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A Startup Journey With GrubHub Founder Mike Evans

A Startup Journey With GrubHub Founder Mike Evans written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Mike Evans

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Mike Evans. Mike founded GrubHub in his spare bedroom and grew it into the multi-billion-dollar online food delivery colossus that is a household name. Since leaving GrubHub, he founded Fixer.com, an on-demand handyperson service focused on social impact. He lives in Chicago with his wife, daughter, dog, and bike. He’s also the author of a book that is to be released later this year —Hangry: A Startup Journey.

Key Takeaway:

The journey of GrubHub began late one night in Mike Evan’s spare bedroom when he was hungry and tired and looking to get pizza delivered. At the time, there was no seamless way to know what places were open and which restaurants delivered. So, as an avid coder, he created GrubHub in his spare bedroom to figure out who delivered to his apartment. Over the next decade, Mike grew his little delivery guide into the world’s premier online ordering website. In doing so, he entered the company of an elite few entrepreneurs to take a startup from an idea all the way to an IPO. In this episode, I talk with Mike about his founding of GrubHub and he shares details of his entrepreneurial journey.

Questions I ask Mike Evans:

  • [1:46] Could you give us a high-level overview of the startup of Grubhub to IPO to what you’re doing now?
  • [2;47] When you did this was it kind of a like lark – meaning you created it because you could?
  • [3:38] Did you knock on restaurant doors saying ‘I have this idea, do you want to be a part of this?
  • [6:06] Was there a moment where you thought this is actually going to work?
  • [7:15] At what point did you say we’ve gotta go get money?
  • [7:52] Was there competition that you had to buy up, and/or what type of acquisitions did you feel like you had to make?
  • [9:19] You put in a lot of hours – there are a lot of entrepreneurs and startups some of who don’t achieve anywhere near the level of success you did – what toll did that take on your personal life?
  • [12:51] Right up to IPO at which point you quit, which I think some people would actually say, you made it now, why are you quitting? So what’s the story behind that and how do you position that story?
  • [15:53] Are you an investor in GrubHub still?
  • [16:08] Let’s talk about the bike across America, how many days were you riding?
  • [16:23] Did you meet people along the road that knew who you were?
  • [18:48] Where was the best beer?
  • [19:45] What can you tell us about Fixer.com?
  • [20:46] Will the expansion of this be much slower?
  • [23:25] Where can people find the book and connect with you?

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John Jantsch (00:00): This episode or the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the Nudge Podcast, hosted by Phil Agnew and brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. You can learn the science behind great marketing with bite size 20 minute episodes, packed with practical advice from admired marketers and behavioral scientists. Nudge is a fast pace, but still insightful with real world examples that you can apply her recent issue, talked about the, the idea of getting your customers, your prospects, in the habit of buying from you, or listening to you or following you. Habit based marketing, download, nudge, wherever you get your podcasts.

(00:48): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Mike Evans. He’s the founder of GrubHub and he founded in his spare bedroom and grew it to a multi billion dollar online food delivery. Colossus, that is a household name, probably be, became even more so the last couple years says leaving GrubHub. He founded fixer.com and on demand, handy person service focused on social impact. He lives in Chicago with his wife, daughter, dog, and I bet you it’s more than one bike if I had the gas. Yeah, that’s true. But any , I mean, Mike, Mike walk into the

Mike Evans (01:25): Show, you can never have enough bikes. That’s not true. You can have enough. I just haven’t hit that theoretical

John Jantsch (01:30): . Thanks for having enough. I should have wanted to mention also that we’re gonna talk about is a new book hangry a start up journey. So for people who don’t, certainly, I mean, again, GrubHub house, household name, people don’t know your story though. Maybe just give us kind of the high level startup to, you know, IPO to now what you’re doing.

Mike Evans (01:52): Yeah, so it started cuz I wanted a pizza and I could kind of just stop there. I, I literally just wanted a pizza and I was a software developer and so I wrote a version, one of, of a neighborhood delivery guide showed me all the restaurants delivered to me. That hobby turned into a business. That business grew, you know, I obviously spent a lot of time and energy on it about about 13 years and grew it all the way through the ipo, after which I, I literally quit and literally rode off into the sunset. I rode my bicycle from Virginia to Oregon. And so yeah, that’s, that, that’s the story that’s detailed in the book. Sort of a personal journey a lot more than the bus. You know, there’s some business elements to it, but it’s really about the personal experience of starting something from nothing.

John Jantsch (02:36): It, it’s really more of a memoir than I suppose a business guide.

Mike Evans (02:40): Yeah, it is, it is. Definitely. It’s a business memoir, in fact. Yeah. So it’s sort of a mash up of those two things. did some like travel writing thrown in too. Totally.

John Jantsch (02:48): All right, so let’s go back to the, well, I, you, I was gonna go back to the early days, but now you made me go back even farther when you did this, was it just kind of a lark, like, because I can, I’m gonna create this thing.

Mike Evans (02:59): No, I literally was hungry and the yellow pages was a disaster. Certainly, and I talk about this a little bit in the book, that it’s true for most entrepreneurs that there’s a push and a pull to starting a business and the push is like pushing you out of being able to work for other people. It’s very hard for people about have that mindset. It’s, I’m kind of unemployable. I can’t handle having a boss. And so I was like, well, I better be my own boss then. So there was a push and then there was this thing that was a hobby that I was like increasingly aware, had legs and I, and it could run. And so I decided to sort of cast caution to the wind, quit my job and go for it with starting this food delivery.

John Jantsch (03:38): So, so I’m envisioning because you, you actually, both of your businesses really are, you’re creating the supply end of demand in a lot of cases, right? You have to balance that because without restaurants you kinda ha not gonna have customers. Without customers, you’re not gonna have restaurants, Right? So did you, I’m envisioning you like going down the street in Chicago somewhere knocking on restaurant doors and saying, I have an idea, you want to like be part of this.

Mike Evans (04:02): I did do that. I literally did that. But you know what you’re talking about a little bit right now. So when you have these kind of businesses that have these two different sides of a network, they’re called marketplaces and, and they suffer, they all suffer from this problem called, you know, the, you know, called the chicken and the egg problem. Like if without any restaurants it’s not valuable, it’s diners. Diners, it’s not valuable to restaurants. My answer to this problem is to cheat. You have to figure out a way to cheat to get an unfair advantage. And for me, what that was, I actually went and picked up the paper menus for restaurants and scanned them. And so when a customer came to the website to when a diner came to the website, they would see all of the re all of the menus for the city. And then the ones at the top of the list were the ones that they could order online from. Uh, so I literally had to walk the entire city of Chicago and the entire city of San Francisco and pick up every single menu. And so that was my way to cheat is I, as I sort of bypass the chicken and the egg problem by creating value for one of the sides. Yeah. Before I sold anyone.

John Jantsch (05:00): Yeah. So a lot of the restaurants were already seeing something in it for them before you really even got them to sign up, I guess.

Mike Evans (05:07): Yeah, I, it was true that when I started selling online ordering as like a package, the restaurants knew who I knew who the website was already. A lot of them, I had never talked to ’em, I had just put the menus online and they loved that we sent them traffic, but then it, that made it certainly a softer like opening when I walked in the door. It certainly, it wasn’t super hard, although restaurants get sold a lot of stuff and so I got kicked out of a lot of restaurants

John Jantsch (05:30): Early on. Yeah. And it’s a lot of people walking in the door at lunchtime trying to sell ’em stuff, right? Yeah. You don’t

Mike Evans (05:35): Do to sell restaurants, You don’t walk into noon, you walk at 2:00 PM after the long dress is over. And actually, and I literally have an anecdote about this in the book. I actually read like as a tip, like as a joke, you can walk in through the alleyway instead of the front door. And so I started doing that. I started actually walking on the alleyway behind the restaurants and walking in the back door, which got me, I won’t say violently kicked out, but it was certainly a little bit more emphatically ejected out of a few restaurants. But that’s just part of the rejection of doing sales.

John Jantsch (06:05): Yeah, yeah. So was there a moment, and probably this is in hindsight, where you thought this is actually gonna work.

Mike Evans (06:12): Yeah, when, So it was started as a delivery guide and we tracked the orders that came into the restaurant through a phone system, which was great at the time. And that phone system ended up being like sort of a, people really hated it later in the businesses, in the business life cycle, like politicians and attorney generals, everybody hated that phone system. But the restaurants liked it at first cause it tracked how effective their advertising was. And I was kind of onto something. I had quit my job. I was making about half as much money as I did as a software developer, which wasn’t great, but it was like, okay, this is all right. But when I switched from that to online ordering the revenue and the business tripled with the same customer base and, and I realized just how much friction there was in the ordering process. Like people say, Why don’t you just call on the phone? And actually it turns out there’s a lot of reasons you don’t want to call on the phone. Yeah. Or an inaccurate busy restaurant, right? Like phone calls are inaccurate. There’s a lot of reasons. And so when that revenue tripled and suddenly I was like, Oh, I can hire people to help me, like this thing is gonna work. That was a big moment That was, there was several, but that was probably the biggest one.

John Jantsch (07:15): So at what point did you say, we’ve gotta go get money?

Mike Evans (07:20): So I ran the business for four years without taking investment where it was just whatever we could grow based on the revenue you’re generating. Now that’s, it’s a little bit misleading in the sense that the investment, I could write the software myself because I got a software engineering degree from mit. So in some sense that was the investment, right? Learning how to code myself was the investment. But in terms of actually taking outside like cash from a venture capitalist, it was, it was four years in, it was in 2006. So I started in 2002 and in 2006 we took financing in.

John Jantsch (07:52): So I know that you talk about acquisitions in the, uh, in the book, but were, did you buy up competition or was there competition anywhere? What type of acquisitions did you feel like you had to make

Mike Evans (08:03): There? It was a, it was the kind of a business where there was always competition. I mean, I think there were probably a hundred other companies that were trying to do what we were doing at one point. Simultaneously, there’s probably two or 300 that came and went over the course of that, you know, 13 years. And you know, there were little ones, like there was a company called Order Up and there was another company called Quick Order and Quick Order did the online ordering for Domino’s Pizza. And so they already had a pretty robust technology and then all the way up through Living Social and Group on started competing with us. And then ultimately Uber launched their own delivery thing, Uber. And so there was always competition. And so the thing that really we focused on when all these sort of competitors came up was how do we just make the best possible product for the customer? And that way we don’t have to outcompete them by spending we, you know, it’s not just marketing dollars spent Unintelligently, it was about repeat purchase rates and referrals and retention of the customers that we had spent so much money to acquire. And then, and so that was a big part of the Secret of Success and why we outgrew everyone and we’re the first one to ipo.

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(09:43): You do talk in the book about the amount of hours I’m, you know, I’m thinking the walking all of Chicago, walking all of San, So, you know, you put in a lot of hours. What, like a minute, like a lot of entrepreneurs, startups, some of who don’t achieve anywhere near the level of success you did. What toll did that take on your personal life?

Mike Evans (10:02): Yeah, it was certainly, it was challenging. I didn’t have kids at the time, so certainly I didn’t have that like competing for my time. But in terms of my marriage and my friendships and things like that, yeah, it took a really bad toll. It’s very hard to, it’s hard to spend that much time on a business, um, and then develop healthy relationships. I prioritized my marriage and so that, that did fine. But I ended up hiring a lot of my friends. And so I ended up not having really a lot of relationships outside of work, which I think is actually a pretty typical story for most people who start businesses that, that sort of take off. You wanna share in the upside share the wealth, right? Yeah. And so you wanna include your friends, but what that ends up doing is it, it ends up for very rich work relationships, but actually a sort of a posity of personal relat. Right?

John Jantsch (10:44): Right. Yeah. Plus I’m sure you had many times when even when you weren’t working, you couldn’t stop working because you’re always thinking of what’s next, right,

Mike Evans (10:52): . Yeah, I, there’s different types of, you can’t stop working. There’s, the website went down and no one can order or the my, the worst one, I was on a camping trip and this story is actually not in the book. This anecdote didn’t make the cut, but I was on a camping trip and after we place, after an order, the orders or in the early days got faxed to the restaurant. So we had fax and then our phone confirmation system will call and say, you know, type in the four digit number on the bottom of the page to confirm that you got to the fax one all the way through that system got like bugged out one day and it just started like spam calling the restaurants like 10 times a minute.

John Jantsch (11:27): So, Oh

Mike Evans (11:28): Man. And so for like 36 hours, cause I was on a camping trip and so talk about like not being able to take him up. I came back and like half of my restaurants were like, We’re done. We can’t, we can’t. I’m like, well I went, I left for one day, but what happened? And so it does, that kind of stuff does happen. And so there’s the, I can’t stop thinking about it because I’m thinking about the next thing and then there’s the, I can’t stop working on it. Cause literally when I go away, everything falls apart.

John Jantsch (11:55): Are you a fan or have you watched the show? The Bear

Mike Evans (11:58): The Bear? No, I haven’t seen The Bear.

John Jantsch (11:59): Oh, okay. Well it’s filmed in Chicago. It’s about a restaurant and one of the episodes they, they turn on online ordering. They were like an old school restaurant that somebody talked to me. They turned online, online ordering, like the thing just exploded and all these orders were coming out of it. They didn’t know what to do or how to handle it. So I’m envisioning that a little bit.

Mike Evans (12:15): I mean that was an experience, you know, when we ran super, we, you know, we started with, it was in my apartment. It got to the point where we ran a Super Bowl app and the amount, just the amount of traffic that your web servers like get hit with, I mean, it was millions of people are going to our website. It was very effective from a branding and awareness perspective. But like conversion did not work. Like the site crashed, like yeah, it was, it didn’t quite crash, it just bogged down. But people also weren’t ordering by the time the Superbowl started, you’re not ordering pizza. So didn’t result in a lot of orders right away. But yeah, I mean it was, it was a whole experience to sort of see that, those kind of volumes.

John Jantsch (12:52): So you mentioned this, so I’ll just ask you to tell us a story that, that you know, right up to IPO at which point you quit, which I think some people would actually say, You made it now, why are you quitting? Yeah. So what’s, what’s the story behind that? Or is there, you know, I know there is a story behind it, but, uh, how would you, how do you position that story now?

Mike Evans (13:12): Yeah, I think one of the things that surprised me the most about when people talk about that moment when I decided to quit, they usually ask me the question, Well, why did you quit? And I respond with, Look, you should have a reason to stay at things, not a reason to quit. Right. You should, there should be a reason that you’re act, There should be a clearer connection between my activity that I spend every day and my goals for my life. And if I can’t draw a line between those two things, I need to either change my goals or change my activity. And that’s just where I ended up after the ipo. Like, there was nothing else I wanted to accomplish with that business. I wasn’t in it for the vanity or for the, um, you know, so the bells and whistles of running a public company, that that wasn’t super appealing to me.

(13:52): And so I finally had this opportunity to like go do a long bike ride. Like I, I, I had thought about doing, you know, hiking the Appalachian Trail or doing some sort of big adventure thing. And what I ended up doing is riding my bicycle across the United States. It was great. It was a great decision, especially coming after the investment banks and the IPO and the wealth and the private jets that are all involved in that process to, I’m having a peanut butter Jan peanut butter and jelly sandwich at a campsite in rural Tennessee. Like it was, it was quite the contrast. And I, I think it was healthy for me.

John Jantsch (14:25): Well, and I think, again, this is with me not knowing, I mean, in the 20 minutes you and I have been together, I, I’m guessing that the culture of that company would’ve been hard to keep.

Mike Evans (14:38): Yeah, I think it’s true. I mean, culture’s never static anyway. The, I any, at any company, it’s dynamic. Yeah. And if you’re not controlling or influencing where it’s going dynamically, then it’s going somewhere you don’t want it to go. Right. And it’s true that, you know, know at that time we had close to 4,000 employees, which is a big difference in

John Jantsch (14:55): The one you were out of friends at that point, right? Yeah. To hire

Mike Evans (14:58): . And so is that’s absolutely, and we had merged with another company and so it, it had developed a lot and there were a lot more sort of cooks in the kitchen in terms of where that culture was going. And then layer on top of that, you know, the public investors add a lot of pressure to a company, uh, to make quarterly earnings numbers. And those sort of come before anything, before customer service and before product. And, and so those kind of things, like, it’s just this sort of pressure over time that changes the company. And I don’t think for the better. I don’t, I think it’s really hard for public companies to keep that level of sort of their cultural touchstones. It’s, I think that’s really hard.

John Jantsch (15:33): Yeah. Yeah. It’s sort of a different set of masters at that point. This is just a curiosity question. Are you an investor still?

Mike Evans (15:40): I have invested disastrously in a number of startups.

John Jantsch (15:43): Well, no, I actually met in GrubHub, little shareholder.

Mike Evans (15:46): No, I, I sold the last time I shared about a year at Dry Luck. So I haven’t, I have not had a horse in that race as the gotcha as DoorDash He Eats and Gro Hub has sort of gone head to head. I’ve been like just eating popcorn from the side like everyone else, like okay, Wells. I mean, I do still order on the Gro Hub app, obviously I’m not gonna like switch apps, but yeah, I don’t know in any of the company. Anyway.

John Jantsch (16:08): So let’s talk about the Bike across America. How many days?

Mike Evans (16:12): It’s 79 days, which is typical. It takes most people between 80 and 90 who do it. Okay. There’s a few hundred that do it every day, every

John Jantsch (16:19): Year. And you, you told people obviously of your plan. So what kind of, did you meet people along the road that knew who you were, knew what you were doing? Or was it just like you’d bump into somebody and you’d strike up a conversation?

Mike Evans (16:32): Yeah, there’s, there’s a website with a really weird name. It’s called Crazy Guy on a bike.com and Okay. It’s like a, it’s like a website to meet up with other people who are into this long distance touring idea. Okay. So I had met like maybe online, I had probably met like 15 people who were planning to do the trip of that 15, only three or four of us actually started. So there was a lot of people who wanted to do it. But when you get down to like actually on the bike pedaling, there’s a lot of barriers between I am two and I’m actually there. So I knew maybe I think three or four people before I started and then I met like six or seven. And what ends up happening is you end up leapfrogging the same group of people, like they get in front of you a bit, then you get in front of them. And so you really, whoever you meet by day seven are kind of the people that you’re gonna meet most of the most that are gonna be with you sort of as you go across the coast. Yeah. And so I started solo, but by the time I got to Kansas I was riding with two other guys 24 7, we became close friends.

John Jantsch (17:30): Yeah. I actually have heard people describe what you just described for people that go like out on the at or the Pacific coast that you end up bumping into the same people. I live in Colorado and like I can’t imagine riding over who’s your pass.

Mike Evans (17:42): Yeah. It’s funny because after riding over who’s your pass? I bought a house in Silver Thorn because I loved it so much. So who’s your, your pass was easy, which is weird. Yeah. The reason it was easy cause I is, because I rode 2,500 miles before I got to pu. Right. And so the Appalachians were really hard, they were steep, I wasn’t ready for ’em, I wasn’t physically conditioned, but I got over them. I took some rest days and then I rode across Kansas and then, uh, the sort of the last city, you’re in the plains, you sort of get through the east southeastern Colorado desert and you get to Pueblo and then from there it’s just three days straight up. Yeah. With 9,000 foot climb and it’s stunning. And then after you pass through your pass, it’s like a 50 mile per hour downhill into Breckenridge and it’s just amazing. It’s so much fun. . So yeah, I mean it was, it, the mountains were tough, but by that point I was much stronger. It was really

John Jantsch (18:30): Rewarding. Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. No, it is gorgeous. I am, I’m about, I don’t know how many miles, 50 miles maybe ish west of Silverton.

Mike Evans (18:38): Yeah. That year in Golden, right? Is that

John Jantsch (18:39): I I, that’s my town address, but I’m up in rural area, but at about 9,000 feet. So let’s talk, Oh, I did have one question. Where was the best beer

Mike Evans (18:51): ? Oh, you know, it was funny. There was a, I know exactly the answer to that question. There was a brew pub that, that was like, right, right before the border into Colorado. I think it was Nickerson, Kansas. It was like a AST pub and it was like this amazing burger and this and these, like these, there was a brewery and so they had like, I remember it was like two in the afternoon, I had like three beers and then I tried to get back on my bike and I was like, I’m done. I’m like, I gotta find a campsite. This is not working. It was really good.

John Jantsch (19:21): So I’ve spent a lot of time in Kansas. I can’t imagine that there was a gastro pub in Nickerson, Kansas.

Mike Evans (19:26): Yeah, there, there was. It was right before we hit the Colorado sign, the pass on the border and it was like in the middle of nowhere. But it was a really, Were

John Jantsch (19:34): You on 50? I don’t

Mike Evans (19:35): Remember. No, it wouldn’t have been an interstate. Cause it, all, the roads are quite, so the next town was Sheridan Lake in Cuba County.

John Jantsch (19:43): So a little bit south.

Mike Evans (19:44): Yeah, it was really far south.

John Jantsch (19:45): Yeah. Yeah. All we better spend some time talking about Fixer. You’re late at Adventure I guess. So maybe I’m actually familiar with it because I, we have some clients that are in the remodeling space, but others may not know about it yet. So maybe give us a heads up on what fixer.com is.

Mike Evans (20:00): So Fixer is an on-demand handy person service. Similar in some ways to Grow Hub in that you can go on, you can see exactly when people are available, schedule it, have them come up to your, come to your home. The big difference is that instead of working with, you know, in Grub was existing restaurants with Fixer, we actually employed the workers full time. And so it’s not just a contractor like sort of matching service. We actually take responsibility for the quality of the work and we train people from scratch. And the whole idea behind it is we’re trying to reboot and entry path into the trades and the gender inclusive and create a great consumer experience in the home because we have a lot of control and a lot of influence over the actual experience in the home. It’s in Denver, a Chicago, a Seattle, Phoenix, and Dallas.

John Jantsch (20:45): Yeah, that, that was my next question. The expansion, you know, will be much slower won’t it, because the fact that you’re actually building both sides of it now. It’s like you’re going in every town and building a restaurant.

Mike Evans (20:54): Yeah, I kind of feel like saying, hold my beer, watch this , it’s not gonna be slower. It’ll be much faster. And part of that is because our, the first couple of fixers that we hire in a market are experienced people because they become the mentors for the trainees who join, you know, as the fourth and fifth and sixth employee in the market. And so we’ll be opening up the hiring platform across about a hundred cities over the next two years. So it should be actually quite a bit faster at the expansion and that, that’s the plan anyway. And it’s great because, you know, the, it is like, I don’t have to, I’m actually pretty handy, but I don’t like doing it . And so it’s really nice to like have somebody be able to come in and do the work. And then it feels really good that I know it’s a really good job. It’s high paying, it’s oriented towards training new people and bringing new people into the trades. And so it’s a really satisfying experience in addition to it working. Yeah,

John Jantsch (21:43): It’s really interesting because obviously, I mean, you’re tapping into this, that’s obviously an area that, I mean, you talk to remodeling contractors or anybody needing skilled labor and they can’t find people right now.

Mike Evans (21:53): Yeah. That’s, that is the problem we set out to solve is, is creating an entry path into the trades. You know, the handy person work is typically, you know, it’s uh, there’s, it’s very broad, so you have to be able to do a little plumbing, a little electrical, little carpentry. We, you know, you develop what we call core skills, but, but the specialist jobs like electricians and plumbers and things like that, they need a broad base to, to be able to hire from, to even be able to train somebody to be an electrician. You have to, they have to have a certain set of core skills before you can even start there. And so, I mean, my hope is that this really ends up being a very large business that creates, that starts to rebalance um, the supply of skilled trades people relative to the demand. Cuz it’s all outta whack right now. There’re just aren’t enough people in the trade. Yeah. Which means they should be paid more by the way. They

John Jantsch (22:38): Well, yep. Obviously they are being paid more I think now . Yeah,

Mike Evans (22:41): I mean that is, yeah, that is true. The, the rates are certainly going up for trades people.

John Jantsch (22:46): Yeah. It’s funny as I listen to you talk about that, I’ve lived in mostly older homes, my home ownership life and we’d have people come in and work on something and they’d pull a wall off and go, I don’t even know what I’m looking at. You know, , it’s like knob and tube wiring or you know Yeah. Lead plumbing pipes, . Yeah. That’s definitely need that breath of experience, don’t you?

Mike Evans (23:07): Yeah. We tend to do work in older homes as well. I mean, most, most of the homes in Chicago are about a hundred years old. Sure. So not like really old homes like they’d be in Boston, but because the city bounced, burned down at the turn of the century, the previous century. And so, but yeah, I mean, it is true that you just have to see a lot before you can know how to have the confidence that you can walk into any home and, and do the work.

John Jantsch (23:28): Talking with Mike Evans, the founder of fixer.com, author of hangry, his startup journey to founding GrubHub. So Mike, you wanna tell people where they can certainly find the book, but also if you wanna invite people to connect with you somehow.

Mike Evans (23:41): Sure. The book, the easiest place to buy the book is on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It’s available pre as of November 1st. And I’m not sure when exactly this podcast will publish. It’ll be available for order, in addition to pre-order. And then if you want to connect with me, you can go on my website @ mikeevans.com.

John Jantsch (23:56): Awesome. Well really appreciate you stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast and hopefully we will, uh, run into you one of these days soon out there on the road, either on a bike or in a car. Although I must admit, I spend most of my time riding over rocks these days.

Mike Evans (24:10): That’s awesome. Yeah, Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.

John Jantsch (24:13): Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it@ marketingassessment.co Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co. I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

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

 

 

Everybody’s online, but are they finding your website? Grab the online spotlight and your customers’ attention with Semrush. From Content and SEO to ads and social media, Semrush is your one-stop-shop for online marketing. Build, manage, and measure campaigns —across all channels — faster and easier. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Get seen. Get Semrush. Visit semrush.com/go to try it free for 7 days.

 

Speed Up Your Business Growth Through Experimentation

Speed Up Your Business Growth Through Experimentation written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Andrew Warden

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Andrew Warden. Andrew is the CMO of SEMRush – an online visibility management SaaS platform that has been used by millions of marketers worldwide including this one.

Key Takeaway:

A crucial component of growth is experimentation. Experimentation is the engine that drives innovation. It helps businesses implement and test ideas quickly so that you can learn and define failure and success quickly and pivot accordingly. In this episode, I talk with the CMO of Semrush, Andrew Warden, about leading a mature organization and how experimentation helps push its growth as an organization.

Questions I ask Andrew Warden:

  • [1:40] Setting the record straight on how to pronounce “Semrush”
  • [2:44] What prepared you to take on this job at Semrush, a really somewhat mature organization?
  • [4:52] As a CMO, given the DNA, and all these acronyms of the organization, do you feel a tug to just do more SEO sometimes?
  • [6:38] I want to talk a little more about your experimental process – do you have a process for saying, you know, we’re gonna throw these 10 things out there and this is how we’re going to measure them?
  • [11:41] Today, Semrush offers many more solutions other than an SEO tool – what’s been the challenging part of redefining what people view your company as?
  • [14:08] As a mature organization, how do you balance the need for branding versus the need to acquire more users?
  • [17:16] Is there a small set of metrics that you rely on?
  • [19:43] So pretend you are speaking to a group of CMOs in an audience only today and somebody said, what do you think is the biggest challenge for most CMOs today? What would your answer be?
  • [22:44] Where can people learn more?

More About Andrew Warden:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode or the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the nudge podcast, hosted by Phil Agnew and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. You can learn the science behind great marketing with bite size 20 minute episodes packed with practical advice from admired marketers and behavioral scientists. Nudge is a fast pace, but still insightful with real world examples that you can apply. Her recent issue. Talked about the, the idea of getting your customers, your prospects in the habit of buying from you or listening to you or following you habit based marketing, download, nudge, wherever you get your podcasts. Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Andrew Warden. He is the CMO of Semush. Semrush. We’ll talk about that. Yeah. Time in the second square we’re on behalf our conversation, right? it’s an online visibility management SaaS platform that is used by millions of marketers worldwide, including this one. So, uh, Andrew, welcome to the show.

Andrew Warden (01:14): Great. Thanks so much. So good to be here. And let me just clarify, let me just jump really quick, cuz this is like one of the hottest contested things in our community, I would say. And beyond it is Semrush here, it here, here, the way that it sounds the way it rolls off your tongue, you think people it’s true historically it was Semrush and it didn’t help when we went public because our stock checker is S E M R so people automatically, but if you wanna know where the brand and the heart is, it’s with Semrush.

John Jantsch (01:40): Yeah, I actually was gonna ask you that directly and then I actually blew it in the intro but I know I’ve even seen some of the videos you’ve produced of, you know, making fun of the idea. Is it, I’m curious since we got on the topic, even though it’s a goofy topic, is there a regional preference? Like do Americans use one or the

Andrew Warden (01:59): Other? No, you know, I think it’s, I actually, I don’t think it’s necessarily linked to geography. Yeah. I think that’s linked to history. Right? Number one, because originally right, the founding of the company was, it’s always like square in the search engine marketing at the yeah. Yeah. Kind of die hard SEO community. And that’s true. And that’s still very much a core of our community, but you know, now gosh, 14 years later, we’re 55 plus tools. Not only SEO, not only at the sweet spot. So I think it’s probably more linked to his history and maybe our, maybe our diehard SEO fans. Right. S SCM. Right? Yeah.

John Jantsch (02:34): So you’ve been, in fact, I think you had a LinkedIn post at celebrating your one year anniversary mm-hmm so you’ve been there a year. I’m curious, just because I didn’t give a lot of background, obviously, what prepared you to take on this job as you know, really a somewhat mature organization?

Andrew Warden (02:49): Yeah. Well, I mean, this is my third time as a CMO, right? So it’s not my first rodeo. I would say, I think you’re referencing this, this LinkedIn post. I, you know, it’s taken me so many years to be absolutely comfortable with being vulnerable as a leader, wearing my heart on my sleeve. There’s a lot of people who totally go against this concept or they say, no, you should always be rather stoic and be very, you know, but I, you know, after years and years, you know, working with people from all different backgrounds know late state later stage career, early stage career at the end of the day, you know, people just want a path to grow. They want a path to grow themselves. They want, obviously we want to earn, but people wanna be engaged, you know? And so that post I was reflecting after a year, you know, it’s like all of the things, all of the points in my career of the super Heights, you know, being at Cisco when I was in my early twenties, you know, promoted several times in a couple of years to crashing and burning effectively with a startup, with our own money and you know, several other people’s money.

(03:46): And we’re all still friends, but the points of the, kind of the peaks and the valleys, and even some of the troughs it’s like, you know, had this moment, this illuminating moment a couple weeks ago where it’s like, this was all preparing for this exact moment actually. Right. And that’s really resonated with I’m. I’m really curious and happy that you bring it up. Cuz a lot of people have been talking about this, right? It’s like not many officers of public companies are making such statements, but I have to, you know, and it resonates with our team internally. It resonates with people outside. Yeah.

John Jantsch (04:13): Frankly I think self-awareness is the new like key leadership skill, frankly.

Andrew Warden (04:17): I, I couldn’t agree with you more. I, you know, really, you know, I, I, for years it’s always kind of this player, coach mentality, you know, people at the, my job at the end of the day, again, I am a very hands on CMO. I get stuck into at any given day, I get stuck into ad copy or going to board level to add copy. I’m always there to jump in and help a junior and to senior member of the team out. But at the end of the day, you know, I just try to remove as many blockages and those can be sometimes budget or resource blockage, but it can also be psychological blockage. Right. Sometimes people get in the way of themselves how to unlock people. And that’s where I think the awareness that you’re talking about, you know, really comes in. Yeah.

John Jantsch (04:53): So as a CMO, given the DNA, all these acronyms of the organization, do you feel a tug to just do more SEO sometimes?

Andrew Warden (05:04): So I feel a tug to do more SEO. No, actually it, yeah.

John Jantsch (05:08): I mean to use that, like as your core

Andrew Warden (05:09): Channel, I got you. Yeah. That’s a great question. Actually. I can tell you something. No, cuz it’s been the opposite this year. Right? I can tell you that this year, this past year we made significant, I mean incremental significant and material investments into large scale paid campaigns. And actually that was a really interesting inflection point for us as a company. It’s like, you know, we, we are on a rocket ship trajectory, right? We have the, again, all the DNA, as you said of a startup culture, right? High educated risk taking high experimentation, fast fail and like a matter of weeks versus quarters and quarters. And I really look at the whole mix, but one of the things that I noticed as soon as I came in September of 29, excuse me, 2021 is that we were not experimenting as much as I would like to with paid. Right. Because we have very, very competitive, I’d say ad positions compared to other others in our sets. But I will tell you that the organic piece for next year and for the others, there will start to be more balance. But no, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t face any problems of inertia if you will, on, you know, given that SEO is at our core, but at the same time, it’s also something that we should be pretty damn good at. Right. Because we that’s how we started

John Jantsch (06:20): Yeah. I hate to say it. I always, you know, I get pitches like everybody from SEO experts that are gonna put me on page one and it’s like, I can’t find you ,

Andrew Warden (06:29): It’s a big deal. And also anyone promising a silver bullet like that, especially so quickly. Right, right. It’s always something to be very wary of. Yeah.

John Jantsch (06:37): Yeah, absolutely. So, so let’s talk a little more about your experimental process. Yeah. I mean, do you have a process for saying totally. You know, we’re gonna throw these 10 things out there. Here’s how we’re gonna measure. ’em I’d love to hear

Andrew Warden (06:47): That. We absolutely do. So I’d like to, we have a, a system set up and this was already in place before I joined. I’m just putting, I’m just adding more fuel to it. I would say at least from a marketing side. So we have a quarterly bets and experimentation program. And I like to think of it. These are totally my words. I was like O OKRs on steroids, right? This is like, you know, BES are what we believe is possible. And we have a format that’s really clear. It’s like, what is it that we wanna do? Why is it needed? Why do we believe X is possible? And here’s how we measure success. Like here’s what success is. And here’s what failure is. And the most important thing is crucial for me is that it’s okay for a bet to fail. And when, you know, for me, this is also the big difference, in my opinion of like on a big corporate, uh, versus a company like Sam, right.

(07:39): I would rather a leader usually, you know, that can be conceived by anybody in the company. Right. But I will hold our VPs or heads of accountable for, for the mixture between experiments. And that’s the, I would rather somebody focus on two, three or four bets, you know, if one of them pans off, you know, pans out, like we’re off to the races, I’m always after a sign of life, you know? And so it is so helpful to hear how teams think about bets on a quarterly basis of, yeah, we think that we can capture more people through advertising on Hulu. We think that BEC, which is a new channel, right. We think that’s possible because you know, X percent of our demographic for this persona hangs out there. Right. And we believe it’s possible to achieve X number of registrations trials, subscriptions, or payments.

(08:27): And if it makes less than a certain amount, we’re like, you know what? It just didn’t work out. And we should not do that for another couple of years. And it’s very similar with experiments. I would say are a little bit, even more further afield. Like it’s could even liven more out there. Right? We have a hypothesis that actually, we just did one of these experiments. I don’t have the result yet, which is kind of a let down for this kind of conversation. Sorry. But we did a direct mail experiment. How’s that for a SEO or for a digital marketing company, you know, it’s like, I wait to the team and I said said, has anybody sense, literally, a mailer to small business owners, you know, cuz I had this contention that small business owners, it’s not necessarily like me or like you or somebody else who hangs out online. Right. The barber. Yeah.

John Jantsch (09:08): They’re not reading search engine land, the barber

Andrew Warden (09:10): Who’s cutting my hair, who I love. Right. Is opening the door for me, cutting my hair, sweeping the floor register, you know like this person is on LinkedIn, you know? It’s like, how are you reaching that person? So, so we did two different tests over the summer or sorry one over the summer. I think one just went out as well. So I’m waiting to see, I have no idea, but this is what I, you know, you ask about experimentation and you always have to make sure that you’re carving out, you know, 10, 10, 15% of your budget of your spend to try new channels. Because the moment that you rest on the laurels of the channel, that’s working so well for you is the moment it stops doing that.

John Jantsch (09:46): No question BEC if it’s working well for you, other people are using it too. Right. To me when I hear that, it sounds like, like if I came to you and said, Hey, I have an idea. We should do both. It sounds to me like the hypothesis is gotta be really soft. Like you really believe this is going to work

Andrew Warden (10:01): Because absolutely right. Yep. Yeah, no, you can’t just like you can’t just be like, Hey John, I wanna, you know, I want to go and take out and add in the wall street journal. Okay. Why do you wanna do that? I don’t know. I mean a lot of people read it. No, you know, you know, you have to be able to, I mean, look, you could, there are ways to make that more scientific. You can say, you know, during this period there or the wall street journal, you know, more for financially focused people, it’s like earnings typically happen between this day and this day tech earnings come out between this day and this day. So we want to run this and with this type of promotion, because people in that demographic tend to buy around that period. It all has to be, it’s quite, it’s a lot more scientific than I had anticipated. I’ll put it that way, but I love that. You’re

John Jantsch (10:42): Gonna, you, you’re gonna get a sales call from the wall street journal. Now I

Andrew Warden (10:45): Guarantee you. Yeah, well we’re already talking to him. That’s okay.

John Jantsch (10:49): Now let’s hear from a sponsor, you know, today everybody’s online, but are they finding your website, grab the online spotlight and your customer’s attention with Semrush from content and SEO to ads and social media. Semrush is your one stop shop for online marketing build, manage and measure campaigns across all channels faster and easier. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Get seen, get Semrush, visit Semrush that’s Semrush.com/go to try it free for seven days. All right. You kind of may alluded to this already, but I was going to ask you, I mean, it’s certainly, I’ve been, uh, a Semush user for many years. Thank you. And I certainly saw it as, uh, as an SEO tool. Mm-hmm over the year. Well, it was more than that years ago, but it is certainly more than that. Now what’s been the challenge of getting of changing. People’s thinking that, oh no, it’s 50 tools and it’s, you know, it’s a, in fact, I think you even called it an online visibility platform. Yeah. As, as a differentiator, is that Mo moving the definition of what your company is? Yeah. Has that been

Andrew Warden (11:57): A challenge? It’s a, it’s a huge, I mean, it’s still very much in progress, right? I mean, again, we are so, and thank you for being a user for all these years as well. You know, I don’t take anything for granted and there’s so many solutions out there. I would say that, you know, we, we believe, you know, over the next several years and we, I mean, if we see it right now, we feel it right now in the, but we also know, particularly with small business owners that breaking through the noise in today’s market, right. This, and that’s, it’s not even necessarily new, this kind of like fragmented view for a consumer and, you know, people spend on average seven hours online, you know, it’s but how do you actually get through all of that noise and reach a perspective customer? How are you building your audiences?

(12:33): And, you know, again, all respects like that started out with SEO, you know, but at the same time we realized over time that there’s a need amongst our own user base and our future customers for content creation for marketer, you know, you name it, you know, for traffic analytics, right? It’s not only about finding what your audience is looking for, what they’re searching for. It’s also like how do I solve the problem of now figuring out how to talk to them and engage them. Right. So if you’re asking me, is it a challenge to change how we’re, how we are viewed in the market? Absolutely. You know, but at, you know, at the same time and we’re adding, uh, we’re adding our growth rate has not slowed over the last couple of years. So when you think about a comp, a KR, a compounding annual growth, we are, our velocity is not slowing down. So we are adding more and more people and expanding our own audience and reach. So I would imagine the days where this is a big, you know, question for the future, the days where, you know, this kind of Semrush or the core of SEO, I think that will always remain amongst, especially our initial users. But I think that there’s also a future people join because they have like myriad problems they’re trying to solve. Right. Not only SU yeah.

John Jantsch (13:41): Yeah. And that’s how they’re introduced to you. Yes. Yeah. You know of the brand is different. Yeah. Let’s move a little bit to cuz, cuz I know you’re running some, you know, some television that is, I would call it very branding oriented as opposed to say growth oriented. But has that, is that a conscious, in other words, it’s not saying by this because it’ll get you this result. Mm-hmm , it’s more like your CEO will think this, you know,

Andrew Warden (14:03): That kind of, are you talking about that kind of thing? Are you talking about the most recent one? Yeah. Okay. Okay. I call this

John Jantsch (14:08): And that’s just an example. My real question is, you know, how do you as an organization, that’s this mature, how do you start? How do you start balancing mm-hmm the need for branding mm-hmm versus the need for just like we gotta have X amount of new

Andrew Warden (14:20): Users. I think the problem starts is that we think they’re separate

(14:24): Because those campaigns are the goal for those campaigns are new users and they’re achieving them. The first one we did in the year will exceed the target. The second, which the second campaign, which is, which was a dedicated for a small business owners. And we’re, you know, this year is as much as it has been are, you know, about growth. We’re also doing what I call these grown experiments, large experiments. So these foray into connected TV advertising the, using the same creative that can be used for, of course banners and digital classic. We can also then use that. There’s so much production value. You can turn around to Hulu or YouTube connected TV, Disney plus like you name it. And you can like literally upload that ad and set a budget and go. So this year is also about testing new audiences, new ideas, new ways to engage.

(15:12): And one of our big bets is looking at what I would call and I didn’t mean to correct you, but what I mean is that there’s like brand, you are right. That like the approach is more about positioning the company and how it can help you grow. Right? This is this I call, these are, this is a customer needs based play versus a classic like, you know, every tool you need for X per month, right? That’s more of what you call the classic performance or growth marketing. Yeah. Those hacks. But guess what? We’re really good at the ladder. Like we’re pretty okay at that. Right. In terms of digital and paid and even on the organic side, but we have incredibly aggressive growth plans over the next five to 10 years. And so I’ve gotta be able to lay my head on the pillow at night, knowing that we’re testing every new channel, every new style of marketing and advertising that we can to keep new or existing and new customers engaged. So, but I do love how you distinction. You make a distinction right. From off the bat. Cause I get that a lot. People are like, well, you know, but this is a big kind of like kind of branding push on connected TV. And it’s like, yeah, but we can trace back the connection that we acquired, that, that user, the attention of that user from that ad. And we can trace it through to visiting us. We can trace it through to registering doing a trial and eventually becoming summer’s customer. So

John Jantsch (16:31): Yeah, you, I think you can almost make a case for saying it’s targeting. It is in a way, because I think your core acquisition person that says these tools for this much and they know what those tools are. Right. that’s right. Whereas your typical business owners actually like I don’t really wanna know what the tools are. Yeah. I wanna solve this problem. Yep.

Andrew Warden (16:48): Yeah. And again, these are very large place and I, I’m not here saying every single one of these is gonna knock it outta the apartments goal obviously. But I think that I can tell you that the entire team, the entire its 200, 200 marketers in the organization every day, we’re learning every day, we’re stretching what we thought was possible again on our existing user base, what people want to expand for their relationship with summers, but also like net new people who have totally different needs and value sets compared to existing. Yeah.

John Jantsch (17:16): So couple maybe these are your easy questions. Maybe these are hard. Sure. Couple more questions. Is there a small set of metrics that you rely on as

Andrew Warden (17:26): A C a small set? No, they’re only big. Yeah.

John Jantsch (17:29): I wanted to say small because , I didn’t wanna see what you can. Yeah, I, yeah,

Andrew Warden (17:34): Well, yeah. I, I would say small at Semrush is big and it would be, I would, I wouldn’t want in any other way, but the ones that I really live in the stress or get excited, you know, we measure very much on new user. Mr. So look, you know, know as a SAS based company, you’ve got SA classic SA SA metrics and we are a very different organization in terms of marketing than I would say at other kind of corporations or big company. You know, a lot of companies marketing is assisting with sales and kind of provides M QLS or SQLs to sales leadership. And then they carry on and close the deal at Semrush. Actually it’s a little bit different. We are responsible for bringing in new user acquisition, right. And that’s a material difference from other companies. So the emphasis and the laser focus on metrics is like not optional.

(18:22): You have to know every day. So I’m looking at, I’m looking always at registrations at trials. Trials is always a leading indicator. If, you know, if we see a swell in trials, there will be a, certainly a bump in new subscriptions. But new user MRI is my first, the first kind of traffic light. If you will, I’m also looking at increase or decline of our own spending, right? Because sometimes we slow down the engine either during holiday periods or periods where we don’t think people are gonna have the propensity to buy and that’s, we don’t always get that. Right. You know, it’s hard to know when to pull, pull or release that lever. I’m also looking at global dynamics, like different by different markets. Like right now the dollar fluctuation, you know, is difficult for a lot of companies. Right. And yeah, yeah. You know, in Europe, gosh, I just came back from meetings with the team in Amsterdam, in London.

(19:07): I got back late last night and you know what, you actually, you see and feel not only inflation, but also the currency of fluctuation, you know, in London, it’s like 1.15 to the dollar. I mean, even when I was in grad school in 2007, it was never that low, you know, it’s like, it hasn’t been that low in, in 30 years or something. So, so there are different dynamics about the global economy. But I would say if you’re asking for the shortest list, the shortest list, I get nine emails every morning at 7:32 AM that give me the holistic view of the business, but I would tease those as the kind of the ones that really matter. Yeah.

John Jantsch (19:42): Yeah. All right. So pretend you were speaking to a group of CMOs in an audience only today, and somebody said, what do you think is the biggest challenge for most CMOs today? What would your answer

Andrew Warden (19:55): Be? I would say the loss of innovation culture, and I would say too much emphasis on having to be the smartest person in the room that is to the CMO audience. I would say that it is increasingly more and more difficult. Look as marketers. We are, it’s almost like encoded in our own DNA, our personal DNA, every single action you take must yield an outcome, must yield a financial improvement right. To, to the top line even. And I think that the reality is, you know, again, it depends on which stage of growth you’re in as a company or even if you’re even as a small business or large business. The fact is marketing is a constantly evolving and field. Literally the pitch, the field, the markers change every day. You know, as soon as, like I said before, as soon as you find a channel that works, it doesn’t work anymore.

(20:44): Or you say something that your audience doesn’t like, and then you kind of get like temporary put in the timeout box. You know, it’s like it happens. But I think that is also conditioned people. And I would also, I do say this to my peers, that it conditions us to like be a risk averse and to not take, take too much time on experiments. I mean, I have, for example, every month I have what I call elevator pitch sessions. Like anybody can turn up to this call. It’s like 15, 18 minutes long. You get two slides, you get five minutes, you know, it’s like, what’s your idea? What do you wanna do? What do you, you know, and it can be a request for like a 50 K campaign. It can be a request for a $5 million acquisition doesn’t or 10 or whatever, you know, that’s not the point.

(21:23): And it’s funny, these are they’re meant to be intentionally very snappy very quick. Like if anybody’s kind of drowning on, it’s like, come on, tell me that, what’s the point, what’s the point. But you know, I’ll tell you, like, we’ve done real things based on those, like we’ve done, we’ve made that’s cool, real investments, material investments. And so, yeah, I would just say that, you know, I think especially as a CMO, it’s very easy to get kind of stuck in your own routine and rhythm of what works. And I think that’s why I was just reflecting after a year. Like I have more energy John than when I started. And usually like, you know, you kind of know yourself at this stage in your career. Usually you’re like, okay, I found this works. We’re gonna go head into budgeting season and then we’re gonna, we’re gonna keep going. But like I make stuff. I make shit every single day, you know? And as soon as, as the CMO, I think is an executive leader, as soon as you stop doing that, like, like you personally, I think you have to kinda reevaluate what’s going on. Right? Like

John Jantsch (22:15): I think those little mini pitches sound really empowering, especially imagine somebody who like got their deal.

Andrew Warden (22:20): Anybody. Yeah. No, but really, but we have like junior PR ex execs within the team, like with a handful of years of experience, like I want to do, I wanna try this, you know? And I’m like, why is that a good idea? Well, are you sure? Tell me why you believe it, you know? And it’s like, it’s even just going through that experience early in your career, it changes you. Right. It opens your mind and that’s also, you know, really important to me.

John Jantsch (22:43): Yeah. Awesome. Well, Andrew, it was really a pleasure to have you sub by the duct tape marketing podcast. And we can, you can tell people how they can reach Semrush. You can spell it for them. if you like, we’ll have it in. Well, it’s, we’ll have it in the show notes. It’s on your shirt. Yeah. Semrush

Andrew Warden (22:58): Semrush.com Semrush. Do. Yeah, I can’t. Yeah. So I, I would that’s as simple as it can be.

John Jantsch (23:03): Yeah, absolutely. Well, hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road. In fact, the end of this week, I’m gonna be in Austin. Oh,

Andrew Warden (23:10): Great. Stop by. Yeah.

John Jantsch (23:11): Which I know you are

Andrew Warden (23:12): For, for a drink. Cool. All right. Thanks for having me. Cheers.

John Jantsch (23:15): Appreciate it. Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co I’d. Love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

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

 

 

Everybody’s online, but are they finding your website? Grab the online spotlight and your customers’ attention with Semrush. From Content and SEO to ads and social media, Semrush is your one-stop-shop for online marketing. Build, manage, and measure campaigns —across all channels — faster and easier. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Get seen. Get Semrush. Visit semrush.com/go to try it free for 7 days.

 

How To Use Marketing Automation To Your Advantage

How To Use Marketing Automation To Your Advantage written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Chase Buckner

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Chase Buckner. Chase is the Director of Marketing at HighLevel, the all-in-one, white-label sales & marketing platform for agencies. Prior to joining the team at HighLevel, Chase and a partner built a full-service agency from scratch that grew to over 7-figures in ARR.

Key Takeaway:

Artificial intelligence and marketing automation isn’t something of the distant future anymore – and those who leverage it today are seeing the benefits unfold. In this episode, I talk with Chase Buckner, Director of Marketing at HighLevel, about how businesses today can use marketing automation and artificial intelligence to their advantage to grow and scale.

Questions I ask Chase Buckner:

  • [1:32] What are some of the best ways you are seeing using the automation technology that’s available to us being used?
  • [3:24] How do business owners deal with the communication channel overwhelm today?
  • [5:07] How do we use AI without making it feel robotic?
  • [6:56] What advantage is there to the business that responds immediately or at least very quickly?
  • [8:37] I would suggest that SMS has actually become the preferred method of communication for a very large segment of the market and that if we’re not actually viewing that as a primary channel, we are probably missing out. What do you say to that idea?
  • [12:35] How are you finding agencies really standing out and differentiating themselves today?
  • [14:32] If I as an agency take the SaaS model – do I have to now have a support department for the clients that I bring on?
  • [16:35] How can people think about automated ways to scale?
  • [22:32] Where can people learn more about HighLevel and the work that you’re doing?

More About Chase Buckner:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode or the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the nudge podcast, hosted by Phil Agnew and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. You can learn the science behind great marketing with bite size 20 minute episodes packed with practical advice from admired marketers and behavioral scientist. Nudge is a fast pace, but still insightful with real world examples that you can apply. Her recent issue. Talked about the, the idea of getting your customers or prospects in the habit of buying from you or listening to you or following you habit based marketing, download, nudge, wherever you get your podcasts.

(00:48): Hello, And welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Janz. My guest today is chase Buckner. He’s a director of marketing at high level, the all in one white label sales and marketing platform for agencies prior to joining the team in high level chase and a partner built a full service agency from scratch that grew to over seven figures in annual recurring revenue. So chase, welcome to the show.

Chase Buckner (01:15): Thanks for having me, John.

John Jantsch (01:17): So let’s talk first about marketing automation. This is a topic I’ve been talking about for a while. It’s a topic that some companies have embraced some haven’t some for good, some for bad. What are some of the, and you can go anywhere you want with this. What are some of the best ways you are seeing people using the automation technology that’s available to us today?

Chase Buckner (01:40): Yeah, I mean, I think for the folks that aren’t yet they will be, I feel like it’s an inevitable part of the growth of an agency is you get to a point where you’re like, why is this still not working? Why are we still turning clients? Like we know we’re delivering good leads at a good price, but yet there’s still something not quite right. And when you start to dig into that, you know, you find studies like the one done by the MIT professor that basically show look, there’s a five minute shock clock, right? You generate a lead, you’ve got five minutes to engage in. And if you don’t statistically, you’re never going to. And then when you look through that lens at what’s actually happening at your client’s businesses, there’s just no way that they can reply to every lead within five minutes. And so once you understand that, then your mind opens up to other solutions and you start realizing, Hey, we need to find ways to automate some of this and take it off of their hands. And so it’s as simple as really just automating text messages, emails, voicemail drops. We have this really cool thing called a call connect that I can talk about. But yeah, it’s just basically like doing something more than just sending the lead as an email to your client and thinking that’s your job done?

John Jantsch (02:54): Well, particularly because , you know, email is a terrible place to, to try to do, do business, right? Cuz it’s so cluttered. So have clients that, you know, one of their biggest complaints right now is that I’m everywhere, right? Because they told me I should be everywhere. And now unfortunately that means everybody’s communicating with me everywhere. You know, how do I like even manage it? You know, I’ve actually had clients not let me turn Google business messaging on because they were like, even if people want to talk to me there, I don’t, I like, I don’t know how I would handle it. So, you know, how do we deal with that? How do business owners deal with that? Because it’s a real thing.

Chase Buckner (03:29): Well, I mean, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I didn’t my attention wasn’t to come on to just be a commercial for high level, but we’re very cognizant of that. And that’s why we’re trying to pull ’em all into one chat stream. So right now we’ve got most of them, we’ve got email SMS, Google chat, Facebook messenger, Instagram, DM, WhatsApps, and beta. And then stuff’s, you know, TikTok, all that kind of stuff is coming down the line, but yeah, a hundred percent because you can’t expect them to manage it all over the place who could, it’s insane. So we’re trying to pull ’em all in including reviews. It’s important that they go in there too, because then they’ll actually reply to reviews.

John Jantsch (04:05): Yeah. To reply. Yeah.

Chase Buckner (04:06): All that stuff. Yeah.

John Jantsch (04:07): Reviews are a conversation

Chase Buckner (04:09): yeah. Yeah. Totally. I imagine that right.

John Jantsch (04:12): yeah, yeah, no that’s yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s, there’s no question. I think there’s some other people trying to tackle that, that as well, but there’s no question that is a great use of automation. Cause I, again, a lot of times people think of automation, it’s like, oh great. I never have to talk to anybody ever again. You know, I can automate all my processes. Right. Yeah. And I think the way I always tell people, look at automation is how can you create a better experience? Like, you know, things like making scheduling appointments. I wanna be able to go on in the middle of the night. Well, that’s not true. I’m never up in the middle of the night. I’m gonna go on at eight o’clock in the evening and schedule an appointment with my eye doctor or whatever. I don’t wanna have to make a call. So that’s a place where automation is a better experience, but there are times when we want that hug, we want that, you know, people interaction. So, you know, how do you, because the technology will allow us to automate everything right. To some degree. I mean, we can start bringing in AI to even automate it more. Right. So how do we use this stuff without making it feel robotic?

Chase Buckner (05:12): Yeah. That’s a great question. And I think in a couple of different ways, like we have like an AI booking thing that you can turn on that you can conversationally book with, right? So let’s say, you know, you claim a promotion and I automate you a text that says, Hey, John, you know, thanks for claiming that free teeth whitening voucher. Next step is to get you booked is now a good time to, to find a day and time that works for you. If you say yes, AI can take over and go into the calendar and say, okay, great. Here’s what we have over the next two days. And you could say, all right, I’ll take Tuesday at nine and it will understand that in book, but there are other ways, right? I like to talk about starting with FAQs. You know, when you work within a niche, you quickly find out, Hey, my customers get asked these same questions over and over.

(05:57): So then I can just ask my clients, Hey, when someone asks you this, how do you guys reply? And then I can build a, just a simple little workflow that says, Hey, if a message comes in from any of these channels that contains the word, gluten free, just reply with their, yes, we have, you know, here’s our, the link to our gluten free menu or whatever it may be. And you can really make a lot of progress right there with stuff like that. You know, imagine how much time you can save a restaurant. If they don’t have to respond every gluten free vegetarian, these types of questions that they get over and over every single day,

John Jantsch (06:32): I thought you were going with the gluten free teeth whitening.

Chase Buckner (06:35): So I switched niches on you. You made metaphor.

John Jantsch (06:38): Prob probably somebody is selling that though. Right? Let’s talk a little bit about speed today. And again, I know your answer to this, but I want to hear what kind of your research you’re thinking, you know, is on this topic. I think when somebody goes to a website or goes to the Google and you know, asks a question, you know what advantage is there to the business that responds immediately or at least very quickly. And again, I know it’s a stupid question but I just wanna hear, you know, what you’ve seen in the impact of that?

Chase Buckner (07:10): Well, again, statistically, the studies will show you that if you respond within the first five minutes specifically, let’s say you respond in the first one minute. I think you have like a 90 something percent chance of closing that lead as opposed to after five minutes. And I think a lot of that is because when you get a reply right away, you don’t go to the next competitor or down the list, right? Because you’re engaged. Whether you know, that reply was automated or not, you in your mind, you’ve engaged with the business, which was your goal. And so, you know, to me, it’s everything and statistics will back that up. And again, when you go look and see what your clients are actually doing with those email lead notifications that you’re sending it’s hours or days that they’re taking to reply to folks. And by that time, for sure, they’ve gone on to the next competitor. And that’s why when you take an honest look at what’s happening in most marketing agencies and relationship with their clients, that’s what’s going on. And that’s what leads to the churn, right? And the clients are telling you, Hey, these leads stink. None of ’em closed. And you dig in and you’re like, what do you guys think of following up? Like, and it’s just never gonna work.

John Jantsch (08:22): Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let’s talk about SMS or text in general. You know, I think that, I think a lot of people saw that we’re on the cutting edge, you know, because we, you know, we have a short code or, you know, that’s another way people can communicate. I would suggest that in where we stand today in 2022, that has become actually the preferred method of communication for a very large segment of the market. And that if we’re not actually viewing that as a primary channel, we are probably missing out. What do you say to that idea?

Chase Buckner (08:57): A hundred percent. This makes me wanna bang my head against the desk because we, when somebody calls me, I literally inside feel my blood pressure rise, right? It’s like, why didn’t you just text me? And so if that’s the case for most of us, which I think if we’re all honest, it is why are we doing it to our customers? Why are we expecting our customers to pick up the phone and call us when we know they just want a text? And so, you know, we get it excited about all these new channels that we’re gonna add, like TikTok messaging and this and that. But like the reality is text messaging alone is a quantum leap forward for most businesses. Most businesses do not have the ability to text their customers yet without using somebody’s personal cell phone in a two way conversation. Right? And so that’s why the first step that we always tell agencies to do is put the chat widget on your customer’s website because the high level chat widget is just a gateway into an SMS conversation when they fill out the form, it comes in and as an SMS.

(10:00): And when you reply, it goes back as a text, just putting that on a client’s site alone is oftentimes enough to keep them from churning because all of a sudden they’re getting what they think are like these new leads. When in reality, it was just traffic that was bouncing off the site because they didn’t want to have to pick up the phone. And then you do that again with Google chat. And now those two things combined for a significant amount of new leads. But again, it was just traffic going to their Google property. That was just bouncing. So yeah, I think it’s absolutely should be the number one thing that marketers are thinking about right now is, Hey, how do we text enable every new client? Because that alone could be enough to keep them from churn.

John Jantsch (10:40): Yeah. And I think, I think anyone who’s listening to this take a stroll to your Google analytics. If you haven’t for a while, your client’s Google analytics, if you haven’t in a while and go to that little tab that shows you the device, their traffic is coming from, um, and you will find that most businesses have topped the majority of their traffic being on a mobile device, summer as high as 80% on a mobile device. So, you know, that device they have in their hand, you know, is text enabled. And it’s definitely the way that people prefer to communicate. I mean, I don’t know what the statistics are, but the actual phone part of the phone is what, like the fourth or fifth, you know, used component on most used component on the phone. So yeah. And now let’s hear from a sponsor, you know, today everybody’s online, but are they finding your website, grab the online spotlight and your customer’s attention with Semush from content and SEO to ads and social media. Semrush is your one stop shop for online marketing build, manage, and measure campaigns across all channels, faster and easier. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Get seen, get Semrush, visit Semrush that’s Semrush.com/go to try it free for seven days. So let’s talk a little bit about, I know you work primarily with agencies, if not exclusively with

Chase Buckner (11:59): Agents primarily. I mean, I think there’s

John Jantsch (12:02): Probably some franchises, things out

Chase Buckner (12:04): Franchises, a lot of folks, Hey, I’ve been a chiropractor for 35 years and now I wanna take my knowledge and sell it to other chiropractors. Well, now you’re an agency. Congratulations, Dr. Bobby.

John Jantsch (12:12): Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s

Chase Buckner (12:14): A small,

John Jantsch (12:15): So let’s talk about some of the ways that, that you are helping agencies differentiate because, you know, I tell agencies this all the time. I mean, if you’re still hanging your hat on, we’ll do your WordPress website for you. You know, you’re probably on a race to the the financial bottom, because I guarantee you, somebody will do it for $147 today. So, you know, how are agent, how are you finding agencies really standing out, differentiating themselves today?

Chase Buckner (12:41): That’s such a good point. And that was me for years. We did WordPress sites, one off projects, you know, happy to get five grand to do the site course. It turns into a nightmare, you know, and here you are 13 months later going, why are we still working on this? It’s a mindset shift. And I think if you haven’t looked around recently and realized that the world is in a race to the SAS model news flash, the world business is around the world are racing to find a way to get into SAS. I, I recently saw a tweet. I don’t know if you saw this, but BMW is now a SAS company, because in order to turn on your heated seats in next year’s models, you’re gonna have to subscribe to the heated seat subscription and enable it through the app. So that’s where we’re at, right?

(13:29): Literally every company in the world is like, how do we get into this recurring revenue model around software? And so for us, it makes all the sense in the world, right? Because we know every business needs software to succeed. The business owner has no idea what software they need, nor do they know how to set it up and get it running correctly. So they traditionally turn to the agency for this advice. The agency usually picks the software, sets it up, maybe they get paid for the setup. Then the agency loses the client statistically three to five months later, but the client continues to pay for that software for years. And you know, so that’s kind of what we’re all about at high level, which is, Hey, how do we make it so that the agency can provide the software themselves, retain the clients for years. Maybe they don’t retain ’em on that Facebook ad package, but they retain them on a software fee for the automated stuff that we know everybody needs like two, a text messaging.

John Jantsch (14:32): All right, let me push back just a bit because to help some folks out on this. So it’s like, wait, I’m gonna sell software. Um, how big of a support department does high level have just to take like support technical billing software questions. Right. And what I’m getting at is like, do I have to now have a support department for the clients that I sign up for this?

Chase Buckner (14:56): Yeah. You

John Jantsch (14:57): Do not, not for high level. I just mean if I’m gonna take the SAS model. I mean, how am I gonna support that?

Chase Buckner (15:03): Yeah. And that’s why, you know, again, there are lots of ways you can do this, right? I’m not telling you that have to use high level in the high level world. You’re absolutely right. We support you, but we don’t support your customers. Now that’s created opportunities for folks in our community to solve that problem. And so there are several entities within the high level community who run white labeled support programs for high level. So they’ll install ticketing system and live chat within the app for you. And they will handle all of the software related support, pretty affordably. I think the one charges, I think $300 a month and they’ll support unlimited clients. So it’s not something that you know, is as scary as it sounds. Yeah. And the, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I would say if you think

John Jantsch (15:51): About well, but I’m sure you’ve

Chase Buckner (15:53): A lot of it’s automated. Right. So as long as you get the onboarding, right. You know, text messages come in and out, it’s not like, you know, how often do you have to call Facebook because you can’t figure out how to send the message back. Right. Like, you know, so a lot of it is if people kind of overthink it.

John Jantsch (16:10): Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So let’s talk a little bit about scaling. You know, I talk to a lot of agencies, people that, you know, they get to a certain point and they’re just like, I can’t scale this thing cuz I, you know, I got everything I can wrap my arms around and I can’t get any bigger or I try to hire people now I lose ’em and what, in what way? I keep talking to these softball promotional questions. Um, but which I don’t mean to do, but I know that you’re really, you’re really addressing this. I mean, how can people think this way think differently about scaling? You know, it’s not just like get more clients, get more people to serve the clients. How can they think automated ways to scale?

Chase Buckner (16:46): So I’ll give you a story from my past life at the agency. I remember doing, we used to host our WordPress sites with WP engine and they make you buy slot like blocks of 100 website packages essentially, right. To get the best pricing. So it was very important to us that we weren’t wasting slots. So every so often, you know, I would go in there and do a cleanup and say, oh, this client left us. Then get rid of that. That’s a free slot now. So I remember very vividly one day going through and looking at the total count, going man, there are hundreds of websites in here. There are hundreds of people and we used to charge $50 a month as a hosting package, came with like a half an hour worth support if you needed it or something. So I’m like, holy smokes.

(17:37): There are hundreds of people in here paying us $50 a month. Many of whom, I can’t even remember who they are. Like it’s literally been years since we built the site, they haven’t reached out to us in years, but yet their credit card has run every month since for $50. And I, I literally remember going to Matt, my partner, the CEO being like Matt, this is our best revenue. We should really think more intently about what’s going on here because there’s enough revenue being generated here to literally support you. And I alone, if you know, we went into like nuclear scenario or whatever, and of course, like a fire popped up and we ran and you know, that was the last we spoke of it. And, but it’s always stuck in my mind because that’s what lit the light bulb for me is, okay, what’s the better version of that.

(18:24): Like how do what’s the higher ticketed version of that? Because that’s scalable. Well, it was semi scalable, right? But what’s the more scalable version of that. And that’s what it is at software. The problem is with traditional agency services, like you said, you, every X amount of projects you sell, you have to add an employee enable to deliver. And we were caught in that. I call it scaling sideways phase for several years where the top line revenue kept going up, but I’m looking around going, where’s the profits going down? our margins are shrinking. Yes. The company, you know, is on that path to seven figures and beyond, but it’s just more stress and less margin. And so that combined with the hosting thing really got me thinking, and that’s why I went, as soon as I saw high level, I knew what was gonna happen.

(19:18): And when I got the opportunity to join the team, I jumped on it because I knew every agency, this is what we’re looking for. Right. So if I were to go back and do it again, I would still sell websites cuz I love to build websites and I know how to sell them. And, but I would sell them as a website on demand. It would cost $300 a month. It would be more than just the website. You know, it’s the chat widget on there. It’s the CRM behind it. It’s whatever. But just like Netflix, if you stop paying, the whole thing goes away. Right. You can’t watch movies anymore. And so that’s what, when I go back to like, it’s a mindset shift, you don’t sell website projects, you sell websites on demand. Like that’s, I think the shift that most people should be trying to figure out how we can make, like what did, what do we do now? And how do what’s the on demand version of that look like?

John Jantsch (20:06): Yeah. And I think one of the things about that positioning is it actually positions the website as the tool. It should be , you know, as opposed to nice, pretty thing that has content that people come visit and more of a, no, this is the hub of like generating a lead

Chase Buckner (20:22): A hundred percent. I always tell people like, you’d be stupid to go buy just a website today because yeah. You know, what’s gonna happen when the people get to it, right? Like where’s the CRM, that’s gonna house the lease. Where’s the automation. That’s gonna convert them into bookings. You know, where’s the reporting. That’s gonna show you actually, what’s going on here. And that’s why, you know, a lot of people in the high level community think of it, not as software as a service, but as a system, as a, a service it’s a little bit more than just software. Cuz when you combine it with the expertise of an agency, you’ve got a system and that’s kind of, I think where you want to get to, the other thing is typically the person who builds the website and or introduces the CRM is yeah. The most trusted person.

(21:10): And if you think of that, I like to think of it as like the digital general contractor, you know, when a supermarket or a mall’s being built, a general contractor gets hired and then they bring in the plumber, the electrician, the, you know, the whoever. And if let’s say the plumber is the Facebook ad guy in this example, this metaphor here, let’s say the plumber does a bad job. Well, no worries. I’ll fire him and I’ll bring in another one. And you know, we won’t lose too much time here. And that’s really where you want to be. You want to be the digital general contractor who never gets fired, who always gets paid. And if your client says, oh, I, you know, we also want SEO or we also want Google ads. Oh great. I’ve got this. I have an awesome network of folks. I trust, you know, I’m gonna introduce you to three SEO companies. You tell me which one you wanna go with and you know, we’ll take care of it. That’s the kind model that I would be in with my website as on demand business. And I’d have a nice network of ancillary service providers that I can bring in and out. And you know, if they were to do a bad job, it’s not me. That’s on the topping block.

John Jantsch (22:15): Yeah. We’ve always hung our head on strategy. The person who develops the strategy, you know, is really the producer, the director, you know, every, you know, bringing in every piece to then implement it. But it’s, uh, it’s really the same idea. Chase chance, chase. I keep getting your name wrong. for taking their moment to stop by the duct tape marketing podcast. You wanna tell people it’ll be obvious probably, but, and we’ll have it in the show notes where people can find you and uh, learn more about, uh, what you’re up to.

Chase Buckner (22:39): Yeah, for sure. Thank you for having me. John go high level.com is our website. We have a 14 day free trial over there. We’d love for you to check it out. If you’re, if this is resonating, we are what, you know, we are kind of trying to invent a new world of SAS entrepreneurship. So we would say if the SAS entrepreneur model sounds interesting to you, come check it out and uh, hopefully we’ll be back soon, John.

John Jantsch (23:02): Yeah. Awesome. And for those of you out there listening, we are users. We are on this journey with high level, our self building out a white label version. So, you know, questions, thoughts want to hit me up? You know, my email is just John at duct tape, marketing.com. We’d love to talk about it. So thanks for stopping by. We will see you someday out there on the road. Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co. check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

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

 

 

Everybody’s online, but are they finding your website? Grab the online spotlight and your customers’ attention with Semrush. From Content and SEO to ads and social media, Semrush is your one-stop-shop for online marketing. Build, manage, and measure campaigns —across all channels — faster and easier. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Get seen. Get Semrush. Visit semrush.com/go to try it free for 7 days.

 

How To Create A Culture Of Learning And Growth

How To Create A Culture Of Learning And Growth written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Whitney Johnson

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Whitney Johnson. Whitney is CEO of the tech-enabled talent development company Disruption Advisors. She is one of the top ten business thinkers in the world as named by Thinkers50. Whitney is an expert in smart growth leadership, and she co-founded the Disruptive Innovation Fund with Harvard Business School’s late Clayton Christensen. She’s also the author of the book — Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company.

Key Takeaway:

Growing is the goal. Helping people develop their potential and become the self they want to be and are capable of being is what leaders strive toward. And as individuals grow, so do organizations. If you want to lead and scale an organization, that transformation starts within. In this episode, I talk with Whitney Johnson about how to grow a business — the smart way — by cultivating a culture of learning and growth.

Questions I ask Whitney Johnson:

  • [1:26] How are you applying the S Curve of Learning to growth and leadership?
  • [2:48] Sometimes, there’s a point in the S Curve of Learning where even though it takes off, it can actually nosedive. Is this something you see happening with personal development?
  • [4:09] I’ve owned my own business coming up on 30 years. And I feel like there’s not just one S curve of growth – what’s your view on that?
  • [6:50] Would you say your book is as much about personal development as it is about leadership development?
  • [8:14] What are some of the new habits or questions that people need to start asking themselves instead of just saying this is the new way we’re going to do things?
  • [9:54] What advice do you have for people trying to get through the long part where they may not be seeing any advancement?
  • [13:25] How can a leader or someone trying to develop personally apply the ‘collect like a child’ idea from your book?
  • [15:43] Do you think the leadership part in your book might be harder to install because of the varying cultural aspects inside of different organizations?
  • [17:19] Your book is filled with interviews – is there a story in the book that you feel has really nailed it?
  • [19:37] Where can people find out more about your book and your work?

More About Whitney Johnson:

Take The Marketing Assessment

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John Jantsch (00:00): Today’s episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by blissful prospecting, hosted by Jason bay and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network host Jason bay dives in with leading sales experts and top performing reps to share actionable tips and strategies to help you land more meetings with your ideal clients. Recently, they did a show on the four day work week. I’m a huge fan. I think everybody should be looking towards trying to create that. Hey, we get most of our work done in like two hours every day. Anyway, so let’s try out the four day work week. All right, listen to blissful, prospecting, wherever you get your podcasts.

Hello and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Whitney Johnson. She’s the CEO of the tech enabled talent development company, disruption advisors, one of the top 10 business thinkers in the world as named by thinkers 50. She’s an expert at smart growth leadership. She co-founded the disruptive innovation fund with Harvard business. School’s late Clayton Christensen and she’s the author of a book we’re gonna talk about today. Smart growth, how to grow your people to grow your company. So Whitney, welcome to the show,

Whitney Johnson (01:22): John, thanks for having me.

John Jantsch (01:24): So Clayton Christensen is probably the person that, you know, people that have been doing this, as long as me hold up there is like, that’s the first person that like said stuff that made sense to me. so, so let’s start with the S-curve then, and just kind of, I’m sure a lot of people have been exposed to it in various statistics classes or something along those lines, but let’s talk about how you’re applying it to, to growth into leadership.

Whitney Johnson (01:46): Yeah, so I was exposed to it in investing with Clayton. So we all have our, our place that we learned about it and it’s been around for a hundred years and we used it to help us figure out how quickly an innovation would be adopt and trying to make investment, buy, and sell decisions. And as we were applying it for investing, I had this insight that we could use the S curve, not only to think about how groups change over time, but how individuals change over time. Yeah. And every time you start something new, you start a new project, start a new job. You are at the base of that S and growth is happening, but it’s gonna feel slow until you reach a tipping point or the knee of the curve. And you move into the sweet spot that steep, sleek back of the curve, right? And then you reach this place called mastery where growth starts to taper off. And my aha was is that we could use it to understand the emotional arc of growth. And when we take on something new, it allows us to say, okay, if I know where I am in my growth, I know what’s next. Yeah. So that’s how I’m applying it.

John Jantsch (02:46): So unfortunately, you know, while a lot of people accept this idea of yes, oh, there’s this point where it takes off, you know, there’s a lot of times, that’s the point where it actually dives nose dives too, right? Mm-hmm we get through the hard part and now we’ve kind of outgrown our, our abilities. D does that, do you see that happening with personal development in the same way?

Whitney Johnson (03:04): Yeah, absolutely. And one of the things that was interesting to me is as you have now, surmised, I’m very steeped in disruptive innovation. And what we saw with disruption is that even if you were going to pursue a disruptive course and your odds of success increased by six times that went from 6% to 36%. So there was still a 64% chance that it wasn’t going to work. And it’s going to be similar. When you decide I’m going to jump to this brand new S curve, I’m going to do something new. There are, there’s a large possibility that you’ll decide this curve isn’t for me, or this is not going to work. And so one of the things that I recommend is at the launch point, you have this Explorer phase of deciding, do I even want to be here? Whether you decided to jump or were pushed, but then you’ve gotta go through this collection phase. Yeah. And that’s that place where you say, I do wanna be here, but can I get the resources that I need from this ecosystem in order to accelerate into the sweet spot?

John Jantsch (04:06): So I’ve own my own business for, um, coming up on 30 years. And one of the things I’ve realized is that I’m constantly in about 47 S-curves at any given time is what it feels like to me. I don’t feel like there’s one S-curve of growth. Yeah. I feel like there’s everywhere. So mm-hmm how do I mean, I think it’s, I think it’s easy for people to sort of oversimplify this idea of oh, here’s where we’re on the curve. Mm-hmm but how do, I mean, what, what’s your view of, I mean, do you feel like that’s a reality or is that just me being psychotic?

Whitney Johnson (04:38): I think that the S-curve is a fractal that you can think of your life as an S-curve. You can think of your career as an S-curve. You can think of a job as an S-curve and then within that job, you’ve got roles and then projects. And so you can continue to drill down. And to your question specifically, once you start to say, okay, well, where am I in my role on the S curve overall, everything that’s required of me, but it very much is a portfolio of curves that you are going to have a number of different curves that you’re on within your work. And if most of them allow for you to be in the sweet spot, then you can say in aggregate, you’re in the sweet spot. And if you think about your life, you’re balancing your portfolio of SSC curves, where you’ve got your career. Maybe it’s a really steep curve. So in your personal life, maybe you don’t want quite a steep of a curve. So you’re putting together that portfolio. I have a background in investing. So I do think in portfolios to answer your question, yes, we’re on multiple curves. You want to balance them. So you’re not, you know, only on the launch point for all of your curves or only in mastery, but to, to create that balance portfolio,

John Jantsch (05:42): I’ve, I’ve actually referred to it as seasons. I feel like, you know, businesses go through seasons. You know, they’re not, they’re not annual linear necessarily, but they’re, I think it’s kind of what you’re describing. Isn’t it? It’s like, okay, now we’re in this gathering, you know? Yeah. You know, because then that’s gonna produce, you know, fruit. I feel like that is something almost tangible.

Whitney Johnson (06:03): Oh, I love that. I love that metaphor. So, and I love talking about growth. And as you can see our, our listeners, can’t see, but I’ve got behind me, botanical prints of strawberries and peaches because we grow raspberries and strawberries, et cetera. But if you, if you wanted to pull that metaphor, you could argue that the launch point that’s the spring and that’s the time where you are planting. And then you’re going to move into the summer, which is a sweet spot where you’ve got that bountiful, you know, everything’s growing. And then you’re gonna start to harvest when you get into mastery. And then when that decision’s made to do something new, you’re gonna go dormant. There’s gonna, there’s this period of latency where you’re quiet and it’s the winter. As you start to think about moving to your new curve.

John Jantsch (06:48): So, so the subtitle book, how to grow your people to grow your company would imply that this is a book about leadership. Mm-hmm I will tell you that as I read it, I was like, no, this is about personal development

Whitney Johnson (06:58):

John Jantsch (06:59): So is

Whitney Johnson (07:00): That so you are very astute it’s both. Yeah. Let me tell you there, there was a study that came out recently from a ego Zender that surveyed a thousand CEOs and the thousand CEOs strongly agreed that to transform the organization, they needed to transform themselves. Sure. 80% strongly agreed. And so my whole premise, my thesis is that if you want to lead an organization and we talk a lot about how to grow your team and grow your organization in the book, but it always starts with you. The fundamental unit of growth is the individual. And so I purposely wrote this book so that if you only care about personal growth, then you just read the narrative and you can get that. But if you do care about growing your team and your organization, then we’ve got these interludes that are very practical, very actionable on how to do that. But yes, you are, right. This starts with you as the individual.

John Jantsch (07:57): Yeah. Cuz really, without a great deal of self-awareness you’re probably not gonna be a great leader. Right?

Whitney Johnson (08:02): no.

John Jantsch (08:03): So are there some, I I’m sure this is like a lot of things, you know, people read this book and they go, we’ve gotta do this. you know, at our company. Right. So are, what are some of the first kind of new habits or questions maybe that, that people need to start asking themselves as you know, instead of just saying, okay, this is the new way.

Whitney Johnson (08:23): Yeah. Yeah. Oh, I love that question because I believe in setting small, ridiculously small goals, I read atomic habits and you probably did too. Had em on a podcast.

John Jantsch (08:34): One of my questions actually

Whitney Johnson (08:36): Well, there you go. So yeah. So what I recommend you do is if you find yourself thinking, oh, this model makes sense to me. Yeah. And it is purposely simple. It is purposely visual because that makes it useful. What I would say to you is just get out a piece of paper and draw the S and say to yourself, where am I on this? S yeah. And then have a conversation with a person, a colleague, a person on your team and say, where do you think you are on the S now we have an assessment tool that you can use, but you ask me a simple way to start. Yeah. That’s where you’d start is you draw it out, you have a conversation and then you can plot where your team is. But that initial spark of just drawing that curve and talking about where do you think you are, that orients yourself, orients, you orients your team and you can start to have a very robust conversation about growth and the growth upside you see in this role in your organization.

John Jantsch (09:33): So this leads me to my James clear moment as a matter of fact. Yeah. So you just talked about orienting yourself and I, and I suspect that there is a point, I, I think people probably can orient themselves in the sweet spot and they probably can orient themselves into getting started. It’s that messy middle, that sometimes is really long, boring slog mm-hmm . And one of the things that, that James puts in, in atomic habits is that a lot of times people are successful. Not cuz they have better goals, but because they can tolerate boredom because that’s a lot of what it, you know, we get tired of the stuff. We don’t wanna do it anymore, even if it’s working. So, you know, how, what, what advice do first off, I guess I have to ask you if you agree with that assessment, but if you do, you know what, you know, what does allow people to get through that long part where you’re not seeing any advancement necessarily? And so you don’t really know where you are.

Whitney Johnson (10:22): Yeah. It’s a great question. And what I would say is I wouldn’t necessarily call that the messy middle, cuz I think when you’re in this sweet spot, that’s where you’re exhilarated and you’ve got this optimized tension of it’s hard, but not too hard. So you’re feeling this sense of, of competence and autonomy and relatedness. I think what you’re referring to is when you’re at the launch point and you’ve made the decision, Hey, I’m gonna do this and growth is happening, but it’s not yet apparent. It’s like the, the Lily pads in a pond, like there’s one and then there’s two and then there’s four. But ah, there’s not very many pads in the pond. And so what I recommend you do there is number one is know psychologically what’s happening is that you are at the launch point. It is going to feel like a slog.

And that helps you talk yourself through the impatience that you feel. But then to your James clear or James clear moment to make things clear is if you think about what’s happening in your brain, whenever you do something new, you’re running a predictive model. And so with the launch point, you’re running this model and you’re making lots of predictions, most of which are inaccurate. And so your dopamine is dropping a lot and that is not fun. And so what you can do is you can set those small ridiculously small goals. Like for example, I’m learning Korean right now. Am I studying well because I love K dramas, but am I studying 30 minutes a day? No, I have an app. I pull out dual Ando and maybe I do 30 seconds a day. Maybe I do three minutes. Yeah. But I’ve done it for 103 straight days. Right? Yeah. And so what happens is when that goal is really small, you can hit it every day. You can oftentimes beat it. And when you beat goals, guess what happens, dopamine ding. And so it’s that ability to have those small goals, beat those small goals at the launch point that allows you to basically gamify it and move through the slog of that place where growth is not apparent until you hit that sweet spot and things become exhilarating.

John Jantsch (12:24): And now let’s hear from a sponsor, running a small business means doing it all. You deserve an online marketing platform that does the same. Semrush is an all in one platform that will lighten the load handle SEO, social media, and advertising all in one place, attract new customers, save time and money on marketing and get ahead of the competition. If you need online marketing, no problem. Semrush will get you started. If you’re ready to grow online, try some rush free @ Semrush.com/Now that’s Semrush.com/now.

So you have a lot of you break kind of the stages down into a lot of things that you should be doing or paying attention to. Or I talked about maybe new habits and I’ll just let you, um, kind of talk about how it applies is collect like a child. You know, I’ve always told people, I think curiosity is really, you know, my superpower. I mean, I’d love to see how things start, how they work, why they don’t work, why something is out place. And so that to me, I was like, well, yeah, I just do that instinctively, but talk a little bit about that. How a leader, you know, or somebody trying to develop personally can apply that idea.

Whitney Johnson (13:32): Well, first of all, I want to flag for you. That is a superpower. Whenever someone says, Hey, I just do this instinctively that is telling me, oh yeah, that’s a strength. Not everybody. Does that just a reminder. Yes. Yes. So just wanna wanna say that one of the things that, that a child does that around the curiosity is first of all, they, and we would go into something and say, I just want to understand what this is. I just want to figure this out. And at that point there’s very little ego and your identity is not on the line. And so for example, I can remember when I was three or four years old, our family had gone to see the sound of music and I came home and we had an upright piano and I started to figure out how do I play? DOE re me on the piano.

There was no question in my mind of like, will I not be able to do it? Will I look dumb if I can’t figure it out? None of that identity ego was part of the equation. And so collecting like a child is to be at the launch point and say, I like this curve. I, I want to be here. I now have to get the data that would tell me, can I get the resources that I need? And, and I’m gonna be able to gain momentum here and just to collect that data and not have it be a referendum on your identity. It’s just data. Can I get the resources? Do I enjoy this? If the answer is yes, then I keep going. If the answer is no, then I stop. It’s not about my ego. It’s just about iterating and learning and growing and developing. And so that’s the collecting like a child where the ego is out of the equation.

John Jantsch (15:10): So it may actually be a superpower. My parents didn’t always think it was

Whitney Johnson (15:14): Then it definitely is

John Jantsch (15:15): so you, you know, the personal development part, I think, you know, people are gonna grow by reading this book. The leadership part in some ways is, might be harder to install in an organization because there’s so many, there’s so many culture aspects that I’m, that keep coming up for me as, you know, just that collect like a child, giving people permission to do that. Doesn’t always happen at organizations. Does it?

Whitney Johnson (15:39): Yeah, no it doesn’t. And I think that one of the things that is increasingly apparent to me, the more experienced I get in life is that so often will say, well, I think this using this as a tool to think about growth is a great idea, but can you persuade my manager? Right? And the answer is, no, I can’t persuade your manager. Um, but you can. And the way that you can is if you will start with you and if you will start to implement this idea with the people on your team. Yeah. And to collect those data points, because when you are persuading someone to do something new, you are effectively asking them to jump to a new S-curve, which is scary. They don’t want to do it. And so what you’re doing is you’re packing a parachute for them to make it safe for them to do that new thing. Yeah. And you make it safe by you being a Proofpoint by being the people on your team, being a Proofpoint and something as simple as drawing an S and having a conversation. That’s not very scary. Yeah. That’s pretty easy to do. And so you have more control than you think you do, and start with something so simple. So ridiculously small, it’s pretty tough to say, well, I don’t wanna listen. No, it’s something simple. You can start there.

John Jantsch (16:53): So you filled this book with a lot of interviews of people that you had talked to that, you know, kind of are, are doing some of this. This is probably a difficult question. So I’ll let you break it up. If you want, you know, is there a story in the book or is there a person that you’ve talked to since, you know, reading the book, even that you feel like has really kind of nailed this approach, brought this approach to their organization and it’s made a difference.

Whitney Johnson (17:15): Yeah, I do actually. So, and they’re not in the book. So it’s a company called Chatbooks. They’re in Provo, Utah, and they turn Instagram photos into, or actually Lehigh, Utah. They turn Instagram photos into books and they have been around for about seven years. It’s a great culture. People like to work there. And because people like to work there, they had a lot of people who were getting to the top of the S-curve. They were reaching mastery. And so we administered our S-curve tool. And our CEO said, Whitney, this is really helpful because it’s giving us a language to talk about our, our experience. Three examples specifically, what happened? One person, the chief marking officer said, now I understand the experience I’m having. It’s not that I don’t like working here. It’s not that I don’t like you as a boss. It’s just that I’m at the top of my curve.

I’m not growing anymore. I need to do something new. And so it de personalized her jumping to a new curve at a different company. In another instance, you had the president who was presumably on a new curve, but he was bumping up against the scope of the CEO that allowed them to have a conversation said, Hey, CEO, go jump to your curve. So that I’ve got headroom on my curve. Again, allowed them to have a conversation. And then the third thing that happened was the CTO who had been there for several years, was taking on some new responsibilities that were putting him at the launch point. And he was kind of uncomfortable, cuz he’s supposed to be the expert. Yeah. It gave him a way to say, Hey, everybody doing something new I’m at the launch point, it’s supposed to be uncomfortable and awkward and gangly. And it gave him permission. And then also could talk his team through that. And so very simple language to talk about the experience that people were having.

John Jantsch (18:58): Well, that’s a, that’s such a great example too, because very different outcomes for all of them. Yes. But all of them, even if they were painful because they caused change all of them very positive.

Whitney Johnson (19:08): Right?

John Jantsch (19:09): Yeah. That’s awesome. So, so when you tell people where they can find out, I know the book’s available anywhere, but where they can find out more about your work as well.

Whitney Johnson (19:16): Yeah. Thank you for asking. So one easy place is to go to Whitney johnson.com and or to our podcast disrupt yourself. But Whitney johnson.com is the easiest place to start.

John Jantsch (19:28): Awesome. Well, I appreciate you taking the time out to stop by the duct tape marketing podcast. And hopefully we’ll run into you in person one of these days out there on the road.

Whitney Johnson (19:36): Oh thank you, John, for having me.

John Jantsch (19:38): Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not .com .co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

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

undefined Running a small business means doing it all. You deserve an online marketing platform that does the same! Semrush is an all-in-one platform that will lighten the load. Handle SEO, social media, and advertising all in one place. Attract new customers, save time and money on marketing, and get ahead of the competition. New to online marketing? No problem! Semrush will get you started. If you’re ready to grow online, try Semrush free today at semrush.com/now.

 

How SEO Has Evolved Over The Years

How SEO Has Evolved Over The Years written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Dale Bertrand

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Dale Bertrand. Dale has been an SEO specialist for fortune 500 companies and venture-backed startups around the world for two decades. He speaks at industry conferences, leads, corporate training events, and serves as entrepreneur in residence at the Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs Organization.

Key Takeaway:

Foundationally, what Google is trying to do is help people find the right information — the answer to their questions. As technology and algorithms are constantly changing, the world of SEO as we know it continuously evolves along with it.

In this episode, I talk with long-time SEO specialist for Fortune 500 companies and venture-backed startups, Dale Bertrand, about the evolution of SEO and where it stands today, the biggest changes happening, and what you need to do to build trust, increase authority, and rank high today with Google.

Questions I ask Dale Bertrand:

  • [2:01] What are some of the biggest changes in SEO that you are following?
  • [4:56] Could you talk about something you’ve written about — the end of technical SEO?
  • [5:43] Do things like keywords in your titles, metadata, and your URL matter anymore?
  • [9:14] What’s the value of backlinks today?
  • [11:41] Do you see it that it is almost like three disciplines of content?
  • [15:36] Human influence and desire haven’t changed, they’re just on different journeys. Would you say that we just need to remember those principles and apply them to today’s technology?
  • [18:04] How should companies go about finding and activating the right influencer?
  • [19:15] On SEO-related sites, how valuable are signals in social media — meaning people linking to you on social platforms like Twitter?
  • [20:41] Where can people find out more about Fire & Spark and the work that you’re doing?

More About Dale Bertrand:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): Today’s episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by blissful prospecting, hosted by Jason bay and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network host Jason bay dives in with leading sales experts and top performing reps to share actionable tips and strategies to help you land more meetings with your ideal clients. Recently, they did a show on the four day work week. I’m a huge fan. I think everybody should be looking towards trying to create that, Hey, we get most of our work done in like two hours every day. Anyway, so let’s try out the four day work week. All right, listen to blissful prospecting, wherever you get your podcasts.

Hello and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Dale Bertran. He has been an SEO specialist to fortune 500 companies and venture back startups around the world for two decades. He speaks in industry conferences, leads, corporate training events, and serves as entrepreneur in residence at the Harvard alumni entrepreneurs organization. So Dale, welcome to the show.

Dale Bertrand (01:15): Well, John, welcome to, well, thank you for having me. I must welcome you to your own show.

John Jantsch (01:21): well, I appreciate that. I don’t think anybody’s ever done that, so that that’s awesome. so, you know, we’re gonna talk about SEO. Uh, we’re gonna specifically talk about maybe a brand or an evolution of SEO, but it’s funny before we get into it, you know, a lot of people, you know, I bet you get this question a lot, you know, what are the big changes recently that, you know, in SEO and, you know, I think SEO’s like a lot of things, it just kind of evolves, you know, like some of the big, like the, probably the biggest change, if there was one is, you know, rank brain, which really changed how SEO people need to think about SEO, but that’s coming up on seven years ago. So I think a lot of, a lot of people wanna see like sudden change, but I think there’s this evolution, but I’m gonna ask you anyway, what are some of the biggest changes in SEO that, that you are following?

Dale Bertrand (02:09): Well, thinking of it as an evolution is definitely the right way to think about it. When I started with SEO, believe it or not was in 1999 long time ago. And, um, even back then we knew where the puck was going. So to speak, like, you know, the metaphor like skate to where the puck is going. So we’ve known for a very long time that what Google’s trying to do is help people find the right information, the answer to their question. So Google’s just getting a lot better at it with, um, AI and, and all of the different algorithms that, that fall under the AI umbrella. So we, we call Google an AI based search engine now. And yeah, AI based search engines are just a lot better at choosing the right content for the query, giving you the right answer at scale than the rules based search engine, where, where Google started out

John Jantsch (02:58): Well. And I think, think you can test this for yourself. I mean, you start doing a search anymore and on nine times outta 10, they know what you’re searching for before you finish. right. Yeah.

Dale Bertrand (03:08): Yeah. They’ve got the data. I mean, they process billions of searches a day and every time you interact with Google, every time you enter something into it or click on a result, it’s watching you and Google’s using that to, to basically serve up better rankings.

John Jantsch (03:22): Yeah. And it really, you know, a lot of times people look at SEO as a way to trick Google, I guess. I mean, and that’s kind of how we used to look at it right. In some ways. And really the thing people forget is Google doesn’t care about us or our SEO or our websites. I mean, they’re trying to serve their customer, right?

Dale Bertrand (03:45): Yeah. That’s really important. And I think how you frame SEO and how you think about it matters a lot. So if you understand that you are trying to help Google serve its audience, it’s searchers, right. Help by giving Google the content that it needs. If you’re writing, let’s say you’re writing a recipe for a Manhattan or any other bourbon drink, right? Like Google has already has access to thousands and thousands of recipes for Manhattans. So like you’re just not giving it something useful. So that’s one way to think about it. And then the other part of it

John Jantsch (04:16): Is, you know, it’s only two, o’clock where I am Dale, but Manhattan sounds really good. I’m sorry, go ahead.

Dale Bertrand (04:21): I should a drink cocktail mixed box before this. So we could really have some fun and record it at the same time. So the other way people think about SEO is whether it’s like a technical discipline. Like people think of, well, I’m optimizing my website, so I’m moving the HTML tags around or moving the elements around or, um, adding words like adding my keywords and, and that’s, what’s gonna make all the difference. And that’s really the biggest change that we see with the evolution that Google’s undergone as they switch to AI algorithms.

John Jantsch (04:54): So, so I taking this directly from something you’ve written the end of, uh, technical SEO. This doesn’t mean SEO’s dead. It means that your SEO resources are better spent optimizing for your customers, not Google’s algorithm.

Dale Bertrand (05:08): Absolutely. So Google’s algorithm is trained to find the right content to find the content that your customers are looking for when they’re making a buying decision. So the better, you know, your customers, uh, the information they need, the questions they’re asking and then how to answer those questions and give them the information they need to facilitate the purchase. Well, hopefully they buy from you , but the better you understand your customers and better, you’ll be able to create content that Google serves because Google’s doing like a damn good job of figuring it out nowadays

John Jantsch (05:41): Does do things like keywords in your titles and metadata and your URL to have a keyword. I mean, does that stuff not matter anymore because they it’s know what it says.

Dale Bertrand (05:51): It’s not that it doesn’t matter. Like it it’s just that it, it makes it harder and easier at the same time. Like it’s simple, but it’s hard to do like, you know, just creating the right content, creating the content that your, um, customers are looking for, but you can really boil it down to a three step process. Like the first one is building your platform. So making sure that there isn’t anything very broken about your website that would prevent Google from calling your indexing, your content. So that doesn’t mean you’re optimizing for, to get the last millisecond of page feed on your site, but you’re fixing big issues that would prevent Google from seeing your content. And then the second step would be keyword, visibility. What are the right keywords? Make sure they’re in the right places. That’s different from keyword stuffing or right.

You’re even making sure that, you know, you, you have, you have misspellings or synonym and all of that. Like it, it’s really more about the intent behind the keywords. You want people, you want purchased intent keywords. So yeah, whatever you sell, you wanna make sure these are keywords that people are typing in. When they’re trying to decide, you know, what they’re gonna buy in that category. And, and then the third step is really building targeted content and what I call multifactor authority. So the targeted content is the right type of content around the intent behind those keywords that you identified in the first step. And that could take a number of different forms, but it really depends on what you’re selling and what your customers are looking for. So remember you need to know your customers. And then the other part, multifactor authority is proving to Google that you have the answer.

So if I’m writing about I’m making something up here, non-alcoholic drink recipes or something like that because I sell non-alcoholic, um, spirit. Then Google needs to believe that we are the brand. We’re the website that that information should be coming from. And so that’s back links, that’s engagement with the site, reducing your bounce rate, making sure that when people come to your site, they stay, cuz Google will notice if they just bounce directly back to Google’s, uh, search page and then the company you keep matters. So like if you were selling non-alcoholic drinks, you could imagine that there are a number of medical organizations or mothers against drunk driving that would care about the mission behind your product. And you wanna make sure that Google can see that you’ve got endorsements of all types. You could imagine from authoritative folks in your space.

John Jantsch (08:10): And now let’s hear from a sponsor, running a small business means doing it all. You deserve an online marketing platform that does the same. Semrush is an all in one platform that will lighten the load handle SEO, social media, and advertising all in one place, attract new customers, save time and money on marketing and get ahead of the competition. If you need it online marketing, no problem. Semrush will get you started. If you’re ready to grow online, try some rush free@somerush.com slash. Now that’s S E M rush.com/now.

And I know the answer to this, but you know, I’m just gonna tee it up for you. Okay. So some might interpret what you just said is getting back links, but you’re talking about something much deeper, aren’t you?

Dale Bertrand (08:56): Yeah. So back links are still important and you know, we work to get white hat, you know, to sorry. We work to earn back links, um, on our projects. So that could be PR, but a lot of it is just making sure that you’re running a good business. So you’ve got customers that are raving about you. You’ve got products worth writing about, and your business is making an impact with your customers or a community or something, uh, where Google can see that you’re gaining traction. So, so that’s why it goes beyond back links. Because if you think about it back links are really a proxy for something. There are proxy for endorsements in your space, in your market. The, if you’re, maybe you’re in the medical space and you’ve got the Mayo clinic, you know, writing about you, you might have a partnership with them. And an artifact of that is the fact that they’re linking to you.

John Jantsch (09:42): Yeah.

Dale Bertrand (09:43): Yeah. So, so we wanna start on, we wanna start with the run, a good business, make good friends, you know, make you earn those endorsements. And then once, once we have that, then we’re looking at ways to translate those into technical artifacts on the web that Google can see.

John Jantsch (09:58): And, and certainly one of the things that they can see better than ever is that they’re the right links, right? There’s they’re links back links. That make sense. That would be logical, that would actually contribute to the conversation. , you know, as opposed to the, you know, round Robin directories that, you know, nobody ever actually sees and they have no authority at all. I mean, that, I think has been something that’s been with us maybe at least five or six years, hasn’t it?

Dale Bertrand (10:21): Oh, longer than that. So I, I should know because we, I mean, I was doing, I’ve been doing SEO for a very long time. So there used to be black hat techniques that worked and, and we did it because it worked nowadays. It just, they have to be natural links. Like you really do need to be building a community around your brand and, and content. A lot of it depends on whether you’re B2C or B2B. If you’re B2C, you wanna build a community, um, around your brand, get traction and make sure Google can see it. And then if your B2B, then the number of searches is gonna be lower is just gonna be lower volume, but still they’re gonna be valuable. Organic traffic is valuable. But in that case, it’s more that you want to make sure that Google can see the company you keep so that you’re, you’ve got relationships with the industry, trade organizations and conferences. And if you’re in the medical space, it’s PhD, sorry, MDs or MD PhDs, which is even better and what, whatever works in your industry.

John Jantsch (11:15): So there’s really a lot of elements here. I mean, there is the technical aspects of content of website that, that lead to SEO. There’s the, the actual good deep content itself. But then in a way it’s actually promotion of that content , you know, to the right audiences that, that then drives, you know, the right links or drives the right mentions or right. Traffic. So, I mean, do you see it that way as almost like three disciplines?

Dale Bertrand (11:44): I, I try. So, yes, but I try not to. So when it comes to like a, a successful SEO campaign, there’s gonna be a lot of elements. Like you said, the technical platform, keyword research, the customer research, the content, and then the authority building. And then there’s, you know, there’s PR within that, there’s a lot of dis disciplines within that, but it’s really hard, especially for small business owners to think about, um, to, to even, you know, have the courage to do SEO when it requires so much. So instead. And, and I, I think I’ve learned about this, John sitting next to you at a dinner a long time ago, where you, you kind of helped me simplify some of my ideas, the way that I like to think about it. We, you have a purpose behind your SEO. And, uh, what I mean, when I say you have a purpose behind your SEO is that you’ve got a purpose behind your brand, a purpose behind your business. Yeah. And, and a quick example I’ll give you is that we worked with a company that was a manufacturing company and what they manufactured was Velcro straps. It’s, it’s pretty darn boring. And I hope they’re not listening to this cause they get excited about manufacturing. It’s run by two engineers. And these Velcro straps are used by electricians. If you’re installing bundles of wires into a big building, you need a lot of these Velcro straps to make sure that it’s not spaghetti of wires everywhere.

John Jantsch (12:56): I got a few of ’em here with all my technology that hook up here.

Dale Bertrand (13:00): Perfect, perfect. And for them, we, they wanted to do SEO. They wanted to build content, but what were they gonna do? They gonna write 50 articles about Velcro. Like, Hey, Velcro’s awesome. For all these reasons, we’ll write one article about each reason. So you could do that, but it’s not gonna help you build a community, build authority and have Google see that you’re gaining traction. So what, what we realized when we were talking to them is one of the founders of this company was he was volunteering weekends at a technical high school near, near where, um, they’re located. And so what we did was we put together a campaign. We called it the campaign to recruit the next generation of electricians. And basically it was, you know, they were going to identify, it was young people, help them pay for some exams, some licensure and, and also help them put a little bit of money towards their schooling.

And what we did was we promoted that campaign. We said, Hey, if you care, and we reached out to like-minded organizations like organizations that care about providing, you know, job opportunities for young people. And there was one that was about finding job opportunities for recently incarcerated people. And we told them like, we’re looking for kids to help. Could you help promote this campaign? And basically when we look at it that way, and the reason why I call it purpose driven SEO, is because we wanna find something behind our brand that we can promote and build a campaign around. And then we get all of those other artifacts of SEO, the, the content, the technical platform, the traction, the links, the authority building the, the endorsements of like relationships with other organizations that are helping us promote our campaign. We get all of that by just focusing on this one purpose. So that, that’s why I like to think of, uh, SEO campaigns as like purpose driven SEO campaigns. Yeah.

John Jantsch (14:44): And, and I love that. And before people think, oh, I have to learn this new, you know, tactic or this new technique. What you just described is what people like me were doing in the eighties. Right? Yeah. It was just PR and community building, but we pitched a newspaper, you know, or we went out to a nonprofit agency and got them, you know, to partner. What? So, so the more things changed, the more they say the same, I mean,

Dale Bertrand (15:09): Yeah, yeah.

John Jantsch (15:10): Human influence hasn’t really changed or what people’s desires are or what lights them up. Hasn’t changed. We just have to figure out now they’re on different journeys. They’re, they’re in different platforms, they’re in different places. They get their information differently. And we just have to, we have to just remember those principles. Yeah. And then apply it to the technology. Don’t we,

Dale Bertrand (15:30): And then also realized that there was a hiccup in the fabric of time in the marketing space. Yeah. Where all of a sudden these technical people, I have a technical background. I was a programmer before I started doing SEO, but technical people for all of a sudden had all this value because the web came along. Right. And if you could optimize a website just right, or get your programmer to do it, you would get tra traffic from Google. Yeah. And, and those days are, are really behind us. Yeah. Where like Google’s AI has gotten to the point where it understands when a brand is building traction or, or if you like sell a B2B service or something like that. When you have endorsements in relationships with folks in your space that makes you worthy of organic traffic and rankings. Yeah. So now Google’s getting like, just getting so good at what they do that we’re reverting back to actually generating the, the right content that your customers are looking for and proving to Google that you’re authoritative in your space.

John Jantsch (16:26): So that example that you gave you, you give that a name or at least a point of view, which I think people I’d love for you to kind of riff on this a little bit, because I think people need to acknowledge this and, and think about this more and you call it promoting the story, you know, not promoting your content or not promoting your products or your, you know, webpages or whatever, but promoting kind of the whole story, which to me was that was the technical, you know, school, you know, story that, that people got interested in and the byproduct was you got links and you got traffic and you got eyeballs.

Dale Bertrand (17:03): Yeah, exactly. That’s what Google is, is looking for. So just think of it as like brands that are building traction or building like an audience. Yeah. And if you can show that initial uptick, then Google will give you the rest of the traffic and kind of have to help you go along that trajectory help you grow along that trajectory.

John Jantsch (17:21): So one of the elements of this kind of authority ideas is actually finding and activating influencers. I mean, people that you, you know, we all think about the, oh, you know, the top 10 names, every single person can name. Sure. We want them to talk about us and our stories and, uh, content. But you know, for that you’re Velcro person, Gary V talking about, them’s probably not gonna really do ’em much good. You know, how, how does the Velcro, you know, manufacturer go out there and find the right influencers to, to talk about their story.

Dale Bertrand (17:51): So what you would love is if it was your customers and it depends a lot of it depends on what you sell. So you could be in a consumer space where you’re basically, um, you’re basically incentivizing your customers to, to be brand evangelists and talk about the products, review the products, whatever you can do to get them to do that would work. It could be an ambassador program. And then in the B2B space, it, it might not be your customers. A another example I’ll give is we work with a 3d printing company that sold, you know, multimillion dollar high-end 3d printers, but there’s just not enough customers to really, you know, turn that into links and, and relationships that Google would see. So we focused on 3d printing hobbyists in order to generate content and build a community around the brand, even though what we were selling and making our money off was high end 3d printing machines that, that they could never afford. But we were able to build a community around the brand that Google saw and, and generated rankings and traffic.

John Jantsch (18:49): So I, I have kind of one final question that, and I’m just curious your opinion on this, cuz there’s a lot of various opinions, you know, on, on SEO related sites, how valuable are signals in social media. So people linking from Twitter, people talking about your brand from a pure SEO standpoint, how valuable are those?

Dale Bertrand (19:11): So there’s two answers, both are correct, which is the direct value of the links in the mention is not valuable. Yeah. But we still use social media as a tool for PR, which helps us build relationships, get back links on, on websites that Google can see stuff like that. And we know that it’s not valuable cuz short version of the story, Bing had tried to use social media instead of back links because Google started out, you know, really focused on back links to determine authority in the best websites. And when Microsoft started its search engine, they said, ah, we’re gonna do it better. We’re gonna rely on social media and it just didn’t work. Yeah. So they abandoned it. They went to links just like Google and now Google and, and Microsoft are both trying to figure out how to incorporate social signals. But uh, apparently what we see in the research is that it it’s just not, it’s just not good. Like it doesn’t help them identify the best content, the same way back links, engagement, and these other artifacts of real world relationships do.

John Jantsch (20:15): So Dale tell people where they can find out more about fire and spark and uh, the work that you’re uh, doing.

Dale Bertrand (20:21): Yeah. So we’re at fire and spark.com all spelled out and you can email me directly Dale, D a L E fire and spark.com um, all spelled out. And um, always, I love talking about SEO. So if anybody has any SEO questions, I’m, I’m happy to hear it.

John Jantsch (20:37): Awesome. Well, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by the duct tape marketing podcast and hopefully we’ll see you out there on the road again, maybe in beautiful state of Maine.

Dale Bertrand (20:46): Awesome, John, and thank you for the

John Jantsch (20:48): Opportunity. Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not .com .co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

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

 

undefined Running a small business means doing it all. You deserve an online marketing platform that does the same! Semrush is an all-in-one platform that will lighten the load. Handle SEO, social media, and advertising all in one place. Attract new customers, save time and money on marketing, and get ahead of the competition. New to online marketing? No problem! Semrush will get you started. If you’re ready to grow online, try Semrush free today at semrush.com/now.

The 5 Stages Of Marketing Every Business Moves Their Customers Through

The 5 Stages Of Marketing Every Business Moves Their Customers Through written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

john-jantschIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I’m doing a solo show, and I’m gonna talk about something that I’ve been talking a lot about lately called the Customer Success Track.

Key Takeaway:

After working with tons of small businesses and clients for the last 30+ years, I’ve realized that there are five stages of marketing that many businesses go through. I’ve been able to identify the milestones that businesses need to move customers or clients through and consequently the tasks associated with each of those milestones.

I’ve mapped this out in what I’m calling the Customer Success Track – a concept I talk about deeply in my latest book – The Ultimate Marketing Engine. In this episode, I’m diving into the five stages of the customer success track – Foundation, Level Up, Organize, Stabilize, and Scale – and how to advance a customer or client through all five stages over the course of a long-term business relationship.

 

Topics I Cover:

  • [1:28] What the Customer Success Track is
  • [1:41] Stage 1: Foundation
  • [7:46] Stage 2: Level up
  • [11:36] Stage 3: Organize
  • [14:23] Stage 4: Stabilize
  • [18:36] Stage 5: Scale

Resources I Mention:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): Today’s episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by blissful prospecting, hosted by Jason bay and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network host Jason Bay dives in with leading sales experts and top performing reps to share actionable tips and strategies to help you land more meetings with your ideal clients. Recently, they did a show on the four day work week. I’m a huge fan. I think everybody should be looking towards trying to create that. Hey, we get most of our work done in like two hours every day. Anyway, so let’s try out the four day work week. All right, listen to blissful, prospecting, wherever you get your podcasts.

John Jantsch (00:46): Hey, hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and I am doing another solo show, just you and me and the radio, as they say, I guess somebody probably said, I’m gonna talk about something that I’ve been talking a lot about lately called the customer success, track little plug for my latest book, the ultimate marketing engine. I talk about it in depth in there, and there’s all kinds of resources. And if you’re listening to this show in August of 2022, you can pick up the Kindle version for 2 99. Okay. There’s a commercial today. But if this topic resonates, go get the book because I go so deep in into it. So here’s the basis premise behind this customer success track. Over the years, I started to recognize, and again, I didn’t wake up on day one and say, this is how the world is over tons and tons of experience, years clients, prospects.

John Jantsch (01:45): I’ve started to realize that there are about five stages of marketing that many businesses go through. And some of them rush through them. Some of ’em hang out in one stage or the another for a long time, but I’ve been able to recognize the characteristics of a business in that stage based a lot on what’s going on in their marketing or what’s going on in, you know, increasingly in their online presence. I know what challenges they’re probably facing at that point because of where they are. But I also know have been able to identify the milestones that we need to move them through and consequently, the tasks associated to each of those milestones. And if we do that, I mean, it’s basically a task list of things that need to be accomplished. If we do that, we can also say, but here’s the promise of moving through that stage.

John Jantsch (02:37): I’m gonna go into some depth from a marketing standpoint. So if you’re a business owner out there thinking, okay, he’s talking about me right now. Maybe it’ll give you some clues to what you need to be looking at in your marketing. If you’re a marketer, if you’re a consultant listening to this and you work with folks on their marketing, this is a great way to start thinking about how you would retain clients for a longer time, because you’ve got a roadmap that you’re working from. And again, as I said, the much, much more depth on this in the ultimate marketing engine and a lot of things that I’ve been writing about, but I thought I would bring it out today because I think what happens is a lot of times people can’t really identify the problem or they think the solution is I just need more leads.

John Jantsch (03:19): Well, what I’m gonna share today is that’s not always the challenge. There is sort of a linear order. to how things need to be done, how things need to be built, how your business will evolve. And I think to some degree you can start recognizing it’s hard if you get stuck because a lot of businesses get to a certain point, frankly, and they’ve grown. They’re doing some things that maybe now they’re juggling a lot of balls dropping a few plates, but outwardly they appear to have succeeded some. And so they, a lot of times dig in and just try to do more where they are and what I wanna suggest through this idea of the customer’s success track and the stages and the customer success track is there’s certain things you as the owner, the founder, the head of marketing, whatever your role is, need to start doing differently at each of these stages.

John Jantsch (04:06): And I think sometimes that’s what trips people up. There are a lot of people that, that they love tinkering. They love DIYing. They love getting in and digging under the hood and figuring things out. Even if it takes ’em all day long to do it. And that has to change. If in fact you wanna move through these stages. So that’s a little bit of what, what I’m gonna talk about today. All right. So let’s talk about the stages. I’ve given them names. There are five of them. I’m gonna go through the characteristics and I’m hopeful that you’ll listen and go, oh, wait a minute. That’s some of what I’m experiencing. So that must be where I am. All right. The stages are foundation level up, organize, stabilize, and scale. Now those are arbitrary names. That’s just a name that we pinned to each of the stages.

John Jantsch (04:53): If you’re thinking about developing something like this for your own practice or for your own offerings that you go out there, obviously five’s even an arbitrary number, but we just found that who we worked with that was a good way to delineate. All right. So what are the characteristics of that foundation business quite often, sometimes, but not always. They’re in a startup mode. They’re very founder driven. All the sales are typically happening from the founder, going out there and knocking on doors. Almost. There’s no website leads coming in. They’ve maybe built a website. It’s kind of a brochure, but no leads coming in. They’re talking about their company. They’re talking about their products in most of their marketing. There’s not a consistent online presence. I mean, we see this all the time. Maybe they’ve got a LinkedIn profile, they’ve got a, a, you know, Google business profile page and there’s off branding off names off what they call it. I mean, there’s just, it’s a lot of inconsistencies. And typically it’s because they’ve not attached any value to participating in social media. They’re not using email in a consistent manner. Even if they’re getting clients, they’re not using email to nurture those leads, to nurture those clients, to actually get repeat business.

John Jantsch (06:05): Part of the reason, some of the challenges of being in this stage, marketing’s changing quickly, or at least it really feels like it. I think it, we run into folks all the time and this part of their, and they just don’t know where to invest. I mean, somebody tells me I need to buy this. Somebody tells me I need to be here. Social media in a lot of cases feels like a way, particularly when you use it the way you see so many people using it, repeat business is not coming your way. And frankly, you’ve got too many tasks.

John Jantsch (06:37): Any of that sound like you , those are the challenges. Now here’s the payoff. If we can fix, if you can fix those challenges, if you can start addressing the fact that you have to look at your website, for example, in a much different way, you have to actually start telling stories. You have to actually start using email. You have to actually start understanding the problem you solve for your customers. Some of the strategic things that go into actually creating a consistent online presence. The promise of that is that you’re now gonna have a website that’s prepared to not only a attract leads, but convert them. You’re gonna get traffic flow from the search engines because you’re creating useful content that people want to find. People wanna read. You’re addressing the problems they’re trying to solve. You can start generating reviews, perhaps automatically using some of the tools that are available today. And you can start thinking about re-engaging past customers. That’s the promise of getting just the foundational stage built.

John Jantsch (07:39): Now, obviously that may not make the phone ring that may not actually take you from a revenue standpoint where you want to go. So what’s the next level of maturity. The next stage, we actually call that one level up. A lot of times people will get that website built that work with a marketer. I mean, they’re starting to produce content that they’re starting to optimize some of their assets out there, but they’re not really converting any of that web traffic. I mean, I guess the first trick is to get some traffic there , but it’s not converting. So, so frankly, if you get things out of order, let’s say at this stage, you wanna start running ads. Well, you’re gonna be wasting a lot of money because until you’re converting traffic that comes to your website, there’s no point sending or, or getting traffic that comes there.

John Jantsch (08:25): You’re not getting into page one. You know, search engine results are on maps in for local businesses there. There’s still okay. You’ve bought into social media, but there’s no engagement, which is really the only thing that matters leads are coming in, but you don’t have any real systematic way to follow up on them. You’re starting to think about online advertising, but not really sure what to do. And then this is what another thing we commonly run into at this stage. There’s no sales process, not one that’s repeatable. Anyway, that just kind of happens as it happens. Now, again, part of the challenges of being in this stage is maybe you’ve got customers, maybe you’re fulfilling orders, but you don’t have enough time to produce content or at least the volume of content that marketers say you need today. You’re not really sure what content to produce online.

John Jantsch (09:16): Advertising seems both complex and expensive. You’re not converting enough leads. You’re starting to have those conversations, but you’re not really converting them into customers. And unfortunately at this stage in many cases, because there aren’t systems built for fulfillment, you’re not retaining those clients. So at this stage, what we’re working on doing now is creating landing pages, creating and narrowing the focus of an ideal customer, creating ways in which we can make content for really, for all stages of the customer journey, creating trust on the website, creating an actual journey with calls to action and maybe some free downloads. So you can start capturing those leads that are, or that traffic that’s coming to your website because they’re interested in something you’re putting out there. So if we can get that now we’ve got the foundation built and now we’re starting to layer on conversion. I mean, we’re starting to layer on, okay, we’ve got people coming now, what’s gonna turn them into customers or what’s gonna at least put them into our pipeline.

John Jantsch (10:19): So the promise there is that, that now first off you’re gonna start attracting higher quality traffic and leads because that’s one of the real challenges in that foundation mode is you might be attracting some leads, but they’re the wrong leads. So you’re gonna get more ideal client interactions at this phase. Search engines and maps are gonna start noticing you, you all, you will create because at this stage, you’re now ready to create some automatic lead capture and follow up. You’re going to create a solid sales process at this stage so that you can start to consistently converting leads that, and in those sales conversations that you’re having,

John Jantsch (10:56): And now let’s hear from a sponsor, running a small business means doing it all. You deserve an online marketing platform that does the same. Semrush is an all in one platform that will lighten the load handle SEO, social media, and advertising all in one place, attract new customers, save time and money on marketing and get ahead of the competition.

John Jantsch (11:15): If you need it online marketing, no problem. Some rush will get you started. If you’re ready to grow online, try Semrush free @ Semrush.com/now that’s Semrush.com/now,

John Jantsch (11:31): all right, now we’ve got somebody up and running. So, so you can see we’re kind of building on this. So once we’re up and running, we’re gonna move into organized. Now what’s happening here is okay. Now I’m starting to get leads. I’m starting to have sales conversations, but now I’m kind of a mess. now I’m not tracking client relationships. I’m not really fully tracking my marketing results because I’m running too fast. I’m not upselling. I’m not cross-selling, I’m not taking advantage now of the fact that if I just drove more traffic there, say through advertising, I’m really in a, in many cases, I’m still fighting that competitive dynamic. I’m not seen as a leader necessarily.

John Jantsch (12:11): Now again, the challenges that, that this stage brings quite often is that your lead cycles are really up and down. Sometimes it’s busy. Sometimes it’s slow. sometimes you can keep up. Sometimes you can’t. I mean, marketing return is hard to understand. There’s so many things that go into it. If you’re not really accurately tracking, it’s a challenge. Client acquisition seems really hard or maybe expensive sales processes still at this point are very manual and customer service now has become an issue and is in inconsistent. So what are we gonna go to work on here? This is a place where we certainly are gonna start talking about the need for a CRM. at this stage, you need to be using some of the tools that allow you to automate some of your marketing, to track some of your clients to segment who’s coming to your website.

John Jantsch (13:03): We’re gonna set up a dashboard. You know, at this stage, we want to know what’s working. What’s not working. We’re gonna track calls. We’re gonna track emails. We’re gonna track ad spend. We are going to start thinking about campaigns now to retain customers campaigns, specifically, to sell more to existing customers. We’re probably gonna start talking about referrals here. We are. Certainly at this point can take advantage of some of the online advertising, but we also have to really focus on what happens when somebody becomes a customer. This is the stage where we certainly could go to work earlier on this, but we find that this is where it becomes so crucial that we can make it a priority. And that’s the customer experience, the onboarding, the follow up, the communication, the orientation. I mean, all those as set intentions that we can repeat, you know, time and time again.

John Jantsch (13:56): So we do this in this stage, and now we’re gonna see a consistent lead flow. We’re not gonna be wasting money on advertising because we’re gonna understand what works, what doesn’t, we’re gonna automate some of the lead nurturing, not as a way to shield ourselves from having to talk to customers, but as a way to actually create a frictionless better experience for prospects and customers, we’re gonna be converting the right customers. And we’re gonna have much higher retention and referral. This is the place where a lot of businesses, I mean, getting to this space is really the goal. Many businesses don’t even reach this stage, but also this is a place where now all of a sudden, if we’re gonna go beyond this, we can’t just add more revenue. We just can’t add more sales because we’re not gonna be able to handle it. We have to add team.

John Jantsch (14:44): We have to add delegate delegation. This is the place at which quite frankly, the marketer, the doer, the task doer, who has maybe moved to being task manager. This is the place where we need actually a real CEO. we need the head of the organization to form because this is the, you know, I don’t know where the revenue is, but it’s certainly when we’re gonna go north of a million in revenue, obviously that’s an arbitrary figure because types of businesses are different, but this is the one to 10 to 50 million range where short of a leadership team, short of, uh, you being a CEO and no longer being the marketing manager or the marketing doer has to happen. So what’s happening here. You know, we’re using the characteristics now are actually more positive because you’re using a CRM for sales. You’ve established some marketing KPIs.

John Jantsch (15:40): Maybe now you’re starting to get the room, the breathing room to think, Hey, we can develop new products, new offerings. We’ve got online advertising, working for us well enough. Maybe we’re starting to feel like, Hey, we’re a bigger player. We need to get more involved in the community, more involved in our industry. We need to start developing internal marketing roles. Now the challenge, of course, at this stage, that all those characteristics sound lovely, right? Profitability starts to vary at this stage. We maybe were really pumping in expenses cause we’re buying advertising. We’re adding team. So expenses are increasing rapidly.

John Jantsch (16:19): It’s tough to maintain marketing momentum with the growth that’s coming and even harder to maintain fulfillment. It’s time to actually probably bring on a strategic marketing hire as well. And this is the point where a lot of founders actually have to start analyzing, am I the right person? to be in this seat to be the COO, do I need a COO? Do I need somebody? Who’s actually not only running marketing, but to somebody who’s actually running operations or at least creating the delegation and the systems and the processes for getting all the work done. So in many cases, this is where we’ll definitely go to work on trying to automate things in an elegant way. Again, not to just shield the, the business from ever having to talk to anyone. This is where we’ll make significant talk about making significant investments in both marketing spend.

John Jantsch (17:15): And then I guess a third one operations spend, if in some cases, this is the place, you know, for many of our consultants, for example, this is the place where they need to start adding account managers. They need to AC actually start adding managerial levels in, in, you know, several places because businesses there. But if it’s going out the back door as fast as it’s coming in the front door, you’re not really gonna gain any traction, but the promise here, if we can get this done, if we can build systems for both marketing and for fulfillment here, we can start replicating what we’re doing. We start replicating what you used to be doing maybe as the founder and the startup, and this is gonna actually lead to consistent lead conversion, which certainly is going to lead to consistent growth. This is where word of mouth and referral generation just starts happening.

John Jantsch (18:04): Steadily your business really becomes start starting at this point to become an asset to the owner of the business, because it’s not as dependent on you. And frankly, if you ever wanna talk about exiting your business or selling your business, I mean, that’s certainly one of the criteria. Somebody has to be able to see how this would run without you. You know, there are many businesses that get found by an individual grown by an individual. And really a lot of the relationships are with that individual as opposed to the systems and the framework of the business. All right, the last one as we call scale, and really this one, probably this stage, you know, probably fits somebody that is maybe, maybe thinking in terms of exiting the business or certainly of maybe exiting their role as a, you know, day to day CEO or something, you know, kind of moving to a board type of role.

John Jantsch (18:57): So what’s going on here typically, is that again, more positive characteristics, but still same challenges. So lead flow is pretty consistent and predictable starting to build an internal marketing team. You’re sales management driven, not just a couple sales people out there, right? There’s an entire selling system. You’re starting to become recognized as a leader or in your industry or in your town. There’s a bit of financial mastery. So at this stage, while again, some people who are more financial oriented, you know, maybe start this in the first stage, but this is where profit and your cost of acquisition of new business. This is where you’re starting to have capital needs. I mean, so financial mastery is, has become a much bigger piece of the puzzle for success here. And you’ve really almost built and established, uh, uh, an internal org chart of roles of management roles.

John Jantsch (19:53): Now, the challenges here of course, is anybody who’s grown to this. I mean, we might be talking about 20, 30 people or more here. We might be talking about 10, 20, 30 million or more here. And so all of a sudden culture, the thing that maybe was a great thing, not only for those people that work there, but for your customers, um, rapid growth sometimes really comes with a deterioration of culture. There’s staff turnover. There’s no emphasis on employee branding. There’s a challenge to innovate, to continue to grow that bring new products and service offerings can add a lot of stress at this stage. So in terms of many of the things that that I talked about as characteristics, I mean, now you’re gonna go to work on you. You absolutely are gonna build team. You’re gonna build leadership team here. You’re going to formalize structure around people, operations.

John Jantsch (20:46): You’re going to need to give more and more focus to fulfillment and more and more focus to innovation. In fact, a lot of leaders in this stage of business, actually their primary job is to innovate, becomes the, you know, you’ve got that operations higher in place that is that managing the people that you’ve got. Somebody that’s focused on culture. You’ve got somebody that’s focused on sales. You’ve got the finance piece figured out. So in many cases, the role of the leader at this stage is ideas is innovation is to figure out how you can get more market share. Again, the promise, the value of the business will continue to grow. Cash flow will be consistent if need be. You’re gonna be set up in now to raise significant capital. A lot of folks go out and raise a whole bunch of capital based on money or I’m sorry, based on an idea, but a business that generates consistent cash flow can demonstrate an ability to grow is going to have a really easy, um, access to a lot of cash.

John Jantsch (21:49): Should they need it? And certainly this is that are seen as leaders have a much easier time attracting experienced talent to, to the organization as well. So all of that to say, you know, many companies, many businesses come to us say, I wanna grow, I want more business. I want more leads. And what we’ve discovered is certainly that’s, we’re gonna get there but first we’re gonna develop more clarity. First, we’re gonna develop more confidence in the systems, more control over what works and what doesn’t work. And there is a linear process for this. But for us having this roadmap is such a, you know, becomes the mission, becomes taking folks from where they are to where they want to go. In terms of training, in terms of hiring, in terms of even sales messaging, being able to demonstrate that you have a path to build on for many particularly service businesses is a pretty compelling differentiator and a compelling offer for somebody who is just had so many people selling them the tactic of the week.

John Jantsch (22:52): So while I just went through kind of our customer stages and I could do a whole nother show on every milestone involved in accomplishing moving people through there, but my feeling is that just about any business I’ve done marketing here, right? But just about any business that sells to other businesses, maybe even individuals could develop this idea of stage growth of staged evolution or maturity. So that’s what I wanted to share today. As I said, if you pick up the ultimate marketing engine, you can pick that up. Wherever books are sold, all the electronic book. If you’re listening to this in August of 2022 is on sale now for $2 and 99 cents. So when you get the book, you’ll actually the entire show that I went through has a, has this roadmap in a form. So when you get the book, you’ll actually get all the forms and tools that are shown in the book as well.

John Jantsch (23:43): So that’s it for today. Hopefully we’ll run into one of these days out there on the road. Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we create it a free tool for you. It’s called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not .com .co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

 

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals seeking the best education and inspiration to grow a business.

 

Running a small business means doing it all. You deserve an online marketing platform that does the same! Semrush is an all-in-one platform that will lighten the load. Handle SEO, social media, and advertising all in one place. Attract new customers, save time and money on marketing, and get ahead of the competition. New to online marketing? No problem! Semrush will get you started. If you’re ready to grow online, try Semrush free today at semrush.com/now.

 

How High-Performers Overcome Customer Indecision

How High-Performers Overcome Customer Indecision written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Matt Dixon

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Matt Dixon. Matt is a Founding Partner of DCM Insights, the customer understanding lab. He’s also a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review with more than 20 print and online articles to his credit. His first book, The Challenger Sale, has sold more than a million copies worldwide and was a #1 Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestseller. He has a new book launching in September 2022 — The JOLT Effect: How High Performers Overcome Customer Indecision.

Key Takeaway:

In sales, the worst thing you can hear from a customer isn’t “no.” It’s “I need to think about it.” Traditional sales advice tells you to double down on your efforts to sell a buyer on all the ways they might win by choosing you and your business. Turns out, what once rang tried and true, doesn’t work so well today.

In this episode, Founder of DCM Insights and best-selling author, Matt Dixon, joins me to talk about the growing problem of customer indecision and a new approach that turns conventional wisdom on its head. After extensive research and millions of conversations with high-performance sales reps, Matt has discovered that only by addressing the customer’s fear of failure can you get indecisive buyers to go from verbally committing to actually pulling the trigger. We dive into concepts from his playbook that will help any salesperson or sales leader who wants to close the gap between customer intent and action—and close more sales.

Questions I ask Matt Dixon:

  • [1:44] Can you talk a little bit about the research that you did to prepare for the JOLT effect?
  • [4:18] Why is indecision such an important sales topic?
  • [5:44] Your research suggests that the old ways of approaching indecision might not be the most productive approach – can you talk about that idea?
  • [9:02] Does indecision look a lot like the status quo?
  • [11:38] Would you say that part of getting past indecision is figuring out how to dial down the fear of purchasing?
  • [15:03] Do you run the risk of the cliche trial closes in this step?
  • [16:59] Are you advocating to slim down the options for customers and not lead with all of the bells and whistles and possibilities?
  • [20:03] We’ve worked through the beginning half of the JOLT methodology — can you unpack the LT of that acronym?
  • [22:26] Is the T in JOLT to give prospects a safety net or is this sort of a last-ditch thing?
  • [25:20] Where can people learn more about you and your work and grab a copy of your new book?

More About Matt Dixon:

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

 

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals seeking the best education and inspiration to grow a business.

 

Running a small business means doing it all. You deserve an online marketing platform that does the same! Semrush is an all-in-one platform that will lighten the load. Handle SEO, social media, and advertising all in one place. Attract new customers, save time and money on marketing, and get ahead of the competition. New to online marketing? No problem! Semrush will get you started. If you’re ready to grow online, try Semrush free today at semrush.com/now.

 

How To Connect, Converse, And Convert Through Social Media Listening

How To Connect, Converse, And Convert Through Social Media Listening written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Brooke Sellas

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Brooke Sellas. Brooke is the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media, an award-winning digital marketing agency focusing on social media management, advertising, and social-led customer care. She teaches a Digital Marketing course (virtually) at the University of California in Irvine. She’s also the author of a new book — Conversations That Connect: How to Connect, Converse, and Convert Through Social Media Listening and Social-Led Customer Care.

Key Takeaway:

People aren’t starved for content on social media. They’re starved for connection. If you’re thinking about social media as the destination for your marketing campaigns, you’re already doing it wrong. In this episode, Brooke Sellas, Founder of B Squared Media and author, dives into why knowing how to listen, share feelings, and offer opinions is the key to effective social media management. Brooke shares her tips for having meaningful conversations that build relationships and connect with your audience on social media.

Questions I ask Brooke Sellas:

  • [1:41] How do you define social listening?
  • [2:36] What are some tools powered by machine learning and AI that are out there today to help with social listening?
  • [4:01] What is social penetration theory and how should we be using it?
  • [6:27] How do you balance that idea of being vulnerable and showing your core, but not sharing too much or sharing too soon?
  • [7:44] How do you engrain this idea of conversations not campaigns into your social media team members?
  • [9:46] What percentage of social media posts and content is total unmitigated crap?
  • [10:52] Is there a place for some of what many people may consider cliche posts?
  • [13:25] Would you agree that if you’re not getting some dissent, maybe you’re not pushing it enough?
  • [14:28] Is there a place for opinions under your brand umbrella?
  • [16:33] What should I be posting?
  • [18:29] What is social-led customer care?
  • [22:11] How could I use social to build more brand affinity so that when people walk into retailers they ask and look for my product?
  • [23:41]how do we get our customers to produce some really authentic user-generated content for us?
  • [26:14] Where can people learn more about your book and your work?

More About Brooke Sellas:

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

John Jantsch (00:02): Today’s episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by blissful prospecting, hosted by Jason bay and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network host Jason bay dives in with leading sales experts and top performing reps to share actionable tips and strategies to help you land more meetings with your ideal clients. Recently, they did a show on the four day work week. I’m a huge fan. I think everybody should be looking towards trying to create that, Hey, we get most of our work done in like two hours every day. Anyway, so let’s try out the four day work week. All right, listen to blissful prospecting, wherever you get your podcasts.

John Jantsch (00:48): Hello and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Brooke Sellas. She’s the CEO and founder of B squared media and award-winning digital marketing agency focusing on social media management, advertising, and social led customer care. She teaches a digital marketing course at the university of California in Irvine, and is also the author of a new book. We’re gonna talk about today, conversations that connect how to connect, converse, and convert through social media, listening and social led customer care. So Brooke, welcome to the show.

Brooke Sellas (01:27): Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to chat with you today.

John Jantsch (01:32): So part of the, part of the subtitle, I guess, is actually there’s two terms in the subtitle I really wanna get into, but the first one is let’s just jump right into, you know, how do you define social listening?

Brooke Sellas (01:44): Oh, that’s a great question. So for me, social listening is using tools which essentially those tools then use artificial intelligence and machine learning to look for keywords, right? It’s really just that simple. You put in keywords about your brand, your industry, your competitors, your products, and the social listening tool goes out there into the worldwide web and on social media channels and listens for those terms that you’ve put in and then brings all of the information back to you on what’s being said about those terms. So it’s, you know, if we were to do it manually without the tools and without the artificial intelligence, it would be like trying to drink through a fire hose.

John Jantsch (02:30): Yeah. So, so the most basic tool, I mean, I’ve had a Google alert set up for my name, I don’t know, 20 years. Right. So what are some of the new what’s the, some of the new tool set you’ve mentioned, you know, machine learning AI. So what are some of the new tools?

Brooke Sellas (02:44): Yeah, so Google’s actually great. And I say that like, look, you could set up a Google alert, you put your, you know, your company name or your name into Google with quotations. It’s going to bring back, you know, instances of when that keyword is found. But we use at B square media, we use sprout social mm-hmm, which is a social media marketing tool. They provide a suite of different types of tools for social media marketing, but there’s a lot of them out there there’s mention.com. Yeah. Right. And mention, allows, I think for one free listener. So if you wanna dig, dip your toe in the water, check out, mention.com. They’ll let you set up one, but there’s other ones too. Talk walkers, another one, sprinkler. There’s a lot of different tools that now offer this service. My advice, if you’re just getting into social listening, know what you want to do first and then ask as you’re demoing these tools to be shown. Right. Show me, don’t just tell me how your tool can help me accomplish this thing that I’m trying to do.

John Jantsch (03:43): Yeah. Yeah. That sounds like a hard task. Know what I want to do first? Right? You introduce fairly early in the book, something you call social penetration theory and I’m have to tell you that that sounds painful actually

Brooke Sellas (03:56): Terrible name. I know, obviously not named by marketers

John Jantsch (03:59): so, so at the base, you know, what you’re talking about with this idea is that, you know, you think about, I think you use the analogy of the onion, you know, you get to the core. So I guess I’ll let you explain in your own words, you know, what is it and how do, how should we be thinking to use it?

Brooke Sellas (04:17): Yeah. So if we jump in our hot tub time machine and go back a few years, I was looking to complete an undergraduate thesis and I was really into Facebook at the time. I kind of saw that there was like a business case for Facebook. So what I did was I looked at this social penetration theory, also known as the onion theory, which says as human beings, the way we form relationships is through self disclosure. So if I like you and I meet you, Hey John, how’s it going? You know, that’s cliche, that’s number one. And I say, what do you do for a living? And you say, I’m a marketer. That’s a fact, right? That’s two, but we’re not really building a relationship with cliches and facts, right? It’s very surface level. It’s like the breath it’s going around the outside of the onion. We would appeal that onion back through the layers and get to the core of who someone is. So if we start to share opinions and feelings, those third and fourth level disclosures, that’s where we start to build trust, move the relationship forward, become loyal to someone. And what I looked at in my thesis is does this theory apply to social media? Can brands use this, you know, opinions and feelings type content to better connect, converse and convert their audiences? And what I found was yes, because humans are still humans. ,

John Jantsch (05:49): You know, and so much of what applies in social media where we’re not face to face, I think applies if you’re at a cocktail party, right. I mean, people use that analogy all the time. And I will say that, you know, if I’m at a networking event or something and somebody I’ve not met, uh, walks up to me and says something like, so what’s your favorite food to eat? You know? Or just something that like, sort of random, but too personal, you know, or just like really wants to like dive into, you know, what are you working on? That’s exciting for you today. I mean, you know, people do that kinda stuff. They’re just like, yeah. Ooh, I, I don’t know. We gotta get through like the fact stage or something. Right? Yeah. So how do you balance that idea of sure. Be vulnerable show, you know, show your core. I mean, that’s how people want to, but not do too soon.

Brooke Sellas (06:39): right. That’s a great point that you bring up and nobody’s brought this up yet. So I’m glad that you did. It’s always looking at breadth, you know, around the surface of the onion and depth at all times. Yeah. Because when we think about social media and specifically we’re constantly hopefully building our audience. So we’ve got people who may have been with us all 10 years. We’ve been in business who follow are followers of, of the page and engage with us. But we may have people who been with us a year or we may have people who joined us today. So we constantly have to get that media mix of our content. Right. And I think what’s so amazing is that if for the new people, if you already have that opinions and feelings, content, you’re already having those conversations with those people, who’ve been with you for a long time. It actually takes them less time to get to depth, right. It takes them a little less time to kind of jump in because they already see that you’re warm, you’re welcoming, you’re having these back and forth conversations and it just makes it easier for them to then supply their own opinions of feelings.

John Jantsch (07:42): One of the, this, you might actually say, this is the underlying story or plot for the entire book. Is this, I, this notion of thinking conversations, not campaigns. And particularly in this day and age, when everybody sees social as a channel, a marketing channel, and that they’re building teams that they’re giving tasks to do social media. I mean, how do you get that? I mean, it’s almost culture, right? Yeah. Ingrained as opposed to, you know, people thinking, no, I have a task. I, my task is to meet business objectives by using social media.

Brooke Sellas (08:15): Right. Yeah. And I think the big thing that I try to help marketers understand is if you are having these opinion and feelings, conversation, it’s so much easier for you to bring back home a voice of the customer data, which then helps you that much more easily meet those goals that you have, right? Those business goals that you’re trying to meet, right? Because everything that we do, if we’re gathering these really good opinions and feelings from our customers and would be customers can drive product packaging can drive sales messaging can drive more social content, can drive, you know, our advertising copy. So it really goes well beyond social media, even though we’re using that medium to collect this information.

John Jantsch (09:06): And now let’s hear from a sponsor, you know, everybody’s online today, but here’s the question. Are they finding your website? You can grab the online spotlight and your customer’s attention with Semrush from content and SEO to ads and social media. Semrush is your one stop shop for online marketing build, manage, and measure campaigns across all channels faster and easier. Are you ready to take your business to the next level, to get seen, get Semrush, visit Semrush.com that’s Semrush.com/go. And you could try it for seven days for free.

John Jantsch (09:46): in your opinion, or in your research. What percentage of social media posts, content, et cetera, is total unmitigated crap.

Brooke Sellas (09:57): 99.9, 9%. I’m sorry. I really feel badly letting people down, but yeah, I mean truly, and we know this, right. We can go take a look right now and we would find it most content lives in cliches and facts, which is not good.

John Jantsch (10:13): And don’t, let’s not forget the well worn quota host.

Brooke Sellas (10:17): Oh, we,

John Jantsch (10:18): Yes, I don’t. Where does that

Brooke Sellas (10:19): Fit? I cliche. I would, you know, I would probably label that as cliche. You know, it, here’s an interesting little homework assignment for anybody who’s listening and does use social listening start labeling your content. Be honest with yourself, start labeling your outbound, social media content with your social media listening tool as cliche fact opinion and feeling, and then you can start to collect data points for yourself. Oh my God. 99.9, 9% of our content is cliches in facts. We need to try to do more opinion and feeling type content.

John Jantsch (10:52): Is there a place for some of that that we’re kind of laughing about? Like sometimes I will be snarky about people posting quotes and then I’ll get a lot of people that go, no, I love those. You know, so, I mean, is there a place for like some amount of that?

Brooke Sellas (11:05): I think there is, but that’s, I would never be the decision maker on that. I would let the voice of the customer tell me. So if I, if we, you know, try those quote posts and we put those out and we label it as, you know, cliche, but we see that we’re getting the engagement and the conversation, right. Not just engagement. I want to converse mm-hmm because we have to connect. Then we can converse. Then hopefully we can convert, but just the smashing the like button, that’s not gonna do it for me. But if we see that people are commenting on those quotes and they’re like, oh my God, John, you’re amazing. I love when you post these, keep doing it, the customer’s telling you to do it. They’re telling you what you’re want, what they want and you give it to them. And that usually ends up pretty good.

John Jantsch (11:49): So this is not a very useful part of the segment of the show. I’m warning you right now, but let’s just, let’s just get the trolls out of the way right now.

Brooke Sellas (11:57): Ugh. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think it’s just a fact of being in social media, right? It used to be like, oh, well, if you have to deal with the troll, I think it has now shifted to well, when you have to deal with troll, right. And especially when we’re talking about being vulnerable and posting opinions and feelings as a brand, or, you know, trying to align your audience with your own brand values, there will be trolls

John Jantsch (12:25): And well, I guess in some ways you’re expressing opinions by doing that and that’s just gonna attract trolls. Right.

Brooke Sellas (12:30): Exactly right. And that’s okay. They’re dissent is allowed. That is part of the conversation. Dissolution is also allowed. We want to align more with the people who are, you know, like us similar to us and align with our brand values. So if someone doesn’t align and leaves, that’s fine. If someone gives dissent in a conversation, they’re sharing their opinions. That’s fine. Yeah. You have to decide with your troll policy. When does it cross from dissent into, you know, actual trolling and then what are your rules and regulations around dealing with those types of people? Because guess what, as I say in the book, some of those people are, you’re paying customers. So what do you do then? It’s not as easy as like, oh, just ban them, block them, delete what they said. It’s it. Doesn’t, it’s just not that easy. It’s much more nuanced than that.

John Jantsch (13:23): I mean, I think you’re, you would say, would you agree that it goes far as saying if you’re not getting some descent, maybe you’re not pushing it.

Brooke Sellas (13:31): yes. My real from the heart answer is yes. My marketing answer is I know how scary this is. You know, when we’ve, I’ve been talking about the book now for about a month and every person I’ve talked to is like, you’re what you’re telling us to do is so scary. Hmm. So I get how scary it is, but at the same time, it’s beautiful. I mean, think about your own personal relationships. I hope you have lots of different people in your life and they all have different backgrounds and different viewpoints and you learn from those things. And I think it’s no different with, you know, the brand to audience or community or customer relationship. We want to learn from all of those opinions as long as they’re constructive and not hurtful.

John Jantsch (14:20): So, because we’ve been talking a lot about opinions, there are a lot of very strong, personal opinions out there circulating in the world right now.

Brooke Sellas (14:27): Very,

John Jantsch (14:28): Is there a place for that under your brand umbrella? I mean, obviously you can make a case for be true to who you are, but you can also make a case for does anybody who is buying your product really care, what your personal opinion is on X?

Brooke Sellas (14:46): Yeah. I think that’s a great question. And I think, you know, more research is needed around that, right? We need more brands who are willing to take the risk, and then we need to study that because I’ve seen it both ways. I’ve seen brands post about black lives matter or pride, right. And have PE people in their community really latch on and appreciate that. I’ve also seen those same brands push people away because they’ve really stood their ground with a certain opinion. So, you know, I think one of the examples that I give that kind of falls along with this isn’t in the book is Nike. When they started working with Colin Kaepernick mm-hmm and people were out there burning their Nike shoes. That was the marketing story, right. That that’s the story that we all heard. But the true story is that, you know, the campaigns that they did with Kaepernick had millions upon millions of views, millions upon millions of positive comments and over, you know, the next few months after they partnered with Kaepernick, they, their stock prices, rose people bought more. So I think the people who moved away from Nike, and again, I understand this is a huge brand that can take these kinds of risks, but the people who moved away and decided to burn their shoes and never buy again by that’s okay. Because the people who, you know, aligned with that value and aligned with Nike’s opinions and feelings bought more, and we saw that in their stock prices.

John Jantsch (16:16): Yeah. Probably every one of those videos that got posted burning shoes sold about eight pairs. Right. I mean, they were probably like burn baby burn. Right. right.

Brooke Sellas (16:24): And also like, you know, from the other end of that, like, just from the consumerism point of that, Nike’s like, well, yeah, I already gave us your money. So do what you will with the

John Jantsch (16:33): Product. Good point. So I guess the, I guess I’ll ask you the really big, giant question that you probably get asked all the time. And I know there’s an, it depends answer as part of this, but what should I be posting?

Brooke Sellas (16:46): Ah, I, you know, I think more opinions and feelings, content, and it doesn’t have to be risky. It doesn’t have to be black lives matter or pride. It could literally be, you know, if I’m assuming a lot of marketers listen to this podcast, you know, how do you feel about Instagram’s latest update. We already know, right. We’ve seen it. The conversation been happening all around, but that’s a layup. That’s a layup question that allows you to get that voice of the customer data back opinions back. And then you could say, here’s how we feel. You know, you are gonna align with some of those people or, you know, maybe lose the others. And it, they could be little easy layups like that with the book I just published, I was using cover art all throughout publishing. And then as I’m writing, I’m like, oh, you know, I should probably ask my customers what cover they wanna see.

Brooke Sellas (17:39): So I created kind of two throwaway covers because I assumed the cover I was using was going to be the one they chose and they didn’t. So I actually went to print with the cover. Most people chose because that’s what voice of the customer does. It allows us to see what the customer wants, see what they align with. Right. And that was that there was nothing risky in that. I mean, I could have, if I really wanted to gone to print with the cover I wanted, but why would I would be going against my own advice at that point?

John Jantsch (18:09): Yeah. And I will say on that topic, because there is a picture of the post that you did, that you have a lot of great examples and pictures and that I think will, that are helpful to drive home some of your points. So let’s, I, I started the show by talking about the first idea in the subtitle of a, of social media listening. And I want to end really giving you a chance to unpack the second topic in that is, you know, explain what social led customer care is.

Brooke Sellas (18:40): Yes. So most people, I know brands won’t wanna hear that but most people don’t follow brands on social because they wanna see those like fun kitty and puppy memes or, you know, facts about the next product release. They actually, over 70% of people use and follow use social media to follow brands, to ask a support question. And customer care is actually a little bit deceiving, even though that’s the technical term for it, because it eludes that we’re just talking to customers. We’re just talking about support and retention. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So somebody’s already purchased and post-purchase, they come to us on social for a question or a complaint that does happen a lot. But I think what a lot of people miss about customer care is acquisition. And so I’ll give you this example too, if you’re using social listening, one of the very first labels or tags, you know, they call it labeling or tagging depending on your tool, I’d set up our acquisition and retention tags.

Brooke Sellas (19:49): And we did this fun little project actually, while I was writing the book, we went to all of our customer care clients. And we said, how much of your social chatter, you know, coming into the brand, do you think is acquisition? And how much do you think is retention? And every single customer said, oh, acquisitions probably like zero to 5%, it’s all retention. So we started tagging all of these conversations as such. And what we found was that every single client had over 20% acquisition tags. And that means customers who aren’t yet customers coming in and

John Jantsch (20:26): Asking like presale questions. Yeah,

Brooke Sellas (20:27): Yeah, yeah. Three purchase questions. In the buying moment, we had one brand who literally has four product lines that month, over month have somewhere between 60 and 80% acquisition, mind blowing mm-hmm . So now we’re working with their sales team to create more, you know, nurture content for the types of questions that we’re getting were actually getting retail values put into the conversation amount. So I’ll give you an example, July, they had 70% acquisition on one of their product lines. We attributed the retail value of the products mentioned in that conversation to about 1.2 million in revenue. Now, imagine, which is, this is the next step we’re going to be doing with them. If they gave us links that were attributed to the social media team, and we were able to capture 20% of that 1.2 million. Now we’re talking about a $240, $240,000 in revenue attributed to organic social. And then what happens when that happens? The C-suite starts to say, oh, wait, social media is valuable. because I still don’t think they quite get that yet. Right. Because customer care again is, has this whole like myth around it that it’s only about the customer and it’s not

John Jantsch (21:47): All right. I’m gonna ask you a, a question that is a fairly specific use case. And it’s it’s because I want to know the answer to this myself. sorry, listeners. Hopefully this applies.

Brooke Sellas (21:58): No shoot. I love this. I love it. It’s exciting. It’s like a game

John Jantsch (22:01): exactly. So imagine I’m a brand who does not sell direct to consumer. So I have a channel of retailers or distributors or something. How could I use this to actually, I don’t know. Sometimes people use the term pull sales or push sales, you know, so push ’em into the dealers, you know, build more brand affinity so that when somebody walks into the dealer or Walmart or wherever they ask for my product,

Brooke Sellas (22:26): I love that question. And that’s a great, that’s a great segue into social listening beyond, you know, customer care because you can use, remember we talked about social listening, being keywords. So like, let’s just use, say you’re working with a company that doesn’t sell direct. It sells through retailers, but it’s printers, right? Let’s just pretend it’s printers Uhhuh. You could put the keyword into social listening best all in one printer. Right. That keyword phrase, as we go on with this example, and then again, the artificial intelligence is gonna bring you back. All the instances of people online, talking about best all in one printers. If you then could go into those conversations and make the recommendation for the dealer or the reseller or the retailer.

John Jantsch (23:16): Yeah.

Brooke Sellas (23:16): You could then still close that business. I mean, it’s the same kind of project. It’s just not warm. Right? It’s not inbound. It’s outbound. So it’s a little bit colder, social selling, but I still bet you would capture some percentage of that conversation towards revenue.

John Jantsch (23:34): All right. One last question. I’m going longer than I usually do sometimes, but I want to give people the chance, get this question all the time. How do I get first off and then use, you know, we used to call it user generated content. Certainly you could talk about it as customer care content and you know, how do we get our customers to produce? So some really authentic social content for us. And I’m not meaning like, how do we get them to just do the job? But it’s like, how do we get them enthusiastically wanting to participate in that way?

Brooke Sellas (24:05): It’s so interesting because I, this is the same answer I give when people talk about community, how do I know if I can build a community or if I have a community. And I always say community happens in the conversation, not in the, not with the content. It happens in the conversation. So does U GC are user generated content. If you’re having those opinion and feelings, content, and John says something spectacular about my product, I then say, and we’re conversing, right? So we’re already having this back and forth. So there’s a little bit of like trust there. Yeah. I could say to John, I cannot, like, I couldn’t have described our product better. Would you be willing to create a post? You know, that says that, or can I snip this conversation and use this in one of our own posts and more than likely, I mean, going off of experience here nine times outta 10. Sure. John says, yes.

John Jantsch (24:54): Yeah. Cuz I’m a fan. Why wouldn’t I? Yeah.

Brooke Sellas (24:56): Right. You know, you already have

John Jantsch (24:57): That. I did it voluntarily. Right. right.

Brooke Sellas (24:59): You already given us the information and we are kind of coming back to you and going, oh my gosh, you’re a rock. This is amazing. Can we use this? And John, because most of us are like, oh, give me the limelight. Yes, please. It’s going to say yes. And then other people might chime in and see that right. Community audience and see our conversation and say, well, I think you’re amazing too. It, we are built as human. Right? It’s all about psychology. We learn by mirroring one another. It’s all about reciprocity. All these same psych psychological concepts happen on social. It’s just a different medium.

John Jantsch (25:38): Well, and it circles very directly back to your social listening too. Right. Because I bet you that we’re missing those like golden moments that our customers are out there actually sharing because we’re not listening.

Brooke Sellas (25:49): Right? Yes. Yes. You’d be surprised, you know, people tag brands or mention brands just fine. But a lot of

John Jantsch (25:56): Times I do it all the time. You’re

Brooke Sellas (25:57): Not being mentioned. Yes.

John Jantsch (25:59): Well I do it and I tag them and I like never hear from ’em too. You know? So you man, in my

Brooke Sellas (26:04): Way, I wanna help those people.

John Jantsch (26:06): exactly. Yeah. Our awesome Brooke. Well, thanks so much for stopping by the duct tape marketing podcast. Uh, we’ve been talking about conversations that connect you and tell people where they can connect with you or, and certainly find out more about the book.

Brooke Sellas (26:19): Definitely. So if you visit our website, it’s just B squared.media. So it’s our business name B squared media. But with a.media, you can find out all about our services, the book me, or you can just literally Google Brook sells. I think I’m the only one so far and all of our sites will pop up. You can connect with me directly through social. Twitter’s my favorite platform. So if you wanna come talk with me there, happy to have a conversation with you.

John Jantsch (26:48): Awesome. Well, Brooke, again, thanks for taking the time out today. And hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days, soon out there on the road. Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not .com .co, check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

 

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals seeking the best education and inspiration to grow a business.

 

Everybody’s online, but are they finding your website? Grab the online spotlight and your customers’ attention with Semrush. From Content and SEO to ads and social media, Semrush is your one-stop shop for online marketing. Build, manage, and measure campaigns —across all channels — faster and easier. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Get seen. Get Semrush. Visit semrush.com/go to try it free for 7 days.

 

10 Essential Website Elements Every Homepage Needs To Have

10 Essential Website Elements Every Homepage Needs To Have written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

john-jantschIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I’m doing a solo show on the 10 essential website elements every homepage needs to have.

Key Takeaway:

What’s the purpose of a website today? Your website has many jobs to do—and that’s part of what makes it so challenging to figure out what elements you should or shouldn’t include on your homepage. Ask yourself: Does your website build trust? Do you articulate what you do and who you serve? Are there clear calls to action? The list of questions goes on. I believe there are 10 critical elements every small business must include on its website, and in this solo episode, I’m breaking them down one by one.

Topics I Cover:

  • [5:04] Number 1 – Make a promise to solve your ideal customer’s greatest problem
  • [7:02] Number 2 – Include clear calls to action
  • [8:30] Number 3 – State clearly who your business gets results for
  • [10:02] Number 4 – Outline your core offerings
  • [10:54] Number 5 – Articulate your process and what customers can expect
  • [11:35] Number 6 – Feature your team
  • [12:31] Number 7 – Build credibility and trust
  • [13:29] Number 8 – Include a video on your homepage
  • [14:51] Number 9 – Use segmentation to personalize content offerings
  • [16:33] Number 10 – Offer various ways to get in contact with you – including SMS or text messaging
  • [17:37] Number 11 – Ensure your site is mobile optimized

Resources I Mention:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): Today’s episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by blissful prospecting, hosted by Jason bay and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network host Jason bay dives in with leading sales experts and top performing reps to share actionable tips and strategies to help you land more meetings with your ideal clients. Recently, they did a show on the four day work week. I’m a huge fan. I think everybody should be looking towards trying to create that. Hey, we get most of our work done in like two hours every day. Anyway, so let’s try out the four day work week. All right, listen to blissful, prospecting, wherever you get your podcasts.

John Jantsch (00:47): Hello and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Janssen today. I’m doing a solo show, just me, nobody in the other screen. All right. I wanna talk about websites, but more importantly, I wanna talk about what I think are the 10 essential elements that every small business website, particularly the homepage needs to have today. And here’s the reason, the question that causes the reason for so many elements being necessary. The question is what’s the purpose of a website today? I know many people would say it’s to get customers or it’s to track leads, but I’m gonna suggest that your website has many jobs to do. And that’s part of the challenge, I think, with trying to figure out what goes on there. What doesn’t go on there. What do people need to see if you think about your website being the hub, maybe, or at least the starting point for a lot of your customers, for a lot of the decisions that are made about doing business for you.

John Jantsch (01:45): It’s part of the journey. We wanna find people that we can know and like, and trust as I’ve talked about for years. And I think that the website does a lot of that filtering both attracting and repelling. I suppose, those who come to your website. So it’s not simply just, I gotta have a website so that people can find me and buy from me. I mean, 87% of potential customers won’t consider a business with low ratings. So it’s not just that your site has to be there and be findable. People have to get there and they have to build some trust. You have to prove there has to be social proof. There has to be reviews. There have to be things that can make people say, yeah, okay. I checked that box. 64% of consumers say watching a video on Facebook has influenced a purchase decision.

John Jantsch (02:32): So part of the journey is that may be where they come to find out about you. But now they’re looking for more of that same type of content on your website. 86% of buyers will pay more for a better experience. I know I have I mean, 86% is most of us. So a lot of times our analysis is, does the site load quickly do the forms fill out? Does it look intuitive? Does it look like what I think it should look like for this industry? I mean, we all have gone to that website that looked like it was built 20 years ago and we’re out of there. And I think that’s a big part of a job that our website’s going to do. It’s going to start the experience of what it’s gonna be like to work with you. And then finally, and I think this one points to the need for all of these elements that I’m gonna talk about today, probably more than anything, 92% of consumers will visit a Bo a brand’s website for reasons other than making a purchase.

John Jantsch (03:31): So what are those other 92%? And by the way, that’s not just prospects and buyers. That’s also potential employees because really when we talk about all these changes in marketing, the thing that’s changed the most, I think is really how people choose, get to choose, to become customers and employees and the kind of straight line suggestion of the funnel approach to marketing of get some people to know you push a few small few through that to small end of the funnel. I mean, that journey, that linear journey is really doesn’t exist today. And that, that many of the ways in which people decide about a company that they’re gonna do business with might be considered out of our hands out of our control in some ways. And our job really then is to guide people along this journey. But let me give you one last biggie for why your website needs to look a certain way, act a certain way, provide a certain journey for people, your website.

John Jantsch (04:28): I believe because it is such an important part of the journey gives you the greatest ability to increase something that I came across it in Harvard business review talking about enterprise companies, but something called WTP, which is willingness to pay. And I think that in the sea of options that people have out there, if you can increase your worthiness, if you can increase the experience from your website, you’re going to increase, somebody’s willingness to pay. All right? So let’s get in quickly to the 10 things. So the first thing your website needs to do is make a promise to solve your ideal. Customer’s greatest problem. So many websites today that I go to you go there. First thing you see above the fold is we are this business or we’re this kind of business, or we’ve been in this business for X amount of years.

John Jantsch (05:22): Typically the person that’s visiting the site knows what business you’re in, because that’s why they found you. That’s what they’re looking for. But what they wanna see is do you get me? Do you understand? I mean, is there something that you’re doing that’s different? In fact, if you can communicate the problem, a lot of times people don’t really even know the problem they’re trying to solve necessarily. They know, for example, I’m a marketing firm. They know, for example, somebody’s a remodeling contractor. And so they go to a remodeling contractor, but what problem now? I mean, people don’t wanna buy marketing services. They don’t really even wanna buy remodeling services. They want an incredible kitchen with an incredible experience. They want quick wins, long term growth, hassles. They want great communication. I mean, those are the problems that people are trying to solve quite frankly, through looking at our businesses as a way to do that.

John Jantsch (06:11): So what problem can you promise to solve that needs to be above the fold? And frankly, I’m starting to actually see websites to Google this sometime problems we solve. And you’re gonna see some websites that are actually dedicating entire pages to a list of problems that they solve. You know, for example, in, in marketing, most of the problems we encounter are actually strategy problems, but nobody goes, I’m gonna go find me to buy some strategy today. but they, that they’ve, they wanna know why they can’t charge a premium for their services or worse, why they’re always having to offer discounts. And so that’s a problem that can be solved with strategy, but we have to identify the problem. The thing that they’re actually experiencing is they can’t charge enough. We’re gonna fix that with strategy, but it won’t. We have to articulate that problem first before they’ll listen to our solution about strategy calls to action.

John Jantsch (07:04): If somebody, you know, how today is so popular, so common to get these long scrolling home pages. Well, if somebody comes to your website and they’re starting to engage and they’re starting to scroll down and say, oh, who do they serve? You know, who are their case studies? They start looking for things. We wanna have the ability for somebody to click, to take an action, to do something that’s CTAs calls to action above the fold, right under your core message. There are people that are, that actually are just looking to contact you. So make it easy for them to do that. But the vast majority of people are looking for a price, quote, an evaluation, a free report. That’s going to tell them how to do X, Y, and Z. Sprinkle those throughout your homepage, sprinkle those throughout your website.

John Jantsch (07:52): And now let’s hear from a sponsor, you know, everybody’s online today, but here’s the question. Are they finding your website? You can grab the online spotlight and your customer’s attention with some rush from content and SEO to ads and social media. Semrush is your one stop shop for online marketing, build, manage, and measure campaigns across all channels, faster and easier. Are you ready to take your business to the next level, to get seen, get Semrush, visit Semrush.com that’s S E M rush.com/go. And you could try it for seven days for free, who we get results for.

John Jantsch (08:34): Tell me very specifically who your ideal customer is. Don’t tell me that you serve homeowners. Tell me that you serve homeowners in a very specific area of town with a very specific challenge with a very specific need. I mean, identify as clearly as possible show pictures of, you know, maybe you have three or four segments, but don’t just leave this open to where somebody says, well, I own a home.

John Jantsch (08:58): So I guess I can call them be very specific where somebody says, oh my goodness, you serve me. You’re talking about me. And I’d like to use the word who we get results for rather than who our customers are, who we sell to getting results as what people are after in a lot of ways, that’s a problem, uh, that, that you’re trying to demonstrate that you can solve. And one of the things about that approach to who we get results, it’s sort of implied who we don’t get results for or who we can’t work for. Again, using my business. As an example, if somebody just comes to me and says, I want leads, I on Facebook ads and, you know, go, I mean, we get results for people who actually wanna build a long term strategy that allows them to dominate their market and not just have a quick event that is maybe going to make the phone ring.

John Jantsch (09:45): Maybe not. We talk about strategy incessantly because that’s really, in fact, that’s really the only way to engage my firm. And so we want to chase people away. We don’t want people who are like, oh, I don’t need that strategy stuff. We want them to know that’s not who we’re gonna get a result for number four, our core offerings. So there’s so many businesses that sell, have the ability to sell. I should say 27 things. But when we really dig in, what we find is that there are three things they do that generate 80% of their profits, 80% of their business, really their ideal engagements. And yet they list everything they could do. What I want you to think about doing is saying here’s the three things at the most that we do, and we do them better than anyone. Now, if you get a customer and you, you have a great relationship, you start working with them.

John Jantsch (10:38): It doesn’t mean you can’t sell them the other 27 things. But when it comes to actually getting that ideal customer, you want to, you want that profitable customer. You want them to know that the service that you sell, whatever it is, it, you are better than anyone else at doing it. That you’re the obvious choice for doing that. The fifth thing I wanna hear a little bit about is your process. If you have a process for getting me your result, I mean, it might be the ordering process. It might be your onboarding process. It might be your 37 step process to make sure that the job site is cleaned up after you’re done. Processes are amazing marketing materials because they prove that first off you have a professional approach. You have thought out how to get me a result, put those on, on, you know, tell me what’s going to happen next.

John Jantsch (11:24): I mean, you could even have a process that says, look, if you fill out this form, here’s, what’s going to happen next. You know, if you’re trying to get a quote, tell them the steps in the process, tell them what to expect team, you know, for, I read thousands of Google reviews and I will tell you that for most small businesses, when a customer is happy, they’re happy with the person they worked with. Not necessarily the company, the person they worked with, the technician, the person that delivered the service, you know, to them, that’s the brand. And so let’s feature our team. Let’s show. ’em what our culture is all about. Have videos of all of your staff saying their favorite meal on their birthday or something goofy like that. Just make sure that you’re featuring everybody, that person’s going to be working with the client.

John Jantsch (12:11): That person’s gonna be the person that shows up at the door. Let’s have pictures. Let’s have videos. In fact, what’s great about those is if you have salespeople, if you have technicians, send those out, here’s who here’s, who’s coming to see you. Great way to, you know, to really open the door, to really build trust, to create an experience. I feel like I’ve met that person now, before they show up, trust my customer journey. You’ve heard me talk about it forever. No, like trust, try by repeat and refer. I think trust today, especially when you think about somebody who’s just going out there surfing, or maybe somebody told ’em in a Facebook group, oh, you need to check out this company or this website. They’re making a lot of decisions about whether or not they even wanna pick up the phone or fill out a form or engage you in any way, shape or form based on what they see right away.

John Jantsch (12:59): Kind of first impression. I mean, that’s how we do it today. We won’t move forward. unless we feel like, okay, I like what I’m seeing. There’s proof that they’ve worked with other people, oh, they’ve got these three people as customers. I know who they are. Oh, they’ve their content has shown up in this publication. That must mean something. Oh, they have 108,000 Twitter followers. Again, all the ways in which we show proof that we’re a real business, that other people trust us, that we can get results. I love case studies to show that we’ve gotten results for people. Number eight, generically video video is for a percentage of the market out there is how they want to consume content. I, I mean, I can decide all the statistics about YouTube and frankly, even TikTok. And some of those other places that are very video centric, people love video, but it’s also a great way to build trust.

John Jantsch (13:48): It’s a great way for you to show your customers, your happy customers. There’s, you know, you read that testimonial that says they were great, Betty from Memphis. Well, how about Betty from Memphis? gushing about how great they are. Show us how your product’s made. Show us behind the scenes. Again, I already talked about your technicians, your designers, your sales people ought to have videos. You’re seeing more and more videos. And again, this doesn’t have to be high quality stuff. This can be pick up an iPhone. Let people start talking. I saw a great video the other day about, you know, an actual patient. This was not a like deep medical thing. I think it was a dermatologist or something that was had a patient was actually asking them a few, you know, very frequently asked questions and the doctor was answering those questions as part of the video, there was no, I don’t think HIPAA issues or anything with what was going on there, but I just thought it looked very real.

John Jantsch (14:39): It was in the office. It looked like an actual patient. Maybe it wasn’t , maybe it was, there was the technician. And, but it looked very much like an experience that somebody going to that office would have increasingly segmentation. If you have several types of customers, several types of markets, completely different markets. You know, I always use the real estate agent as an example. They want home buyers and they want home sellers. totally different needs, totally different questions, totally different objectives. So how do you talk to them? Well, today we’ve gotta start using technology. And one of the simplest technologies is to have a path. Are you this? Or are you that go here for the best content for this go here for the best content for this. Maybe you can actually have, you know, you’ve probably gone to a website that has these popups, that, that are actually asking questions.

John Jantsch (15:31): I think we used to think of those popups as being really intrusive. And yeah, sometimes if I’m really trying to find something specific on a website, you feel like they’re intrusive, but if I’m coming to a website for the first time, and I’m trying to understand, like where do I find the answers? I’m very willing to answer a question. If the proposition is tell us, you know, which tell us who you are. tell us what you’re looking for so that we can actually make sure you get the right content. I think we’ll give people that shot. I mean, we actually want that more personalized journey. The technology is there today and you’ve got competitors out there that are completely personalizing for, you know, who people are once they get in their CRM and you come back to my website, you know, I should be able to tell you, heck I should.

John Jantsch (16:19): I should say, I should actually know a lot about you and not bother you with the free report that I know you got the first time you came here. So those are things that people are expecting today because the technology makes it possible. Give me lots of ways to contact you like it or not. Text messaging in a lot of industries is the preferred method. If you’re under 40, there’s a good chance. Or I should say if your customer’s prospects are under 40, there’s a good chance that they are going to in many industries want that type of communication. And I’m not talking about the spammy like bomb people with, oh, we have 10% off today kind of stuff. But for appointment reminders, for review request for things that, that, you know, shipping details. I mean, those are things that people now expect to have the ability to get a text or an email, or, you know, a chat bot.

John Jantsch (17:13): I mean, we’ve just gotta give people, you know, all the ways in which they prefer their preferred methods, like years ago, we used to talk about, do you take checks and credit cards well and cash. Well, now it’s SMS and it’s chat bots and it’s, you know, real time response. I mean, that’s really what people are expecting. I know it’s harder, but I think we’ve gotta give people the options to communicate the way they wanna communicate. And then the last one, this is actually number 11, if you were keeping track kind of a bonus, really, but you know, we’ve been talking about for years, this idea of mobile first, we’ve absolutely got to think in terms of what our website looks like and how it acts and how people can respond using mobile devices because let’s face it. They are. I mean, I, I almost every single one of our clients is well over 50% in terms of traffic to their website coming on a mobile device or a tablet.

John Jantsch (18:09): So most designers, I shouldn’t say most, a lot of designers still, or a lot of these, you know, way webpage builders today. People are designing for that big, giant screen they have in front of them. You’ve got to design for a mobile device and then make it work on a bigger screen. And so if you start thinking about that functionality too, I want click to call because I sure as heck don’t wanna have to like, look at your phone number, go, and now I wanna call you. So I have to go to my phone, the phone app component or text app component. And now I have to put that number in and then I have to come back and forth cuz I can’t remember. So click to call texting, chat on mobile, you know, easy like your hours directions. I mean all the things that people on a mobile device quite often are looking for immediately and expecting in the experience, but certainly make sure that you’re, we’ve all seen them.

John Jantsch (18:59): You know, the sites that, that, you know, the content was designed for a big screen, you put it on that mobile and all of a sudden the responsive element of the website just makes the, a mess out of the content. So that’s it, that’s the 10 things. I hope that you enjoyed those today. If you come to duct tape, marking.com, if you Google website essentials, you know, you’ll find, uh, some of this in a, you know, in a video format, in a text format, we actually even have forms a workbook that you know, for, you know, working on your website. So check out some of the resources at ducttapemarketing.com. All right, that’s it for today. Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it@marketingassessment.co not .com .co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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The Anti-Time Management Strategy That Actually Gives You Your Time Back

The Anti-Time Management Strategy That Actually Gives You Your Time Back written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Richie Norton

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Richie Norton. Richie is an award-winning author and serial entrepreneur. An executive coach to CEOs, he is featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Huffington Post. Pacific Business News recognized Richie as one of the Top Forty Under 40 “best and brightest young businessmen” in Hawaii. He’s the author of a new book that comes out in August 2022 —Anti-Time Management: Reclaim Your Time and Revolutionize Your Results with the Power of Time Tipping.

Key Takeaway:

What if you could enjoy expansive freedom by prioritizing attention instead of simply managing your time? With the Anti-Time Management Strategy, you can. In this episode, Richie Norton, author and serial entrepreneur, shares the framework he’s created that helps you find motivation, prioritize your ideals, create a flexible work-life lifestyle, and actually gives you your time back. We dive into Anti-Time Management and how it will help you be present for the people, projects, plans, and priorities that matter most.

Questions I ask Richie Norton:

  • [1:29] The book starts with a missile attack — can you tell that story and share the why behind the reason it made it into the book?
  • [4:13] How does that story kinda launch what you’re trying to say in anti-time management?
  • [5:56] What is anti-time management?
  • [6:52] What is time tipping and how does that juxtapose with anti-time management?
  • [9:13] Why do you think balance is the wrong goal?
  • [10:38] How do we move away from the idea that has been ingrained into society that if you’re not sitting at a desk from nine to five, you’re not working?
  • [13:16] How do you get better at protecting the lifestyle you want to live?
  • [16:23] What is project stacking?
  • [18:51] What is expert sourcing?
  • [20:03] Could you talk about something that I think is the essence of the book — changing how you get paid?
  • [22:23] Where can people connect with you?

More About Richie Norton:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:01): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by business made simple hosted by Donald Miller and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network business made simple, takes the mystery out of growing your business. A long time, listeners will know that Donald Miller’s been on this show at least a couple times. There’s a recent episode. I wanna point out how to make money with your current products, man, such an important lesson about leveraging what you’ve already done to get more from it. Listen to business made simple wherever you get your podcasts.

John Jantsch (00:47): Hello and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jan. My guest today is Richie Norton. He’s an award-winning author and serial entrepreneur, an executive coach to CEOs he’s featured in Forbes, Bloomberg business week, Inc entrepreneur and Huffington post Pacific business news recognized Richie as one of the top 40 under 40 best and brightest young businessmen in Hawaii. We’re gonna talk about a new book by Richie called anti time management, reclaim your time and revolutionize your results with the power of time tipping. So Richie, welcome to the show.

Richie Norton (01:25): Thanks so much. I’m excited to be here. This is gonna be so much fun.

John Jantsch (01:29): So I do have to warn people that the book starts with a missile attack. Yes. So may maybe you can briefly tell that story and then tell me why that made it into the book.

Richie Norton (01:39): Well, some people may know of this, but if you don’t. Yeah,

John Jantsch (01:43): I recall. I recall

Richie Norton (01:45): It. Yeah, it has a good ending, you know, like spoiler alert, but I actually was in, I live in Hawaii. I was on a business trip in, in Tennessee. And while I was there, I get this text message saying ballistic missile attack in Hawaii. And it followed up with this is not a test. And so therefore it was not a test. This was happening. This is from our government, you know, telling us this and I’m freaking out. It’s easy. It’s easy to tell a story now, like when was happening, I mean, this was, it was real. It was real. I mean, there were people in Hawaii that reportedly were jumping into manhole, you know, so they could like take cover, like it was real. So I call, I have, you know, my, my three boys are at home. My, my wife’s home, I’m calling each one of ’em, nobody answers.

Richie Norton (02:33): And you know, the lines get crossed, you know, when there’s a disaster happening. Anyways, my one of my sons calls back and I think he was 13 at the time. And it was crazy. He said his goodbyes, you know, he is, I love you dad. And he was just weeping. And I re I remember when that happened, I just started thinking like, oh my gosh, my whole world is about to get destroyed. My family, my home, everything I’ve known the whole Hawaiian island chain, uh, like who knows what’s gonna happen here. And it was an interesting experience in addition to what was happening at the time, because I’ve had a number of, of tragedies and I’ll list them without getting too emotional here. But I had a brother-in-law pass away at 21 and his sleep. I had a son pass away as a baby. Uh, he caught pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

Richie Norton (03:23): My wife had a stroke and lost her memory. We’ve had three foster kids that we thought we were gonna adopt come and go. After two years, taking care of them, which was so hard. And I had my, I had a son get hit by a car and he crossing the street and he shouldn’t be here, but he is. But so in this moment, while there’s this missile attack, I had the strangest feeling. In addition to all the emotions, I thought, at least we didn’t live without, you know, at least we didn’t live with regret. We lived without regret. We did all the things we thought we could do. We tried our hardest, we did our best. We’ve experienced tragedy after tragedy and we’ve gotten back up and it was just this weird, surreal moment. And of course, then later we get this text saying that it was a mistake, you know, and life goes back to normal. So here we are

John Jantsch (04:13): Pretty, pretty crazy. So how does that doesn’t really anchor the book, but uses the launching off point. How does that story kinda launch what you’re trying to say in anti time management?

Richie Norton (04:24): You know, at times people will, I’m kind of stuttering cause there’s so many different ideas in my head right now. but when people start thinking about their lives, one of the first things they do is they work towards managing their time better. And the moment they do that, they, whether they realize it or not, cuz fish are the last to realize that there’s this thing called water, right? They don’t even know what’s going on. We don’t even realize that there’s this thing that’s been actually controlling our entire lives until we start looking at it. And we don’t realize that time management was actually designed specifically not to give us freedom, but to control every aspect of our lives at work and eventually into our homes. It’s not about controlling time. It’s about who owns your time, who controls your time and time management was specifically designed that someone else would.

Richie Norton (05:13): So this is important because as soon as we start realizing, oh my gosh, time is limited. Life is short. I know it’s cliche. We immediately create a priority and we instinctively put that priority last on a timeline. It wasn’t an instinct. It was taught to us in kindergarten to do that. Here’s how you set goals. And so I, I truly believe that, you know, goals from experience are tasks, goals, outside experience are growth, and there is a way to work from the goal instead of endlessly toward it. And when you have these experiences in life, you start realizing what really matters. And is there a way to make our work, support it as opposed to working toward it and never having it happen?

John Jantsch (05:57): Yeah. There’s a lot to unpack from what you just said there, but I want to get to give you a chance to say like in two minutes then what is anti time management?

Richie Norton (06:06): Anti time management is like a value centered approach. So stop timing your values and start valuing your time. Right? People will like bake a cake without sugar and expect it to be sweet. I know you can put other things in it, make it sweet. I get it. But just go with the analogy for a second. That’s like trying to live a life saying you have values in one day, you’ll live them and expect it to be a life lived on value. It’s not possible. But when you bake in freedom of time and autonomy and the things you want, even inside of an entrepreneurial business from the start, it actually expands. It creates it. So all these entrepreneurs, I’m gonna start a business to get my time and freedom back only to lose their time and freedom to the business, why they created that world for themselves. They didn’t know any other way. They learned it from corporate.

John Jantsch (06:52): So your solution of course, to, to getting a hold of this is something you call time tipping. Mm-hmm . So because that’s in the title as well. Let’s juxtapose that with anti time management.

Richie Norton (07:04): So anti time management, like the idea of time management, they control you anti time management. You get to control what you’re doing. Time tipping is kind of this framework that kind of goes along with this methodology. So the concept here I’ll make it super specific. If you are a college kid or whatever you are, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re an executive. The first thing you do when you wanna change your life in a lot of ways is you decide how you’re gonna get paid. But it, the instant you decide that you’re gonna move to the city to get paid. You made the decision to have a city life you did. And you decided that everything you do revolves around that world. So someone will get paid in a way they don’t like living. And they’ll do that for a really long time, maybe forever. Whereas someone who wants to live by a lake in Montana could go to Montana, live by a lake and make the same money or more and live the lifestyle they wanted from the start.

Richie Norton (07:59): So in time tipping, we reverse it. What’s the goal of the goal. What’s the job of the goal. What’s the reason I’m getting paid. And we go, we move beyond that. So we start with purpose, create projects around that purpose. And eventually we create a model that allows us to get paid that way. That doesn’t mean we get paid last. We can still get paid first. I’m a huge fan of getting paid first. And just saying, all of a sudden your work is in alignment with autonomy, with availability, with ability with actual productivity, as opposed to lying to ourselves and pretending that it one day will.

John Jantsch (08:33): And now let’s hear from a sponsor. You know, everybody’s online today, but here’s the question. Are they finding your website? You can grab the online spotlight and your customer’s attention with Semrush from content and SEO to ads and social media. Semrush is your one stop shop for online marketing, build, manage, and measure campaigns across all channels, faster and easier. Are you ready to take your business to the next level, to get seen, get Semrush, visit Semrush.com that’s S E M rush.com/go. And you could try it for seven days for free.

John Jantsch (09:13): So for years, you know, one of, one of the mantras always was, you know, to have this balance work, life balance. And obviously most entrepreneurs know that’s a fallacy, but you take it on pretty head on. I mean, why is balance really the wrong goal? Even,

Richie Norton (09:27): You know, it’s like the word has got, or the term work life balance has gotten messed up with the meaning. Yeah. So, so they’ll say like, I want balance say, no, you don’t wanna sleep for eight hours and play for eight hours on work for eight hours. Maybe one day, you know, like not every day. What you want is these, the essence of that is that you want the availability ability and autonomy to do what you wanna do when you wanna do it balance itself. It’s a weird word because balance itself in physics means motionless. It doesn’t move. Nobody wants a life that is motionless. It doesn’t move. You actually wanna unbalance or imbalance your life in the direction you want it to go. So you’re able to create things and set things in motion, not just do it all yourself. So I, you know, I even work life flexibility is a better term, but even that term misses the point because work life flexibility has become a perk at corporations at the moment. It’s a perk. Get a corporation is not a benefit to the worker anymore. It’s used as another way to control you. So I’m a fan of this concept of time tipping. Cause we need a new language to talk about the things we actually want because it’s not there.

John Jantsch (10:38): So this is slowly changing this sort of industrial age, you know, management, you know, era is changing. I mean my parents and my wife’s parents could never really understand what I do right, right. Because it didn’t fit into what they understood is a job. And you know, increasingly of course I was doing it 30 years ago, increasingly that, you know, my kids are like, no, that’s how I’m, you know, that’s like, that’s normal, right? That’s normal. I’m gonna have freedom. That’s right. I can work from home. I can do anything I want, you know? And so it is changing, but there still are a lot of people that are just very ingrained in that idea of if I’m not busy, if I’m not filling by my day, if I’m not sitting at a desk from nine to five, then I’m not working. I mean, how do we get outta that?

Richie Norton (11:23): It’s true. And I, I think what’s amazing is this is one of the first times I think in history, cuz a lot of the, I, you know, I work with corporations. I work with executives. I work with entrepreneurs. I work with the everyday person. But when you talk about it from like retaining talent, you know, you know, point of view, things start changing because you realize that someone is only in a job for on average in America, 4.6 years, that means you’re turning over at least every five years, more or less. And when that happens, you have a new opportunity. Look, you as an entrepreneur, you can change projects or careers every day. Right? Right. Yeah. But if you’re in one place one time and everybody’s changing every five years and you realize that leaving a job and getting a new one will get you a higher pay raise than staying for the three or 4%.

Richie Norton (12:05): They’re gonna give you every year. Right. Changes the dynamics. So what happens is this is the first generation. I mean generation now, I don’t just mean what age group in generation. Now everyone who’s living. This is the first time that everyone realizes they actually have everyone in quotes. Right. Everyone realizes they have a choice in the matter. Yeah. Yeah. Whether they do something or not is different, but the switching costs are so low to do something new. Whereas in the nineties, even in the two thousands, it was pretty hard. And before that almost impossible today. So they go, wow, it’s so hard to keep these kids on the, on here that work, is it? Or do they just want, do they just know they can do something else and make more money for in, in less time and they’re actually more productive and you wish you could do that too. And you’re jealous. Like what are we talking about here? but what’s cool is our parents, grandparents, they set us up for this. This is the success that they were working towards. So those who don’t wanna take advantage of it, I think it’s an awareness thing. And then those who want take it advantage of it, the opportunities now it’s, it’s never been more readily available.

John Jantsch (13:07): So one of the things that I think trips, a lot of people up is especially, well, people that are bought into what you’re preaching is that there are a lot of things that want to take your time. yes. So, so how do you get better at protecting? You know, you could set up like, here’s my flex, here’s my lifestyle I’m gonna live. And then everybody just like starts piling on.

Richie Norton (13:26): Now that that’s a great question. And it’s, what’s funny about that is like, it’s the same thing with money. When someone realizes you have money that people are like, Hey, I need some money too. Can I have some money? Right. So I like to believe in this concept that I call time flow there’s cash flow and there’s time flow. And you’re right. The people who are the most productive are rewarded with more work. So instead of getting things done, you know, from nine to five and they can get it done in between, you know, nine and 12 or whatever, they don’t get to go home early, early, they just get more work. So then we, everyone starts saying, nevermind, let’s all be average. Let’s all just do the same thing. Let’s spread out day, the exact time, you know . And so here we are.

Richie Norton (14:05): But for people who are trying to like figure out what to do at their time, I straight up, I have to help many people free up their time. They do it on their own, just sharing their principles. And a lot of times they go right back to doing more work. So there’s no judgment of how you fill your time. You’re gonna do it however you want. But there is a way to make one small move that allows one. It makes lots of decisions that you would’ve made disappear. And on the other hand, it creates a number of different opportunities and possibilities. But to answer, it’s like more of a bigger picture question, Aristotle called it a final cause. So like an acorn becomes an Oak tree. So a lot of times we’re planting things that aren’t acorns, but we expect them to become Oak trees.

Richie Norton (14:46): So the moment you realize that, then you can go back and make your work aligned with what you wanna do. Like someone says, I’m not making money. And I say, when’s the last time you asked someone to pay you? Oh no, I’ve been working so hard. Well, if work to you means you’re gonna get paid. Don’t you think you should ask someone to pay you cuz you haven’t worked a day in your life. If you’re defining work as getting paid, now you don’t have to define work as getting paid. But if you do, you should be asking people to pay you that’s aligned work. So when it comes to like how you make your decisions, Aristotle called a final cause. And the idea was an acorn becomes an Oak tree. So academics will use an example of like a table and they’ll say so I need wood.

Richie Norton (15:22): And I need to be able to have a design of how to make it. And I need someone to put it together and voila it’s done well. What’s the goal of the table. If it was to have like an heirloom for your family forever. Cool. If it’s because you have some nice people coming over, some business people, some family, and you wanna have a nice dinner. You there’s Uber eats, man. You can go down the street and go get a taco anywhere. You, you know that there’s a food truck of every flavor everywhere. So when you realize it’s not the dinner, it’s not the table, it’s not the wood. It’s the experience. Well then you can change what you’re doing. The idea is stop focusing on means and focus on ends. Covey didn’t say begin with means in mind, he said begin with the end in mind. And so I think we’ve made goals, habits and strengths. We’ve turned those into means, sorry, we’ve turned. Those means into ends into themselves. So then we lose all of our time and things that don’t lead us anywhere. Even though we think they are, instead of just saying, you know what, if I just did the thing, all this stuff would go away. I’d have more time.

John Jantsch (16:24): Well and how much stuff do we do in the name of being busy? That doesn’t really go anywhere, right? Yeah. So one of the, you have the book broken up into sections. One of the sections is ultimately some practices, you know, for implementing your methodology. So I jotted down a couple that I’d love to hear you explain a little more project stacking for the first

Richie Norton (16:43): One. Oh man, that’s such a good one. it’s such a good one. The concept is how it’s not multitasking. It would be super single tasking. Where one thing you do impacts all of your other companies, whether you like the guy or not. Elon Musk is a master at this thing. You know, his one company will affect all of the others. So you know, space X and you got the solar thing and you got Tesla, they’re using similar technology. They’re using similar resources. One thing impacts the other, you got this boring companies. Now these cars can go underneath. So that’s the idea is you might say, I wanna do all these different things and I’m not saying it to do ’em all at the same time. Maybe you will. Maybe you won’t. But if you can look at your projects and instead of putting them linearly, turn ’em over and stack ’em, it’s almost like this alignment allows you to say, Hey, I wanna make this decision. And this decision makes these different things in my life happen. I can give you more examples, but is that a good, is that, yeah,

John Jantsch (17:44): That’s a great example. And I’ll actually take it. If some people are thinking, oh Teslas, blah, blah, blah. You know, but I mean you write a hundred blog posts over a hundred days. You turn that into a hundred pieces of audio content that turns into a book. I mean that, you know, that’s another way of kind of looking at it on a real simple term, isn’t it?

Richie Norton (18:00): Oh absolutely. You know, every time we share an example, just leave, have a super example. It becomes like, whoa, like, so for me, yeah, I was an entrepreneur. I still am. People ask me questions. So I wrote a book about it. This is an alignment. The book. I mean the other book I’m referring to is the power of starting something stupid. That book turned into coaching consulting, online courses. All these things can happen with the same client that turned into me creating a product based business, where we make over a hundred different products at any given time for entrepreneurs all over the world. And now I’m making yoga pants and I’m making tiny houses in the same breath. And then I’ll be like, wait, what are you talking about? Like, yeah, it’s one decision. And it all came because of the book, the mindset. And now I have an editing company for people and people go like, what are you doing? How you do so many things. So I don’t, my job is to get people their time back. And if there’s a way I can do that in a way that also gives me my time back. Why wouldn’t I?

John Jantsch (18:51): Yeah. And it leads to another practice expert sourcing.

Richie Norton (18:55): This is, so this one’s so important. Expert sourcing is so important because what most people do, you know this, we all do it. We all do it like, oh, I need to delegate or I need to outsource or I need to hire an employee. So what they do is they go and find someone that’s as cheap as possible. But with that choice, it is not about money. They could be the same price. Just depends on what’s going on. But they intentionally go into it saying, I’m gonna teach this person how to do what I do. And they intentionally from the start have set up themselves instead of having zero jobs, they now have at least two or three jobs.

John Jantsch (19:30): that’s why it’s so hard to do. Right. That’s why people don’t

Richie Norton (19:33): It. It’s like I’m gonna hire this person. I’m gonna teach them how to do it. They’re gonna do it wrong. And then I’m gonna do it myself. . But in, in inherently in the word expert, I’m inferring, they know how to do it better than you. Right. There is zero training in expert sourcing. Sure. There’s little things about, I like this. I like it done by then. And here’s how, you know, we work, but this person should be able to teach you how it’s done. And in that sense, everything changes.

John Jantsch (20:03): Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome way to look at it. Let’s wrap up today talking about something you’ve hinted at, but I want you to hit this dead on because I think it’s in a lot of ways. I think it’s the essence of the book change, how you get paid,

Richie Norton (20:15): How you get paid dramatically impacts your life in every way. And I don’t mean how much you get paid. I get that. You need to make a certain amount and I get the more the merrier you and I both know millionaires. Maybe even some billionaires that have no time and they hate their lives. They’ll say they’ll even say money is easy. Time is hard. How you get paid, decides how you live your life. So if I am making a ton of money, but I’ve decided I have to work in a swivel chair, I will stay in that swivel chair spinning around all day long. When I told myself I wanted to work from my cell phone, this is before Facebook. This was before Facebook, when phones folded it was a decision cuz I knew that would force me to have to think, wow, I can’t be in an office.

Richie Norton (21:05): How am I gonna get this done? I can’t necessarily have people all around. How am I gonna get this done? So it allows you to be creative, these positive constraints. We’ve ended up just being on the road for six months at a time with our kids, screaming in the back of the car, doing whatever we want. Not that we had all the money in the world, we’re making money on the road while we’re good, just like we would anywhere else. So the idea is when you can create an environment that allows you to live the way you want, then you can also get paid to support that environment. And it’s a very different way of thinking, but it works like magic.

John Jantsch (21:37): Well, and it’s kinda like the end in mind of thinking too, that you just mentioned too, is if you start there , you know, then all the decisions you make, you know, should support that. And just, as you said, in some cases, they force you to make certain decisions. Don’t

Richie Norton (21:51): They, they do. It’s a forcing function. And so that’s why with small moves, you can reclaim your time. You can be as productive as you already are. I’m not saying get rid of things that you, that are good that you like. I’m just saying, don’t lie to yourself when it’s not working, let’s just work on something that’s in alignment. And here’s how to do it in a way that creates time for you and your family and for others.

John Jantsch (22:13): And, and I guess we could spend a whole nother show talking about how you actually figure out what alignment means, but there you go. That’s for another day, right? the Richie. Thanks so much for stopping by the duct marketing podcast. You wanna tell people where they can connect with you. Obviously the book will be available wherever you buy books.

Richie Norton (22:28): Yeah. Go to Richie norton.com. And if you go to Richie norton.com/time, I have a 90 day action plan that helps walk you through this. So you can find your alignment and make these things happen now, you know, and it’s really powerful. So, but honestly, John, I’m just so grateful to be on your show. Thank you so much. This has been so, so good to me

John Jantsch (22:45): Now. You, you bet great book again. I appreciate it. And hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

Richie Norton (22:51): Definitely. I’ll see

John Jantsch (22:53): Ya. Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we create a free tool for you. It’s called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment dot co .com .co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co I’d. Love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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