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If You Want Fierce Loyalty, You Need To Be Fiercely Loyal First [Day 3- 28 BFL]


This is Day 3 of 28 Days of Building Fierce Loyalty. Yesterday, my ridiculously smart and creative friend Les McKeown gave us simple and succinct choreography to build fierce loyalty. Today, the brilliant Danny Brown (who has a wicked accent and an even wickeder sense of humor) share the single thing we have to do if we want fierce loyalty.

If You Want Fierce Loyalty, You Need To Be Fiercely Loyal First

By: Danny Brown| @dannybrown

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 sales; repeat sales; referrals. Get that gold rush and you don’t have to worry about marketing.

Okay, maybe just a bit about marketing (I’m a marketer by trade, so I’d be dumb to say you didn’t need my services, right?).

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. 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.

What can y ou do today to start thinking like the person you want to become fiercely loyal to you?

Danny Brown
Danny Brown is Director of Retention and Social Media at Jugnoo, Inc., and an award-winning marketer and blogger. His blog is recognized as one of the leading marketing blogs in the world, and is featured in the AdAge Power 150, Hubspot’s Hot 100 Marketing Blogs, SME’s Top 10 Social Media Blogs 2011 list and Canada’s Top 50 Marketing Blogs. In 2010, it won the Hive Award for Best Social Media Blog at the South by South West festival. Danny is also the author of The Parables of Business.


P.S. If you aren’t already signed up and don’t want to miss out on  28 Days to Building Fierce Loyalty, please sign up here. (Yesterday, I gave away Les’s book, Predictable Success, to someone on the email list!)

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  • This is so true. Thanks Danny! Why is it so easy to forget that if we give what we want it will come back to us? Treating others the way we want to be treated is not difficult to do, sometimes just difficult to remember.

    • Anonymous

      Remembering what we already know is one of our greatest challenges Sherrie. We humans a re forgetful creatures. 🙂

      • It’s so true! It’s part of why I follow who I follow on Twitter. And also why I have quotes on my mirror and everywhere else. 🙂

        • Haha, we must have the same shares in stock on Post-It! 🙂

    • You know, sometimes I wonder if it’s because we’re told that you only give something when you want something in return (usually from marketers and advertisers). And yet, when you give unconditionally, the real magic starts to happen. Something for those “givers” to think about… 😉

      • Good call. It’s much more difficult to give without expectation but exponentially more rewarding.

  • I think you hit the nail on the head with “be fiercely loyal first”.  If you speak your truth and provide honest, valuable information/content that actually solves the problems and answers the questions of your audience, you will no doubt build a loyal following.  Leave the bullshit messaging to the sleazy internet marketers who only publish what they believe will make them money.  I think people are so fed up with all of the lies that they are hungry for the truth. So grab the low hanging fruit by telling the truth.

    •  Well said Kim. I’d agree that people are fed up and hungry for integrity.

    • Anonymous

      Telling the truth is one of the greatest business success strategies there is – at least I think so. 🙂

    • Well said Kim.. . That is exactly what I was thinking… I know it works in real life so why not in other areas.. There are so many people with no integrity in this world that those of us with some stand out we just need to show it!! 🙂 

      • Hi there Shauna,

        It’s funny – sometimes I wonder if the reason that so much crud is out there online is because we don’t view it as “real life”. We’re breathing while we type – so why would we view it as anything other than real life?

        Oh, that’s right – because we can be who we want online, versus who we are offline. But the crud always gets found out. 😉

    • Anonymous

      Integrity is huge for me too!  And those sleazy internet marketers?  Well let’s just say that they’re not on my radar anymore unless I’m looking for what NOT to do…

      • I set up a Circle on Google+ called “Dicks, Schticks and Pricks” (sorry, I’m Scottish and cuss more than I should). Guess why I set it up..? 😉

        • I actually find these sorts of tips much more palatable when they’re presented with a humorous dollop of cussing. Not sure why that is, but thank you for both the post and your style in presenting the information!

        • Anonymous

          Well you’re calling them like you seem them, so that makes perfect sense to me!

    • You’re so right – I for one am fed up with the lies I read everyday on the internet. Sometimes it can be difficult to sift through all those lies to find the nuggets of  truth! I can’t even read a testimonial anymore without feeling doubt.

      • You know what’s sad, Shelley? The Internet should (*should*) allow people to be more honest, because they don’t have to worry about looks, size, etc. And yet…

    • It’s sad but true, Kim, that these dicks will always have an audience. The good news is, the smart folks like you and @sarahrobinson:disqus ‘s community here know better than to listen to convincing words and flashy presentations, and look beyond to where the real stuff is.


  • Loyalty is such an interesting topic. As a person, I value loyalty over almost anything else. I hang around people who are fiercely loyal to me – all of my good and all of my bad – and give that loyalty back. I think that’s why I found this statement to be so interesting:

    “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”

    There’s nothing worse than having a conversation w a woman whose child can do no wrong. That’s not loyalty, it’s a kind of psychosis. The problem stems from disowning our own ‘bad’ or ‘negative’. You’re right – it’s only ego – it’s only another type of delusion.

    I guess then, the key is to be loyal to ourselves without ego. That sounds like a Buddhist’s task. 

    • I love your statement Claudia “it’s a kind of psychosis” I think I love you! I love the reality viewpoint of this group!

    • Anonymous

      ohmyword. I’ve had that conversation with that woman. I always wonder what planet she lives on. ack.

      • I think we have all had that conversation with that woman!  lol 🙂 Amazing to me how many think their kids are perfect and no matter what they do it is ok with them… not living in reality.. Kids are kids they are never perfect! They are learning…   Being loyal isn’t difficult but its a trait not everyone has.. like you said we just have to remember! 

        • Our imperfections are what make us perfect. Wish more parents remembered that. 🙂

    • Your comment made me laugh out loud, I relate to it so much,

      I taught at a private school for five years. I can’t even count how many conversations I had with parents whose child could do no wrong!

      The thing is, it does nothing but harm the child, or in the broader sense of this post, the community and your business.

      • Great point, Jeremie. We only grow through the mistakes we make. Don’t make mistakes? Don’t grow.


    • Anonymous

      As a retail manager I am surrounded by these women as their children destroy the store.

    • Hi Claudia,

      This part of your comment intrigued me – “all of my good and all of my bad”.

      Do you think we remain loyal to those that don’t deserve it, because loyalty can often be blind (see the link to the Fanboy example in the post) and mess up what we should see versus what we do?

      And yes, that parent is a nightmare. Seriously, grow up! 🙂

    • rmsorg

      Claudia, I know exactly how you feel about these moms whose kids can do No wrong! It is delusional to think your kids don’t make mistakes! We are humans we will errr. And you aren’t doing them any favors by behaving this way.. This is one of my biggest issues with parents today! I always say, “If you see my kids doing something inappropriate please tell me, I can’t fix it or address it if I am not aware that they are doing this.”

  • Ivana

    What you give is what you’ll receive! My cousin reminded me yesterday: learn to listen others or your own tongue will make you deaf! People allway say what they need and want if you let them and know how to listen to them! Accepting constructive criticism is a true talent.

    • I love your cousin’s statement!

    • Anonymous

      I think our own tongue will be our only company too. 

    • Great quote, Ivana! Accepting constructive criticism can definitely sting but if it’s shared in a caring way, it sure helps.

    • Wow, awesome advice from your cousin, Ivana – thank you!

  • Loyalty is about sticking around when things are not gong quite the way everyone planned.

    • Anonymous

      like a tried and true friend. love that.

      • Anonymous

        this makes me think of:

        In times of trouble, a true friend walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

        (or something like that, I keep getting my sayings mixed up!)

    • Amen to that, Caro. Amen.

    • Ivana

      Caro, so true, I’ve been there, so today I know who my loyal ones are. But also I’ve learned to be loyal to others. :))

  • I agree. Offer sincere loyalty first. Be genuine. The rest will follow.
    Have an incredible weekend everyone!
    Thanks Danny! Congratulations on your newest baby!

    • Anonymous

      You have a great weekend too Daniella!

    • You know the great thing about being genuine, Daniella? People forgive you your mistakes. But appearing perfect in every way? Folks can’t wait to pick you apart.

      Funny, that… 😉

      And thank you! Baby and mama are doing great, cheers! 🙂

  • Thanks for a wonderful post Danny.

    I can think of two things right off the bat: 
    1.  Be a better listener, i.e. actively listen to what our customers are telling us by hearing their words, watching what they buy, what products they pick up and look at even if they don’t end up buying it, and watching their movement in the store.   
    2.  Actively engage all of our customers by asking questions. For those regular customers, it’s easier because we know them a little so that’s a good place to start to get some practice (for those of us on the shy side). Try to find out what they like of our products, our events. Asking more questions of personal interest is helpful, such as what are they planning to do on a Saturday after they leave our morning tasting.  Not too prying but should reveal just a little bit more about them.

    • Anonymous

      You’re so good at this Lori. 🙂

      • Thanks Sarah. Now what is it exactly that I am doing well here?

        • Anonymous

          You’re doing way more *well* than you think you are!  :  )

    • Good points, Lori. Be an active listener with interrupting, right?!

    • Awesome points, Lori, and so true. I always smile when I see the dollars spent on focus groups, and marketing, and lead generation.

      Yes, new customers are great – but why aren’t you listening to what you do right and where you could improve from your existing customers? They’re the ones that have made you who you are – so wouldn’t they be the best to help you be who you want to be going forward?

      Hey ho… 😉

      • Oh yes, I agree completely, and I guess I meant both loyal customers and new ones alike.

        And alas, I think we still struggle to totally wrap our arms around our niche in the community.  But never giving up 🙂 


  • I am going to have to disagree with the theory on dog loyalty 🙂 but the rest is right on. It’s so funny that it’s easy to see when you’re on the other side of people doing it wrong. My husband and I are members of a particular community that used to encourage thoughtful debate on music (in a very particular and obscure subgenre) and in recent years has become an atmosphere where only those that share the moderator’s viewpoint are allowed to voice their opinions. My husband, myself and a large group of our friends from the community have ceased to participate in the online arena.
    Great points to keep in mind when fostering our own communities. Thanks for the reminders

    • Anonymous

      hahaha Shannon – I thought the same thing about dog loyalty. 🙂 And that community sounds ICK. Start your own!

    • Wait – you’re not that bugger that doesn’t pick up their dog poo and therefore owe me $300 for shoes, are you??? 🙂

      Why do you feel communities go that way, Shannon? Surely it’d be a far stronger community if they allowed true feelings to shine, as it’d allow a much more honest feedback option. Hey ho…

  • Truly you need you live and breathe you’re own service/solution/passion before you can expect others to. I think that’s something a lot of us overlook in our respective fields. 

    • Anonymous

      Wonder what it would be like if we all did that first instead of last…if ever…..

      • Anonymous

        Since actually buying into your own stuff makes sense, its not done. 🙂 Hopefully there are enough smart people out there who aren’t just in it for the money to sustain what we are all trying to do.

    • Anonymous

      Great point, Matt!

    • So true, Matt. That’s where so many slip up – they’ve never been “fans” of themselves, and yet they expect us to be their fans. Ummm… huh?

  • Anonymous

    I know I am fiercely passionate, but am I fiercely loyal? I think not yet, and what a realization that those two things are not the SAME thing.

    I’m going to be giving some serious attention and playful curiosity to what that looks like — turning my fierce passion into fierce loyalty. I need to “Think like the person (I) want to become loyal to (me) and ask what really matters to them.”


    Thanks Danny!

    • Ah so true that there is a difference between fierce passion and fierce loyalty. 

      “faithful to one’s oath, commitments, or obligations”

      You can seriously get lost in a loop of researching loyalty -> faithful -> true. I think I might do a word study on this topic later today.

    • Anonymous

      Ooooooo what a wonderful distinction Shannon. Much to chew on with that. 🙂

    • Anonymous

      I think that passion is a form of loyalty in that they have a symbiotic relationship.

    • Here’s the cool thing, though, Shannon – that passion will let you really breathe and be you. Because passion is the most personal thing you can ever offer others.

      And once they experience that passion? That’s where your loyalty will come from.

      Here’s to your passion!

    • hi Shannon!!

  • I can’t but help thinking we are ultimately talking about the Golden Rule. Living it. Passionately.

    • Kathy Burden

      That is exactly what I was thinking…Do onto others as you would have them do unto you…The Golden Rule. That makes me think of great words such as sincere, caring, thoughtful, kind, compassion, honest, integrity, humility. This is definitely the community I want to have fiercely loyal to me. I will strive to be the same for them.

      Congratulations to you and Mummy on the new baby girl! What did you name her? Little girls win their daddy’s hearts so quickly. The greatest gift you can give her is love her mommy and treat her with respect! Then when she is in about the 3rd  or 4th grade take her on her first date. Make a big-to-do, pretty dress, nice restaurant, etc. Show her what she should expect when a young man takes her out. She will always be grateful!

      • Hi Kathy,

        Thank you! We called her Salem McKellan Brown.

        She’s awesome, and I’m sure she’s going to completely own me. And I LOVE your suggestions! 🙂 

    • Yes, the Golden Rule works well here, Bruce, I completely agree.

    • You wouldn’t be too far off with that thought, mate…

  • Hola guys!

    Wow, some great comments already – looking forward to joining in. I just have to go visit my new baby daughter first (and resting mummy!), but I’ll be back this evening. Cheers, and have a great Friday! 🙂

    • Congrats!

    • Happy new daddy week to you, Danny. Since you’re a social media guy, I’m wondering if you’ve got suggestions/opinions  on tools/services as a way to support being more loyal to others (and thus increasing loyalty of others to you).  Did you ever get that Klout thing squared away?

      • Hi Lisa,

        Are you looking for physical “rewards’, or a way to know when someone is “loyal” to you so you can build on that? I have a few ideas, but depends on goal. 🙂

        • Either, both. I’m sure there are folks here that would love any answers you could share. 🙂

          • Hi Lisa,

            Okay dokes, here are a few methods I find work well.

            1. Highlight them and make their lives easier. Give them pointers on how to grow the community around them, and that will grow their own naturally.



            2. Use Internal Search. In other words, use the search option in your blog dashboard to find comments from readers where you can answer their questions with a new post. Or use Twitter to find out who’s retweeting you often, and give them a shout on your blog (and on Twitter). Or share their content when no-one else is (something like CommentLuv is perfect for finding new posts to share).

            3. Use something like PunchTab to create actual loyalty programs for your community where they can get physical rewards”


            4. Check the URL’s of your visitors and sharers, and see if you can grab contact details from their blogs or websites. Then send a Thank You card or note to say “Thanks for caring”.

            Hope these help!

          • Brilliant. Thanks for modeling exactly what you teach. 🙂

    • And I’ve been like, “where the hell is Danny in all of this”?!  Alas, I back away, and recall that you have more important matters to attend to!  

      Congratulations Danny on your new arrival yesterday!  There’s absolutely NOTHING more important than your family.

      And good luck with your 2nd.  I know I really struggled with 2 when my 2nd arrived and I relied LOTS on my husband 😉

      • Haha, sorry Kim – normally I’ll be much quicker to reply and take part. But yes, the new arrival did throw a spoke in that. 😉

        And here’s to you and your husband – sounds like you have quite the partnership!

  • there’s something really important here about sticking your neck out that sounds really frightening and exhilarating all at once… sticking your neck out in a way that get responses like, “wow, I can really count on her! she’ll be there for ME. and she gets me and I can be myself and speak my mind and really show up as myself and she’ll still be in my corner.” being fiercely loyal sounds like it starts with being fiercely (and, again, vulnerably, authentically) YOU.
    nice point, Danny! Thanks and huge congrats on your new bundle of love! 

    • Anonymous

      I believe you can only be fiercely loyal to those things, those people who are deep reflection of YOU. It’s that whole authenticity thing that never ever goes away.

      • This is a great statement Sarah. One thing that has come to mind as I’ve be reading through the comments is that it is possible to be TOO loyal – which I can be. There is a time when we need to tell ourselves, “enough is enough!” Sometimes, I wait too long, and hope too much before walking away.

    • Such a great point about sticking your neck out leading to true awareness, Lydia. The bravest (and most “rewarded”) people I know are the ones that aren’t afraid of getting a neck crick, or a black eye, or a bloody nose, in the name of being real.

      Here’s to more folks like that taking centre stage.

  • Sarah Trevor

    It’s all about quality. 
    I will be fiercely loyal when a product has real value. If it below par,
    forget it.  You can have the smartest YouTube
    promos, the greatest networking skills, but if there isn’t quality, I won’t be
    there for you.

    • Anonymous

      yep – predictable quality – knowing what to expect today and two years from now – has everything to do with building loyalty.

    • Agreed, Sarah. Quality trumps everything. Everything.

  • Val

    Great takeaways Danny! And true, we should not be afraid of criticism. It’s healthy and helps us grow.

    • When the Nintendo Wii first came out, legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto released Super Mario for it. He went for a bigger audience than traditional Mario games, and it was criticized heavily because of that. He listened to the feedback, changed things up for the sequel, and created one of Nintendo’s most popular games ever.

      Funny what criticism can teach us, eh? 😉

  • Ava Diamond (@feistywoman)

    Thanks for this great post, Danny! And congratulations on the baby!

    This particularly struck me: 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. 

    So I started to think about if and how I do this with my tribe–and sort of reverse engineering what I do. 

    I think one of the ways I do it that might be useful to other members of this community is that I am constantly asking about and tuning in to what they’re struggling with.  I tried to really get behind their eyes, and see what they wish they could solve in their businesses.  And then I try to be helpful.  I tune my products and services and communications to helping them move forward. I really care about them.  In a big way.  And I let them know it. I’m totally committed to them.

    I share who I am with them…all of it…the good, the bad, and the ugly. What MY struggles are, and what I’m learning that can be useful to them.

    I’ve loved reading all of the comments from this community, and am enjoying learning from each of you.  Thank you all–and thanks Sarah for providing another opportunity to learn and to connect.  I learn so much each year when you do these!

    • Anonymous

      While reading this comment, I started singing a song in my head from My Fair Lady. I don’t remember all the words but it still rings in my head.

      • Ava Diamond (@feistywoman)

         Not quite sure about the connection, but I hope it’s good : )

    • Anonymous

      And you bring so much to each series Ava. Glad you are here. 🙂

      • Ava Diamond (@feistywoman)

         Thank you, Sarah.  I so love this series each year.  And I’m a big fan of yours.

    • YES, Ava! Caring! Caring about people, caring about what you give to people, caring about being worthy of others loyalty – fierce loyalty.

      • Ava Diamond (@feistywoman)

         Amen, sistah!

    • Okay, for this quote alone, Ava, you are my new favourite business person:

      “I share who I am with them…all of it…the good, the bad, and the ugly. What MY struggles are, and what I’m learning that can be useful to them.

      Now why the hell can’t more business owners be like you?

      Thank you!

  • My fierce loyalty for the people I work with has been a big part of my success, so this post makes total sense. However, where I struggle as a business person is finding the fine line between being fiercely loyal to my clients and giving too much away without charging them.

    I want their work to be so successful that I often find myself signing them up for a service package, and then to make sure everything is a great success I end up going way beyond that package. I always plan to give some extra value as part of my own belief about helping my clients, but finding the boundary between extra value and giving too much away eludes me more often than not.

    • Anonymous

      I struggle with that too Jeremie. I think the trick is to figure out the boundary before we get into the relationship. I lose all perspective once I am engaged. It is a total conundrum. Let me know when you figure it out. 🙂

      • Ava Diamond (@feistywoman)

         I can so relate, Jeremie and Sarah.  I do speech coaching for entrepreneurs to help them grow their business.  This week I found myself writing copy for two clients’ websites, as they’re both in start up mode, and were doing a terrible job.  Not in our agreement.  Didn’t want them to have sucky web copy.  So I want to know when you figure it out as well ; )

      • I think this is true in most relationships.  Family & friends come in all sorts just like business clients.  Sometimes, you have to find that line to still be great but not lose yourself completely.

        Hmmm…hope that makes sense.

    • I think you just talked about the thing that most (if not all) business owners struggle with, Jeremie. 🙂

      It’s not easy, but one of the things I always did at my own agency was ask if the clients I worked with would answer my phone call if I called them at 1.00am in the morning. Or turned up at their door on Christmas Day with a personal problem. Or would pay my medical bills if I was in a big, uninsured car crash.

      The ones that you feel would do all that? Continue being awesome for them. The rest? Be great to them. 😉

      • Thanks Danny, that is a great way to make that distinction, and I definitely have clients that fall on both sides of that determining factor. I am going to sit with this for a bit and look at my current client list.

        That was really helpful

        (Can’t post through facebook this time for some reason, so am using my twitter account if that looks different, but this is Jeremie)

  • Anonymous

    You cannot expect people to be loyal to you if you do not care about them. I’ve been on both sides of the equation, and it honestly sucks. But lessons are learned.

    When you are loyal and someone is loyal back…there is nothing better.

    • Anonymous

      It’s funny how many so-called business leaders try to fake the whole caring thing. It always bites them in the end.

      • Anonymous

        I see that more often than I should in my day job. In customer service, there’s a certain amount of drinking the kool aid, and there are some people who don’t do it.

        If you don’t believe, you can’t make others believe. It becomes glaringly obvious as you have said.

    • So many businesses think you can just buy “care”, mate (just look at all the crappy companies selling Facebook fans or Twitter followers).

      Yet, the thing these guys and others like them miss is the very simple yet true point you make – loyalty is nothing without caring. Something the faux Likers realize too late. Shame for them… 😉

  • Niraj Popat

    Loved your post Danny..specially this one stands for me ”
    If you’re a business, embrace your critics as much as your fans (if not more so). “Its like dig out as much as u can..the better the construction, better the building stands strong..Love the way, you want to be loved..that is where the FIERCE LOYALTY stands..considering the fact of your own business from the customer’s point of View..

    • Anonymous

      Takes a TON of courage and maturity to embrace the critics.  But it really is the only way. Thanks for being here. 🙂

    • EXACTLY, Niraj – now why can’t more businesses understand that without customers you are nothing? So why ignore them and piss them off?

  • Thesnowlegacy

    Hey Danny! Congrats on the new addition to your family!
    Thanks for raking the time to write. You wrote the truth, and it’s good that it got to me a little at certain points. You’re right! Get rid of all the BS and obey the golden rule. We can’t just go through the motions, it must be internalized. It must be felt and applied constantly without exception, not just when it’s convenient.

    • Anonymous

      Consistency – that is the rub isn’t it? 

    • Thank you!

      And yes, so agree! Motions are good inasmuch they make you think. But after that, the kids take over and they`re pretty much an organization

  • Hi Danny,

    For each post, I’m picking out the line that wakes me up the most. In your post it was: Show people they can trust you.

    I find when I’m true to myself and not to the generic blueprint they hand out in elementary school, that’s pretty easy.

    It’s important to do what you say you are going to do as much as possible. Everyonce in awhile, we will fail at that and it’s o.k. Perfection is not a virtue.

    Thanks! G.

    • Anonymous

      Ah G – so good to see you here. 🙂

    • “Showing” people is so much more powerful than “telling” them. I’m with you here, Giulietta!

    • Hi Giulietta (awesome name, by the way!),

      Ah, elementary school. The graveyard of unbridled ideas and creativity, where teachers (not always through their own fault) often remove the wisdom and possibilities that all children have until it’s taught out of them.

      Here’s to more folks like you that ignore the blueprints!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for being so brutally honest in your post. It is not helpful to be babied and told that everything is ok when it is not. Why should people be loyal to you? Do you earn them money, pay the rent, or wipe their buts?

    I agree with the idea of not believing your own bull shit. It is better to concerned that you are satisfying your customers rather than your own ego.

    • Anonymous

      Danny specializes in brutal honesty. It’s one of the reasons I adore him so. 🙂

    • Hi Miriam,

      Hehe, when I sent @sarahrobinson:disqus  the post, I mentioned it had a few strong words in there and that she could remove if she wished. But Sarah being Sarah, she left it intact. And that strength is why her community is so awesome – because you all know that you’re getting the real, unfiltered deal.

      And yes – if you want a huge ego, go ahead and knock yourself out. But make sure you can back it up with actual results, otherwise you’re just an empty piece of space that someone better could be taking up.

  • Sharon E. Greene

    I’ve found this discussion most interesting! Yes, I (as well as the rest of us) was/were challenged by Danny’s brutally honest post. And it reminded me of what I’ve often thought about institutions with which I’ve worked that were “always number one” in something. Even though I’ve been paid to peddle their shit at times, do NOT believe your own PR! Ego is both everything, and nothing. (How else can we get up and do what we need to do, and how do we face ourselves in the mirror at night.) It’s a matter of integrity. Thanks, Danny (and Sarah), for reminding us that we reap what we sow. 

    • Anonymous

      Yes – it seems a few goliaths have met their downfall by believing their own pr lately. An excellent point.

    • Hi Sharon,

      The way I’ve always looked at it (as far as ego goes) is if it gives you confidence to do something, perfect. But if by doing that something, and getting success, makes you a dick to everyone else, then you need to either rein in your ego, or get out of the game.

      Shame so many decide the latter can be ignored… 😉

  • Anonymous

    I was talking sports with some friends of mine & the idea of favorite teams, team loyalty & all that came up.  And as much as I love sports, I don’t really have a favorite team.  I don’t feel loyal to any of them.  I just felt ambivalent about it.  After reading your post Danny, I’m realizing that ambivalence sucks big time.

    When you’re ambivalent about what’s going on in your life, you take a lukewarm approach to it.  No one responds to lukewarm.  It doesn’t bring up any controversy, it doesn’t stir any feelings- good or bad.  It just makes me feel blah.  So when the concept of fierce loyalty comes up, I pretty much have to smack my forehead.  You could say you brought an “aha” moment, but I prefer “duh”.  Like yeah, of course.  That makes total sense.

    So what I’m going to do is go out & act on the things, people, places & causes that I’m fiercely loyal about.  It’s been a growing process because I’ve gotten caught up in all the BS & fell for all the smoke & mirrors from biz “gurus” who turned out to not be so guru-ish.  But now that I can sniff out the truth, I can be the kind of person who stirs up fierce loyalty in others.  And that part is so freaking cool!

    • Anonymous

      Oh Annette – do keep us posted on how this does!

      • Anonymous

        Like so many things, this will be a work in progress!  Luckily I have a dog with a short attention span & when need be, I can smell crap a mile away… (be it my own, hers or other people’s)  :  )

    • Annette this will be a piece of cake for you. You’re super passionate about running, your friends, your business, adult beverages, and I’m sure so many other things. It’s just an extension of who you are already.

      • Anonymous

        Feel free to keep pounding this into my head Lori!  I have loads of passion, I just need to keep it directed in the proper direction.  I have to say though, I was pretty passionate about that St. Germain you recommended once I managed to get the silly bottle open…!

    • Hi Annette,

      Sounds like the world is about to get a wake-up call from you – awesome! Glad to have been able to help and here’s to whatever path you take now being the right one each time.

      And don’t be afraid to remain ambivalent in some areas – it gives an air of mystique and can throw people more than a clear black and white approach. And it’s always good to be able to keep folks on their toes around you… 😉

      • Anonymous

        I LOVE keeping people on their toes!  I think that my clients love that I’m constantly evolving & bringing them along for the ride!

  • Danny…Congrats on the new addition! Wishing you the very best! I’ve figured out that for me, success in any area of life is much like a boomerang. If I want things coming back to me I need to throw it out there first. And the sequence is critical. I need to start the process. Even if it doesn’t come back to me, and there’s no guarantee that it will.  But if I am fiercely loyal to what I am offering the world, I will be passionately motivated to keep throwing, knowing that putting it out there is the first step in getting it back.

    Thank you for your insights!

    • Anonymous

      If anyone can model how to do this, it is you Peter. 🙂

      • Anonymous

        So very kind of you! Thank you, Sarah 🙂

    • I like the boomerang image, and I believe it’s true in all aspects of life. 

      Now this may sound silly, but it happens to me all of the time when driving. Whenever possible, I always let someone out in front of me when there’s a long traffic line. I mean, they gotta get out at some point right? And whenever I am in need of getting in line while driving, it never fails that someone lets me out, and it’s usually the first few cars.

      • Lori,

        Please come to Toronto and show these idiots how to drive. Thanks! 🙂

    • Hey there Peter,

      Cheers sir, thank you very much. The ladies came home today, so the real fun begins now. 😉

      This part of your comment is gold, mate: “…success in any area of life is much like a boomerang. If I want things coming back to me I need to throw it out there first.”

      Love, love, LOVE it. And that’s all I have to add to such wisdom. 🙂

    • That’s such a great way of putting it, Peter!

      I try to make a fair number of day-to-day decisions based on how well my actions fit into the world I’d /like/ to be living in- you know, the world where someone lets you know if you’ve dropped a belonging and people stop to help push your car if it stalls or gets stuck. As long as what I’m offering is something I see as necessary to get to the world I want to live in- and why would any of us choose to offer something that isn’t?- of course it should be habitual to keep loyally putting it out there.

  • Thanks Danny! It’s refreshing to read such a bluntly honest, from-the-heart post about the two-way street called loyalty. Take the good with the bad, listen, accept, encourage; all great points!

    I’m thinking about your question about how to start thinking like the person I want to become fiercely loyal to me. I will continue to be honest and “authentic” with my outgoing communication and increase my interaction with those I want to build a relationship with. Whether that mean commenting on their blog, dropping a note, or reconnecting on Skype or via email, opening (or re-opening) the door is my first step.

    • Anonymous

      Excellent first step Shelley!

    • Great to hear, Shelley, and here’s to your “new” journey.

      One thing I did when “revisioning” my own approach was to revisit blogs where I’d let something slide instead of saying something, and speaking up. That’s not to say you should become a troll overnight, mind you! 😉

      But asking questions of your favourite bloggers is surprisingly refereshing and invigorating. 🙂

  • Great article. It reminds me of the loyalty that NASCAR fans have with their favorite drivers and the brands they have splashed all over their cars. If a driver switches teams, their fans will switch brands in a show of support. Guys who once bought Castrol motor oil would switch to Mobil. Loyalty is a funny thing when you have a group of fanatical fans.

    • Great point about the NASCAR fans, Karl. My uncle followed the McLaren F1 team in the UK, and would base his tyre, gas and brand purchases around who was sponsoring the team at that time. Never underestimate fanaticism.

  • Amandaot

    Great advive. I enjoyed the read.

  • It’s hard being something that you’re not and writing is one of the ways that shows you that. Thanks for the reminder.  We can’t write what we don’t know.

    • Hi Catherine,

      You know, I often find writing to be one of the best forms of stress relief around. Even if I don’t get around to publishing something, it allows me to get things out that might otherwise be penned up. And that’s never a healthy situation to be in…

      Thanks, Catherine!

  • rmsorg

    Danny, this is what’s amazing about technology and the Internet. This technology has given the consumers back their voice and the power they have always had with big corporations! And frankly, I’m glad to see that now these corporations have to “listen” and be “transparent” to their consumers in order to get their attention and loyalty.

    Nice article that really highlights that if you want loyal followers/consumers you have to listen to them, acknowledge them and think like they do.. Very nicely done Danny!


    • Completely agree. Just look at the Komen / Planned Parenthood situation at the minute as a prime example. I don’t think Komen in their worst nightmares expected the amount of kickback (especially online) they got and are still getting.

      Long may these options for voices to be heard continue.

  • Give what you want. Amen. Note to self: keep on practicing. 

    Gave that practice a go again yesterday. With my heart in my throat, I extended some fierce loyalty to a well-meaning but boo-boo-ing professional friend I’ve been feeling hurt by and concerned about. Together we recovered a beautiful connection. Did a whole lot more listening than I thought I would. Reminded me that the door to more can open without need of any crow-barring from us. Just had to stand and be as fierce for her sake as I first thought I might need to be for myself.

    • That’s awesome to hear, Lissa. Like you found out, there’s so much can be achieved if A), we really want it, and B), you’re not afraid to both dish out and receive tough love.


  • Jenny

    Great advice.  How can we ask from others something that we may not be doing ourselves?  Nice kick in the arse Danny, thanx.

    • Extra kudos for using the term “arse”, Jenny – as a Brit in Canada, it’s much appreciated! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Danny, Congrats on being a Dad again. You know, one day your kids are going to read your old stuff and then you are going to have to tell them why it’s OK to curse in your posts but not at home. But til then keep at it, it’s great stuff.
    What you describe is exceptionally easy, provided you (ok, make that me) are secure. Secure people realize they are not defined by a single success or failure, but rather how they use success and failure to continually grow. I am responsible for my own security. I must listen with an open mind, evaluate and answer criticism, incorporate critique that was valid and discard (nicely) criticism that in fact doesn’t apply. 
    As for applying this to building loyalty, I can remember what it feels like to be knee capped and avoid knee capping anyone else, no matter how much I feel the knee capping is appropriate. As always, I must remmeber and continue to support others not because I am building capital or hope for anything in return. Instead, I support others because it is the right thing to do and remember than when my work merits support, the support will be there.

    • Thanks, Barry, and yes, that should be a fun discussion on double standards… 😉

      The security thing is so important. I’ve chatted with friends and colleagues about things they want to do because they love it, yet they’re not confident enough about their chance for success. And, more often than not, the reason for that fear is they’re not confident in themselves.

      That needs to happen first before anything you take on, otherwise you’re dooming yourself to failure from the off.

      Cheers, sir!

  • Arushi Pareek

    Thanks Danny! This is not something that works only in professional life. It also holds true for personal life. You get treated the way you treated others (more often than most people, me included, would like to admit). But the one main thing that tends to make me try, and try again, is that if I make it work, I’ve gained a friend for life 🙂 

    • Very true, Arushi. My granddad drilled that into me time and time again, and he was so right. Cheers!

  • As all things important, this is too simple ( not necessarily easy)!

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  • I’ve been here before. This all looks familiar. Why have I not been here more before now? Oy. Hennimoooooore!

    Danny, one of the reasons I enjoy keeping up with your work is because you aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. How much of the marketing/PR/social media landscape is just superficial twats trying their hand at affiliate marketing? Kudos to you for calling that shit what it is – shit. (Or should I say, shite.)

    What’s more, thanks for opening the door to real world English. Drives me insane how common it is for people to twiddle their thumbs, fuck around, and not get the important shit done, but will nit-pick four-letter words, email signatures, and dress code. 

    We are adults. We are hired to get shit done. Don’t lecture me on dress code. Don’t critique my email signature. Don’t prattle off the latest study on why people don’t put their best efforts forward at work after you’ve clearly demonstrated you’d rather I adhere to the banal superficiality of the corporate mindfuck than deliver my absolute best. Tell me what you want you want me to help you do and let’s do it, already. 

    Hallelujah. Holy shit. Where’s the aspirin? 

    • Damn, mate, never seen this side of you before, and I kinda like it! 🙂

      You know, the dress code one is such bullshit and annoys the hell out of me. The owner of the company I work for is a millionaire many, many times over, and has started and sold four companies to the tune of $200 million+. The guy doesn’t own a suit. Si is Wall Street going to tell me he’s not worth listening to because he doesn’t adhere to a certain dress code?

      Fuck off. 😉 

      Cheers sir, always a pleasure!

      • PREACH IT.

        Fierce loyalty and being fiercely loyal – there’s often a disconnect somewhere between the strategic vision of upper management and the tactical execution on the front lines. Middle management is a real pain point for many. Seems a perfect opportunity to apply some of this information behind the firewall… 😉

  • New here. Like the idea. Makes logical sense. What I am wondering is why the concept of treating people like you want to be treated is so hard to figure out that it requires so much discourse on the web. BTW, Danny, I perused your billion comments on the fanboy post (linked above) and the thing that struck me is the TIME and credence that topic garnered in the commentary.

    Is it that some people just have too much time on their hands or is it that some people just HAVE to win?

    Escaping mediocrity. Well played. Have you read Julien Smith lately? 

    • Hi Ralph,

      Cheers. I’m not sure if it’s time on hands so much (though there were definite examples of that) as opposed to perhaps feeling a viewpoint wasn’t being heard? Of course, had the host blogger stepped in and reminded all commenters that respect is a given, perhaps the whole farce would have ended long before it got to where it did.

      Haven’t read Julien since he started doling out questionable health and dietary advice without taking more care to warn of the dangers.   

  • Here’s my dance card:

    1. Clearly communicate your expectations
    2. Do for others what you expect of them
    3. Praise, honor, and reward loyalty; lift up those who are loyal
    4. Punish betrayal and repeated failure
    5. Be merciful – for only the strong can ever be truly merciful
    6. Forgive those who seek forgiveness AND do penance with a pure heart
    7. Be right, be just, and be strong

    • Great card, mate. One small thing I’d maybe add is lift up those who aren’t loyal yet, but just need that extra “push” to become so. Making loyal people out of those that doubted can reap huge rewards, probablt even more so than those that were loyal early.


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  • Hey Danny interesting post. I guess loyalty is much like positive thinking. If you think positively you have 50 percent chances to get positive results, if you think negatively you get 100 percent chances to get negative results. And if mathematic isn’t an opinion 50 percent is better than zero percent. For loyalty is the same: if you are first loyal you have 50 percent chances of getting loyalty back, if you’re not you have 100 percent chances of not getting loyalty. Percentages might be different but I guess you got the idea. 🙂

    • Ha, trust you to come out with a math equation and not make it sound boring, Andrea! 🙂

      It’s true, of course – you have to think loyal – constantly – if you want to be both loyal and be loyal to in return.

      Cheers, sir!

  • Danny, you’ve always been good, but you are elevating your game to another level my friend.

    Thanks for this inspiring post.

    • Hey there mister, thanks for the kind words and always great to see you around. How’s Costa Rica? Room for a visit sometime this year? 🙂

      • My house is your house Danny – anytime!  Seriously.

        • Somehow I knew you’d say that, mate. 🙂

          Doing a lot of travel this year with Jugnoo, so you never know – let’s chat on how we can arrange an event down your way.

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