Monthly Archives: March 2020

Building a Culture of Trust and Belonging

Building a Culture of Trust and Belonging written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Mike Robbins

Today on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I sit down with leadership expert, speaker, and author Mike Robbins.

Robbins started his career as a professional baseball player, and it’s his background in sports that originally piqued his interest in leadership and teamwork. Many of the elements that he saw influencing the success of sports teams also play a role in business.

Robbins works with numerous clients, including Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Airbnb to help their teams collaborate and grow together. He’s an expert in emotional intelligence who teaches leaders to become more vulnerable and authentic.

He’s also the author of five books including We’re All in This Together: Creating a Team Culture of High Performance, Trust, and Belonging, which we discuss in depth on today’s episode.

Questions I ask Mike Robbins:

  • How does We’re All in This Together look at the concepts of team and culture differently?
  • What is psychological safety?
  • How do you embrace sweaty-palmed conversations?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • What role our customers play in our company’s culture.
  • Why vulnerability is an important leadership quality.
  • What steps we can take to become a more well-rounded leader.

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Mike Robbins:

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

Zephyr logo

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

Zephyr is a modern, cloud-based CMS that’s licensed only to agencies. The system is lightweight, easy to use, and incredibly fast. And with an array of beautiful themes to choose from, you can get your clients’ websites up-and-running quickly and with less effort. Or, if you’d rather build a custom site, Zephyr includes agency services to be your plug-and-play dev shop.

Zephyr is passionate about helping agencies create great websites for their clients. To learn more, go to

How to Create a Brand Style Guide

How to Create a Brand Style Guide written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

When you’re starting your business, you spend a lot of time considering your brand. You want to find a name that fits just right and design a logo that represents the essence of who you are and what you do.

Once it’s out in the world, though, it’s tougher to protect that beautiful brand you’ve created. You want people to talk about your business, but what happens when they mispronounce your name? Or perhaps they post about your product on their blog, but change up your logo to match the color scheme on their website. Or maybe you sponsor an event, only to arrive on the day and find that your logo has been truncated on the signage the hosts created. These are the kinds of branding no-nos that make every marketer cringe.

So what can you do to ensure that your brand continues to be represented properly as your name spreads far and wide? That’s where a brand style guide comes in.

Brand style guides provide parameters for how anyone reproduces your brand’s name or image elsewhere. Here’s how to create a solid brand style guide that keeps your business looking professional and consistent out there in the big world.

Present How to Use Your Name

Some businesses have pretty straightforward names (Whole Foods, for example, is a tough one to mess up). But other brands have names that are a little less clear-cut. Some brands have created words for their name, while others have stylized ways they’d like their name represented.

When it comes to making sure your name is used correctly, it’s helpful to simply let people know how you’d like it used. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is to start with the story behind the name. What seems like a hard-to-remember brand name might become easier to get a handle on if your audience knows the why behind it.

Even if you don’t have the time or space to give your full story, there’s still an opportunity to educate the public on how to use your name. For example, Greek yogurt brand Fage includes the note “It’s pronounced FA-YEH” on all of their cartons of yogurt. While there’s not enough room on a little tin of yogurt to tell the whole story, they’re at least getting the basics of proper pronunciation out there.

It can also be helpful to address common misuses. This might be pronunciation-related, or it might be the way your name is stylized. For example, it’s Walmart, not WalMart or WalMART. This is a particular struggle for brands who have created their own name or use a combination of words as their name. It’s also relevant if your name incorporates a common phrase that itself is often misused (We’ve had some intrepid searchers over the years looking for Duck Tape Marketing online).

Simply by taking some time on your website and other online assets to give the backstory to your name and demonstrating consistently how you’d like it to be stylized, you can eliminate much of this confusion.

Explain How Your Logo Should Be Used

There’s a lot that goes into designing a logo. Selecting the right imagery, type face, color palette and more takes a lot of time. It’s also common for brands to create several approved versions of their logos. There’s the full logo that you use at the top of your website and in the banners on your social media profiles, but then you might have a smaller, modified logo that you use as the little round profile picture on your Twitter or Instagram profile.

But just because you have a few approved versions of your logo doesn’t mean that people are now free to get creative with your branding and do whatever they’d like. You need to outline how you’d like your logo to represent your brand. That way, your marketing team and anyone else who might use your logo to promote your brand knows what’s allowed and what’s not.

Define the Approved Colors

No matter how many versions of your logo you choose to create, it’s up to you to set the colors you’d like to be used.

Consider a brand like Target. Their bullseye logo is instantly recognizable in their signature red. But if it was yellow or blue, you’d be left scratching your head. They’ve set clear brand guidelines that their logo is to be produced with red logo on white background or white logo on red background, and not any other variation.

Other brands are more flexible with the color palette they use for their logo. The Nike swoosh, for instance, is one that we’ve seen in a variety of colors. They sometimes show it as a black swoosh on white background, sometimes vice versa. And other times it’s another color, like red. A brand like Nike can afford to be a little more flexible with their color palette, because their logo itself is so well-known. It doesn’t matter what color the swoosh is; consumers instantly know it’s Nike.

At Duct Tape Marketing, we settled on a palette with a variety of shades of blue, plus a complementary pop of orange. The black and white elements of our logo and accompanying design elements are not pure white or black—instead we opted for a grey-white called slate and a dark grey charcoal.

No matter what colors you choose for your brand, it is up to you to set approved colors. Make it clear that it’s only your logo if it appears in one of the colors you’ve outlined in your brand style guide.

Clarify Fonts

Fonts are another area where sometimes others try to get creative with your logo. However, as with your color palette, you selected your font for a reason. It conveys the proper attitude for your brand, and if someone’s going to reproduce your logo, they need to use the font you’ve set forth.

It’s not just about the font itself, it’s also important you dictate the size of the font, particularly as it relates to other design elements on the page or within the logo itself. Guaranteeing consistency in font size, placement, and style will make your logo more easily recognizable by consumers.

This is the font guide we’ve created for Duct Tape Marketing. As you can see, there are three different fonts that we use in a variety of styles, depending on the occasion. In our style guide, we clearly outline how to use each font, and how the elements should relate to each other on the page.

You Set the Mood

When you’re talking about the individual design elements that go into your logo, what you’re really dictating is the mood of your logo—its look and feel. Much has been written about the psychological influence of using certain colors. While there’s not a lot of scientific evidence about how colors influence our buying behaviors, it’s undeniable that was associate certain colors with particular emotions.

For example, someone starting a children’s toy company likely wouldn’t opt for a grey-scale logo. They’d want to pick “fun” colors. Something in bright orange or yellow would be more appropriate to connote the excitement children will feel when they engage with those products. The font might be something light and whimsical that bounces across the page.

On the flip side, a neon-bright logo would not be the first choice for a law firm. Lawyers want to convey their knowledge, expertise, and gravitas with their logo, so they might opt for something in a darker color palette and with a heavy, imposing serif font.

Establish Your Brand Voice

Once you’ve gotten clear on how you’d like your logo and name to be presented, you can broaden it out to talk more about your brand voice. This brand style guidance is most applicable for people who will be writing representing your brand. Whether that’s someone on your marketing or sales team, or an outside writer that you tap to help with your content, giving guidelines for your brand voice can help to maintain consistency across all of your messaging.

This is a great place to establish your brand’s personality traits. Do you want to be approachable and down-to-earth? Is the aim to appear authoritative and commanding? Of course, your brand’s personality will vary based on industry and area of focus.

It also pays to provide concrete examples for how you’d like this personality to be expressed. For example, is it okay for writers to use contractions in their communications, or would you prefer to keep things more formal? Are there specific words you’d like writers to either avoid or embrace? These granular guidelines can help keep everyone on the same page.

If there are words or phrases that are particular to your brand, it’s also a good idea to define how you’d like them referred to. For example, McDonald’s is clear on the name of their signature burger, the Big Mac. You don’t see them calling it the Big Mac on store signage and then referring to it as the Big McDonald’s on social media! Make sure that all of your branded words and phrases, not just your logo and business name, are set in stone and consistent across all marketing materials.

Include Supporting Visuals

When it comes to representing your brand, it’s not just about your logo. It’s about the kinds of visuals you use across your brand’s platforms and how they represent you as a business.

Set clear guidelines for those who might be creating images to accompany content for your brand. For example, if your brand relies heavily on cartoon images on your website, perhaps you’d like that same aesthetic mirrored across your social media channels. Maybe the images on your website all have a sepia-tone to them, and bright, hyper-edited photos would feel out of place in other representations of your brand online.

Whatever the case may be, clearly spell out what you expect to see when it comes to other visuals associated with your brand. It’s even nice to provide a gallery of approved images, so that people can either pull from that gallery directly or use it to inform their work as they select their own images.

Pulling together your brand style guide is a necessary part of ensuring that your business’s image remains consistent out there in the world.  You spent a lot of time thinking about how best to represent your identity, mission, and customers, and you want to be sure others adhere to the guidelines you’ve established.

If you’re looking for a helpful tool, Canva makes it easy for brands to create a kit with their established logos, colors, and fonts so that it’s easy to share with designers, writers, partners, and others who might be creating content for your brand.

How to Accelerate Your Marketing Consulting Business

How to Accelerate Your Marketing Consulting Business written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Free course teaches new and existing marketing consultants how to accelerate their growth and profit. – Enroll here –

Certain practices go into creating a highly profitable marketing consulting or coaching practice.

Most people focus on the doing part – Doing the work to get a client, any client, and then pivoting to the doing part of getting all the stuff done.

Those are essential elements to be sure, but more focus on building a practice in a systematic way – one that starts with defining your business strategy and launches quickly towards building systems to attract and serve your best clients is the ticket to long-term success.

We’ve created a free course that takes advantage of our thirty years of business building and working with and collaborating with hundreds of marketing consultants around the globe.

The course is video-based and broken into the four key practice areas below.

The marketing consulting model

There are countless ways to deliver your services ranging from pure coaching to full-on “done for you” implementation. The key is to choose the model that fits your strengths and experience.

How to generate more ideal clients

Well, as most know, leads and clients are what makes a business a business. The key is to attract “ideal clients” rather than merely landing work from anyone. There’s a precise methodology for doing just this.

Business building basics

Packaging, pricing, and proposing your services – this is the stuff that sidetracks and ultimately derails most consulting businesses. Get this part right, and you’ll find it much easier to sell and service your clients.

How to better serve your clients

To create an exceptional client experience, you must develop and operate a repeatable client service process. Every client is onboarded, oriented, and served in the same manner – not because it’s more efficient for you that way (although it can be) but because that’s how you get good at serving ideal clients, and that’s how you generate referrals!

We invite you to access our free marketing consultant accelerator course in hopes that it gives you a great roadmap should you just be starting out on your own or helps you refine an element of your already existing business for more profit and better client results.

There is no opt-in, but you do need to create a log-in to access the course –

Weekend Favs March 28

Weekend Favs March 28 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 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.

  • MarketMuse – Use AI to help you plan and write your content.
  • Air – Share images and videos with your team remotely.
  • Flat Icons – Access tens of thousands of customizable flat icons.

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

Finding Success and Whole-Life Wealth

Finding Success and Whole-Life Wealth written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Rock Thomas

Rock Thomas headshotOn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I visit with motivational speaker, best-selling author, and podcaster Rock Thomas.

After achieving great financial success himself, Thomas began to think about what true success really meant. He saw many others who had reached their financial dreams, but floundered in their personal relationships and let their health suffer as a result of their tireless focus on work.

He wanted to do something to inspire people to live their best, fullest lives in all respects—to find “whole-life wealth.” As a professional speaker, author, and founder of the M1 community, he helps people go from just thinking about success to living their fully-realized dreams.

Today on the podcast, we dive into the concept of whole-life wealth and Thomas shares more about what we can do to embrace an identity that allows us to achieve success, health, and happiness.

Questions I ask Rock Thomas:

  • What is whole-life wealth?
  • Can you unpack the idea of one’s identity?
  • What role does personal purpose play in our achievement?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Why rewriting stories we’ve told about ourselves is at the root of driving change.
  • How fear can muddle the clarity of our intentions.
  • Why creating a peer group to hold you accountable can help you flourish.

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Rock Thomas:

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

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

With more than 20 years of proven success helping more than one million small businesses around the world, AWeber’s powerfully simple email marketing solutions make it easy for you to connect with people and build your business.

AWeber empowers you to quickly and easily build lists of subscribers, send and automate emails and newsletters, and analyze your campaigns’ performance. AWeber’s solutions, along with their award-winning customer support, eliminate the complications that can come with email marketing. Go to for a free, 30-day trial.

Becoming Your Best Virtual You

Becoming Your Best Virtual You written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on Becoming Your Best Virtual You

Virtual and work from home is getting a lot of hype right now, for obvious reasons. I’ve been a big fan of virtual work for many years, and there are some tools I’ve come to love and rely on over the years. I’m going to talk about some of those tools that I think a lot of people have either underutilized or are coming to a new appreciation for right now.

Some of these tools you might begin to use out of necessity right now, but as you get to know them, you might discover that you enjoy them so much you’ll continue to rely on them once we’ve returned to business as usual.

I’m going to run down my list of go-to tools, give you some case studies, and share how I personally use those tools in my daily life as an entrepreneur.

1. One-to-One Video

A lot of people are relying on one-to-one video at present because we can’t meet in person, but one-to-one video is a great communication tool even when we do have flexibility with how we meet up and converse with others.

By one-to-one video, I mean a video that you record specifically for one individual. The greeting and message is personalized just for them. And I’ve found over the years that this technology has many applications, from sending internal messages to remote folks on my team to interacting with clients and prospects.

The first way I use one-to-one video is to provide clarification when I’m sending a message. Say I’m forwarding on a long document with lots of detailed information. I might send along a one-to-one video highlighting the most salient parts of the document to help direct the reader.

I also find it’s a helpful tool when you’re working with a distributed team. For example, I work with a lot of web designers, and it’s quick and easy to record a video that shows minor edits that I’d like to see on a webpage they’ve already mocked up.

It’s also great for documenting processes. Using the screen capture tool allows you to walk someone through a process, if you’d like to give them a guided step-by-step walkthrough of what needs to be done in a given program.

It’s also a creative way to interact with clients or prospects. Instead of just sending a standard introductory email, which doesn’t stand out well or capture attention, use a personalized video to catch someone’s eye in an otherwise crowded inbox. It’s also a great way to send a thank you or to ask for a review from a happy customer.

The Tool: Loom

My go-to for one-to-one video is Loom. Even the free version of the platform has tons of functionality. You can film yourself, do a screen capture video, or create a video that shares your screen and shows you down in the corner.

Loom also makes the sharing process seamless. As soon as you’re done recording your message, you hit stop, it produces a link, and you drop that URL into an email. If you’ve integrated Loom with Gmail, it will embed the video directly into your email.

When someone gets the email, Gmail users don’t even need to leave their inbox; the video plays right within their inbox.

2. Video Meeting & Webinar Platform

When you’re working with a distributed team, it helps to have a way for you all to come together face-to-face. That’s where video meeting platforms come in. We use them for internal meetings, to talk with clients (to present ideas, brainstorm, or offer updates); we even use it for one-to-one sales calls.

Video is also a great tool for creating educational content and webinars. And some podcasters have started using video in their recording process. While they’ll only use the audio stream to produce the podcast, it’s helpful for them to be able to see their guest on the screen and makes the interview more natural and seamless.

The Tool: Zoom

The video meeting and webinar platform I’ve come to rely on is Zoom. What I love about Zoom is that there’s no software involved. No one needs to download anything to access the meeting; you simply forward a link and anyone can join from any device.

Zoom can be used for both webinars and meetings. The tool allows you to do a presentation (like a webinar) where everyone is an attendee and is muted. There’s a screen-sharing functionality, and you can incorporate features like chat, Q&A, and polls into your presentation.

Alternatively, you can use Zoom for meetings. Here, your team hops on the video and you can sit around and talk in much the same way you would if you were all around a conference table.

Of course, the one thing everyone must have to participate in a Zoom meeting is a way to connect. But it’s possible to do so via computer or phone. There’s an app for mobile devices, and people can even call in through a dial-in number, if that’s easier.

3. Live Streaming

Live streaming is becoming increasingly popular. And particularly during the current moment, where we’re not able to meet up in person, we’re seeing more personalities hopping onto Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn to connect with their audience.

I think live streaming is an incredible tool for building community and speaking to your fans, but I find it’s often over-utilized. I think the key to creating great live streaming content is to start by asking yourself “What is useful for my community, prospects, or clients at this time?” That’s the question that should be driving you as you devise your live programming.

All of the major social platforms allow you to go live from within their individual apps, but I prefer to use an external tool.

The Tool: StreamYard

My go-to for live streaming online has become StreamYard. I find the tool helpful for a number of reasons. First, it allows you to broadcast to multiple platforms simultaneously. Rather than having to decide between addressing your fans on Facebook or LinkedIn, with StreamYard, you can do both at the same time.

It also allows you to add branding onto your video. You can put your logo or any relevant promotional information in the bottom third of your video screen. You can also easily incorporate Q&A and chat into your video, making it easy to engage your audience while you’re live.

It’s also really easy to record and hang onto your sessions. While it’s possible to download things that go live on other social media platforms, they don’t make it simple for you to capture that content. StreamYard makes it seamless, and then you have access to the content for future use, should you decide you’d like to reuse it.

Finally, StreamYard allows you to schedule out the time when you’ll go live and includes a notification on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, or your streaming platform of choice. By notifying your audience of when you’re going live in advance, you create a built-in audience for your content and ensure that you’ll have people there to engage with—it helps you to create more of a live webinar experience.

4. Collaboration Software

For many folks who are used to sharing office space with their colleagues, the biggest hurdle to remote work is keeping everyone on the same page when it comes to advancing your projects and agendas. You need a unified communication tool and work space so that you can bring together all the emails, files, revisions, and to-do lists in one place. That way, everyone is always on the same page, and you always know right where to go to look for information.

There are tons of great collaboration suites out there, from Basecamp to Asana to Microsoft Teams.

The Tool: Slack

Our team loves Slack for collaboration and communication. When you’re used to working in an office, you can just pop down the hallway to ask your colleague a quick question. When you’re working from home, Slack is the next best thing.

It not only allows you to keep up a friendly and more relaxed chat environment, it also helps you to keep communications unified and to make sure all relevant parties hear announcements and are kept up-to-date on the latest company news. Rather than having to call around to each person individually, you can notify the appropriate Slack channel, and everyone who needs to receive your message gets it right away.

Is Virtual Me Here to Stay?

A lot of these tools have become necessities right now because of the coronavirus pandemic. People are using the tools in new ways. Some are conducting networking groups online rather than in person. Others have even set up co-working video sessions, where folks log on, go on mute, work individually, and occasionally come up for air to say a few casual words to each other.

We’re even seeing families adopt the technology for fun ways to stay connected virtually. I’ve seen scavenger hunts, science experiments, play dates, book clubs, and dance parties all occur on the web in these last few weeks of social distancing.

While some of these virtual ways of being will likely go away when life returns to normal (a virtual family game night will never replace the in-person hugs and warmth you’ll feel), I suspect some of these new ways of working will stick around.

For example, I host a number of weekend bootcamps throughout the year with our Consultant Network, and we’re planning to move them to virtual events. While there are some things you may lose in a virtual setting (the spontaneous conversation over lunch, say), in terms of cost and ability to include more people, virtual has got in-person beat every time.

Tips for a Better Experience

When it comes to connecting virtually, there are a few steps we can all take to make it a better experience for ourselves, our clients, our families, and anyone else we may be conversing with online.

First, audio is a big deal. There’s nothing more frustrating than listening to fuzzy audio that keeps going in and out. Particularly if you’re presenting to a group, it pays to invest in a nicer, USB condenser mic (like the Blue Yeti). These microphones pick up more depth and character in your voice, and they make you sound a lot more professional than the mic on your iPhone headphones.

Video matters, too. Rather than relying on the built-in camera that comes on your laptop, spend a little bit more on something like the Logitech C922 Pro. A nicer camera will give you higher video quality, with better light and clearer visuals.

Speaking of light, make sure that you have natural light on your face, if you can. Don’t have the light streaming in behind you, though, or you become a silhouette. If you don’t have natural light wherever you’re recording from, investing in a ring light can help your video look less dark and grainy.

Finally, do what you can to eliminate distractions. I know it can be difficult when you’re working from home and might have kids or pets running around in the background, but anything you can do to make your background as clean and seamless as possible is a major bonus for video calls and presentations.

I love the company Anyvoo; they create easily portable backdrops for video calls. You can get whatever you’d like printed on the canvas—your logo, a peaceful mountain scene—and you simply set the background up behind you whenever you have to take a video call. It’s on a stand, so it can be assembled anywhere and is taken down just as easily.

Many of us are adjusting to a new way of working that became a reality very suddenly over the past few weeks. I hope these tools make the transition a little easier for you, and that some of them become favorites that will continue to help you grow your business even after we return to normal life.

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

Klaviyo logo

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Klaviyo. If you’re looking to grow your business there is only one way: by building real, quality customer relationships. That’s where Klaviyo comes in.

Klaviyo helps you build meaningful relationships by listening and understanding cues from your customers, allowing you to easily turn that information into valuable marketing messages.

What’s their secret? Tune into Klaviyo’s Beyond Black Friday docu-series to find out and unlock marketing strategies you can use to keep momentum going year-round. Just head on over to

The 5 Steps to Writing Persuasive Copy

The 5 Steps to Writing Persuasive Copy written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Anik Singal

Anik Singal headshotToday on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I visit with Anik Singal. He is the founder of, a speaker, author, and expert in digital business and marketing.

Singal is passionate about helping fellow entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and achieve their biggest goals. That’s why he created, a platform filled with tools, trainings, and resources for entrepreneurs of all stripes. Over the years, he’s taught his methods to over 250,000 students around the world.

While his expertise is broad, today he stops by the podcast to discuss his 5-step copywriting formula. We all struggle to create compelling messaging that doesn’t feel forced or “salesy.” Using Singal’s formula, you can talk to your prospects on a more personal level, whether that’s in the form of copy on your website, in an ad, or in a one-to-one sales discussion about your product or service.

Questions I ask Anik Singal:

  • What are the psychological aspects that go into persuading someone with marketing copy?
  • What is the purpose of content?
  • How does the transition work?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • What the concept of interactive marketing is, and why it matters.
  • Why it’s okay to make mistakes in digital marketing.
  • Why the pitch is never about getting the sale (and what it’s really about).

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Anik Singal:

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

Zephyr logo

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

Zephyr is a modern, cloud-based CMS that’s licensed only to agencies. The system is lightweight, easy to use, and incredibly fast. And with an array of beautiful themes to choose from, you can get your clients’ websites up-and-running quickly and with less effort. Or, if you’d rather build a custom site, Zephyr includes agency services to be your plug-and-play dev shop.

Zephyr is passionate about helping agencies create great websites for their clients. To learn more, go to