Weekend Favs June 25

Weekend Favs June 25 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but I encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Linkgraph – Linkgraphs SEO content assistant helps you write better content, with less staff, in a shorter time. Their AI-powered program even includes a content planner and internal link suggestion feature which sets it apart from competitors.
  • Wordable – If you write your content in Google Docs and have a WordPress site you should seriously look into this tool. Once integrations are set up you can upload your content to word press in a few simple clicks, saving tons of time.
  • Invision – You guys know I love a good project and team management tool. Invision helps teams work together more naturally online. It also has built-in templates for things like brainstorming and meeting agendas as well as Loom integration, which can be very confident for a lot folks. 

These are my weekend favs; I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

If you want to check out more Weekend Favs you can find them here.

The Strategy Behind Building A Thriving Online Community For Your Brand

The Strategy Behind Building A Thriving Online Community For Your Brand written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Jenny Weigle

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jenny Weigle. Jenny has been creating, executing, and reviewing strategies for online communities for more than 10 years. She’s worked with more than 100 brands on various aspects of their community strategy and implementations, including launch, migration, programming, and planning.

Key Takeaway:

Community is one of those big buzzwords right now. So what even is community? Does your business need to have one? And what even is the benefit of building a community in the first place? Jenny Weigle has worked with more than 100 brands on aspects of their community strategy and implementations. In this episode, she’s breaking down why it’s so important today to build an online community of raving fans and customers for your business and the best ways to go about it.

Questions I ask Jenny Weigle:

  • [1:19] How would you define community and how is it different than my Facebook business profile or page?
  • [2:50] Do the people who join a community intend on engaging with many members or is it really because of the way the technology works?
  • [3:59] Who needs to be thinking about community — B2B brands or B2C brands?
  • [5:58] Does the way community is used change based upon its a small or enterprise-sized brand?
  • [7:02] What are some of the platforms for a community that works well for smaller businesses?
  • [8:51] What is some of the standard advice you give to brands on how to get engagement in a community they’re building?
  • [10:42] What are the benefits of a B2B company growing a community?
  • [12:41] Are there upsell opportunities in communities?
  • [13:20] What are the risks of having a community?
  • [14:13] How do you approach someone giving their honest opinion in a group or community that isn’t so flattering of your product?
  • [15:00] Should you be curating members for a community?
  • [16:13] What have you seen people do effectively to keep people active in a community through rewards?
  • [19:02] What are a few of your favorite communities that you think are doing it right?
  • [20:25] Where can people learn more about you and your work?

More About Jenny Weigle:

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John Jantsch (00:01): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by Ben Shapiro and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network with episodes you can listen to in under 30 minutes, the MarTech podcast shares stories from world class marketers who use technology to generate growth and achieve business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben’s a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI, and automation. Download the MarTech podcast wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:51): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Jenny Weigle. She’s been creating, executing and reviewing strategies for online communities. For more than 10 years, she’s worked with more than 100 brands on various aspects of their community strategy and implementations, including launch migration, programming and planning. So we’re gonna talk about community today. So Jenny welcome.

Jenny Weigle (01:18): Thanks John. Great to be here.

John Jantsch (01:20): Should we start off by defining community? It seems like that’s one of those words that for the last 10 years, you know, really gets batted around means a lot of different things. Like, for example, how is community different than my Facebook profile or page?

Jenny Weigle (01:37): Yeah. So the types of communities I work on are peer to peer, usually customer communities. Yeah. So community is a buzzword right now for sure. It’s being utilized in a lot of different ways. So I’m really glad that you asked that to start this off, John and one of the differences between say, you know, the communities that I work with and the Facebook following that you might have. Right, right, right. Is that when you are putting things out on your Facebook page, it is a one to many conversation that’s happening, right. People have opted to like your page and follow you. They want to know when you’ve posted things. They want to hear what you have to say. They wanna know when you have updates when you’re announcing something. Right. Right. So one to many is a big and a critical factor around social media communities. Okay. Yeah. But the peer to peer communities that I work on are many to many meaning that at any time of the day, you know, someone can post a question, someone can post something and anyone else in the community can go and answer. And so it’s not reliant on a main account, like an Instagram even, or a Twitter for whoever runs the account. Yeah. To first say something to kick off a conversation, right. In these closed communities, one can be starting off a conversation at any time.

John Jantsch (02:50): So is that really a point of view difference or a technology difference? I mean, is that, you know, like, do people join a community like that intent on engaging with many members or is it really just because the way the technology works,

Jenny Weigle (03:03): Both actually. Yeah. There’s lots of reasons people join communities. Usually the ones that I work with people are joining because they have a shared interest with the purpose, the community or the members in it, or the brand that’s hosting it. They might need a quick response or quick answer to something. And the quickest way they’re gonna get that is actually joining the community versus calling a company’s social, uh, customer service line or submitting an email or so forth. Some people will do it for status because there are some communities where if you are active enough, you can start to get certain perks and so forth. Some people do it for a connection and belonging. They just wanna find other people who have shared interests as them. And, uh, but they’re usually the technology to host. These types of communities is very different than social media technology.

John Jantsch (03:47): So I think a lot of, I think there were certain types of organizations. There are certain types of brands where it just made sense. I mean, Pringles needed a community, right. Or being at, and M’s needs a community really, you know, more and more people are getting into it. So, I mean, is it really still a B to C thing? Is it a B to B thing now? You know, I guess the general question is like, who needs to be thinking community?

Jenny Weigle (04:11): Well, I think everyone should consider community. Yeah. But community is not necessarily for everyone. I think that’s what we’re you might be touching on there. John. And I agree with that statement, not every business or business owner should have community. Okay.

John Jantsch (04:25): But you did agree that Pringles needs one, right?

Jenny Weigle (04:27): I’m not, not so sure, but I heard that Wendy started one on discord. Yeah. No. B2B is actually one of the most popular areas of people starting community right now. In fact, that’s predominantly my clients right now. Okay. Are B2B communities B2C? Sometimes it’s a little more obvious what some of the community benefits are, but B2B is very active in thriving. There’s some companies doing great job, a great job out there of running their communities, really creating belonging, creating connection. Yeah. Creating unique incentives for the people who participate the most and recognizing those individuals. And there’s also this new wave of either solo entrepreneurs or small businesses that are starting communities. And there’s different kinds of technologies starting to appeal to them because obviously the small business owner is not gonna pay the same prices as an enterprise brand for some of these. Right. Right. And these are a lot of the software platforms that I work with that would be extremely pricey for many consultants, solopreneurs, small business owners. I can Dodge for that cause I am one. Yeah. So it’s really neat to see these newer platforms coming out that are at our, sorry, are at a lower price point and still serving up great features and functionality for a truly unique experience.

John Jantsch (05:37): I mean, in some ways, when you talk about like a consultant doing, you know, community, it really is in a lot of ways. It’s just, I see people who are it as a way to get to know people as a way to start it, to introduce what it would be like to work with them. You know, perhaps as a way to, to really build something that maybe turns into high masterminds and things like that. I mean, is that so different from, you know, a big brand, how a big brand uses it with their customers,

Jenny Weigle (06:05): Not so different in the overall purpose and goals there. Yeah. Yeah. I think a lot of what we’re trying to achieve are the same things. Unfortunately, these big brands have the, sometimes the means to hire large community teams so they can do a lot more with their communities and, you know, consultants, small business owners might just have themselves, maybe one or two other people who could help them on the community. And the thing is without someone dedicated toward nurturing the community and help make those connections and nurture the conversations, it will become as a dead zone. And it won’t be worth your time. And that’s, I guess one advantage that enterprise brands have over that is that they can hire somebody a hundred percent dedicated to that. Right. And we know like the work we do, we’re a hundred percent dedicated to every facet of our business. We can’t just focus in on one and stay on there.

John Jantsch (06:50): Yeah. And so the thus the 2 million dead Facebook groups that are out there. Right. exactly. So you, you hit on a couple things I was gonna ask about, I wanna double back to maybe giving you a chance you met, you said there are new technologies. What are some of the platforms that, that you like for that smaller price point or that, that smaller business?

Jenny Weigle (07:08): All right. Folks, get ready and write these down or replay because these are definitely some companies you will want to check out. First one disciple sometimes also called disciple media. I think they’re starting to go by disciple now, mighty networks, circle dot, so and tribe. And again, a lot of these are appealing to that individual business owner or small business team. And it is a really neat platform to all of them are new platforms. I’ve seen the UI. It’s beautiful. And it’s like I said, the price points are nowhere near what these enterprise brands are, are paying. And couple of these specialize in a cohort based experience. So if you’re offering any kind of teachings, masterminds classes that you also want a community to prepare and compliment that experience, or you want to welcome people into a community after they have completed it as kind of, you know, part of their graduation gift. Yeah. And yet you’re staying in touch with ’em. So some of these have the ability to do that. Also some of these platforms have the ability to offer paid communities. So if you were to start up a community and you wanna charge $5 a month, $50 a month, whatever’s gonna be right for your audience. They have the ability to do that as well.

John Jantsch (08:15): Yeah. And you mentioned the cohorts and things. I really think people are a little bit tired of the watch video training, you know, and the idea of having training or learning along with engagement of like-minded individuals. I think people are hungry for that. We’re kind of tired of zoom TV and so, you know, a little more personal engagement, I think is really, as I said, people are hungry for the second thing you touched on is it’s a lot of work. I think people, you know, the idea they hear of communities like, yeah, that sounds great. But if you aren’t in their creating conversation, responding to everything rewarding, as you said, the people that are that seem to be talking a lot. So how do you know, what are some of your, what are some of the advice you give or standard advice for first off, how you get engagement, but then how you need to be thinking about, you know, the, whether it’s hiring somebody or dedicating, you know, some staff time to,

Jenny Weigle (09:06): Well, if you’re going to try this world of community here, one of the things you can do right off the bat is try to see if you can get some volunteer moderators or volunteer hosts in there with you. So that you’re not the, always the one who has to kind of kick off the conversation and also see if some people there’s some people who want to also throw some virtual events for your community or help post in person events. So kind of getting this exclusive group together, maybe even giving them some extra perks for taking this on, right. That can take some of the work off of you. And then of course you’re managing a team and that still takes time. But I think it also says something really strong to the community when it’s not just you doing everything, but they see other community members are also helping to plan and organize events.

John Jantsch (09:49): And now a word from our sponsor, you know, wouldn’t it be wild if the world was totally customized just for you, just when you need a boost, bam, an ice coffee appears when you need a break, poof, a bubble bath, and there’s a cheeseboard following you around at all times. That’s what it’s like. Having a HubSpot CRM platform for your business, a CRM platform connects all of the different areas of your business to help you provide the best possible experience for your customers. And no matter what stage your business is in HubSpot is ready to scale with it. With powerful marketing tools like content optimization, you’ll know where to invest across your marketing website and search. So you can help your business grow like never before learn how your business can grow bette r@ hubspot.com.

John Jantsch (10:36): You’ve touched on a few of ’em, but maybe I’ll kind of tee it up and you can give your typical sales pitch for this. You know, what are the benefits of, you know, of a typical, you know, B2B company growing a community?

Jenny Weigle (10:48): Oh my gosh, there are a ton of benefits. Probably the easiest to calculate, right, right away is support and customer service needs. Right? Sure. You have one of your agents in there as a moderator handling any of those kinds of questions and, or actually not even handling, but in there to address anything, anyone can’t answer, but in a really successful B2B community, it’s your other community members who are answering the questions and that saves money on from customer service perspective for those costs. But then from a marketing perspective, you’ve also got, you know, you wanna create a, an area of loyal fans and of raving loyal fans, right? And when they start to connect to each other and start realizing these are connections that only could have been made through that one community, that’s pretty powerful. You can also start getting testimonials out of it.

Jenny Weigle (11:33): And depending on the kind of platforms you’re picking to have your community, these days, you can start to create some great SEO because the search engine’s favor, user generated timely and relevant content, which is all happening on communities. Let’s see. So that’s a benefits to customer, to customer service. That’s benefiting marketing from a customer success standpoint. You can keep track of how many of you know, your clients are active on the community and kind of, you know what they’re talking about, maybe they’re starting to ask questions about products they don’t own yet. So, you know, any good customer success professional would keep an eye on what their clients are talking about, especially if they might be able to spot upsell opportunities. Yeah. And if you’re on any kind of a product team at a B2B company, the community will not only help educate people on more features and functionality, cuz people are gonna be asking, how do I use this part? What’s a tip for using this area. So that’s gonna create awareness and adoption of further of your products. Yeah. But you can also set up kind of an idea area, you know, and let people pitch their ideas or you could propose a number of ideas, let people vote on them. So there’s just so many facets of a company, especially a B2B company that a community can benefit.

John Jantsch (12:41): Well, and you didn’t mention this explicitly and I’m sure that you have to be cautious of this, but certainly there’s upsell opportunities as well. Right? I mean, somebody that’s in it, you know, now learns about this higher level thing they can do.

Jenny Weigle (12:54): Exactly. And I’ve seen that happen with my clients before. Yeah. They have seen conversations happening amongst members. So these were not solicited by staff or anything. And people are talking about a newer product coming out and that opened a door for them to have some, you know, the relationship manager, contact them separately outside of the community and start to say, Hey, what kind of questions can I answer for you about this?

John Jantsch (13:17): Yeah. So let’s do the flip side of that. What are risks? What are risks of doing this? Obviously you can have all kinds of community rules and have moderators and whatnot, but at some point you really, people are gonna say what they’re gonna say.

Jenny Weigle (13:32): People are gonna say what they’re gonna say. And that’s why it’s very important to have community guidelines in place as well as moderation efforts happening. Yeah. Yeah. So the risks are that if you allow people to go off the community guidelines and start, and aren’t adhering to that, what you’re creating is an unsafe environment for the rest of everyone else. And you’re also diminishing the value of the community. It’s not the experience others signed up for. Right. If people can go on and break the guidelines and speak offensive, inappropriate things. Right. So yeah, that is a risk. And it’s also a risk. If you’re not tending enough to nurturing the community, that it could become a dead zone and it actually looks quite bad on you and your brand. Yeah. If people go to this and see that the last, you know, post was three months ago. Right. And no one’s really interacting.

John Jantsch (14:14): Yeah. Well I think what I was getting at a little more, because obviously you have the guidelines, you know, somebody breaks guidelines, you just like, see ya, but what about somebody giving their honest opinion? That’s not so flattering of your product or service.

Jenny Weigle (14:26): That’s always a tough decision for brands to have to come to. And I have clients that have done that a couple different ways. I have some clients that don’t allow any kind of competitor talk and I have some clients that are open to it and they do list some kind of limitations on what, when you’re, what you’re talking about. So some only allow people to pose questions, you know, some people will not allow an entire testimonial about another, another product. Yeah. Yeah. It’s it really just depends on what the community’s purpose is and, and yeah. And how the members will respond to what you’re putting out there as the guidelines.

John Jantsch (15:00): Talk to me a little bit about curation. Should you be curating members, you know, for a community? So, so what I mean by that is that, you know, you talked about, I mean, people want to go to a place where they’re gonna be with peers or where they’re, if it is in a B2B community, they’re gonna wanna be able to get answers from people that are having the same problems they’re having. Maybe because they’re a big company as opposed to a little company. I mean, so, so should you be doing that or to so that you really can have everybody going, wow, everybody’s here, you know, is on the same page or does that run the risk of stifling?

Jenny Weigle (15:32): It runs the risk of the community, not growing as quickly as some people might want it to. But I will say that when I’ve seen people do that, they do get, you know, I guess the right kind of member in there, you know, to engage now, I’ve been invited to be part of many online communities. Some of them I’ve had to fill out a quick form and you know, then it said, we’ll consider your membership. And I actually like that because I like it when a community team or individual takes the time to ask the right questions and ensure that I’m gonna be the right kind of person to come in here and try to connect with the others. And if I’m not, I could really throw off the whole vibe and the whole, just everything happening, all the good Juju happening in the community. Yeah,

John Jantsch (16:12): Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Talk a little bit about rewards. What have you seen people do to effectively other than acknowledgement or, you know, elevating somebody to being a moderator, you know, what have people have done to, to keep people active by rewarding them?

Jenny Weigle (16:27): Well, COVID changed a lot of the coolest rewards I’ll say, because I’ll say some of the coolest rewards I’ve seen are people who are part of a super user or ambassador type program of a community, meaning that they have proven that they are the most active. I’ve seen them get invited to entire weekend conferences just for that group. So a small intimate experience, the brand is flying you out. They want you to come together. You know, they’ve got some gifts for you, some ways to wine and dine you. I mean, that is quite the, I’ve seen community members called up on stage at a customer conference, recognized in front of all the company and all of the attendees and their peers, fellow customers. I have seen some really unique pieces of swag given out only to people who hold a certain status in community. Yeah.

Jenny Weigle (17:09): So there’s lot of, lots of different things. I’ve seen certain permissions given in a community that other people can’t do, maybe such as, uh, having a certain kind of avatar or the ability to record some video addresses to their audience and so forth. Mm-hmm yeah. There’s, I’ve seen it all across the board and it’s just so critical to have some kind of incentive, not everyone’s gonna be able to do that level, but even if your incentive is offering 30 minutes with your CEO or 30 minutes of with you, John in your own communities, I’m sure people would find that extremely appealing.

John Jantsch (17:40): All right. So switch gear a little bit. What if I’m out there listening to this in there and I’m thinking to myself, I think I would wanna be one of those community manager people. What does that role look like? Or how does somebody train to be that? Or is it just, you gotta be like a certain personality

Jenny Weigle (17:56): Oh, no, but there’s all kinds of personalities involved in this field. That’s, what’s so exciting about it, but there are some roles that I think would make an easier transition than others. So if you have worked on social media communities, there’s a lot of similarities. You would need to adapt to some new technologies, but you’d be a great candidate. If you’ve ever been a customer success manager, you’d be an ideal candidate because I know customer success professionals out there. When you’re in your position at your company, you have to have connections with all kinds of different departments, cuz your customers can be asking questions that really over here, over there everywhere. Right? So usually I think customer service professionals have their hands and connections in many parts of the company and you would make a good community professional. If so, because community managers also need to have touch points everywhere. And also if you’ve ever been a program manager of any kind, that’s also a makes for a great background and some foundational skills to contribute to a community manager. But I’ve also people seeing people come from teaching engineering roles. It’s really neat to see all the kinds of people coming into this field now.

John Jantsch (18:58): Awesome. So maybe as we close out here, you could tell me a few of your favorite communities that you think are doing it right. That, that you know, are fun or however you wanna talk about ’em.

Jenny Weigle (19:10): Yeah. So on the B2B side, I have to give it up for Intuit. They have a couple of different communities within their brands. They’ve got a turbo community, QuickBooks and accountants community, and they’ve also done a really great job of integrating the community into their products. So if you’re using a turbo product and you have a question, when you type in your question, one of your results might show up as a question and answer that came out of the community. So really nice tie in with their product there. And also they’ve just got very passionate group of members, a wonderful community team, running things. And on the B2C side, I’ve gotta give it up for my former client, Sephora athletic, gosh, they’re all doing some really fun, unique things on the B2C side. Awesome. So check out, just Google those names with community next to it and you’ll find out what they’re up to.

John Jantsch (20:00): Yeah. And I’m, I actually am a member of the REI community and I can say, you know, one of the beauties of that one is it’s most, it’s where people who people can collect that have similar interests, you know, and I think that’s one of the themes on a lot of really strong communities is, you know, it’s, you know, you’re gonna go there and you’re, you’re gonna be talking to somebody who likes the outdoors, uh,

Jenny Weigle (20:18): For example. Exactly. And I’m glad to hear you say that about the community. Cause I know that is what they’re hoping their members are getting out of it. Yeah. So that’s great to hear.

John Jantsch (20:26): So Jenny tell people where they can find out more about your work and some of what you’re up to

Jenny Weigle (20:30): My consulting practice is called jenny.community. So just type jenny.community into your web browser. And you’ll learn a little bit more about me as well as where you can find me on social.

John Jantsch (20:39): Awesome. Well, thanks for taking some time to drop by the duct tape marketing podcast. And hopefully we’ll run into, I usually end the show by saying, run into you out there on the road someday, but maybe I should say run into you in one of these communities someday.

Jenny Weigle (20:50): that’s a good one new ending. I like it.

John Jantsch (20:53): Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not .com .co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

 

How To Make Your Clients Successful So They Never Want To Leave

How To Make Your Clients Successful So They Never Want To Leave written by Sara Nay read more at Duct Tape Marketing

About the show:

The Agency Spark Podcast, hosted by Sara Nay, is a collection of short-form interviews from thought leaders in the marketing consultancy and agency space. Each episode focuses on a single topic with actionable insights you can apply today. Check out the new Spark Lab Consulting website here!

About this episode:

In this episode of the Agency Spark Podcast, Sara talks with Shaun Clark on how to make your clients successful so they never want to leave.

Shaun Clark is a serial entrepreneur, multi-millionaire, and a co-founder and the CEO of HighLevel, the #1 white-label marketing platform for agencies, serving more than 20,000 agency owners.

Prior to HighLevel, Shaun founded, operated, and sold InvoiceSherpa, a SaaS company that continues to help thousands of businesses around the world get paid faster.

HighLevel is Shaun’s third successful SaaS company. Shaun studied computer science at college and is a software developer by trade.

More from Shaun Clark:

 

This episode of the Agency Spark Podcast is brought to you by Monday.com, a powerful project management platform. Monday.com helps teams easily build, run, and scale their dream workflows on one platform.  I personally am a user and big fan of Monday.com – I start my workday pulling up the platform and spend my day working within it for everything from task management to running client engagements. Learn more about Monday.com at ducttape.me/monday

Weekend Favs June 18

Weekend Favs June 18 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but I encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Claap – Another great time management tool for virtual teams. Instead of long meetings with no clear next steps, you can opt for short pre-recorded videos and clearly assigned and defined tasks for your remote teams.
  • Jiffy Reader – This Chrome extension uses modern psychological principles to enhance the words on websites, articles, and blogs so you can read faster and add more time back into your day.
  • Felt – A modern map maker’s dream. This collaborative map-making tool has climate features, trip planning add-ons, custom designs and so much more. You can easily share and add feedback or notes to any map.

These are my weekend favs; I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

If you want to check out more Weekend Favs you can find them here.

How To Grow Your Business Like A Weed

How To Grow Your Business Like A Weed written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Stu Heinecke

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Stu Heinecke. Stu is a bestselling business author, marketer, and Wall Street Journal cartoonist. His first book, How to Get a Meeting with Anyone, introduced the concept of Contact Marketing and was named one of the top 64 sales books of all time. His latest release, How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed, lays out a complete model for explosive business growth, based on the strategies, attributes, and tools weeds use to grow, expand, dominate and defend their turf. He is a twice-nominated hall of fame marketer, Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center author-in-residence, and was named the “Father of Contact Marketing” by the American Marketing Association. He lives on a beautiful island in Puget Sound, Washington.

Key Takeaway:

Anyone can grow their business into something resilient and unstoppable — just like weeds do. In this episode, best-selling author, Stu Heinecke, shares his model for business growth by using the successful strategies that ordinary weeds use to spread and prosper in almost any situation. We dive into the weed-based attributes you can use to get the job done quickly and effectively and increase your market share, prominence, and customer base.

Questions I ask Stu Heinecke:

  • [1:46] Why did you want to use the analogy of a weed and what was your thought process behind it?
  • [3:14] Why is a weed different than a prize-winning flower?
  • [4:27] The big premise of using the weed metaphor is really to tap into what you’re calling a weed mindset — can you unpack that idea for us?
  • [5:32] What are the unfair advantages that you think adopting this weed mindset gives a business?
  • [7:39] Can you break down the weed model for us?
  • [14:17] How do you apply this model to taking that next step and getting to the next level with your business?
  • [17:41] How do you win a weed award?
  • [19:27] Where can people buy your book and learn more about your work?

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

John Jantsch (00:01): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by Ben Shapiro and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network with episodes you can listen to in under 30 minutes, the MarTech podcast shares stories from world class marketers who use technology to generate growth and achieve business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben’s a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI, and automation. Download the MarTech podcast wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:52): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Stu Heineke. He’s the best selling business author marketer and wall street journal cartoonist his first book, how to get a meeting with anyone, introduce concept of contact marketing was named one of the top 64 sales books of all time. We’re gonna talk about his latest book, how to grow your business like OED, which lays out a model for explosive business growth, based on the strategies, attributes, and tools weeds used to grow and expand, dominate, and defend their turfs. So Stu, welcome to the show.

Stu Heinecke (01:35): Thank you so much. What a, what a pleasure. And as I’m listening to it, I’m thinking, what the hell is he talking? Right? what must this guy be talking about?

John Jantsch (01:46): Well, I’m certain that the first question that many people have given our sort of negative view, typically negative view of weeds is like, wait a minute. You know, that’s like how to smell like a skunk, isn’t it? I mean, why, you know, why do I wanna used the analogy of weed? So help helps first go there.

Stu Heinecke (02:05): Sure. Well, you know, by the way I think the first thing they think of is you mean this kind of weed, the kind of weed you smoke? Nope. It’s not that good. That’s not what we’re talking about, but yeah. I mean, well, we all know what it means to grow like a weed. So the fact is that all of this whole logic is already built into our experience. We know what it looks like. We know what it means to grow like a weed. We also know what it looks like because we see it every spring and actually not just through, through the spring, but you see what they do all the way through the summer. And you see that they, you know, while blood of the plants have maybe a single season of growth dandelions, for example, just keep doing it. They keep running that process over and over again. So they, they are always running these unfair advantages, which is kind of a big part of the whole strategy of weed strategy.

John Jantsch (02:50): You know, it’s funny. I, I really I’m. I love all plants. I love all animals. I love trees so, you know, a lot of times I kinda laugh and say, weeds are just flowers with bad PR firms. I mean, it’s like what? I know why we call some things weeds, but their nature of taking over. And for whatever reason, they don’t look like what we want our yard to look like or something, but you know, who gets to call something a weed? I mean, why is a weed different than a prize winning flower?

Stu Heinecke (03:19): Well, you know, I guess the fact is that, well, if you look at let’s, it’s full of contradictions because if you look at, let’s say the state flower of California, it is a weed, you know, it’s the California poppy. So there are beautiful. I don’t think it’s really necessarily a function of beauty, but just are they, are they doing things that we don’t want them to do? Are they showing up or they’re not invited? And so dandelions are probably the great ex example. Everyone experiences them. And you, if you have lawns, you see them show up in your lawn. And by the way, if you see one, then you see you look up and you see hundreds of them. So they’re really, they’re tough to deal with they’re formidable. And so I guess wheat is probably just, I don’t know, just a, a nasty name for a plant. It’s a plant that some gardeners say is just a plant outta place, but that’s true only to a certain point because there are some weeds that seem like they’ve come from another planet. They’re just incredibly aggressive and noxious and we don’t really want them around.

John Jantsch (04:19): Yeah. And they’ll take out native species and things like that, that, you know, because of their ability to grow and spread talk a little bit, of course, the, you know, the big premise of the book or a big premise of using the weed metaphor is really to tap into what you’re calling the weed mindset. So maybe unpack that idea for us.

Stu Heinecke (04:38): Sure. Well, you know, you would, if you think about weed having a mindset, but first of all, to have a mindset, I guess you probably should have a brain and weeds don’t have brains. So how could that even be possible? But if you watch weeds at all, if you see what they do, if you see how they operate, then you can certainly, you can certainly see that there is some presence there that looks like a mindset because they’re aggressive and resilient and adaptive. And when you, when they’re owed down, they go right back to work building right back up again, they don’t stop. And, and so they have really admirable qualities that I guess in our experience are expressed as mindset. So that’s where the mindset, the weed mindset comes from.

John Jantsch (05:19): So one of the things I’ve talked about a long time is that having a real point of differentiation, one that matters to the client can be a way to almost make your make competition irrelevant. You call it an unfair advantage. So, you know, what are the unfair advantages that, that you think this MI weed mindset or adopting this weed mindset gives a business?

Stu Heinecke (05:40): Well, I would say that for if we’re well, so really the weeds model goes beyond just mindset, but it’s leveraging a fierce mindset and unfair advantages against collective scale and running it against a process. But I would say really, if you’re using any element of wheat strategy, you’re already creating unfair advantages for yourself. And when we’re looking at, let’s say the, let’s say the situation of many small businesses, the ones that have no unfair advantages are not gonna survive. So you have to have right. And I guess we could call them a lot of other things though. Certainly one is a differentiator. So, and one of the wall street journal cartoonists that helps me. When my cartoons show up in the journal, they reach an audience of a little over 2 million readers. That’s really, you know, no one’s, how is anyone gonna compete with that as a way to cause people to become aware of you and maybe, you know, say, well, you know what I know about Stew’s use of weeds, cuz I use weeds to help sales teams break through.

Stu Heinecke (06:34): It’s sort of like my day job. So when I get to have my, my, my, you know, my, my cartoon show up like that, then it’s just an advantage that is really tough to, to me. But an advantage could be a location. It could be, it could be a partner that you have. We’re gonna start up a, a new, a new award based on the book called the total wheat award. And my new partner in this is the NASDAQ entrepreneurial center. That’s an unfair advantage. So it’s all sorts of all manners of, of unfair advantages from ways to get a lot more, a lot more ER, to help with getting exposure, kind of like this is a seed pod strategy that we’re executing right here, but you’re my seed pod, essentially. I’m reaching your audience and you’re multiplying the, the reach of my seeds of these impressions that I get to create from the book and from interviews and talking about the book. And it goes all the way down through, through thorn strategy and segmentation strategy and Roset and vying and soil and root strategies. All of these are levels of strategies that help us gain unfair advantages.

John Jantsch (07:40): So I think you kind of were just doing it there, but I’m gonna ask you to kind of back up and say, and hopefully you can do justice in a couple minutes, you know, the weed model itself. I think you were ticking off elements of it there, but maybe kind of put it together for us.

Stu Heinecke (07:55): Yeah, well, so there are eight levels of strategy in that weed split in the weeds model, which is an acronym for weed inspired enterprise expansion and domination strategies. So that’s, that’s what it is. It’s an acronym, but what it really is standing for are eight levels of strategy. So the, and it really corresponds with the pieces of the, or elements of the weed plants themselves. So there’s seed strategy, which is analogous to anything that causes people to become aware of you and, and form the intent to transact with you. Hearing me on your podcast might hap that might cause people to say, I want to go buy the book or maybe I don’t, what else? I dunno, I’d like to have stew consult with me or something else. I don’t know, but, and seed pod strategy, seed pods. We see those. And for example, dandy lines, those geo geodesic domes of seeds are held up in the air and those seeds are so magnificently mobile. I mean, they just, they fly all over the place. They probe every possible opportunity to take roots. So holding them up in the air like that actually gives them a greater chance to travel and spread. So, and then,

John Jantsch (08:56): And get a couple, like get a couple five year olds and pull a few of those out and blow ’em too. That really makes a big

Stu Heinecke (09:02): Blow that’s true. They love, they look their kind of seat buds with stove, but then thorn strategy is interesting because that’s using all legal protections, for example, to protect your IP and really you’re turf, you’re really protecting your turf and the weeds do that. And we certainly need to do that in business as well, but not all of us do that or are oriented in that way. And then there’s segmentation strategy, which might, we could probably talk the rest of the, our time together on segmentation strategy because that’s, that is the, when you go out and you find a weed in your yard, you might have found some of these that you’ll pull on it. And all you get is you get a handful of stuff, but you didn’t get the plant. You certainly didn’t pull it up by the roots. And so that’s actually a defensive strategy it’s there to prevent, or let’s say mitigate loss.

Stu Heinecke (09:46): Well in business, we have the same things happening. We have disruptions that occur all the time. One of those that that occurs, every was just a regular cycle of years is recessions. And a lot of us are still caught UN unguarded for recessions. We just sort of dread when they show up and we don’t really have much of a much of a much of a strategy for dealing it. But what if you’re dealing with those things, there are ways to mitigate them. And that’s, we’re gonna be doing that probably soon if the press is correct, because they’re sort of beating the drum about recession again. And anyway, there are strategies to deal with that. And then roses strategies. Really. I put that into the model because I wanted Rose’s are those that well, in the example of dandelions, that radial fan of leaves that spreads out across the lawn, if you come over it with a, it seems like they evolved just to duck the mowers.

Stu Heinecke (10:38): It’s not really where it came from, but what they’re really doing is they’re covering the ground and they are denying the critical resources that plants around them need of the grass around them, needs to grow and really just to live so sunlight and water. And so how can we create those kinds of, it’s really about cultivating unfair advantages, looking for those and finding new ones that we can add. A lot of times we can add those by the partnerships and associations that we create and let’s mine strategies. So borrowing the infrastructure of others to, to gain dominant access to the sort of warm sunshine of sales and, and all the things that we’re looking for, just sales and exposure and so forth. And then finally, there’s root strategy in the plant. It’s the seed of all life force, but in business, it’s all of the, it’s where all of the value of the business is sort of stored and curated and maximized.

Stu Heinecke (11:28): So there are strategies for doing that. And then finally soil strategy. So seeds are rather, yeah, well at the weeds, they don’t get to, they don’t get to change the soil quality that they’re in. They just sort of, they just, wherever they land, they make a go of it. But we have the ability to change the substrate in which we grow our businesses. So the cultures within our businesses and with outside of our businesses, our communities and movements are really interesting. If we can grab hold of or start movements, those are amazing things to help change the sort of soil strategy or the conditions for us to grow in. So that’s the model of that’s the weeds model for creating unfair advantages.

John Jantsch (12:07): And now a word from our sponsor technology is awesome. Isn’t it? I mean, I talk about all kinds of technology on this show all the time. Did you ever wish there was a way to get some of the technology, some of the apps that you work with every day to talk to each other? There’s just that one little thing you wanted to do well for over 10 years, I’ve been using a tool called Zapier. In fact, longtime listeners might remember the founder, Wade, uh, foster on this show doing an episode when they were just getting started. Now they’ve blown up and it is an amazing tool. We use it to get our spreadsheets, to talk to other spreadsheets, our forms, to talk to spreadsheets, our forms, to talk to other forms, all kinds of magic. When it comes to our CRM tool, it’s really easy to get started.

John Jantsch (12:54): I mean, there’s no coding. I mean, there’s 4,000, I think apps that, that they now support and that can, you can get to talk to each other, look, see for yourself, why teams at air table Dropbox, HubSpot, Zen desks, thousands of other companies use Zapier every day to automate their business. And you can try it for free today. It’s at zapier.com/dtm that’s Zapier, which is Z a P I E r.com/dtm. Check it out.

John Jantsch (13:24): Yeah, it’s funny. You’ll be driving down the road and there’ll be, you know, a, a weed growing up, you know, between cracks and in pavement and, and things like that. I think it really kind of points to the tenacious nature of ’em. But when I hear you talk about the soil, I’m think I’m thinking very much in terms of like creating community and creating value for clients that they want to go out and, and refer you as the idea of soil, isn’t it?

Stu Heinecke (13:47): Yeah, absolutely. Yes. It’s all those cuz all of those create conditions that are much more favorable for our growth.

John Jantsch (13:56): So how then do we take that model? And if somebody goes through their business today and says, oh, I’m, you know, I can add this or I could add this or I could be better at this one. And so we get maybe our weed strategy put together, you know, what’s whatever, what many people wanna do then is really scale, grow that business beyond them or grow that business certainly from beyond where it is to today. So how do you apply this then to, to taking that next step, going to the next level with the business?

Stu Heinecke (14:22): Well, I think in fact, one of the first things that we can do to grow our businesses, I, we gotta be looking at them and making sure they’re VI, if there’s something that’s not viable about it, fix it, but assuming everything is viable and you’ve got a great concept. Then one of the first things we can do to grow our business is to root out one to one leverage and then jump to either multichannel or collective scale. That’s for the ultimate is collective scale. I should explain what that is though. Yeah. We’re sure. From just from early childhood, we’re all taught to become self-reliant and sort of self-sufficient I guess that sort of happens when we, I, the first time we played musical chairs and you got left without a chair, you say, well, wait a minute, where’s my chair. You know, I’m not gonna let that happen again.

Stu Heinecke (15:03): And I think that maybe it’s maybe that’s the first time we get, it’s get it instilled in our heads that we’re in a competitive world and you need to be proactive and you need to get things done. You need to be able to rely on yourself to get things done. So that continues when we’re told then to go to school and get good grades, study hard, then you’ll get into a great college. And from there, you’ll get a great job, maybe a really well paying job, but here’s the problem. The, all of that is wonderful. We need to be self-reliant. And I would say that the entrepreneurs around us are probably some of the most self-reliant people there are, but, but we can’t do it alone. And that’s the big realization we, and, and I think probably the more self-reliant and the mortality, the more easily you learn things, the harder it is for you to learn, to let go and say, well, some of the stuff I’ve just gotta let go of this and let somebody who’s either better ranted toward it or better at it than I am.

Stu Heinecke (15:56): I just let them do it for me so that I can move on to other things. And I would say one of the big telltale signs is if you labor is directly involved in your deliverables, you are at one to one leverage. And, or, and let’s say, if you discover that it’s really hard to take a vacation because the bus, the business stops because you’re not there, that’s one to one leverage and you need to root that out really quickly. So you do that, I think by jumping to multichannel leverage. And that really means just forming partnerships with, with people who could bring you to, to other to new clients, let’s say, or open up new sales channels. I was inviting you to, to, to join a group that I started a group of authors. And I guess in a way that’s multichannel leverage because we get together, we formulate ideas, we bring things together and, and you know, that that’s the way we’ve gotta, we’ve gotta find ways to collaborate with people as much as possible. I guess that’s really the, one of the big messages of we is that the more we collaborate, the stronger we become.

John Jantsch (16:55): So with an example of that, say a consultant or coach who is doing a lot of that, one to one work would be building a course or bringing, building a community or doing group work, or having, as you said, strategic partners who are going to, you know, send business his or her way. I mean, is that at a very simple example? What we’re talking about?

Stu Heinecke (17:14): Yeah. Yeah. I think so. I think productizing what you do as a consultant mm-hmm and turning that into a course is a great way to do that because once you’ve built it, and of course you’re promoting it, but other people could promote it, you can go on vacation, you can make money while you sleep. All those wonderful things that happen when you’re not right. That when you’re not the factory and you shouldn’t be the factory. Yeah. Yeah.

John Jantsch (17:35): All right. So here’s the burning question. And I’m certain people are listening right now and on the edge of their seats, how do you win a weed award?

Stu Heinecke (17:44): you have to be, I was actually a total weed award, but you have to be

John Jantsch (17:50): Total word

Stu Heinecke (17:50): Would. Yeah. You have to be absolutely audacious in, in the way that you, that you approach your market and create unfair advantages and create scale. And you obviously, you need to be an example to the rest of us, but an example of weed, like growth.

John Jantsch (18:06): Yeah. So I’ve been, uh, doing interviews, you know, for years. And over the last few years, one of the things I’ve seen is title explosion in the Csuite, you know, you’ve got your chief people officer, you’ve got your chief revenue officer, and now I think you are probably going to introduce the chief weed officer.

Stu Heinecke (18:24): I am. I’m proposing one more. That’s right. the chief weed officer. I don’t know if you do know Dan Walch.

John Jantsch (18:30): I do. Yeah. I do know Dan. Yeah. He’s been on the show before he

Stu Heinecke (18:33): Has. Yeah. Dan he’s been amazing guy. He’s he has the bloggy conversations. I think he has a book out by the same name, but, and he is a turnaround specialist. Anyway, I interviewed him for the book and he, he gave a quote, by the way, the book has all these I’m so proud of these quotes at the beginning of the book, because they were, when I looked to research for the book, there were no positive quotes about weeds. So everybody I was interviewing, I was asking them, could you share some sort of like, now that we’ve talked about weeds as a positive, what thoughts come to mind? Yeah. And so Dan said, if you don’t have a chief weed officer, you lose . That was his quote

John Jantsch (19:07): .

Stu Heinecke (19:09): Um, and yeah, I think that there will be chief weed officers. I don’t know if they’ll be called that maybe they’ll be called chief strategy officers or weed strategy officers, but there will be people who will be responsible for growth of the company, through the execution of weed strategy that we can watch all around us.

John Jantsch (19:27): Yeah. Awesome. Let’s do I appreciate you taking time to stop by the duct tape marketing podcast. You wanna tell people where they can find out more about your work and obviously pick up a copy of the book.

Stu Heinecke (19:36): Sure. Well, you can buy the book anywhere, anywhere books are sold. Now it, it launches of course, June 1st, but that actually, well, yeah. Can I start that over? Yeah, of course do it. Okay. Yeah. You can buy the book anywhere that books are sold. Amazon, of course, and Barnes and noble bam and all that. Perhaps the airport soon you can come and visit me at my author site. That’s Stu henick.com. And when you come there, then you, one of the things you might wanna do is join my weed, my, my weed boot camp, sorry, my boot, my weed mindset boot camp. And you can join that from, from my site as well. So, yeah. And LinkedIn mention that, that you heard John and my, and myself talking on the, on the duct tape podcast, duct tape marketing podcast, and I will be happy to connect with you there.

John Jantsch (20:24): Awesome. Well, we’ll have all those links in the show notes as well, and Stu congrats on the new book. And again, appreciate you taking the time out to, to share with our listeners. And hopefully we’ll run into you again. Soon. One of these days out there on the road,

Stu Heinecke (20:37): I would love that, John. Thanks for having me on the show.

John Jantsch (20:39): Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not .com .co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co I’d. Love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network and Zapier.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

 

Do you ever wish there was some way to get all those apps you use at work to talk to each other? Or dreamed about automating routine tasks like following up with marketing leads or cross-posting on social channels—without having to hire a developer to build something for you? Then you’ll love Zapier. Zapier helps marketers make the most of the technology you already use. Connect all your apps, automate routine tasks, and streamline your workflow—so you can convert more, with less chaos. See for yourself why teams at Airtable, Dropbox, HubSpot, Zendesk, and thousands of other companies use Zapier every day to automate their businesses. Try Zapier for free today at zapier.com/DTM.

The Evolution Of The Podcast

The Evolution Of The Podcast written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Todd Cochrane

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Todd Cochrane. Todd is the CEO of Blubrry Podcasting – a podcast media company that represents 105,000 Audio and Video podcasters in which his company provides advertising opportunities, media distribution/hosting, podcast media statistics, and other services. He is a podcast advertising specialist, and he founded the Tech Podcast Network in 2004.

Key Takeaway:

Podcasting and the podcast industry have changed over the years in many ways like the way podcasts are produced, how more easily accessible it is to start your own, and how the monetization of podcasts works today are just a few examples. In this episode, I talk with Todd Cochrane, the CEO of Blubrry a podcast media company, about how the podcast and audio content has changed over the years and where it stands today.

Questions I ask Todd Cochrane:

  • [2:07] What shows are you hosting today?
  • [2:54] What does the podcast media company look like today, and what was your idea for starting it?
  • [4:32] Is that was that the initial vision was to just make it easier to get those shows syndicated?
  • [5:48] Do you think podcasting is the hottest advertising medium going on today?
  • [7:06] Would you say that we are almost at a point where we need to redefine what a podcast is?
  • [8:09] What’s your take on the distinction between audio and video and what people consume most today?
  • [12:02] What are your current feelings about the technology that you’re using?
  • [15:48] Could you talk a little bit about the opportunities you think are out there with this form of advertising?
  • [19:01] Do you think podcasting is going to go in the direction of subscriptions and paying for content like other mediums have?
  • [20:55] Is there anything coming for Blubrry that people might not know about yet?

More About Todd Cochrane:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by Ben Shapiro and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network with episodes you can listen to in under 30 minutes, the MarTech podcast shares stories from world class marketers who use tech technology to generate growth and achieve business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben’s a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI, and automation. Download the MarTech podcast wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:50): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Todd Cochrane. He is the CEO of Blubrry podcasting, a podcast media company that represents 105,000 audio and video podcasters in which his company provides advertising opportunities, media distribution, hosting, pod, media stats, and other services. He’s a podcast advertising specialist and also founded the tech podcast network way back in the dinosaur days of podcasting 2004. So Todd, welcome to the show.

Todd Cochrane (01:28): Hey, thanks for having me. And I think as we talk just a little bit, as we got started, you started in 2005. So you’re right there with me.

John Jantsch (01:35): I did, I did indeed. And those were the good old days cuz you know what, so I always, I can go down a rabbit hole really fast on this, but you know what a lot of people don’t realize is not only was it hard to produce shows, it was hard to listen to them or to get somebody to listen to ’em right. They had to actually have their own technology. So I’m certainly glad that we are where we are today.

Todd Cochrane (01:57): I am too. And it’s, you know, no longer having to connect a device to a computer just to get the sync. Right? Yeah. It’s nice to have it automatically happen.

John Jantsch (02:07): So tell me about what shows you’re producing or not producing, but shows you are hosting today.

Todd Cochrane (02:14): Well, personally I still have my personal show geek, new central. That was the one they started in 2004. It just hit over 1600 episodes. Then I do a, co-host a show with matter of fact, Rob Greenley from Lipson competitor, it’s called the new media show. I say, we can get a PhD in podcasting by listen to that show matter fact, we just finished recording of that about 30 minutes ago. And then we do an internal team podcast called podcast insider. But yeah, so a lot of, you know, still doing a lot of active shows, but it’s really the day to day grunge of, you know, running a company and building, you know, building a business and keeping podcasters snapping.

John Jantsch (02:51): So I gave a little insight into the, what the podcast media company looks like today. What was the idea for starting it? And what was your initial vision?

Todd Cochrane (03:02): You know, it’s, it was one of those things where, when I started my podcast, my wife had given me an ultimatum to make money in the first two years. She didn’t say to want another boat anchor. And I solved that in June of oh five by securing GoDaddy, as a sponsor of the show. And the first round, I really didn’t know what to charge and that kind of worked itself out. But in the second call where they’re getting ready to sign a contract for a year, the gal asked me, Chris Redinger said to me from Godad. She said, do you know how the podcasts would like to advertise GoDaddy? And I said, yeah, I’ve got some tech shows that might be interested. And that really kind of set the Genesis point of the idea of raw voice, which is the parent company of Blubrry podcasting. And remarkably. I went on my podcast the next episode. So I’m looking for a lawyer looking for MBA programmer and a graphics developer. I’ve got a business idea and we’re gonna have a call and free conference call do com in 10 days to be there. If that’s you. And on that call, it was a lawyer, an MBA and a graphics developer and the graphics developer, new programmer got him on the phone. We formed the company over the phone, just absolutely insane how that company started. We didn’t meet each other for the first six months.

John Jantsch (04:20): well, as I recall, I, and you and I were talking about it. I was probably a fairly early on user, as I recall it, it was primarily a WordPress plugin and then hosting came later and obviously advertising network came later. Is that, was that the initial vision was to just make it easier to get those shows syndicated.

Todd Cochrane (04:39): Yeah, the first, really the sequence was we had the advertising piece in place. We started ramping up real quick with shows with advertising. We built the stats platform so we could measure this stuff. So we weren’t overbilling the vendors. The plugin happened because another plugin started that we were using was being abandoned. The person that was updating it wasn’t being paid update anymore. So we developed our own plugin and that kind of really led the Genesis of everything else. And the plugin really kind of been like that candy at the end of the, you know, when you’re in checkout, you know, that piece that you would grab and it really led to everything else that Blubrry does today.

John Jantsch (05:18): Yeah. Yeah. So people are probably already tired of hearing old folks reminisce about the old days. So , let’s talk about how that’s evolved now. Not just Blubrry, but just, you know, podcasting in general. Yeah. I always tell people they’re, you know, the really early days people got into it, but then social media came along and that was shinier and it seemed like podcast kind of went in the background and then a or apple decided to put the app on the iPhone as a native. And all of a sudden, everybody was like, what are these podcast things again, to the point now where, you know, it’s probably the hottest advertising, medium going, isn’t

Todd Cochrane (05:53): It. Right. You know, and there was this definitely a series of inflection points, you know, it was, you know, the inclusion of iTunes, it was the iPhone, it was the inclusion of the app delivered with a phone. And then obviously listeners got more interest in podcasting when serial came around and had this, we had this huge inflection, true crime shows. So really I think, you know, it’s been this long steady climb and now the space is just, you know, it’s, uh, the indie podcasters, some of ’em are kind of concerned, but you know, with all this commercial investment that’s happened. Yeah. I think that all ships rise together. So I think that there’s plenty of room for anyone that wants to create content out there or use it as a business funnel or whatever their goal may be.

John Jantsch (06:36): Yeah. I, you know, I was gonna ask about that, how you think, like, where are we now, you know, in, in the word podcast, right. When blogs first started, they were really almost typically an individual’s journal almost. And people interacted with them and there, you know, comments were a big part of them and you know, they’ve really changed now. Even the blogging software is really referred to as just content management, mm-hmm software systems. I mean, podcasts in some ways started around that individual host of the show. Would you say that we are almost at a point where, you know, we need to redefine what a podcast is?

Todd Cochrane (07:12): You know, there’s been a lot of talk about it, you know, if in the pure sense, so, you know, it still requires an RSSV deliver a show to these syndication points, but the average listener doesn’t care. They don’t care if they listen on Spotify or watch on YouTube or consume, they, it really podcasts are consume and anywhere I’ve had this saying for a long time, they say, I don’t care where they listen, as long as they listen. Yeah. But I want to be every place that they are. So I think in that instant, you know, podcasts are many things to many people, but you know, I’m kind of old school. So I still believe in the, you know, you still need to have an RSS feed to deliver the show, which causes most people’s eyes, still the glaze over. But it really is that mechanism that keeps the space open and from being locked down and gatekeepers coming into place and making rules, it’s still an open ecosystem. So I think from that aspect, even with the commercial investment of the podcasting space is a medium is very secure and will continue to grow.

John Jantsch (08:09): Yeah. Let’s talk audio versus video. Is that a distinction? I seemed like video V cast. I think they, people were calling them at one point, kinda had a point where they were popular. Now it seems like everybody’s doing some audio, some video. Of course the technology has helped that, but the portability of audio, I think is still what makes it so attractive to me.

Todd Cochrane (08:32): Yeah. I think still people have more time to listen than they do to watch. I know that I do. Yeah. But at the same point, I think the video piece of it is more of a, well, I started doing video 10 years ago doing live video for my shows. And I did it purely out of selfishness because I do a solo show. So I was, I was doing it eight o’clock in the evening in Hawaii and you know, it was kind of boring. So I was using it as a way to get a little interactivity from the audience when I was doing the show and it kind of just turned into this thing, but that’s really most my main reason. And I think that’s way a lot of podcasters think about it now too, is some people like to watch some people like to listen, but I still, my show still 70, 30, 70% listen, 30% watch why they watch me. I still don’t understand. But it’s, it’s kind of the way it is.

John Jantsch (09:24): Yeah. I, I do. I mean, I think it’s like, it’s like when my books would come out, you know, there would be some part of the audience who’s like, I’m gonna get it when the audiobook comes out. I was like, well just go buy it now. But there’re just some people that, that’s what they’d rather do. And there’s no question that, you know, enough people have seen you on video now that you could probably go to a conference and people go, oh, I’ve seen that person. And so it certainly the medium, I think, itself has different uses and you’re gonna, people are gonna consume different ways,

Todd Cochrane (09:57): You know? But in all honesty, I’ve had more surprise interactions from people hearing my voice. So it’s like walking in O’Hare a couple weeks ago, someone heard my voice and they turned and they said, oh, you’re are you Todd? And I’m like, yeah. Which show do you listen to? You know? So it’s, so I think when, and also the audio piece is more intimate. We’re truly, we’re truly in there, you know, those that are listening right now, we’re we’re in your head. yeah. You know, we’re I call it the earballs we’re right in their ears. Yeah. So it’s, I think it’s a different experience when we watch YouTube, which most of us do, you know, we can be distracted. And I think in podcasting we’re able to hold audience’s attention span a lot longer. So I think that’s why the medium has been for better word. So intimate.

John Jantsch (10:44): Hey, eCommerce brands, did you know, there’s an automated marketing platform. That’s 100% designed for your online business. It’s called drip and it’s got all the data insights, segmentation, savvy, and email and SMS marketing tools. You need to connect with customers on a human level, make boatloads of sales and grow with Gusto. Try drip for 14 days, no credit card required and start turning emails into earnings and SMS sends into Chuck CHS, try drip free for 14 days. Just go to go.drip.com/ducttapemarketingpod. That’s go.drip.com/ducttapemarketingpod.

John Jantsch (11:28): Yeah. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a YouTube video opened in another tab and all I’m doing is listening to it. right. Cause I’m multitasking. Yeah. Mm-hmm no question. What are some of the most exciting things in how the technology is involved? Evolved? As far as youre concerned, we were, again, we were laughing, you know, before we got started here about the early days of recording on, you know, handheld devices and phones that we’d plug into and you know, you and I were recording this on a platform that that’s actually just web based. And you know, once we’re done recording, it’ll upload the two recording, you know, separated tracks. I mean, there’s just some really great advancements. What are, what’s your current feeling about the technology that you’re using?

Todd Cochrane (12:06): Well, I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s riversides wild. Some of these platforms that allow us, we don’t have to have this big tech setup. I, you know, I’ve got literally $30,000 worth of gear in this room that I don’t need anymore. Yeah. Because of the way the space has changed and the technology being able to see who you’re interviewing or being interviewed and have that interaction is a huge difference. In the early days, all we really kind of had to really listen for those visual cues and we often would step on each other just because there wasn’t that visual component. So I think that’s a big change. Obviously. They’ve got lots of great software out there now for editing. Uh, I’ve always been an Adobe edition type of guy. And matter of fact, I don’t edit. So I’m one of the few that actually don’t, but it’s, but I wouldn’t be a podcaster if I all these years, if I would’ve had to have edited because it just takes too much time. But yeah. That’s why they’ve got people out there doing those types of services now. But that’s another thing too, is there’s a service for everything, right? There’s BAS there’s people that do transcripts there’s people that will do your editing, posting the whole nine yards. It’s gonna, you’re gonna have to write a check, but you can use your time wisely.

John Jantsch (13:19): I’m I saw, I got a pitch from an, an AI service that was promoting themselves as you, all you did was put in the guest or something about the guest and they would create a list of questions for the guests. Interesting. You know, based on just go out there and just like find, you know, your footprint and go, here’s what the, here’s what you ought ask this guest. And I was like, wow, , you know, we’re, I wonder we’re gonna even do the interviews at some point. , you know?

Todd Cochrane (13:43): Yeah. Pretty crazy. And you know, and I think too, the thing that’s about podcasting that like this interview, you had a little background on me already, so you didn’t have to do too much research, but I think there’s a lot of folks that spend a lot of time researching their guests. And some of those best interviews are, is when a Podcaster’s able to dig out that nugget, you know? Right. They get deep in a conversation that may not have happened. Otherwise,

John Jantsch (14:11): Can I get up on a soapbox and complain about something? And I’m sure you get this too, but nothing drives me crazy faster than when somebody asks me to be on their show. And I agree. And then they send me to a six page form to basically write the interview for them. I just like, you know, it, this is, I guess I grew up, you know, in a PR background mm-hmm and this feels like journalism to me. Right. And somebody else writing the article, I’ll let you riff on that if you want to.

Todd Cochrane (14:37): You know, and it’s even funny because I hired a service to help me get more interviews. And they asked me to write the top six questions. I’d like to be asked. I’m like, I don’t even wanna do that because , every interview is gonna be wash RINs repeat because some guests are host are lazy and I’ve been lucky. People have only pulled from that a couple of times. But yeah, when I do guest interviews, I don’t want any prep. I want the conversation to happen free flow. I think that’s when you really get into the good stuff. Now you have to do your homework a little bit to kind of figure out what you’re gonna talk about. But I, I think that

John Jantsch (15:13): That’s the job.

Todd Cochrane (15:14): Yeah.

John Jantsch (15:14): absolutely. Let’s talk about advertising and podcasts. My first advertiser was at and T I just kind of dropped out of the sky and it was a really big deal for me at the time. Sure. And you know, fortunately I’m currently sponsored as a member of the HubSpot network. So, you know, the money is definitely out there. And I know a lot of small four or 500, you know, a month download folks are now finding, you know, opportunities to get, you know, advertisers for shows like that. So maybe talk a little bit about cuz I know obviously you play in that world substantially with Blubrry. So talk maybe a little bit about the opportunities you think are out there and maybe just the state of, you know, this form of advertising.

Todd Cochrane (15:55): Sure. In the space today, 50% of podcasters are using podcasts for non monetization reasons they’re using for funnel business, building authority, building, they have a different goal, but the other 50% are looking and hoping to monetize. Currently today only three to 4% of podcasts are actually fully monetized. So it leads a whole bunch of people on the sidelines. So five years ago, I would say that programmatic advertising probably would not have been effective because there just wasn’t enough movement in the space and enough trust. But now programmatic has got to the point where even the smallest shows can get some advertising and it may not be, it may take their spouse or partner to dinner money. Some people will make car payment money. Some people will make house payment money, but there is gonna be an opportunity here in the very new future for all shows to be able to monetize at one level.

Todd Cochrane (16:46): Now, obviously the host read endorsement stuff, which is the core of the space continues to rule and pays the highest C cam rates. Matter of fact, my sponsor GoDaddy, which I’ve had since 2005, it’s remarkable. They’ve been with me this entire time. Those are completely host, endorsed episodes baked in forever. But then again, my show gets, my tech show is 96 hours. It’s achieved nearly 90% of its lifetime download. So it doesn’t have a long tail. So it doesn’t matter. But I think that from an advertising perspective, you know, niche, real niche content is and high Val niche, high value content can drive a lot of dollars, but if you’re not super niche, then you need to big build big and the bigger the audience, the more potential for revenue. I think there’s lots of ways to skin a cat. Now there’s Patreon. You can, or just a simple PayPal link, which I’ve used for years to raise money for a show and get support. I think though a lot of podcasters get really wrapped around the ax. So early on about trying to make money too. Yeah. And but I think when a show gets the substantial size and stability and consistency, I think there’s lots of opportunities to make money. Yeah. Across a variety of fronts.

John Jantsch (18:00): Yeah. I always, I, I, you know, I guess because it was so much work in the early days, you know, I always told people, I, you know, I’d do it if I had one listener and no, nobody because of the people I got to talk to that yeah. That was really, to me, the reason for doing it. Yeah. And you know, the, everything else sort of turned into a happy accident of consistency, I guess. Yeah. But, but that I that’s, you know, I would do it again for that very reason.

Todd Cochrane (18:22): Yeah. I think for me too, is authority was one of the first things I was trying to build authority. And then second was my wife forced the monetization piece on me. She wanted me to get monetized and, and really, it was fun. You know, I had a lot of fun doing the show and the action with the audience. So I have always told my audience when it quits being fun. I’m done, but it’s so far, it’s still fun. I guess that’s a rhyme. But

John Jantsch (18:47): So let me ask you what you think about, you know, some other mediums, you know, of advertising has really waned because people have other ways to, you know, to get around it. I mean, to not, you know, all the, all out of the streaming shows and things, now people are paying for that subscription. So do you think podcasting is gonna go that way? The paid model where I pay to subscribe? So I don’t, or maybe one of the benefits is so I don’t have to listen to ads is that I know there are people out there doing it, but is that, do you see that being the substantial way that people monetize?

Todd Cochrane (19:16): I think it’s a key of scale there. I think you have to be big enough to do that because only a small, you know, it’s just like clicking on banners, only a percentage. You’re gonna click on a banner. So I, you know, if you can get 10% of your audience to convert, to paid and build an audience that could be significant ongoing revenue every month. Yeah. But I think, again, it’s a economy of scale. You have to build an audience to be big enough to be able to, I think it’s a combination of both is good, you know, and I have played with that model before and for my show, it didn’t work. So I have a purely a, you know, an ad driven plus if you feel like it throw me a, you know, throw me a cup of coffee type of thing within the show, but it’s a, I think it’s really up to the podcaster, what they wanna try.

Todd Cochrane (20:04): But again, I think for the premium to pay a premium with no ads, I think there’s several models that would probably work better. Number one, if you’re part of a network yeah. And the network does it, and you get a share of that revenue from the network based upon your volume, that could be a potential or number two, again, you decide it’s worth your time to put that out. That separate show. Cuz it’s what you gotta do. Also if you’re on PayPal or not PayPal, if you’re on Patreon and you put it on some type of reward, that’s maybe an extra episode for a contribution every month, what happens if only five people contribute, then you’re locked in to doing work. Yeah. Yeah. So I think it’s a lot easier to produce a second show without an ad, but then again, you may have to pay for a service, the managing of it to have people be able access that. So I, it’s a way of time and money I think.

John Jantsch (20:54): Yeah. So anything coming for Blubrry that, that you wanna talk about that, that people may not know about yet?

Todd Cochrane (21:01): Well, you know, we just spent two years completely rebuilding the platform. Yeah. And it was getting along in the tooth. So we spent the time during COVID and uh, to really put spit and Polish on it and knock the walls down. And we’ve added some stuff to our stats that are really knocking peoples socks off and one’s called a retention graph or giving them information about when people are dropping out, when they’re actively listening to the show. It’s been huge so far. Yeah. That to the bigger pieces, what we’re really focused on is helping shows grow. It’s the thing I keep hearing day in and day out from podcasters is how do I grow? How do I grow? So my team is focused on providing data and analysis stuff that they can look at at a glance that says, okay, here’s where I’m slipping or here’s where I’m doing well.

Todd Cochrane (21:43): Or this episode did good and why, or this episode had a drop off and you know what happened there. So we’re trying to get folks info that they can easily look at without having to be a PhD and data analytics to figure out what’s going on. So that’s kind of our goal is to help podcasters grow, cuz be honest with you, that’s the end game, you know, as well as I do a growing an audience can be a challenge. And it’s oftentimes the grind of doing it for a long time. That’s right. People are not that patient anymore, you know, and they want quick results, but it’s still, you have to, you know, sit in front of the mic and do show after show on a regular basis to really build that big audience. If you’re an Oprah, you know, you come with an audience, but if you’re, you know, you may be authority in your town or your city, but maybe you’re not in the next state. So it’s one of those things where you just have to build.

John Jantsch (22:35): So I’m gonna give you the opportunity to once again, spell Blubrry cuz I bet you’ve done it 6 billion times with that little, with that little quirk.

Todd Cochrane (22:47): Yeah. It’s easy. It’s Blubrry without the E’s cuz we couldn’t afford the E’s so if you wanna spell blueberry the way you normally would spell a blueberry, you just drop the E’s @ blubrry.com.

John Jantsch (23:00): Awesome. Well Todd, it was great having you stop by the, uh, the duct tape marketing podcast in terms of podcasts. You’re certainly the podcasting industry. You’re a legend in the industry. So it was really great getting to spend some time with you and have you drop by the show and hopefully we’ll run into each other one of these days out there on the road.

Todd Cochrane (23:17): Absolutely appreciate it. And congratulations for your 17 years. That’s an accomplishment in itself as well.

John Jantsch (23:23): Well, thanks so much.

Todd Cochrane (23:25): Thank you, sir.

John Jantsch (23:25): Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not.com.co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketing ssessment.co I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network and Drip.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

 

Did you know there’s an automated marketing platform that’s 100% designed for your online business? It’s called Drip, and it’s got all the data insights, segmentation savvy, and email and SMS marketing tools you need to connect with customers on a human level, make boatloads of sales, and grow with gusto. Try Drip free for 14 days (no credit card required), and start turning emails into earnings and SMS sends into cha-chings.

Why Strategy Before Tactics Is So Important

Why Strategy Before Tactics Is So Important written by Sara Nay read more at Duct Tape Marketing

About the show:

The Agency Spark Podcast, hosted by Sara Nay, is a collection of short-form interviews from thought leaders in the marketing consultancy and agency space. Each episode focuses on a single topic with actionable insights you can apply today. Check out the new Spark Lab Consulting website here!

About this episode:

In this episode of the Agency Spark Podcast, Sara talks with Alison Ver Halen on why strategy before tactics is so important.

Alison Ver Halen is a content marketer and SEO strategist who loves telling your story and coming up with a strategy to get it in front of your ideal clients so you can make magic together. Alison is the president of AV Writing Services. AV specializes in helping their clients improve their brand authority and online visibility using a combination of engaging content and tried-and-true SEO techniques.

More from Alison Ver Halen:

  • Alison’s LinkedIn
  • AV Writing Services Website
  • Content Marketing Made Easy Book
  • Download Free Marketing Workbook Here

 

 

This episode of the Agency Spark Podcast is brought to you by Monday.com, a powerful project management platform. Monday.com helps teams easily build, run, and scale their dream workflows on one platform.  I personally am a user and big fan of Monday.com – I start my workday pulling up the platform and spend my day working within it for everything from task management to running client engagements. Learn more about Monday.com at ducttape.me/monday

Weekend Favs June 11

Weekend Favs June 11 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but I encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Switchboard App – This is a remote collaboration and virtual meeting room tool made for the remote work era. With features like shared workspaces, cloud browsing, and meeting memory your team can be more productive and feel more connected.
  • Virtual Event Plan – For anyone that plans or oversees virtual events this article by Mike Allton is a must-read. He offers some of the best advice for putting together an effective and successful virtual event plan.
  • 103 Bits of Advice – “When you lead, your real job is to create more leaders, not more followers.” This is just one of the 103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known When I Was Young listicle on The Technium. An easy and fun ready for your Saturday morning. 

These are my weekend favs; I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

If you want to check out more Weekend Favs you can find them here.

How To Harness Your Unfair Advantage

How To Harness Your Unfair Advantage written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba. They both are award-winning authors and entrepreneurs. Despite not going to university, Ash became a serial tech founder and the first marketing director of a unicorn startup – Just Eat). Hasan built a successful startup from his bedroom with nothing more than an online course and a yearning to escape the ‘rat race’. They are now international bestselling authors, coaches, and keynote speakers. Their latest book is – The Unfair Advantage: How You Already Have What It Takes to Succeed.

Key Takeaway:

Behind every story of success is an unfair advantage. Your unfair advantage is the element that gives you an edge over your competition. In this episode, I talk with Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba about how to identify your own unfair advantages and apply them to any project in your life. We talk about how to look at yourself and find the ingredients you didn’t realize you already had, to succeed in the cut-throat world of business.

Questions I ask Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba:

  • [1:44] The book starts out with the premise — life is fundamentally unfair.  Could you break that idea down?
  • [3:37] What you would call an unfair advantage that people tend to recognize?
  • [6:46] Would you characterize this book as a business book or a self-help book?
  • [9:43] What are some of the places that are less obvious unfair advantages that people don’t even realize they have?
  • [11:41] Some people are purely lucky, but I would say a lot of entrepreneurs have come to the realization that they make their own luck, and that’s something that is earned as opposed to something that’s an unfair advantage. How would you respond to that notion?
  • [13:52] What are your unfair advantages?
  • [19:13] What do you say to that person that feels that they don’t have an unfair advantage?
  • [22:57] Where can people find out more of the work that you’re doing and grab a copy of the book?

More About Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by Ben Shapiro and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network with episodes you can listen to in under 30 minutes, the MarTech podcast shares stories from world class marketers who use technology to generate growth and achieve business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben’s a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI, and automation. Download the MarTech podcast wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:50): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jan and my guest today is Ash Ali and Hassan. Kuba gonna, I have two guests today. They’re award-winning authors and entrepreneurs, and despite not going to university, Ash became a serial tech founder and the first marketing director of the unicorn startup just eat Hassan built a successful startup from his bedroom with nothing more than an online course and a yearning to escape the rat race. They’re now international bestselling authors, coaches and keynote speakers. And we’re gonna talk about their latest book, the unfair advantage, how you already have what it takes to succeed. So Ash and Hasan. Welcome.

Hasan Kuba (01:34): Hello. Thank you. Thanks for having us. Hi.

John Jantsch (01:37): Awesome. So the book starts out with this premise and we could probably do the whole show without me asking another question, but here it is, life is fundamentally unfair. Who wants to take that doop of hope?

Hasan Kuba (01:50): I’ll take it. I’ll take it going. So life is unfair. Yeah, that is the under underlying principle behind cuz that life is not fair. And sometimes when you get into self-development like I did and still, I still enjoy a bit of self-development Mo you know, you learned that, you know, what you got in life is what you deserved. You know, you built the life that you’re living now, you designed it. Your decisions led to the moment you’re in now and all these kinds of quotes and beliefs and mental models to make you take responsibility for your life, which is a very useful tool, but it’s limited because it’s not actually that accurate. So one of the ways to look at well, when we talk about this in the book is it’s, it’s all about mental models. So there’s one extreme, which is to think that all success is based on hard work and, you know, merit.

Hasan Kuba (02:37): And the other extreme is to think it’s all luck and unearned. And the reality is squarely in the middle, right? There’s a lot of serendipity in life. There’s a lot of luck of births and genetic lotteries. And there’s a lot of things that just happened because you were in the right place at the right time. Yeah. But at the same time, you can, you know, stack the deck in your favor. You can make the right decisions. You can be consistent in how you think and how you behave and the decisions you make to lead towards success. So it’s a mixture of both. Life is unfair and ultimately, you know, we’re so lucky and we should all be so grateful for everything that we have going for us. And at the same time, we can also exert our own agency on the world. We can also take best on responsibility. We can also take control of our lives to an extent

John Jantsch (03:21): Yeah. Cuz it, it is interesting. I mean, we all know people have had everything handed to them, all the funding, all the backing, all the mentors, all the, you know, whatever. And they’ve still found a way to piss it away. Haven’t they . So it really is kind of that combination.

Hasan Kuba (03:35): Exactly.

John Jantsch (03:37): So, so let’s maybe start out by defining, um, what an unfair, maybe some examples of what you would call an unfair advantage that people tend to recognize.

Ash Ali (03:49): Yeah. So I mean, an unfair advantage is something that’s unique to you based on your circumstances and also based on your background and who you are as an individual. There’s so many books out there that talk about strengths. But what we do is talk about your strength, but also about yourself as an individual, as a unique person. So we talk about, you know, life is unfair and it’s not a level playing field, but sometimes when life is unfair and it’s not a level playing field, some people can grow up with a victim mindset and a victim type of thinking, say, I didn’t have this, I didn’t have that. But actually what we say in the book is actually, how do you turn that around? How do you make that stuff that you, you felt was unfair growing up in poverty or growing up in an area that wasn’t great.

Ash Ali (04:29): How can you turn that around and make it part of your authentic story and use it to an advantage? So an example for me would be, I grew up with little money and when I start companies now, and I know a lot of listeners are listening here who will run small businesses when you don’t have a huge amount of money for marketing budgets, for example, I’m the perfect person to come in and work with you because I know how to be resourceful cause I had no money. Right. So my mindset is always based around being resourceful. That’s just an example of something that you could use, uh,

John Jantsch (04:56): Straight. But again, I, you know, to the flip side of that, I guess we all know people who had everything and should have made it, you know, there, we, we all probably know at least somebody, or at least you’ve read their story of somebody that sh never should have you know, like you said, they didn’t have the education, they didn’t have the backing, they didn’t have the money. They didn’t really have seemingly you know, didn’t seem that smart, you know, mm-hmm but you know, they’ve, they’ve made themselves successful the way we defined that. So, you know, what are, you know, I guess to Hasan’s original point, it’s kind of somewhere in the middle, isn’t it?

Ash Ali (05:30): It is somewhere in the middle. It’s interesting because you know, like I’ve got a daughter now who’s growing up in privilege and I look at her and I look at my life and think, okay, you know, does she have the fire in the belly? And what can we do to help her have the same mentality of working hard and trying to achieve things in life? And one of the things I found was that interestingly is that constraint does kind of foster creativity. And if you just live, give everything to your children, for example, straight away, then they’re not gonna, um, uh, feel grateful for it straight away. And unless they’ve worked for it. So con sometimes having constraints, uh, does make you more resourceful, more creative. And that’s just an example of something. We live in an abundant world now where everything is available quickly, you can audio takeaway quickly, you can order your cab quickly. And, you know, they’re growing up in a different environment compared to us where we had to wait for something, but we had to have some patience around something. So it’s understanding what constraint is and how to manage that, I suppose.

John Jantsch (06:27): Yeah. I, I, of course it’s so cliche now, but you know, I like to tell even 30 year olds, you know, about, uh, dialup, um, internet and, uh, yeah. Things of that nature. Can you, you imagine that now, you know, it might take 10 minutes and we had to take turns who could use it right. Only one person could be on at a time and pretty crazy. So I think what would you classify or would you characterize this book as a business book or a self-help book?

Hasan Kuba (06:53): Yeah. Good question. It really is in the middle because what we’ve done with our book is we’ve. So the origin of the book let’s get into the origin. We did this book because we were getting pitched by loads of startup for funding. And it was just like shock tank, essentially. That’d come in and, and pitch us. And we thought, what is the difference that makes the difference here? You know, when we confirm we ourselves, we’re like, what is it with some people that we’re like, you know, even if we didn’t believe in them, they’re not gonna close out their funding ground. Nobody else is gonna believe in them. And they’re gonna really struggle here. And what is that difference? And we started thinking about this and really diving into it. And we decided to write this down. This idea of the unfair advantage is essentially a sustainable competitive advantage for a big business.

Hasan Kuba (07:35): It’s kind of the type of thing Warren buffet talks about in value investing. You want a business that has the economic modes, the defense ability that it’s gonna sustain. And it’s the same thing for individuals because at that early stage of a business, when you don’t yet have a product, even sometimes when you don’t yet have, um, customers, you don’t yet have traction in sales, how are you gonna judge it? Well, you’re gonna judge it by the team, by the co-founders. And when you’re judging it by the co-founders that’s when you have to try and decide, okay, what have they got going for themselves? What do they have? That’s gonna allow them to push through, do they have a track record? Do they have something that gives you the idea that they’ll be able to get into this? Do they have the unfair advantages? Yeah.

Hasan Kuba (08:15): And essentially that was the idea behind the book. And that’s what made us think about like how we can help people to gain that kind of self awareness. Yeah. To know what kind of business to go for, to know what kind of strategy to go for. Should you raise funding? Should you bootstrap? Who should you partner with? These are the kind of decisions we wanted to help people with at that early stage. So we’re just bringing it back to the individual. So that’s why it’s in between a business book and a self development. Cause it’s about the early stages of a startup. Yeah.

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John Jantsch (09:27): So I think there are some unfair advantages that, that are pretty obvious that people could identify. But if I’m out there listening, you know, what are some of the, what are just some of the places that you go looking? I know you have a framework, you call the miles framework so we can kind of go, you know, letter by letter for the acronym. Uh, but, but what are some of the places maybe that are less obvious that you’ve said, Hey, you know, these are unfair advantages that people don’t even realize they have.

Ash Ali (09:53): Yeah. So the miles framework is, uh, it stands for money, intelligence, location, and luck, education, and expertise and status. And it sits on top of mindset. And we talked earlier about why it’s important for people to understand their unfair advantage in the context of business, because business is all about people. And most investors invest in small startups and early stage startups because of the people not because of the idea itself, it’s the founders themselves. Yeah. And so if you can identify your unfair advantages and then amplify those in your pitch, in your message to hiring people to your cus or getting customers, it will help you get your early traction, which is what starts a business. So coming back to the miles framework, it’s about understanding within each one of those miles frameworks in each one of those acronym letters, what you have, that’s going for you.

Ash Ali (10:42): Right? And one of the big ones is insight. For example, when you’re starting a company, right? If you have insight into something that nobody else has, and you are starting a business around, that’s a very powerful, unfair advantage. And there’s so many case studies in our book around that, um, about specific insights around that another one is being in the right place at the right time, right. The location. And look, you know, if, can you find the right co-founder, can you find the right, um, uh, customers who are close to you potentially who can, who can become customers straight away status is another one, you know, your network. And here, you know, when you are starting a business, if you know how to raise money quickly, and you have a network, that’s an unfair advantage. And if you need to go out to the market to raise money from ground zero and have nobody, no network, it’s much harder to do much harder to do. Right. And we know how that’s, how investment generally works. So there’s lots of little examples in different places for different types of projects or businesses. It depends where you wanna apply the framework itself, whether it’s a project, whether it’s your career, whether it’s a business itself.

John Jantsch (11:41): Yeah. Let me, I wanna come back to insight in a minute and have you share some examples, uh, to, to help clarify that one, but let’s talk about luck. Some people, some, some people are purely lucky. I mean, they run into luck in your right place, right time, like you said, but I would say a lot of entrepreneurs have come to the realization that they make their own luck and that, that that’s almost something that’s earned as opposed to something that’s an unfair advantage. How would you respond to that? A notion?

Hasan Kuba (12:09): I, I totally believe in making your own luck as well. So we talk about luck and we talk about the fact that it’s overlooked and luck exists. Hey, luck does exist. Talent does exist. You know, that all these books has become trendy to say, there’s no such thing as talent, just work super hard and get the 10,000 hours in. And, and that will be that’s enough. These things exist tiger woods, or was like, could swing a, could swing a golf, could swing a club before he could walk. Like, these are the kinds of things that, that is, is like pure talent. Oprah Winfrey was like giving speeches to whole congregations at church when she was three years old making. So these things exist, but making your luck also definitely exists. Yeah. We talk in the book about how you can actually increase your luck. There have been some psychologists who’ve studied the phenomenon of people who think of themselves as lucky versus people who don’t and how the fact that they think of themselves as lucky just makes them more proactive, makes them more observant to opportunities that come up and it’s been literally proven in studies.

Hasan Kuba (13:06): So it’s quite interesting that you can make your own luck. We say, put yourself out there more. Yeah. Increase your surface area to luck and maybe more lucky things will happen. So it’s essentially like rolling the dice. Just keep rolling it. No, one’s counting how many you’re throwing the dice. How many times you’re throwing the dice. If you keep rolling, you’re more likely to roll the double six.

John Jantsch (13:23): Yeah. I actually, I started my blog in 2003 that I talk about being in the right place at the right time. That was luck to spot that technology. But also it, you know, it led to my first book four years later, but that point I had also written a thousand blog posts. So , you know, I always talk about really, that was a lucky decision on my part to go that route. But then I, I do think, you know, you, you have to, you, you can also then turn that luck into something that is very fruitful.

Ash Ali (13:50): Yeah,

Hasan Kuba (13:51): Absolutely.

John Jantsch (13:52): So what’s your unfair advantages. Yeah. I’ll let you both answer that one. Go on. Cause I, for example, as you mentioned, you didn’t go to college, so we’re,

Ash Ali (14:04): I’ll

John Jantsch (14:04): Stop the college degree from Oxford off the table, right.

Ash Ali (14:07): yeah. That is, that can be an unfair advantage if you know how to use it. Some people don’t know how to use that as well. You know, we see people coming to us and like, oh yeah, I went to caught Oxford in Cambridge or wherever, and it’s just pass a it’s normal for them. But actually that could be an unfair advantage if you know how to use it properly, an unfair advantage. You know, there’s several different things with strength. There can be double edged swords as we call them. Right. So having something and not having something. And we talk about constraint earlier on, I’ll go through it from my perspective, which is kind of like the double edged sword version of it and how someone will go through it from his perspective. So from my perspective, I had no money growing up. So now when I’m building startups, I’m really shrewd and very lean and I can build things very quickly and I’m very resourceful.

Ash Ali (14:47): And, and actually what it does has done to me has made me more creative. So one of my high skills is creativity, um, intelligence, um, and insight. I have lots of insights with businesses because I’m doing things all the time. I’m always taking action. So I’m seeing opportunities and getting insights and different things and intelligence, there’s different types of intelligence. You know, a lot of people said to me, Ash, you’re really cool. You’re the glue amongst your friends. So I’m good at bringing people together and doing things together, which is cool. And I like to be, I don’t like to be the smartest person in the room. You know, I’d rather not be the most intelligent person in the room, but I can learn from other people quickly. So as well as that’s the, the eye side location and luck, you know, I was born in Birmingham, which is like the second biggest city in the UK and automotive retail industry kind of community.

Ash Ali (15:27): And the tech industry was booming in London. So I moved to London at the age of 19. If I didn’t move, I wouldn’t have had the same opportunities. Wouldn’t have been able to join companies like just eat and do the IPO and luck the IPO, you know, how many companies, IPO for and view between it once again. And there’s the luck factor behind that and the right timing of that. And then seeing how that would work out, education excluded. I didn’t go to university, so I didn’t feel entitled, you know? So that’s what made, that’s why I kind of did everything in anything. And I built my expertise up in deal to market. So I was, and the time when everyone wanted to know how to do SEO and online marketing, I was there. And in status, you know, like a, you know, and your role ATEX of contacts, you know, like, I didn’t know many people, but now I know lots of people. So if I need to do anything now, for example, I can open my black book of contacts, LinkedIn network connections, and make things happen because of my status of having connections that I’ve built up over time. Yeah. So that’s become an unfair advantage.

John Jantsch (16:17): What’s interesting, as you said, you know, the degree from a prestigious school used to really mean a lot. It feels like in the, particularly in the entrepreneurial space, it’s more about what were you doing for your summer job? , you know, than what degree you got or your side hustle or whatever. It seems to actually hold more weight than, than, you know, college. And I think a lot of it’s because people realize college is great for making connections, what they teach in a lot of like a marketing course in college will have very little application to what it’s like to market in the real world. And so that, you know, that education, the actual learning classroom education is probably not that valuable.

Ash Ali (16:56): Yeah. I mean, if you want to learn,

John Jantsch (16:57): So, so Hassan, how

Ash Ali (16:59): Then the fastest way to learn is reading blogs like yours, John. And if you wanna learn about marketing, you can learn a lot more from reading blogs and marketing books can get old very quickly. Right? What happened, you know, some time ago, timing wise might not work now. So it’s keeping fresh and, uh, up to date with knowledge, I think that’s really important. And we talk about this in a book about this there’s three aspects of university, but I’ll let, has Sam talk about a miles favorite from his side and what his advantages are.

Hasan Kuba (17:25): Yeah, yeah. So, so for me, look, so it, it’s easier to simplify to what is your unfair advantage? Well, the reality is we’ll have a set of unfair advantages and a unique set of them. And that’s why Ash goes through so many well, you know, for Ash, I would definitely say his creativity is, is just one of the top things about him and the fact that he just gives things a go, he just goes for it. So for me, I would say that it’s my ability to learn really fast. So I think I have that kind of the intelligence where I pick things up fast and then I’m able to communicate them. So one thing that really helped me to get my initial clients and start to develop and get referrals is the ability to build rapport and build trust very quickly. So I think that’s partly just from my ability to absorb information and knowledge in a space that’s so new and like something, I was one of the main things I was doing was SEO.

Hasan Kuba (18:15): I was doing branding and website stuff, but SEO and getting people to the top of Google was, was huge. And so the fact that I was able to explain it to local businesses, built connections with them, build trust. I think that massively helped me. So that was huge for me. And then you can go further back and just say, listen, I was born in Baghdad, Iraq. And I came to the UK in London when I was three years old with my family to escape the war and all of that. So I, my unfair advantage is we moved to, to the UK when I was a baby. And I grew up here in London. If you imagine, if I’d come when I was 20 years old and I’d have the thickest accent and I’d have so much difficulty in terms of just how I come across the status side of it in terms of building rapport, building trust. So this is so lucky. So you can kind of go into the genetic lottery of it all you can go into where you grew up and what kind of schools you went to. You can go into your ability to skill, skill stack, and build your skills and expertise and learn things quickly. So I think that learning side is kind of the massive piece for me.

John Jantsch (19:13): So, so I suspect as you’ve both gone out there and maybe given talks on this or, or webinar done webinars on this that, that, you know, ultimately somebody comes to you and says, look, this is great, but I don’t have any unfair advantages. You know, what do you say to that person that that feels, especially since mindset really sits on top of this, what do you say to that person that, that has that mindset?

Hasan Kuba (19:38): So I would say that essentially this idea and ashes touched on this idea of double edged swords. What you think is a disadvantage. You can turn into an advantage and I’ll give you an easy one. So we have a few examples in the book of people who had a, kind of a classic disadvantage. So a classic disadvantage is a woman entrepreneur, right? So a woman founder, the example of Sarah Blakely, founder of spans mm-hmm . Now, if you think about it, what was her unfair advantage? Okay, well, it was tough. She had no idea about how to raise funding. Nobody would believe in her. She had no connections in that space, et cetera, but what did she have? She had an amazing insight into a problem based on her status as a woman, which is that this idea of like shape wear and, and spanks turned out to be spanks.

Hasan Kuba (20:24): She would cut off the feet off tights. Like, man, wouldn’t have come up with that. wouldn’t have had that insight the same with Tristan Walker. Who’s another example in the book, he’s a, he grew up in the projects in, I think he was the Bronx maybe, or if I’m remembering correctly, Queens actually Queens in New York and really poor. His dad was murdered when he was young, but Hey, he was smart. He got scholarships. He got into good schools. He spent a long time thinking about what his big idea is in the end. His insight was that black men need a different shaving system than other people do because they have more ingrown hairs. And so he developed this single blade, shaving system. He used different rappers who also from his location. So the rapper NAS grew up also in Queens and then he promoted his brand.

Hasan Kuba (21:09): And then eventually he was acquired by Proctor and gamble for 30 million. So it’s like, what seems like a disadvantage you can use to your advantage. If you grew up poor, then you have an insight into how poor people live. What, what needs they have, what mass market products you might be able to create, let’s say, or if you grew up as whatever, like you grew up from another country or you’re learning languages, or you’re, there’s all these different aspects to everything. So it’s all about your mindset. If you have a growth mindset and we call it, we talk about in the book, the growth, uh, the reality growth mindset, because we wanna root it in some real reality, then you can grow and you can turn what seems like a disadvantage into an advantage. And listen, if you’re listening to this podcast, if you’re able to read this book, you probably have a lot to be grateful for. So you just need to kind of do a sort of an audit and gratitude is one of the underlying themes of our book.

John Jantsch (21:59): Yeah. And it’s interesting too, because as we grow up, a lot of the things that drive our parents are teachers crazy, you know, ultimately come out as an advantage. You know, we were told they were a negative, for example, I, you know, I, my parents used to always joke about how curious I was and always getting into things because I had to teachers, same thing, you know, I was told for a long time that that was a problem that has served me extremely well in my professional life. And I think that’s, uh, sometimes we just have to overcome, you know, the, what, what society has told us is a negative don’t we?

Ash Ali (22:29): Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. When people focus on your weaknesses more than your strengths, that’s when you start to misunderstand really what your unfair advantage is because we’ve all got strengths. And what we, the idea of the premise for the book is to double down on your strengths rather than focus too much on your weaknesses and then plug those gaps where you can appropriately and understand that we work in teams and people is about businesses, about people. So it’s not just about you as an individual.

John Jantsch (22:55): Yeah. So, so Ash, uh, Hassan where tell people where they can find more of you more of the work you’re doing, and obviously grab a copy of the unfair advantage.

Hasan Kuba (23:05): Yeah. We’re all, all over social media. So I’m at startup Hassan. Uh, Hassan is spelled with one S and Ash is, is it Ash Ali, UK Ash, for most of your socials, you can find us. And our website is the unfair academy.com.

John Jantsch (23:20): Awesome. And the book is, will be available in, I don’t believe there’s an audio version. Is there, there,

Hasan Kuba (23:25): There is.

John Jantsch (23:26): Yeah, there is. Okay. So an audio and then, uh, in E ebook format, as well as, uh, hard cover and available, depending upon when you’re listening to this available, everywhere that you buy books.

Hasan Kuba (23:37): Yeah. It’s available now, cuz it’s at the time of recording, it’ll be released tomorrow. So it’ll be available by the time

John Jantsch (23:41): It comes up. And I should have mentioned this, but the book has been awarded. I don’t have it written here. Tell me the best business book in the UK in 2021 or something, you could do it better than I just did. Tell me, tell me what the award was.

Hasan Kuba (23:55): So, so we were surprised and happy to learn that we’d won our category of the startup category of the business book awards. Yeah. And then it was like 12 different categories and then it turned out we’d won the whole thing as well, over all the categories. So we’d won the business book of the year 2021. It was actually it’s based in the UK, but it’s an international award as well. The only country that the book hasn hasn’t come out yet until now is in the us and Canada in north America. So yeah, it’s done really well. It’s really popular on good reads. It’s on YouTube. It a lot viral videos on YouTubes took summarizing it. So if you want to check it out a bit further, you can see some summaries on YouTube. You read all the reviews it’s it’s doing it’s thankfully it’s spreading by word of mouth. Cause people are loving it. Yeah.

John Jantsch (24:39): Awesome. Well, thanks so much for stopping by the, the duct tape marketing podcast. And hopefully we’ll run into you both somewhere out there on the road.

Hasan Kuba (24:46): Thank you, Joe. Thank you, John. I’m big fans of duct tech marketing by the way.

John Jantsch (24:49): Appreciate that. Thanks so much. Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not.com.co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketing assessment.co I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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Top Trends For Marketing Agencies To Pay Attention To

Top Trends For Marketing Agencies To Pay Attention To written by Sara Nay read more at Duct Tape Marketing

About the show:

The Agency Spark Podcast, hosted by Sara Nay, is a collection of short-form interviews from thought leaders in the marketing consultancy and agency space. Each episode focuses on a single topic with actionable insights you can apply today. Check out the new Spark Lab Consulting website here!

About this episode:

In this crossover episode of the Agency Spark Podcast, Sara Nay, Lyn Wineman, and Brad Yale talk on the top trends for marketing agencies to pay attention to.

Sara Nay is the COO at Duct Tape Marketing, Founder of Spark Lab Consulting, and host of the Agency Spark Podcast. With 11+ years working in the small business space, it is her passion to install marketing and operating systems for small business owners so they can get more clarity and freedom in their lives. Outside of work, Sara tries to spend as much time as possible outdoors with her daughters and husband – from skiing to hiking to biking to camping. 

Lyn Wineman is the host of Agency For Change podcast and a marketing veteran with over 30 years of experience. Lyn is one of the most passionate and accomplished marketing leaders of her generation. Her award-winning work has helped a multitude of national, regional and local organizations achieve their goals. A visionary with heart, Lyn is focused on creating the ultimate work culture while serving clients who make a positive difference in the world. KidGlov has been recognized multiple times as one of Lincoln, Nebraska’s Best Places to Work and is currently in review for B Corp certification. Lyn and husband, Neil, live on a historic farm where they raise a small flock of peacocks. 

Brad Yale is VP, Director of digital content planning & data at Medical Knowledge Group and the host, producer and editor of Agency pod. Agency is a podcast that speaks with professionals all across the advertising agency world – agencies, brands, vendors – within all sectors – pharma, healthcare, consumer, technology, mass product – in the hope of understanding how we work together to improve the advertising agency business model. His goal is to constantly produce the highest level of searchable, shareable, branded content to move potential consumers into the sales channel by linking front end user behaviors with back end data base best practices.

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