Neil Patel Origin Story -- Improved

September 14, 2020 Abdulaziz M Alhamdan M.Sc. Episode 38
Neil Patel Origin Story -- Improved
Neil Patel Origin Story -- Improved
Sep 14, 2020 Episode 38
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan M.Sc.

#038 Neil Patel became one of the most famous brands in Digital Marketing, fast...

How does he use his Origin Story in his marketing?

And can his Origin Story be made much MUCH better?

Listen to notice the nuances, tips, and nuggets.

Plus, a surprise inside!

Podcast Music: THBD - Good For You

Support the show (

Show Notes Transcript

#038 Neil Patel became one of the most famous brands in Digital Marketing, fast...

How does he use his Origin Story in his marketing?

And can his Origin Story be made much MUCH better?

Listen to notice the nuances, tips, and nuggets.

Plus, a surprise inside!

Podcast Music: THBD - Good For You

Support the show (

### Introduction

Neil Patel became one of the most famous brands in Digital Marketing, fast...

How does he use his Origin Story?

And can his Origin Story be made, better?

### Story Analysis

It's Aziz here. And this is the Origin Story from Neil Patel's. If I sound harsh at some points, I don't mean to. This is for educational purposes. Neil Patel is one of the most successful marketers of this generation, so gotta respect the success.

Let's begin studying the story he presents first, then you'll listen to me improving it, making it much much better. Let's go:

> My name is Neil Patel, and I help companies generate more revenue through digital marketing. 

This is his positioning. It's not specific enough. But he has the celebrity to pull it off.

> Entrepreneur magazine said that I was the number 1 marketer in the world and they also said I built one of the 100 most brilliant companies. 

This is the "Reason to Believe". It's an Authority praising him. This section is for self-aggrandizement.

> I started my very first website at the age of 16. I took all the money that I earned from working in an amusement park and I paid a marketing firm. The marketing firm provided no results. And I quickly learned that I wasn't alone.

This is to create a common reality with his audience. Who probably fear using marketing firms and getting no results or had such an experience before. 

Another point: By sharing his misery, he's trying to become real in their minds. But this is not enough. There isn't much emotion in his words.

> Out of my frustration and from being broke I had no choice but to learn marketing. 

This is him sharing his 'reason why' he does what he does. And it's the "reluctant hero" story arc appearing right here.

> My first client was a power-supply manufacturer. I helped him generate another $25M dollars in sales. 

More self-aggrandizement and reason to believe.

> And from that point, I realized the power of marketing. I helped everyone that I could, and I built my reputation by being honest and over-delivering. 

Honestly, this section is not good. It makes claims that the mind will naturally resist. Only people who are already fans and already heard of him and were recommended by someone they trust to trust him will be okay with this. Most people will just feel it is filler and bragging.

> I've helped companies like Google, NBC, Viacom, General Motors, eBay. But nothing is more satisfying than helping small business owners succeed. 

Self-Aggrandizement then Reason Why he does what he does. Because people will wonder: "If you're getting paid so well by huge companies, why will you help me for much less?" He's saying it's "satisfying". This is too general which reduces the believability. There is a difference between believability and credibility: A person can be credible, which means his skills and abilities can be trusted. But the claim that person is making might not be believable to the audience because it's way outside of their reality or it's not backed up by proof.

> I founded 4 multi-million dollar companies, and I've learned all the mistakes that you should avoid. 

The execution of this is not good, it's bragging. But the idea that his experience allowed him to learn the mistakes he'll help them avoid is solid.

> I've written about them on Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc, Fast Company, And even on my own blogs. 


> It's so awesome to know that colleges all around the world are teaching my material in their classrooms. 

This is humble bragging: Bragging while trying to seem like he's not bragging. It's more self-aggrandizement.

> Over the years, I've received awards from the President of the United States, the House of Representatives, and the United Nations. 

More self-aggrandizement. He's using the Authority trigger from Cialdini, that the more he raises his status, the more people will believe what he says and follow him.

> People believe marketing is expensive and difficult. 

This is probably the biggest objection he receives from potential clients. At least I hope so. It's not specific enough to be that powerful.

> Fortunately, that's not true. 

This is a claim that is not supported by anything. Bad execution right here.

> There is a Formula. 

This is good marketing in theory, but in practice, the execution is bad. It's too brief. It's smart marketing because what he's saying is: "Look at all the success I've had! I turned it all into a step-by-step formula you can follow and get similar success to me! All you have to do is follow this formula, it's easy and simple!" But in execution, most of this story is self-aggrandizement and unsupported claims. Instead, this message which should be in the heart of this pitch, but it seems lost and secondary. He's putting the focus on himself, he's the hero of the story. The prospects should be the hero of the pitch when he's using a story to pitch.

> Even if you don't have a technical bone in your body, you can get results. 

This is handling an objection prospects have. But there is no proof in there, just a claim, relying on his status for people to believe it.

> And my mission is to share this formula with you.

This is bad. Because he spent so much time in the story self-aggrandizing, he didn't share enough of the pain and struggles that would give him reason to share what he discovered with others. It comes across as an afterthought added to the story.

Yes, high status creates price elasticity. But it doesn't create longevity. If Neil Patel wishes to stay relevant for decades, the necessary move is to come across more real, which is the strategic role of an Origin Story.

The other versions of his story are historical facts and figures, or what I call "Professor Storytelling," which is the boring kind that only a Professor who has a captive audience of students can get away with it.

Like: "Neil Patel was born in the UK. At the age of two, his parents moved to California. And like all immigrant families, they struggled in the beginning." Blablabla. No emotions, no impact, a total waste of words.

Again, I'm not taking anything from the success of Neil Patel or his ability. But his origin story is not well done. It's a pitch, and even as a pitch, it puts him too much as the focus of this pitch, and not the needs and desires of his prospects. It's mostly bragging.

The purpose of the Origin Story is to reveal you're a real person to your Audience, so they know you're human, not just some character on the screen.

So I scoured the internet, pulled facts from his life. Then, I used experiences and emotions from my own life and from my story to extract the emotions and create this new Origin Story for Neil Patel. I don't know which emotions he had, I would need to interview him to extract the most powerful juicy emotions that are personal to him, but it seems he always had the goal of making at least $1M dollars:

My crazy story started in California. When my parents brought me here with my sister when I was just 2 years old.
I remember this as clear as today: Waking up in the morning and watching my mother leave bright and early to walk 5 miles to a job she hated.
I was a child, too young to understand our situation. Until I turned 15 and adulthood smacked me right in the face: The only job I could get was cleaning a theme park. All day long, the only thing my hands touched was trash, the only thing my nostrils inhaled was vomit. It was a disgusting introduction to what my whole life will be if I didn't find a way out. All I wanted is to be rich enough to get out of this and to finally have a life.
I got seduced by the pitch of a company promising me heaven and earth if I went door-to-door to sell a $1,600 vacuum cleaner. And that was my day, waking up early in the morning to knock on doors, offer to clean carpets for free -- they always said Yes to this part... then after breaking my back cleaning carpet after carpet, rejection was often waiting for me, another closed door. At 16 years old, my day felt like a hallucination: waking up with too little sleep, spending my day looking at dirty carpets that I cleaned for free, then getting the door slammed right in my face. 
One day, I was back home from work, browsing online, trying to escape my life, to forget my day, when I stumbled on a website called and a lightbulb just exploded inside my head: "They're making the big bucks! This doesn't look so hard, let me try it too!"
I was done with my life, done with seeing my parents struggle, done with having at 16 a life that would turn my hair grey in 2 years or less, guaranteed. 
So I borrowed, begged, and used all my savings to copy and bring to the world Advice Monkey. I was so excited, I felt so alive! People were actually coming the new website, reading what's there, I felt like I mattered! But this didn't last long. I had no idea what to do, no idea how to earn a living from my website, and the money ran out. Time ran out. My website was terminated, done, finished.

That night, I just went home, straight into bed, curled up into a ball, and cried. 

I cried, and cried, and cried, and felt my tears burning down my cheeks. Life is way too hard, this isn't what I signed up for. This is NOT what I was promised. This is NOT how things should be. 

In that moment, I had a choice to make: Either to give up, to surrender, to let my soul die and stop trying. Or to resist, to refuse, to say NO to the rejection of life, and keep trying.

There wasn't really a choice. I cannot give up. I cannot accept to die inside and turn into one of those many walking zombies who gave up on their dreams and accepted mediocrity.

So I chose to resist, to rebel, to refuse... And to open all the doors I could find to make it out. For some reason, I had in my head this number: 1 Million dollars will make all my dreams come true. This should be my goal, my salvation. So I went out, and shared what I've learned from my failed website everywhere I could like a zealous missionary fighting for his faith, I was fighting for my life.

And most doors were closed. But one day, making a speech about bringing traffic into websites, the son of the owner of Elpac Electronics was listening, he came to me, and offered me a meeting with his father.

That night, I was over the moon with happiness! I was singing at home like a madman, I can finally get a little something, some success in my life! And my upstairs neighbor noticed, he knocked on my door to ask what's going on. I'm not usually that loud. And I poured all my heart out, I told him everything about my life, my dreams, my struggles, my hopes, and this opportunity! His name was Andy Liu. And that day was the luckiest day of my life: I didn't just secure a meeting with a big company when I was just 16, but Andy Liu turned out to be a brilliant business mind who took me under his wing to teach me all he knew about real-world Sales, Marketing, and Business. That night, my heart was beating so hard that I barely could hear him speak. That night, we spent it preparing for that important meeting the next day, the meeting that could change my destiny...

That's enough. Half an Origin Story is enough for us today, we're running out of time.

But do you notice the difference? How do you feel now after this story compared to the other?

Do you feel more empathy and closeness to Neil Patel?

Yes it is. This is the power of becoming Real. You matter. You become 3 dimensional. You become a part of the listeners' lives and become ingrained in their narrative.

Which is what creates true fans. Which is what creates real legends. Which is what gives brands and people longevity and staying power, not risking to be forgotten the next time someone new and shiny comes up.

Anyway, we're running out of time for today.

I hope you'll think about how to flesh out your own Origin Story and use it for your own Personal Positioning, everywhere.

And if you have any questions during this process, email me at: I read all emails personally.

Keep being awesome. Keep being authentic. To your glory, and beyond!