How to Generate Leads for $100 a Month Using Facebook Ads

How to Generate Leads for $100 a Month Using Facebook Ads written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Facebook ads are an incredible way to generate exciting new leads for your business. There are nearly 2.5 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide, meaning that you have the opportunity to reach a huge audience if you play your advertising cards right.

The other benefit to the platform is the relatively low cost of advertising. Across industries, the average cost per click for Facebook ads is $1.72. It’s entirely possible for a small business to get great results spending only $100 per month on Facebook ads.

But the secret to getting the most out of a small investment in Facebook advertising is creating really effective campaigns. And to generate leads using Facebook ads, you need to take a step back and revisit everything you think you know about advertising.

Reframe How You Think About Advertising

When you think about print, television, or radio ads—more traditional advertising media—you likely picture an ad that’s selling a specific product. However, this sales-focused messaging that’s worked for decades in other channels will not net results on Facebook.

People expect to be sold to by a television or radio commercial or in the direct mailers they receive. But they go to Facebook for an entirely different reason. People are on Facebook to build connections and community, not to be marketed at. So your Facebook advertising needs to be less about “buy my stuff” and more about creating content that builds awareness and trust of your brand.

When people see useful content from your brand on their feeds, they come to know, like, and trust your business. You establish yourself as a source of knowledge and become more like a trusted friend than a pushy, anonymous salesperson.

Start With Great Content

So the place to start on Facebook is not with a sales pitch, but with meaningful content. In order to identify content topics that will resonate with your audience, start with keyword research.

Take a look at your existing content, and see which search terms are leading people to find that content. Using Google Search Console, you can access a list of the real-world search terms people are using to discover each page on your website.

Look for patterns in the types of queries that are leading to your content. And look for intent in those queries. Understanding the intent, or the why, behind a person’s search term can help you craft new content that speaks to the needs and wants of your prospects.

Competitive research can be helpful in this pursuit as well. Identify gaps in your competitors’ content offerings, or find ways to expand upon the successful content they’ve created. That’s a great way to give your audience what they want.

Make Sure the Right People See It

You know that old saying about the tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear it? The same principle applies to your online content. If no interested parties are around to see your Facebook ads, it won’t move the needle and generate leads.

Let’s say you own a home remodeling company. No matter how great your content about preparing for a remodel is, if it only gets seen by a bunch of renters who aren’t in the market for your services, you might as well flush your advertising dollars down the (newly installed) toilet.

Once you’ve created meaningful content, you’ll turn to Facebook to share it with the world. Start by sharing your content organically on the platform by posting on your Facebook page. For your advertising purposes, you’ll want to focus on those pieces of content that get the greatest engagement. When a noteworthy portion of your existing audience likes and comments on a particular piece of content, it’s a sign. You know you’ve hit upon something that really resonates with your ideal audience.

From there, you can boost the post with Facebook via their advertising platform. Using their custom audiences tool allows you to show your content only to people who are likely to find it relevant. Meaning, if yours is a remodeling business, you can direct your ad spend at people in certain neighborhoods, age groups, and even those who Facebook knows recently purchased a home.

By boosting your posts, you expand your reach beyond your existing followers. And by boosting to a custom audience who looks like your existing best customers, you ensure you’re getting the greatest ROI on your advertising investment.

Follow Up With Your Best Prospects

Once you’ve boosted your content, it’s time to track how it performs with the broader world. Facebook provides detailed analytics that allow you to see how people react to and interact with the content. They’ll show a breakdown of organic versus paid reach. Plus, you can see likes, comments, and shares on the post.

You’ll also want to create and install a Facebook pixel on your website. This tool allows you to track customer behavior on your website. Adding the pixel enables you to see how your advertising on Facebook is affecting prospects’ behaviors on your site.

With these analytics in hand, you’ll want to follow up with those prospects who are showing the greatest promise—the people who are interacting with your content and exploring your website. Once someone expresses that interest, provide them with a next step towards conversion.

This should be advertising content that invites them to try. Show them an ad for a free trial or evaluation. By reserving these ads for those who have already expressed an interest in your brand, you’re boosting your advertising ROI once again. Save your serious advertising offers for your serious prospects, and you’ll be more likely to get a higher conversion rate.

Facebook advertising doesn’t have to cost a fortune to get results. If you’re smart about the content you create and the audience you target, you can generate impressive returns with a small monetary investment.

The Only One Business Show – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur

The Only One Business Show – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

John Jantsch stops by The Only One Business Show podcast to speak with host James Nathan about his latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur.

While Jantsch is the author of five other books focused on the how-tos of marketing, this latest book he likes to describe as a “why-to.” The concept of self-reliance comes from transcendentalist writings of the 1800s, and for Jantsch self-reliance means realizing that your life is a work in progress and that by working on yourself, you’re working on your business.

To hear an excerpt from the book and catch the entire conversation between Jantsch and Nathan, tune in below.

Listen: John Jantsch on The Only One Business Show

Weekend Favs January 11

Weekend Favs January 11 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Timeless – Reduce time stress by changing the way you look at the clock (literally).
  • GrowSurf – Create a custom referral program for your software/SaaS business.
  • UpTo Website Calendar – Embed a beautiful events calendar into your website.

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

Creating Shareable Content for Your Business

Creating Shareable Content for Your Business written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Tim Staples
Podcast Transcript

Tim Staples headshotToday on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I chat with Tim Staples, CEO of Shareability and co-author of Break Through the Noise: The 9 Rules to Capture Global Attention.

Staples has developed a reputation in the marketing industry for being a creator of viral content. In the past few years, several of his video campaigns have amassed more than five billion views, and 35 of them have landed on the first page of YouTube.

In his book and on this episode of the podcast, Staples discusses what he’s learned about creating shareable content. It’s not just for big, multinational brands. Even small businesses can learn to create content that resonates with their audience and inspires them to share with their friends. It’s the creation of this kind of content that can drive growth for your business.

Questions I ask Tim Staples:

  • What’s the noise we need to break through?
  • Is there a risk in trying to do something that grabs attention but doesn’t have much to do with your brand?
  • Is there a process to start analyzing where your opportunities are to break through the noise?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How to create content that is worthy of a share.
  • Which are the most positive, proactive emotions that can drive your audience to share content.
  • The role that demographics play in what people find to be share-worthy, and how sharing is different across generations.

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Tim Staples:

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

Klaviyo logo

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

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

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

Transcript of Creating Shareable Content for Your Business

Transcript of Creating Shareable Content for Your Business written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Back to Podcast


Klaviyo logo

John Jantsch: This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Klaviyo. Klaviyo is a platform that helps growth-focused eCommerce brands drive more sales with super-targeted, highly relevant email, Facebook and Instagram marketing.

John Jantsch: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Tim Staples. He is the CEO of Shareability and the coauthor of a book we’re going to talk about today, Break Through the Noise: The 9 Rules to Capture Global Attention. So Tim, welcome to the show.

Tim Staples: Hey John, how are you doing, man?

John Jantsch: I’m awesome. I guess the first thing we ought to define is, what are you calling noise, that we’d need to break through?

Tim Staples: Yeah, so the way I think about this book is that, 30 years ago, when you looked at communicating a message, most of the megaphones of society were owned by big corporations. So it was your movie studios or your television networks or your radio stations. So if you wanted to become famous, as an individual, or if you wanted to get a message out, as a brand, it was either really difficult or really expensive. And so as times evolved and the internet happened, everything changed. And we effectively now have with the smartphone, we basically have a movie, a studio, in our pocket.

John Jantsch: Right.

Tim Staples: Right? And so now everybody can broadcast to the world. And so we live in kind of this age where everybody’s trying to get YouTube famous and people are broadcasting from their mother’s basement. But what it means is that, in 2019 the good news is that everybody has a megaphone. The bad news is that everybody has a megaphone and they’re shouting into it all day long, every day, to the point that most people have tuned almost all of it out. And so when I talk about break through the noise, it’s how do you crash through those millions of messages and commercials and people trying to come at you all day long and actually get your message heard and out into the audience?

John Jantsch: Well, and I think sometimes people hear that breaking through and crashing through and all that means is, turn up the volume, do something more viral, forget about the fact that it has any value to the brand, you’ve just got to get noticed. And I’m wondering if we’re kind of over that, too?

Tim Staples: Yeah, we are. Yeah. I always talk about the idea that virality. And my firm, we’ve done a lot of big viral hits, so we get asked a lot to go make things viral, which is a tough thing to be asked, repeatedly. But I think we’ve kind of moved out of the age of morality, in practical terms, and we moved into what I think is the age of share-ability. And for me that’s about how do you be shareable and, specifically, how are you worthy of a share?

John Jantsch: Yeah. And is there a formula for that? Can you look at something and say, well we’ve got to build this and then it’s got to do this and then its got to do that and that’ll make people share it. Is it that simple or is it…?

Tim Staples: Yeah. The thing that we always talk about, and the way I start my book is with a simple statement, which is that, nobody cares. And it’s basically this mindset of a default position, where just because you’re doing something that’s interesting to you, don’t assume that anyone else in the world is going to care. Right? And so I think that that’s the default mindset. It’s like, okay, now how do I actually create something that people are going to care about?

Tim Staples: Well there’s a number of things and they’re concepts I think are very consistent with a lot of things that you talk about. But the first one is real simple, it’s focused on value, right? How do I think about, okay, I want to reach this particular audience, instead of focusing on me and trying to project that out to them, how do I think about it, what they want, and then find a unique way to give it to them? Right? Which is a really simple concept, but I think one that most people miss is, what does the audience wants and how do I give that to them, in my own unique voice that will be valuable?

John Jantsch: Well, and I think a lot of the challenges is because we’re wired to think, how do I get them to buy? Or how I get them to like me? How do I get them to share? And sometimes that runs counter to what would be valuable to them.

Tim Staples: Yeah. We do a lot of work with big brands and they’re so hardwired to sell, sell, sell, first. I feel like the last 30 years has been about an advertising approach for brands where they literally beat their chest and try to project their message onto an audience, that may or may not want it. And what we’ve seen is, when you just start with value and value can be a lot of things, right? It could be education, it could be entertainment. It could be empathy. There’s a lot of different ways where you can provide value to an audience. If you take that first step and give them value first, you completely change your relationship. If you try to sell, they’re on their heels, they’re leaning back, they’re moving away from you. If you give them value, now they’re leaning forward and they want to learn more about you. And so you’ve now started a relationship that you can actually move towards a sale, instead of trying to start with a sale.

John Jantsch: I know in my own experience, and I’m sure that different people like different things, I know that I’m expecting X and I get Y, it surprises me. I know those are the things that I remember the most and I’m probably more likely to tell somebody about. Is that one of the, sort of, formulaic aspects of how you get somebody to pay attention?

Tim Staples: Yeah. So we’ve actually done a lot of research on the science side of how the human brain works. And it’s funny, it’s very consistent. Not even amongst the age groups but also across regions around the world. And we’ve identified these emotions that provoke people to share. And we’re human beings, right? We’re very emotional creatures. And the emotional piece of it is just something that’s completely lost in kind of the old school advertising. And it’s, like, okay, how am I going to connect with something and feel something? And then if I feel something, then I’ll be part of that conversation and be leaning forward. And so there’s actually five emotions that we’ve identified. They’re all positive emotions that we’ve found are the most effective, at least for us, to get people to lean forward and share. And so, I can walk you through those.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Do it. Do it.

Tim Staples: Yeah, so the first emotion is happiness, right? And I think we live in a world right now where everybody would agree that there’s a lot of polarization and people are split apart and there’s a lot of negativity on the internet, or at least it feels that way. And so giving people a smile during their day, even just a little smile as they’re going through social media or going across their phone in a break from a meeting, has a really, really powerful concept. So the first principle is happiness or joy.

Tim Staples: The second principle is, we call awe. So awe is a feeling of respect where you just go, Oh wow, that’s something I haven’t seen before. So it could be something that is, you’re literally watching a guy from the moon that you haven’t seen before. Or it could be someone doing an act of a good Samaritan act, that just makes you lean forward and go, wow, what a cool thing that they did for somebody. Completely unexpected and it kind of warmed my heart. And that’s what we mean by awe.

Tim Staples: The third emotion is called curiosity. So this is all about learning things about the world that you hadn’t seen before or you didn’t know. And there’s a lot of kind of educational content that it doesn’t feel like education, where you can provide a lot of value to the audience. The fourth emotion is empathy. And sympathy is feeling bad for somebody, but empathy is actually putting yourself in their shoes and having that shared connection. And that can be really, really powerful.

Tim Staples: And then the last emotion is surprise. And it’s basically giving something that they didn’t expect, in an unique way. And so those are the five emotions. There’s plenty more, John. Anger is a really powerful emotion but probably doesn’t fit most brands, right? Or sadness is a powerful emotion, but it shuts you down. You don’t want to share something that’s sad, right? Because you’ll make your friends sad. So, there are difference of emotions, but we find these to be the most positive, proactive emotions, when we’re creating content.

John Jantsch: So is there a risk in somebody saying, Oh, okay, I need to make people smile so I’ll do something that stops them, makes them smile. But maybe it doesn’t really have anything to do with our brand. Is there a risk in that or is there still value in that, because they associate that smile with, Hey look, who brought me a smile?

Tim Staples: So, we work with a division of AT&T called Cricket Wireless. And basically the wireless space, everybody hates their wireless provider, right?

John Jantsch: Right.

Tim Staples: And pretty much all of them are pretty much the same. Right? So the idea that one, if you’re on Verizon or AT&T or T-mobile or whoever asks you to be your provider, you kind of get the same experience, for the most part, right? And most times people have a negative experience. That’s what all the research says.

John Jantsch: Yep.

Tim Staples: So, you can try to just knock down your price or project a message. What Cricket says is, Hey, if we could just make people smile, just take a moment of their day and smile. That that’s going to have a big impact on our business, right? So we created this whole campaign. It was just called Something to Smile About and it’s literally having 14 or 15 different video campaigns where the whole premise, nothing to do with phones, nothing to do with cell plans or promotions.

Tim Staples: It’s all just instances where we’re taking real people and we’re making a smile through [inaudible] surprise and all on joy and these emotions, empathy. And it’s completely transformed their business. And it’s all because that little thing that seems like it shouldn’t be a big deal, is a massive deal when you compare it to what other brands are doing in that category out in the world, right where they’re trying to sell you. Now this brand has given me a smile. Whoa, why are they doing that? Now you’re leaning forward. Now you’re connecting with them in a different way than you otherwise would. Now you’re open to hearing more about their products and services. Now, you’re open to actually being a customer. And it’s all human emotion, but we found it to be very profound.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And it’s interesting, it’s probably heightened by the fact that they’re running counter, in a way, to how the people perceive the competitors. Right? I mean there’s a little bit of that-

Tim Staples: Exactly, right. And I think that’s why… I mentioned that space, it’s really tough, right? Because the people expect perfection from their cell phone provider, right? And you’re never going to be able to achieve that. So there’s always going to be some level of friction there and everybody’s going one way and you go the other, right?

John Jantsch: Right. Yeah. Well Sprint’s actually, have you noticed Sprint’s actually running ads talking about how bad all the other ads are. That everybody’s saying, they’re the best and they’re this and they’re that. And so it’s like they’ve-

Tim Staples: Yeah. One of the concepts of the book is called flip the script, which is exactly what you’re saying, which is when everybody goes one way, you go the exact opposite.

John Jantsch: Yeah. I’m not sure it’s working though. But anyway, that’s another story. I want to remind you that this episode is brought to you by Klaviyo. Klaviyo helps you build meaningful customer relationships by listening and understanding cues from your customers. And this allows you to easily turn that information into valuable marketing messages. There’s powerful segmentation email autoresponders that are ready to go. Great reporting. If you want to learn a little bit about the secret to building customer relationships, they’ve got a really fun series called, Klaviyo’s Beyond Black Friday. It’s a docuseries, a lot of fun, quick lessons. Just head on over to, Beyond Black Friday.

John Jantsch: So if I came to you and I said, okay, or we’re sitting around the boardroom trying to say, how do we break through the noise? Is there kind of a process to start analyzing where your opportunities are?

Tim Staples: Yeah, I think, the process starts with what’s shareable about me, as a person or a brand? Where can I provide a unique point of value? And so, I don’t know if it’s easier to go through a real life example, but I think, what would be example of a small business that we could talk about?

John Jantsch: Oh, you just mean category wise or something?

Tim Staples: Yeah.

John Jantsch: Yeah. So let’s go with a real true small business. Let’s talk about a remodeling contractor.

Tim Staples: Okay. A remodeling contractor and, I don’t know that space well, but I assume that most of them, on paper, look pretty much the same?

John Jantsch: Yeah. I think people would assume that, that a lot of times the conversation starts with, let’s have somebody come out and tell us what it would cost to do this project or whatever. And some are probably more professional than others, but I think the perception is, Hey, they all just drive in nails, right?

Tim Staples: Yeah. Yeah. And then it becomes a, hey, who’s credible enough to be invited to my home and then what’s the price?

John Jantsch: Exactly.

Tim Staples: Right? And it’s similar to the wireless space, right? It’s going to be heavily price-driven and about who’s in kind of your network to go, actually need. So the way we would think about it is, okay, who’s our audience? Who’s going to buy from us, in this case? It’s going to be homeowners, right?

John Jantsch: Right. Homeowners for sure. Probably somebody who’s going to stay put in their home, probably a little… the neighborhood can take a $50,000 kitchen, that kind of demographic.

Tim Staples: That’s right. So it’s slightly upscale, right?

John Jantsch: Right.

Tim Staples: And so then think about that audience and say, okay, if I was in their position, what would I want from a home remodeler? Right? And in terms of the content, and I’ve heard you talk about how strategy and content are really intermixed.

John Jantsch: Yep.

Tim Staples: Right? And they’re really the same thing. So let’s think about what would be of value to that homeowner, in the suburbs, that’s above average, from a wealth perspective. So, okay. What if we started creating content that was all about how to create more cost effective and more effective remodels of your kitchen, right? And we took you through examples and maybe we created content around what goes wrong with home remodelers or how home remodelers overcharge you or how to think about budgeting for a home remodel.

Tim Staples: And it was all a lot of trade secrets or specific content or educational content that would be really valuable to the audiences, that were maybe remodeling their kitchen. And a lot of people say, well, why would you give that away for free? Why would you spend that time and that resource? And I think, that’s where we say the exact opposite, it’s like, why wouldn’t you provide that value to the customer? So now when they’re searching online and they’re saying, Hey, I need to remodel my home, what are my look outs? What am I trying to accomplish? How do I stay on time and on budget? Now I see your video, where you’re walking me through, with really valuable educational advice and you’re satisfying my curiosity emotion, right? And now you’re building trust with me and now I’m starting to have a relationship with you. And because I’ve gotten value from you, now, when I want to go bid on a house, who’s going to be my first call?

John Jantsch: Yeah. And I think that’s one of the… Anybody who has remodeled, it’s bad. It’s not a good experience. You’re going to be living out of boxes, you’re going to plug your refrigerator in the basement, for a while. So everybody realizes it’s going to be a bad experience, it’s just inherent. So I’m sure there’s an aspect of actually playing up the experience, what they do to make it not such a bad experience, would probably be a great part of that, as well.

Tim Staples: 100%. Yeah. Though it feels like a trust category, for sure. Any category where there’s a lack of trust. I think if you can go the other way and build positive emotions, just like in the wireless space, I think it can be really powerful.

John Jantsch: So, one of the things that I’m sure that you, especially as an agency, find is that, once something starts working, it seems like everybody does it.

Tim Staples: Yeah.

John Jantsch: And so, are you constantly having to sort of zig and say, Hey, this worked this month, but it’s probably over now? Because you see that all the time on Instagram, on social networks, even in ads, it feels like the copycat syndrome is real.

Tim Staples: Yeah. And then you combine that with the way that the platforms like Facebook and YouTube are evolving and their algorithm changes and becomes more favorable for brands in the beginning and then it becomes less favorable as they monetize it more.

Tim Staples: And so, one of the things my partner and I said, kind of from day one when we started this company is, every day is a new day in terms of evolution. And just having that mindset that, no matter what we’re doing today, it’s going to be different tomorrow. And that you’re always going to be learning and you’re always going to be behind the curve, in some regard, because it’s happening so fast and the speed of change is just so rapid.

Tim Staples: I think it’s just a mindset. And I think if you can have a mindset of, whatever it is, however deep you’re into social media or not, or digital and just say, Hey, how do I go to school on it? How do I learn? How do I do research? And just continually get smarter about what’s going on in the space and always kind of challenge yourself to say, Hey, what we did today is not going to work tomorrow. And try to prove that it doesn’t work and prove what comes next. I think the advantage is always going to go to the nimble and the people that are willing to put in the work and just continue to figure it out.

John Jantsch: Do you find that there are significant differences in terms of, not only what they see as valuable or as entertaining, but what they’re willing to share between different age groups?

Tim Staples: For sure. And I think with the younger demographic, they’re just sharing in completely different ways to… And it’s funny, a lot of it’s starting to come off platform with the really young kids, they’re sharing via direct messaging, right? And so they’ll see something on Instagram or they’ll see it on Facebook or TikTok, but they’ll send a group text or it’ll be on Messenger or on Snap. So you never actually see the actual share, it doesn’t actually register because it’s via direct messaging. And so there’s a whole new rhythm that’s happening with people that are under 20 and how they’re consuming and sharing content.

Tim Staples: And then much more reliable, as you get a little bit older, right? And I think Facebook has kind of become the go to platform for the over 40 set. Right? So you see kind of a more traditional, Hey, I saw a piece of content, I like it, I commented, I share it with my friends. And in some ways, targeting say moms, 30 or 40 year old moms, is much more predictable and scalable and easier to kind of crack than to understand how to get inside of the mind of a 17-year-old girl in Chicago.

John Jantsch: So are there some elements that make something more inherently shareable? Are there things that you kind of check the boxes and say, yeah, we need to make sure we have these in there? Because it may not be viral, as we talked about, but at least it makes it more shareable.

Tim Staples: Yeah. So I think the core of us is, how do you find a piece of value, which we talked about, how do we combine that with a shareable emotion and really lean into the emotion, so that we’re getting awe or we’re getting happiness or we’re getting surprise? And I think one of the pieces, and you talk about this, but is finding that voice that you have. What is your strategy, as a person or as a brand, where you can offer unique insight into the world that other people don’t? I think those are the pieces that are kind of fundamental.

Tim Staples: And then once you understand what that is, what your value proposition is, then you get into a more tactical side where we always talk about, and it’s a chapter of the book, it’s called Crush the Headline. And, basically, what that means is, if you treat a piece of content, if you’re launching a video and you treat it almost like a newspaper article and you have to really understand what the headline of your video is. What is the one sentence that will be immediately understood? And so people can engage with it and be a part of it.

Tim Staples: Because, the atmosphere right now is that, I always say that people are rolling through social media, like a serial dater on Tinder, right? They’re just swiping and swiping and swiping. It’s pretty crazy to watch young people go through social and they’ll swipe by everything and they’ll stop for a half second and they’ll see if they’re interested and they’ll keep moving. So you have to be really clear with the headline of what your video is. And so then the headline needs to connect to the visual that they see and they need to be able to immediately understand what the value is for them. So that they’ll check it out. And I think that’s a really important kind of tactical thing is, being super clear with what your value is right away. And then getting into the video, we call it a concept, giving up the dough. And, basically, this is the idea that you put the best part of your video in the front of the video. Because, either you’re going to grab peoples attention in the first five to seven seconds, or they’re going to be gone forever.

John Jantsch: Yeah. I see that on a lot of really good YouTube, how to videos. The first five seconds are going to be, here’s what you’re going to get from this and how much money it’s going to make you. And then they get into the thing.

Tim Staples: That’s right.

John Jantsch: I think you’re right. And in terms of the sharing, I know we have a lot of clients that want to share, here’s what we did, here’s our new project, here’s our blog post, and then they share the, Oh, by the way, so and so won an award or had a baby or found a really weird thing on this project. And that’s the stuff that gets shared, because it’s the personal stuff. It’s the culture stuff. And so, in terms of share-ability, you don’t have to look very far to see what gets the most engagement is kind of the more of the personal stuff.

Tim Staples: Yeah. Well, yeah. If the company is talking about the company, nobody cares, right? The company’s talking about the audience or the company members and share the personal stuff, and then those people are definitely going to care, right? And it’s a whole different perspective, in terms of how it’s received.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Awesome. So, Tim, where can people find out more about your work and about Break Through the Noise?

Tim Staples: Yeah. So, Break Through the Noise, you can find on You can find me on Twitter @micodala and you can check out the company Shareability at

John Jantsch:  Awesome. And hopefully we’ll run into you soon out there on the road, Tim.

Tim Staples: Awesome. Thanks. Thanks for having me, John.

Advice for Today’s Marketing Agency Owners

Advice for Today’s Marketing Agency Owners written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Drew McLellan
Podcast Transcript

Drew McLellan headshotToday on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I speak with Drew McLellan. A marketing industry veteran, McLellan started his own agency 25 years ago. Since then, he’s both expanded his own business and taken over Agency Management Institute, an organization that helps owners of small to mid-sized marketing firms learn how to position their own businesses for growth.

McLellan hosts his own podcast and is frequently quoted and featured in publications and media outlets such as Entrepreneur, CNN, BusinessWeek, and the New York Times.

On this episode, we talk about everything that goes into running a marketing agency. McLellan shares some of the most common hurdles he sees, predicts trends coming up in the world of marketing, and offers insights into hiring a team and growing an agency.

Questions I ask Drew McLellan:

  • When you’re working with agencies, what’s the biggest problem you solve?
  • What do you see as the biggest trends that agencies need to be paying attention to?
  • How do you navigate the balance between delegating work, managing third-party folks, and taking on work yourself?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How social media fits into today’s broader marketing landscape.
  • How to find and attract top-notch talent in a tight job market.
  • Why finding a specialty, or area of focus, for your agency is critical to growing your business.

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Drew McLellan:

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

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Transcript of Advice for Today’s Marketing Agency Owners

Transcript of Advice for Today’s Marketing Agency Owners written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

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John Jantsch: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Gusto, modern, easy payroll benefits for small businesses across the country. And because you’re a listener, you get three months free when you run your first payroll. Find out at

John Jantsch: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Drew McLellan. He owns and runs Agency Management Institute. You might know them as AMI, which offers agency management training, consulting and facilitates agency owner peer groups, networks for small to midsize agencies. Drew, welcome back.

Drew McLellan: Thanks very much. Good to be here.

John Jantsch: Let’s start with the biggest problem that you solve. When you’re working with agencies, what is the biggest problem that you see over and over again? I know you’re getting a lot of little in the weeds and do a lot of training of their people and whatnot, but generally speaking, what’s the biggie?

Drew McLellan: The biggest problem we solve is actually not when we do a workshop for or anything like that. It’s that agency owners are inherently kind of feel like they’re on an island by themselves. They don’t have peers to talk to where it’s safe to have conversations around finance or people. They don’t know who to ask about best practices. So what we really have done, not unlike what you have done, is we’ve really built a community that helps agency owners run the business of their business and provide a safe place for them to ask questions that they go, you know what? I’ve owned my agency for 30 years. I should know the answer too. What’s the financial metric that says I can hire another person? Or whatever it is. But they just haven’t had a safe place to ask it. That’s, I think, the biggest problem we solve is that we give them a safety net and a safe set of advisors and counselors that help them run their business better.

John Jantsch: I’m curious as a marketer, because as you alluded to, I have a network of consultants as well, a community. I will tell you to a person, they all say that’s why they stay, but it’s not what attracts them because they don’t realize the value of that until they’re in it a bit. How do you find a way to communicate the value of community when all they think they’re looking for is a checklist?

Drew McLellan: Yeah. I have not found, other than testimonials and other things, I have not found a way to … It’s like telling someone you’re honest versus being honest. I just think it’s something that they have to experience. A lot of times they’ll listen to the podcast or they’ll come to a workshop and they will feel the comradery and they will feel the relief. I mean, that’s what I see on their faces. Like, “Oh my God, finally I have found a group of people who do what I do and it’s a safe place to not have all the answers.” And so they have to experience it.

John Jantsch: Yeah. That’s the tough thing. You and I have been doing this for awhile. It seems like everybody is selling training on running and growing a digital agency now. I mean, that’s just everywhere. How do you position yourself? I know that you’re different and I know that our organization is vastly different, but to the person out there looking at a $10,000 price tag for this training that everybody’s selling, I’m going to show my cynical side here, even though half the people selling to them have never actually run a digital agency.

Drew McLellan: Or they’re 12.

John Jantsch: How do you cut through that clutter? Because that seems to be the opportunity of the decade.

Drew McLellan: Yeah. The podcast helps a lot. I mean, honestly I think it’s proof is in the pudding, right? I think when you consistently are helpful in a significant way, you demonstrate your knowledge. I think one of the ways that makes us very different is anyone in our organization that teaches or coaches, has owned their own agency for a minimum of 20 years and still today owns and runs their agents. These are people who not only have been through it all, seen it all, but are still walking the path. That to me is one of the ways that we differentiate ourselves. Then you know what? A lot of times we will get people who have tried other things and it just hasn’t been what they wanted. I think there’s plenty of great opportunity out there for agency owners, whether it’s you or it’s me or it’s one of the other organizations out there, they have to find their people and their path. I guess I’m a bad salesperson. I just sort of let them find their way to us.

John Jantsch: Well, and I think most organizations, I mean there are people in the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network that actually also belong to StoryBrand and to Digital Marketer. I think that sometimes, I mean what you have to realize is that you’re going to get something from all of those and there probably is no one Nirvana organization. But I think investing in yourself is a way to look at it as opposed to, “Oh, I’m only going down this path.” I think you need all of those things.

Drew McLellan: Well, and I think one of the ways we’re different is we only focus on the back of the house. We focus on the business of running your business better, more profitably. We’re not teaching anybody how to do branding or how to write a marketing plan or how to use story. I figure they’re pretty good at that already. What they really need to understand is how to read their P&L and make sure they actually make money at the end of the day.

John Jantsch: Exactly. What do you see as some of the biggest trends for agencies? I mean I know that it seems like every workshop I see right now is about AI, for example. What do you see as what I would call … I mean the AI is kind of like the sexy thing. What you see as the real trends for agencies that they better be paying attention to?

Drew McLellan: One of the more interesting trends that I’ve seen for about the last 18 months is as more and more clients are building up internal departments and as work that was normally being given to the agency is being held in house, many agencies have combated that in a really interesting way. They’re embedding employees into their client’s business. Whether it’s two days a week or four days a week, but they literally have an office and a desk and without exception, and I’ve got small agencies, let’s call them eight, 10 people and I have big agencies, a hundred people, both doing this with brands that are small and large. In every case, they have grown that piece of business because what they do is they develop relationships with multiple people in the organization. They’re walking around, they get pulled into meetings.

Drew McLellan: The trick is finding the right employee to embed because it’s pretty easy for them to all of a sudden feel more alignment with the client than it is with the agency. So you have to find the right person, but it’s a great way to combat and do business in house. That’s one of the trends I’m seeing.

John Jantsch: Well and it’s really interesting because there are a lot of organizations, pretty good sized organizations, that haven’t done a senior marketing hire because they’re afraid of it. They don’t know how to manage that person, what to tell them to do. The idea that you’re going to actually give them the workforce but you’re going to manage that person probably to a large extent as well, I think probably has a lot [inaudible 00:07:52].

Drew McLellan: Yeah, and agencies are charging a premium for it. So in a time when so much of our work is being commoditized and being down to the dollar because of all the freelancers and folks. You can get anybody to do anything on Fiverr regardless of quality but that’s a different discussion. But strategy and the smarts of how to navigate this constantly changing sea of marketing opportunities like AI. You know what? That’s always going to be sold at a premium.

John Jantsch: Yeah, absolutely. Where do you feel like social media has landed now? I mean obviously when it started it was like this new thing out here on an island that we needed to do. Where does that fit in your mind into the overall piece for marketing or certainly for agencies?

Drew McLellan: I think it’s interesting because when it started and there were six of us out there tweeting and Facebook and all of that, all the early adopters, it was about creating connection. Then marketing took over and it became about selling stuff. I think now what’s happening is, at least on the organic side, we’re sort of back to making connections again. I think that’s one of the reasons why Facebook groups have been so popular is because that’s a place where people are talking to people and no one’s selling stuff and no one’s promoting stuff. I think in some ways it’s oddly because it hasn’t been that long, but it’s sort of gone full circle. Now it’s wrapped around the pay-to-play side of it. But I think the organic connection side is actually getting to be a bigger deal again than it was a few years ago.

John Jantsch: Yeah, I think you see that in a resurgence of LinkedIn.

Drew McLellan: Yeah, absolutely.

John Jantsch: LinkedIn, there was a point where people were dismissing it as a wasteland. You certainly see, as people have gone back in there and said, “No, I’m going to hand craft some relationships here.” It’s like wow, this is really powerful. I think overall we’re coming back to a much more personalized approach. I think that one of the challenges with all these free new things that got us all … Facebook used to, when the organic reach was great, it was like easy. I think it made a lot of marketers lazy. I think some marketers are bemoaning the fact that, “Oh I’ve actually got to write one email at a time now instead of 10,000.” But I think the opportunity is there and I think the demand of the buyer. I can see it in my own email efforts and things.

John Jantsch: If you’re not personalizing, if you’re not making an effort, you’re just not even going to get open. You’re not going to be relevant anymore. I think it used to be that people would open everything. You’ve got all this great open rate, click through rate but now the buyer’s like, “Hey, I got a lot of options and you don’t have to be one.”

Drew McLellan: Well, and I think this is true regardless of the size of client, but certainly in sort of the small to mid size business range, I think it still boils down to, I want to know who I’m doing business with and I want to like them and I want to have a connection with them. Whether it’s like the depth of connection, like I can text them or call them and they respond, or at least there’s a place where I know I can actually have a real human to human conversation by email or whatever it may be. I think consumers are demanding that more and more. I also think with all the gotcha media and everything else, people want to know that they’re not going to be embarrassed by who they do business with. So they want to have a sense of who that person is.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

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John Jantsch: Let’s talk about hiring and training. You do a lot of work on the back end with agencies. When times are good, like they seem to be right now getting talent, finding people you know to do even basic work gets a lot harder. What are you helping folks do to get over that idea of getting not only people with experience and talent, but people who want to be there and people who want to serve clients? That’s probably the biggest challenge, I would guess, with a lot of the businesses we work with.

Drew McLellan: I think right now it is absolutely the number one challenge that most agencies are facing. Clients are ready to spend money, clients are ready to do work. BizDev seems to be coming a little easier. I’ve had more than one agency say to me, “I have stuff sitting on my desk that I should be responding to and I don’t have enough bodies. I can’t take on more work.” I think the pendulum swings, right? During the recession ’07, ’08, everybody was letting people go and you could hire great people for a dime on the dollar. Well, the pendulum is on the far other end, right? The good news is it’ll come back to center.

Drew McLellan: But right now what agencies are having to do is are having to be much more thoughtful about things like what is a competitive benefits set? How can I be more flexible? One of the great things agencies could do that a lot of corporations are not willing to do yet is we can build a lot of flexibility into the work day into the workplace. So allowing people to have a life and work, I don’t believe in life work balance, I don’t think it exists, but I think a life-work blend where they support each other, I think we are uniquely qualified to do that. So agency owners have to get comfortable doing that because I remember in the last 10 years, I’ve had a lot of agents who are saying, “Everyone will be under my roof,” or fill in the blank. “Everyone will clock in by 8:00.”

John Jantsch: Yeah, yeah.

Drew McLellan: The world is changing. If you want to have great employees that are going to stick around and be invested in you, you’re going to have to find a way to help them have the life that they want to have while serving your clients well.

John Jantsch: Yeah. I think of course this workforce that’s coming up right now, that seems to be particularly, particularly important to the point where they will take 20% less money if they can ski on Friday because that’s the lifestyle they want.

Drew McLellan: That’s right. We did some research. We have this research survey called the Agency Edge. A few years ago we talked to over a thousand agency employees. Our goal in going into the research was to figure out these millennials in air quotes. What we found out is there is absolutely a millennial attitude in agencies, but it’s rarely the age group that you think. So that most people that we classify as millennials chronologically do not have that millennial mindset of I want to travel the world and a job is just a job and I don’t want to work past 5:02 and all of that. But if you treat them that way, they’ll turn into a millennial.

Drew McLellan: But what we found is there are a lot of older people in our workforces that actually have that attitude. So it’s not just the young people. I think everybody is struggling to manage it all and to find a workplace that helps you manage it all, that is a humane place to work. That says, “Look, I’m going to treat you like a grownup and I expect you to behave like a grownup in return. As long as we have that agreement, we can have a lot of flexibility here.” That’s one way to keep great employees for a long time.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Talk to me a little bit about account structure. One of the things that has become very common whether you’re an agency or an individual business owner is we’re delegating a whole bunch of stuff to a third party. I mean we can get the best copywriter for this specific thing, we can get the best designer for this specific thing. I’m sure a lot of your agencies are doing that because you can hire programmers, great talent for very specific things rather than having somebody sit there all day long and go, “Okay, we found another project for you.” How are you finding that the folks are managing that? Some of the work they’re doing is client facing or on behalf of a client? I’d love to hear what you think is the best approach for that.

John Jantsch: Let me preface this with the fact that over the years I’ve worked with lots of clients where I wanted somebody to actually manage that work, but of course I was the guy they hired. I was the rainmaker and then I immediately said, “Here’s Bob.” That didn’t go so well. So I’m curious how you’re finding people navigating that because we’re never going to grow a business until we as the owners can get out of that seat. But by the same token, how do we keep the fact that we need somebody client facing who then is probably also going to manage a whole bunch of third party folks? I think it’s a great opportunity but a tough dynamic.

Drew McLellan: Yeah. I think part of it depends on your size. I think the smaller you are, the harder it is because you don’t have … In a larger agency, let’s say 25 people, they’re going to probably have a traffic manager or a project manager who is shuffling the work to the producers and the producers are going to be a blend of in house and 1099 folks. But there’s one central person who sort of relegated that. In the smaller shops, you’re right, I think of the account service person often has to serve in that role.

Drew McLellan: What most agencies are doing, and again, a lot of our agencies are 10 people or less, they’re keeping the thinkers in house. So they’re keeping them on staff. So the owner is able to groom those account service people to help them become more strategic, less order taker, all of the things that keep the agency owner in the thick of the day to day, so the owner is able to grow up that talent so he or she can start stepping away and isn’t the woobie for every client. What they’re doing is they’ve got a core team of producers in a super small shop. They may be 1099s, but they probably have some contractual agreement with them where they’re buying 20 or 30 hours [inaudible 00:00:18:36]. So they know they’ve got them. In a larger shop, they might have a single producing team in house or a couple of teams and then everything else is [inaudible 00:18:48]. So it’s a very rare agency today of any size that is not a blend of W2 and 1099s.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Okay. Where do you fall on … There’s a lot of folks encouraging people to carve out a niche, go after a certain type of business and certain type of industry and just be the person for that. Where do you fall on that idea?

Drew McLellan: Well you don’t know it, but actually you just sent me up to tell you that I have a book coming out in about a month called Sell With Authority that is all about for agencies of some size, and I’m going to say 15 people or more, that it’s pretty difficult to break out of your local geography if you don’t have a specialty. A specialty can be an industry or a niche, as you said. It certainly can be a geography like where we know the Pacific Northwest better than anybody else. It can be an audience. But to not have any area of specialty pretty much means that you’re a generalist. No one’s going to drive by three general practitioners to get to a fourth general practitioner. They’ll all drive by a bunch of doctors to get to Mayo Clinic. I think for agencies that want, especially today, the way people find their agency or their marketing partner, the way they find them is they’re finding us.

Drew McLellan: In some of our research, what we found is that about 80% of clients found their agency. The agency did not find them. They went looking for them. So if you have no expertise, what are they looking for? It’s hard for them to find you unless you happen to be the local agency, which by the way is a choice. Then you’re going to work the rotaries and all the boards in your local community, which is a fine way to make a living. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just a choice you have to make.

John Jantsch: Yeah. I do think that you can … A lot of times people when they hear the word niche, they think immediately plumbers, contractors. I think you can get good at developing a niche around solving a specific problem to that business owner.

Drew McLellan: Absolutely.

John Jantsch: To me, the Duct Tape Marketing, you can say all you want about the brand. I mean, the biggest thing that we solve is we were the only ones talking about marketing as a system for the small business. That idea was enough to be very different because nobody else was talking about it. Now obviously you have to deliver, but I always tell people that you don’t have to pigeonhole yourself. You just have to find something where you can deliver more value than anybody else because the idea for me of working in one industry would drive me crazy because it has some efficiencies. It certainly can be very profitable, but to me it’d be terribly boring.

Drew McLellan: Well, and what we advocate actually is a three legged stool approach, which is I saw a lot of agencies in the last recession who only had one area of specialty, either shrink dramatically or go away. But I think there’s danger in being just about this one industry, but I think you can be in three industries that sort of have what I call connective tissue between them. So there’s common threads between them, but you can build up practices and almost referrals in between the legs of the stool. But I’d much rather sit on a three legged stool than a one legged stool.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Drew, where can people find out more about the Agency Management Institute, and gosh, I’d love to have you back talking about your book too.

Drew McLellan: Yeah, that would be great. They can just go to Everything that they want to know, access to the podcast, we produce a lot of content that has no firewall, no gate, anything. We’re just trying to be helpful. If people find their way to us and we can be helpful, then that’s a win for us.

John Jantsch: Awesome. Well, thanks for joining us and hopefully we’ll run into you soon out there on the road.

Drew McLellan: Sounds good. Thanks, John.

Building a Fanocracy Around Your Business

Building a Fanocracy Around Your Business written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with David Meerman Scott
Podcast Transcript

David Meerman Scott headshotOn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I sit down with marketing speaker and best-selling author David Meerman Scott.

Meerman Scott has stopped by the podcast before to discuss a number of his books, including Marketing the Moon and The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

Today, however, he’s here to talk about his latest book, Fanocracy, which he co-authored with his daughter, Reiko.

While we may talk about the power of social media or a great email newsletter, at the heart of any successful marketing campaign is fandom. The love and loyalty of true fans is what keeps people coming back to your business again and again. In this episode, Meerman Scott shares what any business—big or small—can do to inspire that kind of fandom for their brand.

Questions I ask David Meerman Scott:

  • How would you define the term “fanocracy?”
  • Can you unpack the tenets of how you actually go about creating fans?
  • What does letting go of control have to do with developing fandom?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • What the concept of giving freely has to do with creating a fanocracy.
  • What’s at the heart of building a fandom.
  • Why creating closeness is critical to cultivating a fanocracy and how to do it.

Key takeaways from the episode and more about David Meerman Scott:

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

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Transcript of Building a Fanocracy Around Your Business

Transcript of Building a Fanocracy Around Your Business written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Back to Podcast


Zephyr logo

John Jantsch: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Zephyr CMS. It’s a modern cloud based CMS system that’s licensed only to agencies. You can find them at, more about this later in the show.

John Jantsch:  Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is David Meerman Scott. He is an online marketing strategist, an author of a number of books on marketing including the classic, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, one of my favorites, Marketing the Moon, there are countless other books he’s going to share with us how many there are. And we’re going to talk about his new book Fanocracy: Turning Fans Into Customers and Customers Into Fans. Depending upon when you’re listening to this, it’ll be out in January of 2020. So, David, welcome back.

David M. Scott: Thank you, John. It’s always, always, always great to speak with you.

John Jantsch: I lost track, but this is probably at least your third or fourth appearance on the show.

David M. Scott: I think so, I think it’s the third. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s the third.

John Jantsch: You did a fun thing with this book, you have a co-author.

David M. Scott: I do. My 26 year old daughter Reiko is my co-author. And it’s been fabulous because it’s a book about fandom, and I was talking to Reiko starting five years ago, just geeking out about the things that we love. And I’m like, “Reiko, I’ve been to 790 live music shows, including 75 Grateful Dead concerts. What’s up with that?” And she goes, “I know, daddy, I’ve not only read every Harry Potter book and seen every Harry Potter movie, I’ve gone to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando twice, and I’ve been to London to the studio tour, and I wrote a 90,000 word alternative ending to the Harry Potter series where Draco Malfoy is a spy for the order of the Phoenix, put it on a fan fiction site. It’s been downloaded thousands of times, commented on hundreds of times. I’m a Harry Potter geek. You’re a live music, Grateful Dead geek. What’s up with that? And that was the catalyst of us to dig into the idea of how and why people become fans and how companies can tap fandom.

John Jantsch: Well maybe let me back up a little bit. How would you define the term fanocracy?

David M. Scott: So fanocracy is a term we made up, and it’s essentially playing off the words other ocracies out there. So for example, democracy is rule by the many, ameritocracy is ruled by the most worthy, and a fanocracy is an environment where the fans rule. It’s a way that people come around a tribe, take ownership of that tribe and then that becomes a force for helping organizations succeed.

John Jantsch: Yeah, and plus the URL was available, right?

David M. Scott: Yes. And you and I have spoken on the podcast before about the concept of newsjacking, something I invented. And newsjacking, I also own the URL. And I did something that a lot of people think is nuts, which is I don’t try to assert copyright control over it. I don’t try to assert that I own it. Yes, I own the URL. Yes, I’m the first person to talk about the concept. But I want it to become, to use the word, a fanocracy. I want people to say, “Wow, this is a cool concept, this idea of a fanocracy, or in the case of newsjacking, this idea of newsjacking.” And in newsjacking it worked because it’s in the Oxford English dictionary now, and my name is attached to it. So you can imagine creating something so popular that it’s in the dictionary.

John Jantsch: Well and we’re going to get into this, but that’s one of the principles of fanocracy isn’t it? To give it away, or-

David M. Scott: It is, give it away for free, exactly right. Give it away, because if you give more to the universe, you’ll get more back. And if you give to your fans, your fans will give back.

John Jantsch: So while this may have started, the actual idea for this book started maybe with this conversation you described with your daughter. I mean, you have a long history with fanocracy yourself. I mean, you and Brian Halligan wrote a book called Marketing Lessons From the Grateful Dead. And probably would you say that they are the quintessential model of building fanocracy?

David M. Scott: They built a social network before Mark Zuckerberg was even born. Yeah, they’ve created an incredible tribe. But people have been putting groups of people together well before the Grateful Dead. The Grateful Dead is the one I’m most interested in because I started going to Grateful Dead concerts when I was 17, and I’ve been now to 75 Grateful Dead concerts, or the bands that followed the Grateful Dead with original members of the Grateful Dead because Jerry Garcia died in 1995. And you’re right, Brian Halligan and I, we actually met each other because of the Grateful Dead. I was invited to HubSpot, Brian is the CEO of HubSpot, to their office back in 2007. They had just started the company, they only had eight employees and no customers yet. And Brian said, “Please come, you wrote this book, we’re interested in it. We have a company, we’re doing similar stuff, we should chat.”

David M. Scott: And I opened up my MacBook Pro computer and I had a Grateful Dead sticker on it. And within the first minute we knew we were part of the same tribe. We knew we were both fans of the Grateful Dead, and that’s what this idea of fandom, or as I call it, fanocracy is, is you are part of a group of like minded people. And so Brian and I became fast friends. He invited me within a couple of days to join to be the first member of the HubSpot advisory board, and I’ve been with them ever since. And we’ve probably gone to 30 or 40 Grateful Dead shows since then together.

John Jantsch: Well, I am nowhere near the Grateful Dead fan that you are. But I still think Working Man’s Dead is my-

David M. Scott: It’s an amazing album, amazing album. But that’s just one thing. Typically, almost everyone is a fan of something, whether it’s your local sports team or you love to participate in triathlons, or you like classic cars, or you’re into birdwatching, whatever it is, we’re all fans of something. And no matter what business you’re in, you can use the techniques of developing fandom to grow a business. And that’s what I think is so cool is that it’s … As we dug into it, it’s not just for rock stars, it’s not just for athletes, it’s for any organization. And one of my favorite examples to prove that is we talk about an insurance company called Hagerty Insurance, and everyone hates to buy auto insurance. There’s not a single person on the planet that likes to buy auto insurance. Furthermore, people hate to use the product because it meant you crashed your car.

David M. Scott: And McKeel Hagerty founded Hagerty Insurance a number of years ago. And I spoke with him, he says, “David, everyone hates my product category so I can’t market like everyone else does. I had to figure out how I could tap into fandom.” And they actually insure classic cars. And so he and his team go to over 100 classic car events a year and they meet with people who are classic car fans, and they become part of the tribe that way. They have a YouTube channel where they provide valuable information, they have a Hagerty Driver’s Club that people are members of, they get all sorts of great benefits. And they’re the largest now classic car insurance company in the world, double digit compound growth every single year. They’re going to grow by 200,000 customers this year. Fabulous, successful on all levels, in a category everybody hates auto insurance,

John Jantsch: Well, I think that’s a great example too of the fact that it’s really not about the product or the service, it’s about the experience, it’s about the brand. It’s about what people get to feel and think about the brand. And that often isn’t about the product. You talk about a category where people hate the product, hope they never have to use it. I mean, that’s an almost an extreme example. But I think that that’s, isn’t that true across the board? That generally the companies that do this, it’s not about the thing they sell, it’s about how people feel about doing business with them.

David M. Scott: Exactly right. And when we really dug in to boil down 70,000 words in the book and five years of research, building fans is simply about creating a true human connection. And you and I, John, have been talking about social media since the very beginning. That’s how we met actually, is we were among the first people on the planet to articulate this idea of how you can use social media to market a business. And I’m not sure about you, but I’m now feeling like the pendulum has swung too far into the direction of superficial online communications. We’ve got a polarized political world online where the social networks, Facebook and the others optimize for polarization because they want to put you into a tribe. You’ve got people doubling down and sending, if you get on an email list they send so many emails that it drives you crazy and you opt out.

David M. Scott: Someone will connect with you on LinkedIn, immediately try to sell you something, and you don’t even know sometimes if you’re communicating with someone, it’s a robot or not. So I think that when you and I started talking about social networking and marketing, it was like, “Wow, this is awesome. We can communicate with our friends.” And it really was awesome at that point. But it’s become a dark and cold world for many of us. So I think the pendulum is now swinging back in the direction of true human connection. And it’s a lot about what your new book is about too, is really getting back to humanity and what’s important to life. And social media is not going away, it’s still valuable, but it’s not really what we thought it might’ve been 10 years ago.

John Jantsch: Yeah, I remember when I was first on Twitter. I hate to sound like an old fart here with this stuff, but I’d be going to a new city and I’d put on Twitter, “Hey, anybody know any good restaurants?” I’d get 10 great recommendations, and now I could put that same thing. I’ve got 10 times the followers, now you put that same thing on there and not get a single response because just as you said, I mean we’ve gotten to the point where true connections that are going on in very small places again. And probably to me, the most useful social media place right now are a couple of Facebook groups I belong to because they are people that are very engaged and nobody’s selling anything, and it’s all about helping each other. And I think that’s-

David M. Scott: And frequently those, because I’m in a couple of those too, and frequently they’re closed groups.

John Jantsch: Very much so, yeah, yeah.

David M. Scott: Yeah. And I remember doing, remember tweetups? Remember that concept? And I remember, this is again, I don’t want to be the old fart either, but 10 or 11 years ago, I would roll into a city. I remember doing this in Bombay, India. And I said, “Hey, I’m here. I’m going to be at this hotel bar. If anyone wants to come and chat.” And like 30 people show up. I wouldn’t do that now. First of all, I don’t know if anyone would show up and second of all people would show up and try to sell something or try to infiltrate the group. I don’t know, maybe we’re old farts, but-

John Jantsch: Yeah, let’s just bitch for another 20 minutes, shall we? All right.

David M. Scott: But at the same time, people do want to have a human connection, like what Hagerty did, be a part of a tribe, be a part of like minded people, speak the lingo, make a fast friend because you share this same love.

John Jantsch: And I think that the opportunity in that is that people are hungry for it, so people who get that, who take the time and the intention to nurture that, I think are going to benefit. In fact, let’s jump to part two in the book where you really get into the nuts and bolts of how to do this.

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John Jantsch: So I mean, I can read the list, but if you want to jump in like the first one, get closer. It’s just what we’ve been talking about. So maybe unpack the five or six tenets of this idea of how you actually do this.

David M. Scott: Okay. I’d like to dig in deep on one or two and then talk real brief briefly on a couple of them. So, get closer than usual is fascinating. We interviewed … We, my daughter Reiko and I, my coauthor. Reiko did a neuroscience degree at Columbia university. She’s now in her final year of medical school applying now for residency programs in emergency medicine. And we interviewed a bunch of neuroscientists about what goes on in our brains when we become fans of something. And essentially it’s about human connections, about proximity. And it turns out that our brains are hardwired to have the most emotional connection with people the closer we are physically to them. And this is a survival technique, because the people that we know and trust, when we’re in close physical proximity to them, our brain lights up in a very positive way. But if we’re in close physical proximity with somebody who we believe might do us harm, our fight or flight mechanism kicks in. And so that’s hardwired in our DNA, we can’t help it.

David M. Scott: And so one neuroscientist named Edward T. Hall identified the four levels of proximity, the furthest one being further than about 20 feet. And we humans don’t really pay that much attention to people that were that far away. Once you get within 20 feet, we begin to track those people, that’s called the furthest away is called public space. Then social spaces is within about 20 feet. We begin to track people who get that close to us within 20 feet because we want to know are they people we can trust. That’s why when you go into a room that’s filled with people, you immediately begin scanning that room to find out if there’s people you know or if there’s danger. Then further in is within four feet, that’s called personal space. And that’s when cocktail party distance. And if you know somebody, you’re part of the same tribe or they’re your friend or they’re your family member, that’s where their most positive human connections happen.

David M. Scott: That’s also why when you go into a crowded elevator, you feel nervous because you’re with people you don’t know. And that’s hard wired into us. So what we can do as business people is figure out how can we create ways to have physical connections, close proximity, getting into the personal space of our customers or putting our customers into the personal space of other customers. And we talked about Brian Halligan a moment ago, but HubSpot for example, has done a brilliant job with their inbound event. And you and I have spoken there multiple times. They get 25,000 people there. And they’re not just their customers, they’re their fans because it’s a tribe of like minded people who are able to communicate. So all of us, no matter what kind of business we’re in, have an opportunity to bring people closer together. And there’s actually another form of neuroscience called mirror neurons, which are when our brain fires, when we see someone do something as if we’re doing it ourself.

David M. Scott: That’s why we get sad at sad movies, it’s our brain fires as if that action is happening to us. And we can use that in business by making use of photographs and video. You can put yourself in virtual proximity of somebody simply by using video on your website or using zoom to do calls instead of just telephone, putting images on your networks or your websites of you looking into a camera cropped as if you’re in someone’s personal space. And all of these are techniques to create closeness with people. And I find that this one, because it’s rooted in neuroscience, is fascinating. And that’s a deep dive into one of those concepts of fanocracy.

John Jantsch: Well let me ask you to go deep into another one. Sometimes brands find that they benefit from borrowing getting closer, in other words, influencers. So that’s become, you hear people talking about influencer marketing. I mean, that’s become a channel almost.

David M. Scott: Yeah, it has.

John Jantsch: So how does that aspect apply to … Because clearly, getting influencers, people who have a network already, or tribe already, getting them to love what you do maybe is a way to sort of wholesale get a fanocracy.

David M. Scott: Right. Well what we learned by digging in there is that the by far the best influencers or advocates, whatever you want to call them, are people who genuinely love what you do and want to share that with the world. And so the more you can cultivate that, the better. And we also learned that you can’t coerce enforce that because it just doesn’t work. And so there’s so many organizations that pay for it, like the classic is paying one of the Kardashians to talk about you. And so it turns out that if you cultivate influencers by making them your fans, and then they’re eager to talk about what you do, that that’s the ultimate. And that again, it comes back to that humanity, that true connection that people have. And just willy nilly, and I know you get them too, I get them from people who say, “Hey, David, I love your stuff. Please write about me on your blog.” That doesn’t work because that’s not someone who has a true connection with you and your brand.

John Jantsch: So we talked a little bit about this when we were talking about the Grateful Dead, and obviously a lot of people know the Grateful Dead encouraged people to record their live sessions and distribute them freely. And so that’s an element of this idea of letting go of control like you talked about with newsjacking. So that scares people, doesn’t it?

David M. Scott: It does. Letting go of control is a really important concept to develop fans. And what we learned, again, we talked with hundreds of people about their fandom and why, and we all also talked to hundreds of companies that have developed fandom. And what we learned to boil this one down into sort of a sentence is that, once you put your product out there into the marketplace, it’s no longer yours. It belongs to your fans, belongs to your customers. And a couple of examples that I love, one of them is Adobe. So Adobe has Photoshop software. And they actually do not practice this idea of letting fans take control. My daughter is a huge fan of Adobe Photoshop. She does art using Photoshop and she’s part of a bunch of different groups, Facebook groups and whatnot, of people who love to do art in Photoshop.

David M. Scott: All the people in the groups laugh because Adobe tries to control the way that their fans talk about the products. And they actually say, “You cannot say that you Photoshop something. You must say that you manipulated the image using Adobe trademark circle R, Photoshop Adobe trademark circle R, software. And you can never use Photoshop as a verb, you can’t say you Photoshopped something. And so Adobe is trying to control the way that people are using their products and services, and that is not letting go of their creations, it’s trying to control their creations. That ultimately doesn’t build fans.

David M. Scott: I’ll contrast that with the vacuum cleaner company, iRobot that makes robotic vacuum cleaners. One of the models is called the Roomba. And it turns out that people like to do videos of their pets riding on their Roombas. And it’s become a real big thing. There’s millions and millions of views on YouTube of dogs and cats and other animals riding on Roombas. Now what iRobot could have done is say, “No, that’s not a proper use of our product.” But they didn’t. They celebrated the fact that the fans loved to do that, and that’s a really big difference. So all of us need to recognize that once we put a creation out there, once we put a product or service out there, once we put an idea out there, it no longer belongs to us, it belongs to our customers, it belongs to our fans.

John Jantsch: This is probably completely off .it probably fits more in newsjacking than … But I just said I had a great experience yesterday. So I watched a clip of a Saturday Night Live, recent Saturday Night Live episode that had a podcasting segment on it and they were of making fun of … And it was the Father and Son Podcast Mike. And so the idea was that you can’t have a conversation with your son that’s deep and meaningful, get the podcast apps and then you can have this like podcasters.

John Jantsch: And then at one point they went into, “And this segment is sponsored by Squarespace,” and they gave some, “Get a discount by going to blah, blah blah.” Well the folks at Squarespace went, “Ding, ding, ding.” And so they actually lit that coupon code up and you could actually get a discount if you did it.

David M. Scott: Oh, how awesome is that.

John Jantsch: I thought that was so amazing.

David M. Scott: That’s totally newsjacking. Totally newsjacking.

John Jantsch: Yeah. I think you’d like that.

David M. Scott: Love that.

John Jantsch: All right, so part three of the book, if I can just wrap up here today, is a really you telling stories about, or at least that’s how I interpreted it, how you enjoy this idea of fanocracy. So you want to send us out on kind of one of your favorite stories?

David M. Scott: So what we learned in talking to a whole bunch of people is that passion is infectious. And that when you live a life with passion, when you celebrate the things that you love, number one, you have a more interesting life. But number two, the people around you want to be around you because that passion is infectious because you radiate that passion. And one of my favorite examples is Dr. John. [Rosh 00:00:25:03], he’s a dentist. He’s a dentist. And he’s a dentist in Southern California. And there’s so many other dentists in Southern California. But he’s passionate about skateboarding. On his Instagram, he’s got 13,000 followers because among other things, he posts images of him skateboarding. He’s the skateboarding dentist. And that’s incredibly powerful because when people are shopping for a dentist, they see that social media feed of him on Instagram and they’re like, “Yeah, that’s the guy I want working on my teeth. He’s a cool dude.”

David M. Scott: And unlike every other dentist who either isn’t showing what they’re doing or if they do, it’s just the before and after teeth shots. And so we learned that companies that employ people with passion do better. CEOs who hire for passion genuinely get better employees to work for them. And people who have passion live a better life. So that passion becomes infectious. And it in itself, the fact that, “Oh my God, I love to do this thing every day.” And you can get at this when you’re speaking with someone, even in a business environment, and you can ask questions like, “Hey, what do you love to do on the weekend?” And when you get someone talking about the thing they love about the passion that they love, there’s nothing better for a conversation opener. And then all of a sudden you remember, “Oh yeah, yeah, that’s the person who loves mountain bike.” I remember that. And that’s a really, really, really great way to build fans is to understand what people love and share that with them, even if you don’t share that yourself.

John Jantsch: Visiting with my friend David Meerman Scott, author of Fanocracy. It’s going to be out in January of 2020, depending upon when you’re listening to this. David, tell people where they can find the book and find out more about you and your daughter’s work.

David M. Scott: Great, thanks, John. So the book is out in hardcover and ebook, and Reiko and I read the audio book, which is exciting if you’re an audio book person. We have a site at Bunch of free stuff on there that you can check out. On the socials, I am DMScott, D-M-S-C-O-T-T. So hit me up, particularly on Twitter, which is my go to social media of choice.

John Jantsch: Well thanks, David, for joining us, and hopefully we’ll run into you soon out there on the road.

David M. Scott: I hope so, John. We do get in contact at an event at least once a year or so. I don’t know which one will it be this year, but it’s always great to see your crazy sneakers live and in person. Because I know, John, you are a fan of crazy sneakers.

John Jantsch: I am a fan of a particular brand of Converse Chuck Taylors.

David M. Scott: Yeah, I know you are.

John Jantsch: Take care. Take care, my friend.

David M. Scott: Thanks, John.