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Sitting On The Fence Can Hurt Your Business

In this episode, we will talk about an Australian celebrity who has made a faux pas. He is being described as the industry equivalent of a toasted cheese sandwich: no hard edges and soft inside, so that everyone likes you. But all of a sudden, he is in trouble…

Okay, so here is the story – the entertainment industry in Australia crippled by COVID lockdowns launched a #VaxTheNation campaign urging Aussies to get vaccinated so live entertainment can return. Australian musos heavyweights: Jimmy Barnes, Amy Shark, Guy Sebastian, the Hilltop Hoods, and a lot of others got on board. Joining forces with major record labels, ticketing agencies and festival organisers.

Or did they???

For some bizarre reason, Guy Sebastion withdrew his support of the #VaxTheNation campaign.

In a short video that had overtones of a hostage situation, Sebastian explained why a post in which he supported the vaccination campaign was deleted from his social media accounts.

He claimed he used “love and compassion” to protect people who can’t be vaccinated for underlying medical reasons.

Sadly for Guy – this retraction has had a fair bit of vitriol directed his way. The Sydney Morning Herald did a hatchet job on him best summed up with the line…

“In trying to be everything to everyone, Guy Sebastian has plumbed a new low.”

Even a Sydney radio host doubled down, telling Sebastian on air to “grow a pair” and “get the splinters out of your backside. Get off the fence.”

Since he won Australian Idol in 2003, Sebastian has been Uncontroversial.

Those favourite family qualities have seen him build wealth, fame and an all-important social media following of almost 500K. But in backflipping on his initial support of #VaxTheNation, which he says was given by his team without his consent, Sebastian has cooked it.

The cynical view is that now he’s earning a stonking salary on The Voice and doesn’t have to work that splintered backside off in sticky-carpeted dives. Guy has abandoned the community in which he’s a leading figure.

While giving with one hand – saying he has double vaccinated himself and supports music industry revival initiatives. Then, the singer took with his other hand – “I personally don’t believe it is my place to deal in absolutes to tell people what to do in regards to their personal health choices.”

Sure. But how do you reconcile that when flogging multi-vitamins to children with your stylist wife, Jules? This is something he does very often.  

The way it looks is you’re okay with making money off vitamins but won’t support community health. It looks like you’ve lost the ability to think for yourself while claiming that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Above all else, Sebastian’s stance also doesn’t make business sense. Legions of other stars around the world have supported vaccination campaigns without harming their reputations or bank balances. 

So what’s in this message for us? (Us – The normal hard to do business)

If Guy Sebastian, with his high paid advisers, can make this blue – so could we. 

This isn’t really about vaccination. This is about having an opinion, a stance, being authentic and genuine.

As Legendary Gary Bencivenga – one of the greatest copywriters the world has ever known. States in Bullet #1 of his 29 Bullet Archive (get a copy if you can) – Bencivenga advocates the “Credo Technique”. Credo is Latin for “I believe.”

But it is much more than a technique. It is having a distinct and public expression of your most strongly held core values that serve as a clarion call to gather the like-minded faithful of your marketplace.

You’ll find that when you clearly stand for something, you will never stand alone. Indeed, standing for something special in your overcrowded marketplace. This sets you apart from armies of me-too competitors. Who try to be everything to everybody and wind up meaning nothing special to anyone.

Using the Credo Technique is the surest way I know to attract and bond. A bond with your kindred spirits, your true believers, your most loyal comrades in arms, your best clients and friends. It is the hope I have found in you.

Another person I like to follow is Dan Kennedy. He is well known for his No BS series of books.

The legend Dan Kennedy answered the question. You sometimes offend and anger people. And sometimes, in your newsletters, you express opinions, and some people think this is counterproductive. They think it’s risky. Why do you do this? And what is your thinking on why you feel entitled to do it?

He said – the problem with being plain vanilla is that even though it might be the most popular flavoured ice cream. Nobody ever talks about it. There’s no word of mouth for it. Like some weird Ben and Jerry ice creams – chocolate chip and mashed potatoes flavoured varieties that everybody talks about.  


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