Derek SIvers - Duct Tape Marketing

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1 The Five Most Engaging Podcasts of the Year

marketing podcastI’ve been recording podcast interviews since some time in 2005 and it’s one of my favorite things to do. The show has opened some pretty cool doors and allowed me to meet some very cool people.

This year I met the likes of Harvey MacKay, Stephen Pressfield, Eric Reis, Derek Sivers, Kevin Kelly and Hugh MacLeod through my podcast and reconnected with old friends such as Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, David Meerman Scott, Peter Shankman and Scott Ginsberg.

The following five episodes make up what you my readers called my most engaging shows of the year.

1) Anything You Want

This week’s guest on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Derek Sivers, founder of CDBaby and author of Anything You Want 40 Lessons (When you buy any version of the book you can grab 200 musical downloads as a gift from Derek too!)

2) The New New New Rules of Marketing and PR

My good friend David Meerman Scott stopped by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast recently to talk about the release of the 3rd Edition of his mega best selling book The New Rules of Marketing and PR. This book changed the way many people think about marketing and has remained on many a “must read” list since it was first released.

3) 5 Google Plus Tips and Chris Brogan

For this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I grabbed a few minutes with Chris Brogan. Chris is the founder of Human Business Works, writes and speaks on all things related to social media and is a documented Google Plus fanboy.

4) 5 Types of Content That Every Business Must Employ

The creation and distribution of content has become such a significant aspect of effective marketing that it requires a high place in the strategy conversation in most every business.

Some might go as far as to suggest content marketing has become the most effective way to build a business.

5) Understanding the Most Fundamental Shift in Marketing

When I want to make marketing extremely easy to understand, I sit small business owners down in front of the above graphic and have them fill in some process, touchpoint, campaign, product of service in each of the seven blanks. The idea behind this graphic I call the Marketing Hourglass is that marketing is no longer a hunt and close business, it’s a be found, build trust, nurture, wow and refer business.

2 Anything You Want

Marketing podcast with Derek Sivers (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

This week’s guest on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Derek Sivers, founder of CDBaby and author of Anything You Want 40 Lessons (When you buy any version of the book you can grab 200 musical downloads as a gift from Derek too!)

Anything You Want is another The Domino Project publication and a fitting one I think. Godin and Amazon are attempting to change the way books are published much like CDBaby changed the way music was published and distributed.

Sivers offers up uncommon, yet inspirational advice in 40 nuggets that will make you smile, squirm and perhaps question why you’re in business in the first place.

During our chat he reveals that his decision to sell CDBaby, something he couldn’t really imagine at one time, came down to some advice from Seth Godin. When asked what to do, Godin told him – “If you care, you’ll sell it.”

I think that’s a feeling many small business owners have – this thing they’ve built is your baby, but if you stop caring about the people you’re serving, it’s time to get out and do something else.

My last question to Sivers was obvious I thought – “So, what should we be listening to?” How he chose to answer that seemingly innocent question is as telling as any moment in the show – “You should pick some kind of music you don’t know anything about, or that you think you might hate, and explore it for a while.”

I thought I would also share one of Derek’s TEDTalks so you could get an even better feel for his way of thinking.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

13 How to Document Your Brain

One the biggest impediments to small business growth is the owner’s brain.

jepoirrier via Flickr

It’s not that the owner’s thinking is flawed, it’s that most of knowledge, mission, vision and basic how to do stuff stays locked up there.

Most small businesses expand and contract relative to what the owner can keep their arms and thoughts around. The key, of course, to unlocking this constraint rests in the organization’s ability to document how and why everything is done through the vision and receptors of the owner.

This is the only way to growth for most small businesses.

Until delegation, without abdication, occurs in a way that ensures a transfer of knowledge, culture and beliefs, chaos is pretty much guaranteed.

I think most people get that intellectually, but the hard part is actually doing it. Knowledge transfer isn’t as simple as telling people what to do. When most business owners do something it’s done with the collective experience of having done it many times, in many ways, infused with who they are and what they stand for.

We become unconsciously competent at the things we do and struggle to convey the step-by-step components with any level of usefulness. My wife has finally given in to the tech gadget world and explaining what a browser does has proven extremely challenging for me, even though I’ve used one some part of every day since they were invented.

I had a great conversation recently with Derek Sivers, founder of CDBaby and author of Anything You Want. (Our conversation will appear on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast this week)

Sivers said that the moment he realized that his primary function in growing his business was to teach people in his organization everything – including how to reply to email and sound just like him – his world changed.

One of the things he did while growing CDBaby was to learn programming so he could save money and program the code to run to his store. He credits this with equipping him with the skill to delegate, document and transfer knowledge properly.

He told me that one of the things you learn with programming is that to create the script to allow, say, a member to log in, took telling the computer dozens of things. The same is true for explaining how to do anything. You must start with why and methodically document the most rudimentary steps.

He equated it to telling a robot to get you a beer. First you have to tell it how to walk. I think that’s the case with delegating and documenting. Tell the system why to walk, then tell it how to walk, then it can start deciding where to walk without direction.

He told me that every time someone asked him a question about how to do something he stopped and called a bunch of folks together and explained how and why it was done and had them document the session. He admitted it was a painful process, but one that allowed him to get out of the doing so his business could grow.

This is how you transfer vision, mission and culture, while freeing yourself to do the strategic work of the business – until everyone in your business can take over your email inbox and respond just as you would – growth will be stymied.