Hypothesis-Driven Growth: How to Turn Data into Revenue

Hypothesis-Driven Growth: How to Turn Data into Revenue written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

 

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Doug Davidoff, the founder and CEO of Lift Enablement and the author of The Revenue Acceleration Framework. Dough Davidoff brings over 20 years of experience advising small and mid-market companies focused on significant growth. Known for his no-nonsense approach, he combines real-world research with systems design to develop effective business and growth strategies. In our conversation, Doug Davidoff defined the concept of hypothesis-driven growth and explained how businesses can leverage this approach to turn data into revenue.

Key Takeaways

Dough Davidoff emphasizes the importance of hypothesis-driven growth, where businesses form hypotheses, test them, and learn from the outcomes to make data-driven decisions. He distinguishes between speed and velocity, highlighting that true progress comes from moving in the right direction. A strong Rev Ops function is crucial for optimizing revenue generation and enabling marketing, sales, and customer success teams to work cohesively. While embracing organizational silos, he stresses the need for proper context and communication. Companies can use well-designed frameworks to align strategies across departments, ensuring consistent and scalable business growth.

 

Questions I ask Doug Davidoff:

[02:12] What’s the difference between rev ops and marketing?

[04:56] How does the difference between speed and velocity affect business growth?

[06:24] Where do people get applying tech to marketing wrong?

[08:58] Talk briefly about the underlying objective when you enter a company.

[11:00] How do you address companies that take a very siloed approach to Sales & Marketing?

[13:24] Are there totally different approaches to legacy companies and companies starting off?

[17:07] What’s a thumbnail sketch of your typical process and methodology?

 

More About Doug Davidoff:

 

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Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn

 

 

Speaker 1 (00:00): I was like, I found it. I found it. This is what I’ve been looking for. I can honestly say it has genuinely changed the way I run my business. It’s changed the results that I’m seeing. It’s changed my engagement with clients. It’s changed my engagement with the team. I couldn’t be happier. Honestly. It’s the best investment I ever made. What

John Jantsch & Dough Davidoff (00:17): You just heard was a testimonial from a recent graduate of the Duct Tape Marketing certification intensive program for fractional CMOs marketing agencies and consultants just like them. You could choose our system to move from vendor to trusted advisor, attract only ideal clients, and confidently present your strategies to build monthly recurring revenue. Visit DTM.Jantschworld/scale to book your free advisory call and learn more. It’s time to transform your approach. Book your call today, DTM World slash scale.

(01:03): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Doug Davidoff. He’s the founder and CEO of Lift enablement. With over 20 years of experience advising small and mid-market companies focused on significant growth, he has directly advised more than a dozen companies that have collectively sold over $1 billion known for his no nonsense approach. He combines real world research with systems design to develop effe-cutive. I just made up a new word, effective Business and Growth Strategies is also the author of a book we’re going to talk about today, the Revenue Acceleration Framework, A Proven Roadmap to Transform and dynamically Grow your Business. So Doug, welcome to the show. John, it is great to be here. Long time Dan, and if it makes you feel any better, every word was made up at some point. Yeah, that’s a good point.

(01:55): That’s a good point. I think I might be onto something though. If I could say it again. It sounded like something I could own and define. Yeah, it’s like right up there with Strategery or something. Yeah, exactly. I wonder if we could start off, if you have your own podcast where you talk about, or at least in the titles, rev ops, right. Let’s start with a definition. What’s the definition or the difference, I should say, between rev ops and marketing? So Rev Ops is really a strategic backstage discipline that’s responsible for looking at how a company generates and sustains revenue, how they allocate the resources. So a strong rev ops function is enabling marketing. It’s going to generate more velocity for marketing. But yeah, so it is really taking that holistic approach and managing those trade-offs so that marketing can do what they do best and sales can do what they do best and success can do what they do best.

(02:54): So you would suggest, I know you do suggest, so I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but that it’s a completely different discipline than marketing. Yes. Yeah, it is. The analogy that I like to give is, if we think about theater, what we want to do as a business is we want a standing ovation. We want people to love what we do, and they can’t help but talk about what they just saw and what gives you that standing ovation, that front stage experience, right? What’s the front stage? Anything that your customers see, feel, or touch? We’ll talk to any actor on Broadway and they’ll tell you the key to a successful front stage experience is a really good backstage and a really good support function behind that backstage. That’s rev ops. Would you say that this is an area that it’s not necessarily a new discipline, but is it one that people are waking up to or do we still have a lot of room?

(03:44): There’s a lot of companies out there that don’t even consider this as something that they need to optimize? I talk about this in the book, actually. It’s funny because the answer to that question is really dependent upon the type of business and the size of the business. So it’s not new at all. IBM’s had sales operations, which is a portion of revenue operations for decades. I think if you take a look at the typical small mid-market business, the vast majority of them do not have a formal rev ops function. One of the things I’d like to point out is you have rev ops, whether you’re calling that rollout or not, it’s just happening in the tech space. Happy to say it’s no longer the top of the hype cycle because AI has pushed everything way past, but I actually think that in the tech space, we’ve seen rev ops become this catchall phrase for, oh, we’re rev ops, or let’s do rev ops.

(04:43): That’ll fix that. So it’s like in that place where it’s still trying to find your question of what is rev ops is still a very relevant question. So when it comes to, or at least in the context of business growth, I know you talk a lot about the difference between speed and velocity. How does that come to play in the context of business growth? So I’ve got to share the story of where I came to understand the difference between speed and velocity. So I was coaching my son’s baseball team. I was the third base coach. We’re playing the first game of the year, and Austin is our number nine hitter. And everything we knew about Austin was, you look at Austin’s fast, and so he’s on first base, there’s no outs. He’s on first base. I give the signal to steel, Austin takes off pitches, thrown catcher throws to second base, and I kid you not.

(05:31): The second baseman is waiting for Austin to get there to tag him out. Inning ends, I go over and everyone’s, what happened? What went wrong there? Did he not get a good jump? I’m like, no, I don’t know. And someone came along and said, you guys are missing, and Austin moves his feet really fast, but he doesn’t really go anywhere. And so that’s when I realized that’s the difference between speed and velocity. Speed is how hard are we working? How fast are we going? Velocity is, are we making progress towards where we want to be? And it’s the old Stephen Coveys that I can take a high speed train from Boston to Los Angeles. It doesn’t do me any good if I’m trying to get to Miami end a few years ago. I don’t hear it as much, but it used to be very trendy to call yourself a full stack marketer.

(06:17): I really don’t know what that meant, but it sounded cool. We’re talking about particularly in marketing, tech stacks are a huge deal. So I guess I should say what’s the right way to do that? Or where do people get that wrong? In terms of applying tech to marketing or Yeah, or to ops in the case, because a lot of what you’re doing is dialing in the technology, and if we’ve got all these disparate parts that don’t talk to each other, that’s probably a challenge. So John, I’m sure you’ve seen this through the years of fads and FOMO that come out. It’s amazing how when a company starts selling something, one of the things that has unfortunately driven the noise around rev ops is a lot of tech companies creating these solutions for rev ops and saying that you need rev ops. And so I think the first mistake is when you view anything through the lens of technology. So we live by what we call the prime directive at Lyft, and that directive is the business process must drive the technology. The technology can never dictate the business process. So it’s important to understand technology is not a solution. Technology is an enabler. It could be an accelerator, but it’s not the solution. So the big mistake that happens is we don’t get clear on what is the job that we’re trying to do? What’s the problem that we’re trying to solve?

(07:43): I deal regularly with tech that is not working. I’ve yet to see a time where the tech wasn’t working, where the issue wasn’t actually an ambiguity, a conflict or a confusion around the underlying business process. And so that’s the place where we get in trouble is tech makes it so easy to make it complicated. We embrace the complication, and this is our fifth CRM system this year, right? Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, HubSpot, I can show you 20 companies that tell you it’s the greatest thing they’ve ever had. It’s transformed their companies. And I can find you 20 companies that said that thing was rock. It didn’t do anything. Exactly. So you started to hint at it. And I know a big part of what you just talked about was the jobs to be done theory. I don’t really remember who gets credit for that idea. Clayton Christensen.

(08:37): Clayton Christians. The person who popularized it, at least I knew I’d hear it numerous times. I could remember it was in Crossing the Chasm, or was that Innovators Dilemma? Innovators Dilemma, innovator Solution. Okay, cool. Alright, so that’s a big part of what you just explained. So maybe make it practical. When you go into a company, you obviously open up that toolkit and instead of looking at the tech, you try to find the underlying solution or the objective maybe. So talk a little bit about that, how you apply that. Yeah, and one of the things that I talk about too when it comes to technology is never buy technology. You should only hire it. And if you start looking at the things that you’re doing, I talk about this from a marketing standpoint. I say never implement a marketing campaign. Hire a marketing campaign. So when we’re going to hire somebody, we start off when we say, what does success look like?

(09:30): What is it that the business is trying to accomplish? What’s the gap? What’s the capability? I look at technology, I look at campaigns, I look at strategies and tactics. People. I look at them as capabilities fill gaps. So here’s where I want to be. Here’s where I am. Here’s what I think the difference is. I talk in the book about hypothesis driven growth, always have a hypothesis. We talk about the science of growth. The science of growth is hypothesis, test, learn. And if you take that approach, have a hypothesis, figure out what are the keys, this allows you to be wrong. So I have hypothesis, I do something, I get a result from that. That result is either what I expected or something different. All the learning comes when the result is different than what I expected. Then I draw my next hypothesis and I just bring that cycle.

(10:25): And if you do that, you’re going to find you are going to make progress. Progress is going to be a byproduct of what you’re doing. And that’s why the companies that do that well, and that’s what I talk about in the framework, is they look back 18, 36 months later and they go, we’ve transformed. Wait, we’ve totally changed. Even though through that effort, they never really felt like they were going through all that much change. They felt like they had a lot of stability when in fact they were far more dynamic than the competitive set that was seeking transformation. When you work with organizations and they’re still out there, fortunately they’re changing some, but that still take a very siloed approach because that really, if A is not talking to B and B is not talking to C, things break down. So how do you address that?

(11:12): Do you just tell ’em they have to stop? What do you do? So I have a little bit of a counterintuitive approach here. I embraced the silo. So you talked about full stack marketers, and that reminded me of the term that came before that was the, you remember this, the T-shaped marketer. Yeah, right. A little bit of this and a lot of that. So the thing for us to understand about silos is we need silos. We need constraints. There is a specialization. If I’m doing social media, there is a specialization and there is a depth to what is going on with social media. Marketing has its role, sales has its role. So it’s not that the silo in and of itself is the, and I think too often we come in and we say we need to get rid of silos. And then someone goes, I don’t know what to do.

(12:00): What I find missing is the context. That’s why I love frameworks is the framework lets us talk to this. And what’s happened with sales and marketing especially, it’s my favorite image in the entire book is I talk about the old way of marketing, which was marketing, then sales. Then the new way of marketing is marketing and sales. In parallel. The right way is sales and marketing are completely intertwined. So when we look at the framework, it serves as that translator. It brings in the context. So where I see silos being a problem, the real underlying issue is there’s no context. We don’t understand why am I doing this? Why are you doing that? This is my job to do. So I like to think of it as manufacturing revenue. So we’re getting to various milestones and basically that’s my one trick, John, is I come in, I go, how do we find interest as a raw material and then implement a manufacturing process to take that raw material and take turn interest into engagement, into conversation, into inquiry, into advocacy, into customer.

(13:11): How do we do that? Where do people play? Where are those connections? And I find that really helps to simplify and bring that alignment that so many people are working so hard to get is your approach. Let’s say you’ve got an old legacy company. They’ve been doing fine chugging along. Everybody knows this is how we do it here. And then the opposite of that, somebody who still doesn’t even know if there’s a market for what they do, they’ve got to really go to market. Do you find that there are totally different approaches for those types of very broad range business? So that’s a yes and a no. I’m a great consultant, right? Exactly. The thing that I’ve learned about uniqueness is 80% the same and 20% different. So there’s an underlying model. There is a consistency. I talk about in the structures section of the book, the different archetypes.

(14:05): So now they’re not fundamentally different, but there are definitely differences between them. But by the way, one of the key things is I come across companies sometimes that are like they’re doing whatever it’s that they’re doing. They’ve been around for a long time, they’re good, they’re comfortable, they’re happy. Okay, you don’t need to change just to change. So there needs to be a why behind that. It tends to be, and I think most companies understand that today change is not particularly optional, but they don’t know what that means. So what happens is people like me oftentimes come and we say, you need to change what you’re doing. And what we mean is you need to change about 20% of what you do, by the way, to be able to succeed. If you need to do more than anything other than just a brand new startup, if you need to change more than about 20 to 25% of what you’re doing, I’m the wrong person.

(14:58): This is the wrong book. You’ve got troubles that need to be fixed. Address those. The thing that I found that’s fascinating is the difference between the companies that are just crushing it and the companies that just don’t seem to hit, they’re doing okay, but the juice isn’t quite worth the squeeze and life gets more stressful every day. It’s like a three to 5% difference, a big change. It’s an underlying structure and an approach that just needs to be tweaked. And by the way, the other thing I’ve learned about successful companies, they’re like successful families. Every successful family I’ve met is dysfunctional in their own unique way. So you show me any great company, I’ll show you a company that’s breaking a rule or two, and we have this tendency, here’s my 13 rules up, and I come in and I apply those 13 rules in the laboratory.

(15:56): I’m right in doing that. I killed the secret sauce again, that’s why I love frameworks. Let’s find out what is it that makes us different? What is it that’s enabled us to be successful? How do we play our game and stop trying to copy everybody else’s game? Yeah, I see that time and time again. Do you bring in this consultant who has a successful case study doing X, Y, z, and they want to apply that case study, but that’s not us. We can’t sell like that. I see it all the time. I’ll tell you, I learned that when I was coaching college baseball is I couldn’t work with this kid the same way I worked with another kid. They were completely different body types. They had completely different strengths and weaknesses. It’s like how do we make the game work for them? How do they play their game?

(16:41): That’s why I’ve always been a fan of yours, John, is I think that’s really the underlying element of Duct tape marketing is we’re humans. We are by definition different and special. Let’s understand that and be consistent to that, and how do we carry that out as the organization grows across what is an increasingly complex environment? That’s probably a better definition for what Rev ops is. So I’ve waited way too late to actually say, so what is your approach? What’s your process? What’s your methodology? Because that’s another show probably, but give me kind of a thumbnail sketch. If somebody calls you in and says, Doug, we need help. I read your book, it’s awesome. What would it look like? Your process, your methodology, I know everybody is different, but on the surface, you’re going to create playbooks, you’re going to audit, you’re going to look for data, right?

(17:30): Well, the first question I’m going to do, the first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to ask what does success look like? I still remember the first time I was doing sales coaching, sales training, someone called up and said, Hey, I’ve heard some really good things about, yeah, we’re looking for sales training. I’m like, oh, really? What is it that you’re looking for sales training for? You ready for this, John? We need more sales. And I said, okay. That takes out about half of my programs. They’re designed for people who want fewer sales. Okay, what does more sales mean? So what is success? Then we’re going to look at what’s preventing, what’s getting in the way. Then we’ll go through, we’ll understand. One of the key things that we do in our audits is really to understand again, what is it that makes you different and special?

(18:11): How do we reinforce that while addressing those areas and those obstacles? And again, what I find is far more often than not, we just reverse engineer success. You’ve had. I get the best compliment I ever got from a two day sales training program that I did was, you didn’t teach me anything new. I’ve done all of this before and I’m curious when you do this, what’s the result? That’s where my best sales come from. What if you did this purposefully each time instead of it after the fact and oh, wait, and that’s all I’m looking to do is where do you have your success? Let’s find what’s consistent about that. Can we get into the invisible part? That’s where I talk about structure is what’s the system design? One of my favorite quotes is, your system is perfectly designed to give you the results that you’re experiencing now. So how do we have to change that underlying system so that the behaviors and things like that follow? Yeah. There’s a great book by Marshall Goldsmith, I think is his last name. What got you here won’t get you there, and I often kid and say, what got you here will keep you here.

(19:25): That’s one you asked me about mistakes. That’s one of the mistakes that I see is we do our best customer analysis and that’s great. If your best customers look like what you want your best customers to be. A lot of times we’ve got to take a look at who are the customers that we’re not working with because that’s what our future best customer needs to look like. Absolutely. Doug, I appreciate you taking a few moments to stop by the Duck Tight Marketing podcast. Is there someplace you’d invite some folks to connect with you, learn about your work? Obviously pick up a copy of the Revenue Acceleration Framework. The easiest place to get the Revenue Acceleration Framework is of course Amazon. My wife and associates tell me I spend too much time on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can get me at Doug Davidoff on Twitter. You can find me easily on LinkedIn. I’m happy to engage. If you have any questions or if I can help in any way share any experiences, I’m more than happy to. Awesome. Again, I appreciate you spending a few moments with us. Hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

Fractional CMO Services: Strategy Before Tactics an Interview with John Jantsch

Fractional CMO Services: Strategy Before Tactics an Interview with John Jantsch written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

In a recent interview on the Near Media podcast, I had the opportunity to discuss the growing trend of fractional CMO services and how they can benefit small to midsize businesses (SMBs). As the founder of Duct Tape Marketing, I’ve been working with SMBs for over 30 years, and I’ve found that many of these organizations face similar challenges when it comes to marketing strategy and execution.

Increase Frac CMO retention and revenue

One of the key points I emphasized during the interview is the importance of strategy before tactics. Too often, SMBs focus on executing marketing tactics without a clear, overarching strategy in place. This leads to a scattered approach that fails to target their ideal customers or differentiate them from competitors effectively.

Fractional CMO services aim to address this issue by providing SMBs with access to high-level marketing expertise on a part-time basis. By hiring a fractional CMO, businesses can benefit from strategic guidance and direction without the cost of a full-time chief marketing officer.

During the interview, I discussed how Duct Tape Marketing’s approach to fractional CMO services begins with a comprehensive strategy phase. This involves working closely with the client to identify their target market, develop clear messaging, and create a customer journey map that encompasses all stages of the marketing hourglass—know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer.

 

Once the strategic foundation is in place, we help clients mature their marketing efforts through a staged approach. This involves setting priorities, establishing metrics for success, and consistently communicating progress to stakeholders.

One of the most significant benefits of working with a fractional CMO is building a strong relationship founded on trust. By advocating for the customer within the organization and focusing on strategy before tactics, fractional CMOs can help SMBs achieve sustainable growth and success.

 

As for the role of AI in marketing, I believe it serves as a valuable tool for increasing efficiency and producing content at scale. However, AI must be married with human expertise and strategic context to be truly effective. Fractional CMOs can play a crucial role in helping businesses navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by emerging technologies like AI.

 

Fractional CMO services offer SMBs a cost-effective way to access high-level marketing expertise and develop a comprehensive growth strategy. By prioritizing strategy before tactics and building strong client relationships, fractional CMOs can help businesses thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

 

The interview is broken into 3 parts and can be heard here.

Transform Your Business with the Metronomics Framework

Transform Your Business with the Metronomics Framework written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

 

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Shannon Susko, a strategic business coach and author renowned for her innovative Metronomics framework. Her expertise lies in transforming businesses through her unique growth operating system, helping leaders achieve sustainable growth and balance. Beginning with the Metronome effect, In our conversation, Shannon Susko defines the Metronomics framework and explains how it can revolutionize the way CEOs and leadership teams approach growth, strategy, and execution.

Key Takeaways

Like a Metronome, the CEO sets the speed of things.

Shannon Susko’s Metronomics Framework transforms businesses by bridging the gap between strategy and execution, emphasizing the role of CEOs as consistent leaders and fostering cohesive, accountable leadership teams. This growth operating system focuses on setting long-term visions, breaking them into short-term goals, and utilizing a behavioral accountability platform to maintain team alignment and productivity. By navigating the three growth phases—foundation, momentum, and compounding—Metronomics ensures sustainable growth and a balanced, enjoyable work environment.

 

Questions I ask Shannon Susko:

[01:55] How did your journey as a CEO form the Metronomics framework?

[03:08] Would you say, like most entrepreneurs, you went well-informed to gain the success you have today?

[05:06] How did you develop the term ‘Metronomics’?

[08:01] How is this different from other growth frameworks?

[10:45] As a CEO, how do you keep the momentum of the Metronomics Framework going?

[17:54] As a business coach, how big of a hurdle is the CEO and their inability to “let go”?

[19:33] Is there anywhere you want to invite people to connect with you or find out more about your work?

More About Shannon Susko:

 

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn

 

 

Speaker 1 (00:00): I was like, I found it. I found it. This is what I’ve been looking for. I can honestly say it has genuinely changed the way I run my business. It’s changed the results that I’m seeing. It’s changed my engagement with clients. It’s changed my engagement with the team. I couldn’t be happier. Honestly. It’s the best investment I ever made. What

John Jantsch (00:17): You just heard was a testimonial from a recent graduate of the Duct Tape Marketing certification intensive program for fractional CMOs marketing agencies and consultants just like them. You could choose our system to move from vendor to trusted advisor, attract only ideal clients, and confidently present your strategies to build monthly recurring revenue. Visit DTM world slash scale to book your free advisory call and learn more. It’s time to transform your approach. Book your call today, DTM World slash scale.

(01:03): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Shannon Susko. She is a celebrated for her strategic prowess team leadership and financial acumen, having successfully co-founded Lead and sold two companies. Within six years. She developed the Metronomics framework fostering rapid growth and successful exits, and now she coaches CEOs and is the author of a number of acclaimed books, including metronomics one United System to Grow Your Team, company and Life. So Shannon, welcome to the show.

Shannon Susko (01:38): Yeah, thanks, John. Great to be here.

John Jantsch (01:40): You had a lot of hard words in your bio that I almost tripped over several times. I don’t

Shannon Susko (01:45): Know where that bio came from, John. I was like, so who is that person? Is someone on my team is working the word magic.

John Jantsch (01:55): So let’s just start with Metronomics. What was the genesis of it? How did your journey as a CEO form it?

Shannon Susko (02:04): Yeah. Well, it started in my first company. Metronomics has been around for 24 years. It’s a growth operating system, and it’s one that we built out a pure, desperate need to figure out how to unlock a way to grow a company and have fun doing it. And so it was our first business. We were stuck and we decided with my leadership team that we brought in from all over the world, I said, there must be a system. I asked my coach, you’ve got to have a system, right? Repeatable system. How are we going to do this? And you know what? My coach of all he’d already built, grown, sold many companies, and I say many because I don’t even know how many. And he’s like, yeah, no, you’re doing the right things. You’re learning from the right people. Keep going. And I was like, no, we got to find a way. So that’s where Metronomics came from. It’s a growth operating system to save leaders time and get them having fun in their business, get them outside the business, find the balance.

John Jantsch (03:08): So I don’t know if I would call you a business book junkie, but Yes, yes, I am. I hear you reference a lot of books and a lot of names that are people that I know. Would you say that all good entrepreneurs, that a lot of those people informed where you ultimately ended up?

Shannon Susko (03:25): Yeah, I mean, absolutely. When I was asking for the system, I kept asking, there’s got to be a system. Give me the book for two years, 24 months. I read four books a week because I actually didn’t believe there wasn’t a system. And so in doing that, and then, yeah, I haven’t stopped reading books. I still read a book a week at this point, not four, but at least a book a week. But you know what? All the great thought leaders out there, Jim Collins, Michael Porter, and all the genres and all the different systems in the business, they all gave us the what, right? And so you’d learn the what, and you’d go over and do that, and you’d play Whack-a-Mole on the cultural system, or you’d play Whack-a-Mole and the human system or the strategy system, but none of them were connected. And I was like, okay, we got that fixed. Now this broke run over here, run another. So we took all those great things and we actually plugged them into the system. It’s like when you think of my background’s technology, so when you think of a computer operating system that’s running Mac or Windows, many things plug into it, but it’s like the system that works day in and day out. That’s what Metronomics is. And we love taking all the different things that companies need and we plug it in when it’s needed.

John Jantsch (04:53): So I’m curious about the term where you landed on, I’m envisioning Sister Colette, my first grade piano teacher and the metronome metaphor. So how did you come to Metronomics is the term?

Shannon Susko (05:09): Yeah, well, funny enough, first book is called the Metronome Effect. And when I wrote that book, finished the book, finished it all, couldn’t think of a name. I checked all these names, went out for a run, and there’s a metronome on my Garmin.

(05:27): And I was like, oh, that’s really interesting because the metronome sets the speed at which you’re going to run, play the piano, and the CEO is the metronome in a business. They set the speed at which you’re going to grow your business. So that’s where metronome came into play. I did have a piano teacher as well. I did all those grades. I did have it sitting up on the piano, but it made me think that day, okay, you set the speed and you must hold that speed or rhythm or whatever it is. So that’s where that came from. Metronomics came from the word metronome, which represents the CEO, who gets to set the speed. We want a consistent speed in the organization, not one that goes fast and slow, fast, slow. So economics is the other word. And it was really about the balance of your life and your business, your economics, balancing your time with the dollars.

(06:22): So there’s a whole piece that we have in there, but that’s what I was fighting, is balancing teen business and life. So that’s where the economics piece came from and there’s definitely a method to that madness. And then the third word, and there’s a fancy word for how we made up this word, I don’t remember it today, but I know it’s in the last chapter of omics, the book itself. But it’s metrics and metrics. What we learned are not the things you track, it’s the things you forecast and the things you control that flow through your business. And so everybody who works on a team in a business owns a thing. They do a thing every day, and there’s so many of those things they do every day, and we call them widgets. So a metric represents a widget. And so those three words made up metronomics, which is this big long word, and maybe we shouldn’t have made up that word, but we did because it represented the things that flow through the business, represent the team that needs to connect to them. The metronome represents the CEO and the economics is the outcome you get, which is balancing your business and your life because most CEOs, especially startup CEOs, but even when you get to eight, 10 years, people are tired of the same old one. They can’t seem to unlock it. And this unlocks it, right? It gets you back your life so you have fun again and gets you the team you’ll want to work with.

John Jantsch (07:51): So you mentioned a couple of names, Jim Collins, Vern Harnish, Gino Wickman. I mean of all people that you recognize the names of creating similar systems. If somebody said, how are you different or how is Omic different?

Shannon Susko (08:06): It’s a great question, John, because I grew up on the late nineties on Rockefeller Habits, which was wearing Harish and learning pieces of that, and we had pieces of that. And then Gino’s work where the EOS came out later, but he grew up at the same time with rock habits. And if you take great game of business, Jack Stack and all the mini games that happen, they’re all very much influenced in all of this. And we put those pieces in place. We created the cash system, we created the execution system, we had the cultural system, we had those pieces, but there was still a gap in the middle. And the gap was the strategy and the strategy system. And the biggest difference is that by having your 10 to 30 year goal and having your annual goal, which scaling up EOS is great, they’re great execution and cash systems, and they line up with the long term, our three year highly achievable goal.

(09:09): That’s the difference. That’s the thing that connects your long term to now, and it’s so close, you can reach out and touch it. It’s 12 quarters, but you must lay out the execution quarter over quarter, 12 quarters straight to get there. And the system itself, the strategy system, not we know these days is not like, oh, we create a strategy, our five year strategy, it’s happening strategy we have to talk about every day, week, month, quarter, year. And this allows us to give that connection and the alignment to the team and that word widget and that word metric in regards to a three year highly achievable goal connects your team to where you’re going. It connects everybody in the company to the overall team results. And that’s the difference. Now, do we love a company? I love a company doing EOS, and they usually get to a point where they need to look further that strategic piece, and we just layer right on top of it. If you’re doing scaling up, Metronomics will layer right on top of it. It takes everything they’ve learned about a discipline execution system with a little bit of strategy and some of the cultural pieces and just puts it onto a little bit more of a timeline. Rocket ship of three years. It really challenges it.

John Jantsch (10:36): I dunno if this is the deliverable or the objective is to create kind of this repeatable playbook that the whole company uses. How do you stop that? How do you keep that alive? As I listened to you talk about it, so many people create systems and playbooks and nobody can actually even find the darn thing anymore a week later. So how do you keep that thing alive?

Shannon Susko (10:55): Yeah, so the way you keep it alive, you can write it down, you can have it out, and everyone goes, oh, isn’t that wonderful? And then nobody does it. At the end of the day, metronomics is about behavioral accountability, and at the end of the day it’s about behavior with your team on the field. And we actually created a field, a virtual field. It’s a behavioral accountability platform that is called, we call it Metro, the company. It’s in as metronome growth systems, but it is the metronome in the platform. Everybody logs in to the platform every day, and a lot of people go every day. They look at what they said they would do, they look at the cadence at which they set it. All the meetings are run through that platform day, week, month. And it really starts with how does the playbook stay alive?

(11:47): Well, number one, a coach that understands the playbook, so I’ll put my coach hat on for a second, but at the end of the day, it’s the CEO O with the leadership team, commits to the team habits, the team habits of the playbook, and that’s what keeps it alive. When the ceo, EO and the leadership team don’t want to do those habits anymore, the playbook, we evolve the habits, but they don’t want to do it anymore. The playbook is just a really nice system sitting there that no one will use. And as well as I know in any business, a system is only as good as the users of the system. You got to use the system to keep it alive.

John Jantsch (12:29): Well, and that was really going to be my next point. I mean, a lot of what I think stops great companies is that they get to a certain point where building a leadership team is different than managing a company. And so how do we evolve with this, right? We build the playbook, it’s awesome, but now we’ve got new problems.

Shannon Susko (12:51): So the interesting thing is we have the seven systems that all connect to one another and they exist in any business, whether you want to acknowledge them or not. That’s one of the biggest things I learned early on in business. But the thing that we found in Metronomics and with the research we’ve done over the last 14 years is that there’s three phases of growth that every company will be in at some point and some may never get out of the first phase, which is the foundation phase. It’s the very first phase. There’s five things that we’ve really got to pull the lever on to move from the foundation growth phase to the momentum growth phase. The third growth phase is the compounding growth phase. Most companies, whether it’s called that or not, it doesn’t matter. Most companies get stuck there because it’s a willingness to have a repeatable cash system and put the effort in to forecast cash first, have an execution system that works without the leaders, but in order to have that, the leadership team must be, it’s the CEO plus all the functional leaders that we have in companies, and it has to be whatever the definition of that team is, a hundred percent A players.

(14:10): And the last thing is it must be cohesive in order to get that far. While we’re doing all that in the foundation growth phase, we’re mapping the strategy and to keep it all aligned. Mapping the strategy gives us strategic pictures, whether we have all those other things working or not. We can still map our strategy, but it’s lining all those things up so that I always say, it doesn’t make it easy. It creates some ease, it takes some pressure off. We get some growth results just from picking off each one of those things, which actually brings the team back to keep doing it, that actually will take the team through to the other side and really grow the system. I always say the playbook meets you where you are. And so I go into companies and they have an A player leadership team. It’s cohesive.

(15:06): They have a cast system and they have a great execution system that’s working without them. I go, fantastic, let’s get the workout strategy. Because what they’re looking for, others come in that phase and they may have a couple of those things, but they might be stuck on that. A player leadership team. It depends how that team is formed, but we’re going to meet the teams there and that keeps it alive in the phase that they’re in. And then as they pick off the critical path, we know there’s a critical path for growth. We will move to the momentum phase, which you got to keep all those things alive in the foundation phase. Then we got to validate with confidence and strategy so that we can make better foster decisions to keep up with the speed of growth of the organization. We need to take the leadership team to that next level of cohesiveness.

(16:01): I call it team trust 2.0, but it’s where they’re at the point now that they have the time to coach their team, work on strategy and grow themselves into Jim Collins would call the level five leader Bill and Bob, Adam, scaling leadership would call it integral leadership. But it’s actually that next version of the leaders. They have time to grow themselves at the rate the company’s growing. And of course the last phase is compounding. We see companies go into the compounding phase top line, and they can’t sustain it, right? Because the thing that all those things have to be true in the first two phases. The last phase is you got to basically what we call the coach cascade system. You’ve got to cascade out the growth and learning of your team members in order to keep up with the growth of the company. And those are the things.

(16:57): That’s why some of the clients I’ve had for 11 years, and someone goes, have they not got it yet? But the playbook has evolved as they have evolved, and it’s really fascinating to me. It’s really fascinating, but very much reflects my tenure journey and my first company where it’s not a straight line across the growth phases. And once you get there, it’s not that you necessarily always stay there. The external environment can push you back. Your team coming and going can push you back, right? Your strategy can push you back. So yeah, it’s really exciting to actually put this in place and a team gets so good at it, they forget about it, they forget about the system, and then they’re just thinking within their business, but following the cadence.

John Jantsch (17:46): So I’m tempted not to ask you this question because we are close on time, but I know it’s a big one. How big of a hurdle is the CEO and their inability to let go in your work?

Shannon Susko (18:02): Yeah. I love working through the phases of this with a CEO EO because, and what I call a desperate CEOI was a desperate CEO. My coach could have said, stand on your head Shannon and spit out nickels, and that will get you there faster. I probably would’ve done that. And there’s different levels of desperation on how bad you want to win whatever winning is for that company. And so what I find is CEOs will, I was on a call earlier this morning and they do whatever. They’ll follow that system because of where they want to go. So I always say it’s how bad does that CEO EO, and I’m going to go plus leadership team want to win their game. That is how fast a CEO let go of things. And once they start letting go take off the sales hat and give it to someone else and take off the finance hat and give it to someone else, and they see the time, they get back to doing the things that are in their sweet spot, it goes a lot faster. But it’s just got to give ’em a little inkling of what it might be to let it go. But they’ve got to want to, there’s lots that don’t. They think everything’s great, and if they think it’s great, then it’s great, and they’re going to grow along at one to 3% a year and fantastic. As long as they’re having fun, life’s too short.

John Jantsch (19:28): Absolutely. Well, Shannon, I appreciate you taking a few moments to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Is there anywhere you would invite people to connect with you and find out more about your work?

Shannon Susko (19:37): Yeah, you can absolutely just look me up on LinkedIn, Shannon Byrne, Susko on LinkedIn Easy, although I think the only one out there with that name and as well on metronomics.com, everything’s there. Lots of free resources, webinars. Yeah, please come and join our community if you’re interested.

John Jantsch (19:56): Awesome. We got a Canadian resources there too, just to put a little fine point on that.

Shannon Susko (20:01): Yeah. Oh good. Yeah, absolutely.

John Jantsch (20:04): Awesome. Again, well hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

How Music Transformed My Business Approach

How Music Transformed My Business Approach written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

 

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Stephanie Sammons, a certified financial planner and accomplished singer-songwriter.

Stephanie always enjoyed songwriting, singing, and guitar-playing and got involved in Nashville performing songwriter workshops. She worked diligently to improve her skills and decided to go ‘pro’ with this career at the encouragement of some of her Nashville-based songwriting mentors. She released her first full-length album ‘Time and Evolution’ on May 3rd, produced by Mary Bragg (highly respected singer-songwriter and one of the only female producers in Nashville). Stephanie was selected as a 2024 Kerrville New Folk Finalist, one of the most coveted competitions in the songwriting world! (they chose 24 songwriters out of 1340).

She shares her unique journey, from a successful career in financial advisory to embracing her passion for music. Her story exemplifies how following one’s passion can lead to unexpected synergies and a more fulfilling professional life.

Key Takeaways

Stephanie Sammons shares her journey of embracing her “passion” (as most people in the industry detest calling it) for music alongside her financial planning career, highlighting the courage needed to pursue dreams at any age. She discusses balancing her dual careers, the transferable skills between financial planning and songwriting, and the importance of community support in both fields. She emphasizes creating space for creativity through daily routines, illustrating how integrating passion into professional life can lead to a more fulfilling and enriched career.

 

Questions I ask Stephanie Sammons:

[01:58] Tell us about your journey from Marketing to Music

[04:37] How did you summon the courage to follow your passion?

[06:29] How do you find funding for all the music production costs?

[11:16] Tell us about the significance behind the song ‘Innocence Lost.’

[13:11] How much life experience is a key part of songwriting?

[15:16] Are any musical mentors or musical influences important to you?

[15:59] How’s balancing music and your advisory firm going

[17:19] “You don’t switch the writing on; it hits you when it hits you,” Do you find that challenging?

[18:19] Is your client base and financial firm influenced by you, “the empath artist”?

[24:44] Is there someplace you want to invite people to connect with you and listen to some of your music?

 

 

 

More About Stephanie Sammons:

 

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn

 

This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!

 

 

Speaker 1 (00:00): I was like, I found it. I found it. This is what I’ve been looking for. I can honestly say it has genuinely changed the way I run my business. It’s changed the results that I’m seeing. It’s changed my engagement with clients. It’s changed my engagement with the team. I couldn’t be happier. Honestly. It’s the best investment I ever made. What

John Jantsch (00:17): You just heard was a testimonial from a recent graduate of the Duct Tape Marketing certification intensive program for fractional CMOs marketing agencies and consultants just like them. You could choose our system to move from vendor to trusted advisor, attract only ideal clients, and confidently present your strategies to build monthly recurring revenue. Visit DTM world slash scale to book your free advisory call and learn more. It’s time to transform your approach.

John Jantsch (00:57): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantz. My guest today is Stephanie Simmons. He’s been a financial advisor and planner for 25 years, launched her own registered investment advisory firm in 2017. She believes in growth at a reasonable pace and is selective about who she takes on as a client. Good lesson in that one. She’s also enjoyed songwriting, singing, guitar playing, and got involved in Nashville performing singer songwriter workshops, and she released her first full length album, time and Evolution of this past May produced by Mary Bragg. She was also selected as a 2024 Kerrville new folk finalist. Kerrville is one of the top ones out there of anybody who makes the circuit. So Stephanie, welcome to the show.

Stephanie Sammons (01:46): Thank you, John. I’m so excited to be here. It’s been a long time.

John Jantsch (01:51): Well, it has been a long time. And that’s a part of my first question. Long time listeners wonder why am I having a musician on a marketing show? You and I actually met in a marketing context, I don’t know, 15 years ago or so. Talk a little bit about your journey to, I just mentioned you recently released a full length album, but talk a little bit about your journey to that point.

Stephanie Sammons (02:15): Yeah, I mean, most of my career I’ve been a financial, I’m a certified financial planner, worked for big firms, left the big corporate thing, got into marketing, I worked, did some marketing services for financial advisors, built websites, all that good stuff. Took a sabbatical from that career and then got back in it started my own firm, like you said, in 2017. So that’s my core career. That’s how I make my living. And I’ve always had this burning passion to do music. And I’ve dabbled in songwriting for probably, I don’t know, 20 years and guitar playing, being a self-taught guitar player. And I started going to these workshops in Nashville starting in 2016. And I got to work with these incredible Grammy nominated artists. One of them is a Grammy winner, and that’s Emily sells from the Indigo Girls. But I learned so much about the art and craft of songwriting, and I just fell in love with it. I was like, oh, I’ve been writing songs, but they are terrible and this is really how you write a good song.

(03:36): So I’ve been to, I just asked the woman who puts these together, their smaller group workshops, I said, how many have I been to since 2016? And she said 26. So I just studied and studied and started really working hard on it, putting my day work down, my day job down, and then starting on songwriting and getting better and improving. And there was just a culmination of whispers that made me decide to about a year ago to go pro with it. And I had to overcome a lot of my own head noise and excuses and those kinds of things. But that’s how I got here.

John Jantsch (04:18): So since I’ve already mentioned that we’ve known each other a long time, it probably is not an insult to say that was kind of a midlife change for you. So how alluded to the idea of that was a big change I felt People talk about all the time, imposter syndrome and those kinds of things. How did you summon the courage? Is that the right word to say, I’m going to go do this thing that seems ludicrous?

Stephanie Sammons (04:44): Yeah, I think courage is the right word. My first excuse was, you’re too darn old. What are you thinking? I’m too old to do this. I have another business where I serve clients day in and day out. What are my clients going to think that I’m running off to Nashville and leaving them in the dust? So I had that to overcome that, which was more in my head. And then I think the third thing was it’s going to be so much hard work because it’s like if you want to be a good golfer, you can’t just go out and start playing 18 holes. You’ve got to hit the driving range. You’ve got to practice your putting. It’s an actively, it’s an active sport that you have to engage in and practice and work at it. And this songwriting thing and performing is an additional layer.

John Jantsch (05:36): Yeah, I was going to say, I’ve always really respect songwriters who are also great performers because it’s two completely different businesses.

Stephanie Sammons (05:45): It is. And I’m introverted. And so that took a different level of courage to get to. So I don’t know. I mean, I think over time it’s just been part of my journey to build and build on the skill sets that are required. And when I reached out to the producer that I really wanted to work with and I had enough songs to make an album when she said yes, that pretty much launched me down the road. I’m like, okay, that is a sign I’m doing this.

John Jantsch (06:20): Okay. And you don’t have to get into specific numbers, but just in practice, how does, okay, you found a producer who said yes, you had the songs, they needed to be musicians, there needed to be studio time, there needed to be the production. How does all that get funded

Stephanie Sammons (06:37): By yours truly?

John Jantsch (06:39): Yeah.

Stephanie Sammons (06:40): I mean, that’s the beauty of, I mean, I’m fortunate that I’m in the position where I can self-fund this passion career. I’m trying not to call it a passion. Songwriters have a problem. The songwriting community has a problem with that if you’re not. But now everybody

John Jantsch (07:02): Has different job because anybody can pick up a pen and say, here are the three chords, but is that songwriters?

Stephanie Sammons (07:08): And so it really is another profession altogether. But I saved for it, and I knew it was going to be expensive, and it is expensive, and you don’t get a return on your investment, very little return financially. It’s more the experience that matters to me. And it’s okay if I’m in the red forever, but that’s what it takes. And everybody does it differently. Some of these songwriters out there where this is their core career, they will start a Kickstarter and get funding that way. So anyway,

John Jantsch (07:50): But the money’s really in the t-shirts, right?

Stephanie Sammons (07:53): Yeah. The money is in the merchandise.

John Jantsch (07:56): I

Stephanie Sammons (07:56): Never thought that would be, but

John Jantsch (07:58): It’s interesting you think of how that model has changed the music industry. You would tour to sell albums, and now the tour is where the money is, right? I mean, it’s really, I’m sure there definitely Taylor Swift making a lot of money on Spotify, but a lot of folks, it’s really changed the whole, it’s almost become more entrepreneurial, that ability to reach your fans directly to hustle and get gigs and do things. I mean, it’s really become a lot more entrepreneurial, hasn’t it?

Stephanie Sammons (08:28): You are correct, and you wear all the hats. You’ve got to be active. Instagram is a pretty strong community of singer songwriters, and we all support each other. But if you’re not active there, that’s really helped the most is just engaging with my community of peers and everybody. We all have different fans, and that’s kind of how you do it, but you wear every one of the hats. And at my age also and with my lifestyle, I’m not going to go get a van and tour the country, but I get to kind of build my own adventure. I’m doing selective festivals and just things that I want to do. I’m putting my name in the hat to try and get on some of those bills to be able to play different festivals and things.

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John Jantsch (10:36): Well, Curville is probably one you attended a time or two, right? I would think given where it’s located, I have an idea. Why don’t we listen to a bit of a song?

Stephanie Sammons (10:45): Great.

John Jantsch (10:46): That was from Time and Evolution, and it’s called Incense and Lost, and I have to call you out on this. Sold my Soul for a diamond ring. Now, there’s a lot of hope in that lyric, isn’t there?

Stephanie Sammons (10:58): Yes.

John Jantsch (10:59): So maybe talk us through, sorry, I stole your thunder there, but talk us through what that song’s about, what the influence of that song.

Stephanie Sammons (11:07): Yeah, that song came about because I shot a bird when I was 10 years old. My granddaddy gave me a BB gun, and me and my sister were just walking around their land going, what do we do with this? What could we do? And I shot a bird and I ran over to that bird and I literally watched it die in front of me. And I went from being ecstatic that I hid it to completely heartbroken that I killed the bird. And so that song is about, that experience was losing your innocence of time when I lost my innocence. And so that song has several vignettes describe stories of losing your innocence over time. And that was one of them that you mentioned. Yeah, you’ve run off and with the person you think is going to be the person the rest of your life. And you leave home and you don’t listen to your mom and dad, and it ends up being a disaster and you come back home hanging your head and traded your soul for diamond ring. It wasn’t the right person.

John Jantsch (12:14): So I sometimes wonder people laugh about that. I mean, you can’t write the blues unless you’ve just had a really hard life. And so how much of that really comes in, plays the part in songwriting? I mean, I sometimes laugh because I play around with writing songs too. But I mean, I feel sometimes the hardest choice I’ve had to make when I was growing up was like if I wanted chunky peanut butter or smoothie peanut butter, I just have nothing to write about sometimes.

Stephanie Sammons (12:43): I bet you

John Jantsch (12:44): Do. I’m sure it’s not, I’m sure it’s not true. But I wonder how much, not necessarily pain, but just life experience and how you experience life is a key part of songwriting.

Stephanie Sammons (12:54): Yeah, I mean, I would say that I am an empath and I’m always thinking about other people’s suffering, other people’s experiences. Why does some people have such a tough lot in life and others don’t? And things like this just plague me and people who struggle in my family. And so instead of addressing these things or sometimes I get confronted by various folks in my family, for example, and it ends up coming out in a song. I mean, they’re just things that are in my mind that I store up that I really think a lot about. And those are the things that come out through songwriting. It’s really interesting. That’s how I have the conversation.

John Jantsch (13:44): Yeah. Do you find yourself, I often, maybe this is romanticizing the whole process a bit, but you’re sitting in a coffee shop and you hear two people talking over there. That’s like an idea for a song, what they’re talking about.

Stephanie Sammons (13:58): Everything is fo for a new song. It really and truly is. And so are things and things that you see. I’ve seen a lone coyote roaming around out here. It’s not so much anymore because it’s warmer, and I live in Dallas, but I’m like, I’m going to write a song about that lone coyote. But I have to figure out what is the metaphor, what’s the coyote of metaphor for what’s it going to be about? And I keep ideas on my phone, just a running list, and then I marry those two things like, ah, I’ve got it. I’m working on a song called Marathon, and it’s about somebody who’s just had a really hard life and they keep getting up and keep getting up. So I try to find a metaphor that works for the song in general. An image.

John Jantsch (14:47): You mentioned you went to a lot of these workshops, and I’m sure you met folks that you would call mentors. Are there any mentors, musical influences that are important to you?

Stephanie Sammons (14:57): Oh yeah. I grew up listening to the Eagles and a lot of Boston Classic journey, classic rock stuff. And then later in life, I love cold play. I love The Indigo Girls. They were a big influence. Just the gals playing acoustic guitars. I was like, I want to do that.

John Jantsch (15:22): Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because I’m trying to think of the seventies. You had Joni, you had, I dunno. Did Stevie Thanks Guitar sound. Thanks Taylor. I was thinking women though. So last question. How is balancing music and your advisory firm going

Stephanie Sammons (15:38): Man, to some extent, it’s definitely two different sides of the brain, but there’s a lot of overlap. Financial planning is kind of formulaic, making the numbers work to meet the goals. And writing a song, you only have so much time. Every word counts. You’ve got to have a rhyming scheme, you’ve got to have a melody and a rhythm. And so I find similarities there. And then my financial firm is really, it’s a relationship business like anything else, like any other business. And I’m mostly helping people make good decisions. That’s what the job is. And so the way I balance them is I can’t do them both in one day. I’ve got my work days for my financial firm, then I’m going to rehearse all day music days, or I’m going to work on songwriting all day. One day. I have to just get in the space for each role that I’m practicing.

John Jantsch (16:46): Are you familiar with Rick Rubin’s recent

Stephanie Sammons (16:49): Work? Oh, I

John Jantsch (16:50): Love it. So one of the things that he talks about repeatedly in there is that you don’t switch the writing on, it hits you when it hits you. Do you find that a challenge? A little bit because it’s like, I have their song today. It’s like,

Stephanie Sammons (17:05): Yeah, if I don’t create space for that, it doesn’t happen. And so that can be, especially trying to juggle both of these careers. So I do things like journaling and I try to walk a couple of miles every day, and that’s the way that I can create space or being in the car is always a good place to capture something on my phone. So I’ve always got my phone nearby to record a melody. I always have melodies in my head, so I’ll record a melody and just sing it into my phone or put words in there and phrases for ideas. So it is kind of always on in the back of my mind, that motor is running.

John Jantsch (17:46): You have one of these little notebooks with all these little snippets in it that you someday will tie into something or go

Stephanie Sammons (17:52): Back to. Right. I have a bunch of those.

John Jantsch (17:53): Do you find sometimes that, I wonder if your client base and your financial firm is a little bit influenced by the empath artist sort of makeup that is you. Are you attracting folks that are opposite of that? Or are you attracting folks that your music is actually, to them is a real side benefit?

Stephanie Sammons (18:12): They’re all very supportive of my music, which has been refreshing. In fact, some of them have come out to a show that I did here in Dallas, which was shocking. I didn’t expect that. I have different types of clients, though. Some are real stoic and not emotional at all. And then others are just, they need nurturing and handholding and they’re just different. They’re different people. And I don’t know what the common thread is. That’s a really great question. I’m going to think about that.

John Jantsch (18:44): Yeah, it’s just an observation. Well, Stephanie, it was awesome catching up with you, spending a few moments on the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. Where can people find out, I guess if they need a financial advisor, would be one avenue of connecting you, but also find out more about your music and pick up time and evolution?

Stephanie Sammons (19:02): My website is, the best website is stephaniesammons.com is just my name. And I do have a website for my, it’s my wealth management firm. It’s called sammonswealth.com, but my music is everywhere you listen, apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, if anybody still listens there, I know a lot of people do our age, but I also have vinyl and CDs and all that good stuff.

John Jantsch (19:29): That’s all at stephaniesammons.com? Yes. Yeah. Awesome. Well, again, it was great catching up with you and hopefully we’ll run into you someday soon. Come to Colorado and play, and I can see you on the road.

Gain Freedom From the Fear of the Future: How to Thrive in an Uncertain World

Gain Freedom From the Fear of the Future: How to Thrive in an Uncertain World written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

 

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Dr. Frederik Pferdt, the first Chief Innovation Evangelist at Google and a renowned expert on innovation and creativity.  

Frederik Pferdt helped shape one of the most fabled creative cultures in the world. He founded Google’s Innovation Lab, where he trained tens of thousands of Googlers to develop and experiment with cutting-edge ideas and taught ground-breaking classes on innovation and creativity at Stanford University for more than a decade.

He has also worked with dozens of international government agencies, organizations, and businesses ranging from the United Nations to NASA to the NBA. His work has been highlighted in Fast Company, Harvard Business Manager, Der Spiegel, and BBC news, among many other media outlets.

Dr. Pferdt shares his insights on how not just optimism but radical optimism can transform our relationship with the future, helping us create a world we want to live in.

Key Takeaways

The key to thriving in an uncertain world lies in embracing radical optimism. He explains that radical optimism is about more than just seeing the glass as half full; it’s about looking for ways to fill the glass even further. By shifting our perspective (state of mind) to focus on possibilities and opportunities, we can transform challenges into chances for growth.

Dr. Pferdt emphasizes the importance of changing our mindset to a “mind state” – a fluid, adaptable approach to thinking that can be adjusted based on immediate circumstances. This helps individuals become more resilient and proactive in the face of change, rather than being overwhelmed by it.

He also highlights the role of compulsive curiosity in driving business innovation and personal growth. By continuously questioning and seeking to learn more about the world around us, we can stay ahead of changes and better prepare for the future. This curiosity, paired with unreserved openness to new ideas and experiences, can lead to unexpected and rewarding opportunities.

In this episode, Dr. Pferdt offers practical advice on how to cultivate radical optimism and develop a future-ready mindset. He shares personal stories and examples from his work at Google and Stanford University, illustrating how these concepts can be applied in real-world scenarios to achieve remarkable results.

Dr. Pferdt’s insights provide valuable guidance for anyone looking to gain freedom from the fear of the future and thrive in an ever-changing world. By adopting  a proactive approach to the future, we can create a future we desire, rather than waiting passively for it to unfold.

 

Questions I ask Frederik Pferdt:

[02:25] Would you say Ning was ahead of its time?

[03:50] Would you say a platform like Facebook then was another advancement of Ning or completely derivative?

[07:53] How would you define community?

[14:03] How important is having a clear and compelling purpose in designing your community?

[17:13] How do you manage having so many feature requests?

[21:18] Do you have an interesting case study of how someone achieved great financial success starting with a community?

[24:44] Is there someplace you want to invite people to learn more about Mighty and connect with you?

 

 

More About Frederik Pferdt:

    • Connect with Frederik Pferdt on LinkedIn

 

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn

 

This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!

 

 

Speaker 1 (00:00): I was like, I found it. I found it. This is what I’ve been looking for. I can honestly say it has genuinely changed the way I run my business. It’s changed the results that I’m seeing. It’s changed my engagement with clients, it’s changed my engagement with, it’s the best investment I ever made.

John Jantsch (00:14): What you just heard was a testimonial from a recent graduate of the Duct Tape Marketing certification intensive program for fractional CMOs marketing agencies and consultants just like them. You could choose our system to move from vendor to trusted advisor, attract only ideal clients, and confidently present your strategies to build monthly recurring revenue. Visit DTM world slash scale to book your free advisory call and learn more. It’s time to transform your approach. Book your call today, DTM World slash scale.

(01:03): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Dr. Frederik Pferdt. He is the first chief innovation that helped shape one of the most fabled creative cultures in the world. He founded Google’s innovation lab where he trained tens of thousands of Googlers to develop and experiment with cutting edge ideas and taught groundbreaking classes on innovation and experiment with cutting edge ideas for more than a decade at Stanford University. He’s also the author of a book we’re going to talk about today. What’s next is now How to Live Future Ready. So Dr. Fard, welcome to the show.

Frederik Pferdt (01:45): Thank you, John for having me.

John Jantsch (01:47): It’s a pleasure. So let’s maybe kind set a baseline. When a lot of people hear about the future, it seems like people are either excited or they dread it. I don’t think that you’re going to tell people they should dread the future. So how do you get people to think appropriately about what the future means?

Frederik Pferdt (02:06): Yes, that’s a great question. And so I really want to help people to change their relationship with the future. As you just described, we feel sometimes anxious, uncertain about the future, but we also feel excited from time to time about the future. And we all know we live in that world where change is accelerating and it’s happening constantly and this can feel overwhelming for a lot of people. And so the challenge that we all face, I think, is that our minds are looking for certainty. And if we don’t find that certainty, we feel anxiety. So we spend a lot of time worrying about the future because our minds crave that certainty and really our brains are wired to make this feel uncomfortable for me, really about helping people to not think about the future and do predictions, but rather changing their relationship with their own future and saying like, Hey, what future do I want to create? Instead of asking what will the future bring? And I think that’s something that I’m personally very excited about because that changed my relationship with my future. And so taking control of what’s happening next is something very important. I want to help people to do that.

John Jantsch (03:34): So that idea of that’s obviously how to live, future ready, how to live the future you create, I think is obviously a big premise of the book. How do you get people past this idea of creating something that is unknown because it’s five, 10 years from now, entire things that we took for granted will no longer exist. So how do you get that kind of mindset?

Frederik Pferdt (04:00): Exactly. And you are mentioning an important point, which is mostly we talk about these futures that are way out on the horizon. It’s like five years, 10 years, or even like 30 years. That’s what we usually talk about. And for me, I want to bring the future close, which means I want to bring it so close that every choice you make in this moment determines what’s going to happen next. And so you mentioned something that I feel we also need to discuss, which is that notion of a mindset. That word mindset is just around everywhere we have, even in school, it’s taught, which is very important, having a specific mindset. But also we use it in organizations where we talk about we need to have an organizational mindset, for example, or we talk about it even with products, you can now buy products that help you to change your mindset might be like a drink for example, or certain pills and so forth.

(05:10): And I think we need to change that probably because we have mindsets all around. And Carol Dweck did incredible important work around that. But I found that it’s a term that is also overused. And even if you’re typing something into a document or use chat GPT or use Google, whatever it is, it always defaults back to mindset. And for me, the concept of a mindset refers to a stable, long-term collection of beliefs and values and attitudes that we carry with us. And it’s deeply ingrained and often resistant to change having been formed and solidified over years of experiences teaching. So it’s really hard for us to change a mindset. And so what I want to do is I want to change that notion towards a mind state. And for me, a mind state is something different. It’s fluid, it changes based on the immediate situation.

(06:14): It really reflects our real time emotional and mental responses, and it can significantly influence our decisions and actions. And for me, that mind state is our moment to moment perspective really that is influenced by our thoughts and emotions. And that really guides how we interact with the world. And I think for me, if we focus on the mind state, it helps us to actually also take control and how we perceive a situation and how we experience the present moment. And that is really something that is very powerful and I use in the book. And so by focusing on your mindset state, really you can actively shape how you experience and respond to everyday situations and thereby constructing the future you desire. And that’s the whole again, premise of what I want people to do.

John Jantsch (07:07): And I want to get into the dimensions further of that mind state a little bit, but can you give me an example of how somebody, you started to talk about traditional mindset as opposed to this future ready mind state. Do you have examples of how somebody can actually make that shift from one to the other?

Frederik Pferdt (07:28): Yes. So when we talk about one of the dimensions, for example, radical optimism that I put out there, we usually say either you are an optimist or a pessimist. That’s the categories we usually use in our everyday language. And for me, it’s not the usual way of looking at a glass half full or half empty type of person. For me, being a radically optimistic person is somebody who looks at the possibilities and opportunities that you can fill your glass even further. And so a radical, optimistic person transforms really challenges into opportunities and every situation into a chance for something exceptional. And by shifting that view, we find potential in everything. Uncovering those hidden possibilities. And this perspective really encourages us to aim for what I call better, making really every moment an opportunity for growth. I can share an example of how that might look like.

(08:36): So if I look at my desk and I see like, oh, I have a very clever desk, a regular optimistic person might say, Hey, fantastic, at least I have a desk to work at, right? That’s what they usually would say. But for me, a radically optimistic view is what’s better is that I can work on multiple interesting projects simultaneously reflecting my diverse interests and skills. So that’s a more radically view of a cluttered desk. Or you might say, I’m here in a geodesic dome and I have some noises outside where some woodwork is being conducted at the moment, which is great. Or you look outside your window, right, John, and you say, oh, I have a noisy busy street outside your window. So an optimist would already say, at least I live in a lively area. A radically optimistic person actually frames that as what’s better is that I’m part of a vibrant and alive community that offers constant inspiration and connection. So you see that in that language. It’s not just looking for what’s the positive about that, but what’s the better that I can find here in these situations? And that’s something you can train yourself in. That’s something you can practice and work on. And I think that’s something very powerful I want to help people to do.

John Jantsch (10:00): It’s my pleasure to welcome a new sponsor to the podcast. Our friends at ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign helps small teams power big businesses with a must have platform for intelligent marketing automation. We’ve been using ActiveCampaign for years here at Duct Tape Marketing to power our subscription forms, email newsletters and sales funnel drip campaigns. ActiveCampaign is that rare platform that’s affordable, easy to use, and capable of handling even the most complex marketing automation needs. And they make it easy to switch. They provide every new customer with one-on-one personal training and free migrations from your current marketing automation or email marketing provider. You can try Active Campaign for free for 14 days and there’s no credit card required. Just visit activecampaign.com/duct tape. That’s right. Duct Tape Marketing podcast. Listeners who sign up via that link will also receive 15% off an annual plan. That’s activecampaign.com/duct tape. Now, this offer is limited to new active campaign customers only.

(11:06): So what are you waiting for? Fuel your growth, boost revenue and save precious time by upgrading to active campaign today. To what extent, and I know all of what we’re talking about is learned, so to what extent is this a generational thing? So I look at a 10-year-old now and they don’t think, oh, the future is something I have to learn. They think this is what I am. Some video game comes along, they don’t think, how do I learn it? It’s like, no, I am it. Whereas somebody like me who might say, for AI for example, this is something now I want to learn, but it’s something that I need to actually figure out or learn. So to what extent are those two ends of the age spectrum play a role in the ability to learn these behaviors?

Frederik Pferdt (11:56): Yes. So I’m a big fan of our next generation. I have to say I am just always tremendously in awe when I see the young generation taking control of their future. They’re going on the streets and telling everyone that we need to do something about climate change. And they’re really proactive in all of those things and how they use AI and new technology is something very powerful because they not just see the downsides, but they start experimenting and trying things out and see how that could work for them or what’s something we need to refine and improve. But there’s one interesting thing that when we grow up is somehow changing, and that’s curiosity. I have one of the dimensions of a future ready mindset is what I say. Compulsive curiosity and curiosity really drives us to explore and understand our world better, which is really crucial in our rapidly changing environment.

(13:00): So we are all born with that curiosity and it’s firing in all cylinders. When we’re children, you probably remember John like crawling around on the floor, you probably not but your parents when you crawl around the floor and you’re trying to put everything in your mouth and you look at everything and you taste everything, and you really explore with all of your senses, the world, every moment. And I think that’s very powerful, that curiosity, because you start to learn a lot, but our natural curiosity goes actually dormant over time. And so the good news is that we can reawaken it by continuously questioning and seeking to learn more about everything around us. And I think that’s probably one of the last frontiers of, for us humans probably is asking better questions. As you mentioned, AI and technology gives us a lot of good answers at the moment. So I think for us, it’s really about practicing the art of framing good questions and trying to just have that compulsive curiosity help us to discover. And so in my book, I give a couple of examples on how you can actually train yourself into asking better questions and really bring that curiosity back to everything you’re doing.

John Jantsch (14:14): Yeah, I wonder if there are people that have these traits more in abundance or naturally or socially, they got those traits. I always tell people, and you talk about this idea of bringing your superpower to things. I feel like curiosity has always been, I started my business 30 years ago. We didn’t have the internet and we’ve still been able to evolve and serve our clients. And I really think that curiosity, I’m always want to know how the new thing works, and I think that has served me abundantly over the years, but there certainly are some people that’s actually hard for them. So my question in this is, are there people that you find that naturally possess some of these traits or dimensions?

Frederik Pferdt (14:56): We all do to a certain degree. So again, I’ve worked with tens of thousands of Googlers over my 12 and a half years at the company, and I’m also involved with students at Stanford, and I work with incredibly talented people all around the world. And I find that these dimensions of that future ready mindset that I talk about can be really found in every human being because they’re deeply human qualities that we have. What I also found is that not all of us are using them to a certain degree. So what I argue for is that we need to dial those things up. We need to be more curious, we need to be more open, we need to experiment more, show more empathy. And if we do that, again, even using optimism in a radical way, if we all do that more, I think we can discover more opportunities in our future. That’s something very powerful, I think, to have to answer your question briefly. Yes, we all have those, but we can probably use those even more. And I’m going to show people how they actually can leverage that.

John Jantsch (16:10): So to that listener that’s thinking, maybe they’re reading the news headlines today and is thinking, especially in the United States, there’s a lot of talk about this divisiveness that’s going on and actually closed, becoming more closed. This is my tribe, this is your tribe, as opposed to what you call unreserved openness. So how do we get that turned around?

Frederik Pferdt (16:35): Yes. First, I recommend not following or not watching the news like minute by minute. We all have that negativity bias built in ourselves, and the news are really taking advantage of that. So the negative news, we want to read the first and watch immediately and so forth. But I would recommend not just consuming news, news, news all the time because it really draws you towards a conclusion where you might believe that the future is controlled by something else or someone else.

(17:11): And again, I said that in the beginning that we shouldn’t ask the question, what will the future bring? Because that’s passive, that’s waiting for the future to unfold, and it’s going to be controlled by someone else. We should ask ourselves, what future do I want to create, which is a proactive approach. And using openness, as you described, is something very powerful because unreserved openness is about really embracing change and the unknown with confidence and curiosity. So it means really being open to new ideas and experiences and even other ways of thinking, which can lead to unexpected and even rewarding opportunities. And so imagine you are in a long corridor lined with numerous doors. So that corridor is just filled with these doors, and each door represents an opportunity or new experience. So I would argue that someone with unserved openness doesn’t just peak cautiously through a slightly opened door and worried what might be on the other side.

(18:17): But instead, they approach each door, I would say, with that eagerness and ready to fling it open without hesitation. And so they’re not deterred by the uncertainty what lies behind the door. Rather they’re motivated to really see the potential for new possibilities and learning that’s behind the door. So every door would be wide open and you open that door and you walk straight through it because there’s always something interesting and new waiting behind that door. And I think that’s what we need to bring as an attitude towards everything instead of just being cautiously, even letting those doors being closed.

John Jantsch (18:55): So while I agree wholeheartedly with the dimensions and the premise, I could see a lot of people, this isn’t not an overnight project. I mean, this is changing attitudes, this is changing beliefs, this is changing habits. So what would be your advice to somebody who says, I want to take this on, but I’ve got work to do?

Frederik Pferdt (19:15): Yes. And again, I fully agree, and that’s why the subtitle is How to Live Future Ready. It’s a Lifestyle. But I also would say it’s not that hard to change because we are talking about a mind state, which is really about the perspective you have in any given moment that determines how you experience the present. And that perspective. We can change, we have control over it. If in one situation we show a little bit more openness or optimism or even empathy, that’s a choice we can make. And I argue that leads always to a better opportunity. It leads to possibilities. And so it’s not that hard to change. And I give people three things. The first one is I give some personal stories and experience I had over the years that could be potentially helpful. The other thing that I offer is I have about 14 people that I’ve personally trained and worked with at Google, just remarkable people.

(20:16): And so they share their own stories and how they changed their perspectives, which led to a remarkable future for themselves as human beings. And then I offer some practices that everybody can try out to see like, Hey, what does that practice help me to do? And how can I use that to shift my perspective? And I think as soon as you either read some of my experiences, you read some of the stories, or you practice some of that, I think you can start slowly to see opportunities for your future, and then again, find even some joy in crafting your own future and choosing your own future. And I think that’s something very exciting to do.

John Jantsch (20:58): Dr. Fayette, I appreciate you stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Is there somewhere that you would invite people to connect with you or find out more about your work?

Frederik Pferdt (21:07): Yeah, everywhere. Reach out, message me, or let’s have a conversation. And I really hope that we all take control of our own futures. I hope that we can now see opportunities in the future as well, so that we can craft a future that is desirable and that we all want to live in.

John Jantsch (21:29): Again, I appreciate you taking a moment, and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

Why Today’s Training Methods are Failing

Why Today’s Training Methods are Failing written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

 

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Matt Beane, an assistant professor in the Technology Management Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a digital fellow with Stanford’s Digital Economy Lab and MIT’s Institute for Digital Economy.

He conducts field research on the future of work involving robots and AI, exploring how these technologies are reshaping skill development and training in various industries. His latest book, “The Skill Code: How to Save Human Ability in an Age of Intelligent Machines,” breakdowns the significant shifts in how skills are acquired in the modern workforce.

Key Takeaways

Matt Beane explains that traditional skill development is becoming obsolete due to advanced technologies, impacting hands-on experience across various industries. In fields like robotic surgery, policing, investment banking, and bomb disposal, intelligent systems enable experts to work independently, disrupting the apprenticeship model. Organizations must adapt training methods to ensure practical skill acquisition by creating structured learning environments where novices engage with new technologies. By asking better questions and fostering a culture of continuous improvement, businesses can effectively integrate AI and robotics into training programs while maintaining high professional standards.

 

Questions I ask Matt Beane:

[02:02] What led you to into the field of studying master-taught lost skills in the workplace?

[08:08] Asides from the Medical industry, What other industries did you study that your learnings apply to?

[11:13] Did you have any industries that questioned your goals?

[13:54] Are there other factors besides technology such as organizational culture that contribute to lost skills?

[15:09] Is there a way that organizations can protect their “learned skill and knowledge base”, or those obsolete?

 

 

More About Matt Beane:

Connect with Matt Beane on LinkedIn

Visit his Website

Read the first chapter of The Skill Code

 

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn

 

This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!

 

Speaker 1 (00:00): I was like, I found it. I found it. This is what I’ve been looking for. I can honestly say it has genuinely changed the way I run my business. It’s changed the results that I’m seeing. It’s changed my engagement with clients. It’s changed my engagement with the team. I couldn’t be happier. Honestly. It’s the best investment I ever

John Jantsch (00:16): Made. What you just heard was a testimonial from a recent graduate of the Duct Tape Marketing certification intensive program for fractional CMOs marketing agencies and consultants just like them. You could choose our system to move from vendor to trusted advisor, attract only ideal clients, and confidently present your strategies to build monthly recurring revenue. Visit DTM world slash scale to book your free advisory call and learn more. It’s time to transform your approach. Book your call today, DTM World slash scale.

(01:03): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Matt Beane. He does field research on work involving robots and AI to uncover systematic positive exceptions that we use across the broader world of work. He’s an assistant professor in the technology management department at the University of California Santa Barbara and a digital fellow with Stanford’s Digital Economy Lab and MIT’s Institute for Digital Economy. He received his PhD from the MIT Sloan School of Management. We’re going to talk about his book today, the Skill Code, how to Save Human Ability in an Age of Intelligent Machines. So Matt, welcome to the show.

Matt Beane (01:49): Delighted to be here. Really appreciated the invite and excited to talk.

John Jantsch (01:53): We’re going to do our best to save human ability today. I think that sounds like a noble goal. So the premise, I’ll be very brief and let you talk more about it, but the premise of the book is this idea that we’re losing a lot of skills that the master taught the apprentice over centuries of time. So kind of led you to studying that particular gap or space,

Matt Beane (02:17): Right? The gap I wasn’t sure was going to be there. I’ve always been interested in training, learning and skill development my whole career one way or another. And since about 2000 and the confluence of that in AI and robotics got my fierce and firm attention. When it came time to pick a dissertation focus at MIT, I knew robotic surgery was a very interesting place to go because it boy, oh boy, doing robotic surgery is radically different than doing it the old fashioned way or even the modern way before that, which was with straight sticks, basically laparoscopic surgery as we knew about it in the nineties. And I just looked at the control apparatus for that robot, and it’s a giant Xbox controller basically with a 3D vision goggles that you wear and foot control. So you’re using your feet and your hands and I’m like, this bears almost no resemblance to the old fashioned way. How did you learn

John Jantsch (03:13): How to do? Yeah, the parts are looking at are called the same thing. But other than that, right?

Matt Beane (03:16): Yeah, no kidding. Although by the way, looking at it through this robot, you’re seeing it at 10 x magnification and an inch movement on the outside with your hands and the controller translates to a millimeter on the inside. So it’s a real different game. I didn’t know all that to begin with, but I figured the training for this has got to be real different for the training the old school way. How does it work? What are the upsides? What are the downsides? That’s the sort of going in question after no more than three months in the field in the operating room, watching real procedures with this thing, talking to residents, talking to surgeons, it was very obvious that everyone was assuming the way to learn how to use this thing is the same way that you should learn how to do the old procedure. And that was a fatal assumption, turned out to be false because, and by the way, the old school way is something we have encoded almost in our DNA.

(04:09): It’s literally 160,000 years old in surgery. They call this C one, do one, teach one. You basically show up, help a little bit, watch, get a little bit more involved as the expert decides you’re ready and sooner or later you’ve got somebody looking over your shoulder. Look at any profession I defy you. The book is full of examples of this. We just take that for granted as the way that you learn how to do stuff and build skill, which is the ability to do the thing under pressure basically reliably. That’s different than knowing conceptually. Like book smart. This is like, can you do it? So anyway, it turns out that mechanism of learning, this taken for granted thing, it was getting busted in robotic surgery because the console and the controller allowed the senior surgeon to do the whole thing themselves. So the resident becomes an optional participant at that point.

(05:00): I have to make mental effort to involve that person who wants to become me someday and there’s a patient on the table and therefore I’m never going to do that because they’re going to be slower and make more mistakes than me. So instead of the old school way, a four and a half hour procedure, that resident is busy for actually about six hours. They are working from before the patient gets, there’s any incision all the way till well afterwards they’re sweating the whole time and they’re helping out in consequential work. Now, they might be swimming in the shallow end of the pool, but they’re swimming now. They show up, help get that robot doc to the patient, sit in a separate control console and they watch a movie. That’s all they get to do. And so that was no one. Everyone recognized that was unsatisfactory on some level, but boy oh boy, they were just kind of tolerating it and surgeons would come out of programs after six years of big air quotes training. I have, well, I quote a chief of urology for one of the top hospitals in the states and he said, top surgeons suck. Now. That’s what he said to me, to my face. They’ve watched a lot of surgery, they haven’t done it. We have to retrain them when they arrive. So it was about halfway through that study that I realized most of what I just told you, because

John Jantsch (06:19): Really when it comes down to it, learning is reps, right?

Matt Beane (06:24): Yeah. And not reps on a putting green with no wind and a perfect sunny day, you got to have somebody throwing rocks at you. So it’s sure some reps in practice conditions, it’s helpful. But you’re right, even in surgery, they have a name for this. In their research on surgery, they call it dwell time, which means how much time are you in the or? That used to be the old proxy for you’re in there, that’s the best place for you to learn. Now it’s the worst. Anyway, I also made it a point in that study to try to find surgeons who were learning anyway, in spite of that barrier, I was very lucky to get some guidance to do that early. That turned up some really interesting and new ways to build skill that defied the new barrier of novice optional world that we’ve got now.

John Jantsch (07:12): Is the skill required to become a great surgeon different now? I mean motor skills maybe are different needs, or is it really just learning the tools?

Matt Beane (07:22): Sure, there are different skills involved, and that’s much less important than do you know a healthy way to build skill period in this context because the skills that you need to do your job are always changing a little bit, constantly. New version of this thing for my iPhone, gosh darn it, I got to learn a little something every day, right?

John Jantsch (07:40): Why did they move that button?

Matt Beane (07:42): Right? And big things come along every once in a while and we get a really big thing with chat T these days. But for most folks, that doesn’t mean you have a whole new job or a whole new set of skills. It just means say 30%. But if you have a healthy path to learning new skills, humans love to learn, then we’re going to do that. That’s no problem. If the way you learn is getting busted, then we have a serious issue.

John Jantsch (08:10): So you have talked primarily about medical industry, but you actually studied a number of industries, didn’t you? That this equally applied to?

Matt Beane (08:17): Yeah, over 30 now. So that was the immediate question. I published that study in 2019. I gave a TED talk in 2018, but actually from about 2016 on those findings were done. And I wanted to know where else is this happening? Is this novice optional thing happening elsewhere? It should be. That’s all I knew because I had the hypothesis that the more intelligent technologies, robots, ai, they allow a single expert to get more done with less help. If that’s really true, then let me go to some radically different places in the economy to study things like policing, investment banking, bomb disposal. I have a list of more than 30 now to see different technologies, by the way, different skills, different cultures. If this same problem is showing up there, then it’s time for all hands on deck. We’ve got a serious problem. And that resulted in that Harvard Business Review and TED talk piece, which came later.

(09:16): It looked to the world. I had just trumpeted my surgical findings, but in fact those were three years in the can. And I had spent the next three years being like, hang on. So that was the sobering news in 2019. This is everywhere I can look except for one place. I found one exception. It was accidental where tech was getting deployed in a way that improved skill development, which gave me more hope. And I think it was worth studying. And I keep trying to find and study exceptions like that. We need them. But in general, yeah, no, once I hit north of 20, 22 professions, occupations, industries, and so on, I just kind of stopped trying to find it.

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Matt Beane (11:22): No, because already on the ground. So number one, I should be real clear all those 30 plus industries I’m talking about and occupations and so on, I didn’t do all those studies myself because each one of these studies takes about a year and a half. I got primary access to data collected by other scientists who had done similar studies in their context. So investment banking, for instance, I’ve collaborated with a woman named Callan Anthony at NYU. She gave me her data set, I gave me her mine. We compared notes. We wrote another paper off of that. But in general, surgery’s a perfect example of this. Everywhere I’ve gone, everyone already knows things are not well when it comes to skill development, the next generation is struggling, but the productivity boost coming from these technologies is such an enticing, saccharine hit upfront that there’s no one party whose job it is to pay attention to. That unintended negative side effect of getting this productivity hit. The expert is happy. The organization, the person who’s investing in that capital is happy. And yeah, it’s kind of a pain to learn now. Can’t find a mentor to save my life, says the 24-year-old, nobody’s problem really

John Jantsch (12:34): Learning. Well, lemme ask this, will that catch up over time? Will that 24-year-old when he’s 48 and that’s all he is known be the mentor?

Matt Beane (12:41): Exactly right. This is why I’m trying to sound the alarm bell as loud as I can. This is why I wrote the book. It’s 3, 5, 7 years later, depending on the cycle time for your talent that the organization, the profession, the economy is going to start to realize that the next generation of talent just isn’t prepared for duty. And surgery’s noticing this now. So I announced my findings in about 20 17, 20 18, and I’ll just ground this out for you. They went kind of early. So I think other professions should get ready for this. The next generation of robotic surgical talent that’s floating in the hospitals have to spend an extra, oh, between 80 and 180 grand on what’s known as a proctor, which is another senior surgeon, either inside their own hospital from the outside to come in and retu this person on how to do the job. They just went through five years of training for it. That’s supposed to be good enough and everyone knows on the street it’s not. And so it adds to the cost base, the time to ramp to skill. That’s a bandaid solution. That’s just, there’s no way that’s going to work.

John Jantsch (13:45): Are there other factors besides the technology that are really kind of leading to this, but maybe even culture inside an organization? Demographics of the next generation coming up? I mean,

Matt Beane (13:56): Yes. Yeah. And so I think the fair thing to say is the problem I’m describing has been around since the advent of language, so about 160,000 years old. Let’s go back to ancient Greece, which I do in the book. There were big disputes about the shift from hand pinched pots to using a potter’s wheel and what was that going to do to skill around here? And an expert doesn’t need mentee or an apprentice quite as much. If they’ve got a powders wheel, they can do a whole bunch more themselves. So it’s just the intensity and the pace of what happens when chat GPT is free for everyone to use. They’re dramatically more self-serve on a much broader span of their work. Their dependence on a novice in different ways is dramatically the span of management control. These days. I’ve been doing studies in warehousing, for instance, the last few years. You have one manager to 50 to 80 people. And part of the reason for is technology. You can manage them through their iPhone, partially their schedule, their timing, discipline, pay, all that stuff. So it’s a tale as old as time. It’s just so much more intensified now that lots of things are digital, that it’s kind of a difference in quantity, amounting to a difference in quality, I think.

John Jantsch (15:09): Is there a way that organizations can kind of protect that idea of the learned skill and the knowledge base inside the organization? Or are you really actually saying those are obsolete in some ways? No,

Matt Beane (15:23): I hear you. And the back third of this book is what do we do now? And so definitely I have evidence to prove from studies that folks are fighting for their skill out there. They’re not doing it in an organized way, they’re not quite aware of what they’re doing. I’m doing my best to report on things that are working. So individuals can do things every day to protect their skill as they engage with these technologies. For sure. I have a post on my substack called Don’t let AI Dumb You Down, for instance. There’s some things that you as a user of that technology can do to avoid this subtle slide towards B plus territory. If you’re not careful, in fact nudge yourself up in towards a plus. You can in fact not just tread water. You can actually use this tech to enhance your skill by the end of every session.

(16:08): It’s just we’re not doing it. So that’s one level. But tactically managers in many ways, and people who run businesses have all the tools they need around handling this new tech. Anything. If you went to a top flight MBA program or more likely learn some great lessons outside of academia about how to mountain run a business and lead people, your tactics for dealing with new surprising events in your environment are probably just about as relevant now. It’s just everyone’s kind of got their hair on fire running around saying, when you know perfectly well how to run a healthy experiment with something that could be good or bad for your business right now. And what does that take to make sure that folks aren’t just trying it all on their own right now, which is not a terrible thing, but it’s just like yelling, fire in a crowded theater. It’s better to get folks organized. And what is an organized, healthy experiment in a business look like, by the way? That’s aggressive. You’ve got to be aggressive, fine but focused. So sure there’s stuff in the book and also on my substack about let’s just everyone remind ourselves. We know a lot. We know a lot about how to handle change and technological change. Let’s just put it to work.

John Jantsch (17:18): You know what I’ve been telling people for the last five, well, probably 30 years, but it’s really ramped up the last five years, is instead of saying, how can we use this technology to do something? We’re already doing faster or better or whatever, how can we actually ask better questions? You got it. That becomes our job, right?

Matt Beane (17:36): Yes. And in fact, part of the way you do that is the temptation immediately is just to use it to, I know how to do X, I’m just going to do X about two times faster, which is boy is entrancing.

John Jantsch (17:50): It’s

Matt Beane (17:50): Amazing. You can get it to write a memo in five seconds when it would take you 30 minutes. Geez. And that’s where folks stop. That’s the difference between top performers and average performers. The top performer goes and says, what could I do with this that I would’ve never even dreamed possible before? For instance, I made my master’s students who were most of them fearful of coding, had no coding expertise. And I said, you have three weeks on your own no help, but from chat GT to become a data analytics person, analyze this dataset and do plots in Python, use coding a solution in Python and then post it on GitHub, which is a shared software manipulation platform. And they looked at me like, are you joking me right now? What kind of class is this? This isn’t computer science. And I said, go. And they all did it.

(18:43): And by the end, I post this on my substack too. In the beginning I have their ratings on how afraid they were, what they thought with that nudge, mandatory, you must go do the thing that you thought was impossible before. And they all did it at the end. That was a shock to all of them, like hot diggity. I had no idea. I thought this was just kind of fancy, auto complete, like fake my own kind of thing instead of change the world. I wasn’t thinking broadly enough. I wasn’t asking the right questions. What could I do with this that I couldn’t do before? And if you can make yourself ask that question and then go for it. Try something really crazy. You’re going to fail. It’s going to be a waste in three nights or maybe 72 hours of your life, but you’ll learn a lot about this new world we’re entering that most folks will not have under their belt.

John Jantsch (19:31): And I think to some degree, what you’re describing is not about the end result, it’s about the journey

Matt Beane (19:37): And really in your bones skill, what you have at the end of that is not just, I know unquote a little bit about ai. It’s like, no, I’ve actually, I tried to decode sperm whale songs. I know talking to somebody who just took my challenge and tried to do that and they got some meaningful interpretation out of the data. It’s not as good as this paper that just got published. Actually doing that work by scientists who, by the way, four years ago got the memo and used AI to decode sperm whale songs. Another person wanted to sub Bruce Springsteen in for Luke Combs in that Grammy performance with Tracy Chapman. They got pretty far and this person didn’t code before. So yeah, that you will know in the deep sense. You’ll have skill that will inform your decision making and leadership in ways that most folks won’t.

John Jantsch (20:26): Well, Matt, I appreciate you taking some moments to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast and talk about the future, I suppose is what we were talking about, right? To some degree and strangely the past.

Matt Beane (20:38): Yeah, exactly. Thousands of years ago, and I’ll just toss in for your listeners only. I posted the first chapter of the book online if they want it, ducttapemarketing.mattbeane.com. It’s sitting right there. They can just go and grab it. Hopefully the book is helpful to them, but the future is now. But I agree. It’s an old dynamic too.

John Jantsch (21:00): Yeah. Awesome. Again, appreciate you dropping by for a few moments, and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

The Future of Funnels: Effective Techniques to Increase Conversions with Funnelytics

The Future of Funnels: Effective Techniques to Increase Conversions with Funnelytics written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

 

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Mikael Dia, a digital marketing expert and founder of Funnelytics. Through Funnelytics, Mikael Dia revolutionizes the way marketers optimize their strategies. He simplifies complex marketing concepts, making it easier for businesses to understand and enhance their customer journeys. In this episode, we unravel the evolution of marketing funnels as he offers practical techniques to increase conversions.

Key Takeaways

Marketing Funnels or the Customer Journey?

The concept of Marketing Funnels lies in viewing them as dynamic customer journeys rather than static paths. Mikael Dia explains that marketing funnels have evolved into orchestrated journeys that guide potential customers from awareness to conversion and beyond. He emphasizes the importance of continuously optimizing and testing your funnels, advising against the common misconception that a funnel is a one-time setup; you dust your palms, and that’s it. Regular analysis and adjustments are essential to improve performance and adapt to changing market conditions.

Furthermore, Segmenting your audience is crucial for effective funnel optimization. Mikael Dia suggests that businesses should collect and analyze data to identify their ideal customers, tailoring their approaches to meet specific needs and behaviors better. Utilizing the right tools, like Funnelytics, can significantly enhance this process by helping marketers visualize data, run experiments, and make data-driven decisions. By focusing on continuous improvement and leveraging the right tools, businesses can increase their conversion rates and create seamless, engaging customer journeys.

 

Questions I ask Mikael Dia:

[01:51] What are the key components of a marketing funnel and how does that differ from a customer journey?

[03:49] What steps in funnels focus on getting the “right people”, people who understand why they should pay a premium?

[07:00] In your experience with funnels. What are some of the biggest mistakes that people make ?

[10:46] Is there a proper way to test and optimize a landing page?

[13:41] After the sale itself, how do you fix the “last mile problem” a lot of folks end up experiencing?

[16:53] what role does Funnelytics play in Marketing Funnels?

[18:40] Is there anywhere you want to invite people to connect with you or find out more about Funnelytics?

 

More About Mikael Dia:

Connect with Mikael Dia on LinkedIn

Visit his Website

 

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn

 

 

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(01:04): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Mikael Dia. He’s a digital marketing expert and founder of Funnelytics, a software company revolutionizing the way marketers optimize their strategies through Funnelytics. He simplifies complex marketing concepts, making it easier for businesses to understand and optimize their customer journey. So Mikael, thanks for joining me.

Mikael Dia (01:32): Oh, thank you for having me, John. Looking forward to our conversation.

John Jantsch (01:35): So the term marketing funnel has been around, I’ve been doing this 30 years. It’s certainly been around at least that long, changed dramatically. There’s some that say it’s not even a relevant concept given all the changes in the way people buy today. I’m curious, how do you think about or what are the key components in your mind of a marketing funnel or a customer journey, or are they two different things?

Mikael Dia (01:58): So that’s a good question. I think the marketing funnel as a whole has to me evolved into more of that customer journey and really kind of thinking about what are those different touch points that take a random stranger to become a customer for your business? And if you were to take one person and you were to work backwards from the moment they became a customer, what are all the different touchpoint that they had all the way through to the very first time they saw your company? Well, you could put that kind of on a timeline in a sense, or you could kind of see it in a series of steps. Well, really to me, what we’re really doing here is we’re trying to orchestrate what is the most ideal journey to get as many of these random strangers to become customers for our business. So a lot of times we think about sales funnels in the sense, especially nowadays in the sense of ClickFunnels, Russell Brunson, that world of webinar funnels and free plus shipping funnels, and it’s these little individual tactics, but really if you strip out the fancy words around it and you just focus on what is this actually trying to do?

(03:07): Well, it’s trying to get this random person who’s never heard of me before, to go through a series of steps to eventually become a customer and then keep going through another series of steps to become a repeat customer or maybe through another series of steps to ascend to the next level. And really it’s just a timeline of that person’s journey. So that’s how I look at marketing funnels. They haven’t gone away. They’re never going to go away because that’s all fundamentally it is how do I get a random stranger to become a customer and orchestrate the best journey possible?

John Jantsch (03:37): So that’s no question the simple, how do I get somebody who doesn’t know me to become a customer? Where in between there is how do I get an ideal customer to want to pay a premium to become a customer of mine? I mean, where are there steps in that funnel or in that journey that really focus on getting the right people who understand why they should pay a premium rather than just get somebody to say, yeah, I want to buy from you?

Mikael Dia (04:01): Well, I think it depends what kind of business you’re in. There’s not every business is in the premium business, so it depends on where you’re at and what you’re trying to do. Now, if we’re talking about marketing services and you’re talking about, or even me looking at my software trying to get the right people who are going to go on the top tier of my software, for example. Well, part of that journey has to be number one, do we have the right proposition for our ideal prospect to sign up to? That’s the number one thing because all we’re really doing in this marketing game is we’re bridging a gap between where somebody is today in terms of their pains and their desires to where they want to be in. And our solution is just there to bridge that gap. Fundamentally, that’s kind of marketing and offer creation 1 0 1.

(04:54): A lot of times what happens though is people assume the lowest common denominator, and what they’ll do is they’ll say, well, this person just wants more leads in sales as an example. And marketing, well, of course everybody wants more leads in sales, but if you kind of go a couple layers deeper, when you look at your ideal customer and what their core pains are and their core desires, well, they’ve probably already gotten to a stage where they’ve tried things that get them leads and sales. Maybe it’s beyond that. Maybe you’re looking at somebody who is in the software space and they don’t say leads and sales, they say the word demos and maybe they’ve already got an inbound strategy or an outbound strategy doing demos, and what they’re really wanting is an inbound strategy to generate demos. So the more you can speak to those customers, the more you can identify what are those pains and those desires, and our job should be to position our service or our strategy or our offer to bridge that gap.

(05:59): Now, how do I find out whether they’re the right fit? Personally, I really don’t like having any sort of funnel or any sort of customer journey where there’s no segmentation that occurs at some point, right? So it’s great to get somebody’s name and email, but that means not much. Anybody can give you their name and email at some stage in the journey. I want to find a way to segment them. Are you an agency? Are you a business? Are you this type of business? Are you looking for this? The more I can segment, the easier it becomes for me to look back on my metrics and say, okay, we spent this much, we got this many leads, but out of all these leads, only 10% of them fit this particular profile and those 10% went on and maybe became customers or whatever it is. So now how can I reverse engineer to understand? Can I get more of that 10%?

John Jantsch (06:54): Absolutely. You’re hitting on ’em already, but let me ask it more directly. What are some of the common, you see a lot of funnels, so what are some of the biggest mistakes that people make are the most common mistakes? Like I said, you’ve probably hit on a couple of them, but let’s talk about ’em as mistakes.

Mikael Dia (07:10): So the biggest one is the notion that a funnel is something I launch once and it will work. My God. The amount of people who just assume that I can go and spend $10,000 and make $30,000 and it just going to work is crazy. What really you need to understand is that there’s this continuous cycle that you have to go through when it comes to optimizing these customer journeys. First you have to plan, you have to architecture, what is this journey in my best possible guess, because

John Jantsch (07:51): It’s just a guess. Yeah, hypothesis, right? Your

Mikael Dia (07:53): Hypothesis. And then once you launch it, once you actually build all the pages and set up the ads and do all that stuff, now you’ve got to measure, you’ve got to look at your data, you’ve got to understand what’s working, what’s not, what are the numbers showing me? Then I’ve got to from measure, make some decisions, get some insights in order to run an experiment and try to optimize. So it goes plan, measure, optimize, and it loops back. Here’s a good way to think about it. It’s imagine I decide I want to lose weight and I’m going to go and set up a plan. I’m going to work with a personal trainer or set up a plan. I’m going to start executing on that plan, but I’m not going to measure whether or not I’m losing weight. I’m just going to go with it, see what happens, and maybe I’ll lose weight, maybe I won’t, but I’m not going to measure or track my progress.

(08:50): That doesn’t really make much sense. And then what happens if I do track my, but then I don’t make any decisions off of that, so it’s like I’m not losing any weight. Let’s keep going. I don’t tweak. I don’t make any decisions. And then what happens if I actually start making some progress? Or here’s a better example. Let’s say I’m lifting weights and I have this plan, I’m doing my bench press, I’m getting stronger, and then I look in the mirror and I’m like, man, my chest is pretty big, but it looks like I haven’t worked out my legs at all and I have a big torso, small legs, but I’m not going to readjust my plan. I’m just going to keep this going forever. Well, that’s the issue and that’s what most people think that a funnel is just a one-time thing. I launch it, it works, but it really has to go through this cycle over and over again.

John Jantsch (09:46): So even if you get one, it’s really working, it’s eventually not going to work probably

Mikael Dia (09:50): As you scale it in order usually to get it to work, you’re going to have to optimize it, and you’re going to have to run through some tests and experiments. And also most people don’t factor that in when they launch their funnels. They don’t factor in that. In the beginning, I’m most likely going to lose money because I’m experimenting, I’m testing. I don’t know what the metrics are. Maybe my opt-in rate is 10%, maybe it’s 50%, maybe I nailed everything, but the most likely what will happen is I’m going to spend five grand and I’m going to lose that five grand because I’m going to use that five grand to learn some stuff, maybe generate leads, but nobody converted, nobody became a customer. So it’s just a matter of iterating consistently.

John Jantsch (10:32): You mentioned it, but hit again on this idea of testing. How does somebody go about properly testing, right? Because you build a landing page and you think, oh, well, I got a headline, I got a video and I got a call to action. I got, I’m going to test everything, but is there a proper way to test and optimize after you test?

Mikael Dia (10:51): Yeah, so there’s a process that I follow that really helps with the optimization process. The first, foremost, I always work backwards from the sale, so wherever the conversion occurs, so let’s say it’s a purchase on an order form, I always want to work backwards from there all the way back to the very beginning of the funnel. Most people flip it. Most people say, I’m going to start trying to optimize the ads first, but here’s a very simple example of why that doesn’t work. Now, this is very generic and simple, but it kind of illustrates the point. Let’s say I am, I don’t know, it costs me $5 to get somebody to my landing page, right? $5 a click or something like this, and I’m going to say, you know what? It’s not really working. I really need to lower my cost per click. Well, simple way to do that would be, let me just go and target India or a different country.

(11:49): My cost per click will go down. I’ll get a whole lot more traffic to my site. Does that mean that it’s going to convert any better? No, it’s just going to mess up the rest of the conversions across the funnel. If I go to the next step, which is trying to tweak the landing page, same thing. I could just change the headline to be some crazy bold headline that’s going to get a whole lot of people to opt in, but no intent on the backend, and they’re just not going to follow through. The first thing I want to do is work backwards. Okay? Is there enough people who’ve gotten to my order form or my conversion page that I can look at Now every step of my funnel, at very minimum, I’m not making a decision unless there’s at least a hundred people, and that’s the bare minimum.

(12:34): So I want to see at least a hundred people go to my order form. Then I can see, okay, how many people from the order form actually went and purchased? Then I take a step back and it’s the sales page that drives people to the order form. Was there a hundred people that went there? If so, is there a way to improve this and look at this? Then I want to take one more step back, which is what is the follow-up process to get people to that sales page? So usually retargeting, ads, emails, then a step back, which is the way I get these leads in. So my lead capture, and then at the very beginning is the ads. So I always work backwards from these five optimization steps. Now, each one of these has a different thought process, like a sales page for example. You’re not thinking about in the same way that you would look at an email follow-up sequence, et cetera. But these are to me, the five core points of optimization, the gate they should be looking at

John Jantsch (13:30): Almost. Yeah,

Mikael Dia (13:31): Exactly.

John Jantsch (13:33): This is a scenario I run into with a lot of people. I work with a lot of agencies and they optimize and they’re tracking and they’ve got attribution set up, but the sale itself actually happens with the sales team. It goes off the web to the sales team, and in some cases they don’t even know what happened. How do you fix that last mile problem that a lot of folks end up experiencing?

Mikael Dia (13:57): Yeah, so good question number one, use a proper tool that looks at customer journeys, not attribution. Because the problem with attribution tools is attribution tools are designed to look at clicks and they’re designed to look at revenue, but there’s a fundamental problem with this, right? So I’ll give you a very simple example. Let’s say somebody spends a thousand dollars with me. The first ad that I showed them was Facebook. Then they went in through my email sequence and clicked on an email, and then eventually maybe went to my page and didn’t buy, or didn’t put in their fill out their demo request or whatever call with my sales team, but then they clicked on a Google retargeting ad and went through, and then eventually my sales team closed them, right? A typical attribution model will basically say, okay, well, there are three core touchpoints. There’s Facebook.

(14:49): At the beginning, there was an email, and there was also this Google retargeting ad. The person spent a thousand dollars, first click would basically say, Facebook, you get all the credit last, click Google, you get a thousand dollars. Congratulations. You made this person a thousand dollars. Linear would basically say 333 here, 333 here, 333 here, right? Okay. What if it’s one person who spent a thousand dollars? How does that work? Now? Was Facebook the reason this person became a customer? Was Google or was it the whole sequence? All of those touch points contributed to this. So that’s the first thing. You have to have a tool that measures and looks at the entire customer journey first. Second is that tool has to plug into your CRM to look at your sales pipeline. It’s got to be able to tie and basically tie that data back to that sales pipeline. That’s something that we built at Funnel Alytics from the beginning because, well, it evolved over time, but it was part of our vision because a lot of sales occur offline. So if I can’t create a profile of this person of what they did online, but then once they go offline past that data, back to that same profile, I will not be able to see the whole journey

John Jantsch (16:09): Over the years that I know I’ve had interactions with, they’ve read my books, have done stuff, but then they clicked on a Facebook ad because I was running Facebook ads, and then that’s actually how they became a customer. That’s the path, but it was all so many other things that really led to it that just was like the convenient way,

Mikael Dia (16:27): And the reality though is would they have ever clicked on that Facebook ad and became a customer if everything, if they never bought your book? Oh, probably not, right? We could eliminate all of those touch points, and now you have to say, well, how many of them actually would’ve just clicked on a random Facebook ad and just became a customer? That’s why you have to look at the whole journey as much as possible.

John Jantsch (16:49): So this isn’t going to be fair to ask you this as we’re winding down, but what role does Funnel Lytics play in what we’ve been talking about today? How does it plug in?

Mikael Dia (16:58): Oh, good question. Thank you for asking. So basically, funnel Alytics was designed to help you plan, measure, and optimize your journey. So everything I just talked about, so the first thing you got to be able to look at is what does my journey look like? What are all these different touchpoint? It’s really hard to describe this in words. So Funnel Alytics is like a diagramming tool, whiteboard tool that allows you to map out these traffic sources, these pages, the actions that people take. Then the second part is, well, I need to be able to overlay data on top of that picture, on top of that strategy. So Funnel Alytics tracks all of these different touchpoint. It’ll pull in data from your CRM, it’ll track what happens on your website, and it’ll basically visualize that entire journey. And then we’ve built some really cool analysis features to basically be able to say, Hey, if I only isolate, say the Facebook traffic, what happens if I only look at the people who made a purchase? How does that increase my conversions? If I were to increase this conversion rate by 5%, how much more money would I make? So it allows you to run these scenarios and basically optimize and make some decisions as to what to do next. So it just kind of sits in the middle. It’s this command center that’s on a digital whiteboard, basically.

John Jantsch (18:13): Yeah, and the way you were talking about working backwards, just what you said, I mean, you run in those scenarios, it almost kind of says, we better fix this part because if we fix this part so much magic will happen. Or if we even fix it 1% so much than attribute, so you can do some what ifs and scenarios, can’t you,

Mikael Dia (18:33): Which is really cool. Yeah, it makes it so much easier to make decisions.

John Jantsch (18:37): Well, Mikel, I appreciate you taking a few moments to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Is there anywhere you want invite people to connect with you or obviously find out more about Funnelytics?

Mikael Dia (18:46): Yeah, if you want to find out more about Funnelytics, go to funnely.io and you can learn a little bit more about what we do there and how the tool works. And in terms of connecting with me, LinkedIn is my social media of choice. I try to stay this away from ast much social media as possible, but LinkedIn is where you can find me.

John Jantsch (19:02): Yeah. Awesome. Well, again, I appreciate you taking a few moments and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days soon out there on the road.

Raise Profits with People Magic: Transform Your Business with Engaging Communities

Raise Profits with People Magic: Transform Your Business with Engaging Communities written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

 

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Gina Bianchini, the CEO and founder of Mighty Networks, a community platform that leverages advanced technology and AI to connect people within community courses, events, and paid memberships. She shares her insights on how businesses can transform their approach by fostering engaging online communities, ultimately raising profits and enhancing member experiences.

Key Takeaways

According to Gina Bianchini, it all begins with “people magic” and how leveraging advanced software and AI can revolutionize online communities. She explains that the key to a thriving community is not the size but the quality of member connections. By focusing on building relationships between members, marketing agencies can create a self-sustaining network that becomes more valuable with each new member.

She also emphasizes that an online community should help members achieve progress and build meaningful relationships. She shares that the most successful communities are those that address transitions in members’ lives, such as starting a new job or moving to a new city, and provide support during these pivotal moments. This approach not only enhances member engagement but also boosts retention and revenue.

In this episode, Gina Bianchini shares an enlightening case study for creating and maintaining vibrant online communities that drive growth and profitability. She also mentions the importance of having a clear purpose and using AI to facilitate introductions and interactions among members. This episode offers a unique solutions for businesses looking to harness the power of online communities to elevate their brand and achieve sustainable growth.

 

Questions I ask Gina Bianchini:

[02:25] Would you say Ning was ahead of its time?

[03:50] Would you say a platform like Facebook then was another advancement of Ning or completely derivative?

[07:53] How would you define community?

[14:03] How important is having a clear and compelling purpose in designing your community?

[17:13] How do you manage having so many feature requests?

[21:18] Do you have an interesting case study of how someone achieved great financial success starting with a community?

[24:44] Is there someplace you want to invite people to learn more about Mighty and connect with you?

 

 

More About Gina Bianchini:

 

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn

 

This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!

 

 

Speaker 1 (00:00): I was like, I found it. I found it. This is what I’ve been looking for. I can honestly say it has genuinely changed the way I run my business. It’s changed the results that I’m seeing. It’s changed my engagement with clients. It’s changed my engagement with the team. I couldn’t be happier. Honestly. It’s the best investment I ever made. What

John Jantsch (00:17): You just heard was a testimonial from a recent graduate of the Duct Tape Marketing certification intensive program for fractional CMOs marketing agencies and consultants just like them. You could choose our system to move from vendor to trusted advisor, attract only ideal clients, and confidently present your strategies to build monthly recurring revenue. Visit DTM world slash scale to book your free advisory call and learn more. It’s time to transform your approach. Book your call today, DTM World slash scale.

(01:03): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Gina Bianchini. She’s the CEO and founder of Mighty Networks, a community platform that powers people magic. I want to hear about people magic. It’s an advanced technology and AI that connects the most relevant and interesting people to each other in the context of community courses, events and paid membership. She’s also the author of the Wall Street Journal, bestseller, purpose, design a Community and Change Your Life, A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Your Purpose and Making It Matter. So Gina, welcome to the show.

Gina Bianchini (01:40): Thank you for having me.

John Jantsch (01:42): So I read in your bio, I didn’t read it on air here, but in doing a little research that you grew up in Cupertino, I didn’t know anybody actually grew up in Cupertino.

Gina Bianchini (01:51): They have many people have grown up in Cupertino, California, which now is very actually starting in the early eighties. It was really well known for Apple.

John Jantsch (02:03): Well, that’s what I mean. That’s what I was going to say. That’s what I thought it was. I thought it was Apple.

Gina Bianchini (02:06): Yeah. No, my grandparents moved there in the fifties. Oh,

John Jantsch (02:10): Wow. I have to tell you, I had a, again, I didn’t put in your bio. I had a Ning community in about 2006.

Gina Bianchini (02:18): Oh, thank you for that

John Jantsch (02:19): Seven. And at that time it was probably the coolest thing ever. Right. What happened to Ning? Were you sort of ahead of its time?

Gina Bianchini (02:29): I think it was a little bit ahead of its time for sure. The other thing is we just didn’t know what the right business model was, so we thought it was an advertising based business. And what’s interesting is if as any entrepreneur want to do, when you look back with sort of the 2020 hindsight, it was the same point in time where Shopify and other platforms that were SaaS-based coming up and we were a SaaS company and we just didn’t know it.

John Jantsch (02:59): Yeah, yeah. I think there were a lot of people that saw it as really, it’s kind of the same thing, didn’t really know what to do with it to get the most out of it. And I don’t think actually online community was quite a thing yet. People were still,

Gina Bianchini (03:15): Oh, I don’t know about that. When you think about forums as really sort of the 1.0 equivalent, what Ning was really the Web 2.0 equivalent of that same desire and that same behavior, and I would say my career has just been what is 3, 4, 5 in the future of that same fundamental goal of how do we use the internet? How do we use connected technologies to bring people together around the things that are most important to ’em?

John Jantsch (03:50): Would you say a platform like Facebook then was another advancement of that or really completely derivative?

Gina Bianchini (03:57): Well, so here’s the thing. I think what Facebook started as and what Facebook is today are two very different things. I would say Facebook groups were really built for college students who already knew each other and remain something that is really designed for people who already know each other. Otherwise, there would be more and more investment in Facebook groups and specifically how do you create value for people who are just meeting for the first time. And that is not something that Facebook has prioritized. A lot of great stuff happening at Meta overall, that’s just not an area that is important to them.

John Jantsch (04:37): And I see a lot of hunger for people wanting to create the kind of groups that you can create, say, with Mighty Network that are moving, actually jumping off of

Gina Bianchini (04:47): Facebook. Funny enough, I see it too. I see it. I see

John Jantsch (04:50): It too. Maybe you saw it a few years ago, actually. I’m thinking maybe. So where are we then? Is there a new state of community today? I mean, obviously technology has advanced it, but it’s also human behavior, right?

Gina Bianchini (05:02): Yeah. So it absolutely, I look at this moment as the beginning days of a community renaissance, and specifically when you think about what is the fullest expression of communities online and ultimately in the real world, because we flipped in many cases how people actually meet new people. They meet them online first and then in real life. And that’s something that we’ve really paid attention to at Mighty Networks. But fundamentally, the things that we can now do to have software play the role of amazing hosts are incredible. I’m having more fun with what I do and what we do at Mighty than I have at any point in time working in this very specific lane of, and it’s not really, I don’t think about it as online communities, it’s really community. It’s how do you help brands and creators and entrepreneurs create their own network effects?

(06:08): Something that gets more valuable with every member who joins. And so specifically what we’re seeing, and this is really what we talk about and think about it mighty as People Magic is how do we use advanced software? And yes, AI to introduce the most relevant people to each other to break the ice, to encourage people to come back or work on things together or really think about it as take quests and go on quests together. And the things that we can now do with software just simply have not been done before. And so when you start to think about the fact that probably when you think of community platforms or online course platforms or digital product platforms, they were all built for an era of people who already knew each other and they have been essentially jerry rigged on some level for communities where the value is in people getting to know each other. That’s really where we start at Mighty, our whole thing is how do we help people who should know each other, meet, build relationships, find value, find comfort, find insights, find joyful experiences with other members, and use the very best of technology to make those things a reality. So that’s what we do in creating people magic. Again, we’re just at a point in time where we are now working on things that haven’t been done before, and that’s really exciting.

John Jantsch (07:53): How do you define community? Is there a specific element, symptom, whatever we want to call it, that actually says this is a community as opposed to a bunch of fans?

Gina Bianchini (08:10): So look, a bunch of fans can be a community. They could also not be a community. And so here is the definition that I use an audience is I talk out at you, you might talk back at me, but no one’s actually talking to each other. No one is meeting or building relationships with each other in the comment section of an Instagram Live. Maybe there’s something in a group dm, but probably not. It is not a platform that is designed for people to build relationships with each other or find value from each other. Community in my definition is a more valuable asset, which is, and I would say more valuable for the members who join the community as well as for the people who host that community. And that is a way for me to bring people together for them to meet and build relationships with each other.

(09:09): So a very sort of simple question you can ask yourself is, am I meeting people here or is it all about one person? And if it’s all about one person, that’s an audience. And what we know to be true is that audiences by definition are less valuable than creating a community where people are actually building relationships with each other. And I’ll share something that was a total shocker to me. I’d kind of known it, but we’d never really had the data before to prove it out. And then we got the data, which is my data science team at Mighty can predict now with 93% accuracy, whether a community and the way I sort of think that is a community. And then there are ways to monetize that community, paid memberships, online courses, challenges, events. So I’ll just use community as that catchall whether that community will succeed or fail, meaning will it survive for long periods of time or will it sort of die on the vine?

(10:15): And it has absolutely nothing to do with who started it. It has absolutely nothing to do with the number of members who are in it. It has absolutely nothing to do with the volume of content or the rate of members joining. It has everything to do with the number of member connections being made, member connections being defined as threaded comments, so people responding to each other, dms. So direct messages, group messages. So what motivated us to really dive into and spend all of our time, all of our resources, all of our expertise around getting even smarter about people. Magic was that insight of your members need to actually build relationships with each other for you to create something that is recurring revenue, that is compounding growth. Because it turns out if you get extraordinary engagement, which is really what is the result or consequence of people actually building relationships with each other, then you’re going to get people coming back.

(11:28): So you have built-in retention, but even better is when they keep coming back, they’re going to get better results. They’re going to build different practices, they’re going to develop different habits. They’re going to have different insights that are going to allow them, for example, in a professional community to go negotiate a raise or find a new job that is a better fit for them, or take on new and become a manager or decide that they don’t want to be a manager and negotiate a phenomenal role for them as an individual contributor. So you look at that well, that then gets people extraordinary results. It gets them things that are nearly impossible to get on our own, certainly a lot harder. And what do people do when they get extraordinary results? They talk about it. They talk about it to people that don’t know about that community and how valuable that community is. And so they bring new people in so you get longer engagement, which equals retention. You get people actually also if they’re sticking around longer, want to go to that next program, want to buy that next thing. And ultimately are your sales force for bringing new people in without you having to do a lot of work.

John Jantsch (12:45): It’s my pleasure to welcome a new sponsor to the podcast. Our friends at ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign helps small teams power big businesses with the must have platform for intelligent marketing automation. We’ve been using ActiveCampaign for years here at Duct Tape Marketing to power our subscription forms, email newsletters and sales funnel drip campaigns. ActiveCampaign is that rare platform that’s affordable, easy to use, and capable of handling even the most complex marketing automation needs. And they make it easy to switch. They provide every new customer with one-on-one personal training and free migrations from your current marketing automation or email marketing provider. You can try ActiveCampaign for free for 14 days and there’s no credit card required. Just visit activecampaign.com/duct tape. That’s right. Duct Tape Marketing podcast listeners who sign up via that link. We’ll also receive 15% off an annual plan. That’s active campaign.com/duct tape. Now, this offer is limited to new active campaign customers only. So what are you waiting for? Fuel your growth, boost revenue and save precious time by upgrading to active campaign today. How important do you think it is in designing, I have a hint that I know the answer this, but how important do you think it is in designing your community from the start that there just be a very clear and compelling purpose of the community?

Gina Bianchini (14:11): So that is the 20% that delivers 80% of the value. So I have what I like to call people magic profit because here’s the thing that we’ve actually, the thing that really took me by surprise was that creating those relationships between members generates millions of dollars in profit, not just revenue but profit. And what I’ve been able to do just because I’m not that interesting, outside of being completely focused on how communities become extremely valuable to their and their hosts. And it turns out that there are really only nine things you need to create a very profitable membership course challenge or event that essentially runs itself. So you can make a lot of money and it runs itself because it turns out if something’s running itself, you can make a lot of money because valuable. And if it’s valuable, it’s likely to run itself. It’s totally the opposite of what we know about content and how do you build a huge audience, and this is the difference between an audience and a community.

(15:25): And so it turns out that the impact of the smallest number of things that you can do and need to do to get this right, it’s really in some decisions that you make around who do you serve? And there’s a total cheat code to it, which I’ll share in a moment. But who you serve or your ideal member and how do you get them progress? And certainly the promise of progress because people pay for progress. And that is what I like to just call their best year ever. So if you take an ideal member, which is all an ideal member, is this is the cheat code, a human being in a transition, people are the most motivated when they are in a transition. They just moved to a new city.

(16:17): They just have their first child. They just start as a engineering manager for the first time. They are a first time CEO. They are doing anything that represents transition. That is when they are most motivated to join something new, meet new people who are on the same path, contribute really valuable experiences, stories, insights, show up at things. This kind of goes on. And so then they’re also the most willing to pay. And I started think about it as there’s bonus points for pain. So if that transition is painful, people have a lot more desire and motivation to get out of pain. So you get those things right. And then there’s just three things you set up and you will literally watch a community run itself

John Jantsch (17:13): Going to switch to the technical side of a SaaS business. In your particular case, you probably get feature requests every single day, multiple times. How do you, I mean, it’s really easy to take a tool, which frankly is pretty complex from the start that you’re doing and really make it way more complex because everybody wants more engagement or they want more of this, or they’ve seen this platform added this and now I want to, how do you control that?

Gina Bianchini (17:41): Well, so I think it’s super important to have a North Star. So why are we here? What are we doing? Because you can’t do everything. And by the way, nor do you want to, unless you’re interested in basically building a product that ultimately becomes Microsoft Word. And so the way that we approach it at Mighty is first and foremost, we are constantly observing and listening. We want to know what all the asks are, and then we start to look at, okay, what is going to be the most important and the most valuable to the most number of people? So what is going to be the thing that will have the biggest impact to the most people? And those are the things that just get real obvious. And then you just kind of move down the list from there. And look, it’s an art and a science, but at the end of the day, for us, everything runs through the filter of does this create people magic?

(18:48): Will this be able to allow a host of a mighty network to invite in 10 people and to have those 10 people be able to build great relationships that are extremely valuable, encourage each member to share stories and experiences and ideas that ultimately move the entire community forward and then bring in the next 10 people and then the next 10 people and the next hundred people and the next thousand people so that it becomes a self-organizing network that gets more valuable to every member with each new person who joins. And then the host of that network, which host can be a creator, it can be an entrepreneur, it can be a brand. It’s somebody who basically has that ability to bring those first 10 people in the value and more and more value accrues to them. And because everything that I’m sharing, it has that goal of self organizing, which is easier now with the breakthroughs of the last year and a half around AI than ever before.

(20:05): Turns out that you can create incredibly valuable assets that generate 99% profit margins and people are happy to pay for it because they’re paying for progress, they’re paying for relationships, they’re also, excuse me, they’re also paying attention to what they pay for. So that’s really, again, our North star. And we want to live in a world where everybody is a member of three to five extraordinarily valuable communities that would be for their professional life and their personal and spiritual practices and travel and adventure and all of the above and everything that we’re doing in terms of making this just undeniably valuable to the people who are creating those mighty networks. Why are we doing that? Because we want more people to create and more people to join and more people who join then turn around and create. And everything that we are doing has got to be fed through that filter. And it’s,

John Jantsch (21:19): Do you have kind of a quick case study that you like to kill? And I mean Tony Robinson is awesome, but something a little quirky or niche?

Gina Bianchini (21:29): Sure. One of my favorite examples is Martinez Evans and what he has built with the slow AF run club. He is now a bestselling author. He is someone who started off kind of listening to all the gurus, well before he met me or met Mighty and did all the things he was supposed to do. He was supposed to build an email list. He built an email list. He was supposed to launch an online course and use Kajabi or Teachable. He did that and he got exactly two people to sign up, and then one of them wanted their money back. And so he realized that path just wasn’t the right path for him. He failed at it. And about six months later, he and I met at the gym. He was working at the gym I worked out at, and we started talking about his vision for Slow AF a community focused on the back of the Pack runners.

(22:28): And his Instagram handle is 300 pounds and running, and he’s amazing. And I said to him, between sets, I was like, this is going to be an incredible opportunity and you should start it as a community and then build your courses, build your programs on top of it. And that’s exactly what he did. He created virtual races during Covid. He has developed training programs that are designed for not just back of the pack runners who are starting off, but then also those that are increasingly taking on bigger and bigger challenges. He wrote an incredible book. He’s been on a year long book tour visiting, running clubs all over the country and setting up an incredible merch business. And the reality is if he would have followed, well, he did. He followed what everybody else was doing and didn’t stand out. And if anything could have just quit at that point and said, well, I guess there aren’t any back of the pack runners. And instead actually the zagged when everybody else was zigging. And by the way, everybody continues to zig, whether it’s like, it’s my content, it’s about me. And what Martinez really figured out was it wasn’t about him, it was about how does he connect slow runners all over the country to know that they are part of a inclusive, supportive, and very focused, not small, but focused community of fellow runners that don’t look like they’re straight out of central casting.

John Jantsch (24:16): Yeah, that’s funny. I have a friend that started years ago, a 0.1 K race. Basically, he owns a bar and it basically goes from one side of the parking lot to the other, and he raises a couple hundred thousand dollars every year for nonprofits. That’s

Gina Bianchini (24:31): Awesome.

John Jantsch (24:31): I’ve been telling him for years he needs to franchise that and get it every city. That is a

Gina Bianchini (24:36): Great idea. That is a fantastic

John Jantsch (24:39): Idea. It’s very funny. Well, Gina, I appreciate you taking a few moments to come and share with the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. And is there someplace you might invite people to connect with you or find out more about Mighty?

Gina Bianchini (24:49): Sure. I probably spend the most time in our mighty community. And short of that, I’m also on LinkedIn and Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter. So that’s certainly a place to find me

John Jantsch (25:06): And it’s mighty pretty easy to find. Mighty networks.com.

Gina Bianchini (25:09): Mighty networks.com.

John Jantsch (25:11): Yep. Awesome. Well again, appreciate you stopping by and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

How to Transform Client Acquisition with Creative Gifting Strategies

How to Transform Client Acquisition with Creative Gifting Strategies written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

 

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Steve Gumm, a marketing consultant and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Gilded Box, a luxury corporate gifting company. He has extensive experience in helping companies break open doors and build lasting relationships through personalized and thoughtful gifting strategies.

Through his experience, he reveals the transformative potential of creative gifting in client acquisition, showcasing how agencies can stand out in a crowded market and foster strong, meaningful connections with their clients.

Key Takeaways

Steve Gumm, CMO of Gilded Box, emphasizes the power of personalized gifting in marketing, demonstrating how businesses can effectively attract and retain clients through thoughtful and unique gift campaigns. The process involves understanding the client’s needs and preferences, designing customized gifts that resonate on a personal level, and leveraging these gifts to build trust and open new opportunities.

He explains that successful gifting campaigns are not about the monetary value of the gifts but the thought and personalization behind them. This approach creates memorable experiences that leave a lasting impact on clients, making them more likely to engage and maintain a long-term relationship with you: the business. This episode offers age-old wisdom for businesses looking to enhance their client acquisition efforts through the classic personalized gifting technique.

 

Questions I ask Steve Gumm:

[01:54] How did you go from being a Marketing Consultant to being a Gifting guru?

[04:18] Is the unavoidable gift strategy a retention tactic or lead generation approach?

[08:31] How do you narrow down your target audience successfully?

[10:59] How do you begin a Gifting Campaign?

[14:45] Do you have some examples where you really surprised a client with a Gift?

[15:47] How has technology improved the effectiveness of Gifting Campaigns?

[18:15] Are there instances where the benefits of a campaign with a particular client immediately but have always remained top of mind?

[19:44] Is there someplace you want to invite people to check out what you’re doing and connect with you?

 

More About Steve Gumm:

 

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn

 

This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!

 

 

Speaker 1 (00:00): Duct Tape Marketing really helped me to shave at least six to eight months off of work that I was dreading after leaving the corporate world. Even before I participated in the agency intensive training, I had already landed in my first customer. This, in essence, more than paid for my investment in Duct Tape Marketing.

John Jantsch (00:18): What you just heard was a testimonial from a recent graduate of the Duct Tape Marketing certification intensive program for fractional CMOs marketing agencies and consultants just like them. You could choose our system to move from vendor to trusted advisor, attract only ideal clients, and confidently present your strategies to build monthly recurring revenue. Visit DTM world slash scale to book your free advisory call and learn more. It’s time to transform your approach. Book your call today, DTM World slash scale.

(01:03): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Steve Gumm. He is a marketing consultant who started his career running an agency that worked with some of the most recognizable brands, including celebrities and professional athletes using creative outreach to break open doors. After a successful E, he’s taken on the role of A CMO at Gilded Box, a luxury corporate gifting company. The designs builds and delivers extraordinary gifts to help companies open doors, close new deals, motivate employees, and build blasting relationships. So Steve, welcome to the show.

Steve Gumm (01:40): Thanks for having me. It’s more than an honor, John. More than an

John Jantsch (01:43): Honor. Well, so talk a little bit about your marketing journey. I mean, I gave a very brief sketch of it there, but I know in the past we had talked, I think maybe a few years back were just, you were a marketing consultant, had a marketing consulting firm. What’s changed for you maybe in terms of your objectives as well as how those are coming out?

Steve Gumm (02:06): Yeah, like most journeys, I had my own agency and then I went into consulting, and it’s one of those deals. I think even as a consultant, I’ve always gravitated towards some businesses you want to help, but some you want to help. Of course all of them, but some you’re more thrilled about. And so I went through and was basically helping sales and marketing teams doing the whole fractional CMO type of thing. And when Gilded Box came around, it’s just something that I fell in love with. And I think for everybody, you try to find that thing where it’s like, okay, there’s something here that just feels right. And I was just very fortunate. It wasn’t by design, but everything just came together for me. And so why I still do have other clients. They go the boxes at least 80% of my time now, and it is been fun.

(02:48): It’s interesting too, just Russell, the CEO here, we talk about it all the time, how things kind of come full circle because the type of stuff that we do here as a business is very similar to the stuff I was kind of doing on my own for years to try and crack open accounts and get attention and deliver some level of, I used to call it unavoidable, my team, I would say, okay, let’s send ’em something unavoidable. If we really want to work with them and we really know we can help and it would be a good fit, let’s send ’em something that they cannot avoid. And back in the day, we got crazy going after some celebrities and sports teams, et cetera. We went way over the top with some of that stuff. But it works. It takes time, effort, energy. I think it’s more fun, but it definitely works.

John Jantsch (03:36): Yeah, I wrote out about it actually in the first edition of Duct Tape Marketing in 2007, something I called Lumpy Mail. And it was the same idea. I would send things like box that would have a whole bunch of old keys in it or something that’s new. It’s like, what? And then you tie it to the message, and we had one client that was trying to promote their total solution for something. And so we mimicked the total cereal box. I don’t think we asked post, but we did it anyway and we sent it with a gallon of milk, which made it really, like you said, people are like, what in the world is this? It really does open doors. But I can also hear people saying, well, that might’ve cost 40 or 50 bucks a whack. Is that something you can do as a retention thing or do you feel like that’s an approach you can do? Lead generation

Steve Gumm (04:26): Mean both. So for me, the way I look at it is, and part of what we do here at Gilded Boxes is make things scalable. So around budget. Now gifting is different than swag by you really can’t compare the two, and there’s a place for each. I’m cool with both, but I think every business is a little different. I’ve always been in the B2B world, so I’ve been fortunate in that typically lifetime value of a customer. Even the short term value. When you actually talk to a team, and this used to happen to me when I was doing consulting all the time, I’d be like, what is the average client worth? And usually it was a sizable number depending on, I was working a lot of manufacturing, so some of ’em got huge, but then you sit back and you’re, okay, well, what are we doing here? Let’s get a list of the hundred. That would be amazing, and just try to get 20. What if that’s all we did?

(05:13): And it succeeded. And then everyone’s, when you take a step back and really evaluate what you’re trying to accomplish, it just makes those type of decisions a lot easier. If we spend, it doesn’t matter the X dollar amount, you quickly realize that, well man, we could spend all this. If we get one, it’s worth it. So when you break down the math, usually, especially on the acquisition side of things, it works. And once you have a client, that retention side of it, it is all based on value and scenarios, but I don’t think you have to be expensive at all. I mean, what we do here obviously is gifting from design packaging and all that, but I’m also a huge fan of just handwritten letters and anything that shows me that, wait a second, this person actually took the time to think about me, and they’re reaching out. However you do that, it’s just so powerful in a day where with AI and automation, it’s easier to go, okay, 50,000 people click and it sends out. It just seems like that would be, oh, that’s wise. But when you take a step back, it can be very effective in a day where not too many people are doing that type of outreach. It’s just crazy effective.

John Jantsch (06:26): And I think you hit the nail on the head. I mean, I work with a lot of consultants that sell high ticket, high trust is very, very important part of the equation. And when they stop and think about their goals, sometimes onboarding three new clients would actually be hard in a month, but we’re trying to market to 20,000 people. It’s like maybe 10 good ones, 10 good appointments. What would it take to get that? And I think when people start looking at it that way, they probably should start saying, yeah, I guess I better not automate my outreach on LinkedIn.

Steve Gumm (07:01): Right, right, right. Yeah, it’s just too tempting for marketers and salespeople. It’s so tempting just to go for the big numbers because I don’t care, even if it is outreach on LinkedIn to do something legitimately authentic and personal, it takes not a lot of time, but it’s not as easy as just a name and enter. You’ve got to put some effort into it.

John Jantsch (07:22): But I think it really, I, and I know you agree with this, it’s the whole premise here, but I mean, it’s so easy to stand out now doing it because people realize you didn’t automate that. They realize you actually took some time, or heaven forbid, I get these outreach on LinkedIn and people will ask me, somebody literally today asked me, do you still have your agency? I was like, that’s your opener. It’s like, if you don’t know what I had for lunch today, you’re not paying attention. It’s crazy.

Steve Gumm (07:54): Well, you probably get more of ’em than I do, but I get a lot. And so I can only imagine how many you get where they’re just so off base. It’s clearly, I’m just on a database and I’m not a picky either. When I see that stuff, I see people post online all the time and they bash it. I mean, I get it. People are trying to make a living. They think it’s the right solution. I’m not mad at it, but it doesn’t work.

John Jantsch (08:16): Yeah. Well, I tell you, let’s flip it around too, because for that person, and I know you believe in the whole, I want to work with people that we share some beliefs and purpose casting that net to thousands, how are you going to get the client you want to work with, right? I mean, I think that’s as big a part of this as if I take the time to research and look at what they’re doing and look at how we could connect and build trust together, I’m probably going to get the right client. I,

Steve Gumm (08:45): Yeah, and you’re a big phony with a whole book on it about referrals. I think people don’t oftentimes pay attention to the snowball effect of getting the right people initially. If you know that these people are a, you can help ’em. You have a solution that works for what they’re trying to accomplish, their goals, but it’s the perfect where you’re like, man, if we could just work with this person for whatever reason, if you do a good job there, chances are they know people who are aligned a little bit, at least with what they do. And so the referrals not only are, they probably come in more often, but they’re way better.

John Jantsch (09:18): Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Gumm (09:19): Awesome.

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(10:27): So what are you waiting for? Fuel your growth, boost revenue and save precious time by upgrading to Active campaign today. Talk a little bit about, and we can get into the mechanics of how you do it at Gilded Box, but talk a little bit about the concept. Not a matter of sending somebody something really expensive. They’re like, wow, they sent me something really expensive. There’s more to the entire campaign approach to it. Talk about maybe if somebody were thinking about this idea of, okay, I’m going to come up with a Dream 100. What would a campaign that involved gifting look like?

Steve Gumm (11:03): So you could definitely do it in multiple steps, but I think to take a step back for a second, you touched on it has to be something elaborate. Yeah, we do some super high end gifting, but it doesn’t have to be at all. We even say internally, if we do our job, what’s in the box of what you would consider the actual product actually should be an afterthought. The experience that we have done here, and it’s funny, as we were building this, it really was looking at what I had done in the past, what Gil Box was doing currently, and just removing friction. So for example, we handle all of the design because we think that’s critical to the personalization, the entire experience. And we know that is oftentimes a tough spot for a lot of businesses. They don’t have designers, they don’t whatever. So we take that because we want that box.

(11:55): The way we engineer the boxes from the way the products sit inside, it’s all, we have packaging engineers here. That’s what they do. And for us, it’s all about that experience so that when you are doing a gifting campaign, for example, you’re going after your top 100, obviously there’s methods to that. For us, the gifting usually is not out cold. We always recommend build some rapport, share some knowledge, engage on social, give some awareness, and then when you really want to step it up, you can go into a gifting program that obviously once you get a client, then the retention part of that type of effort goes into it. But everything that you would want to do to really wow somebody, we just wanted to make it as easy as possible.

John Jantsch (12:41): So the gift is one component of it. I’ve experienced kind of your process, and one of the things I thought was a brilliant piece, and this is carrying the personalization a step further, is that the box itself had to be completely personal because nobody else, it wouldn’t have made sense to anybody else what you did. But then the note that then had just a QR code that went to a then also personalized video. And I think to me that was a step that took it even farther than just like, oh, wow, I got this nice thing. Now you actually, what was in the box you actually nailed? That’s the brand that I have their grinder and I have their kettle. And so you said you didn’t know that part, or at least I hope you didn’t know that part. That was getting a little too close, but you knew I liked coffee, but that again, I was getting at their components to the whole thing. It’s not just like, oh, send a bunch of boxes out.

Steve Gumm (13:38): Yeah, a hundred percent. I mean, the whole process is really who you’re trying to, what message you’re trying to display. So in that instance, in every instance really, it’s about letting people know that they’re being recognized. Now, when you’re doing this at an enterprise level, of course you’re probably going to minimize some of that. A lot of the packaging and what’s inside is very similar, but we personalize them in a way where there’s still that wow factor in that, oh, they were thinking about me as opposed to something that you’re just giving out. And that really is, there’s a method to the madness, and it all starts with design, which requires a little bit of research and homework on our team’s end to actually nail that. Because when you receive it, even before you open it, we want you to be blown away. Our objective, and we believe this to be true based on feedback that we get, is the packaging itself. That box itself is something people keep just like a gift. And that’s when we know we’ve done our job and is fun. It is the most fun business I’ve ever been a part of by a long shot.

John Jantsch (14:42): Do you have any examples, and maybe you’re not at liberty to share ’em, but do you have any examples of some kind of crazy things? And again, I don’t know if you ever see this, the success end of it, if the client comes back to you and says, that was amazing, let’s do it again. Maybe that’s an indicator, but do you have any kind of case study of somebody doing something pretty cool?

Steve Gumm (15:02): Yeah, and to piggyback on that, we get emails all the time, which is the best where our customers telling us, or even forwarding emails from their customers, like, wow, this is great. We’ve done some pretty crazy stuff. We had a company that was agency working with Chanel, and they were doing a groundbreaking, and we actually did a shovel called the Chave, same branding and same everything, and put it in a pretty big box for them and delivering, of course, it was a huge hit. We were joking even this morning, I was talking to Russell, our CEO over here, how we’ve been doing this for so long. Some of the stuff we’re not blown away with anymore. We’re so used to it. But when you get the responses like, man, that really is pretty cool.

John Jantsch (15:45): And the personalization aspect, certainly technology has helped that come along, but you think about the companies that buy a thousand coffee mugs and they give ’em out to clients coffee mug with their logo on it. Sure. I guess I need a coffee mug. I’ll send it over here. But the technology is such that I can have a thousand clients and send a coffee mug with their logo on it, which to me might be a lot cooler to get.

Steve Gumm (16:11): Yeah, I mean, from a gifting standpoint, it’s one of the things that we’re working hard on the marketing side is communicating the difference between swag and gifting. It is totally different. When you think of swag, it’s more of an advertisement for you for promoting your business, and there’s a place for that. We’re fans of that as well. But when it comes to gifting, you really want to make it about them. So if it’s something, if you know something about their family or their hobbies or something where you can make it truly unique to them, that’s a gift. And we always tell our clients, if you’re going to do some promotion or branding of any kind, leverage the packaging. We do an amazing job at that. But what goes inside, it should be very clear that it’s been thoughtful and you put some care into what you’re delivering because it just makes a huge impact.

(17:00): How often do you get something like that? It’s very rare. To your point earlier, a lot of that old school stuff is very effective right now, but because everyone’s been trained on automation technology, it takes a little bit of effort, and I guess you could call it riskier. I mean, it’s more effective, but it takes much more to even send a piece of mail, whatever it is, you got to put the time into it. You got to print, you got to. So I think people just default that we’ll just send these emails, but boy is there an opportunity in creating experiences.

John Jantsch (17:34): Yeah, and I think the unfortunate thing, or at least the leap that a lot of people make, because there isn’t any risk in sending emails. I mean, if the message bombs, if nobody responds, it’s like nobody’s hurt. Whereas I remember the days of you’d spend $10,000 on a direct mail piece or commit to a year long, $3,000 a month yellow page ad, no idea if any of it was ever going to work. You were stuck with it till next year. So I mean, I do see that people kind have that fear of like, oh, I’m going to out. I’m lay out five, 10 grand. What if it doesn’t work? But I do think that, I’m guessing you probably have anecdotal information on this, the impact may not be filled immediately. Do you find that sometimes the shelf life, so to speak, of the gift or of the idea or the promotion might be for months that somebody’s like, I’m not ready right now, but that’s who I’m calling?

Steve Gumm (18:30): Yeah, for sure. I mean, a hundred percent. It just changes the dynamic of the relationship. And so I think an easy way to think about that is when you’ve put that much time and effort and personalization into something, there’s just some reciprocation there on. If you send me something like that, and let’s say I’m even the wrong target, which we wouldn’t recommend, but even so, I’m going to be much more inclined to at least give you feedback and share where we’re at and what opportunities may or may not be here as opposed to responding to one of the 10,000 emails I get any given week. So the longevity and the opportunities and the doors that it opens can’t be understated. I mean, I know I’m in the business, so it’s like, oh, this guy’s what he does for a living. But we see it time and time again, and we eat our own dog food as well, and it works. We’re creating a couple of fun series coming up of content where we’re going to start to share some of this. Nice. Just because it is very effective, and I think anybody that tries it, whatever you’re doing, if you get more personal and outside of the tech world where it’s more human to human, I can’t express the impact that you can have. It really is amazing.

John Jantsch (19:39): Awesome. Well, Steve, I appreciate you taking a few moments to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Is there anywhere you would invite people to connect with you and find out more about your work?

Steve Gumm (19:48): You can find me on LinkedIn. I’m just LinkedIn, wherever Those are Steve Gumm. I’ve got a very uncommon last name, so it’s not hard to find me and then gildedbox.com, so G-I-L-D-E-D-B-O-X.com. We have plenty of resources there. If want to reach out to anybody and you’re looking for stuff, we’d be more than happy to help you create some amazing experiences.

John Jantsch (20:08): Awesome. Well, again, appreciate you taking a moment, and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days soon out there on the road.

How to Maximize Your Video Content: Content Splintering and Intelligent Repurposing

How to Maximize Your Video Content: Content Splintering and Intelligent Repurposing written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Atiba de Souza, a celebrated marketer known for his expertise in video content and human connections. As the head of a video marketing agency for Doctors, Atiba de Souza combines his deep understanding of human relationships with cutting-edge marketing strategies. His entrepreneurial journey, which includes managing gyms, a bakery, and food service companies, provides him with a unique perspective on business and marketing.

During our insightful conversation, we discussed the emerging concept of ‘intelligent content splintering’ and explored how repurposing video content can maximize your marketing efforts. Atiba de Souza shared his systematic approach to breaking down long-form videos into engaging short-form content that resonates with different audience segments. We also discussed the role of AI in enhancing the efficiency of content creation and repurposing, as well as the importance of authenticity in video marketing.

Key Takeaways

‘Splintering’ is the new ‘Repurposing’.

Atiba de Souza emphasizes the transformative power of intelligent content splintering. He explains that understanding your audience’s needs and preferences is crucial in identifying which parts of a long-form video will resonate with them. By focusing on these key segments, agencies can create impactful short-form content that drives engagement and builds trust.

He also highlights the role of AI tools in streamlining the content repurposing process. These tools can assist in formatting and structuring content for various platforms, ensuring that the repurposed content maintains its relevance and appeal across different channels. However, he stresses that a deep understanding of content theory and strategy is essential for effectively utilizing AI.

‘Authenticity’ as he calls it. An overused but essential concept, is a central theme in his approach to video marketing. He believes that being genuine and relatable on camera is more important than striving for perfection. This authenticity helps build a strong connection with the audience, fostering trust and credibility.

Finally, he underscores the importance of having a structured editorial calendar for content creation. By planning and batching video production, marketers can ensure a consistent flow of high-quality content that aligns with their overall marketing strategy. This approach not only simplifies the content creation process but also enhances its effectiveness in reaching and engaging the target audience.

 

Questions I ask Atiba de Souza:

[02:04] Would you agree that video is the perfect medium for repurposing?

[03:14] Exactly how does ‘Splintering’ work?

[04:45] How do you begin with intentional scripting?

[06:27] What are some current trends we need to be aware of?

[08:08] Is it possible to overproduce a video?

[10:00] What is an editorial calendar?

[13:24] What is AI’s role in content, and what role do you believe will be left for humans to play?

[15:52] What role does that play in repurposing?

[18:31] Is there someplace you’d like people to connect with you find out more about your work?

 

 

More About Atiba de Souza:

 

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn

 

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(01:03): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Atiba De Souza, known as a super connector and video content. Superman, you can see is wearing the gear celebrated marketer who champions the power of genuine relationships as the head of a video marketing agency for doctors, Atiba combines marketing expertise with a deep understanding of human connections. His entrepreneurial journey includes managing gyms, a bakery and food service companies, giving him a unique business perspective. So Tibo, welcome to the show.

Atiba De Souza (01:40): Thanks, John, for having me. And first, it’s a pleasure, man. I’ve been a huge fan of yours for a really long time.

John Jantsch (01:48): I appreciate that. I’m glad there’s a couple of you still left out there. So we, I think, connected over most recently anyway, over just kind of this idea of repurposing content. And it’s funny, I know your primary medium is video, is that right?

Atiba De Souza (02:03): Yes, correct.

John Jantsch (02:04): Yeah. I think video just happens to be the perfect medium for repurposing, isn’t it? Yeah, I mean, especially with some of the new tools, right? AI and stuff. Yeah. I mean, video captures voice and tone and point of view and expertise that can then be repurposed. So maybe talk a little bit about, because you’ve developed a pretty systematic approach to doing that, so maybe let’s start breaking down the elements of that.

Atiba De Souza (02:29): Yeah, absolutely. And it’s interesting, John, because I had a good friend of mine call yesterday and we were chatting and near the end of our conversation, I have one more question for you. He said, I’ve been posting videos on YouTube and I’ve noticed that I’ve taken those videos and I’ll turn ’em into a short and I’ll post a short, and every time I do, I get a subscriber or two off of that short. So should I create more shorts? What should I do? I mean, how this work? So everyone knows the word repurposing. I call it a four letter word only because it’s been bastardized. It just means, hey, take a piece of content, cut it up, and stick it back out there. And what I explained to my friend yesterday is it’s not just about repurposing, it’s about splintering. It’s about understanding the audience and are there other pieces of content in your long form that you created that will resonate with your audience that they will want to watch? If so, cut those, add those as well. And so that’s really where it starts. Go ahead. Go ahead. It starts with understanding what your audience needs and wants.

John Jantsch (03:42): Okay, I can imagine somebody saying, yeah, I get that, but how do I do that?

Atiba De Souza (03:46): And so we call it intelligent splintering. And what we mean by that is if you create a video, John 10 minutes, you talk for 10 minutes on a topic, everything that you said in that video was an answer to a question that someone could have asked. And so the question is figuring out which questions did I answer, and if I can figure out the questions I answered are those actual questions my audience is asking that they care about if they are. And so you’re getting congruence there. Then those are splinters that we make, cuts, shorts, whatever you want to call ’em of the video. That’s how you start to understand this is what the audience wants and this is how I pull it out of my video.

John Jantsch (04:36): So in some ways, I’m sure some people just do it instinctively, almost, or because they’ve been doing it long enough that they’re not even sure they’re doing it, but they’re answering those questions. But for somebody who maybe hasn’t done a lot of that, I mean, is that sort of intentional script writing is to actually, what are those questions? How do we work those in?

Atiba De Souza (04:55): Yes. And so when we teach people how to create videos, it is very intentional script writing. It is very intentional of, okay, what is the major question that you’re answering with this video? And what are the sub-questions you’re answering with this video? So when it’s time to splinter it, we already have the answer. And so then a lot of people, John, and I’m sure you’re going to ask me this, will say, well, what if I already created a video and I don’t know? Well, here’s what you do. It’s actually really simple, the topic that you covered in the video, go to Google and put that topic in the search. Hit enter, scroll about a third way down the page a little bit more now with the generative AI at the top. And you’ll get to a place called people also asked. And those are real questions that real people ask. And Google’s going to give you a list of questions about this topic that people are asking. And then you ask yourself, did I answer any of those questions in this video? There’s your answer. Yeah.

John Jantsch (05:56): Yeah. You can almost make an entire script up from some of those videos if people are asking it. I mean, if it registers high enough on that, enough people have asked that, then you should be answering that question, right? Yes.

Atiba De Souza (06:10): Yeah. Yes, and yes.

John Jantsch (06:12): Yeah. So talk a little bit about video in general. Are there some trends today? Are there some styles today? It seems like, I mean, video’s been around, well, it’s been around forever, but it’s been in the hands of people like you and me for 20 years now. Are there some current things that we need to be aware of, like length and lighting and subtitles and all the kinds of things that we need to do if we’re going to produce a video that’s going to be effective?

Atiba De Souza (06:39): The number one thing, and this is the one that no one is going to want to hear me say authenticity. Okay? And here’s what I mean by that. What I mean by that is no one’s looking for you to be perfect. No one’s looking for this to be a newscast on the six o’clock evening news. You’re not Dan Rather, okay? That’s not what they’re looking for. They’re looking to connect with you, and so they want you to be you. Yes. If you stutter, stutter, be you on camera, stop trying to be someone else. Stop going on social media and seeing all of these people that you think are polished and trying to be like them. That’s not what you should do at all. You can do all the other stuff, and we can talk about the other stuff, John, but if you miss on this one, it’s going to fail because here’s why video is so powerful. And John, you kind of said it a little bit earlier, but here’s why video is so powerful, because there’s this no and trust continuum that people need to be on in order to do business with you and business, sorry, video builds that know, like, and trust automatically. However, when they pick up the phone or they get on Zoom and they then meet the real you, if the real you doesn’t line up with who they saw on video, now you’ve broken trust.

John Jantsch (08:08): So there’s actually an element to where you can overproduce a video. If somebody just feels like it’s, Hey, I’m coming to you today because I have this idea, and I’m just wondering if other people have, I mean, that’s almost sometimes if that’s truly who you are, that’s more effective maybe than that thing that had a full three camera shoot, right?

Atiba De Souza (08:27): Yes, absolutely. Now, at the same time, when I say authentic to who you are, if you are that person who you’re hair is never out of place, if you’re always in the best outfits, and I mean if you’re always dressed an eyes, and you’ve got to be that on camera too.

John Jantsch (08:44): Yeah. I mean, that’s obvious. That’s the answer, be you. Let me tell you, and hopefully you don’t do these all the time or I’m going to get myself in trouble, but the video that drives me crazy is when the person’s in their car and they check out their phone and they start talking, and so many people do that. Is that an effective tool or is it just like, oh, I’m going to be like, I saw them doing it. To me, it’s sort of off-putting.

Atiba De Souza (09:08): Yeah, so there’s a ton of copycat, right? Always there is a ton of copycat. To answer your question, I think I’ve probably done in the car video maybe three times in my life. Honestly, it doesn’t resonate with my audience. However, my wife, on the other hand, when she was talking to a few years ago, she had a product and she was talking to busy moms who were always on the go,

John Jantsch (09:33): Always in the car, in the car.

Atiba De Souza (09:36): And so it really depends on your audience. If you are talking to executives who are sitting in boardrooms and you’re in your car, not where they are. And so it really, again, that gets all the way back to knowing your audience. And I say it all the time, you got to be obsessed with your audience. And John, I’m preaching to the choir with you on that.

John Jantsch (10:01): So talk a little bit about editorial calendar. A lot of times what I think overwhelms people is they know they should be doing this. They wake up on Monday and go, what should I do? And it feels really hard. Then how do you employ an editorial approach to your content creation?

Atiba De Souza (10:16): Yeah, it’s a great question. It’s a really great question. And so in order to understand that, and there are a lot of people who’ve talked about that in terms of content strategy, but there’s also something that’s missing in there, which is content theory that has to go together. So let’s start with the content theory. Content theory is going to talk about the fact that there is a journey that your ideal customer needs to take with you through your content. So it’s understanding the customer and then understanding the journey and how you fit there. That’s the theory. We break that down into what we call why, how, and what content. So there’s three big buckets. The why super philosophical, why is this important? Why should you care? Why do I care? Why does it matter to your world? So something as simple as the debate between red or white sauce for spaghetti.

(11:17): Why is it important? Well, I only eat white sauce because I’m sick and tired of getting red sauce on my white shirts. So that’s your why content that connects you to people. Then how content says, how do we do something? So it’s showing them a small piece of what you do and how you do it. Building credibility, building credibility, small piece of what you do, and then what content. This is the challenge, the what? Content is what most of us want to create. It’s that post that gets people to click and buy or click and sign up, and we want to create all of our posts that way, and we shouldn’t. Okay? And so only 15% of your posts should be there, and that is, and how we teach it is, would you like my help with that? Yeah.

(12:07): Right? So that’s the theory. The theory is we’re moving them through. We align philosophically, I show you I can do what I say I can do. Would you like my help with it? That’s the theory. Okay. Now, let’s marry that with strategy. And so what we teach there is number one, everything should start because we are video first. Everything starts with your long form video. Your long form video is on a particular topic, answering a particular question that someone in your audience has. You answer that once you’ve created that long form video, now you can now take and create short form. That is why, how, and what type content based on that long form. And so it all fits together. It all fits together. You’re looking at one video a week, so four videos a month for some people, and for most people, we suggest that you batch it, take one day a month that you’re going to record all four videos. That creates the ease of creating your calendar. Now, it just all kind of grows and flows out of there very nicely and very simply.

John Jantsch (13:16): So we’re 17 minutes in the show, and I haven’t asked you about ai. What role do you see? I like to ask this two ways now. What role do you see AI playing in content, and then what role do you believe will be left for humans to play in content?

Atiba De Souza (13:30): Oh, there’s massive role for humans to play in content. Okay. Number one, if we have to understand what it is we are creating, and that gets back into the theory, we have to understand the journey. We have to understand why all of that works. AI can help us ideate through how to do the thing, but if we don’t actually understand the process, we’re just throwing stuff against the wall. So I am a hundred percent for ai. Matter of fact, we use a ton of ai. We’ve been using AI tools since 2015. So we’re not new to AI tools. We love them, but you cannot use them unless you understand the theory of what we’re doing and why it works, and that’s where the human has to stay.

John Jantsch (14:24): Yeah, I’ve long said that. I don’t think AI will ever get to the point where it can understand that kind of context. And that really actually makes strategic thinking, makes theory as you’re talking about probably more important than ever because so many people are just going to crank out the robot stuff.

Atiba De Souza (14:43): And I also believe we are in the age of AI right now. And so right now, over the next couple of years, next two years or so, there’s going to be a boom of people creating content and it’s going to go wild. And all of a sudden, people who were awful at creating content are going to become great at creating content until it all peters out and it is going to peter out. And when it peters out, the people who are going to win are the people who actually understand what the heck we’re doing.

John Jantsch (15:16): Yeah, I hear people talking about ai. It’s some magic fairy dust or plumbing is how I really refer to it. I mean, I think it’s really just going to be baked into everything and people stop paying attention to what it even is because it’s just going to become a feature of pretty much every aspect of business and probably of life in general. And I agree with you. I think it’s still in the sort of hype bubble. You’ve been around long enough. Remember when social media was in that same hype bubble and everybody was like, everything’s changed. So it’s like, well, nothing’s really changed. So speaking of social media, what role does that play in repurposing today?

Atiba De Souza (15:56): A massive role because now you have the ability that as we start to repurpose splinter intelligently splinter content, we’ve got multiple places that we can put it. This is also where AI helps and those types of tools, because now once you have the theory, and this is the cut that I’m going to make, well, this will work better this way on Instagram versus it will work differently on LinkedIn, and the AI tools can actually help you format and structure those faster than we ever could before. Social media is huge because it’s where people go to consume little bits, and those little bits start to add up. And I read it recently that people need to have touchpoint of now something like 140 times before they purchase. Remember what it used to be, Stephan?

John Jantsch (16:48): Yes. Yes.

Atiba De Souza (16:49): Right. And so how do you get to 140?

John Jantsch (16:52): Yeah. Do you still see it as what people refer to as top of funnel? I mean, or is it a mechanism that you believe can actually be part of conversion?

Atiba De Souza (17:04): So it depends on your business and it depends on how things are set up. So for example, we have clients who they are very big into running Google ads and they run Google ads to webinars. Great, wonderful. You run your Google Asset webinars, that’s your top of funnel coming in, and then we retarget and send ’em to the socials. And so now social is playing more middle funnel for you, and so that’s them. Whereas we have other clients in the cosmetic industry, it’s all top of funnel.

(17:41): And then we have other clients who use it throughout the entire thing. So it really depends on the strategy of what it is that you’re building and where it fits. And that’s the key. Where does it fit for your audience? Where does your audience want it? I was having that conversation with my wife the other day. It was like, she’s like, well, I’m going to be selling this thing. And I mean, it doesn’t matter what social platform. Yes, it does. Because the fact of the matter is you’ve never bought anything off of Facebook marketplace, but you bought things off of TikTok marketplace. Why? Because you see TikTok as a place to buy this type of stuff, but you’ve never bought anything like this from Facebook in your head. You don’t equate Facebook with this purchase, right? So it can’t be bottom of funnel for you.

John Jantsch (18:26): Yeah, yeah, yeah. Motiva, I appreciate you stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Is there someplace you might want to invite people to connect with you and find out a little more about your work?

Atiba De Souza (18:37): Absolutely. So John, again, thank you, and we probably open more questions today for you. If you’re listening to us, then we actually answer, and I would love the opportunity to continue the conversation and continue answering your questions. So do me a favor, go to meetatiba.com. That’s Meet A T I B as in boy A .com. That’s going to take you directly to my LinkedIn. When you get to my LinkedIn, don’t hit the follow button, hit the connect button or the more hit the connect button and that will let you send me a message, tell me you saw me here on the Duct Tape Marketing Show with John. Let’s connect human to human and let’s have a conversation.

John Jantsch (19:15): Awesome. Well, appreciate it again, you spending a few moments with us, and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days soon out there on the road.