Bob had a great business selling digital videos and books to a large audience. He created a great newsletter campaign that featured words of wisdom from a variety of popular authors. The newsletters were full of rich content and tips that helped his audience. Over time his readership grew to over 40,000 subscribers and each time he sent out a newsletter Bob would have an unprecedented 10% open rate. As his business began to grow sales increased and so Bob started to send out more newsletters, but instead of including the helpful tips and tricks, all he included were items for sale. “Here is a great new book, buy it today!” His newsletters practically seemed to scream, “We don’t care about you, just your money!” Bob started to see a decline in his subscribers and people started unsubscribing. In an attempt to improve his audience Bob got a new and improved website and a flashier newsletter, but the content was the same: No advice from respected authors, no tips and tricks, just promotions and products. blah. blah. blah.
So where did Bob go wrong?
Bob made a classic mistake of many new business owners – and even some seasoned ones. He started to focus more on his product instead of providing his client with something of value. Before his company grew he had a relationship with his customers and he created content that provided them utility and it was content that they not only liked, but wanted to share with their friends. Eventually Bob’s focus changed and his switched gears from making people’s lives better, to making more money.
In his book, People Over Profit, Dale Partridge outlines the importance of putting people first. If you take care of what is important, the money will follow. The book is so simple and it is a quick read, but it totally exposes how some companies have gone from being loved to being hated because of how their core values changed. Companies that are often hated are Walmart, CVS, McDonalds and others have a perception that they don’t care about their customers or their employees all that much. When customers go to Chick-Fil-A it is a guilt fee experience because they feel like they are eating moderately healthy food served by well taken care of people.