The video discusses the success of individuals with big brands who make a killing through their celebrity status rather than from their businesses. The speaker talks about dealing with haters and the importance of ignoring negativity and focusing on providing results for clients. They also discuss the diminishing role of the speaker as the face of their businesses and how big contracts prioritize the personnel involved. The discussion concludes with an analysis of Gary Vaynerchuk's success, highlighting the importance of operations, execution, and other factors beyond personal branding.
- The majority of the people with big brands
that make a killing make it because they're a celebrity
and they're getting paid for movies or sports or music,
as well as sponsorships,
like going into TV commercials.
It's usually not from business.
- You have a very big reputation in the SEO industry.
Everyone's very well aware of that.
But you also have people who are haters.
And I even get haters on my stuff,
and my audience is tiny compared to yours.
So how do you deal with that?
- Honestly, I don't see most of the haters.
I ignore it.
I don't waste my time on that kind of stuff.
I focus on the business, providing clients results,
making sure we go above and beyond
to delight the clients no matter what,
and being there for them.
I don't really worry about the haters,
or what people say.
I honestly don't read most of it.
I honestly don't really even see most of it.
No one really shows it to me.
So I don't really know about 99% of my haters,
and it doesn't really bother me.
Out of sight out of mind, I guess.
It's the way to do it.
- Ignorance is bliss.
Yeah, that's interesting.
because I implemented a policy recently,
where I'm done reading comments on any of my social stuff,
I'm done looking.
I just made the policy,
I'm just not going to look at it anymore.
I still skim through the comments
and look for the value ones,
but I don't worry about the haters.
I don't really see haters stopping.
I see it growing, and it is what it is.
I mean, the bigger you get,
the more you're going to get.
That's just the inevitable progression, right?
- Yeah, but I've gotten hate
for stuff that's not even related to me.
I remember my buddy, Eric Soo, released some software thing,
and people started hating on me because he released it,
and be like, "Look what Neil's doing again."
I'm like, I don't even own a percentage of that business,
nor isn't mine.
But he was telling me about it.
I'm like, "Yeah, I don't really care."
I just move on.
Well, and also one thing
that obviously makes your situation very unique
is that you've been
the face of your businesses across the board.
So is that something you want to continue to do?
And what are the implications of that model?
- It's less and less.
The ad agency used to be called Neil Patel Digital.
We changed the name to NP Digital,
still my initials, NP, for Neil Patel.
It also makes the name shorter.
But yeah, no,
I'm less and less the face.
Also, the bigger contracts,
let's say if Ford is paying you,
they don't care about Neil Patel.
They care about, "Who specifically is working
on my contract,
they're part of the sales pitch,
and what is their experience in my industry,
and what results are they going to produce?"
When you go over the big contracts,
they actually care really heavily about the personnel
of their accounts.
So you may have got them in the door though,
because of your face.
So how much has that benefited you--
Remember, 77% of our business is from referrals
and RFP and employees.
So it's like I'm not even getting most of them the door.
But it certainly does help that you are--
- It does help.
It builds trust.
It helps more so when we are starting off.
At our size, it doesn't help as much.
When you're starting off a business, it helps a lot.
When you're already established,
it doesn't help as much as one may think.
Yeah, because I think about Gary V and VaynerMedia.
Would his media company be as big as it is
if he wasn't the face of the brand?
That's kind of the debate, right?
- I think it helps.
I definitely think it drives some of the revenue,
but not as much as most people think.
Gary V doesn't actually talk about marketing
in most of his content, right?
- No, he doesn't. - He's talking about
how to succeed in life,
how to be a better person,
what do you do when you're 50 and you want to get started?
You think any of these big companies
that has multi-million dollar contracts
are paying him for any of the stuff he speaks about
on social media?
No, they're not.
It's not even related.
They're coming to him because of the team and the value.
They do believe that he's really good at vision,
storytelling, social media, marketing in general,
but they're looking at the team
that's working on their accounts.
You want to know how VaynerMedia
is getting a lot of their contracts
and winning the business?
I know a lot of the people that compete with them for RFPs.
They undercut people in pricing.
They're usually the cheaper provider in year one,
and they're hoping they make their money
on year two and year three,
and slowly increase their margins.
Based on their public information
that they posted about their agency,
mine's already larger
when you're looking out from a cashflow standpoint.
Different way of growing.
Do I have a bigger brand than him? No.
But again, the way most ad agencies build their revenue
is relationships. - Right.
- Has he done an amazing job?
Yes. He's crushing it.
He's done extremely well with his ad agency.
What most people don't realize is,
is it's not that he's just done well from the ad agency.
Look at all the ancillary businesses that he's also created.
What was the one that sold?
One sold to Amex, I believe it was,
one sold to some other wine company, or something like that.
But he's created some nice businesses
that have sold for a lot of money.
And obviously, on the back of his personal brand, right?
- Some of them, yes.
I'm not trying to discount his personal brand.
I think he's done one of the best jobs out there
for a personal brand,
but more so what I'm giving him credit for
that I don't think a lot of people give credit for
is, personal brand is part of it,
but he's done an amazing job with operations and execution.
Personal branding's just a piece of it.
If he couldn't actually do
a great job operating and executing,
there wouldn't be the businesses of this scale.
There's a lot of personal brands out there,
and people that are much more popular than him
on Instagram and Facebook,
but they don't have the skillset
on picking a big enough tam for a business,
or figuring out how to build a operational team,
or a executive team
that can go and execute on it really fast,
or helping him out with strategy.
There's a lot of things that he does to make it successful
that's outside of the brand,
that are super important, that most people overlook,
that I think is a big key to his success.
Yes, brand is super important,
but without those other elements
he wouldn't do even 1/10th as good as he is doing today.
And if you look at influencers out there,
there's a lot more people on social media
that are way popular than Gary V.
And again, I'm not trying to knock him,
I'm actually trying to give him credit,
because a lot of those other people don't make a fraction
of the money he's making,
because he understands trends, operations, execution,
and all of these other elements that you need
to create something that's super successful.
It's not just brand.
That's the point I'm getting at,
is those other elements are, in my opinion,
more important than just brand.
And he has been doing
those other elements extremely well as well.
- Yeah. Yeah.
I mean, there's a lot of people with huge audiences
that don't have big revenue businesses,
so that's clearly not the only important--
- Majority of the people...
It's not even the majority of the part.
Majority of the people I know who have big brands
don't make a killing.
The majority of the people with big brands
that make a killing make it because they're a celebrity
and they're getting paid for movies or sports or music,
as well as sponsorships, like going into TV commercials.
It's usually not from business.
What Gary's done well is he's used his brand
to create businesses and then flip the business,
like, what was that one of the companies called,
Resy, or something like that?
I forgot the name. - Mm hm.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Done really well on that.
He did really well on his NFT project,
but again, with that, creates a lot of expenses.
That Resy business, I don't know what it was called.
Well, I can actually look it up right now.
Gary Vaynerchuk sells company to, I think it's Amex.
Resy, the CRM.
So let's look this up.
Amex buys Resy.
"American Express intentions to acquire announced today
for a million dollars."
I know it's more than a million dollars.
I don't know the exact price point.
But either way, it is out there somewhere.
He mentioned this somewhere, or some article mentions it.
But either way, he's done really well,
and has made nine figures from a lot of other stuff
that no one talks about.
And all I'm trying to get at
is a brand is only a small piece of the pie.
You need the other things to do really well.
If you look at people like him and me,
and I don't have as good of a brand as Gary does,
it's the other stuff that really builds a company.
If you look at most of the big companies out there,
the largest ones,
it's not a personal brand that built that organization.
So you obviously,
what's probably helped you a lot
is just time doing this as well.
You've had such a long time doing this,
so much experience,
compounding and compounding,
that has led you to this point.
Now, if you were starting today,
would you have done it the same way,
or would you have done things differently?
Would you have started with the personal brand,
or would you have decided,
"No, I'm not going to do personal brand.
I'm just going to go kind of corporation style."
- That's really hard to say,
because all the previous stuff I've done has allowed me
to have enough money to make NP Digital
my fastest growing business.
And with NP Digital,
I don't know how much I spent,
more than 3 million,
my guess is maybe less than 5 million,
that I put in of my own capital into the business
to get it up and running.
I don't really keep track, because some of it,
it was at different times,
and some of it got repaid,
and then I had to put more money,
because sometimes you have ups and downs.
But when I look at the numbers and my growth,
the first year,
I think we did 5 million in revenue the first year,
five, six million.
As a agency, I think second year was like 15, 16,
if I had to guess.
I don't have the exact numbers,
but it was something like that.
You look at my CEO, who we pay an arm and a leg to,
he's well worth it.
He drove seven-plus million dollars
in revenue last year by himself.
So if I had to do it over again,
and I knew this going into it,
I would hire people who are really experienced
and have done it multiple times.
For example, my CEO was a president of iProspect,
which is a division in Dentsu,
and I think he had to deal with four or 5,000 employees.
I don't know how big iProspect was in revenue.
If I had to guess, somewhere between 500 and 800 million.
I kind of have a rough idea,
but it's somewhere around there.
Hiring people who have already done it
just gets you bigger much faster,
but it costs a lot of money.
And if I had to do it over again,
forget personal brand, I would just go hire people
who have built successful companies in MySpace before,
and just pay them a arm and a leg.
That's what I would do from day one.
Forget the personal brand.
What I'm talking about
is just the quickest way to build a business.
It's also one of the most expensive ways,
because those people are super expensive.
What about the challenge though,
if you're starting out
and you don't have the capital to hire the best CEO,
or the best talent?
How do you reconcile that?
- Usually, can't hire the best,
because those people,
here's the other caveat,
they also don't want to be a part of joining a startup
and starting from day zero.
They're used to working in their corporate life,
and they're used to managing a lot of people,
and that's what they're good at,
and they're usually not good at building something from zero
to 10, 20, 30 million.
They're usually good at scaling something
from 50 to a hundred,
or a hundred to 500, or 500 to a billion.
So you got to hire the best people you can for the time.
Based on your current stage that you're at.
- Exactly. - Yeah.
I think it's important to know too,
that, you know, you going to $5 million in the first year,
obviously, would you agree,
that that was because of all of the personal brand stuff
that you had done prior to that that led to that?
It wasn't just like one day you woke up
and you started a $5 million dollar agency.
And 99% of the revenue came from a personal brand.
We could have even had more.
We couldn't hire people fast enough.
Second year, we were able to scale a little bit more
on employee count.
That's why you saw even more of a growth on the second year.
Third year, we had crazy growth as well.
Fourth year, we had crazy growth.
Even fifth year, we had crazy growth.
So it's interesting,
because I know,
I've watched you over the years,
and I've watched the different business models
that you've had and different things you've done.
But what led you to want to start an agency at all?
Because I know at one point
you weren't even doing any agency.
- Yeah, I didn't want to,
but a lot of inbound inquiries
for me to work on consulting
for, really, a lot of large brands.
That was it.
It was just,
we had so much demand of people hitting me up,
emailing me personally,
that we're like, "Huh, maybe we should respond
to these people and do something."
That's where the personal brand did help.
Okay, yeah, so it wasn't some huge revelation.
It was just like, "Hey, we've got demand,
so why don't we just do this?"
- You're talking about like 10-plus years
of trying to build a personal brand
and then cashing in on it.
And it wasn't even that easy.
It was so much...
Even the first year, there was little to no profit.
You could be like, "Oh, five million in revenue."
Literally, almost no profit.
Second year, some profit, but not a ton.
We were just dumping it back in to grow.
So where was that capital being reinvested into the agency?
So right now, different countries, regions.
Right now, we're in United States, Canada, Brazil.
I'm going in my head, you know,
each continent, I'm breaking down where we are.
So we're at seven.
We're about to put an offer out for some of the lead up.
We're trying to find someone to head up
the rest of Latin America for Spanish speaking.
Usually, for Spanish speaking, you focus on Mexico,
Columbia, and I think Argentina are the three.
So we're to start those this year.
We are interviewing someone today for Portugal.
We may have someone to run up EMEA for us,
you know, Europe, Middle East, Africa,
and expand fashion, get it to France and Italy.
We're also looking for Spain.
We have feelers out right now for Indonesia,
Thailand and Malaysia.
But we're going after pretty much
the top 50 countries by GDP, most of them.
We're avoiding some,
like we won't touch Russia,
we won't touch China.
We'll partner with people in regions, like China.
And it's not because we see anything wrong with China.
Just political issues.
You know, as a startup, investing all the capital,
then having issues,
it's a big expense and a hit for us,
so it's easier to just partner with
a local agency there that's Chinese.
But yeah, we'll start going after
the major regions like that.
- Yeah, that's interesting.
So how much does it differ from,
obviously, let's say you're pitching a US company
versus pitching an Indian-based company.
Obviously, the retainers and the currency exchange,
things are probably radically different.
So how do you handle that?
- No, but it's all local based.
So our India team pitches India companies.
Like we work with Tata in India.
It's because we have people in India.
We don't have India to outsource US work to India.
We have India to work on India companies.
Our Indian agency alone,
I don't have the numbers in front of me,
but does millions and millions and millions a year.
It does over a million a year alone just in profit.
So it's a good size for a startup.
But you can scale these regions
to making a good amount of money.
There's a lot of big businesses
in countries like Brazil or India or Malaysia or Thailand
that most of us never could think about.
- Like we look at the US and Europe and all these regions.
It's like, "Oh yeah,
there's not that many big companies in Romania.
There's no money there."
Well, there is. Look at their GDP.
It's a question of what are you doing marketing for?
Imagine if you were in a hundred countries as a company,
and each region only produced 2 million a year in profit.
Doesn't seem like a lot, but that's 200 million a year.
A hundred regions, 2 million a year.
Even if it was a million a year per region, hundred regions,
that's a hundred million a year in EBDA.
It adds up.
Yeah, that's definitely true.
You're thinking big. (chuckling)
So how about the day-to-day operations?
because I know you're not actually,
you're not operating a lot in some.
- I don't (indistinct) day-to-day.
I spend 60, 70, 80 hours on the business a week,
but I don't do day-to-day.
What I mean day-to-day is,
I'm not on the management calls.
I don't do the stuff that I don't like.
I focus mainly on client work, results,
strategies, tactic, marketing.
I enjoy it. To me that's fun.
People are like, "Ah, dealing with client marketing
and figuring out new strategies
to grow a client's traffic, that sucks."
But for me, that's fun.
I don't want to deal with finance and accounting and HR,
and all that kind of stuff.
That's the stuff that I tend not to deal with.
But you need to deal with that, right?
Like legal and all that stuff.
Someone has to deal with it.
So are your days similar,
or are they different most days?
Something always new that you're working on?
- Similar. Mainly phone calls.
Like talking with my team.
"Oh, you tried this idea out for this client.
How about you try this one out?
This could be really cool.
If it works, we'll let it out to all clients."
Like just brainstorming, having fun with them,
that's the stuff that I love.
Yeah, that's good to know.
So at this point,
obviously, you're not doing this for money anymore,
let's be honest here.
You're not doing this for money.
So what's making you do this?
- I love it. It's fun. - Why have these ambitions?
- It's just fun.
We're a little different.
We don't care for multiple homes and all that kind of stuff,
We have nice homes.
We have a house in Beverly Hills we never live in.
My wife and I are thinking about getting rid of it.
My wife focuses all her time
on raising our children and philanthropy.
She heads up some organizations and has some fun doing them,
and eventually, we'll give away all our money.
We don't think our kids need it.
We think other people need it.
But I love making it.
It's fun for me. It's a game.
My wife loves giving it away.
And our kids can go earn it, like everyone else.
That's a good point.
Well, let's kind of think about...
How were you brought up?
Is this kind of embedded in your family,
to be kind of this obsessive--
- My mom was an entrepreneur.
- Okay. Yeah.
- They all were workaholics.
Most of my family didn't donate as much,
but they also didn't make as much.
Different times, right?
It was easier for my parents
than it was for my grandparents.
the dream, the American dream,
is it gets easier, and the grass is greener on this side.
And, hopefully, it's easier for future generations.
Now, I don't think it's necessarily true.
I think it's actually harder these days
for new people that are being brought up
to buy a home or do a lot of things.
But hopefully people who have money can give back
and help all the other people who aren't in as much,
don't have as much privilege.
Like I look at education system.
What happens if we can give amazing education to everyone,
minorities, inner city kids, everyone?
What would it do?
You probably would have less crime,
more people who are successful.
The world would be a much better place.
But why can't that happen?
If the government can't do it,
why can't a lot of people with money use their power
and their money to help out?
There's a lot of things that people can,
a lot of good people can do with their money.
And I'm hoping more and more people do it.
And if you look at what my wife and I do,
we actually don't do that much,
compared to the grand scheme of things.
You look at what people like Bill Gates
or Warren Buffet are doing.
They do much more than my wife and I.
I don't think we'll ever be able to do
what they'll be able to do,
because we don't have the capital and the resources they do.
But you know, if everyone can just do their part,
hopefully it makes the world a better place,
as cheesy and as cliche as it may sound.
- Yeah. Yeah.
So are you trying to,
with your children,
is your goal to kind of teach them the entrepreneurial way,
or are you just going to let them kind of figure it out
on their own?
- It depends if you ask me or my wife.
My wife wants to just raise really good human beings.
I will tell my three-year old daughter,
like she'll want something, like, "Negotiate with me.
Why should I give it to you?
What am I going to get?"
So I like teaching her business,
but for me it's a passion.
My wife isn't as obsessed about,
"Our kids have to do this,
or be this in their career,
or make this much money.
I just need to raise good human beings
that are ethical, try to help other people out,
and have their head on straight."
And my wife is 10 times better than me,
maybe a hundred times better than me,
at raising our kids,
so I try not to really push them in one direction or another,
but I have some fun and I teach them some skills.
Or if my daughter wants to watch cartoons,
I'll be like, "Alright, I'll give you 10 minutes of cartoon
if you watch CNBC or Bloomberg for 10 minutes."
She's not going to soak in that much,
but I'm going to try to do whatever I can
to make them entrepreneurs.
If they don't want to be,
I'm not going to really push that much.
- Yeah. Well, that's pretty much all I have.
Well, thank you so much.
This has been very, very useful,
and I think you're going to help a lot of people
who've been following you for a long time,
to kind of see the inner workings of what you're doing.
Now, last question is,
well, what's the 5-10 year goal?
Do you want to keep riding this out at NP Digital,
or do you have a long-term vision of like,
"I'm going to sell this thing at X?"
- No, just keep riding it out and having fun.
Whatever happens, happens,
but just keep growing and having fun.
- Well, thank you so much Neil.
And congrats on all your business success.
Thank you for coming on. - Thanks for having me.
In today's digital age, personal branding has become increasingly important for entrepreneurs and business owners. It allows individuals to establish themselves as industry experts, build trust with their audience, and attract potential clients or customers. However, personal branding is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to achieving business success.
Many people believe that having a big brand automatically leads to financial success. However, as discussed in the video, the majority of individuals with big brands don't actually make a killing from their businesses. Instead, they rely on other avenues such as being a celebrity or getting paid for endorsements and sponsorships.
One key takeaway from the video is that personal branding alone is not enough to ensure business success. While it can help attract initial attention and build trust, it is the ability to deliver results, provide exceptional customer support, and execute effectively that truly sets successful entrepreneurs apart.
Another topic discussed in the video is how to handle haters and negative feedback. Both the marketing specialist and Neil Patel agree that ignoring haters is the best approach. Focusing on the business, delivering excellent client results, and being there for clients are far more valuable and productive uses of time.
It's important not to let negative comments and criticism affect your mindset or confidence. Ignorance can indeed be bliss, especially when it comes to online trolls or individuals who may be jealous of your success.
The video also touches on the role of being the face of a business, emphasizing that as a business grows, the face of the brand becomes less important. While being the face of a business can help build trust and attract attention, ultimately, clients and customers care more about the expertise and experience of the individuals working on their accounts.
When it comes to securing bigger contracts, clients prioritize the personnel and the results they can produce. This highlights the importance of building a strong team and operating efficiently to deliver exceptional service to clients.
Despite the significance of personal branding, the video stresses that operations and execution are equally, if not more, important. Branding alone is not enough to create a successful business. It's essential to have a strong operational team, a clearly defined strategy, and the ability to execute effectively to drive revenue and growth.
Entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk, who have been successful in building a personal brand and generating revenue, have achieved this not only through their brand but also through their exceptional execution, vision, and ability to tap into trends.
In conclusion, personal branding undoubtedly plays a role in business success, but it should not be seen as the sole determining factor. The ability to deliver results, provide excellent customer support, and execute effectively are equally critical. By focusing on these aspects, entrepreneurs can build successful businesses that stand the test of time.
SMS marketing is being embraced as a more intimate way to engage with customers. A multichannel strategy using email and SMS can maximize results.
Engagement rates on social media platforms like Facebook and TikTok vary significantly. Creating quality content, using videos, and engaging with users can improve engagement. Regular postings, strategic timing, and calls to action also help. Experimenting and analyzing results are essential for brand success.
Companies should prioritize customer service education to ensure well-educated support representatives who provide immediate and effective replies to customer inquiries. Training programs, knowledge sharing events, and practical application of skills are key components in creating a positive customer experience.
The text discusses the importance of effective communication tools and personalized experiences in building strong customer relationships. It also provides templates for different types of emails, highlights the features of LiveAgent customer service software, and mentions its demo, pricing, and alternatives. Additionally, it emphasizes the significance of sending new employee introduction emails to clients and provides tips on how to write them.
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