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The Secret To Making The Hard Sell Easy

The Secret To Making The Hard Sell Easy written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Tom Stanfill

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Tom Stanfill. Tom is CEO and co-founder of ASLAN Training, a global sales enablement company appearing nine consecutive years in the Selling Power Top 20. Since 1996, ASLAN has worked with many Fortune 500 companies, training more than 100,000 sellers and leaders in over 35 countries. Tom is also the author of a book called unReceptive: A Better Way to Lead, Sell & Influence – launching in November 2021.

Key Takeaway:

Today, people are distracted, overwhelmed, and isolated – because of this, there’s been a massive decline in receptivity to another sales pitch, call, or email. And the harder you try to sell, the greater people tend to resist.

In this episode, I talk with CEO and co-founder of ASLAN Training, Tom Stanfill, about his new book – unReceptive:A Better Way to Lead, Sell & Influence. He shares why the receptivity of an audience is far more important than the power of the message, and offers a solution that is a sharp contrast to traditional approaches to selling.

Questions I ask Tom Stanfill:

  • [2:05] Could you talk a little bit about how you’re using the title of your book ‘unReceptive’ in the context of selling?
  • [4:14] Does the value proposition go out the window if a customer is not receptive?
  • [5:21] What role does marketing play in making a salesforce more receptive?
  • [6:24] I get a lot of pitches today essentially cold calls in some form. The challenge is that even if they are trying to solve problems I have – one in 25 of those may be the answer to my prayers – but I don’t have time to figure out if that’s the case. How do you become that one solution and how do you clearly become that one in 25?
  • [7:39] You mentioned the idea of what’s on their whiteboard – How do I get a peek at that, and how do I know what’s on their whiteboard?
  • [11:31] Does a typical salesperson have to be a higher-level thinker?
  • [14:19] How important does listening become?
  • [16:08] How different is virtual selling from selling face-to-face?
  • [17:51] How hard is it to learn this approach, convert the unreceptive?
  • [21:28] Where can people find out more about your new book unRecepitive and the work you’re doing with sales folks?

More About Tom Stanfill:

More About Certified Marketing Manager Program Powered By Duct Tape Marketing:

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John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by Benjamin Shapiro, brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. Ben’s episodes are so awesome. They’re under 30 minutes. They share stories with world-class marketers who use technology to generate growth and achieve business and career success. Ben is a great host. I’ve been on his show. He’s been on my show. He always really digs down and gives you actionable stuff that you can take away and do. And he’s always bringing up new stuff. The science of advertising, how to figure out what to automate, just things that marketers are wrestling with today. Check it out. It’s the MarTech podcast. Find it wherever you listen to your podcasts.

John Jantsch (00:52): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Tom Stanfill. He’s the CEO and co-founder of ASLAN training, a global sales enablement company appearing nine consecutive years in the selling power. Top 20, since 1996, ASLAN has worked with many fortune 500 companies training more than 100,000 sellers and leaders all over in 35 countries. Actually, he’s also the author all over the world. Well, I use, I probably gotta be the same thing. He’s also the author of unreceptive, a better way to lead, sell and influence. So a welcome to this.

Tom Stanfill (01:34): Thank you, John. I was very excited to join your podcast after I know you’re a prolific author and those excited to meet you. So thanks for having me on.

John Jantsch (01:42): So some people in listening to the intro might think this is the guy that’s trained a hundred thousand sellers. So we have him to blame, huh. But,

Tom Stanfill (01:50): And to solve that problem, one of our biggest clients, Merck actually agreed to endorse the book because they want their customers to know that they sell differently, but they’re focused more on serving themselves. We are trying to change the way people sell.

John Jantsch (02:06): Uh, a big idea. I think that you’re trying to propose in this book, it’s certainly contained in the title itself. Unreceptive. I wonder if you could talk a little bit about how you’re using that in the context of selling just as really our main line definition for now.

Tom Stanfill (02:22): Yes, it’s, it’s a problem that’s been growing rapidly over the last probably decade is that as the tsunami of information that we’re customers are receiving, they’re just getting overwhelmed. I think the increase has been five X in the last couple of decades. And as information, the exposure of information, the customer’s receptivity has continued to decline. And so we keep developing new and better techniques to try to win the customer over. But it only works on this shrinking group of people who are open to what you’re talking about, who are looking for your solution, where customers are now moving more and more to the internet, the information is available to them and they don’t want to talk to sales reps. So Kenzie did a study recently that said the number of customers who want to talk to sellers when evaluating a solution has dropped 120% last three years. So receptivity is on the decline. And here’s the thing that was the main premise of the book selling doesn’t work when you’re talking to people that are emotionally unreceptive actually backfires.

John Jantsch (03:24): Yeah. And I do want to get into that, but let’s talk about what we mean by selling to is this idea of receptivity before I’m even going to take a phone call or an email or even talk to you, has to be done or does it also carry through to do I trust you enough to make you my solution provider? Is it every step below

Tom Stanfill (03:43): Every step, along the way from the moment you reach out, either via email, the first sentence you write to all the way down to the, obviously to the end of the sales process, where you’re trying to ultimately win an opportunity receptivity, she continue to build. And if it doesn’t, you’re not going to. And so the traditional approach where people are just learning to make their business case and learning to communicate their value prop and learning to differentiate their solution, all of those things are really good. But if the customer is not receptive, it just doesn’t work.

John Jantsch (04:13): So does the value proposition go out the window? Do we not have to have that? Or are you just saying, you’re not going to give, you’re not going to get the chance to actually communicate it if you’re not receiving

Tom Stanfill (04:23): Or they won’t believe you. Yeah, probably the best way to think of it as it is this way is there’s two dimensions of selling those. The customers that is the soil has to be fertile. I talk about it as the seed versus the soil. If a farmer wants to grow a vibrant crop or successful crop, they start with the soil. The soil is not fertile. Then the seed doesn’t matter. And the same is true with the customer. If the customer is not receptive, then your message, the seed doesn’t matter. So your message being the value prop will never be received or been planted if you will, and braced, if the customer’s not receptive. And so we’re all about how do we create a fertile soil? And then at the same time we want to enhance the way we deliver our message. So that’s really the main point of the book. And we just talk about how do you continue to create a fertile soil and develop, develop that perceptivity all the way to the close. And the other thing is you could also have a receptive customer and you could lose the receptivity by how you interact with them.

John Jantsch (05:19): Sure. So let me ask you this. What role does marketing play in making a Salesforce more?

Tom Stanfill (05:25): It was a good point. You talk about sales. A lot of salespeople aren’t receptive to selling because they don’t, they know they’re going to get rejected. They know that the typical approach isn’t going to work and marketing plays a role in that. But the main thing we work with marketing on is how to change, how they’re delivering their message. So the best way to get the attention of the customer prospect is to talk about what’s on their whiteboard and not talk about your solution. We’re constantly teaching sellers about the solution. We want you to sell more of a certain solution. We want you to get more meetings. We want to expand your footprint in the account. We want to move from selling this to selling that. So what does sellers lead with? They lead with their solution. Marketing talks about all the benefits of the solution. What’s unique about this, and that’s all really good, but to create the fertile soil or receptivity, you need a first lead with what’s on the decision-makers whiteboard. If you want to get the decision-makers attention, you need to talk about something that’s on their whiteboard. And so that’s where we start with marketing is how do we reposition the messaging in a way that the customer embraces it?

John Jantsch (06:25): So I get ’em as I’m sure most people do. I get all manner of pitches today, essentially cold calls, some in the form of email, LinkedIn requests and the challenge. I think somebody like myself and certainly most people, even if they are trying to solve problems have is that one in 25 of those, maybe the answer to my prayers, but I don’t have time to figure out if that’s the case. So, you know, so I’m guessing in a lot of ways, what you’re suggesting is how do you become that one and how do you clearly become that one in 25?

Tom Stanfill (06:58): Exactly. Or maybe let’s say the 25 or reaching out to you. And actually you may need the services of five, but you’re right. Rejected four of those five and only listened to the one because of the way they delivered the message. But yes, that’s ultimately is what we want to do is we want to describe the problems the customer has. And if we can change the way we communicate, because all they’re doing is they’re deleting the metal less than 2% of the emails were even red. So we’re just the people we’re just deleting the messages. We’re not getting our messages through. So like an it company reaches out and says, Hey, I have it services. And so they start talking about their it services versus they need to talk about what is the problem that you have that ultimately will lead them to the it service or the solution that they offer.

John Jantsch (07:38): So how does, you mentioned that the idea of what’s on their whiteboard, how do I get a peak at that? How do I know what’s on their

Tom Stanfill (07:44): Great, great question. If it’s a very strategic account and for a seller, who’s calling on a company that they obviously it’s worth investing the time they need to, they need to do a little bit of research before they reach out to the decision maker, or at least the person they think is a decision maker and gain that insight. And so they versus guessing if it’s not a strategic account, they need to look at the profile of the people they serve. If you’re serving a VP of manufacturing, there’s only three or four things that are on the VP of manufacturing whiteboard. And if you get to know and understand that profile and become a student, you can get either way, you’ve got to lead with something that’s important to them.

John Jantsch (08:23): Yeah. And I think one of the things that just always I scratch my head is that a lot of people are taking stuff that’s on their whiteboard and they’re putting it on LinkedIn and Facebook and other places, and clearly sending signals up. And it just always amazes me when people don’t take the time to at least familiarize themselves, even vaguely with what might be.

Tom Stanfill (08:44): And I think that comes from the idea that we start we talked about at the beginning of the podcast is because the market’s shrinking, they’re speeding up and trying to send more messages instead of changing what they’re doing. They just have to send more messages. So you’ve got to work harder. Similar messages spend less time and are the premise of the book is if you’ll stop and study your customers and prospects and learn more about them and change your approach, you’re going to, you’re going to open up your market and you’re going to be more successful. And we’ve tested this. We’ve, there’s actually three elements to how you position a meeting. We’re talking about that element of the sales process. I’m trying to get a meeting and prospecting. There’s really three elements of effectively position, a meeting we started. We talked about you first want to lead with their point of view.

Tom Stanfill (09:29): It’s just another way of saying their whiteboard. And then you want to communicate disruptive truth, something, an unknown truth or unknown principle or unknown stat about a better way to solve their problems. And that’s one of the reasons also the decision makers aren’t meeting with sellers because they feel like they have nothing to say, but you have nothing to say. I don’t real decision makers. Don’t meet with sales reps because they’re just going to represent their info, their products. And they go, I can get, I get that information from the internet, or I can get somebody else to get that information, but you can’t really help me solve a problem. You can’t lead me cause you don’t know where to take me. And so by communicating a disruptive truth, you’re demonstrating that you’re, you’ve got some thought leadership and you’re worth following. And then the last is what unique what’s what do you offer that unique?

Tom Stanfill (10:14): What’s we call it proprietary benefit. What’s the thing that you own that can, did you do differently than everything else. And it might be how you do it. It may be what you do, but what do you do? That’s different. And I’ve had some emails that sometimes I get up that are very effective, like from marketing firms. And they’ll say we can generate leads for you. And they’ll describe my problem. Like great. And then they’ll communicate maybe something a little bit disruptive or a little bit that they can do about how to better generate leads, but then they don’t tell me what they do differently. Right? And so I read it, but I don’t engage all of this to say, when those three elements are together, we’ve tested it. And we’ve seen a 366% increase in response rates where people will respond.

John Jantsch (10:57): So, so does this necessarily change how a sales person has to not just prepare, but if somebody’s going to be able to, in some ways, challenge somebody with a strategic question, perhaps that they’re not even thinking about. Cause what, to me, what are the most successful things somebody can do is help me understand a problem. I don’t really understand fully that I have, but that doesn’t that right off the bat being a typical salesperson has to be, I’m struggling with how to propose this question. You’re not necessarily smarter, but they just have to be a higher level of thinker. Don’t they?

Tom Stanfill (11:35): I don’t know if they really have to be smarter. Here’s the thing that a sales person has anybody they’re calling on, or maybe a resource that they have that everybody they’re calling doesn’t have. If you’re a typical sales rep, how many decision makers are you talking to your customers? You’re talking to in a month, if you just ask one or two questions every month, it’s everybody you talk to and you just focused on learning from them. And what do most people don’t know about a better way to solve their problem. And you started to share that you would be somebody worth following.

John Jantsch (12:10): You’d have the playbook. Wouldn’t you have

Tom Stanfill (12:12): A playbook. If you said, look, what’s on your whiteboard. If I’m talking to anybody, I’m calling it as if I were selling to you, John, and as a consultant author, you have a whiteboard. And every time I talked to you, I talked to 50 authors and marketing experts and consultants. You would have a problem and you would have a whiteboard. And I would see that there are three or four things. And then I would how’d you fix that problem? And then I would learn, okay, most people don’t know that. And so then I would start sharing that knowledge. And so really sellers need to be more of a decider of information, distill it down and then share it. They’re too focused, typically on the pro on the solution that they offer. And that’s, what’s on their whiteboard and what are the talking points because that’s their comfort level. And again, they’re trying to speed up the number of messages they sent. Here’s my email. I’ve got my email and I just gotta write it on changing names. Let me put on a couple of things. I’ll send more and more of those. And it’s just like,

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John Jantsch (14:17): I think I know the answer to this, but I’m going to tee it up for you. How important is listening then become?

Tom Stanfill (14:22): Yeah, so really receptivity starts reels receptivity starts in discovery by validating the customer decision makers point of view. Once you get the meeting, you’re going to have more influence by articulating and validating their point of view than what you say when you really know how, what we call, take the trip and leave our point of view, which we’re comfortable with. We understand our point of view because when you’re influencing, there’s always two points of view. Are there otherwise you’re not influenced. Influencing means you want to change belief. Most people think of selling is kind of relationship management or fulfillment, but if you’re really going to create demand and you’re going to influence people and change the way they see the world and influence them on book, changing, how they’re planning on doing something, there’s going to be two points of view, their point of view and your point of view.

Tom Stanfill (15:07): And if you can leave your point of view and take the trip and see their point of view, we call it and think of it as there’s two, you think of one person’s on the north pole and the other person’s on the south pole. So you have these two kind of polarized points of view. If you can leave your position, take the trip and articulate their point of view. And they say exactly, you know, John, here’s what I understand. You’re saying that this is what’s important to you. And this is what’s unique about your organization, unique about your challenges. And then you say exactly, that’s when influence begins and then they will take the trip and see your point of view. Or you may find out actually, I really can’t help them. And that’s fine.

John Jantsch (15:47): Traditionally, a great bit of receptivity happens. Face-to-face because we connect somehow. And my dad was a bag carrying salesperson all his life. I remember him used to say, he’d walk in an office and he’d see pictures of the kids. He’d see the golf trophy. He had all these connection things right now that we’re doing this in zoom meetings and email and how, how different is virtual selling than face-to-face.

Tom Stanfill (16:12): Yeah, it is much more difficult to create that intimacy virtually than it does. You know, that had happens face to face. There’s a lot more immediate trust and relationship typically. But if you’re eye to eye, I was thinking about driving car and how you interact with people on the highway versus how you interact with them, that you’re standing in line next to them. So there’s definitely a different level of intimacy. And we’ve recognized there’s about five main barriers to selling virtually. And that’s actually something we talk about in the book. If you can address the receptivity challenges, you can do it. It works either where you’re face-to-face or over the phone, honestly, or virtual meeting, like a lot of the things that you do to create receptivity, like taking the trip and validating their point of view. You have to be better at asking questions.

Tom Stanfill (16:57): You have to be better at responding. You have to be better at reducing pressure. You’ve got to be better at how you articulated position your either your recommendation. So all those advanced skills are required virtually and they may not be required. Face-to-face for example, if you’re in discovery, one of the most difficult things is to uncover the truth. It’s like to get people to really tell you what their informal decision drivers like. Here’s what I really care about. Not the formal stuff that they tell everybody, but the stuff they lean in and say, okay, really, really don’t know what we’re doing. And I know I had a decision-maker tell me that he goes, I’m not a really, I’m not going to be a good buyer here and I’m not going to be go shape very well. I just come to tell you, it’s almost like I’m going to quit this adversarial relationship. I’m just going to open up and that’s what we ultimately want to happen. And that’s more about how you ask questions and how you respond. And if you can, that well virtually you can do it anywhere. Yeah.

John Jantsch (17:53): So as I listen to you talk about the things you have to get better at to be more receptive as a sales person. I’m wondering if this may be actually could just be a great communication skill, a way of life. I think even write about it in a book. How, how have you presented that idea, particularly as you start working within training, maybe in some cases, some unreceptive groups of salespeople, how do you get them to use that as a lever to say this would make you a better person as well as a better?

Tom Stanfill (18:22): Yeah. I love that question. We always start a session off workshop offers. There’s nothing more important than your relationships, right? You’re never happier than your relationship. So everything we teach in our workshops and in this book is also improved your relationship. My ability to take the trip with my wife and have the oh moment and go, oh, that’s why you feel this way and feed it back to her. And she says, exactly, that improves my relationship. That creates intimacy. That creates empathy in me. My, my ability to make a decision about who’s first, because here’s, that’s a simple thing. Like the decision you make before every meeting ultimately determines what’s going to happen in the meeting, because either you are the most important person in the room, you’re the hero of the story or I’m the hero of the story. That’s always true. So stopping and deciding if I’m going to be what I call other Senator self-centered drives our relationship.

Tom Stanfill (19:18): And so all of the things that we talk about in the book, except for some things like how to handle rejection objections and things like that, practical models, almost all the principles apply to our relationship and our personal life. So matter of fact, one of the things we say is what works in life works here is that if you don’t apply it at home, it won’t actually work at work. You can’t turn it on, turn it off. There is no on and off switch to being effective at interpersonal relationships and effective and influence and the most influential people do it all the time. Yeah. Yeah. That’s very important. Like I was washing the dishes the other day that I’d worked a 17 hour. It was a 17, 14 hour day and we had some people over and I just was watching the dishes cause I was just wanting to help.

Tom Stanfill (20:01): And my wife had worked hard to nail all that stuff. And a lot of times I cook, we share, but I was watching the dishes and I found myself wanting to be appreciate, Hey, I’m washing the dishes after this long day. Do you appreciate me? And I remember thinking, that’s the worst way to get somebody to appreciate you is to tell them to appreciate you. So that’s a concept we talk about in the book about dropping the rope instead of pulling the rope and trying to force people to do things. But when I dropped the rope, she’s the open and free to be able to communicate to me whether she appreciates me or not. And so it’s the best way possible for us to have a relationship versus controlling and trying to get her to do something. And that enhances our relationship. There’s a personal example for you.

John Jantsch (20:43): Yeah, no, that’s awesome. And while a lot of, I think there are people that are naturally more receptive and they guess what, they’re probably better salespeople, but what I’m hearing you say of course, is that you can teach this, but it has to actually become a life skill and not just a workout.

Tom Stanfill (20:59): Yes. Yeah. It can. It can not also speaks to motive. If I’m trying to learn these things, just to manipulate other people, it will backfire because motive is ultimately transparent. And so if you’re, we all know when someone’s working. So they like, well give me these tools and these cool techniques so that I can then go leverage them to manipulate. But if it becomes who you really are, it’s going to work in life. It’s going to work in your personal life and at work.

John Jantsch (21:25): Awesome. Thanks for something by the duct tape marketing podcast, tell people where they can find out more about unreceptive and the work that you are doing with sales folks,

Tom Stanfill (21:33): Beautiful or the best way to check out the book is unreceptive book.com. That’s got all the information either about the book and of course you can buy it on Amazon or any place the books are sold. It doesn’t come out until the 9th of November. So

John Jantsch (21:50): Kind of point when you’re listening to this, yeah, it will be available November 9th, anywhere you want to send them to learn about your work.

Tom Stanfill (21:57): As on training.com, Azlan our organization’s looking for sales training and wants to improve an organization’s ability to get more meetings, convert, more prospects or grow accounts, go to Ashlyn training.com. Awesome,

John Jantsch (22:13): Tom. It was great to catch up with you. Hopefully we’ll see you one of these days out there on the road.

Tom Stanfill (22:17): Thanks John.

John Jantsch (22:18): All right. That wraps up another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. I want to thank you so much for tuning in. Feel free to share this show. Feel free to give us reviews. You know, we love those things. Also. Did you know that we had created training, marketing training for your team? If you’ve got employees, if you’ve got a staff member that wants to learn a marketing system, how to install that marketing system in your business, check it out. It’s called the certified marketing manager program from duct tape marketing. You can find it at duct tape, marketing.com and just scroll down a little and find that tab that says training for your team.

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

The 5 Step Winning Website Formula

The 5 Step Winning Website Formula written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Tim Brown

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Tim Brown. Tim owns Hook Agency, a boutique digital agency out of Minneapolis. He specializes in combining visual design and SEO for construction companies.

Key Takeaway:

Having a beautifully designed website doesn’t guarantee leads. There are some key elements a website needs to have in order to convert visitors into paying clients or customers. In this episode, the Founder of Hook Agency, Tim Brown, talks about what he’s learned from building over 100 websites and diving into testing and user data. He’s been able to develop a 5-step winning website formula that converts.

Questions I ask Tim Brown:

  • [1:55] What’s the biggest marketing challenge today that you’re seeing for construction companies?
  • [2:54] In your intro, it says you combine visual design and SEO – can you unpack that idea?
  • [5:54] What have you discovered is your way to structure a website with SEO and content in mind so that it is a marketing website as opposed to acting as a brochure?
  • [6:52] Can you give me a few examples of what strong visual calls to action throughout the website means?
  • [17:22] You have suggested pricing on your website for the kind of packages that you offer – what was your decision in putting pricing on your website since in the world of marketing pricing it has been deemed as something you maybe shouldn’t do?
  • [20:30] Where can people find out more about your work?

More About Tim Brown:

More About The Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by Benjamin Shapiro, brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. Ben’s episodes are so awesome. They’re under 30 minutes. They share stories with world-class marketers who use technology to generate growth and achieve business and career success. Ben is a great host. I’ve been on his show. He’s been on my show. He always really digs down and gives you actionable stuff that you can take away and do. And he’s always bringing up new stuff. The science of advertising, how to figure out what to automate, just things that marketers are wrestling with today. Check it out. It’s the MarTech podcast. Find it wherever you listen to your podcasts.

John Jantsch (00:52): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Tim Brown. He owns the hook agency, a boutique digital agency out of Minneapolis and specializes in combining visual design and SEO for construction companies. Tim, welcome to the show.

Tim Brown (01:11): Hey, thanks for having me, John.

John Jantsch (01:14): So we are recording this in the middle of October and we just got our first snow. Is it getting cold up in Minneapolis yet?

Tim Brown (01:21): It is not really too cold. It’s just, it’s got the little bit of the fall twins you get to put on the light coat. I personally, I think I realized fall is my favorite season. Just this year weirdly.

John Jantsch (01:34): Yeah, I love, I must admit I love fall as well, but then when spring comes around, that’s pretty awesome too. So hard to know every year,

Tim Brown (01:43): Any kind of warm season is always my favorite.

John Jantsch (01:47): All right, so you weren’t primarily construction companies. And so I’m guessing that you can answer this. You have a very, almost set answer for this. What’s the biggest marketing challenge today that you’re seeing from construction companies or for construction companies? I should say.

Tim Brown (02:02): Yeah, I’d say differentiation. I believe a lot of companies come off the exact same and it’s not even, it’s not really a problem that we solve right now. So that’s actually weird because we’re focused on generating leads, but I always want to get in there and do surgery on their messaging because it’s usually very flimsy and very similar to, okay,

John Jantsch (02:28): Tim, you have come to the right place. You should check out the duct tape marketing consultant network. That’s actually what we teach. I’m a firm believer. It’s so many people want the phone to ring, but what they don’t realize is that, that without that strategy on the front end, it’s actually harder for guys like you to make the phone ring to some degree because that differentiation becomes, turns them into a commodity a bed. And so then it’s harder to do your work. When I did the intro, I said, I, in your intro, it says you combine visual design and SEO. Maybe you could unpack that idea.

Tim Brown (03:01): So

John Jantsch (03:01): There’s a lot of,

Tim Brown (03:03): There’s a lot of beautiful websites out there. Well, there’s a lot of ugly ones too, but there’s a lot of even beautiful ones that aren’t really doing the job. I made a lot of them, to be honest. I started in web design and I made a lot of beautiful websites. And then over time realize that wasn’t the biggest problem. And maybe I’m just slowly building up to one day, I’ll be the messaging guy, but I realized getting leads on that website, basically like somebody had me as their graphic designer and I was doing ongoing recurring graphic design for their website. And they were like, why isn’t this make getting us leads? And I was working for an search engine optimization company at that time. And they, and I learned from them a little bit about search engine optimization and getting more business from Google. And so I said, Hey, a more graphic design is not going to fix this problem of no leads.

Tim Brown (03:57): So I started to build more content onto their website with the kind of collaboration with them. And slowly I realized that was almost a bigger problem that people would invest in more, like more like to invest in then design and web design and stuff like that. So I just started helping people with it. It was basically out of demand. I just kept on moving further towards what would actually create business. And that combination move between design and SEO is really, to me, it’s about putting the right content in the right places, because a lot of websites have very thin content and that’s cool to have them content. It does make design easier because that sparse modern apple design vibe is all the rage, but it’s a mixture of those two things, finding a way to get a lot of content onto a website without making it feel like a wall of text. So you really do have a little bit of longer websites nowadays. I think most people will from their experience have seen this. And it’s also finding ways to almost tuck some content back. We use like frequently asked questions that kind of show and hide based on, we don’t want to show everything right away, but we do want there to be a lot of content on the website. So really that’s the biggest thing in the outset.

John Jantsch (05:18): Yeah. Talk about now. I think you have to think of your homepage as a part of the journey. People are going to that long scrolling homepage. I think it’s because people are checking boxes. It’s like, okay. Yeah, they got that. I see that. I see that back in the day we designed these things and the whole goal was to get them to click on a link. So they’d go find more over here and find more over here. And I think really today it’s more like, no, let me tell you a story in different elements. So I know when you reached out to me originally, you were talking about this idea of the winning website formula. So I wonder if you could, what have you discovered is your way to structure a website with SEO and content in mind so that it is a marketing website as opposed to a brochure?

Tim Brown (05:56): Absolutely. Now I will say this, obviously I come from I’m working in home services businesses the most. So the most experience I have is in that in construction. So right. I’ve also done a lot of AB testing. I’ve done user testing, watching users interact with websites and give feedback live. And I’ve done the most of like just monitoring analytics because we are on the hook for the result. And if they don’t get the result, they go, our clients go away. So like basically over time, we’ve made enough mistakes where I’m starting to get to learn this stuff in a painful, but very, um, illustrative way. So I learned this stuff from that those experiences, and I’m going to keep on learning stuff from it. The five step winning website formula is we say strong visual call to actions throughout the website. So we always try to get,

John Jantsch (06:50): Sorry, go ahead. Yeah. I was just going to say no, I was just going to say, give me a couple examples of what that means.

Tim Brown (06:55): So a call to action, a button that clearly states what’s the final action you want them to take. So if it’s getting a free quote, if it’s contacting you, if it’s just speaking to use a softer language for like higher end remodelers or like higher end ticket items in general,

John Jantsch (07:11): Like schedule a consultation.

Tim Brown (07:13): Yeah. Like a little bit softer stuff versus like for our roofers, we have a lot of roofing clients. It’s always like get a free estimate. It’s a little bit more like just direct. And

John Jantsch (07:26): I think a lot of people do. I think a lot of people do underestimate the idea that even though it’s implied, of course, they came there and they want to contact us. I think people do underestimate that, that the visitor in some cases needs to be told or at least invited to take the action you want to take. And I think that’s what you’re getting at, isn’t it?

Tim Brown (07:45): And I’d say 50% of the contractors that come in as most of the clients that come in, people that come in have a website already. So 50% of them don’t have a button up on their main menu. I like that. I like it’s an visual nudge and then don’t have call to actions on the end of every interior page on their website. And I always could go to look at, look for that because that’s a recurring element. Once somebody gets done with that content, we want them to have a clear next step.

John Jantsch (08:16): Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. All right. So a visual called actual what’s next,

Tim Brown (08:21): We’re two testimonials and other trust factors. So I think trust is the biggest thing that’s missing on most websites. And that’s certainly something where we’ll get in there. And sometimes there’ll be like some soft testimonials that are a big scroll or, or there’s a testimonials page. And no one goes to those things and everyone ignores the testimonials section because it is probably very well curated. So honestly, I’m almost driving for a widget type look where you have the photo of the person, you have the Google logo and then five stars you make it look like it’s almost a widget and, and yes, you want these to be real Google reviews. So I almost think of it instead of testimonials more of a review widget and anything to do with awards, anything to do with other platforms where you have five stars or even 4.5 plus stars, Hey, 4.9 is 4.8. That’s almost more trust trustworthy than five these days, for some reason. And cause

John Jantsch (09:31): The leaves date, you’re going to get a hundred percent, five stars. That’s there’s always going to be that person first off there’s people out there that won’t give anything five stars, but then you’re always going to have that one unreasonable two-star customer. So I think people find that more believable, especially if you respond to it.

Tim Brown (09:45): Totally. And I just think in general trust is the biggest thing. So one of the things people can do right now is just have a real photographer come out and photograph your team, show your team. And people just resonate with that and it feels human. And there’s a lot of things you can do to get more trust. Sometimes it’s not using the lingo that everyone else in your industry is using. And just get down to earth, think about what your ideal customer really talks and talk like them and find other ways to just create trust. And then there’s different for every industry. But a lot of times it’s awards. A lot of times it’s a list of clients. Everything you can do to get more trust. Yeah.

John Jantsch (10:30): Even I think for a lot of construction folks that are using higher end brands and things like Marvin windows or Anderson windows or so I think just putting those logos on there as well because consumers recognize them and they mean something.

Tim Brown (10:43): Yeah, that’s

John Jantsch (10:44): Huge.

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Tim Brown (11:54): And then number three, I’ve got emotionally persuasive images and headlines. So this is, I’m sure you follow a little bit along with Donald Miller, make your ideal customer, the hero of the story and help them imagine themselves working with you. So I always challenge our clients because a lot of times their headlines are very us focused. We are the best remodeler in whatever city, but the problem with that is people are their own, most important character in their mind and in their story. And so when they see that, it’s almost like they’re a little bit in competition with you. And also it’s not a verifiable claim. So it comes off as just marketing and it gets ignored. And we’re trying to get into this realm of, I want them to be very interested in this because it’s about them. So it’s just driving that home. I’m sure that’s not a new idea to your audience, but it’s also this idea of a good image that illustrates that idea.

Tim Brown (13:00): So a lot of times, because we are working for construction companies, it’s like somebody enjoying their home. Sometimes it’s like them outside of their home or their them inside of their home, but they’re enjoying their home. What’s that peak emotional moment when they really experienced the benefit of your service, what would that look like? Make a list of those moments and then try to get some photos that represent that. Not all of us have the benefit of being able to stage original photos. So occasionally we use stock photos for that, but ultimately the absolute ideal is you’d get a real customer and you’d take that photo that moment. What does that peak emotional moment? And that’s big. And I think a lot of people just for us with the rivers, it’s just the pain of, it’s just a guy on a roof with a hammer. It’s, it’s, you’re not bad because you have bad marketing, but the customer is gonna, you’re just going to wash out in their mind that they don’t think of you as different from the others. But if you focus on the customer themselves, you’re much more likely to stand out.

John Jantsch (14:05): I think a lot of one emotional thing that sometimes people underestimate is before and after pictures can have a tremendous emotional impact because somebody was like, oh man, I that’s ugly. You know, it’s like, wow, I want that, that, that could happen for me. So I think that’s a great way to use your real life projects.

Tim Brown (14:22): I love that. And then we already talked a little bit about search engine optimization, but number four, the winning website formula is an emphasis on search engine optimization throughout the process. So I already mentioned, you want to have a lot of content on each of these pages, but I will also note it’s about creating the right buckets of content. So we do, for instance, for our customers, we’re doing a lot of like location service plus service pages on their websites. It’s breaking out the niches of the services that you do offer making sure there’s a page for each of those. A lot of times for our customers, it is very location focused. So how are you presenting that information once they get there too? And it’s honestly our location plus service pages say you’re a, a HVAC company in Sioux city or something, HVAC, Sioux city focused page.

Tim Brown (15:18): It almost looks like a homepage. It’s like another homepage. It feels like a homepage, but there’s a good amount of main content. I read the entire Google quality evaluators guidelines. And they talk about this idea of main content. So I’m moving away from a little bit of everything, looking like a banner and moving a little bit more towards these like centered sections of main content, because I believe that’s not only what Google quality evaluators guidelines are looking for. It’s also human, right? Like I want, I want there to be copy that actually explains what this is not just banners that promote something to me. So how can you explain that better? And yes, it does put a little bit more pressure on copywriting and happy writing is one of those things that will always serve you, whether you’re a marketing manager or an owner of a company who’s trying to better tell your story. So there’s a lot of opportunity for all of us to get better at copywriting from,

John Jantsch (16:19): Yeah, I’ve been saying this for at least a decade. SEO is essentially content marketing today. There are some technical aspects, but for the most part, it is content. I think it was ironic today. Do you know what Brian Dean Backlinko, if you’ve studied SEO at all, you should know Brian Dean. It was a big, pretty big article from buzz suit to just today that came out that listed the top 50 content marketers in the world. And Brian Dean was named the number one content marketer. I just think that’s the ironic, that’s really how far we’ve come. That SEO is really content marketing

Tim Brown (16:48): And it’s gone up and up until, and Google is just, they’re not as smart as you think, but there are, have gotten a lot smarter and it’s, it’s, they’re just going to keep pushing it towards what’s the best content. And they’ll try to take out all the other factors as much as they can. And it is funny to me when an SEO company doesn’t do content or doesn’t help with that process. I think it’s the,

John Jantsch (17:15): Yeah, that would work. Let me ask you a couple agency questions because we work with a lot of agencies and this comes up all the time. I noticed in looking at your website, you have what is probably suggested pricing for kind of packages that you have. Um, what was your decision in putting a lot of service providers, especially in the world of marketing pricing has been a no-no because it’s, I don’t know, we have to design your plan and it’s all going to be custom. What was, I’m curious if you, if any thinking went into, I think this is a better approach, we’re surprised. So I’m just curious just for my own sake.

Tim Brown (17:46): So we’re in three to four months deep on this and I don’t know if I’d made the right choice. I’m just going to give it to you. That’s right. No, that’s good. It definitely has qualified out a lot of bad calls and we were in one of those stages where you just have so many leads and a lot of them are bad. So we were just basically cranking up the filter and I feel like maybe I cranked it up too far, or we’re just at the end of busy season for a lot of contractors. I can’t quite tell at the moment, what I will say is it’s also about empathy. And maybe if this is just for you, that’s fine. And you want to edit this out. It’s all good. But to me, it’s what would I want? I would want to know pricing and I’ve been on people’s.

Tim Brown (18:35): I don’t want to waste your time. I really wanted something recently, but I wish that they would have just had the pricing on there because I wasted this very valuable. I know she’s her time is incredibly valuable. I don’t want to waste your time as like a internal marketing exercise. And it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t valuable enough for me to justify that price, but I would’ve filtered myself and that’s okay because we’re just a small business and it’s okay to filter yourself. I just am giving other people the opportunity to filter themselves and I’m trying to have empathy for their time.

John Jantsch (19:09): I think that’s great. And that’s what I was after. It was just your thinking that went into it. I think actually what’s going on in the construction world, just, uh, just my 2 cents because we work with a lot of contractors as well is they don’t need leads right now. They need people and they need their supply chain fixed. That’s probably what’s going,

Tim Brown (19:25): I’ve been feeling that like for the last. So we’re mostly specialty contractors, which is a little bit, and I know that this might just be an offside for, for you and I, but there’s also this element of, we know remodelers in particular. There, we know that there’s a number of home builders, remodelers, certain people, they don’t need leads at all. On the other hand, there’s specialty contractors like HVAC roofing, like even like hardscapers and certain people that like those people do. And so we’ve almost niche completely into that specialty contractors thing, but we’re, we’re keeping the door open just in case the economy flips at some point, but

John Jantsch (20:07): Yeah, figure out a market share for our marketing to help people get skilled labor and you’ll get, those are modeling contractors down the door,

Tim Brown (20:17): Flip over in that direction. You got to stay in the same direction for a long time. I think. And I get I’m prone to flipping that switch just like back and forth all the time. So I kind of have to moderate myself and watch that a little bit. So

John Jantsch (20:30): We’ve been all over the place in our 20 minutes together, but tell it to Tim, tell people where they can find out more about your work. And obviously if they’re a contractor, maybe look you up.

Tim Brown (20:39): I want to throw out here the last one of the five step part, winning formula, really clear differentiating features, unique value. What can your competitors not say? So I’ve heard that called the only tests. If somebody goes under your website right now, what are you the only one of like only go to these? These are the only people you can go to. So do the only test on your website. They can go to hook agency.com and we would love to chat with them if it’s appropriate, if we can be useful to. Sorry.

John Jantsch (21:09): Awesome. All right, Tim, thanks for stopping by the duct tape marketing podcast and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days

Tim Brown (21:14): Out there on the road. Awesome. Thank you so much, sir. All right,

John Jantsch (21:17): So that wraps up another episode. I want to thank you so much for tuning in and you know, we love those reviews and comments. And just generally tell me what you think also did you know that you could offer the duct tape marketing system, our system to your clients and build a complete marketing consulting coaching business, or maybe level up an agency with some additional services. That’s right. Check out the duct tape marketing consultant network. You can find it at duct tape, marketing.com and just scroll down a little and find that offer our system to your clients tab.

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

Empowering Women To Write Their Own Story

Empowering Women To Write Their Own Story written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Jess Ekstrom

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jess Ekstrom. Jess is on a mission to help women tell and sell stories through writing and speaking. She’s also the creator of an organization called Headbands of Hope. Jess has also written a book called — Chasing the Bright Side: Embrace Optimism, Activate Your Purpose, and Write Your Own Story.

Key Takeaway:

Jess Ekstrom is on a mission to empower women from all over to share their message and their stories through writing and speaking. Jumping into entrepreneurship during college, she started a for-profit, for-cause company called Headbands of Hope that has recently reached 1 million headbands donated. In this episode, I talk with Jess Ekstrom about her journey as an entrepreneur and how she’s overcome the many challenges she faced along the way.

Questions I ask Jess Ekstrom:

  • [1:28] How would you package up your entrepreneurial journey in a short story?
  • [3:37] Where does your e-commerce brand Headbands of Hope stand today?
  • [4:42] There seems to be now an entire industry of women helping women – what would you say is unique about your point of view that you’re trying to bring to it?
  • [6:44] What’s the difference between a woman storyteller, a woman speaker, and a male speaker or a man who’s trying to go out there and tell stories?
  • [10:14] What’s been the hardest for you in your entrepreneurial journey?
  • [12:05]  You started at a very young age – have you ever felt like that has held you back or have you felt that it’s actually been a positive strength for you?
  • [14:36] Going from shipping headbands to developing software is a bit of a leap – what was your process for doing that?
  • [16:35] Do you have contributors that are contributing to the prompt pathways in Bright Pages?
  • [18:01] Where can people find out more about you and your various ventures?

More About Jess Ekstrom:

More About Certified Marketing Manager Program Powered By Duct Tape Marketing:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by Benjamin Shapiro, brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. Ben’s episodes are so awesome. They’re under 30 minutes. They share stories with world-class marketers who use technology to generate growth and achieve business and career success. Ben is a great host. I’ve been on his show. He’s been on my show. He always really digs down and gives you actionable stuff that you can take away and do. And he’s always bringing up new stuff. The science of advertising, how to figure out what to automate, just things that marketers are wrestling with today. Check it out. It’s the MarTech podcast. Find it wherever you listen to your podcasts.

John Jantsch (00:51): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Jess Ekstrom. She’s on a mission to help women tell and sell stories through writing and speaking. She’s also the creator of an organization called headbands of hope, and she’s also written a book called chasing the bright side, embrace optimism, activate your purpose and write your own story. And let’s just throw on top of it. She’s also got some software called bright pages. So Jess, welcome to the show.

Jess Ekstrom (01:22): Thanks for having me excited to be here.

John Jantsch (01:25): A lot of ground that we can cover here in your intro stuff. I want to start with, tell me just, I love just hearing entrepreneurial journeys. So how do you, how can you package yours up in a couple minutes story since

Jess Ekstrom (01:39): I got you? So I first started when I was in college. Um, I was interning at Make-A-Wish and seeing a lot of kids that would lose their hair to chemotherapy and they’d immediately be offered awake, or they’d be given a hat. And a lot of the kids weren’t really concerned with color with covering up their heads. They just wanted something to feel good after hair loss. And so I would see a lot of them wearing headbands and I just thought it was such a cool gesture of confidence that they would, you know, just wear a headband. And so I went on to Google and I think I literally typed in like headbands for kids with cancer and nothing came up and I call it like the dumbest, smartest moment of my life, where, you know, being 19 years old, I was like, oh, I could tackle that.

Jess Ekstrom (02:23): And so I started headbands of hope for every headband sold. We donate one to a child with an illness. And the funny part that I haven’t really shared a lot before is that the founder of Tom shoes, who’s named Blake, not Tom surprising was spoke at my school about a week prior. So after hearing him speak and hearing his story of starting his one for one model, I have that fresh on my mind and thought that maybe that could be me. And so unknowingly, I realized in that moment, the impact that storytelling and speakers can have on audiences as well. So I grew headbands of hope and then eventually realized that the story of how headbands of hope started and the scrappy beginnings going to a million headbands donated was a really impactful product in itself. So I started speaking and writing and got book deals and all these amazing things. And to realize that there was not a lot of women out there doing the same thing, I would be the token woman on a panel or not a lot of women on the shelves that I wanted to see. So that’s when I started my Trump workshop, which is my online course and community to help women tell and seller story. So there it is. That’s my, my, I don’t know if it was two minutes, but I tried

John Jantsch (03:37): No. So tell me where it just had headbands of hope stand today. Are you, is that still an active, you know, e-commerce business that then has the one for one model?

Jess Ekstrom (03:46): Yes. More, more than active. So headbands of hope is going extremely well. We just reached 1 million headbands donated, which is awesome, but it was something that was like not fire right out of the gate. I was a one woman show teaching myself everything. And so it was like just trying to use all the resources that I had. I would literally like hire college students to help me build my website and pay them in Chipotle burritos. And that was like how I got started. And then using tools like Canva, where I have no graphic design experience. I couldn’t, I didn’t have the money to hire designers, helping me create social media posts or banners for the website. It was really small beginnings that has come quite a long way.

John Jantsch (04:32): You mentioned that the, your token woman on a panel, and I certainly see that it play out in large conferences and things of that nature, but I will say that there seems to be now an entire industry of women helping women maybe take that to the next level. So what would you say is unique about your point of view? I saw Marie Forleo. Blurbed your book. She’s obviously been doing similar model of having courses and teaching women, not exclusively women, but primarily women to, to, to start and run businesses. What would you say is unique about kind of your point of view that you’re trying to bring to it?

Jess Ekstrom (05:08): Yeah. I would say that with my workshop, it’s really about helping figure out how your story can help people in their story. A lot of speaking courses out there, first of all, are not focused on women and ours is exclusively for women or people who identify as that. And they forced you to be an expert. What’s that thing that if they would, they have a library after you or something crazy, and the story that the course starts with storytelling, and then we do something called the moment to meaning where, what are the moments in your life? How can you pull the meaning at them out of them to teach to others? And I would say the other part of it too, is that speaking is one of the industries that can be highly collaborative and beneficial in that collaboration, if you let it be. And so, you know, sometimes as thought leaders or entrepreneurs, you really want to compete. But with speaking so much of my growth as a speaker has come from people referring me to gigs, other women saying, Hey, I just spoke. Jess would be a great speaker. So in my drop workshop, we have a closed community for all the students who refer gigs, um, after they’ve done them and create that referrals.

John Jantsch (06:16): Yeah, no, I’ve experienced that over the years as well. And if you think about it, if somebody has me speak at their conference, you know, probably going to be a couple of years for, they want me back. So, uh, tee it up. And I also, quite frankly, it’s that whole reciprocation

Jess Ekstrom (06:31): And what goes around, comes around is like so true and speaking.

John Jantsch (06:35): So let me push, I just want to hear a clear answer on this. I’m not debating it, but I want to push back a little bit on this idea of your workshops or for women. What’s the difference between a woman storyteller, a woman speaker, and a man speaker or a man who’s trying to go out there and tell stories.

Jess Ekstrom (06:52): Yeah, no, I think that was a great question. And I think that what we’re trying to do with my Trump workshop, making it exclusive for women is one, you know, I hate when people say safe space, but it really is. It gives women the opportunity to go out there, share feedback, you know, test their keynote in a really safe environment where they don’t feel like they might get, you know, pushed to the side or spoken over, or they just feel like everyone in here is on that same page. But the other thing that I’ve noticed too, is I I’ve done some research around it with like, why aren’t women getting the big keynote spots? Like what, what is that? And yes, there are like opportunities for war, more women to be on the selection committees. But I think the other part of it is I was at this event once and they were talking about, you know, diversifying lineups and this woman who’s like the meeting planner for a huge corporation said, look, I want to book more women speakers.

Jess Ekstrom (07:50): They’re just not applying for like, I’m not just seeing them in the application. So I think a part of my drop workshop that I want to teach is not just obviously the business side of speaking and telling your story, but how do you put your name in the hat even before you feel ready? Sometimes there are so many studies that show that women won’t apply for jobs unless they hit a hundred percent of the qualifications and men will, and it’s the same for speaking. And so there’s a confidence factor to it that we’re also tackling at the same time.

John Jantsch (08:23): Yes, men will definitely fake their way through it a lot sooner. I’ll give you that. So you don’t do any men bashing in your communities?

Jess Ekstrom (08:31): No, not at all. And it’s not like, you know, I think when you do women focused work, but some people might construe it as like anti men and that’s not the case at all. It’s just like, how can we use a community of women who aren’t getting these gigs, who haven’t been selected and come together and do that. But it’s definitely not, not anti men at any cost. I

John Jantsch (08:56): Have four daughters. I, you know, I, I joke, I joke all the time.

John Jantsch (09:01): And now let’s hear a word from our sponsor. I talk a lot about tools and strategies to attract customer loyalty and satisfaction, whether it’s predicting consumer behavior or diagnosing the many Watts, hows and whys of marketing, the HubSpot CRM platform has customizable solutions to help your business go from why not to what’s next. I love all things, duct tape, as you know, except for when it comes to a CRM platform, many CRM platforms are either over-engineered or clunky and unreliable costing you more time and money than they’re worth a HubSpot CRM platform means that you have purpose built solution. That’s tailored to your business and your business alone. So whether you’re just getting started or looking for a robust system, HubSpot is flexible and customizable, meaning it scales and grows as you do with new features like business units, association labels, permission sets, and more HubSpot admins can tailor their accounts like never before and now with sandboxes admins have access to a production like account, allowing them to test iterate and experiment without risk. Learn more about how you can customize your CRM platform with Hubspot @ Hubspot.com. So what I love to ask entrepreneurs is to, what’s been your what’s been the hardest for you. What’s been your struggle.

Jess Ekstrom (10:18): I would say, I mean, during the pandemic, there was a lot of pivoting. Like a lot of businesses had to do sure. But to add another layer on it, my husband and I had recently moved into an Airstream trailer and had been traveling around the country, what started as book tour, and then we just stayed in it. And so being able to be connected with my team, who’s all over the country was a struggle. And so using things that are collaborative, different softwares, again, like Canva, when we were working on a new lookbook for fall, for all the stores are working on different social media posts have being able to have those collaborative features where we’re not in an office has been really helpful. But additionally, I would say, and I touched on this before. One of the blessings and the curse of being an entrepreneur is you really have this, uh, something in your brain that tells you it’s not enough.

Jess Ekstrom (11:16): And no matter what you do, and no matter how many podcasts downloads you have, no matter how many headbands you sell or books you sell, you always feel like there’s more in you, which can be great because that’s a field of your hustle, but it can also be really detrimental to just like your mental health and like how you feel about yourself. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And so I think that that’s, you know, additionally, a struggle that’s, that’s tough for me is I like having my hustle muscle on and always wanting to do better. But then it’s like, when, when is the time where you say good job, you know, that stumps me. It’s sometimes hard to do yourself. Nope,

John Jantsch (11:53): Nope, no question entrepreneurs tend to, uh, always be looking at the horizon rather than looking at back behind them and seeing how far they’ve come.

Jess Ekstrom (12:01): Exactly. Yeah. So

John Jantsch (12:03): Let me ask you an age question. How has you started at a very young age? Has that been, have you felt ever that that’s held you back or if you felt that that’s actually been a real positive sort of strength for you?

Jess Ekstrom (12:17): That’s that’s a good question. Um, I would say in the beginning I was naive to the point of a benefit. I was like, oh, no problem. I can start a headband company. I had no idea what, you know, a P and L was, I didn’t, couldn’t even spell entrepreneur. And I think not

John Jantsch (12:34): Having the data, people actually can’t spell it.

Jess Ekstrom (12:37): I still can’t really spell it. I’m not gonna lie to you, John. But, um, I would say not having like, the data was really great for my fearless leaping and just saying, yeah, like I can do it. Yeah. And then, um, also just your energy level, like, I don’t know what I was on, but I, the amount of things that I could get done in a day was, um, you know, limitless. And then now, um, you know, having the data and real, and having these life experiences that you can pull from and saying, you know, this might not work because of this, um, can be harder because you’re leaning more on strategy then than gut instinct. Um, so I definitely like, anytime I speak at schools or colleges, I’m like, you’re in the biggest do over period of your life. Like even if you start a business and it utterly fails, um, you have more information than you did before. Um, and you’re more qualified to go after a job or whatever it is you want to do next after having done that. So there’s definitely pros and cons to both, but I’m definitely pro start young just for the learning experience.

John Jantsch (13:45): That’s right. Absolutely. Uh, because, um, um, you know, I hate to say, but those books don’t contain the lessons that you learn when you start trying to do it, do they? Exactly. So it’s funny you had a, I want to highlight something that you kind of said was that if you had known how hard it was, you might not have done it. I’m

Jess Ekstrom (14:04): Pretty sure. I think

John Jantsch (14:05): That’s a real benefit. Yeah.

Jess Ekstrom (14:07): Do you, do you ever feel like that if you had known what you were in for?

John Jantsch (14:13): I never, I never really do, but that’s, I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I, I, I love it still. So I, you know, I don’t know that I don’t know that I wasn’t, I mean, I’m kinda the same with you. I never feel like I know no one and it’ll be done or I’ll be done. You know, I’m always, there’s gotta be better, more ways to do stuff, but, um, I’m having too much fun to really worry about it. That’s awesome. You’ve developed some software. Um, that’s, you know, that’s going from shipping headbands to developing software is a bit of a leap. How, uh, how, what was your process for doing that? I’m assuming you aren’t a programmer yourself and you had to go, I wish the had X and

Jess Ekstrom (14:52): Got it done. Yeah. I think if there’s one policy that I live by, it’s create what you wish existed. And I think that’s the most simple way that we can approach entrepreneurship. So during the pandemic, you know, like I said, everything was upside down and, uh, I found the thing that was really helpful for me was writing. And when I was writing, chasing the bright side and I had a manuscript deadline, I had, I had to write every day. Like I had a certain amount of words and it was probably the healthiest Headspace I’ve ever been in and also clearest on what my priorities were, what I wanted to do and realize that there’s like a lot of science behind journaling. I mean, your head can only hold seven pieces of information at a time. And so it really gives away to download and digest what’s going on and also set goals and what you want to do.

Jess Ekstrom (15:42): Um, but I found that the journals out there, whether it was online or tangible, like physical journals were very like gratitude driven and very, um, introspective, which, you know, I can appreciate, but that’s not what I need every day. I wanted a journal that helped me pursue the things that I wanted to create. And so, um, again, you know, same thing, typing headbands for kids with cancer and to Google, it’s something that I couldn’t find. And so I started bright pages, but we’re actually gonna, um, be rebranding to prompted. Um, and we’re the first and only journal to create what we call prompt pathways. So you can select a topic, um, a goal, whatever it is you’re interested in and get prompts based on that. So if some, one of your listeners wanted to start a pathway, they could take John’s pathway of how to start a podcast and get journaling questions, guiding them through that.

John Jantsch (16:35): Yeah. So do you have contributors that are contributing those, uh, those pathways, so to speak,

Jess Ekstrom (16:40): They’re all created by guides. It’s really cool. We have anyone from, we have like an NBA coach on there. We have someone who has their own like Netflix show. We have podcasters thought leaders from all over, um, creating these pathways and they’re anywhere from like seven to 21 prompts. Oh, that’s

John Jantsch (16:56): Awesome. That’s awesome. So what’s the future, hold them for you.

Jess Ekstrom (17:00): That’s a good question, John. Um, ask myself that every morning, but you know, I think I want to do things and you, you hit on this, which I love and not a lot of people talk this way, but like, I want to do things that are fun to me. You know, I think life is too short to not enjoy what you do. And I’ve definitely gotten involved in some things in the past where, you know, the, the price tag that I would get from, it looked really good and it looked good on paper, but it just wasn’t fun for me. And so I think I’m really grateful to be at a point in my career, pretty early on where I have the privilege and the luxury of choice as to what I do next. And the things that I know I love doing are writing and speaking and helping women do the same or just really unheard voices. There’s so much, so much stats out there with like women of color, not getting gigs. And so I really want to figure out how can I use what I’ve created and help change the who holds the microphone. Okay.

John Jantsch (18:01): So tell people how they can find out more about any of your various ventures. I know they can start at your namesake homepage, but to go ahead and invite people to connect with you any way you wish and tell us the name of your dog too, but

Jess Ekstrom (18:13): It’s going to say the, the, I was like, of course the mailman came by right then my dog’s name is Ali, a 70 pound standard poodle. But if my husband was on the call, he would say, oh, he’s like a man’s poodle though. I can’t just say standard poodle. Um, so yeah, I would love to hear from you. You can head to my Instagram at Jess underscore Ekstrom and, uh, same with my website, Jess ekstrom.com. If you want to learn more about Mike drop, you can go to mic drop workshop.com and brightpages.com. I think that’s it

John Jantsch (18:46): Just thanks for stopping by the duct tape marketing podcast, and hopefully we’ll run into you and your Airstream someday out there on the road.

Jess Ekstrom (18:53): I would love that. Thanks, John.

John Jantsch (18:55): All right. That wraps up another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. I want to thank you so much for tuning in, feel free to share this show. Feel free to give us reviews. You know, we love those things. Also, did you know that we had created training, marketing training for your team? If you’ve got employees, if you’ve got a staff member that wants to learn a marketing system, how to install that marketing system in your business, check it out. It’s called the certified marketing manager program from duct tape marketing. You can find it at duct tape, marketing.com and just scroll down a little and find that tab that says training for your team.

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

Finding New Customers In Untapped Places

Finding New Customers In Untapped Places written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Pamela Slim

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Pamela Slim. Pam is an author, community builder, consultant, and former corporate director of training and development at Barclays Global Investors. Pam is best known for her book Escape from Cubicle Nation, and she recently wrote a new book called – The Widest Net: Unlock Untapped Markets and Discover New Customers Right in Front of You – launching in November 2021.

Key Takeaway:

Many businesses and marketers create an ideal consumer profile – aiming all their sales and marketing efforts towards this single type of person. As a result, they end up missing out on endless opportunities to sell their services or products.

In this episode, I sat down with author and community builder, Pamela Slim, to discuss key concepts from her new book – The Widest Net. We dive into how to build strong relationships, expand into new markets, and find new customers in untapped places.

Questions I ask Pamela Slim:

  • [1:42] As we’re recording this, it’s Indigenous People’s Day – what does this day look like in your household?
  • [3:16] Your book The Widest Net seems to go against a little bit of conventional wisdom. These days there’s a lot of conventional wisdom around having to niche down or go narrower – tell me why that’s wrong or how The Widest Net fits into that thinking.
  • [5:04] Would you say this book is a good fit for people who are just getting ready to start their business and if so, why?
  • [7:25] How do you get people to really connect with this idea of mission?
  • [14:37] A lot of marketers think every 35 year old is the same – meaning they have the same problems, the same challenges, and should receive the same messaging. What’s your take on narrowing your focus to this perfect client or persona?
  • [16:33] Can you talk about the concept of an ‘offer’ and why you introduced it as a topic in your book early on?
  • [19:28] Relationship building or connecting has always been a deep part of your DNA – can you talk about how that element shows up in your book?
  • [23:10] Can you talk a little bit about the unique model that you’ve developed?
  • [25:01] Tell people about where they can find your superclass, your book, and more about the work you’re doing.

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by Benjamin Shapiro, brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. Ben’s episodes are so awesome. They’re under 30 minutes. They share stories with world-class marketers who use technology to generate growth and achieve business and career success. Ben is a great host. I’ve been on his show. He’s been on my show. He always really digs down and gives you actionable stuff that you can take away and do. And he’s always bringing up new stuff. The science of advertising, how to figure out what to automate, just things that marketers are wrestling with today. Check it out. It’s the MarTech podcast. Find it wherever you listen to your podcasts.

John Jantsch (00:50): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Pam Slim. She’s an author community builder consultant, former corporate director of training and development at Barclays global investors. Uh, you probably know her best for her. I think first book escaped from shoot apical nation. And today we’re going to talk about her latest book called the widest net unlock untapped markets and discover new customers right in front of you. So Pam, welcome back.

Pamela Slim (01:24): Thanks for having me, John.

John Jantsch (01:26): So you are an IRA recording this pen-pal when people listen to it, but we are recording this on a holiday indigenous people’s day. And ironically, you are my favorite person married to a member of the Navajo or Denae nation. So what does this day look like in your household? I’d actually love to hear because cause there’s, it’s like a lot of those things it’s become sort of a new holiday, uh, that people celebrate, but I suspect that it has a different meaning in your household.

Pamela Slim (01:58): It does. I think, you know, we, uh, my husband and I are the types where I think you can probably relate. We don’t really have a huge separation between work and life. Right? My husband is a traditional healer and so he’s, uh, he ran a heavy equipment construction business for many, many years. And then when he did kind of an early retirement, now he mainly does ceremony. So really every day for him and the work he’s doing is generally about supporting relatives, you know, really strengthening the health wellbeing, um, and really cultural connection. I know for me here, we have our CA main street learning lab, which is a learning I’m right in the middle of main street. And it’s kind of a big celebration here. Cause a lot of the folks who we had used our space are actually opening their own spaces today that are all native led and run. So O X, D X clothing, which is a Navajo, uh, clothing design line opened a new space in Tempe, Arizona, Cahokia, which is a, uh, art tech social space is opening up in Roosevelt road today. And there are others as well. So for us, that’s really the thing is to see indigenous people running their own businesses and really in positions of leadership.

John Jantsch (03:07): Yeah. Awesome. Well, I, I knew you’d have something valuable to share. So let’s talk about your book, um, right off the bat, the title, the widest net seems to go against a little bit of conventional wisdom these days. There’s a lot of conventional wisdom around, you have to niche down, you have to go narrower. So tell me maybe why that’s wrong or how the widest net fits into that thinking.

Pamela Slim (03:31): I think I’ll say the title did its job bright, cause it does make you go wait a minute, but that doesn’t make any sense. And really a lot of what I see with the model of the widest net is that in many, for many business owners, even those that have been established for a very long time, like you and I, there we can get in ruts and limit our thinking about who the potential customers are for our business. And sometimes we’re just used to always thinking in a certain way about who that audience is sometimes within a vertical segment, other times maybe within a certain type of person that comes from a certain demographic background. And so at first, if we have a methodology and a system, which I have in the book for looking strategically at a wide range of opportunities in the market, then of course we narrow the focus and really make strategic decisions about going in with focus.

John Jantsch (04:24): Yeah, it’s funny. I, because that is so prevalent, that thinking is so prevalent in about, you have to narrow your focus. A lot of people haven’t don’t have the experience to narrow their focus. They think, oh, there’s opportunity to work with dentists. So I’m going to go after dentist and then they realized, nah, I don’t like that direction. Now I’ve got to pivot and change. So I wholeheartedly agree. I’m okay with narrow your focus, but before you narrow, your focus has always been kind of my mantra. So would you say that this book, because I think what you and I are talking about right now is probably somebody, maybe that’s a little more established or as you said, is maybe gets stuck a little bit, but would you say that this model is also, if I’m getting ready to start my business and then somebody says, should I read the white us net? You know, what would be your, uh, other than your author, uh, and, uh, you know, what to solve by, uh, What, uh, what would be your particular sort of take on that person’s experience?

Pamela Slim (05:23): Well, as you, as you said, in the, in the intro, I’ve had lots of years experience of working with people as brand new entrepreneurs, and that are transitioning, especially from corporate, as well as folks that are really growing or scaling. And the methodology to me is the same. It’s what I use with people, whether they’re brand new and starting out and just trying to evaluate and think about what would be the best customer segment to start with, or customer segments as, as they are for somebody who’s been established in business. Like, you know, I, I talk often with clients, it feels sometimes like a spiral. We think sometimes that it’s just a, you you’re in business, you make decisions, you get to a different level and you keep climbing. What I find instead is you just keep circling around the same foundations, things that you’ve established well with your duct tape marketing methodology. But when you circle back around, you are really coming at it from a different angle or a different level. So a lot of the foundations that the understanding that somebody might have as a brand new entrepreneur is going to be very different from somebody who has tested it and tried it and knows how to sell within one particular vertical. But the point of view and the method is the same, regardless of what stage you’re in.

John Jantsch (06:32): I kind of compared to seasons, I think that there are elements that are true every spring, every fall, but I’m a different person next year when I come around to that. And I think that that’s as an entrepreneur, you know, is, is something that if you stick with this long enough, you really start to recognize those patterns.

Pamela Slim (06:48): That’s right. Yeah.

John Jantsch (06:49): So you start this book where a lot of books that are talking to small business owners, entrepreneurs, startups start, and that’s, what’s kind of mission and vision. And I know certainly from knowing you for many years, that that’s something you truly believe that’s in your heart. There’s a lot of literature right now. It’s going all the way back to, and I’m going to sound a little cynical right now, story starting with your why and all the things that people have just really grabbed onto. But I think for a lot of people, they end up just feeling hollow or feeling like words. And I know that you don’t mean them. Then in that sense, it’s really more, how do you get people to really connect with this idea of mission? I don’t think anybody argues, it’s not an important aspect, but I don’t know too many people that truly connect to a mission.

Pamela Slim (07:35): I see it for a couple of different places. One is being somebody who for 25 years in my own business has spent lots of time in very private, confidential, bearing your soul conversations with people where I do believe that it is meaningful for entrepreneurs to know that all of their effort and energy, the hard path of entrepreneurship makes a difference beyond just making a profit. So that’s one piece. The second piece that’s very pragmatic is really the, the puzzle piece link to my method, which is when you really look at connecting to a deeper mission, that is just the bigger description and definition of a bigger problem that you want to solve inside of which your business fits within a bigger ecosystem, which is a foundational thing. So I use one of the examples in the mission chapter about Intuit, which we know makes accounting software, but their mission is power prosperity.

Pamela Slim (08:30): And you think about for them to truly deliver on that for their customers to truly experience prosperity, they need financial education, probably money, mindset, work, bank accounts, retirement accounts, a whole series of things provided by other professionals besides just Intuit, who is creating that software. So if you don’t know the scope of the bigger problem that your mission connects to, it is not going to be possible to know you then dial in with your business to define the specific problem that you help your clients solve. And that’s what I think is the foundation for a marketing plan.

John Jantsch (09:03): Yeah. And I, I don’t think I’ve heard anybody express her quite, um, that way. And I think that what happens is a lot of people, a lot of people stop at the ecosystem or the other parts of this admission is let’s have this grand mission, but everybody kind of goes well. Yeah, but we just do this one little thing over here. You can’t do the grand mission. And I think what you’re suggesting is by understanding your place that actually opens then the doors for who else do you need to know? Who else do you need to engage? Who else is also serving your same mission? And I, I think that that’s a pretty eye-opening perspective.

Pamela Slim (09:37): Well, yeah, I think for most business problems, as wonderful as we all think we are within our own business and with our products and services, it is impossible to completely solve the problem for your client. I think every client I’ve ever worked with works with a whole multitude of different service providers, they use different products, services, organizations. They listen to podcasts, they, you know, get information at events. So to me, it’s connecting strategically to those partners who are aligned with your mission and values that creates natural referral sources of which I know you care about so much. You wrote a whole book.

John Jantsch (10:13): It’s funny you say that though, because we work with a lot of small business owners and quite frankly, to truly get them the results that they want in marketing, we probably also have to be, or should be helping them with their hiring, with their culture, with making a profit, even though those are well outside of certainly my expertise. But I think that I’ve learned over the years, that if they don’t have the right relationship with money, marketing’s actually going to still be a problem for them. And I think that’s the sort of responsibility, I guess we have to develop this whole ecosystem around the customer as though

Pamela Slim (10:52): It is. And I think you and I have known each other for a long time. And we, in many ways, I feel like I’m just sharing the most obvious thing that most of us who have been in this space know, which is we know each other, we know that specific areas of expertise and we’ll call each other, right? We’ve gone back and forth and email, Hey, I have this problem. My client’s facing this situation. How can you help me? We refer other podcasts and resources. And I think the way that many people are taught, and sometimes it’s how we’re socialized in business with this, what I call the empire culture, where you’re taught that you must be positioned yourself as the sole expert, who has all the answers to some of these problems. But the reality is for me in business, I have this whole circle of really smart friends. Each of whom has a little different perspective on solving the problem for our clients. And we help each other all the time. It’s a very natural process.

John Jantsch (11:39): I guess what I’m having an aha is that it, it really, I think a lot of people say, oh yeah, we’re, I’m going to need some help somewhere. Some point I’ve developed these relationships. I like these people, but I think there’s actually an intentional of this. If I get a client and I develop a marketing plan for a client, why shouldn’t I, why shouldn’t I take that plan and educate the executive coach and the other people that they’re working with intentionally, maybe that develops a relationship at some point. But the real point of that is now we’re both going to be better able to serve our mutual client.

Pamela Slim (12:13): It is more and more the work that I do every day, working with CPAs. I refer everybody, all of my clients to profit first. I’m a big fan of that book. It’s changed the life for many of my clients. And so very often I’m working with web teams and with, you know, CPAs it’s, and there is a very direct way you get to know each other’s work, but it also saves, I think your client, some time, money, and energy of being the translator between all these different people who they’re hiring to help solve their business problems.

John Jantsch (12:42): And now let’s hear a word from our sponsor. I talk a lot about tools and strategies to track customer loyalty and satisfaction, whether it’s predicting consumer behavior or diagnosing the many Watts, hows and whys of marketing, the HubSpot CRM platform has customizable solutions to help your business go from why not to what’s next. I love all things duct tape, as you know, except for when it comes to a CRM platform, many CRM platforms are either over-engineered or clunky and unreliable costing you more time and money than they’re worth a HubSpot CRM platform means that you have purpose built solution. That’s tailored to your business and your business alone. So whether you’re just getting started or looking for a robust system, HubSpot is flexible and customizable, meaning it scales and grows as you do with new features like business units, association labels, permission sets, and more HubSpot admins can tailor their accounts like never before and now with sandboxes admins have access to a production like account, allowing them to test iterate and experiment without risk. Learn more about how you can customize your CRM platform with hubspot at hubspot.com.

John Jantsch (13:51): So there are two aspects that are talked about all the time in marketing, and you offer them up as chapters of this book. And I don’t, I think sometimes they’re miscommunicated, but I also really like, um, I’m really butchering my question here, but let’s break it down into a smaller chunk. You talk about personas all market, you’re talking about personas. You may even call them personas, but I think where I wholeheartedly support your approach to them is that a lot of marketers think every 30 five-year-old is exactly alike. Yeah. And that, because they are 35 years old, they’re going to have the same problems and the same challenges and reply or respond to the same message. And I’ll let you answer your take on how you think about narrowing, your focus to this perfect client.

Pamela Slim (14:41): Yeah. Well, our mutual friend, Susan, Susan Byer from audience audit completely changed my life. She’s here in Phoenix. She’s an attitudinal segmentation researcher and it really was through working directly with her and my clients that I pretty much just pushed aside, defining avatars or personas just by demographics first because you, there, there really is no way. If you look at people of the same age, I mean, just look at, you know, in any way, politically from a values perspective, from an interest perspective, your demographics don’t necessarily say anything about the kind of problem of challenge you have as a business owner. So when you look at it first by what is that core problem or challenge that you’re helping people to solve? So I know for me, for example, lately, I’ve been working with a lot of people who are thought leaders who have really well-established IP.

Pamela Slim (15:33): They have books, they have longtime programs, but they want to create a licensing or certification program. Cause they’re kind of tired of just doing it all themselves. So they want to create that when I’m, when I have that kind of definition of who my avatar is, that person could be all different ages. They can live at all parts of the world like they do. And it helps me to actually reach the people to solve that particular problem. So I really just use the methodology and the book that Susan has taught me so well. And, um, I’ve just seen it over and over with clients that we’ve worked with mutually.

John Jantsch (16:08): Yeah. And I think the, the thing that I’ve used for years, I talk about them as behaviors you there must have, and there’s certain things people must have, or they can’t really be a customer, but then you start getting into ideal or nice to have an ideal behaviors. And I think that that sort of transcends any kind of demographics, some very small businesses, it comes down to, you know, do we like each other? I mean, that can actually be a narrowing, you know, of who you want to work with. The next thing I want to jump to is something that gets talked about often in maybe more advanced places of marketing and you bring it in very early. And this is probably the place where I think people will struggle with your book the most partly because we don’t think of it and this is offered. Um, I think a lot of people think, well, I make a product or I have a service and I offer it to the world and the story. Um, now there are books that when they start getting into, you know, funnels and things that are maybe a little more down the road for people, you know, they start bringing offer up. I really love that you introduced the concept of offer this early in the book and probably are going to help some people redefine the relationship to what they sell.

Pamela Slim (17:15): Yeah. One thing I find a lot in, I can be guilty of this as well is a lot of folks just get very enamored by what they want to sell. And so it’s like, I want to do a mastermind where we visit a different country every year. And you know, it looks like it’s 10 days long and you know, whatever,

John Jantsch (17:34): This is amazing.

Pamela Slim (17:35): Actually, it sounds pretty good. I’d like to go to, but, but you can, when you start just by thinking about what you want to offer, and then you want to wrap marketing around it, everything to me really is like this, you know, Lego piece link in the, so when you know the bigger, bigger problem you’re trying to solve in the mission, then you figure out based on your ideal customer, what’s maybe a specific thing you could do for them. You have to understand the total journey that they need to take to go from where they are, to where it is that they want to be. And within that journey, there are certain steps that they’re going to take that you just like you described in your earlier example may not be the best person to give to them, but you need to understand the totality of that because that’s what we know your customer needs to do to, to fully get the promise.

Pamela Slim (18:23): And then from that, and when you really understand it much more specifically in having conversation with him, then you can figure out what’s the part that you can come in and deliver. And maybe it is a different country, you know, every, every week for a mastermind, but it could look to be something totally different. So you’re right. In general, the things I find that many entrepreneurs struggle with, um, is just to hold this space of looking at the bigger strategic picture first. But I feel like if you can do that in the first part of the book, then it makes the tactical piece so much easier and actually quicker when you know the right places to go in the right things to offer.

John Jantsch (19:03): Well, and there is an order to this too. I mean, that’s, that’s certainly something I’ve learned over and over again. A lot of people want to jump to, okay, what’s the tactic that I should be doing because everybody’s doing it. Should I be on tick-tock? And it’s like, well, you don’t even know you’re, you know, who you provide value for and where they are and all those kinds of things, you know, those all have to come first. Uh, otherwise you’re just guessing quite frankly. So when I think of you and how I’ve known you and how I experienced working with you, relationship building connecting is always been a sort of a deep part of your DNA. Um, talk a little bit about that, that element of the book, but also a lot of, um, what business owners I’m working with these days are really sick and tired of social media, which we’re supposed to be a relationship building, you know, platform. Right. Um, and so, and that’s not to politicize it or just talk about the, you know, the Facebook stuff that keeps coming up in the news. But I think just in general, they’re just finding that not to be a useful practice anymore. So talk a little bit about how, what, what’s the state of relationship building for Pam slim right now?

Pamela Slim (20:15): Yeah, you’re right. I was born, you know, making friends with all the nurses, probably in the, in the hospital room. If you asked my mom and I’m really the only extrovert in an all introvert family, both my biological family and my family now, but what I’ve really learned is that it kind of would be like saying, if I just gave you like a whisk and a mixing bowl, no recipes and no idea of ingredients and just said, Hey, throw a bunch of stuff together and put it in the oven probably would taste pretty awful. A lot of the reason I think why people don’t like social media is because of not really having a strategic way to think about what they’re actually trying to do and what a lot of people think. Cause my clients are like yours. Many of them is that either it’s about propping themselves up and self-aggrandizing, and just bragging all the time about what they’re doing or constantly selling and just promoting stuff that makes them feel really gross. To me. It’s simply can be an extension of when you have a well thought out plan. One of the best tools that I use all the time for just connecting with people, um, is something like a LinkedIn message. And we think about how poorly it’s utilized. Sometimes the people who might just reach out to connect and then spam you with an offer. Instead, imagine you’ve been at a company.

John Jantsch (21:30): I actually, I actually play a little game, you know, when people that to connect to me, I go, okay, you know, $2 this person connects me or, you know, sells me something in two days or less. So sorry about that.

Pamela Slim (21:43): But so, you know, but just if, you know, by converse, if I know I just recently had a speaking engagement at GoDaddy’s conference, uh, last week or the week before. And it was so wonderful when somebody reached out and they’re like, oh, I’m listening to your session right now. Thank you so much for sharing that. And it just, it’s such a natural thing. I just, it makes me feel so good to connect and begin to have a natural relationship. So it’s true. Not every business needs to use social media. I’ve known people who are very successful without it, but I think a lot of the reason people hate it so much is never really having a framework in which to utilize it effectively. Yeah.

John Jantsch (22:17): And I think I bear some of the blame for this the early days, it was about connecting and having lots of followers and having, and going out there and seeing it as a free place to broadcast to some more. And so I think what happened was so many people viewed it as that kind of tool. And you know what you’re talking about, the real deep connections, those take time, you can’t broadcast those. And I think though, for a lot of people, while a lot of people are getting a lot of value out of it, I think a lot of people, the promise of it being like it’s free way to reach the world is what’s disillusioned a lot of people of course, because it just, it just isn’t that

Pamela Slim (22:54): I agree. It has to be one part of a bigger strategy, or if you don’t use it, you need to have some other really effective strategies in place.

John Jantsch (23:02): So you mentioned K, um, T maybe for those obviously who are new to your work, you want to talk a little bit about that sort of unique model that you’ve developed.

Pamela Slim (23:14): Yeah. So we have a, we call it the calf main street learning lab, which is here smack dab in the middle of main street in Mesa, Arizona, and really by day it’s my office as a business coach where I coach people all over the place. And my husband’s when he works with, with his patients. Um, but the evenings and the weekends, of course, in non COVID times, it is a gathering spot for many, especially black indigenous folks of color entrepreneurs to really test and try different ideas to teach workshops, to, to, you know, pilot programs and what we found. It’s been interesting in the research of just starting of knowing, Hey, this is a place we know we want to have a presence, especially to be highlighting the leadership of native entrepreneurs. Knowing, seeing as my husband has one and we didn’t see much representation whatsoever in the media.

Pamela Slim (24:01): But the other thing that we’ve really learned with more research with places like the Brookings Institute, is it in these innovation districts like we have here in Mesa, it’s actually essential to have a place for people to test and try different ideas. And for me, in my profession as a business coach and a writer and somebody who works with brands that support small businesses, I feel so lucky that literally if I opened my door, you know, right now I would have such an interesting collection of people who had walked through the door and asked their questions. I have a deep relationship with all of my other main street businesses. And so I feel like I get just an up close and personal look at this intersection between online business and main street businesses, which drive so much of our economy everywhere.

John Jantsch (24:47): Yeah. Awesome. So, uh, depending upon when you’re listening to this, the book will be in stores everywhere in the middle of November or so. Uh, but, uh, you’ve also got a, you’ve got a superclass, you’ve got some other things that obviously is a companion. So you want to tell people about where they can find those and find out more about the work you’re doing.

Pamela Slim (25:06): That’s right. So currently we have a pub date of November 3rd, and as part of that celebration, I’ll be doing, I call it a superclass as opposed to a masterclass, partly just to be a little bit different and partly because I love to teach and make things fun. But if you do sign up, uh, before the book comes out right before the book comes out and pre-order, um, we’ll do a two and a half hour, very hands-on action packed, 12 month marketing planning session using a lot of the methods in the book. And also you can get a workbook that has all the exercises in the book. I am a coach, I’m really an author practitioner. So every chapter has exercises and we have some tools for you to use as well. And all of that, you can find it Pamela slim.com forward slash the widest net. Oh,

John Jantsch (25:51): Okay. Well, Pam was great catching up with you and, uh, appreciate you dropping by the duct tape marketing podcast. And hopefully we’ll run into you, uh, would be, uh, now that we’re starting to slowly get back.

Pamela Slim (26:02): Sounds good, John. Thanks for having me.

John Jantsch (26:05): All right. So that wraps up another episode. I want to thank you so much for tuning in and, you know, we love those reviews and comments. And just generally tell me what you think also did you know that you could offer the duct tape marketing system, our system to your clients, and build a complete marketing consulting coaching business, or maybe level up an agency with some additional services. That’s right. Check out the duct tape marketing consultant network. You can find it at ducttapemarketing.com and just scroll down a little and find that offer our system to your clients tab.

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

The Shift To Web 3.0 And The Role Blockchain Plays

The Shift To Web 3.0 And The Role Blockchain Plays written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Brian Clark

brian-clarkIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Brian Clark. Brian is a writer, traveler, and serial digital entrepreneur. He’s the founder of the pioneering content marketing website Copyblogger, the midlife personal growth newsletter Further, and Unemployable, an educational community that provides smart strategies for freelancers and entrepreneurs. He’s also co-founder of Digital Commerce Partners, a content marketing and SEO agency for digital business owners.

Key Takeaway:

Web 3.0 or the spatial web is the collection of applications that use emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) as part of their core technology stack.

In this episode, I talk with Brian Clark, Founder of Copyblogger, about the shift we’re going through and how the web became very centralized around these tech giant platforms. We dive into how these kinds of technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and smart contracts allow us to de-centralize again.

Questions I ask Brian Clark:

  • [1:41] You’ve been writing a lot lately about the transition we’re going through moving from web 2.0 to web 3.0, so I guess the first question – can you explain the shift?
  • [4:17] What are some of the defining characteristics?
  • [10:25] Can you make the connection between cryptocurrency or blockchain and why that is powering this web 3.0?
  • [11:59] A lot of people are fighting the change or move towards cryptocurrency – do you see banks ever embracing it?
  • [14:43] Can you talk a little bit about that idea of what our creator coins are, why now, how, and all of that good stuff?
  • [17:25] Should I be looking at developing my own currency if I am a content creator with a community?
  • [21:37] Can you talk a little about your coin called $MOVE?
  • [23:10] Where can people find out more about the other things you’re working on outside of Copyblogger?

More About Mike Brian Clark:

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

Building Better Business Relationships With CRM

Building Better Business Relationships With CRM written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Jon Ferrara

jon-ferraraIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jon Ferrara. Jon is a serial entrepreneur and noted speaker about social, sales, and marketing. He’s the Founder of Nimble – The Simple CRM for Microsoft 365 & Google Workspace. Jon Ferrara is best known as the co-founder of GoldMine Software Corp, one of the early pioneers in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for Small to Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs). He has been recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 10 Social CEOs, Top 10 Social Salespeople In The World, and Top 100 Marketing Influencers.

Key Takeaway:

Today, silos are created amongst your contact list across businesses of all sizes. From sales and marketing to customer service and accounting, you often have separate business applications or at the very least, different ways of managing your contacts. Nimble is working to make relationships easy.

In this episode, I talk with the Founder of Nimble, Jon Ferrara, about how Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) can help small business owners in ways they never imagined. We dive into the value of contact and relationship management. Having a great contact platform that provides you with a system of truth about relationships and interactions with contacts across your whole organization gives you the ability to follow up and follow through.

Questions I ask Jon Ferrara:

  • [2:11] Can you talk about the Genesis or the early days of really trying to bring on software or this category that hardly existed for small businesses?
  • [6:37] How has the aspect of integrating information people share on social and online into the platform become central to where Nimble is as a CRM platform today?
  • [10:31] How does Nimble really act as that single point of contact for multiple departments rather than just being seen as a sales and lead generation tool?
  • [15:18] By adding workflows, are you redefining CRM or you are creating a whole new category?
  • [17:25] There’s a lot of people with thousands of emails for people who maybe get their newsletter and they might eventually be interested in what they’re doing – can you make a case for those contacts living in a CRM like Nimble or do those need to live somewhere else?
  • [18:48] Where can people find out more about Nimble and when these new templates and workflows are going to be available?

More About Jon Ferrara:

  • Nimble.com
  • If you aren’t a Nimble customer, use the code JON40 and you’ll get 40% off your first 3 months of Nimble
  • Email: jon@nimble.com

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

How To Create Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored

How To Create Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Mike Michalowicz

Mike MichalowiczIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Mike Michalowicz. Mike is a speaker and bestselling author, the creator of Profit First – which is used by hundreds of thousands of companies across the globe to drive profit. And he’s got a new book today called – Get Different: Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored!

Key Takeaway:

Many business owners are frustrated because they feel invisible in a crowded marketplace. They know they are better than their competitors, but when they focus on that fact, they get little in return. That’s because, to customers, better is not actually better. Different is better. And those who market differently, win.

In this episode, I talk with Mike about his new marketing book, Get Different, where he offers a proven, method to position your business, service, or brand to get noticed, attract the best prospects, and convert those opportunities into sales.

Questions I ask Mike Michalowicz:

  • [2:52] Do all of your books tie together?
  • [4:57] Why’d you write this book?
  • [6:19] Can you describe the research that led you to some of the conclusions in this book?
  • [9:44] It’s always fun for consultants and authors to come up with acronyms for things – can you unpack and apply the D.A.D. acronym from your book?
  • [14:55] What’s the filter for different that matters?
  • [18:53] Can you tell people all about what you’ve got prepared for them if they get a copy of Get Different?

More About Mike Michalowicz:

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

Tapping Into The Power of SMS Marketing

Tapping Into The Power of SMS Marketing written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Aaron Weiche

aaron-weicheIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Aaron Weiche. Aaron is the CEO and Co-founder of Leadferno, a business and text messaging platform to close more leads faster. Aaron is a digital marketing veteran of over 20 years founding and growing both digital marketing agencies and marketing software products.

Key Takeaway:

Good business depends on great conversations, but email and other forms of business communication are slow, disjointed, and not the only way that consumers want to interact.

In this episode, I talk with CEO and Co-Founder of Leadferno, Aaron Weiche, about how Leadferno is powering businesses to create better conversations and close more leads faster with Omni-channel messaging – combining SMS and messaging tools from some of the internet’s biggest platforms.

Questions I ask Aaron Weiche:

  • [2:00] How do you advise business owners who may quite frankly be fatigued from all of the available customer communication channels to manage all of them today?
  • [3:35] Do you feel like we’re to the point where we must have some sort of immediate response for almost any business?
  • [4:51] How are you trying with lead for an ode to differentiate what you’re offering from chatbots?
  • [6:06] How do we balance the fact the having a chat or something similar could create a worse experience if you don’t have someone explicitly managing instantaneous responses?
  • [7:24] Can you explain what your technology experience looks like?
  • [8:48] Google My Business has integrated texting – are you able to or is it at least a roadmap plan to integrate into all of those services that are starting to offer this feature?
  • [9:31] So many people are talking about SMS and how the open rates are higher, but many people don’t want their messaging app to turn into what email has become for a lot of people – how do you not fall into this?
  • [13:07] Can you talk about some of the classic use cases for different industries where you’ve seen things like SMS reminders work effectively?
  • [15:58] Could I create a number that people can text for the business without having to get another phone line/mobile device?
  • [17:58] How does somebody get started in a way that isn’t disruptive necessarily to their current communication channels?
  • [20:59] Where can people find out more about you and Leadferno?

More About Aaron Weiche:

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

Narrowing Your Focus On Your Ideal Customer

Narrowing Your Focus On Your Ideal Customer 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 part three of a three-part series talking about my new book launching Sept. 21, 2021 — The Ultimate Marketing Engine: Five Steps to Ridiculously Consistent Growth. I’m diving into step three – narrowing your focus and identifying your ideal customer.

Key Takeaway:

There are plenty of customers to go around. Just remember that you don’t need them all and maybe more important you don’t want them all. Not all customers are ideal – but saying no is maybe one of the scariest things there is for a business owner.

In this step, we’ll work on understanding who and what makes a perfect customer for your business. Then we’ll go to work on helping more of them understand why your business is the only logical solution for them to consider.

Topics I cover:

  • [1:14] Where to listen to step one – mapping out where your best customers want to go and step two – finding the real problem your business solves
  • [1:56] Why focus on the top 20% of your customers
  • [6:57] Ranking your customers by profitability not solely revenue
  • [8:14] Focusing on your best customers who are not only profitable but who also refer your business
  • [9:00] Crafting a message that tells the world this is who we serve
  • [9:41] If you’re trying to appeal to everyone, you turn yourself into a commodity
  • [11:26] Why you need to hone in on who you can deliver the most value to

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

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

 

Finding The Real Problem Your Business Solves

Finding The Real Problem Your Business Solves 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 part two of a three-part series talking about my new book launching Sept. 21, 2021 — The Ultimate Marketing Engine: Five Steps to Ridiculously Consistent Growth. I’m diving into step two – finding the real problem your business solves.

Key Takeaway:

People don’t buy the products or services because they want them, they buy them because believe they will solve a problem. As discussed in part one of this three-part series, the Ultimate Marketing Engine is a successful customer. How do you help your customer become successful? First, you need to understand what problem it is they’re trying to solve and how your product or service can be the solution.

In this step, we’ll explore how businesses that understand, communicate, and promise to solve the real problems their ideal customers face, can make a giant leap towards rendering all competition irrelevant.

Topics I cover:

  • [1:14] Where to listen to step one – mapping out where your best customers want to go
  • [2:42] Why one wants what we sell
  • [4:30] Humans do things because they desire something or lack something – our job is to connect those desires to a solution
  • [6:07] What reading Google Reviews can tell you about a business
  • [7:43] How to figure out the problem you’re trying to solve
  • [9:10] The right way to interview your best customers

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

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