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I was at a marketing conference, and I found that there are some people there who don’t necessarily care about their customers. They care about the money. They care about the short-term gains that they can get from their business. And one thing I always notice about you is that you care about the long play and you legitimately care about your customers and the people in your audience and the people who are around you. Do you have any advice for companies who want to take that approach and are concerned that they might be missing out on short-term money and what they should do with their long-term brand building?
There’s a letter from Warren Buffett, it was in one of his annual reports, and he was talking about short-term income versus jeopardizing your brand. And he mentioned in it when you have a choice of making extra money or long-term brand building, because sometimes that extra money can hurt your brand, right, by just taking that quick cash and upsetting some people. He said don’t worry about the money, and focus on long-term brand preservation, helping people out, and do whatever it is to build a real legitimate company that’s long-lasting.
If you truly do care and you put people first like I’ve given people refunds when I refer them to hire another agency and I don’t get a kickback. And I don’t like doing that, which is why I stopped just making referrals, because they’re trying to tarnish my name or whatever, and I’ll do whatever to protect it.
And I care about my name, but more importantly, I care about people, and I care about helping them out. I’m focused on long-term brand building. When I hear the sob story, I’m like, “Sure, you know, let me give you something, “let me help you out,” because I want them to succeed. I have found that when you care about helping others, not because you want to protect your name from everything else, but more so because you truly care. And I’m this way because when I started off, I needed help and people cared to help me. It didn’t help their business. I never spent any money with them.
They just cared to help me. And I realized that it’s an amazing thing and I’m not successful, I’m not rich, but I’m in a position where I can help others, and I care to, and I genuinely do appreciate it. So why not? And yes, I’ve built up a brand because of it over the years and people are like, “Oh, Neil, you’re everywhere “in the marketing world. “I see your videos; I see your podcasts.” It’s not because I try to build a brand. I was consistent with helping other people.
I was consistent with putting out good information and helping people who couldn’t afford to pay me. I didn’t realize that this was going to generate me, customers. I didn’t realize that this was going to build my brand. I just did it because I cared. If you take that approach and you genuinely do something because you care to help other people, you’ll be better off in the long run. So don’t care because there’s some benefit from it or indirectly you can do well. Care about long-term brand building because you want to care and you truly enjoy helping other people.