, without hesitation, stopped and said,
“You’d be more upset if your clothing wasn’t here.”
With 210 million copies of his books sold, Paulo Coelho, best known for The Alchemist, is one of the bestselling authors of the past 30 years.
A master storyteller, Coelho success has been a combination of skill, luck, and marketing. In addition to maintaining a free blog, he is the most followed author on social media.
Coelho actively supports piracy.
On March 13, 2015 he used his platform to promote and thank the smallest bookstore in the world, a boy in Delhi selling pirated copies of his books on the street. (link) Coelho believes so strongly in the power of piracy for marketing and promotion that he once called on the ‘pirates of the world’ to ‘unite and pirate everything that he’s ever written’ teaming up with file-sharing website Pirate Bay to allow users to illegally download every one of his books. (link)
Stop wasting your time trying to figure out ways to protect your precious content.
Your clients aren’t paying you for the video exercise demonstrations that you filmed in your gym or even the workout that you meticulously programmed. The honest truth, my friend, is that those things ain’t that special. What you’re saying has been said before, is being said for free online, and isn’t worth anything. Fitness books can be bought for under $20 and professionally-filmed videos can be found for free with the press of a button.
I know this. You know this. And your clients know this.
People will pay you for you, and for the belief that you are the one who cares enough to help them. They pay for the belief that they can achieve and the largest determinant of this is belief in the process, something that’s hard to create with a fitness book or video that’s a dime-a-dozen.
Belief is valuable. Content is not.
My advice to you is to toil away, day and night, getting good enough so that people want to steal your stuff. Put yourself into the world. Create. Get better. Positively impact as many people as possible, encouraging them to believe in themselves because when they do, and you’re the one who got them there, they will buy whatever you ever want to sell.
Your time spent worrying about theft of your video is nothing but a distraction. Save the mental energy and read another book, write another blog post, or call a smart friend and have a conversation.
It takes years to get good enough to be stolen from and when that happens, celebrate because it’s what you worked so hard for.
Until then, be angry that they aren’t stealing from you and let that drive you.