I have to hand it to Neil, I don’t think I have ever seen anyone rise to the same level of fame within their own industry as quickly as him. A person could learn a lot from watching how Neil does it and fortunately for me I’ve had a front row view the entire time. So what are some things that I’ve noticed from watching Neil that I would contribute to his success?
Neil happens to be one of the most outgoing people I know and he isn’t afraid to talk to anyone. This is a huge advantage for Neil (personally I’m really shy) and gives him the ability to meet anyone he wants at anytime. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, Neil is always leveraging his fun personality to meet and make new friends with others and by doing this everyone ends up knowing who he is.
Keeping in close contact
Not only is Neil great at meeting others but he’s also great at keeping in contact with them. When most people come home from conferences or industry events they will send out generic emails to the people the met and then forget about them until the next conference comes around. Not Neil, he makes it a point to keep in close contact with these people by either regular phone calls or instant messages. Neil is literally on his phone all day long. Because of the close contact Neil keeps with others he is able to easily call on favors from them anytime if he needs to.
Neil is a great blogger and he quickly learned how to write the type of content that not only draws people in and hooks them but it also is very viral. Because of this he is often linked to by others and appears on the front page of social news sites on a regular basis. It doesn’t hurt when your name is exposed to 50,000+ people on a regular basis.
Not many people are good at public speaking, especially with as little of experience as Neil. But again, this is somewhere that he is able to leverage his outgoing personality. Neil is very animated on stage and isn’t afraid to say things that are controversial. He does a very good job of capturing the audience’s attention and keeping them entertained. This leaves a lasting impression and those who see him never forget him. It also leads to many other speaking opportunities for Neil.
Any press is good press
Neil is a true believer that any press is good press. Most people would be horrified if there were pictures of them dressed in princess costumes or taking shots from a transvestites lap floating around the Internet. Not Neil, he knows that this will just create buzz for him and so he is happy to go with the flow. The old adage about branding is that if people see your name enough they will remember it. Neil knows this and that is why he doesn’t care when things like this spread around.
Always have something to offer others
Neil makes it a point to always have something of value to offer other people. Whether it’s advice on how to reach the Digg homepage or some quick SEO tips for your blog, the point is that Neil always has something valuable to offer to others.
Give before you expect to receive
Neil will never let anyone do a favor for him or anything unless he has done something for that person first. He will even go as far as doing a few favors for that person before he lets them do one for him. Neil has done favors for some of the biggest rock stars on the web; people like Guy Kawasaki and Michael Arrington. These are very powerful people and have the ability to call a favor into when you need it.
These are just a handful of things I have observed Neil do that I would attribute to his success. It hasn’t been easy either; Neil works very hard at branding his own name. If you’re willing to work hard you can have this kind of success too, the problem is most people aren’t willing to do what it takes and that’s what separates Neil from the rest of us.