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5 Lessons Every Digital Marketer Has to Learn from Neil Patel's Career

There are no shortcuts to success, and you’re ok with that. You’re not scared of the hard work that you need to put in to grow your business, but you could do with some guidance and inspiration to reassure you that you’re on the right track.

One of the best places to look for that guidance and inspiration is Neil Patel.

Neil isn’t ashamed to share the ups and downs of his own career, revealing the growth hacks that worked to bring hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors to his marketing blog, myriads of big-name customers, excellent reviews of his agency Neil Patel Digital, and turned Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics, and Quick Sprout into crucial digital marketing tools that every marketer turns to.

To make things easier, we’ve gathered a list of the top 5 lessons that you can learn from Neil Patel’s own career as a digital marketer, so as to make your career as an entrepreneur digital marketer progress more smoothly.

Lesson #1: Have More Than One Revenue Stream

As Neil himself explains, you have to experiment with different tactics to make sure your learning curve is always on the rise, and to make sure you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If these tactics fail, you need to move on quickly to try something else. If they succeed, you also don’t rest on your success.

You don’t have to dig very far into Neil Patel’s own career trajectory to see that he really lives this principle. His first few enterprises all failed - selling burned CDs in high school, selling vacuum cleaners door to door, running an online job board - none of them made him any money. But those failures didn’t stop him from moving on to the next idea.

Even once Neil built a successful company, an internet marketing agency called Advantage Consulting Services, he didn’t stand still. He looked for ways to earn more money, which led him to lose about $1 million on an internet hosting company called Vision Web Hosting. But guess what? He didn’t let that failure stop him either.

So far, Neil has founded 3 wildly successful marketing tools - Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics, and Quick Sprout - runs a popular marketing blog, and leads the acclaimed digital marketing agency Neil Patel Digital. And he still doesn’t put his feet up and relax.

Lesson #2: Share Valuable Content

Neil constantly produces valuable content, posting it on the Quick Sprout, Crazy Egg, and Kissmetrics blogs, on Hubspot, as guest blogs in eminent publications like Forbes or the New York Times, and, of course, on his own marketing blog. He always emphasizes the role of top content, ideally longform, when asked for marketing advice.

People use Neil Patel’s tools and consult his Neil Patel Digital agency because they are effective, but they discover the tools and the agency because of the content that he produces.

You just can’t argue with top content. Neil posts videos on YouTube, he attends free marketing events to talk about growing your business and to share marketing skills, and he blogs in dozens of locations. Sharing useful content that helps your customers is a seriously successful way of showcasing your expertise.

Lesson #3: Communicate with your Audience

When you read a Neil Patel blog post or watch one of his videos, there’s one incredibly important element that is almost always there.

It’s in the comments.

Scroll down to the bottom of one of Neil’s blog posts or videos, and you’ll see that he tries hard to reply to comments left by readers and viewers. He’ll shoot a quick “thanks” in response to people who expressed gratitude for his tips, share some banter with someone who likes his leather jacket, and give real advice to the new blogger asking how to gain visibility. This communication pays dividends in growth, because your audience feels a connection with your business, boosting loyalty and increasing conversions.

For example, look how Neil repliedto every single comment on this Product Hunt post which featured Ubersuggest 2.0.

Lesson #4: Listen to Your Target Market

As well as replying to comments and responding to questions, it’s vital to listen closely to your target audience.

This is exactly what Neil did when he and his partner Hiten Shah developed Crazy Egg. He listened to the numerous questions he received about how to measure customer behavior. He heard their pain points, and that directed him to build a valuable solution that people needed. With a product that solves a real pain point, and a target group that was clamoring for his product before it was even developed, growth came naturally.

One of the best ways to listen to your target market is listening to the marketing tactics your competition is working on to connect with their target audience. Some would consider this as “playing dirty”, but one of the most important things we can learn from Neil is that playing soft won’t get you anywhere as an entrepreneur trying to grow a business.

Lesson #5: Be Willing to Take Risks

A quick glance at Neil Patel’s career demonstrates the truth of this advice. Neil was willing to take the risk of starting many different businesses, some of which failed dramatically. He even started up a new business under the public eye, setting himself a challenge of building a business that would generate $100,000 of monthly revenue within 12 months. He then live-blogged the entire process, so you could chart his good and bad decisions.

It’s arguable that once Neil’s first internet marketing agency, Advantage Consulting Services, began to take off, he should have stuck to it. He shouldn’t have set out to try to build another business or make more money. But Neil took those risks, and it brought more growth than he could ever have achieved with ACS alone.

Another well-known risk he took was releasing his keyword research Ubersuggest for free. A lot of people called him crazy for doing so, many other felt this is just a stunt since premium version should be knocking at our doors any second now. But Neil has proved everybody wrong, since Ubersuggest is still a free and awesome tool that even we at RedAlkemi’s blog recommended here.

Investing infinite resources into a free SEO tool is without a doubt a risky move, but as you can see in the image below (which was taken on Ahref’s platform to avoid speculation…), his risky move has definitely paid off:

Neil Patel Leads by Example

There’s so much to learn from Neil’s career. Trailblazers like Neil Patel have raised digital marketing businesses from nothing, growth hacking their way across the internet and leaving guidance and inspiration for you to follow.

By continually taking risks, trying a new approach, sharing valuable content, communicating with your audience, and listening to their feedback, you can also grow your digital marketing business like Neil Patel.

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