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Rethinking Our Relationship To Time

Marketing Podcast with Oliver Burkeman

Oliver-burkemanIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Oliver Burkeman. Oliver is the author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking. For many years, he wrote a popular column on psychology for the Guardian newspaper. He also has a new book called Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals.

Key Takeaway:

The average human lifespan is brief. Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. But often, such techniques often end up making things worse.

In this episode, I talk with Oliver Burkeman about concepts from his book: Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. We discuss the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time, and how to think and do things differently so that we can show up better in the present moment.

Questions I ask Oliver Burkeman:

  • [1:15] Did you study psychology at all or were you just practicing with your readers?
  • [1:58] When I was reading the book, a big point that I heard is that we need to give up the fight when it comes to using time. And I was thinking, where are the hacks — but that’s obviously the point of the book, right?
  • [7:25] In the book, you mention David Allen, the Inbox Zero Guys, the Pomodoro method — can you talk about those methods and your perception of how/if they work?
  • [11:01] You spent a lot of time really setting a philosophical point of view in the book — you mentioned farmers and how they didn’t have watches in the past. They didn’t pay attention to time. They didn’t have incremental wages based on how many hours they worked. And now, it’s almost like that’s all we have to sell now is our incremental inventory, right?
  • [12:46] What is time from a philosophical perspective?
  • [14:42] Can you talk about the stuff thieves, like email?
  • [16:28] Chapter four was my favorite chapter — can you talk more about it?
  • [20:31] How much is the way we work that you’ve described contributing to this growing sense of loneliness and depression in the world?
  • [23:19] Is there anywhere else that you’d like to invite people to connect with you?

More About Oliver Burkeman:

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John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by my friend, Ben Shapiro brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network with episodes you can listen to in under 30 minutes, the MarTech podcast shares stories from world class marketers who use technology to generate growth and achieve of business and career success. Recent episode, one of my favorite extending the lifetime value of your customer. You know, I love to talk about that. Listen to the MarTech podcast, wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:45): Welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jan. My guest today is Oliver Burman. He's the author of the anecdote, happiness for people who can't stand positive. Thinking for many years, he wrote a popular column on psych for the guardian newspaper. And he's got a new book out that we're gonna talk about today called 4,000 weeks time management for mortals. So Oliver, welcome to the show.

Oliver Burkeman (01:12): Thanks Very much for inviting me. I,

John Jantsch (01:14): I, I have to ask this. Do you, did you study psychology at all or were you just practicing on your readers?

Oliver Burkeman (01:21): uh, when I was studying things, I wasn't doing mu I did a little bit of psychology. I mainly studied political science when I studied things. No. And then I was practicing on myself and on my readers. Yeah. Trying to be upfront about that. I wasn't claiming to have certifications, but yeah. Yeah. It was sort of a, a constant work

John Jantsch (01:38): In progress. Well, I know it was very popular column. I went back and looked at a few and we're able to work a little humor in which I think is probably always good in, uh, psychology study. First off, I'm gonna tell you, I love this book, but when I got into it, I found it a little depressing because unfortunately you tell us that, or at least all I hear is that pretty much, we've gotta give up the fight and I'm thinking, where are the hacks? And that's obvious, that's the point of the book, isn't

Oliver Burkeman (02:04): It? Yeah. And I think I'll accept depressing as a sort of initial assessment until you've let this viewpoint permeate you. I do very passionately believe that where this leads is not depressing. And I think it's crucial. There's a distinction here, right? Isn't there because it's, you should give up the it's about giving up the fight when it comes to using time, but it about giving up the fight to do something that is not possible. Yeah. Which is to do everything, to become perfectly productive and optimized. Yeah. The reason you give up that fight, I think, or should give up that fight is in order to have the time, energy and attention and focus to do some incredibly cool things with your short time on earth. It's you can tell it's a question that gets me going, cuz I, I, I don't want this to be a council of despair. Right. It's kinda coming back down to earth. Yeah. In a way that lets you get roll up your sleeves and get down to

John Jantsch (02:52): Business. But I'm guessing there are some people out there that are challeng you challenging you a little bit because you've blown up what we've been conditioned to believe. and that sometimes that's hard, even if we've come to the realization.

Oliver Burkeman (03:03): It's true. I think I have spent a long time as a sort of a productivity geek, right? Trying to implement the latest cool system for doing ever more and becoming perfectly optimized and all the rest of it. And what happens is because of that, because the goal is impossible because we live in a world of infinite inputs, demands, ambitions, obligations, they're all effectively infinite become perfectly optimized so that you can do them all. Yeah. You just become in the words of, uh, Jim Benson, the consultant, I quote in the book that you become a reservoir for other people's expectations, you become what happens is, you know, never decide what you're saying. Yes and no, to, and as a result, you say yes to everything that other people want need to do, whether it's right for you or not. Yeah.

John Jantsch (03:46): And there's plenty of people out there that would rather have you say yes. So another, maybe big dialup of good news is you put a number of 4,000, which is not a very big number, necessarily very defin of what a typical lifespan is. And I must admit I'm sure some people, that number was like, wait a minute. That's all there is right.

Oliver Burkeman (04:08): 4,000 weeks is not quite 80 years, but I'm using 4,000. Cause it's a nice round number. Yeah. And in fact, given that I'm talking to a marketing expert, maybe terrifying people out of their pants will prove not to have been why his strategy G for selling a book. But I, I really wanted at the front and at the beginning, get down to the truth of this, which is like, life is finite. It is alarmingly finite when you express it in terms of weeks, but this is reality. And if you can actually confront reality instead of actually I think so many of our kind of supposed productivity techniques and supposed happiness tricks are all basically about helping us avoid yeah. Reality. They're enabling a problem instead of solving it. And I really think that the more that we can gently push ourselves towards staring reality in the face, it is actually liberating and it's motivating and not in a kind of terrifying way. It's okay. This is the situation in which I find myself. Yeah. Now what's the most extraordinary thing I could do with it.

John Jantsch (05:07): Yeah. And I, I was half kidding about, uh, being depressing, but I do think that we do spend a lot of time shielding ourself from reality and, and pretending that we are in control of, of what's going on sometimes. And I think that sets the wrong expectation, which then just sets is up for, for fail.

Oliver Burkeman (05:23): Right. And especially, it means that I, I think I'm sure some listeners will know what I'm talking about. Cause I think it's very widespread feeling. It's not that you are, it's not that you fail to get on top of everything and get your life in control. It's that it always feels like it's gonna be next week or next month that you're going to finally get your life in control. And so you've end up living for the future, right? You're putting the whole value of your life at a, at a time other than now. And if you just do that until the end of your life, then you've

John Jantsch (05:53): Never lived. I've owned my own business for 30 years and I certainly came to the realization there's always more to do. You'll never get it all done. And that's not, I'm not saying that in a depressing way. There's always more, I want to do. And so I think that they, I think that a lot of what I believe you're suggesting to people is we get to choose. We just

Oliver Burkeman (06:10): Need to choose. And in fact that you always already are choosing. And if you decide to work on your business for and seven in the morning, till midnight, then there's something you could be doing with your life outside of those that you're not doing. So I think once you, this is why I really do find it quite a relaxing perspective shift because it's not like the advice is to suddenly start making tough choices it's to suddenly see that you already were yeah. Making tough choices and then you can make them consciously. And I think in a world of when it comes to work, because everything is so endless, if you're in a job where you're getting demands from the boss, those demands are endless, but if you're self employed and you've got a million ambitions, those ambitions are endless. It's the same endlessness. Even though they have a sort of different quality. I, I think what you have to do really is say, okay, I'm going to AO amount of time in the day to work and give them that boundary. What makes the most sense to, to do. And then you really get down to business of weighing one task against another task and seeing what you care about the

John Jantsch (07:10): Most it's scientifically proven. We will use whatever we will fill, whatever space we have with. And so I think you're absolutely right. So now I have to tell you, I have, because I've own my own business for 30 years, I've been trying to run faster. I've been trying to do more, be more efficient. So everybody you mentioned in the book, David Allen, the inbox zero guys, the Pomodoro method I've done. 'em all dude. Yeah. And I think that you, you really do come to the conclusion that it's, it's just like turning up the feed on the treadmill. You run faster, but you are more exhausted

Oliver Burkeman (07:42): And because it's a treadmill, you're never gonna get to the end of this thing. Cause it goes right. You're right. Yeah. I think one thing that's worth saying, I, I have huge respect for David Allen's work and I've actually found the podo technique recently returning to it again, to have something going for it. I think that it, it's almost more a quest of the spirit in which you come to these methods than the methods themselves. And if you are adopting a new technique or a new way of organizing your tasks with this agenda in the back of your mind one day, this is gonna enable you to never have to make tough choices again, to be able to do every single thing you'd ever of and never disappoint anybody or make anybody mad with you or say no to anybody. That's a recipe for disaster. But if you, if you don't think that if you move through that, to this feeling of, okay, I'm finite, I'm gonna be able to do a few things and not most of the others, once you're in that mindset, I think getting things done or the podo technique can be totally great ways to, to implement that.

John Jantsch (08:41): Yeah. I actually, I don't find that I can't use the por method in my, uh, day to day work because there's just too many distractions and interruptions. It seems like. And for those that aren't familiar, it basically you break your day up into 30 minute chunks. You work for 25, you take five off, maybe you put a couple chunks together, then you take a longer break. That's essentially it. I will say that in writing my books, that I, I found it very useful for that because I would, I would say to myself, I'm gonna write for six days. There's no six hours. There's no, no interruptions. There's not checking email. And so then having that sort of rhythm, uh, really did work for me

Oliver Burkeman (09:16): Also. It, it re I, I totally know what you're saying. And I, I think it really reminds you that suddenly it becomes much less intimidating, right. Because it's like, all I have to do is 25 minutes. Right. And then another 25 minutes and then another 25 minutes. Yeah. But that's all life ever is you all you're ever doing is spending 25 minutes on something. So I think there's a really lovely, I think in that kind of time boxing idea, I would count PO as one form of time boxing, although it can be used in this sort of futile quest to become the productivity God or whatever. I, I think that there's something really lovely there, which is just, okay, it's it really turns you to the idea of like, I don't know, tilling the soil or, or it's like, you feel a bit more like a farmer somehow. You're just doing the stuff for a little while and you'll do the same tomorrow and gradually incrementally, like that's how great things come

John Jantsch (10:08): To be.

John Jantsch (10:09): And now let's hear from a sponsor. Do you wish you could get more traffic from Google? Duh. I mean, but half the battle is understanding what to focus on, what you need to fix on your site. Ahref's webmaster tools will give you a professional website audit for free HFS will discover optimization opportunities for your website and help you get more organic traffic. You'll see which keywords your pages are ranking for understand how good Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your visibility. Imagine the benefits to your business. Visit hfs.com/a WT to sign up for this free tool and connect it to your website. And you're all set. That's ahrefs.com/awt. And you can also find this in our show notes. So you spent a lot of time. I, I believe in this book really setting up sort of a philosophical point of view. You just mentioned the farmers. I think that section is in early on is, is pretty brilliant that they didn't have watches. They didn't pay attention to time. They didn't have incremental wages based on how many hours they work and that's all gone away. It's almost like we that's. All we have to sell now is our, our incremental right inventory.

Oliver Burkeman (11:26): Yeah. Tell, yeah. Tell me how sort of Spacey and philosophical you want to get. But I do think there is this very basic shift that we made as a result of industrialization and all sorts of other things from just being time is something that you're in. It's like the medium that life unfolds in through to time being like a resource. It's not the same, you're separate from it and you've got to use it properly and you might be wasting it. And that's when you, yeah. And it's something you can sell in the same way that you could sell a physical possession that you had. And I'm not suggesting we should all go back to the lifestyles of medieval farmers cuz they died of horrible diseases.

John Jantsch (12:05): I've gone through my entire life without hearing about St. James fire, if you wanted

Oliver Burkeman (12:08): yes, there are some gross diseases, but I do think this, there is something to some wisdom to take from that time and, and unfold into our own very different lives, which is just that it there's something a little bit, it's useful to treat time as a resource to think about calendars and yard sticks and timelines, but it's a tool to maybe pick up and use and then maybe you can put down at the end of the day and when you go onto your deck or walk down the street or go on a stroll in the Hills, you can actually just be instead of trying to maximize every minute of, of that time.

John Jantsch (12:46): So I should have just started with Oliver. What is time

Oliver Burkeman (12:51): Yeah. Is still talking about

John Jantsch (12:55): It. Right. So my grandmother used to say, and she probably didn't make this up, but if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person. And I used to believe that she used to say that about me because she, I would do things for her. And I used to wear those as a badge of honor. Now I realize it's actually a curse, isn't it?

Oliver Burkeman (13:10): Yeah. I think you're talking there about an example of what I call in the book, the efficiency trap, this idea that if you get real, if you only focus on getting really efficient at doing your work in the absence of any sort of bigger sort of value that you are using to determine what you work on, all that's gonna happen is you get more work, right? Especially you imagine it's in a sort of corporate setting. If you are the guy in the office who gets ripped for doing projects twice as fast as anyone else, of course, you're gonna get given more projects to do. What do you expect the reward for? Good time management, as they say is more work. It's actually, it's a fascinating, it's getting us off topic maybe, but it's a fascinating pattern that occurs in all sorts of areas of life.

Oliver Burkeman (13:51): Like when they widen freeways, they put an extra lane on freeway to ease the can. Yeah. And more cars start using that route. So the congestion goes back to how it was and it's the same thing, right? If you, all you do to a system is make it more efficient. It'll just get blocked up with more inputs. So what you have to do, there's nothing wrong. I don't think with being a bit more EF about how you do things, but you have to marry that efficiency to like some fairly clear sense of which things you're gonna be saying yes to, and which things you're gonna be saying no to. And sure. The person being pestered by the boss may not be in a position to refuse. But to some extent, I think we all have some freedoms to some room for maneuver to say, I'm not just going to focus on getting better at doing more stuff. Like why what's the point of having done more stuff. There's got to be some point. Yeah. Let's talk

John Jantsch (14:41): About a couple of the, of the stuff. Thieves , um, email. That's the bane of most of our existence today. And I actually, there's another book in the category called make time. I think it's called make time or make yeah, great book. And I think they share a similar philosophy. It's not about getting more done. It's it's actually about them just being focused on what you should do. And one of the bits of advice, because that book is a little more about hacks , but one of the bits of advice is, is to just get in the habit of being really slow, to respond to email as you train people that you aren't going to respond immediately, so they don't expect

Oliver Burkeman (15:15): It. And again, obviously it's gonna be different people, different contexts. There are some emails you can't ignore. But one thing that I have found, I think a lot of people have found in many contexts is firstly, fewer people are going to demand that you solve their problems. If you are a little bit less responsive on email. And secondly, like lots of the things they're worried about, if you just give it a few days. Yeah. Waited turns out that crisis was never a crisis. Turns out that events went a different way and they, and they, we didn't need to have that discussion in the first place. And there's partly, this is a little bit of a humorous point about trying to be strategically a progressed, but there's something else in that about, I think about just the tempo at which we work, that there can be something counterproductive about working at a really fast tempo. And if you give enough time to see how things go to get feedback, to have time to think about things, you can actually get further faster if you're

John Jantsch (16:11): Willing to of, uh, one of the original books probably on this, at least that I encountered was Stephen Covey's seven habits. And he talks about the urgent, but not important. And, and how much of our life is sucked up by

Oliver Burkeman (16:21): That. Yes, absolutely. That's the Eisenhower matrix. Yeah, absolutely.

John Jantsch (16:25): Chapter four that you just alluded to is probably my favorite chapter. And that's about, uh, procrastination. And I think that in a lot of ways, what you're S you, as you said, procrastination, cuz everybody's, oh, I can, I can do that. What's that chapter about? But in a sense, it's really about getting good at what not to do, isn't it? I think when

Oliver Burkeman (16:42): You live in the world that we live in and you, someone who wants to accomplish things, you've got to understand that the key principle time management is figuring out what to neglect when yeah. Rather than figuring out how to fit everything in that's the treadmill direction that we were talking about. And although of course, on some level I say that I will honor Stephen Covey for having done some path breaking original work here. I'm also a bit rude about in the book because of this very famous, um, thing about the big rocks where you're supposed to sort of idea that if you make time for your big rocks first you'll fit everything in. But if you don't make time for your big rocks first, and there's a whole story about putting rocks in the jam jar that I'm sure people will be familiar with. Yeah.

Oliver Burkeman (17:30): And what I wanna say is that today, anyway, the problem is there are just too many rocks, right? It isn't that we haven't prioritized things in the right way. It's that too many things feel like they matter and on some level do matter. Yeah. Um, so tough choices are required, but I also think that is quite liberating because once you know that you're not going to find a way to cram everything in you, that's a big weight off your shoulders. You can just say, okay, well what's actually the most meaningful, exciting, lucrative, whatever it might be for you of the things that that I could do. And that is what I mean by being a better procrastinator. It's like, you're gonna be procrastinating on a lot of things at any moment anyway. So just try to make sure that they're the right ones. I

John Jantsch (18:11): Wanna talk about two topics that probably do take us back into the philosophical realm. Again, the first one is mindfulness. I feel like so much of what you're talking about is we're constantly chasing the future, even if it's just mentally chasing the future. And how much joy does that Rob from

Oliver Burkeman (18:27): The, I think that's really well put, I, I don't use maybe use the word mindfulness very much because I also don't want to turn. I was quite deliberately, didn't want to make this book where the main advice was just like, you've gotta meditate because

John Jantsch (18:40): Hang it. That's what I wanted to hear.

Oliver Burkeman (18:42): people who can meditate and have a good meditation practice. That's great. I've always been a bit patchy at it and I wasn't going to preach to other people that they should be doing something I find so hard. But, um, yeah, I think a certain amount of instrumentalizing time, certain amount of thinking about what you're doing now, because of where it's leading is totally inevitable and necessary. And you can't live in, you're never doing that, but we've got to a stage, I think more generally by the economic system that we live in, where that's really everything. Yeah. And you get to the point where it feels like an hour, can't be well spent if, unless it's storing, unless it's working towards some big future accomplishment, even in the field of leisure. And I, by talking the book about how, like we all have we, of people who are always training for 10 K, but never just going for a run.

Oliver Burkeman (19:34): Yeah. And I've been that person in other domains as well. And there's a real, there's something really sort of ultimately insane. I think even though it's a societal insanity about living that way, because like you, you just is life, right. You just, if you do that until you, the day you die, then you've never had the, you never actually had that moment. So I think it's a subtle thing because I'm not suggesting that people don't achieve like work on ambitious projects, but it's something more about trying if possible to relish them in the moment. Yeah. You're doing them. Yeah. Rather than just storing up the, the benefits for a later point, because that is a really no way to live. All

John Jantsch (20:20): Right. I'm, I'm gonna finish up on another heavy one. how much is the way we work that you've described contributing to, uh, this growing sense of loneliness and depression and all

Oliver Burkeman (20:34): I think, and that's another sort of angle that I yeah. Get into is I think another of the mistakes we make in terms of what we want out of our time, as well as being hyper productive is this sense of individual sovereignty over your time. Right? So like the, the ideal goal seems to be the perfect life would be that I, I got to decide exactly what I did with any moment of my time. And in this idea of the digital nomad, the, the person who runs their business from a beach, from a top of a mountain, you find this, I, the sort of ultimate expression of this idea, they're just completely free agents, but lots of them will tell you that it's a really lonely life because you you're checked out of the rhythms and the routines that we have commonly that, that make us feel that make life so meaningful.

Oliver Burkeman (21:24): And I think even those of us who are not digital nomads, there's a lot of this going on in the modern world. If you are a self-employed person, I guess we both are, and you've run your own ship in one way, you have a lot of freedom in another sense, you're not in a rhythm with other people. And there's no particular reason why some friend of yours who you might wanna see is gonna be on the same rhythm. And so everything gets out of sync. And so I think there's something to be said for that sort of traditional approach where everyone used to do the same thing on a Sunday, or maybe you even just, if you join an organization, if you join a sports amateur sports team or a choir or band or something, you don't, you can't run that schedule. Cause everyone has to agree. So I it's useful to make a few commitments like that in life

John Jantsch (22:11): As well. You, you referenced a, a very large number of studies and books and researched some of which is quite old. I'm curious as a fellow author, was that, is that, uh, fun for you to, to do that because I, you really came up with some, I would say pretty obscure references in some cases.

Oliver Burkeman (22:29): Yeah, no, I really enjoy, I, I enjoy punching into all that stuff and I enjoy finding and collecting that stuff. And I, and I also sort of, I personally enjoy writing the kind of book that quotes Higer, but also Danielle Steele, I find it fun and interesting to show how these ideas yeah. Pop up in these different places. So yeah, that part of it is really fun for me. The writing process. I wouldn't say I find that fun. Yeah. But it's satisfying to have done it. Yeah.

John Jantsch (23:00): Speaking with Oliver Berkman, we're talking about his book 4,000 weeks, which is available. If you're listening to this show, it's available, cuz it's out. You can invite it anywhere. They get books in Kindle in, in audio book has, as you can tell, he has a very soothing voice. You might wanna listen to seven or eight hours consuming it that way, but, uh, is anywhere else that you'd like to invite people

Oliver Burkeman (23:21): To connect with you? My website, Oliver, burman.com has the rest. I do a, an email every coup couple of times a month called the imperfection, which I'd love people to sign up for if they're interested.

John Jantsch (23:30): Awesome. Thanks for stopping by the duct tape marketing podcast. And I, I now have an entirely new appreciation for the fact that I can no longer manage time.

Oliver Burkeman (23:41): It's wonderful. Don't be depressed about it. thanks, John.

John Jantsch (23:45): All right. So that wraps up another episode. I wanna thank you so much for tuning in and you know, we love those reviews and comments and just generally tell me what you think also did you know that you could offer the duct tape marketing system, our system to your clients and build a complete marketing consulting coaching business, or maybe level up an agency with some additional services. That's right. Check out the duct tape marketing consultant network. You can find it at ducttapemarketing.com and just scroll down a little and find that offer our system to your client's tab.

 

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

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

 

 

 

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How Shifting Your Mindset Can Boost Your Productivity

Marketing Podcast with Clare Kumar

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Clare Kumar. Clare helps busy professionals optimize their performance. She’s a media contributor on productivity, organization, and work-life integration.

Key Takeaway:

People are busy, and that’s applicable across every and all job roles — entrepreneurs, business professionals, employees, stay-at-home parents, consultants, you name it, we’re busy.

Clare Kumar works directly with people and professionals helping them optimize their performance and work-life integration. In this episode, Clare shares how to shift your mindset in a way that will help you build habits that last and boost your productivity.

Questions I ask Clare Kumar:

  • [1:14] Does optimizing your performance come down to hacks and habits?
  • [2:33] What are some of the big productivity killers, and how do people get bad habits?
  • [4:10] What’s the best strategy when it comes to technology distracting with productivity?
  • [5:26] What does the process of hiring a coach to help you become more productive look like?
  • [6:47] Are there some common almost “template” type approaches for how you would plan your day?
  • [11:05] In your bio, you mention you love science and that that love has helped lead your role today — would you dive into how that has helped you?
  • [12:22] What are some of the surprising benefits that you find that come from somebody feeling more productive? And have you discovered some of these benefits to be universal?
  • [13:45] What’s the solution for trying to get some sense of normalcy back into rituals when you’re caught up in a world that has experienced so much rapid change?
  • [15:24] How has 2020 changed your work?
  • [17:55] What are a handful of your best productivity tips for 2021?
  • [20:09] Where can people find out more about you and your work?

More About Clare Kumar:

More About The Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by my friend, Ben Shapiro, brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network with episodes you can listen to in under 30 minutes, the MarTech podcast shares stories from world class marketers who use technology to generate growth and achieve big business and career success. Recent episode, one of my favorite extending the lifetime value of your customer. You know, I love to talk about that. Listen to the MarTech podcast, wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:44): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Clare Kumar. She helps busy professionals optimize their performance. She is a media contributor on productivity organization and work life integrations. So I guess we're gonna talk about some pretty awesome stuff today. Welcome Clare.

Clare Kumar (01:05): Thank you. It seems to be universally relevant, whether you're an employee or an entrepreneur. I, I talk to both kinds of situations.

John Jantsch (01:14): So I, I see a lot of, of, you know, people writing about talking about speaking about the, this topic, and it seems like it comes down to a lot of hacks and habits. Would you say that that is accurate or is that, uh, really just a very short way to, to, uh, try to describe a very, a much more complex process?

Clare Kumar (01:33): Well, I think to, to land on the right habits, take some work and, and sometimes we're not there yet because we have to do some mindset shifting mm-hmm right. And, uh, beyond habits, I like to elevate them to rituals. And the re the reason I choose ritual is because I think it brings a sense of honor to what we're doing, what we're choosing to do, rather than feeling like, oh, I should do this, or I should do that. I like to up level the whole rhetoric around

John Jantsch (01:58): It. Yeah. So, so people should be in the new year, depending upon when you're listening to this, I'm going to take up a weight loss, ritual, Uhhuh. it sounds great. It just makes it sound so, so much kinder. Doesn't it?

Clare Kumar (02:12): Well, I hope so. There should be. I think there's a sense of needs to be a sense of honor in how we're treating ourselves and then the things we do for other people too. So I don't care if it's laundry or managing your CRM of this is all about respecting ourselves and what we can give to the world, and then respecting our clients and, and trying to, to give a service that we can be proud of.

John Jantsch (02:34): So let's start then with what, what are some of the, you know, with regard to productivity, what are some of the biggest productivity killers? I mean, what, what, how do people get bad habits? Right? Oh

Clare Kumar (02:44): My gosh. There's a lot of reasons things go sideways. I mean, a lot of people will point the finger to technology, but I mean, you know, before the electronic age came about, you would've had parents scolding, their kids were having their nose in a book for too long. So we're, we always have an appetite for other information. We're curious beings. Right? And so the, the challenge with technology though, is we've never had, we never had books kind of knock on our consciousness and say, Hey, Hey, come back to me right now. We have technology that's designed to be intrusive. I think when I just signed up for, you know, a squad, what we're on here? Do you wanna allow notifications? No, no, I don't. Do you wanted them to know where I am? No. yeah. Yeah. So I think one of the biggest things we can do to be effective in, in holding true to priorities, which takes some work all in its own to set are set some boundaries about what comes in and doing our best to gracefully defend those boundaries, uh, is, is an art.

John Jantsch (03:47): Yeah. And, and I just, just this morning, my wife and I were having coffee sitting around chatting, and she said, oh, will you order this thing on Amazon then? And like 25 minutes later, I was like, oh, were we still here talking because, I mean, it just, it, it sucks you in, I was, it was something that took me about a minute because Amazon makes it so easy to do, you know, turned into a 20 minute thing. And I think that, I mean, is the answer to just find ways to limit our access to this technology is like a drug.

Clare Kumar (04:17): There's a couple of strategies. I think one is to be very intentional about when you wait in the other is to interrupt yourself because it is designed to pull you in, look at Forbes as a, as a communication and news channel, the number of popups. And they're interrupting their own article with a hope to derail you and just keep you on the page longer. And so you have to be, you have, it's like, like anybody older knows you go into another room and you forget why you got there. You change, you go into a new browser window. You're like, why did I come here in the first place? Right. And there could have been an intention. Yeah. It's to maybe even write that intention down to give yourself a reminder to say I was here to actually answer the question that somebody sent out my business and Facebook, not to look at the latest notification, which is where your eyes designed to go. Cuz there's a little like icon reminding you. There's something new for you there. And it's like candy and it could be a good dopamine hit, right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

John Jantsch (05:15): So, so you all know get hired by individuals or to, to, or you coach individuals as well as teams. I mean, do you have a bit of a like intervention sort of mode that, that you start with? Kinda what, what does that process look like? If when you hire a coach to help you, uh, be more productive?

Clare Kumar (05:32): I it's a good question because a lot of people will bring me in and they wanna talk symptoms right away. Yeah. And I do because I, I meet the client where they are and we dive into whatever's pressing, I think that's really important. But what often happens is we have deeper discussions and then I learn about the context of their business environment, perhaps their physical space, perhaps what's happening at home. And that whole work life integration piece actually comes to bear. So the last client I worked with just said, I'm not, I'm not getting the right things done at work. I'm not yet. I'm, I'm not getting enough done in a day. I that's a big comment. I don't, I feel like I've been busy yet. I don't have anything to show for it. Yeah. And so ultimately we ended up going backwards and I combined aspects, I com combine all the productivity knowledge and, and best practices that I've studied and bring that to bear. I also take some performance aspects. So weight loss, sleep movement, all of that, that has a lot to bear in making sure you show up at your best to be able to contribute. And then any executive we'll understand life coaching as a piece as well, and how you sculpt your life is really important. And I like the word sculpt because it's as much as what you add as what you might need to take away. Yeah.

John Jantsch (06:48): So, so do you have some routines that, and, and obviously, I, I suspect at least you try to get people to individualize their approach, but are there some just kind of almost templates for how you would plan your day, you know, how you would start your day that they were gonna get you going? Right.

Clare Kumar (07:04): Well, there's a few things that I think need to be anchors in the day, and I won't tell you where you should place them. Right. But I do recommend one. And if you can, two 90 minute sessions to allow deep work. So these are focus, periods of work where the, the, the barriers are up, the notifications are off your phone is on silent. There's a sign on your door that says, don't disturb me unless you're bleeding. Like, there's, there's some very clear indications. And if you're working with a team, you've let your team know these are my protected hours. Yeah. And after that I'm available and I have open office hours and I want to be engaging with you. So I think the 24 7 availability always on has been, is totally eroded the fact that we need to preserve our ability to get as Cal Newport would say deep work

John Jantsch (07:53): Done. Yeah. Yeah. So to, to me, it almost comes out well, I'm my, I am my most productive when I set and evaluate priorities. Yeah. Because, you know, I have, for years made my list every day of all the things I wanna do. And it's really easy. Oh, it's like, I'm gonna do those three because I can do those easy, no sweat. Right. And, but they're, but they're important too. So, but when I come in and I say, you know what, I'm only writing three things that, and if I get those three things done, you know, I've had a great day and, and, but again, I, you know, that takes discipline because a lot of times those things that are important, maybe aren't that fun.

Clare Kumar (08:33): True. And we are, we are compelled by our interest. Yeah. Right. So one of the things I like to do there's so there's two parts to answer to that question. The first one is I like to up level our interest in the things that don't feel fun. Yeah. Yeah. And so if it it's either, sometimes if we're procrastinating, it's because it's too complex and we need to figure out how to break it down, just to know where to start, to get comfortable with that, then know the next first best step. And then the other piece is if it's boring. Yeah. How do you add some energy to it, through playing a music track in the background to setting yourself a timer, to finding an accountability partner, to go, okay, I'm working on something boring. You're working on something boring too. Oh, let's see how much we can get done. And we'll check back 15 minutes. So there's some tricks to do that. The other thing though, is to, is to sort of see if you can reframe it to be something again, that, that you understand the, why, the connection to why this is important, then you can up level your commitment to it.

John Jantsch (09:31): Yeah. I find when I have a long project that working on a book, something I do, uh, I kind of go into a very loose podo, um, method, you know, the 25 minutes and then my timer goes off and , and then I take a break and it, it does. I find that that really helps. I don't find that that works on a normal day, but it really helps me when I know I've got six, seven hour stretch to do.

Clare Kumar (09:54): That's neat. So, yeah, I think it's an interesting one to play with. Yeah. It's 25 minutes. And then, and then a break, uh, I worry if it's something like writing and you need longer than 25 minutes or you're in some really juicy stuff that it might pull you out. So yeah. Use it, use it when it's gonna serve you for sure. That's that that's powerful.

John Jantsch (10:12): And now let's hear from a sponsor. Do you wish you could get more to traffic from Google, duh. I mean, but half the battle is understanding what to focus on, what you need to fix on your site. H ref's webmaster tools will give you a professional website audit for free ahrefs will discover optimization opportunities for your website and help you get more organic traffic. You'll see which keywords your pages are ranking for understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your visibility. Imagine the benefits to your business, visit ahrefs.com/awt to sign up for this free tool and connect it to your website. And you're all set. That's ahrefs.com/awt. And you can also find this in our show notes.

John Jantsch (11:05): So in preparing for this, um, interview, I took a look at your bio and you point to a love of science, uh, as leading you to this place. So help me understand that.

Clare Kumar (11:15): Well, I, I, I, my undergrad a degree was a, a bachelor of science in biology. And after high school, I, I, I kind of loved languages. I loved, I loved a lot of different topics, but science was the one that pulled me forward biology in particular. And of course after biology, I realized I wasn't going to med school and I wasn't going to be teaching in a typical teaching environment. I find that that's what I'm doing a lot of now. And I wasn't gonna work in a lab cuz I like people too much. And so then I studied business and I fell in love with business and marketing. So it's taken me actually a long while to circle back to science. But I find now when I'm sharing the best practices around focus or distraction or self discipline, there's a lot of science that I draw. And I mean, the fact that you can be more productive after taking a walk outside in nature than if you sat at your desk, the fact that like videos of kittens actually does something good to the brain is kind of fun to find out .

John Jantsch (12:12): So, so when you get somebody to, to maybe change some of the things that are holding them back, get them to be more productive. What are some of the surprising benefits that, that you find that come from somebody feeling more productive because it's, it's not just about getting the work done. I think that not getting the work done causes a lot of stress for some people. So have you, have you discovered some, some benefits that seem to be universal?

Clare Kumar (12:40): Well, I think it's pervasive, it's beyond the work because if you can feel productive at work and, and sort of just take some joy in that there's an upleveling of satisfaction that spills over then into your personal life, the ability to set boundaries at work and, and, and get things done in the container has saved marriages, you know, and, and built family lives that people are no, no longer regretting. So I think, I think that's probably the most profound piece for me is if somebody can, can sculpt the work life that they want, that it's a big piece of the actual whole life that they want and they can give attention to the other important areas of life, which can often be overlooked.

John Jantsch (13:23): So I'm a kind of a creature of habit. I have a lot of rituals that I do all the time. In fact, I sometimes have to push myself out of them because I can be too ritualistic, but everybody's routine got really shaken up this year. A lot of people never worked at home are now working at home and they've never homeschooled. And they're now doing that too. So what is that really? I mean, what, what's sort of the medicine now, you know, for trying to get some sense of normalcy back in that cyclone.

Clare Kumar (13:53): Yeah. Well, you hit on in March when this hit. I thought, my gosh, I've been working from home for about 20 years and coaching people on this. So how about I take the two things and on my website right now is a lot of free information. If you just look @ clarekumar.com/workfromhome, and there's a lot of free information there, interviews and so on and a free download that talks exactly to that question. But I, what I wanna summarize it in is to say that I want you to think about having a home team, right? And so we've got work teams. We, we hear about that all the time, but you have a home team and you've, you wanna get on the same page about the experience you're trying to create as a family and what your vision for this experie is that you're gonna get through together.

Clare Kumar (14:36): Then I want you to look, get the capability. And if you've got kids, those capabilities are changing. Like every few months they can do more and more and more, right? So capability look at capacity and that's, everybody's ability to take on different things. That's gonna be affected by the amount of stress that they're under and other, whatever else happens, right. Because life keeps happening no matter, no matter what. Yeah. And you look at all that before you choose commitments. And when you take on those commitments, you look at them as a team and say, how do we tackle this?

John Jantsch (15:06): Yeah. And I'm, I'm sure that that some people have had to just realize they have to let, to go some things right now. not try to, you know, do it all right now because it's, there's only so much,

John Jantsch (15:16): Right.

Clare Kumar (15:17): Yeah. I talk about like extreme sport. Um, the only one I play is extreme self-compassion yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,

John Jantsch (15:23): Yeah. So how has 2020 changed or, or maybe you've hinted that it hasn't that much has, has 2020 changed the way you work?

Clare Kumar (15:34): It has a little bit, because I used to go to corporate locations to do speeches in person. And there is certainly a lot of energy that comes back from working with people in present. So I've, uh, taken my business online. Um, my media tours are now online. I do all my TV segment is here from my, from my desk, which is pretty great. And incorporate B roll. So I'm, I'm becoming more of an AV team producer as well. Like any, any speaker or presenter is yeah, so that's changed, but it's also been up leveled my interest and understanding of how to get this kind of connection and how to foster that with people in, in a virtual space. So I come back feeling fulfilled after a work. And I much prefer a workshop environment where I'm talking to people still, rather than a webinar, which is the monologue. So I'm all about conversation. That's, that's my preferred method of, of doing anything .

John Jantsch (16:28): So we talked to a little bit about what people have had do, because they're forced into, you know, a different situation. Uh, a lot of those people let's hope are going to go back to what you know was in office. what should they take back with them? What did they learn this year? Or what do you hope they learned this year that they actually take back with them and, and incorporate into maybe what they've

New Speaker (16:52): Been doing?

Clare Kumar (16:53): Well, I hope that it's given everybody an opportunity to take some time to reflect on what's important. I mean, I love Greg, McCowen's the title of his book essentialism, and that was my word for 2020. It's all of a sudden, you have to get clear on what's really critical and critically important. We've just gone down into super down. It's starting on the after Christmas here. And all of a sudden you're like, well, what's essential. And, and so we have to know what that is. And I think to know what that is, it, it requires, and this is why I loved your book too. The self-reliant entrepreneur, this that we don't pause enough. We don't stop and actually tune in before we're invited to lean in. And so I think we can be much more effective. I mean, I talk about the biggest productivity gap is if you actually wanna be over here, but all your energy is taking you in the other opposite direction, right? So that is the biggest productivity thief there is.

John Jantsch (17:50): So I'm gonna let you close out with two things. What are, what are a handful can be two, can be three of your best productivity tips for 2021. And then of course tell us, uh, where people can find out more about you and your work.

Clare Kumar (18:05): Oh, thank you. Well, one of the things that in coaching hundreds of people over the past few years, that I think is often missing, is making appointments with oneself yeah. In their calendar, right? So we make appointments with everybody else. But when we look at, I call it a daily roadmap, that's going to guide you through your day. And that focus five of, of top five things to do in the day will be what you do imminently. But having that roadmap, it also serves as your journal. If you're, if you are honest about whether you did go to the gym or whether you did have a, a, a book writing session or whether you did meet your targets, you, and if you color it, you really have a, a very quickly quick to understand both plan and record of what you've done. So that I think one of the, one of the things that people, if they haven't done it is game changing for a lot of people.

Clare Kumar (18:55): So Cal you mentioned Cal Newport. He has a, a, a new planner, uh, daily planner, uh, that's based on, on deep work. And one of the things that, that I've done for a long time that I, I know he's really talked about forever is, is playing your week. Not just, you know, your days, especially if, you know, you're trying to think, oh, I, I have this thing on Thursday. I better spend some time thinking about it on Wednesday kind of thing. And that's, that's been really meaningful for me. I know.

Clare Kumar (19:23): Yeah. The week is a long enough timeframe to fit in all the different areas of life and, and the different projects you're working on too. And it, so I, I have, there's a piece of work and an ebook I have called the lifetime management playbook. So instead of time management, mm-hmm, , I like to think of lifetime management. So we're taking this bird's eye view of, of how we're planning things. And definitely it's thinking about time and chunks of a week. So you get your exercise in you're ma you're nurturing your relationships. You're making sure you have time to play. You're developing as a person. There are different aspects that you, I think you need to have as a fulfilled person. And if we think about them over a week, it it's extremely powerful. I will have to check out Cal planner. That sounds great.

John Jantsch (20:08): And, and then tell us where people could find out more about your work and maybe acquire this ebook that

John Jantsch (20:14): You've referenced.

Clare Kumar (20:15): Thank you. So it's, it's Clare kumar.com. And just so you get Clare, right? There's no third eye. So it's, uh, C L a R E, and Kumar is like Harold and Kumar. K U M a R. So Clarekumar.com and there is a product X page and the ebook is there. And you'll also see a bit of an outline of the book that I'm 45,000 words into. And John, after our discussion, uh, a few days ago, I'm really motivated to turn this into three, many books actually, so that the productivity methodology gets out there and people can start benefiting from all that too.

John Jantsch (20:50): Awesome. So we'll put a link in the show notes and Clare, thanks so much for stopping by, and hopefully we'll, uh, run into you next time. I'm in Toronto and we're all out on the road again.

Clare Kumar (21:01): Yeah. Let's hope so hope it's not too far

Clare Kumar (21:03): Away.

John Jantsch (21:03): All right. So that wraps up another episode. I wanna thank you so much for tuning in and, you know, we love those reviews and comments. And just generally tell me what you think also did you know that you could offer the duct tape marketing system, our system to your clients, and build a complete marketing consulting coaching business, or maybe level up an agency with some additional services. That's a right check out the duct tape marketing consultant network. You can find it at ducttapemarketing.com and just scroll down a little and find that offer our system to your client's tab.

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

 

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How To Build A Strategic Partner Network

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

john-jantschIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I’m doing part four of a solo show series where I’m covering one of my favorite topics: referrals. You can catch the first episode, second episode, and third episode of the Referral Generation series here.

Key Takeaway:

I’m doing a series on Referral Generation where I’m presenting what I’m calling the seven grades of referral fuel.

In the first episode of the series, I introduce all seven approaches. In the second episode, I dive into why you should have referral offers for every client and what those offers should look like. In the third episode, I share why there’s immense value in working with partners who also serve your existing clients and why leveraging your internal team for referral generation is essential.

In this episode, I talk about one of the most powerful forms of lead generation your business can build: strategic partnerships. One of the most effective ways to generate lots of high-quality referrals is to develop a network of partners that you are strategically aligned with.

Topics I cover:

  • [2:04] Why create a strategic partner network
  • [2:47] The frame of mind to have when building a strategic partnership
  • [3:04] Making yourself more valuable to your clients
  • [3:25] The first step to building a strategic partner network
  • [4:42] Why a process is essential for strategic partnerships to be successful
  • [5:15] Why this is one of the most potent strategies for referrals
  • [6:11] Getting clear on who your ideal customer is
  • [6:44] Knowing your marketing process so you can follow up
  • [8:12] What the perfect introduction process is
  • [10:07] Getting referrals isn’t the only goal — it’s about establishing relationships with people who can become a valuable asset to your business
  • [12:00] Developing partnerships from a co-marketing standpoint
  • [13:55] Creating referral reward options

Resources I mention:

More About The Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by my friend, Ben Shapiro brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network with episodes, you can listen to an under 30 minutes. The MarTech podcast share stories from world-class marketers who use technology to generate growth and achieve business and career success. Recent episode, one of my favorite extending the lifetime value of your customer. You know, I love to talk about that. Listen to the MarTech podcast, wherever you get your podcasts.

John Jantsch (00:43): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jansen. I'm doing another solo show for you, regular listeners. You've probably caught a few shows on referrals. I've done three, I think so far. So you might want to go back and check out the show notes on those. If you want to get up to speed, I'm covering seven grades or seven strategies around how to generate more referrals. You can find the show at ducttape.me/podcast. The easiest way to catch up on all the shows. But those of you that are regular listeners probably caught the last three shows on this site. So I'm going to jump into another topic. I covered kind of how to stay top of mind with all of your clients, how to create a program specifically for what I call champion clients.

John Jantsch (01:32): Those folks that are, are already referring business to you. I introduced a, what I think is kind of a unique concept of creating a referral platform around your clients, other professionals that serve your clients. You might want to go really check that one out because it is a little bit unique. And then I spent some time the idea of internal referrals. So referrals from your employees, not only for customers, but for also for staff and team members as well. So today I'm going to get into a concept. I've talked about a lot, and that is the idea of creating a strategic partner network. Now, the net result of doing this is going to be, you're going to generate a lot of referrals, but I think there's also, well, well, first off, there's a way to look at it. And that is you're going to create this strategic partner network as an asset for your clients, for your customers, not simply as a way to get more referrals for people, the, the end result, the happy result of doing this is that you will probably get referrals, but it starts with a frame of mind that just says, what would it take?

John Jantsch (02:36): Or what would it look like if you built a network of best of class providers for pretty much everything else that your clients need, that you don't provide. So, so that frame of mind of, of developing, or at least identifying people that when your client comes to you and says, Hey, I I'm really struggling with this challenge. Do you know anybody? You'd be able to say, yes, I actually work with an accountant or a lawyer or whatever it is that you might refer. And, and you, I think you make yourself more valuable to your clients, of course, but, but the net effect is you start actually having some relationships with some strategic partners who then feel a reciprocal obligation, but it starts with this idea of, you know, you're not looking at just generating referrals, you're looking at providing more service, more value to your clients.

John Jantsch (03:25): So the first step is to just identify, you know, who who's out there, who are, what are noncompeting businesses that, that, that you either know by reputation or that people can tell you about. Or you can do research and find, and really identify who might make great strategic partners. And one little tip is, look at your existing clients, go, go ask your clients who they use, or who they respect or who they think are awesome businesses. In many cases, that's a way to really identify and make kind of this strategic partner list, come to life for you because you, you will already have kind of a shared client. And so that might be one pretty easy to have a conversation with. Then there's a practice of really kind of recruiting these folks. You know, a lot of times people will be very passive about this, or are certainly not intentional.

John Jantsch (04:11): And I'm suggesting that you actually reach out to groups or reach out to people that you've put on your list and give them a reason to, to actually know you exist to, to, and I'll talk a little bit about exactly how we do that. You're, you're effectively recruiting them. If you want to think of it that way too, to be a strategic partner with you, then you you've, you've got to have a way to activate them. So what I mean by that is a lot of times people will say, oh, we should be working together. Yeah, we have this mutual client, or maybe they did work together one time and it's like, yeah, we should do that again. But without a process or without somebody saying here's how to do it, here's a really easy way for us to continue to work together. A lot of times, those relationships just kind of fade.

John Jantsch (04:51): You might even take it as far as, as building a floor formal platform. And I, there are many, many ways that, that, that, that can come to life, that I would suggest that you, uh, I'll cover a little bit here that, that you, you know, you, you don't just leave this to, oh yeah. That's a good idea. I should do that. I'll keep my eyes up for that. Actually make this part of your overarching marketing strategy. I think frankly, for some businesses, this is, this can be the most potent strategy or approach that you can take. If you get in front of the right strategic partner and you start thinking about ways that you can work together, ways that you can add value ways that you can get in front of their audience. It may turn into hundreds and hundreds of introductions or leads or prospects with the right strategic partner.

John Jantsch (05:38): So it really, a lot of times when I'm, when people come to me and say, gosh, I'm just getting started my business, where should I start? What should I do to get some traction? A lot of times finding somebody who already has your ideal customer and figuring out a way to add value to them, you know, that that can be a really fast way and a very way to kind of jumpstart your marketing. So the first thing that I always have people do is if you're going to go out to people and start explaining what it is that your business does, or, or maybe start talking about a referral relationship, there's a, there's a couple of things that you need to get clear on so that you can communicate these, um, you know, who is, I mean, how would I spot your ideal customer? If you think about somebody who says, Hey, I'd love to refer you to all my friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

John Jantsch (06:25): Um, you want to be able to tell them, well, here's exactly who we work with. Here's exactly how to present our core message. You know, here are some of the things that a prospect, a great prospect of ours might say that would give you a clue that they really need to get in touch with us if you have a referral offer. So for instance, if somebody refers business to you, you know, what do you do if somebody refers somebody to do, what's your what's even your marketing process so that you can confidently tell people, here's how we're going to follow up. Now you can take this as far as you like, but even if you just scribbled the, the, the answers to these questions on a pad, you're going to be miles ahead. When you're trying to have a conversation, and now let's hear from a sponsor, do you wish you could get more traffic from Google, duh.

John Jantsch (07:13): I mean, but half the battle is understanding what to focus on, what you need to fix on your site. H refs webmaster tools will give you a professional website audit for free H refs will discover optimization opportunities for your website and help you get more organic traffic. You'll see which keywords your pages are ranking for understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your visibility. Imagine the benefits to your business, visit H refs.com/awc to sign up for this free tool and connect it to your website. And you're all set. That's a H R E F s.com/awc. And you can also find this in our show notes. So, as I mentioned, you've created this list. Let's say you have 10 or 12 potential strategic partners. Here's the process that we've done thousands of times. And it is so effective at getting on people's radar.

John Jantsch (08:12): Getting, getting good, useful conversation started is a process that we call the perfect introduction in reverse. So those questions that I told you, you know, how would I spot your ideal client? How do, how do we present our core message? You know, what our referral offer, you know, our marketing processes, creating those is a way to kind of introduce yourself as, as to somebody or at least introduce somebody who wanted to refer you. But if you want to recruit potential strategic partners, my suggestion is that you write them a note or a letter or an email, whatever form you want to do it, that essentially says, Hey, we have clients or customers that we believe could use your services. We'd love it. If you could teach us the best way to talk about you or refer you to our clients. Now, if you create this document that says, you know, how can I spot your ideal customer?

John Jantsch (09:05): Uh, how would you present? You know, your core message. What you can do now is go to somebody, basically say, look, tell us, you know, how we'd spot your ideal customer, tell us how you'd like us to best present you tell us, you know, maybe who, you know, if you have some testimonials or things that we can share with clients. So you're essentially asking them to share the best way for them to, to, for you to introduce you to them, to their, to your customers. So most people will get that and, and respond, you know, pretty quickly too. I mean, you think about it. You're basically saying we want to refer you. What it does is gives you the opportunity to have then a conversation about what you, what your business is, what your business does, how you could work together. And it don't put anybody on that list.

John Jantsch (09:54): Don't send this note or this a perfect introduction to anybody, unless you truly believe that you would refer them to your best customers. And that's the idea behind this is, is it's not just a way for you to go get more referrals. It's a way for you to start establishing relationships with people who can become a valuable asset to your business. Now, once you have that connection, what I recommend is that you let's say you're going to meet a, that you actually have something in hand to say, okay, I would love to do a video interview with you. I would love to have you on my podcast. I would love to have you write a guest blog post. I would love to take a special offer that you might be able to make, and you'll give it to our clients. Maybe there's a way you could start talking about co-marketing together.

John Jantsch (10:44): Obviously, if you have some referrals to make, make them, if you can rate and review each other or provide testimonials, if you can become customers of theirs and then ultimately, so, so again, this approach of going into it with something tangible to say, here's what I would like to do when we meet is going to get the relationship rolling. It's not just going to be a conversation. Yeah. What are the next steps? I don't know if it's going to create a reason for you to start working together and start building a deeper relationship. At that point, you could start thinking about how could you create events together. Could you do a webinar for them? Could you talk about maybe having a couple of strategic partners meeting together and providing, say a half day of training or information and you would all invite people. So there's just lots of ways that once you start this kind of down this path, it becomes very, I think in many ways, uh, you know, pretty clear the, the ways that you could start working together, if you just start thinking about it, that way you all need content, you all need, you know, extra things that, that, that, that make sense that, you know, for your own marketing.

John Jantsch (11:55): So it really can become an extremely potent way to develop partnerships from a co-marketing standpoint. You know, if you get a strategic partner, that makes sense. I mean, there, there are a lot of cases where they're very logical extensions. You know, you think about the bridal industry, for example, I mean, there's the florist, there's a cake banker. There's the, the invitations. I mean, there's, there's lots of sort of logical strategic partners that make sense. And you start getting ones that just go well together. One time I had a, an HPAC contractor, a painting contractor and electrical contractor, a lot of people who were fixing their homes up, just doing new, normal maintenance on their homes. You know, at some point in time, we're going to need all three of those services. So what we cooked up was all every time their technicians or project managers would go in on site to do a job, they would actually pass out what were essentially gift certificates for the two other partners.

John Jantsch (12:54): So, you know, effectively, they were getting a sales call almost, um, you know, three times as many times. So, you know, think of things like that. And then obviously there's some, some things that are just, they're kind of fun ideas. One time we had a, a tax preparation business and when people would come in to bring in their things and start talking about their, you know, their taxes for the year, they, they actually had, they, they had hired a or partnered with a massage studio. And so people, you know, in a very stressful time, we'd come in and, and have, you know, this kind of nice treat. And obviously both, you know, the massage and the place was maybe going to pick up some regular customers. So it made a lot of sense for them. Now, one last that, that doesn't often get talked about in kind of this partner, strategic partner idea is think in terms of developing a relationship with a, a nonprofit partner.

John Jantsch (13:47): Uh, obviously, I mean, in many businesses are supporting a nonprofit because they're supporting their mission anyway, but maybe haven't explored the ways to think about creating some sort of referral reward options. So let's say that you are having a new product or a law, you know, something you're launching, or maybe it's a seasonal thing. You basically create a special bonus that says, Hey, for everyone purchased this month, we're going to donate X to our nonprofit partner. Obviously that kind of thing. First off, people like it, it shows you're involved in the community, but it also incentivize anybody who already has a relationship with that nonprofit to, you know, board members, volunteers, donors, you know, to, to actually consider your business as well. So lots and lots of ways that you can take this idea of strategic partnering. I really think for some businesses, particularly professional services, businesses where, you know, trust in is such a high, high, high need having that kind of trusted referral or, or strategic partner network.

John Jantsch (14:49): It can really be a great way to kind of take your, take your referral generation and your, your lead generation, quite frankly, to, to new Heights. So that's it for today. I've got one more show on this topic of referrals. So if you have not caught the other three, and now of course this one, I'll have another one coming up this week later as well. And you could put together, it's basically the entire referral package. It's like a book in five shows. So hopefully you're enjoying it. I'd love to hear your feedback. Certainly check out the show notes at ducttape.me/podcast. All right. Take care out there.

John Jantsch (15:27): All right. So that wraps up another episode. I want to thank you so much for tuning in and, you know, we love those reviews and comments. And just generally tell me what you think also did you know that you could offer the duct tape marketing system, our system to your clients, and build a complete marketing consulting coaching business, or maybe level up an agency with some additional services. That's right. Check out the duct tape marketing consultant network. You can find it at ducttapemarketing.com and just scroll down a little and find that offer our system to your client's tab.

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