In 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!
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:
- Get Different: Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored!
- More info about Get Different and the free resources
More About Certified Marketing Manager Program Powered By Duct Tape Marketing:
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John Jantsch (00:01): Hey duct tape marketing listener. We know you're always on the lookout for ways to more efficiently scale your business. That's why I'm so excited to chat about. I digress another show on the HubSpot podcast network. Troy Sandra is the host of I digress, talks all about how you can eliminate complexity, complications and confusion from your business equation and create clarity to streamline strategy solutions that achieve scalable and sustainable success. Check out episode 24, start there 14 minutes or so strategy is power. You know, I love that idea. So listen, learn and grow with I digress on the HubSpot podcast network at hubspot.com/podcast network. Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Mike Michalowicz He's 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. So Mike, welcome to the show,
Mike Michalowicz (01:22): John, as always, is this cool hanging out with you? Thank you for having,
John Jantsch (01:26): I tell people this all the time, Mike, you and I have known each other a long time. You're like a little brother who has far surpassed me in terms of your impact.
Mike Michalowicz (01:33): I think the little brother part, for sure impact a question. I I'll never listen to you. And I know this story, but I don't know if listening to you. And I met for the first time face to face during a speaking tour with who knows, right? He may live and we did tour together and there was one day it was a professionally, perhaps one of the most impactful changing moments of my life was you said, you'd meet with me after one of the events, I was just talking about starting a membership organization. And it was the old pen and cocktail napkin paper, just writing down your thoughts. And I took it and earned it. I applied exactly what you told me and we grew proffers professionals. It was formed after the prototype. You laid out for duct tape, marketing and organization. You created
John Jantsch (02:22): Thank you. You took it and ran with it. You did a great job, obviously, and I admire your work. Do you talk about an arc of your books? Toilet paper entrepreneur was kind of like your first book to get out there, to write about what you'd been doing and your experience, but then it feels like you went on a pumpkin plan, profit first clockwork now even, you know, get different. Is there obviously I think you're targeting the same market, but are you saying, okay, for this book, I'm going to take on this aspect of business. Now, this aspect, and now this, and really tie do these all kind of tie together in that fashion.
Mike Michalowicz (02:55): They do. And they're all 30, the kind of formula behind it. So the overarching goal is to have a compendium of books for small business. I want to be the champion for, I call them the underdog entrepreneur, but the micro enterprise is a sub million dollar company. Like that's my piece. So I want to, when you're that size, it's very hard to get professional consultants to come in and invest in the amount of time and effort necessary to move that business forward. We just can't afford them. So I want to have the compendium of winning that business. One may have a marketing challenge. Business two may have a financial challenge. Maybe it's an efficiency challenge. So I'm trying to write all these books. The sequence they come out is based upon two things. First and foremost is reader impact. I'm blessed to be in contact with readers regularly.
Mike Michalowicz (03:43): Now it wasn't that way with my first couple of books, but now there's regular stream. So I can ask and survey and see, you know, what do people need now? And one of the common themes was I was hearing from people I depend on my clients refer me business. And actually they're mostly saying that a hundred percent of my leads come from client referrals, which is great. They recognize how good you are, but you can't throttle that you don't have control. How do you deliberately facilitate lead flow? So that was one thing. And the other thing is for me, is behind each book from your tutelage, I build an organization behind it. We found is that maybe 90% of the readers may 95% or the do it yourself, or if they want to read it and do it. But there is the faction that say, now that I know how to do it, I want to find the company that has this competency. So build the business. So I look for a partner early on now, and his name is Justin Wise. They have a marketing agency called the different company that they renamed a different company. And we've been working together on this project for two years. It's culminating a book and all the insights and practical applications of this process. And I also know that a portion of readers will say, I want to go a step further and work with the different company and this company that I co-created
John Jantsch (04:53): Awesome. So I guess that's some of the big idea. Why'd you write this book or this topic, and I know, and I also want to get into the research you did, but let's start with,
Mike Michalowicz (05:04): Yeah, I think there are extraordinary books out there. Duct tape marketing being one of the defining books, my opinion that show you the how to, and the marketing plans, the strategy, like here's what you do. And we need that. What I didn't find is many books focusing on the milliseconds of marketing, the cognitive behavior that happens from the prospect's standpoint. And so this book, one of the titles actually was going to be called the marketing milliseconds of how marketing happens in these fractional seconds. There's three key elements that happen within literally one 10th of a second. First is recognition of something, most stuff, the vast jury jury's ignored. So how do you get a ten second and retain attention? So we are subconsciously asking ourselves, should I stay engaged in this? Should I keep listening to podcasts? We just keep on asking ourselves as subconscious level and certain not serving. You're losing, you're dropping off. The last thing is subconsciously, should I take action with this? This is all happening in a flash of seconds. So this book is around managing those elements of mark.
John Jantsch (06:07): So I know that you are a bit of a, not necessarily scientific researcher, but you talked about, or you engaged a lot of people. You have a lot of conversations, you bring people in to try stuff in your laboratory, so to speak. Yeah. So what's the, describe the research that led you to some of the conclusions in this book.
Mike Michalowicz (06:23): Yeah. We, we have a room here at our office. Actually, when you come, maybe if we can spend a little time, I'll take you for a little tour, but we have a room. We call it the mad lab. It's our version of a lab. And what we do is we take existing marketing and we'll run tests on it against survey groups and audiences that don't, they're not told, you know, you're being tested. We're just asking, what do you, how do you respond to this and monitoring their behavior and looking for trends? And I'll give you one example. I like to pick on large companies, we were talking about that off-air arch company called Arthur Anderson, Arthur Anderson. There is one there's one called Anderson windows. It's also an Arthur Anderson Anderson window, which is pretty big. It's a pretty big franchise. And we had a marketing piece. We tested theirs and it failed the three key elements that identifying the book, differentiate to get attention, attract, to get engagement direct, to compel, to tell you when to do something and what this, this marketing was different.
Mike Michalowicz (07:19): They were sending out letters, handwritten letters saying, Hey, I'm your local rep or I'm the local business, or I'd love to do your windows. It was unique and different from the standard mail you get, but it didn't fail to attract because the owner was a guy named or is named Larry someone. But the hand script was a female's writing. It was very loopy. It was very clear. It wasn't him. It lost the authenticity. So we're read this and be like, this is a lie. This guy is marketing a lie. It's a shame that, that when we do marketing, many companies only do one element and they don't nail all of them. So our research of testing out other marketing, and then testing our own marketing techniques through our company, we had businesses do this. We found there's three kind of check boxes. You need to nail each time for marketing.
John Jantsch (08:06): So you use those terms of differentiated attract direct, uh, which conveniently spells out the dad method. And so should we take a few minutes and tell some dad jokes? It was, What did the fish say when he ran into a concrete wall?
Mike Michalowicz (08:22): Y, ah, okay. That's a good dad. Joke I got for you. When do you know a joke becomes a dad joke? I don't know when it becomes a parent.
John Jantsch (08:36): All right, there, you have it. Folks we're done here. And now let's hear a word from our sponsor. HubSpot CRM platform is easy to adopt and there are really two reasons. Two features that make this possible, that contact timeline and the mobile app and mobile keyboard HubSpot's timeline gives you the historical context. You need to get the work done and connect with customers because all of your customer data is in one place. It can serve as a single source of truth. In HubSpot, you can take an action, right from the contact timeline, make a call and roll a contact in the sequence, schedule a meeting. You've got it. And if you're on the go, you just use the mobile app to make it all happen and keep everything up to date. You don't have to spend a lot of time training your team. You can be sure that all the contact information is going into one system, making your team more efficient, look better adoption with a CRM leads to better data, richer insights, and a bigger impact on your customer experience. Learn more about how you can scale your company without scaling [email protected]. All right. So obviously it's always fun for consultants and authors to come up with acronyms for things, but maybe unpack those a little bit. You balloon it to them in your story about the research, but just to make, maybe apply.
Mike Michalowicz (09:56): Yeah. So the three applications, first of all, most marketing fails because we are copying the behavior or the marketing method of our contemporaries, or
John Jantsch (10:08): This is what everybody in our industry, whenever else talks,
Mike Michalowicz (10:11): Right? But the consumer mind has this thing called the reticular formation. It's a part of our brain that achieves what's called habituation. Habituation is a way to avoid stimuli. That's not relevant. There's a reason. Sirens have changed on a police cars and ambulances. They used to be high, low, high, low. Now they chirp and they beep they do that because we've become so habituated. So familiar with it. We ignore it. People walked in front of a speeding. Ambulance had been killed by an ambulance. So what we need to do with our marketing is realize that consumers become habituated. And the only way to get recognized is to change the chirps and beeps when everyone else is going high, low classic mark example, you forgot the email that starts off with Hey friend. I don't know, John, if you got one of those in the first one I got, I was like, what is this?
Mike Michalowicz (10:56): I have a friend. That's call me a friend. Like this is so friendly. This friend, I actually read it. The second one, I was like, okay, the last one was actually smarmy marketing. Yeah. So this next one I skim through. I was like, I was marketing. I've never read a Hey friend since, cause I know it's marketing. I've become habituated to it. I don't put conscious thought to it. So the only way to break this pattern is to do what the people are doing because that will get past this gatekeeper to the mind. And I think that
John Jantsch (11:23): That really today, one of the key ingredients for getting kind of through the clutter is we have to do something that makes people talk about us. And you're right. That's the differentiator. A mutual friend, Jay Baer has a great book called talk triggers. That's really all about that idea of what can you do to get people talking? Everything else you do might be the same as everybody else. But you do this one thing,
Mike Michalowicz (11:45): One thing, it doesn't in some people get confused with outrageous, oh, I have to wear a clown costume. A clown costume will work. But if it's not congruent with your brand or who you are, it actually hurts you. So the next component, right? My,
John Jantsch (12:00): My attorney, my attorney shouldn't wear a clown suit. Is that what you're saying? Yeah.
Mike Michalowicz (12:05): With a squirting Daisy in your eye, Hey, sorry. Hey Joe, walk on the, because that attorney is not attractive. So the next component is this speaking to a need. I have a desire. Does it invoke curiosity? Does it entertain me? A clown actually could be perceived as a threat for some of us in this scenario. This is like a murderer. This is what a whack job does. So it has to be congruent with what your audience expects and needs. So what's attractive to them. And they're going to measure that very quickly. Differentiation gets attention, attraction, retains it. The last D stands for direct is to tell the audience now what to do with this knowledge and the key here is it needs to be reasonable. I think this is often overlooked. We have to give him specific, but it needs to be reasonable. If I'm selling a car as an example, and you're looking for a new car, I say, Hey, John, give me a hundred thousand dollars deposit.
Mike Michalowicz (12:51): We're gonna find your dream car like who are, you know, it's unreasonable. But if you walk on the lot and I say, Hey, John, would you give me my, your me, your cell number. I love to text you pictures of our inventory so you can find, and we can hone in on your dream car. That sounds reasonable. Also though, we've had our first transaction and now I can move us for the ultimate transaction, which is you buying a car and me collecting a commission. So the direct is to give a specific and explicit direction, but a reasonable and safe one for the customer. Okay.
John Jantsch (13:22): So I have heard you saying, of course this is in the book and this is not going to be good news for some people, but that better is not better. So that's going to be hard for some people swallow because I want to be the best at what I do and in my industry. And I think that you're going to say what's not bad to be better, but it's better to be different.
Mike Michalowicz (13:41): Yeah, it is very different and better is invisible. When you think about say, we have businesses that compete directly with each other, we both have cleaning companies and my clean company, I say, we will always answer the phone on two rings. You say our company will always answer the phone in one ring. You are unequivocably better. But the question is, does the customer care even notice most betters are actually invisible to the customer. It's the difference that get noticed if you're the only cleaning company that shows up in full bio hazard gear, that will be remarkable. And that's not a joke. That's what happened in the computer industry. My first business was doing computer systems and I was better than the competition. I had the certification to prove it. I had the response times to prove it. Then the company came in and they kicked my till Sunday. It was geek squad who dressed as geeks with the tape on their glasses, the flood pants. And because they were willing to put themselves out in a new and different light and they were talk worthy as Joe bear and Brinks too. They were remarkable. They dominate the industry. By the way, Robert Stevens founded a company. I believe now after their sale to best buy, they are at a $1 billion collective valuation, 1 billion. My company didn't sell for way less than that. I'll say it's sold for way less than that. So
John Jantsch (14:56): How do you, and you alluded to this, but I want to touch on it directly. I think when some people hear that we're different, they're like, okay, I'm going to be different for different sake. We're going to be the guys that wear purple shirts or to drive purple cars or something. And I think you address it with attractive. Does that matter? Yes. Okay. Somebody looks at it and goes, that's different. How do you, what's the filter for different? That matters.
Mike Michalowicz (15:19): Yeah. So if you are the business owner, the great thing is you are the filter. It's an amplification of who you naturally are. I'm a silly person. I like to be goofy. So you'll see my websites and all the work I do every time puts me out there. There's a silly component that is attractive, but I've got to be a little asterisk next to it. Next to that, to certain people, other people is repelling. They're like, who is this goofball or idiot, but it does magnetize a certain audience. So the truth is we gotta be true to ourselves. If I love, you know, purple rain I played every morning. When I start my day, I'm the purple guy lean into that because there's a community that is going to get you because you get it. It's the artificial difference that don't work. And I've had people that look at my website and said, wow, this was so different. As an example, I love it. I'm going to copy it. Is that okay? I'm going to go for it. It's who you are. It's not going to be attractive because there's going to be in congruency. You'll find who you are. You're the most professional, be more professional. If you're the most serious, be more serious, they'll be the more of you.
John Jantsch (16:21): You, you made a point that I don't think enough people, um, maybe would, would get just on what you said is it's actually okay to be polarizing. In fact, it might actually be a good thing. I'm not saying you want to go out there and be a jerk and have a whole bunch of people hate you. But the fact that you are very much upfront about here's who we are. And if that doesn't work for you, that's okay too, because we know there's people out there that this does work for. And I think probably the worst thing is just being as vanilla as possible and trying to appeal to Everett.
Mike Michalowicz (16:47): Oh, it's the worst. Yeah, don't be a jerk, but some people see you as a jerk, even though you're not being a jerk because you're being, you, you look at any presidential candidate. Any president has been an absolute jerk to 50% of the popular nation. Okay. Are you aware? And it's true for any organization. There's a community that is going to rail against you. I actually argue to leverage this, how it can be an ideology, some of your willingness, or it could be another represent representative in this community that just has a different ideology themselves and puts it out there. So I very much have a nemesis. And what this does is it rallies me to be more outspoken and more of myself to attract more of my audience, that the conflict between the two different approaches. And even though there's no overt conflict that this person does not know my name, I know their name, but it's not where we're in conflict. Our ideologies conflict, our Mar communities then are in conflict. This ideology is very light cigars with hundred dollar bills, make money and crush people. And my belief is embrace the community and use profits to be more an amplification and serve more. And those are different ideologies. And by having that conflict, both kind of fight each other and they both rally there's reasons why when presidents have very different opinions, approaches, there's more votes than ever the same can happen for our business.
John Jantsch (18:10): So you and I are in a growing club of authors putting out their books on September 21st, 2021. I've had you on, I've had Dory on, I've had chef hiking on the chefs, chefs releasing a book. The 21st Jonathan Fields is releasing a book on the 12th. And I think I'm trying to do my best to get everybody in the club on a, the, the podcast. So I think you've, you've checked you and I are recording this on the 20th. The book comes out on the 21st, but obviously go get it whenever you happen to listen to this. So tell people I know Mike, you always do on top of building campaign sites and communities. Quite frankly, you always tucked lots of goodies and extras and like behind the scenes stuff in your books too. So you want to tell people all about what you've got prepared for them. If they get a copy of get different. Thank you, John.
Mike Michalowicz (18:58): The site to go to is go get different.com. That's the site specific for this book? I think what's unique about it is I put resources on there that are all independent of book, including a hundred ways to immediately market your business differently. That costs nothing or cost very little, and you don't need the book to do it. You can get started so that go get different.com I'll show you you'll find case studies, stuff that we've done with other businesses that maybe you can interpret and using your own.
John Jantsch (19:23): You do also a great job with the audio book to, uh, to add some different content to that. One of the things that I've started doing recently, and I'll wrap this up, but is getting the audio book of a book I really get into. And I think, yeah, I really, I want to consume this book. I want to internalize it. I'll get the audio book and the print book. And sometimes I will actually listen and read at the same time. And I feel first off, I feel like I can go a lot faster, but I also feel like it just drives the point home. So that's my pitch. Go get Mike. So audio book and print book of get different, but it's go get different.com. So you and I are swapping a, I'm going to speak at your conference. You're going to speak at my conference coming up here this fall. And I had somebody actually asked me that they were like, why are we doing w I spoke at Ryan dices conference. So recently digital marketer and people are like, why don't you guys competitors? And I sometimes don't know how to respond because I'm on top of being friends, the world, the need for what we do is so immense that I can't imagine thinking of each other as competitors. And I think that's a lot of industries that are that way.
Mike Michalowicz (20:27): I love that because to me, I had a revelation. When I became an author. When I had a computer company, there was multiple people bidding. There was one person awarded the bid and you got it four years or sometimes a lifetime. It was very competitive. I wanted to destroy the competition as an author. There's no competition. It's contemporary. If someone discovers your book, John, your new one coming out, you know, directly marketing, I'm going to, if someone reads that and loves that book, what are they gonna do? They're gonna explore more books on marketing and it will only facilitate more reading. Yeah, it's the strangest environment for me at least. But the more successful your books are, the more successful my books are because all books get elevated. It really is the tide rising. All books go with the tide. Yeah. You find somebody who's got a shelf or two of marketing books and there'll be the easiest sale in the world for a marketing book, Zack, because they're constantly consuming. Mike, always great catching up with you. And I've been telling a lot of guests as I sign off. We'll hopefully we'll see each other in real life when we start getting back out there on the road. But you and I are going to do that soon. So I appreciate your friendship and support and congrats. So with another great book, I'll see you soon. My brother, my slightly older brother.
John Jantsch (21:39): 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.
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