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The Emergence of Fractional CMOs: A Powerful Shift in Marketing

The Emergence of Fractional CMOs: A Powerful Shift in Marketing written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

As businesses evolve and competition increases, the marketing landscape is changing significantly. Traditional marketing agencies have long been the go-to solution for businesses seeking marketing expertise. However, a new model is emerging that offers more strategic value: the fractional Chief Marketing Officer Plus (CMO+). 

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between traditional marketing agencies and fractional CMOs, the benefits of the fractional CMO model, and how to succeed in this role.

The Shift from Traditional Marketing Agencies to Fractional CMO+

Traditional marketing agencies have primarily focused on implementing marketing campaigns and tactics. They often act as vendors who execute specific strategies but do not necessarily delve into strategic planning or brand management.

In contrast, the fractional CMO+ model combines the strategic expertise of a CMO with the implementation skills of a traditional marketing agency. Fractional CMOs offer a more comprehensive service, including strategic planning, brand management, data analysis, budget management, and team building or management. They are also responsible for designing and executing marketing campaigns.

The Benefits of the Fractional CMO Model

Attracting the Right Clients

The fractional CMO model appeals to businesses seeking long-term growth and strategic planning. These clients understand that investing in strategy today lays the groundwork for future success. By positioning yourself as a fractional CMO, you can attract clients who are looking for a strategic partner rather than just a vendor. If you’re interested in learning more about generating leads and attracting the right clients, check out our post on the 5 funnels every agency consultant needs.

Establishing Trust and Authority

As a fractional CMO, you become a valuable member of the client’s team rather than a high-priced vendor. You are seen as a trusted advisor who can help guide the company’s marketing strategy and achieve long-term growth. This trust enables you to influence decision-making and have a lasting impact on the business.

Premium Pricing

The comprehensive and elevated service offered by fractional CMOs justifies premium fees. Additionally, because you are in charge of executing a plan that the client has already asked you to create, you can charge a premium for implementation as well. This allows you to maximize your revenue and build a successful business.

The Emergence of Fractional CMOs: A Powerful Shift in the Marketing Landscape

How to Succeed as a Fractional CMO

To excel in the role of a fractional CMO, it’s essential to have a defined, measurable, and repeatable system that can scale beyond just selling your time. Here are a few steps to help you succeed:

1. Develop a Strategic Marketing Approach

Create a unique approach or system that encompasses all aspects of your fractional CMO services. This includes strategic planning, brand management, data analysis, budget management, team building, and marketing campaign design and execution.

If you’re feeling pressed for time and need help developing your marketing strategy or your client’s marketing strategy, you can check out our free guide on how to develop a marketing strategy using Chat GPT and AI. This guide provides helpful prompts that you can customize for your business. To access the guide, just visit our page on AI Prompts for Building a Marketing Strategy.

The Emergence of Fractional CMOs: A Powerful Shift in the Marketing Landscape

2. Define Your Scope and Offer

Clearly outline what you are offering as a fractional CMO, specifying the services you will provide, the expected results, and the associated fees. This transparency helps set expectations and ensures that both you and your clients understand the value of your partnership.

3. Focus on Measurable Results

As a fractional CMO, you must demonstrate the impact of your strategic marketing efforts through measurable results. Develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track your progress and share these metrics with your clients. This helps build trust and reinforces the value of your services.

4. Continuously Improve Your System

Always look for ways to refine and enhance your strategic marketing approach. Stay informed about the latest marketing trends, tools, and techniques, and incorporate them into your system. This ensures that you remain at the forefront of the industry and continue to offer exceptional value to your clients. By following the advice and experiences of other marketing consultants, you can learn from their successes and avoid common pitfalls. Be sure to check out our page on marketing consultant stories for more insight.

The rise of the fractional CMO model is a game-changer for businesses looking to differentiate themselves and thrive in the competitive landscape. This powerful shift presents an exciting opportunity for marketing professionals who are ready to take on a more strategic and comprehensive role in their client’s success and scale their agency. 

Fractional CMO Benefits: Transform Your Business Marketing Strategy

Fractional CMO Benefits: Transform Your Business Marketing Strategy written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Discover How Fractional CMOs Are Transforming Marketing Strategies for Businesses and Why It’s Time to Jump on Board

The idea of the fractional CMO has been gaining traction recently, and it’s easy to see why. A fractional CMO is an experienced marketing executive who offers expertise to multiple clients on a part-time basis. Instead of hiring a full-time CMO, you get the strategic guidance and management of a seasoned marketing pro at a fraction of the cost. 

While the concept of the fractional CMO might seem like a relatively new idea, it’s actually a service I’ve been offering for quite some time. It’s just that now, this approach is being thought of and packaged differently to better cater to the evolving needs of businesses.

Many CEOs or business owners say they just want customers from their marketing relationships, but I think a lot of them are starting to realize that there’s a bit more to the equation. You know, little things like clarity around messaging or identifying an ideal customer, the confidence to know which marketing idea to pursue, some level of control over what’s working and what’s not, and then, of course, some actual customers.

The CMO vs. The Fractional CMO

This shift in mindset has made the positioning of the fractional CMO increasingly important. In a traditional business, a CMO would handle strategic planning, brand management, marketing campaigns, data analysis, and budget management. They’d also manage the team responsible for implementing these strategies. Yet most traditional marketing agencies often focus solely on marketing campaigns, leaving many of the crucial CMO duties untouched. 

This is where the hybrid approach or a fractional CMOs plus implementation team comes in, offering a more flexible, cost-effective solution that combines the strategic guidance of a CMO with the hands-on expertise of an implementation team. Ultimately providing businesses with the marketing strategy and support they need without the hefty price tag of a full-time CMO.

The Financial Advantages of Fractional CMOs

Fractional CMOs make sense financially as well, especially for small business owners. In contrast to hiring a full-time CMO and a team to implement marketing strategies, the fractional CMO model allows businesses to bring in experts on demand. 

According to, the average CMO salary ranges from $208,000 to $375,000, which does not include implementation costs. In contrast, the fractional CMO model costs around $60,000 a year, and implementation costs can be managed according to demand. This approach allows businesses to control their implementation costs and only pay for the expertise they need. 

For providers such as agencies and consultants, the average retainer for a fractional CMO is around $5,000 a month. While some may charge more, this provides a general idea of the cost of hiring a fractional CMO. Ultimately, the financial benefits of the fractional CMO model make it an attractive option for many businesses looking to streamline their marketing efforts and an attractive income source for agency owners who want to sell strategy.

How to Scale Your Agency or Practice Without Adding Overhead In 7 Steps

Taking the time to invest in scaling your business can feel overwhelming. This workbook will break it all down for you in 7 easy steps that have helped our Duct Tape Marketing Certified Agencies grow and scale their business to 7, 8, 9 figures and beyond.

The Scaling Challenge

The role of a fractional CMO can be quite lucrative, requiring only a small number of clients to earn a salary comparable to that of a full-time CMO. However, the challenge lies in scaling the business. 

Typically, fractional CMOs sell their time, dividing it among their clients’ needs, such as attending meetings and strategic planning sessions. Unfortunately, this model lacks scalability. As they sell more and more blocks of time, they quickly reach their limit and become drained. While fractional CMOs may make a decent living, the lack of scalability can be a significant drawback. Our unique approach allows fractional CMOs who use our system to adjust for the issue of scalability, giving them more freedom and time to actually run their business and long-term viability.

Fractional CMO Benefits

Our Fractional CMO System: The Solution

By offering a clearly defined scope of work, our model allows for better scalability and more sustainable growth. We also start every new client engagement with our Strategy First service offering. On average, agencies that license our system charge a monthly retainer of about $5,000. They typically have 15-18 clients at any given time, and these clients have an average retention of about 19 months. 

The fractional CMO model is a game-changer for both businesses and marketing agencies. If you’re interested in learning more about how our repeatable, scalable system can help your business or marketing agency thrive, it’s time to start a conversation with us. Let’s discuss how embracing the fractional CMO trend can transform your marketing strategy and drive success for your company.

Find out more about Duct Tape Marketing and the people who work here.

Rethinking the Recruiting Journey

Rethinking the Recruiting Journey written by Shawna Salinger read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Small businesses need to rethink the way they are recruiting employees today. In good times, companies thrive by being in the right place at the right time. But in tough times, organizations grow by being important in the lives of their customers. The same is true for recruitment, retention, and the hiring journey. 

Recruiting as a Marketing Function 

Marketing is not a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process that requires commitment and patience. Ad buyers often think of marketing as a vending machine—you put some money in, and out pops customers—but that’s not how it works.

Recruiters do the same thing when they go to job boards like Monster or Indeed and just buy and run ads. You can’t just throw money at the problem; you have to build a repeatable system that lasts. That is how you build a full-proof recruiting system.

  • Fewer than 15% of all jobs advertised on popular job boards are filled by candidates who apply through those boards. (Empire Resume)

  • 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation, even for a pay increase. (Randstad)

  • 79% of candidates use social media in their job search (Glassdoor)

  •  92% of consumers will visit a brand’s website for reasons other than making a purchase. (Episerver)

  • 71% of employees would accept a pay cut for a better work experience. (Hays Recruiting)

  •  80% of employers think employees leave for more money, but 12% actually do. (Gallup)

These statistics show that people in the market for a job have very similar experiences to consumers looking for a product. Their search for a job is more than one event or one moment. It is composed of a complete end-to-end journey. 


Someone might first see your ad on a job board, but they will also verify your online reviews, look through your social media accounts, and visit your website. 

People aren’t candidates or consumers; they are both. People are just people and they can be marketed in the same way. So you need to take the systems you use to attract consumers to your brand and start using them to help you attract employees to work for you. 

The MOST important thing to figure out if you want to GROW your business…

Rethinking the Customer & Employee Journey Workbook

 In this post, you will not read about “quick hacks you can do find people” or “easy fixes.” Instead, I will focus on the strategies behind your hiring process. These are the strategies you need to know, and this is what will help with your recruitment strategies in the long run.

Three Steps to the Perfect Recruiting Strategy 

Narrow your recruitment focus to your top ideal 20%  

I preach this to our clients to help them attract customers. It is vital that you fully understand who makes a completely ideal customer for your business. The same is true about who makes an ideal employee for your organization.  

Consider the top 20% of your employees, and ask yourself: Who drives the most profit? Who is the most productive? Who is the most committed or satisfied in their work? Who has the most comments, reviews, or shoutouts? Then make a list of common traits that you see among these people.  

Create Three Lists

After identifying the common characteristics of your top 20% of employees, you’ll want to create three lists. The first two are: “nice to have” and “ideal to have.” What are some things you’ve found that are nice to have in an employee? And what are some ideal things? This information will help you create a culture fit.

Then take note of any experience or technical requirements needed. Try to only let this part sway your opinion if it is absolutely necessary.

This exercise will certainly help you determine who is an ideal fit for your organization. In addition, going through these motions will teach you how to market to your ideal candidate and give clarity on what to look for during the recruiting process.

When recruiting you should focus on creating diversity but aligning culture. Somebody who believes in your company’s mission has ideal behaviors that will better serve your organization. Which, in turn, will better serve your customers compared to all the experience, background, and technical training.  

Promise to solve a problem 

Nobody wants what you sell, they want their problem solved, period. The best candidates for employment usually have a job already, but they want to find a better one. They want to get out of an environment that is not right for them. So you need to market that your business solves the problems they have in their current role.

What is the problem that your organization solves for employees?

How can you find out what your company’s unique hiring proposition is? Or what problem can you solve? First, survey your current employees. Then build an employee branding strategy based on their answers.

Here is a list of sample questions to ask employees when recruiting;

  • Why did you come to work with us?
  • Why are you still working with us?
  • What factors were involved in your decision to work for us? 
  • What do you like about working at this organization? 
  • Is there anything you don’t like about working at this organization? If so, how can we fix it?

The information received from this type of interview will offer valuable insights and better prepare you for your hiring journey. Therefore, it is crucial to keep the employee survey anonymous in order to collect the most accurate and authentic answers.

Focus on your employee branding strategy 

Take a look at your main marketing message. Does it focus on your product or the service your people provide? Customers experience brands through direct contact with employees. So, unless you are just flat out selling a product, your main marketing message should highlight the people in your organization and how they help your target audience solve a problem.  

Then you will want to see what your customers are saying online about your employees. Mine online reviews or feedback surveys. Are there any employees that customers mention by name? What are those employees like, and what are they doing that customers love? Promote those people and promote what they do for your customers and your brand through social media, newsletters, and your site.

These actions will help you figure out the problem you solve for your employees and double down on it during your recruiting and hiring process. It will also show that you value and act on your employees’ feedback and appreciate their work through public and personal recognition. 

All these things working together help you build a customer base that wants to do business with you, a dedicated staff that wants to work for your company, and new hires that want to join you.

Create an end-to-end journey  

The cold, hard truth is that customers and employees don’t change companies; they change experiences. Your recruitment strategy should not be a one-time hiring event. You have to build a pipeline and create an end-to-end journey or a complete experience.  

I use a model that depicts the end-to-end customer journey called the Marketing Hourglass. Customers first have to know about you, and then they need to decide if they like and trust you. Next, they actually buy from you. Then, if they have a good experience, they hopefully come back and buy again and maybe even refer you to others. 

You can apply the overall customer journey strategy to the recruiting or hiring journey. Today, people learn about businesses through several different avenues, and it is not always a straight line. Many times, it is just the opposite. How people come to know, like, trust, and ultimately work for your company is inherently out of your direct control. As a result, you must be intentional about how your business shows up at each stage. Actively guiding the experience candidates have with your organization.

The stages of the recruiting journey hourglass are; know, like, trust, try, hire, retain, and refer.  

The first three stages create employee relationships through awareness and relatability; know, like, and trust.  

This is where employer branding comes in. Is your organization referred to as a great place to work? And if so, are you talking about it?  

Do you share that you are hiring on places other than job boards? Do you mention it on your social channels or during interviews? 

Advertising and posting on job sites is an obvious way to attract candidates, but there is no reason to be on these sites if you do not have a clear path to conversion.  


When potential employees come to your site or social profiles to check you out, what story do they find? Do they see that you value your employees through your content? Who is the first point of contact in the hiring process? How fast is the follow-up? How easy do you make it for them to find out more? 


At this stage, candidates want to know what other people say about your organization. Take stock of your social media mentions and online reviews. This is also a good opportunity to take control of the narrative and have your employees share their experiences with your target audience.  

You must intentionally implement these steps as part of your brand’s marketing and recruiting strategy.  

The following two stages are the bridge to long-term employee success: Try and Hire 

It can be extremely costly to have a lot of employee turnover, especially short-lived employee turnover, not to mention bad for your business’s image and culture. So that is why it’s essential to get these stages right.  


Take a look at your application process. Does it attract the best candidates or just eliminate the ones applying? Are there long surveys, or is it a rigorous phone screen? Is follow-up more than a week after applying? Do you set clear expectations at every stage of the hiring process? 


Don’t let your organization be a victim of hires-remorse. Have you evaluated your onboarding process? What does the training process look like? Don’t just put systems in place that check off boxes; put the effort in and make these experiences exceptional.   

The main takeaway is to hire people with the same care that you put into customer acquisition. For example, you would not have an extensive pre-qualifying questionnaire for your customers or not follow up with them after they purchased, so you shouldn’t do that to your potential hires.  

The last two stages are the keys to growing with your team: Retain and Refer. 

Year after year, the number one reason employees leave companies is a lack of respect or investment in their personal development. Growing with and investing in your team is how you build a stable business.  


If your employees trust the hiring process they went through, they are more likely to refer others for open positions. They are also more likely to refer people they know if there is an excellent incentive. The incentives for referral hiring should be creative and benefit both the referrer and the new hire to be effective.  

People don’t change jobs they change bosses. 

Solve for the issue of respect. What if we came to view our customers and employees more like members. Guide people from where they are to where they want to go. 

What else can be impacted in your business by doing this?  

Investing in your recruiting journey will bolster your mission, solidify the messages you share with your audience, help in sales and training, increase services and help grow your business. It will also help with your hiring process.  

What can start doing today today?

Go through each Recruiting Journey Stage of the and ask yourself, “What am I currently doing to build a pipeline of people interested in my organization? How am I nurturing that process?” 

I use this workbook every day with clients. It has all of the tools described in this post. It is also a great planning document that you can use to create your customer and your employee journey.

15 Chrome Extensions Every Marketing Consultant Should Employ

15 Chrome Extensions Every Marketing Consultant Should Employ written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Chrome extensions are incredibly useful (and often underrated) tools for marketers. They allow you to tailor your daily online experience to your specific needs, your job, and your productivity. As a marketing consultant, there are plugins out there that can help you, your clients, and potential prospects.

There are many extensions that can help you do things like: gain more competitive insights for your clients, quickly audit and report on a prospect’s website performance, instantly record a short personalized 1-to-1 video to send in a cold email, analyze SEO, security, and design flaws on a website, the list goes on.

There’s a huge library of plugins out there, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed when looking through the extension store. So which ones are really worth adding to your stack?

I want to share some of the best extensions you can add to your marketing consultant toolkit. These tools will help you focus, find new customers, and make informed decisions about your marketing strategies (The links below are all for Chrome versions but many also have Firefox and Safari versions.)

1. Similar web

SimilarWeb can give some basics on traffic to a site including the breakdown of traffic channels and similar websites. It’s a competitive digital intelligence tool for a complete 360-degree view of your industry, competitors, and customers.

2. Quick SEO

Quick SEO checks backlinks and few other handy things. It provides you easy access to important SEO signals and data like PageRank, Backlinks, Alexa Rank, and Traffic estimate.

3. METASEO Inspector

METASEO Inspector is useful to inspect the meta data and schema found inside web pages that are usually not visible while browsing. The extension shows you alerts when the meta data is not within certain ranges, for example when the description tag is too short, or too long.

4. Built With or What Runs

These tools are website profilers. Either of these tools can give you a pretty quick analysis of the technology behind a site like WordPress and what plugins are present with a click of a button.

Above: Built With

Above: What Runs

5. MyWebAudit

This is a paid tool that runs a complete analysis of a site and produces a pretty report you can brand and use. MyWebAudit runs automated checks that provide a done-for-you audit system. It identifies the major design, SEO, security, and performance issues that cost businesses money.

6. Lighthouse

This is Google’s site speed test tool that can quickly produce some ideas about what might be slowing a site down.

7. WhatsMySerp

WhatsMySerp shows related search volume and CPC data right in the browser for most search phrases. You get unlimited on-demand keyword research data inside Google search results.

8. Facebook Pixel Helper

This tool shows if Facebook Pixel is installed. The extension works in the background to look for conversion or Facebook pixels and provide real-time feedback on the implementation.

9. Loom Instant Video

This allows you to launch Loom from any web page and is handy if you’re doing site reviews to capture what you are seeing on a site. You can record your screen, voice, and face to create an instantly shareable video in less time than it would take to type an email.


10. Email Hunter

This tool allows you to find email addresses associated with any website. Along with the email addresses, you can get the names, job titles, social networks, and phone numbers. All the data has public sources detailed in the search results.

11. Color Picker

This tool makes it easy to identify web colors, saving, and editing them on a given site a quick and simple job.

12. What Font

What Font helps you discover the fonts used on a website. It allows you to know the font name, its family, color, style, size, position.

13. Video Speed Controller

Fast-forward, rewind, adjust playback speed on any video. This video speed adjuster adds controls to web videos that allow to increase or decrease playback speed.

14. Grammarly

This tool checks your grammar in email and any other online app. You’ll get real-time feedback from Grammarly on Gmail, Google Docs, Twitter, LinkedIn, and nearly everywhere else you find yourself writing.


15. Calendly

If you use this scheduling tool, the extension makes it easy to drop your calendar links into any doc or email.

There’s my list, but hopefully, you’ve found at least one Chrome extension that can help you become more effective at your job. Are there any essential or obvious ones I missed? Let me know in the comments.

5 Trends That Impact Consultants and Coaches in 2021

5 Trends That Impact Consultants and Coaches in 2021 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

In addition to working with thousands of small business owners each year, I also work very closely with coaches, consultants, and small marketing agency owners. These folks are, of course, small business owners in their own right. Still, this work gives me particular insight into the challenges, workings, and characteristics of this specific niche of business owners. (You can learn about the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network here)

With that in mind, I present the 5 biggest trends that will impact coaches and consultants in 2021 and beyond.

However, I need to add the 2020 disclaimer – I have no idea what 2021 will bring, and anyone who claims they do is delusional, lying, or just guessing. So, when all or none of what I’m about to share happens next year, please do not request a refund.

As much as anything, 2021 will be about re-evaluation, rediscovery, and a whole lot of recovery.

And that leads me to my first trend, which is pretty meta in a post about coaches and consultants.

1) Coaching and consulting practices explode

Good news, this is the business to be in next year. As corporate giants reassess their business models, some current staff will jump into the consulting world. These small, nimble firms will compete with the giant, slow-moving, expensive consulting options.

You can expect a lot more personal development going on next year and open the doors for wellness, mindset, and skill coaching practices of all shapes and sizes. (In fact, we created a Certified Marketing Manager Program for 2021)

Of course, look for coach certifications, coach training programs, and “coaches” coaches to follow this growth trend.

2) More and more firms crowdsource talent

Very related to trend number one is the continued shrinkage of siloed departments for everything. Marketing departments of the future will get very lean and depend upon quick-strike teams that can be assembled for specific initiatives and campaigns.

Look for freelancing sites such as Upwork to get in the game of assembling teams.

3) Social media engagement gets more specialized

Almost every social media platform got a little more complex last year. To stand out and grow market share. Features like reels, stories, and stitching enable content creators to produce in multiple formats that require shorter, attention-getting tricks to compete.

The simple fact is that for anyone other than the full-time social media influencer with a team, it’s become too crowded and too complicated to attempt to compete on multiple platforms.

Look for consultants to specialize and splinter into platform-specific tactics and look for businesses to rein in their social media participation in the same way.

Social media will continue to get more transactional, but only if done to near perfection.

4) People crave faster consumption

Spending eight and nine hours a day in front of a screen doing “work,” laced with video calls, has pretty much killed the appetite for anything streaming that is not full-blown entertainment.

Does the world need that streaming video of you driving in your car talking about how real the struggle is? Um, that’s a hard no. (If I cursed in my writing, this is where I would do it.)

Do we want short, punchy, maybe even a little funny, but to the point content? Can I have an amen right now? It’s a little ironic but consider this; we can consume about three times the amount of content reading than listening.

I’m from the Midwest, so I don’t talk very fast, about 150 words a minute. But I’m a speedy reader, about 600 words a minute. So, don’t assume that audio and video content is all people want. What we want is something that entertains or provides value quickly. (Although I’ll give a major plug for audio content due to its portability – you can listen while doing many other things.)

5) AI get very practical

I wrote about this idea in my general 2021 Small Business Trends post, but it certainly crosses over to anyone who produces or content or helps others produce content.

Almost every trend article you encounter this year will talk about AI in some fashion. While I mention it here as a trend, I do so for some of the practical things it now brings rather than the futuristic promise of the technology it implies.

Without getting too techie about the workings, the mid-2020 roll-out of Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 or GPT-3 made AI a useful tool for many applications.

No longer confined to those pesky bots on website help desks, AI is now being embedded in our basic typing functions. Maybe you’ve noticed that the application keeps suggesting finishes to your sentences as you compose an email in Gmail.

This isn’t simply a feature added by Google; this is AI at work powering routine tasks.

This fall, I wrote my latest book, The Ultimate Marketing Engine (HarperCollins Leadership Sept 2021), entirely in Google Docs. I was amazed how often the suggested AI helped me write better or at least easier sentences from a simple suggested start.

Look in 2021 for a host of tools, services, and websites aimed at making writing easier. Tools like HeadLime, Lately, DeScript, and MarketMuse will change how content is created.

AI applications can already write an article based on a handful of fed keywords. Now, is this award-winning prose? Well, no, but is that blog post you paid someone $15 to write near as good as AI – probably not. AI writers can get you 80% of the way there, and then you, the brilliant content strategist that you are, can spend your energy on making it sparkle and getting it read by others.

This will shake up the content creation, social posting, and freelance industries dramatically.

This crystal ball stuff is fun, but more than anything, stay curious this coming year, and you may indeed discover a new and exciting chapter in business and life because the only thing that I know for certain is that change is gonna keep coming.

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How to Accelerate Your Marketing Consulting Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The marketing consulting model

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

How to generate more ideal clients

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

Business building basics

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

How to better serve your clients

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

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

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

Using Virtual Tools to Engage Your Clients

Using Virtual Tools to Engage Your Clients written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Recently I sent out a simple message encouraging folks to stay positive and keep pulling for each other and suggesting that you get comfortable using an array of virtual tools to stay top of mind with clients and customers as they get to know virtual you.

In addition to plenty of messages of thanks, I also received a few questions about ways to employ digital tools for virtual communication so I thought I would put my ideas down and send them out.

First of all, there are many ways to create engagement with all of the tools we have available today but here are my favorites. (Nothing beats in-person for connection, but much can be done virtually with the right approach)

Great Use Cases and Tools

1) 1-to-1 video using a tool like Loom – Loom is a browser extension and you can do an instant video or screen capture and embed a link in an email – I call this 1 to 1 video because it’s a great way to personalize a video or review a report. I have clients who show off plans, share a website design, highlight a trend in Google analytics, give context to spreadsheet data, do a website review, and all manner of saying hello in the most personal way possible. One of the best aspects of Loom is that once you hit stop it produces a link that you can copy and paste into an email. In most cases, the recipient can view the video right in their email.

2) Video meetings and webinars using a tool like Zoom – This is my current video meeting and webinar platform of choice – We use this for larger webinars, group or team meetings, and one on one live meetings with clients. Zoom is very lightweight from a user perspective, meaning pretty much anyone who knows how to click on a link can get connected to your meeting. You can record the calls, people can join via computer or phone, there’s a mobile app, and you have lots of tools such as screen sharing and annotation during the call.

You could even consider this as a local alternative to say a networking or referral group that you already belong to but want to take to a virtual space. These kinds of meetups could help you stay connected while staying in the office.

3) Live streaming using a tool such as StreamYard – This is my current live streaming tool as it’s pretty affordable and you can stream to multiple platforms at the same time – Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.  A lot of people use live streaming in corny ways, que up the shot walking down the sidewalk or driving in the car, but livestreams can be an effective way to get a short message across. As in all things related to communicating a message, the best livestreams include stories. StreamYard also allows for some nice branding on-screen while you are broadcasting and automatically records the video.

Tips to take it up a notch

While the right tools make virtual you available, there are some things to keep in mind if you wish to take full advantage of this approach

1) Sound is important

While you can technically get your message across using your earbuds if you want to impress get a podcasting mic such as Blue Yeti 

 (In video meetings this isn’t necessary but for many other applications it allows you to communicate with more authority in your voice.)

2) Upgrade your camera

Most modern laptops come with a camera but taking it up just a bit to something like a Logitech C922x 

 will allow you to have wider shots, better focus, and far better light absorption. Okay, I don’t really know anything about light absorption, but I know you’ll look better.

3) Lighting makes a difference

If your office is the spare bedroom in the basement get some led lights or you’ll look like you’re in the spare bedroom in the basement. If you can natural light through a window on your face is the best (no lights or window behind you or all we will see is glare.) Many people use these inexpensive ring lights

4) Get rid of distractions

Again, if you work at home or in a busy office your background might not scream the professional message you want to convey. Recently I discovered a company called AnyVoo that creates simple pop-up backgrounds that you can put behind you anytime you have a video call or webinar. I love the idea so much I reached out the founder and got you a 30% discount just go to and use the discount code ducttapebeta. (This is not an affiliate link, just a discount because I like you so much!)

5) Try different formats

Online, virtual training differs from traditional in-person interaction mostly due to the fact that it’s harder to stay focused online. Meaning you should keep everything shorter and break it up into chunks. Do a 30-minute webinar instead of an hour. If you want to do something much longer you’ll have to think of a structure that gives people a break.

30 minutes of teaching, break to complete an assignment, 30 minutes of discussion.

Let me know if you have any questions. Would this be a good topic for a webinar training?

Okay, that’s it go get em and let me know what other questions you have

Growing a Profitable Marketing Consulting Practice: My First Year as a Duct Tape Marketing Consultant

Growing a Profitable Marketing Consulting Practice: My First Year as a Duct Tape Marketing Consultant written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My first interaction with John Jantsch was in April of 2016 at the annual Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego, CA. I had just begun my digital marketing consulting business a few months prior and, to be honest, hadn’t read his popular book Duct Tape Marketing nor did I know anything about running a successful marketing business.

John’s breakout session at the conference was about growing an “insanely profitable marketing consulting practice.” My biggest takeaway was the packaged “value-based” pricing structure he recommended. Afterward, I crept on the Duct Tape Marketing website and liked what I saw. I loved the fact that they put the pricing of their marketing consulting services right there in the open and had cute names (and icons) for them like “Jumpstart,” “Catalyst,” and “Department.” I remember thinking, “this is how I want to model my consulting business,” but rather than joining John’s Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network which he was also promoting, I simply mimicked them! Long story short, I invented my own similar packages named “Jumpstart,” “Pro,” and “Domination” with similar icons. I even ripped off some of their website verbiage. (Sorry, John. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?).

Look familiar? In 2017, long before becoming a certified Duct Tape Marketing consultant I was ripping them off! (Sorry, John.)

Despite not joining John’s network of consultants at the time, he now had a fan, and I followed much of his content going forward, including reading Duct Tape Marketing and SEO for Growth. (I also recommend the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast).

I enjoy how John and Duct Tape Marketing clarify online marketing in such simple terms, especially search engine optimization (SEO). Marketing tactics like website design, SEO, content creation, and social media can be overwhelming, especially for small business owners, but they don’t have to be—the Duct Tape Marketing resources make sense of it all. They make it so easy!

Before Joining the Network

Fast forward two years and I had grown my digital marketing business to a fairly successful place with a monthly average of eight small business clients (i.e. dentistry, home builders, self-storage companies, etc.) on retainer and several other one-off projects. However, I had to learn many things the hard way, including how to price my services correctly, how to fulfill on my services and find reliable vendors, and how to properly grow my business. In a nutshell, I was an entrepreneur on an island figuring it out as I went. More notably, I could barely keep up with my workload because I was jumping from one task to another and, despite all the work, I was still not making much profit. I had gotten myself this far, but I needed a system.

Enter the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network

I don’t know what prompted me to sit in on John’s webinar in June of 2018, because I knew he’d be pitching the consulting network that I had first learned about two years prior—and I knew I was not going to invest any money into a training program—but regardless, I attended. AND boy, was I wrong. While sitting in on John’s webinar something hit me: This was exactly what I needed at this point of my business. A few days later I was signed up, and I haven’t been disappointed since.

I’ve invested in my fair share of courses and learning tools. Some have been good and more have been bad, but the majority of the training materials marketed to me tend to include a young man in his twenties (who is clearly too young to have enough life experience to teach me about growing a business or marketing) that is standing in front of some flashy backdrop (sometimes a fancy car or even a private jet) and usually promising to 10X my business overnight. If you make the mistake of purchasing such a program from one of these “so-called” gurus, what you usually get is simply a “fly-by-night” lead-generation strategy. Trust me, I know.

With Duct Tape Marketing, it was different. No hard sell and access to John Jantsch himself. I mean the guy hopped on two calls with me personally before I joined!

What first attracted me to the organization was the network of preferred vendors, a library of marketing materials, and the certification process.

Preferred Vendors

The Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network has a vast number of preferred vendors and providers (including discounts) to help you fulfill on several services, including website design, content creation, and reputation management. These resources have been vetted by other consultants so I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. For example, if I needed a copywriter, there are recommended providers for that. No longer did I have to take a chance on a vendor on my own to learn if they were any good (trust me, I had gone through tons of resources to land on the ones I use before DTM). Even better, I was already using many of the preferred vendors such as CallRail, GradeUs, etc., which meant I was on the right track, but more so I could now get a discount with many of these companies. (Yes, Duct Tape Marketing negotiates discounted rates for the group!)

Marketing Materials

As a member of the organization, you get access to tons of marketing materials such as ebooks, presentations, PDFs, and more. Members can use these materials as is or co-brand them, too.

Certification Process

If you’ve ever read one of John’s books, you might be familiar with the Marketing Hourglass. This is the backbone of the Duct Tape Marketing system that you will learn as part of the consultant certification process. The Marketing Hourglass is a unique approach to the customer journey map that takes a potential customer through the sales funnel of know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer. This was not only valuable to apply with my clients, but I was stoked to do it for my own business. During the 90-day certification process, I interviewed my top clients and developed my core marketing messages, ideal client personas, and a practical marketing action plan.

Come for the Tools, Stay for the Network

Aside from these three benefits, another selling point for me was the fact that I was one of the youngest members of this network! Let me explain. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve experienced other paid training programs for marketing consultants. Many of these programs seem to be dominated (and sometimes even run) by young “newbies” who, in my opinion, are more engrossed in their self-serving motives rather than providing real value for the clients they are supposed to be serving.

The fact that most of the members of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network have transitioned from successful careers in corporate America was a positive sign for me. It meant I was surrounded by people with years of experience and not by anyone wanting to get rich quick. Most importantly, everyone in the network, including John Jantsch himself, cares deeply about each other and providing real results for their clients. This organization attracts good people wanting to do marketing the right way.

This is Not a Course, It’s a System

In my opinion, the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network is part franchise, part course, and part coaching—but more than anything, it’s a system. As John preaches in his books that “marketing is a system,” becoming a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant means you have access to a system for your practice and your clients.

A System for Consultants

For consultants, you get a step-by-step formula (delivered through the certification process and online training resources) for attracting clients, developing a winning strategy for those clients, pricing your services, fulfilling on your deliverables, and scaling your business—all the things you truly need to grow a successful marketing practice.

A Marketing System for Your Clients

Through the program, you will learn how to deliver the proven Marketing Hourglass system to your own clients, which will likely earn you long-term satisfied clients who want to keep paying you because you are now essential to their business growth.

A Year in Review

Since joining the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network here are just a few of my results:

A Steady Source of Prospects

As a result of applying the Marketing Hourglass to my own practice, I have created a steady source of leads for my business. One of the tactics has been hosting several free marketing workshops in my city (also referred to as “speaking for leads”). Not only has this turned into actual paying clients, but it has increased my local influence and even lead to organic referrals simply by becoming better known in the community. I have also gained the confidence to create a ton of new web content and YouTube videos which have yielded a ton of leads from SEO. Needless to say, I am no longer having to scratch and claw for new clients, because I have a steady flow of new prospects each month.

40% Revenue Growth

One of John’s first pieces of advice to me was to increase my prices. I increased my base SEO services by 50%, but more importantly added two new levels of service at roughly $2,500-4,000 per month (a minimum of $1,500 more than my highest services previously). My confidence to do so came from the value I was able to add through additional services like reputation management, content writing, and social media, leveraging the organization’s preferred vendors. This has resulted in a 40% revenue growth over the last 12 months. I’m on pace for my biggest year thus far.

Continued Education

The Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network offers bi-monthly training opportunities in the form of webinars and peer calls. These have been one of the most valuable resources. They also have in-person learning events once a quarter. In the ever-changing world of Google and online marketing, I have learned so much and continue to become a better marketer by taking advantage of these.

John Jantsch (left) and me (right) during a July 2019 DTMCN masterclass in Colorado.

My Advice to You

You get out what you put in. Whether it is the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network, a book, or some other resource, you will get the results when you take action. I attribute my success to this. When I joined to become a certified consultant with Duct Tape Marketing, I committed to getting my money’s worth and it has paid off because I have followed the system. (As I heard another member say, “Just do what they tell you to do, and it works.”) Like I said earlier, I spent two years figuring it out on my own. I wish I had joined sooner and I would have had a system to plug into.

If you are considering growing a marketing practice, I encourage you to sit in on one of John’s webinars. Even if you don’t join this organization, take action. There are so many resources available that can guide you on your entrepreneurial journey, but you won’t get there until you take your first step. Go out and make it happen.

Author Bio:

Since 2005, Michael Quinn has practiced marketing in the following fields: broadcast news, local TV advertising, corporate marketing, and most recently, small business SEO. In 2015, he got the entrepreneurial itch after consistently generating nearly 500 leads a month for his employer using online marketing. This drove him to create the Michael Quinn Agency with the mission to help 300 small business owners revolutionize their business growth by 2025 using online marketing. His current team includes a PPC specialist, web developer, and marketing assistant. He lives in Fargo, ND with his wife, stepson, and dog Mater.

5 Ways to Get More SEO Bang for Your Buck

5 Ways to Get More SEO Bang for Your Buck written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on the 5 Ways to Get More SEO Bang for Your Buck

Every business needs SEO. If you’re a consultant or marketing agency, every single one of your clients is looking for you to get them results. They want to show up in search engine rankings—and not just show up anywhere, but rank competitively so that they get noticed by new audiences.

For experienced marketers, SEO isn’t complicated or difficult. We all know that there are certain things we need to do, like creating a website with the proper structure and implementing a content plan. Once you’ve covered the basics, you want to take your efforts to the next level so that you can really deliver for your clients.

These five techniques can help you take what your clients already have and turn it into even more valuable SEO fuel.

1. Optimize Your Old Content

Many business owners have produced lots of content over the years. If your client has been blogging for 15 years, there’s a ton of valuable content to tap into! The key is to go back and re-optimize that older content. Removing broken links, getting rid of outdated resources, and updating to be relevant for today’s audience is a great way to give your client’s existing content a boost.

This is also an opportunity for you to link to newer internal content. If your client has since created several explainer videos on the topic, plus a great podcast episode, why not include links to this newer material?

2. Embrace New Formats

Today, content is about so much more than blog posts. And fortunately a format like video can help you create exponentially more content in the same amount of time.

Take, for example, what I’m doing with this podcast. I’m actually recording this as a video, and will pull the audio separately to create the podcast episode that you’re listening to now. I’ll also create a blog post to accompany this episode. That means that in about ten minutes of work, I’ve suddenly created content in three separate formats (video, audio, and written word).

3. Add Video to Your Pages

Speaking of video, if your client doesn’t already have video on their website, now is the time to include content in this popular format. Not only are people more eager than ever to consume content in video format, video also helps increase your ranking with the search engines.

One of the ranking factors for Google and other search engines is dwell time (essentially, how long a visitor stays on a given web page). Longer dwell times lead search engines to infer that the content on the given page is relevant to the viewer, which they reward by giving you a boost in SERPs.

I’ve noticed on our site that pages that have video embedded on them encourage people to stick around. Visitors usually stay on these pages one to two minutes longer than pages lacking video. Even if they don’t watch the entire video, a video clip that can hold their attention for even 30 seconds will keep them on the page for longer than blocks of text would.

4. Get on Podcasts

I’ve talked before about the SEO benefits of guest podcasting. Lately, there has been a shift away from guest blogging and towards guest podcasting. Lots of businesses have started podcasts, and they’re hungry for guests to fill those episodes. Why not get your client on relevant shows?

Guest podcasting is great for a number of reasons. The time commitment is minimal; in 20 minutes of talking, you can create an entire episode. Plus, since you’re a guest, it’s up to the podcast host to edit the episode and do all of the behind-the-scenes work.

Podcasters are happy to link to your client’s website, ebooks, and other resources. This creates backlinks for their site, which are an important external element in building reputation and SEO. Plus, the podcaster will promote the episode through their networks and channels, bringing additional exposure to your client.

5. Collaborate with Clients to Produce Content

The final step to boosting your client’s SEO is a bit more involved, but it’s a worthwhile investment. Each month, work with one of your clients to produce content. This could be a video or podcast interview on your own site, a case study, a co-created survey, or just about anything else you can dream up.

Put together a package of content featuring and partnering with your clients. Through this process, you’ll generate backlinks and great content for both of you. Collaborating with your clients is great for strengthening your relationship with them, plus it can help you close more deals for yourself!

Prospects love to see examples, case studies, and the like. Co-created content touches on all of those elements. And when you’re producing and promoting your own content, you’re showing off your marketing prowess to potential clients.

As a marketer, you understand how to nail down the basics of SEO. When you’re ready to take things to the next level, these five steps are a great place to start. By amplifying your client’s existing efforts, you’re getting the most out of each piece of content they create and generating great SEO results with less heavy lifting.

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

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7 Reasons Why Proposal Software Will Boost Your Sales

7 Reasons Why Proposal Software Will Boost Your Sales written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

You’re probably well aware of how important business proposals are to getting clients and winning new business. If you’ve been writing a lot of them, you may have thought about investing in proposal software to make the process easier.

However, is proposal software really all that great compared to writing the proposals yourself? It turns out that there are quite a few reasons why you would want dedicated software for proposal writing.

It will make writing a whole lot quicker

Here’s the thing – writing isn’t as easy as it seems. For sales purposes, writing can be extremely daunting. If you’re great at closing sales, you don’t necessarily need to be a good writer. On the other hand, hiring a writer every time you need to send out a proposal (or having someone in-house) is just not practical.

Proposal software ensures you spend less time writing, as it comes with pre-made templates. Some apps, such as Better Proposals, come with templates for different industries, such as marketing or website design. All you have to do is fill in the blanks. Alternatively, you can create your own template based on a proposal that worked for you and edit the main information every time you create a new proposal.

By spending less time on writing, you will be able to spend more time learning about your clients and getting new leads.

Integrations make everything easier

One of the biggest issues with proposals in document format is that their use is very much limited. Modern proposal software comes with a range of different integrations that ensure your proposal is embedded into your sales process.

For example, you can pull data from your CRM into your proposal software, making it easier to fill out your proposal template. Moreover, your proposal will be added to the sales pipeline. Once the proposal goes out, you can integrate it with your project management tool to have a birds’ eye view of the progress of the deal.

In essence, integrations save you time, make creating proposals easier and let you be in full control of the sales process. If your chosen proposal software doesn’t have native integrations, you can hook it up with Zapier and the possibilities are endless.

You won’t have to worry about design either

Besides writing, another thing that sales professionals aren’t always skilled at is design. Who’s to guess which color goes well with blue and where you need to put your logo to make the proposal look aesthetically pleasing?

Proposal software eliminates this problem by giving you visual templates and all you have to do is edit the written content. Besides the general appearance, you can change font colors, headers, insert your company logo and much more.

Why does all of this matter? Proposals with a cover convert better than those without one. Even if you think appearance doesn’t matter, first impressions are crucial to getting your proposals signed.

Your proposals will be optimized for all devices

When writing proposals in word processing apps, you usually save them as text or PDF files. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always end up looking all that great. 34% of all proposals are first opened on mobile platforms. Proposal software makes all your proposals optimized across devices, so you make a great impression, no matter the device the client is using.

You can guide the client through the proposal

One of the recent developments in the world of business proposals is live chat. You can use a live chat app to communicate with the client as they are reading the proposal and answer any questions they may have. It turns out that it makes a difference – you’re 13.2% more likely to win the deal if you use this feature in your proposals.

You will get paid more quickly

For anyone working in B2B, you probably know the struggles with unpaid invoices. According to research, the average company has invoices unpaid for up to 90 days. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

When research was done on over 180,000 signed proposals, the average proposal was paid about 12 hours from the moment it was signed. There are several reasons for this. First, you can pay directly from the proposal, which reduces friction and makes payment simpler and easier. Second, half of all payments (52%) were made through credit cards (using integrations with Stripe, Paypal and similar).

The remainder was paid either directly or through invoices. This means that a large portion of your clients may be delaying payment through invoices simply because they find credit cards more convenient – which is an option you can set up in your proposal software.

You will avoid the death trap of PDFs

It’s fairly common to send out your proposals as PDFs. It’s what your clients are used to – you just attach them and send out in your emails. The clients print them out to review them and hopefully sign. Well, research has shown that PDFs are the number one conversion killer for business proposals.

On a fairly large sample, we discovered that sending your proposal as a PDF means decreasing the chances of the proposal being signed by as much as 78%. It’s not that something is inherently bad about PDFs, it’s just they tend to get printed. And once a proposal gets printed, the likelihood of signing plummets. The reasoning behind this may be that a proposal printed on paper gets shared among several stakeholders, decreasing the chances of being signed.


There are plenty of reasons to incorporate proposal software in your sales systems. Not only will you write proposals more quickly, but you will also get paid more quickly, have your proposals optimized across devices, have the option of live chat within the proposal and much more.

If you’re still sending out proposals in PDFs as email attachments, it’s high time you jump on board the proposal software revolution – your business will thank you for it.

About the Author

Adam Hempenstall

Adam Hempenstall is the CEO and Founder of Better Proposals, simple proposal software for creating beautiful, high-impact proposals in minutes. Having helped his customers at Better Proposals win $120,000,000+ in one year only, he has launched the first Proposal Writing University where he shares business proposal best practices.