Neil Patel is arguably the most famous digital marketer on the planet. I recently had an email exchange with him that showed his class and how I had second guessed him. I wrongfully thought he was taking advantage of the coronavirus situation. Put simply, he wasn’t.
With the spread of the coronavirus we have all been worried about our families and our income. Those involved in digital marketing have been especially concerned as many in the industry are freelance workers with no long term contracts and businesses cut their marketing budgets first when there is economic uncertainty ahead.
This uncertainty is magnified if you have recently sunk a large amount of your capital into a project that has yet to provide return on investment. Mr Patel has been involved in developing a digital tool called Ubersuggest over the past few years and has recently added a lot of new features which have fleshed it out and it’s now a very useful tool set for digital marketers the world over.
Recently, the structure of Ubersuggest was changed to the free version, with limited accessibility to all of the tool’s features, and a paid version with access to everything. As with any new venture it is important to understand what the market wants and what the market will pay for, so I received an email asking me to complete a survey about Ubersuggest.
I filled out the survey as I like the tool and want to help out other business owners when I can. Then a few days later I received another email saying that Ubersuggest was releasing more features to the free version to help out marketers in the difficult times of Covid19.
And here’s where I made my mistake. I assumed that the survey results had come back suggesting the free version of Ubersuggest should have more features to get more users on-board who would eventually upgrade to the paid version of the tool.
We’re all trying to make money online so there’s nothing wrong with this. But I had thought that Mr Patel was using the situation of the global pandemic to push a marketing agenda and be economical with the truth to his subscribers.
In my defense, I have known some marketers with less than perfect morals (and that’s being extremely nice to them). And at times I have a tendency to see the worst intentions behind a digital marketing campaign. That’s what I did here and I sent Neil an email saying as much. If it were the case that someone was using a tragedy that involved people losing their businesses, becoming very ill and dying that would be pretty reprehensible.
I didn’t expect a reply to my email as Mr Patel is a busy man but it’s understandable that Neil would reply because I had mistakenly accused him of doing something he didn’t do and of course he should want to set me straight.
And he made me aware of what was really going on. His business has suffered huge losses as he is running a digital marketing agency (and he has staff to support and worry about), offering more features for free on Ubersuggest has dropped sign ups to the paid version so he has lost money there as well and he and his wife have donated money to help out the homeless in LA during the coronavirus pandemic.
If he was really trying to make bank he wouldn’t be giving away so much for free, that at least should have been obvious to me. It’s important to remember at this point just how helpful Neil has been to many internet marketers over the years. Mr Patel has helped thousands of people to give themselves a job or start an agency or e-commerce business.
All of this has strengthened the economy and helped people find new confidence in themselves and the fulfillment of creating something successful. And that includes me.
Mr Patel also told me that me and his wife donate to a foundation as they don’t plan to give their children a big inheritance. I think this is a really laudable idea as I firmly believe that if you give your children a livelihood you are robbing them of the opportunity to make a life for themselves. They miss out on feeling that they have accomplished something important in their lives, that they have made something of themselves. I think it’s extremely important for people to have something meaningful in their lives, to grow as people. And I for one, would hate to rob my children of that.
So I misjudged Neil Patel when I shouldn’t have and he educated me in what was really going on. I suppose the moral of the story is that in these difficult times we should actively try to support one another, give each other the benefit of the doubt and help one another as best we can.