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Building Loyalty is Simple, So How Come We Make It So Hard to Do?

Loyalty. A funny concept. One that can mean so many different things to different people at different times.

Sports teams have loyalty from their fans. Well, the true ones do. Think Manchester City as opposed to Manchester United, where the latter’s “fans” are more interested in prawn sandwiches than a good soccer team.

Indie bands have loyalty from their fans. Until they sign that big record deal, that is, then they become sell-outs.

Humans have loyalty from their dogs. But then you would be pretty loyal as long as you had someone cleaning up your shit.

So, yeah, loyalty – a funny concept.

And yet it’s something that’s so important to so many people, they spend their lifetime(s) trying to work out how they can build loyalty around what they do.

After all, build loyalty, you build bigger success, right?

More readers; more subscribers; referrals; business; money. Get that gold rush and you don’t have to worry about marketing whatever it is you’re trying to build.

So, yeah – loyalty is something pretty much everyone wants to achieve in some form or another.

And not just loyalty, but fierce loyalty. Because if you grab that piece of gold, the world is truly your oyster.

That shit starts revolutions.

And so companies spend thousands (millions?) on trying to create loyalty programs.

Bloggers spend thousands of words trying to say the things they think their readers want to hear to become loyal.

Social media “gurus” spend all day on Twitter when they should be doing real work, just to try and get that extra loyal follower to buy into their crud.

And it’s all a waste of time. Seriously.

Because you don’t need to spend thousands, if not millions, of dollars trying to build loyalty.

Think like the person whose loyalty you want and ask what really matters to them. #pureblogging

You don’t need to be that desperate typist.

You don’t need to be that good-for-nothing-except-quotes-for-Mashable social media douche whose only loyalty comes from those laughing at him religiously.

If you want loyalty – fierce loyalty – it’s easy: be fiercely loyal first.

Show people you care. Show people you mean what you say.

Every time.

Show people they can trust you. Show people you deserve that trust. Show people you’re not a dick who simply panders to those stroking your ego (or your dick). Show people every one of them is equal.

And it’s not fucking hard to do this.

If you’re a blogger, encourage dissention of your views and don’t let fanboys be your voice.

If you’re a business, embrace your critics as much as your fans (if not more so).

If you’re a manager, let everyone speak and not just Tommy Kiss Ass.

In fact, no matter what you do, in what discipline and in what medium, it’s really not hard at all to build loyalty.

Think like the person you want to become loyal to you and ask what really matters to them.

Get that simple thing right and you’ll have loyalty so fierce you’ll wonder why you were making it so difficult to achieve to begin with…

By Danny Brown

Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Purveyor of not settling for the status quo. Aspiring to be many things. Never says no to a good single malt.

Comments (8)
  1. mark longbottom September 14, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Perfect, be YOU

    Rather than the YOU that maybe fits other people’s needs

    Too many want the like for like, love me and I’ll love you outcome
    Or the sales and the money and to get rid of their crappy book [present company exempt]

    Show you care and others may who they do too, how hard?
    Too hard for some as they lack any logic just lots of greed 😉

    • Danny Brown September 14, 2015 at 10:26 am

      It’s funny, mate – this post kind of stemmed from a conversation I had at the start of the weekend about loyalty, or the misplaced version of it. And all I could think was, “I have been loyal, and this is how I’m repaid?”

      Loyalty is very much like trust – it needs to be earned, not just given.
      And it needs to be kept, because once you lose it, especially for a warped sense of “injustice”… Yeah, right.

      I’d better stop here. 😉

      • Mark Longbottom September 14, 2015 at 10:35 am

        That’s so right of today [not young people either it’s young and old alike] they’ve become accustomed to being rewarded for what they see as loyalty. Definitely misplaced.

        I hate how everything makes me think of what my humble bricklaying dad would have said when alive, but he’d have this sussed and been pushed to one side by the so called intelligence of others. It is like trust and respect and so rightly earned by actions not anything else.

        Don’t stop keep going, I’ve got to say I’m sick of being told it’s not going to work – I see it work everyday in my network of artists and Seth Godin years ago mentioned looking at artists for the fact they [the truly creative] never stop giving everything.

        Only yesterday I received an apology from someone who took my interest in their artwork the wrong way, possibly due to another person trying to make out I was evil when in fact it could be said to be the other way round.

        We all move on but must remember to listen and learn everyday rather than once and stop at that lol

        Now I better shuffle off

  2. Kit September 14, 2015 at 9:24 am

    “– If you’re a manager, let everyone speak and not just Tommy Kiss Ass.”

    HAHHAHAHAHAHAAHA – another brilliant blog post to kick off my Monday #HUGSS

    Love ya, Danny 😉

  3. Judy Lee Dunn September 16, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I am late to the blog! But I love what you are saying here. Yeah, with sports fans, the loyalty can be fleeting. We have a little football team here called the Seahawks. The “bandwagon” is a joke around here. Because they played so possibly for so many years, the fans who somehow supported them through all that, talk about “the bandwagon.” Most fans jumped on and off that bandwagon so fast it made your head spin. (But those Manchester United fans’ prawn sandwiches do sound might tasty.)

    Like you, loyalty for me is all tied up with trust. I can’t separate the two. It’s all about “Do what you said you would do.” (Your “show people you mean what you say.”) Problem is, for some people that kind of loyalty-building takes too long. They don’t want to invest the time. And loyalty is hard to earn and can be lost in moments.

    Good stuff to chew on here, Danny.

    • Danny Brown September 19, 2015 at 9:10 am

      And I bet these bandwaggoners will jump on another local team if there’s a sniff of success, eh? 😉

      I had a falling out recently with someone, and the question of loyalty was brought up. Seems the person in question had memory issues, though, as they conveniently forgot some of the loyal things carried out over the years. Ah well, it happens I guess…

      Here’s to the Seahawks and all like them.

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