How Neil Patel Preserved His Integrity After The Instagram Fiasco

In our quest to make money or to make the world a better place, you and I are sometimes faced with a dilemma-the option to compromise our values, and get immediate benefit or stick to our values, suffer the consequences while keeping our integrity intact.

While compromising one’s value may achieve a seeming benefit, series of compromises has the ability to dent one’s reputation.

This is why a Japanese proverb says:

The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.
This goes to show that a single bad choice has the ability to destroy a lifetime’s worth of integrity.

Is it worth the risk?

“Trust me; the scandal scarred former boy wonder said. No way, responded California’s highest court.”….CNN

This is despite Stephen Glass claim to showing genuine remorse.

The Neil Patel Experience

As a serial entrepreneur, Neil has been known for his trademark giveaways and his love for testing- all geared towards reinforcing his brand and generosity.

In his desire to continue with the tradition of being a leader in the field of content marketing and SEO, Neil unleashed the controversial article: What Spending $57,000 on Instagram Taught Me.

Why Controversial?

Neil in the above post shared the exact strategy he used in landing over 111,000 followers.

The controversy arose as a result of Neil’s use of semi nude photos of women in the give-away he organized on Instagram-a giveaway which was inconsistent with his brand values: a campaign that almost smeared his integrity.

If you are wondering how important integrity is, you need to understand that integrity is the currency of trust. It enables us gain the trust of our customers, colleagues’ and our team and also helps us create a consistent brand identity.

According to Mind Tool, for you to preserve your integrity you need to:

i. Define you values

ii. Analyze every choice you make

iii. Encourage integrity.

However, we as humans are not infallible and are susceptible to make mistakes.

The question then is what did Neil do that helped preserve his integrity after he made the mistake?

As I highlighted in the post: How To Protect Your Integrity; Neil did the following:

1. Acknowledged his Mistake

2. Apologized for his mistake

3. Worked at correcting the reservation made concerning the campaign
- He deleted the images that were in contrast with his brand

4. Acted on Suggestion Made In the Comment
- gave away an undisclosed sum of money to an organization


1. The brand did not suffer a noticeable change-Comment level did not decline

2. Readers appreciated his humility and ability to listen

Lessons Learnt

As entrepreneurs, readers, and bloggers it is important you define your values and stick to it. And where you make mistakes: acknowledge them, apologize for the mistakes and take concrete steps to win back the heart of your audience.

Are there any other lessons you've learnt from this case study? Please share them with us


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