Monthly Archives: June 2024

How to Transform Client Acquisition with Creative Gifting Strategies

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

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch


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

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

Key Takeaways

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

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


Questions I ask Steve Gumm:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


More About Steve Gumm:


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

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steve Gumm (09:19): Awesome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

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

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

Key Takeaways

‘Splintering’ is the new ‘Repurposing’.

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

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

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

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


Questions I ask Atiba de Souza:

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

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

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

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

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

[10:00] What is an editorial calendar?

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

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

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



More About Atiba de Souza:


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

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Power of Verified Reviews: Why Agencies Thrive with Clutch

The Power of Verified Reviews: Why Agencies Thrive with Clutch written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Katie Hollar, the marketing lead at Clutch, a leading global marketplace for business service providers. Think of it as Yelp for marketing agencies. Her extensive experience in marketing leadership at Clutch have provided innovative tricks into how verified reviews can transform agency success and drive growth.

During our insightful conversation, we explored how Clutch connects buyers and sellers of business services and examined the importance of verified reviews in establishing trust and credibility in the B2B marketplace. In this episode, Katie Hollar shares compelling success stories and practical strategies for agencies to leverage reviews to attract ideal clients and enhance their reputation.


Key Takeaways

Katie Hollar emphasizes the critical role of verified reviews in the B2B service sector. She notes that comprehensive and in-depth reviews help agencies differentiate themselves and build trust with potential clients. With an average review on Clutch stretching around 500 words long, every review reveals detailed insights into the client experience, project deliverables, and outcomes.

She discusses the growing trend towards strategic marketing services and the increasing demand for agencies that offer more than just tactical solutions. Verified reviews play a crucial role in showcasing an agency’s ability to deliver strategic value, helping them move from being seen as mere vendors or trend-chasers to trusted advisors.

Moreover, she points out that responding to both positive and negative reviews is vital for agencies. Engaging with reviews demonstrates transparency and a commitment to client satisfaction, which can significantly influence prospective clients’ decision-making processes.

Katie Hollar’s insights underscore the power of verified reviews in shaping an agency’s success, highlighting that authenticity and detailed feedback are key to building a strong and credible online presence.

Questions I ask Katie Hollar:

[01:43] Give a little overview of what Clutch is

[03:40] What makes Clutch different?

[08:38] What are the most significant trends in this space currently?

[08:42] What kinds of buyer challenges are Agencies tasked with responding to?

[13:13] Has the demand for strategy made platforms like Clutch adapt or change?

[15:27] Do you have any case studies of agencies experiencing growth by using platforms like Clutch?

[17:34] What drew you to the Marketing world?

[19:05] Is there someplace you’d like people to connect with you find out more about your work?


More About Katie Hollar:


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

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


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

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

(01:03): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Katie Hollar. She leads the marketing team at Clutch, the leading global marketplace for business service providers since 2022. She focuses on building a multidisciplinary marketing team to drive growth for both buyers and vendors. Before Clutch, Katie was the CMO at Dwell Full, a prop tech startup and has over a decade of marketing leadership in the online B2B marketing marketplaces, I should say. So Katie, welcome to the show.

Katie Hollar (01:38): Hi, John. Thanks for having me.

John Jantsch (01:40): So we probably better clutch, we probably better give a little bit of overview of what Clutch is, maybe what your mission is in the agency space.

Katie Hollar (01:50): Absolutely. So Clutch is an online marketplace that helps connect buyers and sellers of business services. So we have over 1500 different specialized categories of services that folks might be coming to our site to look for a provider to help them with their business. Everything from accounting firms to digital marketing agencies, to web development companies all over the globe. And so we are a resource to help you read reviews, compare different providers, and ultimately select which one is going to be the best fit for your business.

John Jantsch (02:24): So is that an expansion of the original mission I recall was Clutch primarily focused in the marketing space.

Katie Hollar (02:31): Clutch started really focused on IT services and that was where it really built early foundation, but marketing was a fast follow. And so a lot of our traffic today, a lot of our service providers specialized in different digital marketing specialties. And today we’re going to talk a little bit about fractional CMO models, which is an increasingly popular type of service that we’re seeing demand for across the platform.

John Jantsch (02:56): So essentially you are, clutch is a review and matchmaking service. So would that be fair?

Katie Hollar (03:02): Yes,

John Jantsch (03:03): Yes. All right. So to help people say it is like Yelp for B2B businesses or something like that, but you probably don’t use that characterization.

Katie Hollar (03:16): Yelp is one that comes up a lot, TripAdvisors, Zillow, this whole category of online marketplaces that help bring buyers and together. And we’ve had over a decade of history of building up this wealth of content specifically around business services and how to find the right professional services for your project.

John Jantsch (03:36): I know there aren’t a ton of competitors in the space, but there are certainly other folks in it. If somebody was asking you how Clutch was different, I mean, how do you differentiate Clutch from kind of this growing space?

Katie Hollar (03:49): Yeah, great question. So I think in a few ways, one is we’re really focused on focused this services search and helping professionals such as yourself, such as myself, who need help finding the right agencies or firms for specific business project or need. And so all of our content has really been focused on how do we get in depth reviews is almost underselling, but really deep case studies and stories around the experiences that people have had with the different providers. So an average review on Clutch is almost 500 words long. We really go very in depth with folks on understanding what was the deliverables of the project, what was the timeline, what did you spend, what was the outcome, how did you measure the success? To give people a lot of contact on is this going to be the right business for me to partner with for this industry, for this stage of my growth for this particular need?

(04:49): And so we very much focus on the services buying. There’s other sites out there that focus on software and focus on other parts of B2B buying, but that’s been our core and it remains our continued focus is really how do we make sure that we’re connecting you to the right services. And I would say another way we’re differentiated from other sites you might go to might think of an Upwork or a Fiverr that’s helping you get freelance talent. We’re really more focused on the professional services firms when you want an agency of support, not an individual who’s going to help you with a one-off task, but a more robust retainer based or ongoing project where you need a team of folks or someone with just more experience and professional structure to help you with a certain outcome.

John Jantsch (05:41): So particularly since people, especially a buyer is coming there and they’re looking for a resource, they’re really counting on you to have vetted and gone through the process and that those reviews truly are a third party. What do you say to that person that’s like, oh, I don’t know if I can trust those. I mean, how do you safeguard those to make them true reviews? True case studies?

Katie Hollar (06:04): Yeah. We go through a pretty robust verification and validation process, and I think this is increasingly coming about as there’s more AI generated content. There’s lots being put online today that I think everyone is attuned to, Hey, where did this come from and how can I trust it? And so we’ve actually found the most successful way to get this review content. If you think about the types of folks who are typically procuring agency relationships, they’re typically pretty senior in their organization. They might be a founder owner for a small business as it grows, you’re probably a VP department level, pretty senior person who’s busy and doesn’t have a lot of time to go write this whole story around the agency they worked with and what they worked with them on. And so we found the best way to get that is to actually have a phone call with that individual.

(06:57): And we actually talk, we have teammates who talk directly to the buyers or the previous buyers and understand their client experience with the agency, ask them really specific follow-up questions. And so that’s been the most successful way to verify that this is a real experience and get that really helpful content to help create a very thorough verified. But of course, we accept online reviews as well and we check for work history and identifying the relationship between the service provider and the buyer. We do accept all reviews, positive or negative. So we often get the question, well, will you allow an agency to take down a negative review? We won’t. We want it to be really biased, helpful platform that gives you the full picture of all of the client experiences. And we encourage our providers to respond to those, right, perfect. There’s always a client that had a bad experience here or there and it wasn’t the right fit, but the best thing you can do is respond to that and give your side of the story and show how you’re moving on or learning from that experience.

John Jantsch (08:07): Yeah, I always tell people responding to negative reviews is not really so much a response to that person that wrote it. It’s to the public. How you respond is probably as important as what happened. Clutch has grown very large, so you have very large database, a lot of users and buyers, both sides. Do you ever spot or do you pay attention to trends in terms of what people are looking for, maybe even agencies? Obviously we deal mostly with marketing agencies, how they’re changing what they pitch even or what are you seeing is kind of the most significant trends currently?

Katie Hollar (08:42): Yeah, really great question. It’s one of the reasons I love working in a business model. This is we kind of get the inside look on what’s trending in a sense. And so we absolutely look at that from a marketing perspective. There’s been so much change I think in recent years, but particularly in the last year and a half, two years with refocusing on efficiency. I think so many markets really had to go to task with how do I do more with less funding has been harder to come by. I’m having to make tough calls around potentially laying off my team or how to work really lean and maximize profitability for my business. And so we’ve actually found through that more demand for agency services generally because when I’m being asked to make trade offs on, well, I can’t, I can’t build this skillset internally, but I need to still deliver.

(09:42): Growth agencies offer a model that allows you to scale that up and down and have more flexibility. So we’ve almost found in a way it’s a little bit recession proof. Of course people are more price sensitive. We’re seeing contracts have taken a little bit longer to come to fruition, but by and large, there’s still a lot of demand out there for different services. And I think one of the trends we’ve seen more recently in the marketing segments is that I think there was previously a lot of demand for very tactical performance marketing type things to do more of the tactical work for their business, like run my TPC campaigns on Google ads, what really do this very more tactical work in a specific channel or specific area of expertise. And we’re seeing more of a shift for demand for more strategic work. I need product marketing agency that’s going to help me position my brand. I need fractional CMO who’s going to help me figure out I reorg and structure this for growth in the future. So we’re seeing a shift, I think a lot more towards more strategic qualitative type marketing away from, not to say away from, but just a shift in that focus. And there’s still, we want a social media agency, we want that technical type of project work, but a lot more demand for some of these, I would say higher level type of project engagement.

John Jantsch (11:18): And I’ve certainly seen the same thing. And I think part of what’s driving that is I think a lot of people were unfortunately offering tactics alone and sometimes those tactics were disconnected. There’s a heck of a lot of pressure on price. I mean, there’s people selling website design for a hundred dollars, $200. So there’s a ton of pressure on just pricing tactics. And I think what we’re seeing is whether they’re agencies or just people hanging out of shingle calling themselves a fractional cmo, that they’re actually attracting a better client who is looking for strategy as opposed to a quick fix. And I think it also changes dramatically changes the relationship with a client. If you’re brought in to orchestrate all the parts, you really become, I think more of a trusted advisor. And I think getting out of the vendor status is probably a really good move. So I think it’s reaffirming that you’re seeing more demand for it from the buyer rather than it just being a trendy thing in the market that people have decided to offer. What are some of the challenges that, if buyers are asking for that, are you seeing challenges with agencies being able to respond to that or are you seeing the same thing where a lot of them are actually putting out strategic offerings or maybe going as far as calling themselves a fractional CMO or having that as a service?

Katie Hollar (12:38): I think it varies. And there are folks who have done a really great job of niching down and defining what they are best for. And I think those are the companies that see the most success on a platform like ours. And I think on most marketing channels, as you’re out advertising your agency services, it’s the more specific can be around who you are for, whether that’s a specific expertise or specific kind of strategic skillset that you bring a very specialized expertise. That is where we are seeing growing demand as buyers are getting really specific around the types of folks they want to hire for different things. And then we are seeing providers see more success when they are really specific around who they want to target. I think the companies that have struggled as priorities have shifted as budgets have shifted, are the ones who kind of were like, we offer anything and we just want to grow and we do all sorts of marketing, so we want to be across your entire site. We want to be P-P-C-S-E-O, digital marketing advertising. We can do it all. And I think it’s hard for those businesses to focus on where is the growth going to come from if they’re trying to spread themselves too thin and be all things for all potential clients.

John Jantsch (14:02): How has, or maybe you haven’t, has Clutch evolved, you’re seeing more demand for strategic, has that caused any kind of change in your platform or is it really just you’re observing the supply and demand changing?

Katie Hollar (14:18): I think we have continued to really think about how do we one, continue to do research and understand where the demand is. We get a majority of the folks who are coming to Clutch are finding us because they’re searching for a particular type of service. And so we are constantly out there looking at what are people searching for? What’s in the news? What are podcasts like your own talking about and what are we hearing so that we are ahead of that? Who are the agencies offering these services? And let’s make sure we have those represented. And then it’s around on the service provider side, coaching them on how do you make sure that you’re placed in the right places for what your business specialized in and does your actual website and your messaging and your pitch match who you’re trying to target. And that’s been a lot of the education there. So I wouldn’t say it’s kind of a constant state of change, but nothing kind of that function. It’s just we evolve as a market evolve.

John Jantsch (15:24): So I’m sure you have many, hopefully you can recall one. Do you have any case studies that you cite of agencies that clutches actually become a significant growth channel for them?

Katie Hollar (15:34): Yeah, actually it’s funny you ask that. We were just in a internal Slack channel hearing a story from a company that said we were literally on the verge of going out of business. We had no business coming in. Growth had really slowed and we were not sure we were going to be able to continue to make payroll and continue to keep this going. And they started a clutch campaign and they got two projects that they closed this morning that kind of kept the lights on for them. So we often hear those types of stories that I think one of the great things about professional services is we’re helping what tend to be pretty small businesses, maybe a entrepreneurship more often. It’s a handful of folks who come together to form an agency that one project can really make or break their trajectory for a lot of times in their big value projects.

(16:23): So yeah, I think we have a mix of client sizes and there’s that example that I just gave, but we also have folks who are global agencies with hundreds of employees and they have lots of Fortune 500 clients and years and years of experience. And obviously that’s a different type of relationship. But I think Clutch is still a really valuable part of their marketing mix because I think sites like Clutch not only help with the discovery as folks are looking for certain types of services, but it helps with that validation kind of throughout the buying cycle. Maybe you got a referral for this agency, they’re like, well, what kind of work have they done? Have they done any work in my industry? We see a lot of folks coming directly to the profiles of the providers listed on our site to read those reviews and say, well, sure, I got a referral from someone of my network, but they’re at a totally different type of business. Is this going to be the right fit for me? And so it still influences that relationship in that way because they’re validating and they’re doing due diligence around whether this is going to be the right fit.

John Jantsch (17:32): So one last question and more of a personal one. What drew you to the marketing world?

Katie Hollar (17:37): Oh, great question. I think I’ve always had this kind of right brain, left brain combination.

John Jantsch (17:45): It’s really a struggle. More than a combination though, isn’t it?

Katie Hollar (17:47): Yes, it’s a internal puzzle war, I would say, but my favorite subjects in school were math and English and art. So I, as I went through college and narrowed in on what I wanted to do was really draw on some marketing as kind of the intersection of all of those things and being able to use a strategic analytical mindset with a more creative outlet. So I really got into it. I went to the University of Virginia, studied business, and then was fortunate to work right out of school in a small social media agency, right when social media was just becoming a concept for businesses and learned a lot there. That agency actually went out of business within a year of me graduating. It was right around the great recession. And so that first experience I think gave me one, a little taste of the agency world and how leading it can be at times if client demand is not there and living through a similar period. I think a lot of agencies are experiencing now where it’s harder to get those consistent client relationships, but was fortunate to bounce back, landed in the B2B SaaS world and really grew my career in the SaaS industry.

John Jantsch (19:00): Awesome. Well, Katie, I appreciate you taking a few moments to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Is there somewhere you would invite people to connect with you and maybe find out more about the work at Clutch?

Katie Hollar (19:11): Yeah, absolutely. You can reach me on LinkedIn. It’s Katie Hollar and would love to connect with any fellow Duct tape listeners.

John Jantsch (19:18): Awesome. Well, again, I appreciate you stopping by and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

Gated vs.Ungated Content: What Works Best in Today’s Market?

Gated vs.Ungated Content: What Works Best in Today’s Market? written by Tosin Jerugba read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Jonathan Gandolf, the founder and CEO of The Juice, a B2B content platform aimed at solving marketers’ biggest pain points in distribution, reach, and audience engagement. Jonathan Gandolf’s career has spanned craft beer to digital marketing, leading to his current venture which is often described as the “Spotify for B2B content.”

During our insightful conversation, we delved into the ever-evolving landscape of content marketing, focusing on the contentious debate between gated and ungated content. He shared valuable insights from his extensive experience, providing actionable strategies for how businesses can effectively use content to engage their audience and drive conversions.

Key Takeaways

Jonathan Gandolf emphasizes that content must educate and entertain to build trust and engagement, noting that ungated content is 26% more engaging than gated content. He highlights AI’s role in enhancing content creation and distribution efficiencies, while also underscoring the irreplaceable value of human experience and wisdom. Although he sees strategic value in occasionally gating content to provide customized experiences, he advocates primarily for ungated content to attract genuine audience interaction.


Questions I ask Jonathan Gandolf:

[02:50] What’s the state of content today?

[04:33] Tell us about the impact of AI and content creation?

[07:54] What’s your take on the most effective way to distribute content?

[12:12] Where is generative search leading us?

[13:13] How do you approach attribution?

[15:52] Is there someplace you’d like people to connect with you find out more about your work?



More About Jonathan Gandolf:



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

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


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

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

(01:03): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Jonathan Gandolf. He’s the founder and CEO of the Juice, a B2B content platform on a career path that has wandered through digital marketing, craft beer, and content marketing. He and the team at the Juice are now solving marketers biggest pain points when it comes to distribution, reach, and audience engagement. So Jonathan, welcome to the show.

Jonathan Gandolf (01:30): John, thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

John Jantsch (01:33): So I don’t always start with this question, but I think in your case, I’d better start with if somebody came up and you said, so Jonathan, what do you do for a living? How would you describe what you do? Or more specifically maybe what the juice is?

Jonathan Gandolf (01:46): Yeah, at our core, we sell marketing to marketers, which is, I always try to tiptoe around the question of what do you do, but maybe a slightly longer explanation. Everything we do as consumers is curated for us, whether you’re looking for news, music, movies, home fashion, traveling, there’s a website that connects buyer and seller based on the buyer’s information or what they are interested in, or maybe it connects creator and consumer. I was a B2B marketer and I was just sitting here, man, we create a piece of content, we put it on our website, create a piece of content, put it on our website. It’s like, why are we all fighting each other to send traffic to our own website? Let’s get all of the content in one place and then let’s let software play matchmaker between the creator and consumer, buyer and seller. And so that’s what we’ve built. So long answer, probably long answer to a short question, but I try to say we’re like Spotify for B2B content,

John Jantsch (02:42): So you’ve always got to use the We’re like Airbnb, but for Exactly,

Jonathan Gandolf (02:46): Exactly.

John Jantsch (02:47): Very cliche

Jonathan Gandolf (02:48): To do that, but yeah, guilty of charged.

John Jantsch (02:50): So if somebody were to ask you, what’s the state of content today? I know that’s a giant question, but what are we going through? We had the point where content is king. No, no, no. Contest air. That’s what I mean. Again, when you talk about the biggest pain point of solving it, what’s the state of content today and we’ll into, we’ll have to get into AI and things like that, but just generally speaking, what’s the state

Jonathan Gandolf (03:15): Evolving, I would say would be the one word. I think how I sometimes summarize it up, HubSpot created inbound marketing movement around 20 10, 20 12, somewhere in there. And it was really novel when it first started to create a piece of content, drive inbound traffic, get information, and it worked really well, but it worked so well that everybody started doing it, and it feels like that’s ran its course now. And now different channels are emerging. I think different content formats are emerging as well as emerging technologies. So I just think it’s all changing very quickly, but I think the punchline is that good content, and I think I define that as content that educates or entertains still resonates and still works. How you deliver it might be changing how somebody consumes it might be changing, but good content still works.

John Jantsch (04:01): Yeah, I think unfortunately the message that a lot of people hear is, oh, I just need more. And I think that sort of goes against what you just stated, isn’t it?

Jonathan Gandolf (04:09): I totally agree. I think more for the sake of more, there’s a lot of people caught on that content hamster wheel. I call it create just because it’s status quo and I think that’s not the right motion to be stuck in.

John Jantsch (04:21): I’m only four minutes into the show and we’ll start talking about AI just because it has such impact. It has impact on many areas of business, but it clearly on content is a place that is impacted. How do you talk about the role of AI and content creation?

Jonathan Gandolf (04:35): There are so many different ways you can use it. I view it more as an operational efficiency as opposed to a creator, right? There are ways you can use it to create SEO content at scale. There are ways you can use it to create blogs at scale, but I view it more as an operational efficiency. I think you might be doing this, taking this podcast recording and turning it into a transcript and then atomizing that transcript into newsletter copy, ad copy, social copy, whatever, that kind of operational efficiency. I think there’s a ton of opportunity there, but I almost view that as that’s almost like as much a technology as it is a CMO technology, but that’s a operational activity. The one that I think goes under discussed or isn’t being discussed enough is how consumers, how marketing consumers of content are using ai. I think it’s going to have some search implications and we’re starting to see some of that come to life.

(05:30): I think the other thing is, and this is something we talk a lot about at the juice, is if somebody comes across a 20 page ebook, are they going to sit down and read that or are they going to drop that link into their favorite GPT and say, Hey, give me the five takeaways, give me the key insights from this, and so then does the type of content we should be producing that still is human created change altogether? I think there’s still some level setting to happen there on how consumers are using AI in their day-to-day.

John Jantsch (05:58): Yeah, I think that’s a really great point. So maybe the five key points I was going to write about are now on one page, right?

Jonathan Gandolf (06:05): Exactly. Yeah.

John Jantsch (06:07): So let me flip that. I asked about the role of ai. What’s the role of humans? Now,

Jonathan Gandolf (06:12): That’s a loaded question. I’ll share with you what I share with some of our customers. I always say share what I think your own knowledge, your own wisdom that you’ve gained over lived experience. I think sometimes we discount that as humans because it can’t be put in a spreadsheet. We’ll say, oh, I made that decision off of gut instinct and it’s got instinct, but it’s gut instinct derived from years of experiences and years of similar decisions that you’ve made. So I think that should carry just as much weight as sometimes what you can put in a spreadsheet. And I think taking that experience, that wisdom and knowledge and sharing it is always really good. As well as templates we see on our platform templates outperform any other type of content by a factor of about three x. So I think a lot of times people are, they want to learn from each other and the ability to share that knowledge is really powerful. And then the last one I’ll mention is proprietary data. That’s still the one thing that AI can’t replicate, at least not yet. If your platform or your product or your service creates this proprietary data set that you can look at and analyze and create unique insights that can’t be replicated. And so we’re always trying to coach customers on sharing content that has data in it like

John Jantsch (07:22): That, just don’t share it with the GPT.

Jonathan Gandolf (07:25): It’s true. Once that’s going to all get

John Jantsch (07:28): Aggregated,

Jonathan Gandolf (07:29): It’s going to be interesting to see. Yeah, we’re all going to learn.

John Jantsch (07:33): So one of the challenges I think for a lot of marketers today is that people are consuming content in there the way they want to, the journey. They want to go on the format they want to consume it in. And so it really makes, it’s almost like you can’t produce a piece of content. You have to produce a piece of content that is repackaged into 40 pieces of content or different formats at least. What’s your take on the most effective way to maybe do that, particularly when it comes to distribution, which is a big part of what you do?

Jonathan Gandolf (08:02): I would say great content doesn’t convert. If you’re creating content to convert, it is become very trendy to say great content converts. And I think if conversion is your goal with a piece of content, I think you’re going into it with the wrong intent. I say great content educates and entertains, and you’re right. So much of what is happening, how buyers buy right now is changing so much and so much of it happens in that dark funnel or in that dark social or just outside of your periphery that you just have to create quality content and then have an immense amount of trust in your team and your product to convert to them when they are ready to be converted. I think the days of pushing literally, maybe not literally, but figuratively pushing somebody through a pipeline or through a funnel with content, I think that’s an old school way to think about how buyers are interacting with content nowadays.

John Jantsch (08:56): Yeah, I don’t think the customer journey is very linear. That’s very darn sure. I always say that you talked about great content converts. What I always say is trust converts, and that’s really what great content does. Build

Jonathan Gandolf (09:08): Trust. I be stealing that one.

John Jantsch (09:09): You go for it. Let’s talk about for years it was so novel to actually make somebody opt in to get a piece of content, and we would do it by the millions. Now we see it when we test it that people will turn away from a form today. However, as marketers, there’s always that, but if I don’t capture the lead, I can’t continue to market it to them. Where do you fall on gated versus non?

Jonathan Gandolf (09:33): We published a 23 page ebook in the fall about gated versus ung gated content. So what’s interesting

John Jantsch (09:38): About Wait, did you have opt in for it or not?

Jonathan Gandolf (09:40): So that’s the punchline. That’s the punchline. I’m going to get there. I’ll get there. So the unique thing about our platform is you sign up for it once and everything’s gated. And we have what? We have resources that were originally gated or ungated on our platform. So it’s a level playing field, over 300,000 resources. We saw that ungated content actually is 26% more engaging than gated content. So we as marketers were making this decision to put what we thought was more engaging content behind a form, on a level playing field. It’s actually not the more engaging content, it is just content that we have arbitrarily decided to gate. And I think what’s happened, I mentioned this a little bit earlier, is when gated content is novel, it worked. I think it became so ubiquitous that now content consumers know what’s happening When they put their data in a form, they’re going to get a call, they’re going to get an email, they’re going to be in a drip.

(10:33): And I’ve done it, I’ve seen it in our own forms where you get things like Daffy Duck, James Bond, mark Zuckerberg filled out on the form, and then you end up passing that spreadsheet to the sales team. The sales team says this is low quality and it actually, it’s diminishing trust between sales and marketing. So we found the content that was ungated was actually more engaging. And I still think there’s a time and place to gate content if you’re adding value with that information. So if you’re getting something like job function and that allows you to pass along a piece of content to that person that’s specific to that job function, compensation reports are a great example of that. I think that’s a way to do it if it’s actually customizing their web experience on your website. So if you’re getting something about them that allows the rest of the experience to be custom, I think that’s good.

(11:22): But if you’re just getting the information and passing it to your sales team, I would not gate content. So we had this interesting, we were really proud of this report. It’s something we’re still really proud of, and we were like a week and a half out from launching it, and somebody on our team asked, wait, are we gating this? And we all just looked around the room, wait a second, are we gating this? We had spent all this time and energy on this report and we hadn’t even thought ourselves, and we said, the data says the ungated content’s more engaging, so it’s an ungated report and that’s where we fall on it. But I was actually really impressed by the nuance of the conversations we had with marketers on it, and I am more of the belief now that there is a time to gate content and a time to ungate content for us. We’ve made the decision to have most of our content.

John Jantsch (12:07): I don’t know if we can call this a bullet point or if this is a whole nother topic, where’s this evolving thing called generative search going to lead us if I never have to actually visit a piece of content? Does it exist?

Jonathan Gandolf (12:21): Yeah. What is it? I think it’s 67% of Google searches end without a click. Now, not an SEO expert, and I’m not an AI expert. What I’ve said is that the SEO game is changing. If I had limited resources as a marketer in terms of financial, I would not be increasing my investment in SEO right now. But the behavior of search from our consumers will never go away. They’re always going to be searching. I don’t know where or where the results they’re going to be getting or coding to come from three years from now, two years from now, one year from now. But the behavior of search isn’t going away. I would just be cautious about investing in the current model of search.

John Jantsch (13:00): Yeah, so one of the things that’s always been a challenge, like if you run an ad, somebody clicks on the ad and buys something, attribution’s pretty simple content. I went here, then I went here, then I went and got lunch, then I came back and did this. It’s like, how do you approach attribution, especially when we are trying to get through that ultimate conversion.

Jonathan Gandolf (13:19): I’m going to give a super unsophisticated answer here, but to me, and this wouldn’t have been my answer probably two years ago, but we’ve learned a lot of the juice. Just ask, I think set up the system so that you can have a good educated guess at where that should be attributed, but whether it’s in a form or whether it’s in a conversation or in an onboarding call, just ask and let them tell you. And it’s still going to be an exact, they might’ve seen a display ad that they don’t remember that led them to LinkedIn that led them to following somebody on your team. But self-reported attribution, I’ve become a really big fan of and just taking the time and asking,

John Jantsch (13:59): And with traditional marketers, this is a bit controversial, but I sometimes wonder if we’re trying too hard to get attribution when maybe it doesn’t matter if we’re doing all the right things, if we’re actually putting ourselves in the path of where we think people are going, do we actually have to know exactly how they got there? Because I think sometimes just what you said, if the first thing on the dropdown menu is a Google ad, most people are going to choose that. And does that actually lead us to making wrong decisions as opposed to saying, let’s cover the journey as thoroughly as we can in the best way we think we can and then hope it converts.

Jonathan Gandolf (14:39): I’m biased, but I think that’s part of the magic of marketing is that it is a gray science, and I think if you try to over-engineer the attribution too much to make it black and white, you’re going to end up with really boring results and boring outputs from that. I think, like you said, you have to have the trust that this blend of everything that you’re doing is going to give you the results that your team needs.

John Jantsch (15:02): So I’m a content marketer or an agency. Pitch me on what I would get if I came to the Juice and had you help me with my marketing.

Jonathan Gandolf (15:10): Absolutely. So the juice is going to sync with where you’re already publishing content. We don’t host your content, we’re just pulling in the metadata and then presenting it to our audience. We’ve got almost a hundred thousand sales and marketing leaders on our platform who’ve come to our platform because they’re looking for content, right? But they might not know your brand exists. They might not find it in search, but what we do is we play matchmaker between a high quality engaged audience and brands trying to reach that audience, and we’ve got insight into both sides, and then we just play matchmaker and we’re going to distribute your content for you that you’re already doing without changing your behavior. You’re going to get access to an engaged audience, and we’re going to play Matchmaker for you.

John Jantsch (15:48): Awesome. Jonathan, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Is there anywhere you’d invite people to find out more or connect with you?

Jonathan Gandolf (15:55): Sure. Reach out to me on LinkedIn and then you can visit our platform as a user and start receiving content recommendations. It’s free, it’s

John Jantsch (16:04): Awesome. Again, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by, and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

How Podcasting Can Transform Your Business: Lessons in Networking and Lead Generation

How Podcasting Can Transform Your Business: Lessons in Networking and Lead Generation written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Josh Elledge, a U.S. Navy veteran who launched to help agencies, consultants, coaches, and other high-ticket B2B service providers skyrocket their sales. He also started which has grossed more than $6 million in sales with zero paid ads. Josh Elledge is a keynote speaker, writes a syndicated newspaper column to 1.1 million readers, and regularly appears on more than 75 TV stations across the country. 

During our, dare I say Meta conversation, we uncovered the transformative power of podcasting for businesses, focusing on how it can be a game-changer for networking and lead generation. A long time of the duct tape marketing podcast and leader in the industry itself, Elledge loans his experience, providing actionable strategies for how small business owners can leverage podcasting to boost business growth and establish strong industry connections.


Key Takeaways

Josh Elledge emphasizes how podcasting makes an age-old powerful tool for networking and lead generation, highlighting the importance of interviewing industry leaders to build valuable relationships. He advises creating valuable, audience-centric content to attract and convert listeners into potential leads, stressing consistency and authenticity. Josh Elledge also shares strategies for monetizing podcasts, including sponsorships and affiliate marketing, tailored to your audience/consumers’ needs to ensure profitability while delivering value.


Questions I ask Josh Elledge:

[03:12] Tell us a bit about how you’ve taught people how to use podcasts to build their authority in whatever industry they’re in.

[09:33] How can you use podcasts as a tool for a desired business outcome without sacrificing authenticity?

[16:29] What are the biggest challenges to making podcasts work?

[19:46] How do you think podcasting and B2B sales will look in the next 5 years?

[23:02] Is there someplace you’d like people to connect with you find out more about your work?



More About Josh Elledge:


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

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


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

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

(01:05): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Josh Elledge. He’s a US Navy veteran, launched up my comm to help agencies, consultants, coaches, and other high ticket B2B service providers. Skyrocket their sales. He’s also got another, I don’t know, can we call this side project savings, which has grossed more than 6 million in sales with zero paid ads, and he is a keynote speaker, a syndicated newspaper column to 1.1 million readers and regularly appears on more than 75 TV stations across the country. So Josh, welcome to the show.

Josh (01:44): John, listen, I don’t want to embarrass you, but I just, you’re

John (01:47): Getting great too. You’re getting great at two. Here

Josh (01:48): I go. Here I go. I just want to start right up at the very top and just say, I’m fanboying a little bit right now because your longevity in this space has been just such a fixture for so many great business leaders, including myself. And I want to think particularly back in, I want to say 20 15, 20 16 timeframe. That is when I just really appreciated your voice because that was definitely a period of when I was kind of shifting from one identity to another. And not only just that you were there with a wealth of tactical information, but your integrity was the thing that was just so valuable for me because in a world where I heard a lot of what I would call broey marketing out there that did not resonate with me, yours was one of collaboration of serving in integrity. So I just want to say again, thank you so much for having me. This is great. And so thank you for fostering this conversation here.

John (02:48): Thank you. So there you heard it. Josh called me old on the show today. No, I appreciate that, Josh. Actually, we haven’t done away with the Broey marketing yet. It’s still out there, but we’re doing it one day at a time, aren’t we? Alright, so you have spent up my influence frankly, spends a lot of time helping. Well, it helped you build authority by podcasting, right? And essentially that’s what the business does today. So talk a little bit about how you’ve used and taught people how to use podcasts to build their authority in whatever industry they’re in.

Josh (03:22): Certainly. So it actually started with Savings Angel, my other company, which I launched back in January, 2007. I had no money for advertising, but somehow had convinced a lot of local media outlets to work with me where I would provide content, and it started a lot of radio. And so I was hand coding my own podcast, RSS feeds. I would record my radio segments and then I would just create MP threes, upload into my own server, update this text file. So I guess you could say I’ve been podcasting since 2007, which is quite some time. So I’ve definitely seen the evolution. And here’s John. One thing that I learned very quickly is that podcasting is a great platform for reaching and connecting and building audience. But I think that what most podcasters fail to realize and which most people who are considering starting a podcast don’t quite realize is that podcasts are the ultimate networking platform.

(04:22): And I dare say make friends button. And if you think about what a powerful tool or technology that is, I would just say to my friend who’s listening to our conversation right now, do not sleep on this. Because at the same time, this opportunity is out there in a world that is just dominated with amazing guests who want to connect these exact same people that are appearing as podcast guests and are paying PR firms to get seen on podcasts. And listen, it’s not a high bar to start a podcast. Those in guests are being inundated with spammy, broey, lead gen amateurs, and they hate it. I don’t like it. I don’t like being sold at, I don’t like being treated like a number and a piece of meat. But unfortunately a lot of the lead gen world, that’s how they treat people. They treat them like numbers and they treat them leads. What I found is that if you treat people with in the way that you’d want to be treated golden rule and you just lead with noble intent and generosity and leverage platform, you can build such an amazing network that will be the gift that gives and serves you for the rest of your life. It’s who not how. And your network is truly your network worth today.

John (05:45): So I want to go back to that idea of relationship building. I’ve told people, I actually started my podcast in 2005. I literally recorded them over a phone call with a device that plugged in to a digital recorder. So I love telling the old days stories, but my first book came out in 2007 and two of the primary people that blurbed it were Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki, everybody, pretty much household names in the marketing world these days. They didn’t know me from anything. I’d never written a book, but I had them on my show to talk about their books. That was the whole goal of it, promote their books. And so then it gave me sort of the permission to turn around and say, Hey, would you do this for me? And I doubt that either of them would’ve even returned my email had we not built that relationship on me doing something for them. And I tell people all the time, if I had two listeners, I would keep doing this show because it lets me get free coaching. It lets me build relationships. It lets me find out stuff I want to know how to do. Whereas if you just sent out emails to people and say, Hey, could we get on a call and see if we have any synergies? Who’s going to respond to that? Right?

Josh (06:57): Yeah, absolutely. And John, I think again, it’s important to underline, again, I mentioned noble intent, generosity, and platform, and I want to make sure that I underline noble intent. So if you hear what I’m talking about and you say That sounds like a great way to pitch people, no, you are already doomed to fail and not only doomed to fail from a business perspective, you’re going to create a lot of enemies. People, again, it’s the same thing. This is no different than let’s say you go to an event and there’s a mixer and you’re hanging out with people.

(07:40): How do you connect with people at an event like that? Chances? Most of us are pretty classy. That’s all you really want to do. I don’t know about you, but I have gotten so much business historically at events at the mixers. I just say, Hey, what do you do? Tell me about that. Oh, that’s really interesting. And then we get to know each other and then I just say, Hey, listen, why don’t we chat sometime? I’d love to see maybe if there’s any collaboration opportunities for us. If I can make any introductions anyway, I can help. Always happy to share ideas and brainstorm. I am open to all of the above outcomes right now. What I find is that if we’re pretty thoughtful about the rooms that we enter and who we spend our time with, and we get really geeky around the type of persona that a potential partner might be like, what’s going on in their life?

(08:28): Who are they? What size company, what decisions are they making? That sort of thing. And that is what we create editorial justification around so that we can ensure that we are stacking the deck with our dream ideal people. And what we usually find, John, is there, our direct engagement opportunities very easily 30, 40% of the time. And a good chunk of those may actually be people that want to engage you based on who they are, who you are. And again, this all begins with noble intent because if you begin with this idea that you’re just going to sell people and that’s your singular focus, people know what you’re doing. There’s never been a time when audiences have been more skeptical of being sold at, and it’s not your fault, it’s not my fault, it’s marketers just in general who have engaged in a lot of bad practices. So consumers have just put their guards up, they just don’t want to be sold at.

John (09:18): So we maybe jumped over. An important point here is that a lot of what your program is about and what you’ve been teaching people is effectively how to use a podcast as a lead generation and network building tool. So I think your point about if somebody goes, oh, that’s it. I’ll start a podcast and I’ll interview people I want to sell to and I’ll get them on my show. I mean, that’s a conclusion, one conclusion somebody could make. So help me understand how you use that tool. Two, it’s effective outcome, but in a much more authentic way.

Josh (09:54): Yeah, absolutely. So a great analogy that I like to use is if your goal were to attract butterflies, and let’s say you’re going to give yourself a handful of months in order to do that, well, you might go grab a butterfly net and then start running up and down the street like a maniac trying to find and catch butterflies. And then you’re going to do that day after day after day after day. Okay? That’s like being caught in the lead gen rat wheel. And particularly if you don’t necessarily enjoy that type of work, I just say if I were forced to engage in activity that I didn’t want to do day after day, I would just assume go get another job. I created my business so that I could do everything that I do based on my values and my integrity so that I can enjoy every day and what I do and how I connect with people.

(10:41): So the solution if you want to attract butterflies is quite simple. And I bet our friend who’s listening to us has probably maybe thought about how would I actually do that? Well, I would suggest you plant a butterfly garden. So what you have to do is you have to lead with, if you want to build a relationship and you’re the one that’s initiating that outreach or initiating that suggestion that this is you and I might be good friends, you cannot lead with an ask. And now unfortunately, that’s what a lot of lead gen people do, or again, it’s very tied to what it is that they want. So in true Go-Giver fashion, you are going to lead in generosity and you are just going to give the market what the market is wanting. Now, I can tell you that this is my background in pr.

(11:33): I can tell you that there is an enormous industry around leaders wanting to be seen and celebrated for what they do. There are great podcast guest agencies out there that do phenomenal work we love because again, they are helping get their guests on great platforms. I am thrilled to share my stage and shine the spotlight on other people. I enjoy doing that. I love letting people know what you do in the world matters. And I want to share your story with my audience now because of that initial opening salvo or kind of opening invitation, well, that is wildly attractive to butterflies. And so they love my garden. So because of that, now we get the time together, true active service and then business adults do. If you and I were on a panel and at an event and we were serving an audience together, and I’m kind of listening to you along the way, you’re listening to me along the way, we’re going to probably jive a little bit.

(12:37): And then at some point after when it’s all done, it’s like, I really like what you guys are doing. Let’s grab coffee sometime and just see if there’s something we should be doing together and then just be open to the possibility. Now, I will tell you this, John, and I’m sure you’ve done this. I buy a lot of my guest books. I hire a lot of my guests. In fact, every contractor or agency that I hire was a podcast guest. I do a lot of business that direction and I do a lot of business the other way. It’s two leaders that like each other are going to work very hard to try to find ways to support one another. That’s what we want to create is an environment where people say, oh, good. Now I have a friend who does what you do. And if you can do that a couple of hundred times, it’s kind of game set match. For many of us that’s really all you need is just 200 meaningful relationships, not another Broey sales funnel.

John (13:34): Yeah, I think the challenge for a lot of people is that is a different point of view. That is a different mindset than a lot of people that are, I need to sell something today. Because what you’re really saying is do something in the world that provides value and you’re going to benefit, you’re going to win. But sometimes that’s hard to put on a spreadsheet.

Josh (13:58): It does, and I empathize with that and I know what it’s like to say, you know what? I got bills that are due in two weeks. I need to get someone to buy. The challenge with that is I think that we are all aware and we’ve been in that environment when we’re in the room with someone and we know that they need us to buy. And I will say that in the sales dynamic, that’s not ideal because salespeople with sales breath, it just like we all smell it. And then it’s just again with savings. Angel, I’ve studied and led on consumer behavior since 2007. That’s what I write my syndicated newspaper column about. And again, consumers have never been more sophisticated, they’ve never been more savvy, and they are just a little bit on guard. So again, we just want to continue to assure our friends, we want to continue to assure the market that our intent is to do good in the world.

(14:51): And generally, John, I trust leaders. They’re either in market or they’re not. So I think that there are some things that we could probably do to improve our sales ability and our sales processes. There obviously are things that we could do to improve our product and that sort of thing, but I don’t know. The market is kind of where the market is. Like if you walked into a room a hundred people and it’s a hundred grand of people and they’ll fit your ICP and that 22% are going to buy, you can go into another room of a hundred different people that are all kind of the same persona and you’re probably going to get about 22% that are going to buy. And you’re going to find that pretty consistent based on the market. We’re not smarter than the market. The market just is what it is.

(15:29): So the number one thing that we can do as business leaders or service providers is we just need more at bats. If you want to drive revenue, you need to talk with more people. In fact, in my presentation, John, I quote you talking about lead gen or as it were, it’s the lifeblood of our business. You need more opportunities. And so again, we just want to create more of these butterfly gardens so that we don’t have to be running up and down the street with a butterfly net. We just have butterflies, all gardened all over the place, and we’re constantly attracting high caliber decision makers and fellow leaders that we want to engage with.

John (16:07): So maybe we haven’t said this directly too, so you teach people to start their own podcast. I mean, I know what they are, but I’d love to hear from you, what are, our listeners would certainly like to hear from you. What are the challenges that you see A lot of, especially you’re talking about maybe a CEO that needs that or wants that exposure, but podcasting, one of the things that stops people from doing it is it feels like a lot of work until you get a rhythm or until you get habits. So what are the biggest challenges to really making this work?

Josh (16:40): Certainly the number. Here’s the reality of statistics and the attrition rate in podcasting. It’s pretty abysmal. More than 90% never make it to episode 50. In fact, I’ve seen NAS stats that are even more dire than that.

John (16:53): So 10. Yeah,

Josh (16:54): It’s pretty dire. I think a lot of people are well intended. They get into podcasting because they’re hoping that they’re going to get visibility. They’re going to get a lot of maybe engagement with that audience. What I’ve learned about podcast listening audiences is they tend to model the behavior of more of a TV viewing audience where it’s usually a little passive. We’re not necessarily clicking on things on our TV screen

John (17:15): While it comes. Yeah, we’re out walking the dog. Right,

Josh (17:19): Exactly. Here’s the good news of this. So again, it’s a very passive media. While people are multitasking, here’s the good news. These are very high quality people that generally listen to podcasts, and I say high quality from just kind of ability to potentially engage with from a business perspective. So we want to be very realistic about that and understand that if you start a podcast, it’s not going to be a whole lot different than if you start a YouTube channel. It is just going to be a grind. So what you have to do is make sure that you have a foolproof business plan and a business model. So you do the business model first so that you know exactly what to expect. And also the contingencies. What happens when you get to episode 20 and you still only have about 35 listens per episode and you feel deflated?

(18:07): What is going to keep you engaged? Well, again, when I look at all of the benefits that podcasting provides, most of them are going to be long-term. Some of them are going to be short-term. And again, what I have found is that your ability to connect with and build relationships with your ideal partners, your ideal influencers or investors or even clients that you might potentially want to work with, there is a significant ability to do that. Because right now, if you have an okay podcast, right, and I’m talking about an interview podcast and you use that to celebrate other people, you are stepping into an environment that for every decent interview show there are hundreds if not thousands of potential guests already. Their supply demand in the podcasting world is insane. It has always been that way. And according to some good friends like Alex over at Pod Match, it’s only gotten bigger. There are so many amazing out there that I just love being of service to and then love exploring to see if there’s any other things that we might be able to do together. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I’m okay with all of that.

John (19:18): As a marketer at heart, I always try to teach people, look, you’re also producing content which is going to have a lot of use for you down the road, right? You are probably going to get a lot of backlinks out of it because people are going to promote the show because I was on the show mean. So there are many benefits beyond the conversation that you’re having that I think you certainly need to consider as part of it. I think you started to touch on it and time flies, of course, when you’re having fun. But is there a future of podcasting and B2B sales that you think is going to look like something the next five years?

Josh (19:53): Oh God, yeah, absolutely. So the thing that I’m so excited about is my mission is really to help cut down on the B2B spam. I just think it’s so inefficient. I think the stats are not great. 90% of us just don’t engage with spammers right off the top. So that means you’re only capable of even remotely possibly working with about 10% of the market. Then of those 90% that they just don’t engage with spams. If you DM me, I’m probably just not you, John, but if someone just dms cold dms me and spams me, pretty much, it’s an instant block. And it’s not their fault. It’s honestly, I feel badly. But decision makers have to be so protective of their time and attention, and I’m very much in that boat. So you asked about the future of podcasting and whether it’s traditional podcasting or it’s the ability to engage as leaders do.

(20:51): What do leaders do well? Well, if you have a lot of wisdom and knowledge and experience, and I’ve got a lot of wisdom, knowledge, and experience and that wisdom, knowledge, and experience is valuable to an audience, are there ways that we can collaborate together? So again, this may look different in the future, but it’s two humans coming together in service of others. There is a magical dynamic that happens when two people come together in service. There’s just this connective energy that happens like, John, you and I just did something good together. Doesn’t that feel great? And then after that, there’s kind of this high that happens. And a lot of times guests and hosts want to continue that, or at least they should. And if they don’t, it’s like you’re in the room right now with someone that probably knows some good people. You probably know some good people.

(21:40): And here I’ll just say this, most experienced podcasters are really good networkers, or at least they know a lot of people. They are very, sometimes it will feel almost like a whisper network of who they know because it’s not flashy and showy. They’re just quietly building relationships, serving audiences, keeping their head down. That’s generally what I do. So again, however it looks, I think that, again, service together of two leaders is just the fast path. In fact, there would be no up my influence if I wasn’t serving in my local startup community, serving on boards pro bono, working with veteran owned businesses and minority and women owned businesses and helping them just doing pro bono work. And I meet other service-minded leaders. We get to know each other. In fact, it was my very first client was someone that said, Hey, I actually, you’re pretty smart at this.

(22:32): Can you do PR for me? And I’m like, I don’t have a PR company. Let me ask my friend if I’m allowed to do ask a PR professionals, like someone wants to hire me to do pr, is that ethical? Can I do that? And he’s like, yeah, go ahead. And so that’s where up my influence came from. That was the very first version of it is just going out doing good and serve the world. And it will come back to, you will get to a point, this is my final thought. You will get to a point where you will not be able to out give the market. You got to just show up in consistency, got to show up with Noble intent. But again, use those journalism creds as it were, or media creds as it were, a platform cred. And that is the fast bath or the express elevator to increased authority and influence. Just use platform rises to the top, keep associating with other high authority people, and you’ll find that so much faster than all the conventional means of marketing and lead gen and that sort of thing.

John (23:24): Amen. Alright, Josh, I appreciate you taking a few moments to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Why don’t you, is there some place you’d like people to connect with you, find out more about your work?

Josh (23:33): Yeah, absolutely. Certainly if what I’m sharing with you, it resonates with some and it doesn’t resonate with others, I fully acknowledge that if what I’m saying is intriguing and you’re like, some of that emotionally feels good to me, I want to learn more about that. I’ve got some great stats. I’ve got some great quotes from John Jans in a presentation. Listen, I’ve got about an hour and 15 minute long workshop. There’s no gate. I don’t need your email address. I trust you. You’re an adult. If you like it, you’ll find some ways that we could possibly do some stuff together. But you can watch that. That’s a great workshop. It’s our Attraction mastery workshop. And I’ll go into this with a lot more stats and quotes and that sort of thing. And I think, again, as marketers, as professional business leaders, this is pretty valuable in info because I go into the state or the state of the union on lead gen right now, and it’s based on, I’ve talked with a few thousand people by now. I’m concluding a lot of VPs of sales of what they’re experiencing. But yeah, so here’s the web address that you want to go to. So you can watch that. It’s just, and then you’ll see the button where you can watch that. And again, I don’t need your email address and I don’t need you to opt in on anything. I trust you. Again, that’s another thing too, is start treating your customers and people like adults, and they’ll let you know if they like it.

John (24:54): Awesome. Well, we’ll have that in the show notes as well. So Josh, I appreciate you again, showing up and spending some time with us. Hopefully we’ll run into you soon, one of these days out there on the road.

Avoid These Common Pitfalls For a Winning Sales Presentation

Avoid These Common Pitfalls For a Winning Sales Presentation written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Terri Sjodin, a seasoned expert in public speaking and sales presentations. As the principal and founder of Sjodin Communications, Sjodin has spent over 25 years coaching Fortune 500 companies, industry associations, and even members of Congress on how to refine their presentation skills. During our conversation, we broke down the top three points in her latest book, “Presentation Ready,” which identifies and addresses the most common mistakes made in sales presentations. Sjodin’s research-backed insights aim to help professionals elevate their presentation game, ensuring they engage their audience and drive conversions effectively.


Key Takeaways

Deliver Presentations not Speeches. Polish comes from practice, but charisma comes from certainty. Terri Sjodin highlights several critical aspects for delivering successful sales presentations: structure your message persuasively with clear arguments and storytelling, avoid the pitfall of winging it by thoroughly preparing, engage your audience to prevent boredom, close with a strong call to action, and adapt your approach to different presentation platforms.

Drawing examples like actress Merly Streep’s effortless performances she nails on the necessity of practice, practice, practice! Don’t just conclude, close, don’t just be informed, learn to persuade and never wing it.

By addressing these common pitfalls, professionals can significantly enhance their presentations, ensuring they are engaging and effective.

Questions I ask Terri Sjodin:

[02:08] When researching this book, did your findings verify everything you knew or did you find some real surprises?

[07:12] Expand on the concept of self-admitting mistakes between rookies and veterans

[08:54] Do presentation strategies differ virtually and in person?

[10:24] How have speeches and debates prepared you and what advice do you have for alumni who aren’t in the environments with these kinds of opportunities anymore?

[15:02] Is there a methodology for people who haven’t had the training in identifying their weak spots?

[19:16] What role does rehearsal play in sales presentations?


More About Terri Sjodin:


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

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


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John (01:05): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Terri Sjodin. She’s a principal and founder of Sjodin Communications, a public speaking sales training and consulting firm for over 25 years. She’s served as a speaker and consultant for Fortune 500 companies, industry associations, academic conferences, CEOs and even members of Congress. We’re going to talk about her latest book today, presentation Ready, improve Your Sales Presentations Outcomes, and Avoid the 12 Most Common Mistakes. So Terry, welcome to the show.

Terri (01:43): Hi, John. Thank you for having me.

John (01:45): I think we should just go one through one through the 12 mistakes, frankly, because

Terri (01:49): People are so compelled. Everybody

John (01:50): Loves to avoid mistakes worse than even getting better. I just don’t want to get wrong. Right? So you did a fair amount of on top of having your own practice. You’ve done a lot of research on that you put into this book on the key findings. I always love to people that do research, did they just verify everything you knew already or did you have some real surprises?

Terri (02:13): Thank you. Actually, so great question. So my background is in speech and debate, and so I’ve always been a bit of a speech geek. So the whole concept of public speaking and presenting and the impact of that has always been near and dear to my heart After, oh my gosh, almost 20 years. So I had written a book called Sales Speak, which addressed originally the nine biggest sales presentation mistakes and so Fast Track 20 years later, I thought it was time to revisit that question, are these still the nine mistakes and if so, why? And if not, why not? And so I went back to my alma mater, San Diego State University where I competed on the speech and debate teams there when I was in college. And I shared a mini research study that I had done just internally with my clients. And I said, what do you think about this?

(03:06): And she said, why don’t we run a formal study? And I was like, that would be amazing. So thanks to Dr. Heather Canary and Dr. Rachel record and the team at San Diego State, I was able to bring the private sector data into an academic environment and do an analysis, which really brought some fresh perspective to this topic. And it just honored a promise that I wanted to make, which is if we were going to talk about the most common mistakes that sales professionals make, then there should be no research about us without us. So all of the content came from field sales professionals or people whose livelihood is dependent on their ability to build and deliver a persuasive presentation that drives conversion. So there’s a lot behind it and thank you for asking about it. I think it’s the most important part of the research in the book.

John (03:55): Okay, perfect setup. Lemme go back to my question though. Were there any surprises from it?

Terri (04:02): Yeah, so the way that we posed the questions, we said, all right, we have this incredible audience. So we asked them, looking back over the last six to nine months, was there anything that you felt you did that cost you a win or a deal or an opportunity? And 94% of the people said yes. And we said, great. Okay, that’s really helpful. So now we’re looking at that original nine. Are these still the nine mistakes? And if not, why not? And what were people going to share with us? And there were three new mistakes that were added to the list. So the nine morphed to 12, and yet there were these three mistakes that always rose to the top. And everybody’s like, what are the big ones? What’s number one? But it kind of depends. So there was a tiny variance whether you sold a product, a service or cause, but all three were always the top three.

(04:50): In addition to that, the top three were always the same regardless of generation or number of years of experience, which we thought was really surprising. So I’ll start with the number three, which was a bit of a surprise. The number three biggest mistake that most business professionals self-confessed, this is based on their own self-observation, was that they included at the end of a meeting or presentation but did not close. So they concluded but did not close the number two biggest mistake that most people self-confessed. And these were really close two and one and two were really tight. But number two was that most people confess they’d become far too informative in nature rather than persuasive. They didn’t build a compelling case. And the number one biggest mistake that most people self-confessed is that they wing it when they roll into a meeting or presentation. So those are the big three.

John (05:45): I would say just in listening to that, and maybe this fits in there somewhere, I don’t ask enough questions, I talk too much perhaps. Is that somewhere on the list?

Terri (05:54): It really depends. There’s a balance. So depending on where you are in the process will depend on how much more you speak versus listen. So for example, one of the questions that people always ask is why did you focus on the mistakes? And so then I’ll say to them, look, we can’t course correct what you don’t recognize as a problem. So it just helps us to get to the point faster. And that notion of getting to the point faster is really the gift of going back to your issue, which is do you not ask enough questions or do you just date a dump or are you talking too much? Again, I don’t know where you are in the process. There is a part of the meeting that does require you to do your homework first and then ask a lot of questions so that you can customize your talk to meet the needs of the listener. But then there is a really important point where you have to create, present your case, who are you, what is your proposition? How will you save them time or money or sanity? And so that’s where you would be required to speak and present more to build and deliver your case versus the q and a period. So the answer is two things can be true. And so I’d have to probably look at your overall presentation, John, before we beat you up on that.

John (07:12): So I was curious, you said there wasn’t much difference in self admitting these mistakes, at least between rookies and veterans. I’m curious how can that really exist? I mean, if I’m a rookie and I recognize these things by the time I’m a veteran, I know better or do better.

Terri (07:29): I know that is such a great point. And you would think that would be the case. However, whether the veterans had different reasons for doing the same thing. So a rookie might say, yeah, I wing it. I just didn’t have enough time to really learn or prepare to get into it. And so I just kind of rolled in hot and experienced sales professional has a tendency to wing it for a different reason, but has similar problems or consequences. They might say, I’ve been doing this for 25 years, I can do this in my sleep. And then they just kind of wing it and roll in hot and they can get beat by somebody who did prepare was really in the game and didn’t kind of rest on that 25 years of experience without really customizing. And we kind of give some really great examples of that in that first chapter on winging it.

John (08:18): And I expect also that veteran maybe has some biases and some false assumptions. Perfect.

Terri (08:24): Spot on. That’s exactly how it happens. Sometimes they’ll say, you know what? I went in prepared to deliver based on my previous experience with this client. I had no idea that they really wanted to go in a different direction. And so because of that bias, they might have just kind of winged it. They felt like they knew what they needed to say. So excellent point.

John (08:43): So we have a lot of potential mediums today for making presentations, right? Used to be a telephone maybe and in somebody’s office was about it. Do different completely different strategies, tactics, techniques apply whether I’m on the phone, whether I’m in a zoom call, like something like this, whether I’m in person.

Terri (09:03): Yes. So the second phase of the study, so the first phase of the study, by the way, was done entirely in a pre pandemic environment. And it was most of the data, it touched on virtual environments, but it was predominantly in person or over the telephone. Phase two of the study was entirely based on virtual presentations. And then phase three of the study focused on in-person virtual and hybrid, where you may have one or two people in front of you, but you could have five, six as many as 25 or more people that are offsite that are also participating in that same meeting. And so each of those platforms does change the game not only the way that you present, but how you connect with the listeners and how do you keep their engagement levels up and how do you manage the time? Because the time parameters, as we all are very familiar now with the brutal hard stop, which dramatically impacts how you present your content and how you ease your way in and out, which is a huge variable that doesn’t have the same consequences when you’re in an in-person meeting. So yes, the answer is there are different situations, how you set it up, how you lay it out, how you manage that time, and then also how do you keep people engaged. So a lot of variables that depend on your platform or your modality.

John (10:24): Obviously speech and debate is a lot about training that you did, which is probably an amazing environment for somebody who really wants to get better at this. But some of us are out of high school and out of college now. So first two part question, what was the best part about that in terms of just raw training for you? And then secondly, how does somebody get that when that environment no longer exists?

Terri (10:49): Oh gosh. I was going to thought you were teeing me up for saying that is why you should read presentation ready.

John (10:55): Well, that’s a fair answer based on what I said.

Terri (10:59): So again, well, so let me answer that from two perspectives. What debate teaches you is really how to structure a persuasive message. One of the things we touched on in the beginning is that people have a tendency to be overly informative versus persuasive, and they’ve really not been taught how to structure a persuasive message. Over 55% of the participants in our research study said that they had little to know presentation skills training over the course of their career. So what that means, John, is that most people are doing the best they can with what they know. So the first part of your question is, does it make a difference or how does debate and presentation skills training impact your long-term career as a leader, as a sales professional or anybody who’s in business development, it has a significant impact. We know from the research that your public speaking and presentation skills are an immediate demonstration of professional competency within a company or an organization.

(11:58): And yet we know that it’s also a class that most people don’t want to take. But we know that most people don’t want to work on this skillset. And when you are put in a situation where your presentation matters, it can cause a great deal of anxiety. People equate it to fear, to kind of piggyback that. The confusion sometimes around the words public speaking is that people think it means you’re speaking to a large group. The size of the audience isn’t important. The most significant presentations typically take place one-on-one or small group. Does that mean that your delivery skills are less significant? Heck no, they’re equally important. But we kind of equate this kind of group notion or group theory about public speaking. And so I just like to call it presenting and try to get a little bit of the fear out of it and then strategically help people to craft their message in a persuasive way. And by using speech and debate strategy in a business or selling environment, we hit one of the biggest issues, which is brevity. Because debate teaches you about presenting in soundbite sound bites. How do you get to your point in a shorter period of time with evidence and storytelling to build your case?

John (13:14): I suspect also because I’ve been doing this for a lot of years and I’ve never really gotten other than surveys at the end, or did they hire me again, I haven’t really gotten direct feedback about what I could do better. And I mean, that’s a huge element of speech and debate, isn’t it? That somebody is immediately going to tell you, you need to do this better or this didn’t work, or you lose.

Terri (13:36): Oh, absolutely. And one of the things you earn, you learn early on in speech tournaments is that it’s a pretty level playing field. When you roll into a tournament, there’s no matching uniforms. Everybody’s given a number. You roll into a meeting or kind of your heats, your rounds if you will, and six or seven participants give their talk, and then the judge will assess that. And at the end of three preliminary rounds, the individual with the best scores advances to semi-finals or finals. And I didn’t always win. I wished I did, but I didn’t. And so you’re really left. You can look at the feedback on your judging cards if they were kind enough to tell you why you didn’t win, but most people don’t tell you why you didn’t win. And then I would go home and I would course correct and I would kind of tweak the things I felt like I could do.

(14:25): And the takeaway here, as you know, is really so important, but really very simple. You don’t go back to the next tournament with the speech that didn’t win. And the same thing applies in businesses and in sales. We shouldn’t go back out into the field with the sales presentation that didn’t get the deal, the win or the opportunity. And that’s really what presentation ready is designed to do to help lay out for the reader what the most common mistakes are very quickly so that you can do your own self-assessment, make those changes, and then go out back out into the field with a presentation that wins and works.

John (15:02): Given that a lot of people haven’t had the training that you talked about, is there a methodology for identifying here are my weak spots that I need to work on? Because I mean, sometimes it’s content, but sometimes it’s just body language. I mean, there’s so many elements. So how do I find my weak spot?

Terri (15:19): Yes, perfect. So there are three areas that you would want to look at in assessing your presentation. So first you want to look at pace, how you build your message, what is your persuasive offering? Did you have structure, evidence, logic? And then the second element is looking at one’s creativity, the stories, the anecdotes, the humor, the drama that you use in order to bring it to life, how do you place visual aids? All of that timing, all of those elements are critical under creativity. And then the third piece that we look at are the issues under delivery. And that includes, of course, your eye contact, your body language, the way that you speak, and that could include any verbal missteps, which might be saying or are pillar words being a close talker, all those things that relate to the actual execution or performance of your presentation. And what we know from the data and from the observations of listeners who participated in this study is that, well, I gave you the three mistakes that are very common that people self-identify at the beginning of our conversation. The number one mistake that other people identify is really none of those three things. So the number one mistake, I’m sure you’re going to ask me well, is I’ll let you do it. Go ahead.

John (16:47): I was actually going to ask you with a book title that says 12 most common Mistakes, which one’s your favorite? That’s sort of the same thing, right? Yes.

Terri (16:56): The number one biggest mistake that most listeners notice or that salespeople notice because we ask salespeople, okay, look, you’ve looked at all these things, who better to judge salespeople than other salespeople? So what’s the number one thing that you notice? And it probably is close to my favorite. I have two favorites. But the number one mistake that people notice in others is that they’re boring. Boring. And so it’s really hard to get around and get through to anything else if the talk is perceived as boring by the listener. And when we ask people, okay, did it feel like it was boring when you were reading the room? Did you feel like it was boring? And they’ll say, yeah, I did kind of feel like it was a little bit boring. Or when I watched the playback of my own presentation, I felt like it was boring.

(17:41): And then we’ll say, well, if you felt like it was boring, how come you kept going? And they’ll say, well, Terry, I have to get through the material. And my question is, what’s the point of getting through the material if nobody’s really listening to what you’re saying? So that would be the number one identified and the one that I think is the most glaring, but the one that I love helping people build and work on is actually mistaken number two, which is being overly informative versus persuasive. Because if you can structure a clear, concise, and compelling case, once you understand the process of the difference between an informative talk and a persuasive talk that is empowering. I know that there’s a lot of conversation about you’ve got to have storytelling and that’s important, but how many of you have ever been to a party or listened to someone and they’re telling a story and you’re like, where are you going with this? So let’s land the plane. So your story has to pair with a compelling argument in order to make your case. And so there’s balance of all three. So case creativity and delivery, all of those are important. It’s hard to say which one is the one that’s going to stand out the most because it’s the one that cost you the opportunity. That’s the one that’s the most important. Right.

John (18:58): So my last question today, a lot of people see a great, somebody they see as a great presenter or a great public speaker, they get paid lots of money to get up there on stage, and they just think, man, they’re just really good at that. I think people underestimate how much rehearsal the true pros put into that. What role does rehearsal play in the presentation sales presentation role that you’re defining in the book?

Terri (19:24): I love that you asked that question. So when I’m coaching someone and I ask them to at least block certain content pieces, block a paragraph, really write it out, think about how you want to say it, and then rehearse it and take it to memory. Sometimes I’ll get pushback. Well, people say, I don’t want to do a memorized thing. It’s canned. And I’ll say, look, if you don’t work on your languaging, if you don’t practice the words you want to say and the way that you want to say it in the most beautiful way, it’s very hard to hit the time parameters. And again, you can always riff a little bit later, but my illustration is I ask people to think about Meryl Streep. Meryl Streep will take a script for a performance in a movie or a play, and she’ll take that narrative and she’ll commit it to memory.

(20:11): And then she practices and practices until it’s so beautiful that when you see her deliver that line in a movie, you think, oh my gosh, that just flowed so beautifully off the top of her head. But it wasn’t that it was because of her commitment to the level. And so when your memorized material sounds canned or stiff, it’s because you didn’t take it far enough into the preparation. And my favorite line, and we can close with this, is that Polish comes from practice, but charisma comes from certainty. It’s owning the material in a very different way. And when you pair your case and your creativity with a charismatic delivery, whether you’re a one-on-one small group or large group, that’s when you’re presentation ready.

John (20:59): Awesome. Well, Tara, I appreciate you taking a few moments to join the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Is there someplace you would invite people to connect with you and obviously find a copy of Presentation Ready?

Terri (21:09): Thank you. Yeah. Well, the book is available internationally, of course, on all platforms, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, through any of your audible. Now, it’ll be available on, gosh, I guess next week. Next week on Audible. If you prefer an audio book recording, or you can always visit my That’s T-E-R-I-S-J-O-D-I And if you’re interested in getting the research study results, you can download complimentary copies of both phase one, phase two, and now phase three as well, of all three of the summary reports of the State of Sales presentations research study.

John (21:50): Awesome. Well, again, I appreciate you taking a moment, and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.