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10 Key Areas That May Be Holding Your Business Back

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

john-jantschIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I’m doing a solo show. I’m going to break down the 10 key areas that may be holding your business back.

Key Takeaway:

If you’re a long-time listener, you know that my point of view is strategy before tactics. In this episode, we’re going to focus on the 10 key areas that may be holding your business back. These aren’t just 10 tactics — we’re going to dive into on these key areas and how you can use them as pillars to help you build a systematic approach to marketing and growing your business.

Topics I cover:

  • [2:44] Number one — narrow the focus to an ideal client
  • [4:43] Number two — develop a core message that allows you to communicate and promise to solve the greatest problem that your ideal client customer is experiencing today
  • [6:55] Number three — build a total online presence that meets people where they are and that helps build trust and demonstrates your expertise
  • [8:56] Number four — building a steady flow of incoming leads
  • [10:34] Number five — how to convert leads into customers
  • [12:12] Number six — how to use content as the voice of strategy along the customer journey
  • [13:53] Number seven — retaining customers is how you build momentum
  • [15:23] Number eight — generating referrals and building strategic partner relationships is essential
  • [16:25] Number nine — using metrics to understand what works and what doesn’t – if you don’t have a plan to measure, you’ll be guessing
  • [18:02] Number ten — you have to have a marketing plan you are working from

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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 business made simple hosted by Donald Miller and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network business made simple, takes the mystery out of growing your business. A long time, listeners will know that Donald Miller's been on this show at least a couple times. There's a recent episode. I wanna point out how to make money with your current products, man, such an important lesson about leveraging what you've already done to get more from it. Listen to business made simple wherever you get your podcasts.

John Jantsch (00:45): Hello and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and no guest today. I'm just gonna do another solo show. It's been a little while. So hopefully, well, I hear from you guys sometimes that you do appreciate these solo shows, give you a little different flavor, mix things up a little bit today's topic, or let's give it even a title for the show is going to be 10 key areas that may be holding your business back. That's right. I'm gonna break each of 'em down. Now, if you're driving or out walking the dog or on a treadmill or something, don't worry. I've actually created a tool that will allow you to assess your business on each of these 10 areas. So you don't have to write them all down. Just remember this URL, marketing assessment.co not.com.co. You can go there and actually answer a few questions and it will assess your business, give you score on these 10 areas.

John Jantsch (01:46): And then it will also give you a really slick report on how to address these areas. What to fix, what to focus on. If you score low in certain areas. And even if you score high, actually, one of the things that I've discovered over the years is that people that score really high on this assessment are actually businesses that are really getting ready to take off. There are some foundational things that many businesses need to fix. You get a handle on these 10 things, and this is when your business really takes off and little warning. It's not just gonna be a list of 10 tactics. There is a lot of strategy involved in this because that's how you get it done, right? Obviously, if you've listened to this show for any amount of time at all, , you know, that's my point of view strategy before tactics, but let's focus on these areas and build a systematic approach to marketing or growing your business.

John Jantsch (02:41): All right, let's get into the 10, shall we? Number one, you've got to narrow the focus to an ideal client. In my last book, the ultimate marketing engine, I actually went as far as saying the top 20% of who you're doing business with today probably represents your ideal client. I mean, you can't serve everyone not profitably anyway. And you've probably realized that if you go and look at your current client base today, there's certainly a percentage that, that you would probably say to yourself. Boy, I wish I had more clients like that. So let's understand who they are. In fact, the simplest question I can ask you is, let's say I wanted to refer tons of business to you. I would ask you the question, how specifically, I mean, as specifically as possible, would I spot your ideal client? That one person, not only demographics in the ways you would describe them, but what's the behavior.

John Jantsch (03:43): What's the problem they're having. What's what's what describes a person or a business that you can deliver the most value to the fastest. What does that look like? And it doesn't mean that by defining this, you're going to never attract or go after any other kind of business. It just simply is a recognition that if you want to stand out, differentiate your business, you have to tell people here's who I help. And here's who I don't help. It's as simple as that's actually, even though it might seem frightening to say here's who I don't help. That's actually how you're going to build momentum. All right. Number two. And these are so completely linked that when we work with clients and by the way, that's another way that at the end of this, if you take our assessment that you can find it marketing assessment.co and you decide, Hey, why don't we have John and his team build all this for us.

John Jantsch (04:36): We have a process called strategy. First. We'd love to run your business through, to build out a great deal of what I'm gonna talk about today. Okay? Back to number two, you've got to develop a message that allows you to communicate and promise to solve the greatest problem that your ideal client customer is experiencing today. It's kind of boils down to a core message. It's a thing that should go above the fold on every website on the homepage, right? When somebody comes to your site, bam, they need to be hit with a message that says, I understand you. I get the problem you're having. We are uniquely suited to solve that problem. Don't tell me what you do. don't tell me what your business is. Don't tell me how long you've been in business promise to solve my greatest problem. That is how you are going to stand out.

John Jantsch (05:32): That alone. In many cases is going to allow you to differentiate your business example. I use all the time is a tree service that we worked with that, you know, we interviewed their clients. And by the way, great way to get to what this core message is. Your clients, your customers know the problem, know the value you bring probably more than you do. So look through those Google reviews interview, your, and what you'll learn is going back to this tree service, every single one of their clients, almost every single one of their customers said, Hey, what we really love about them is they show up when they say they're going to and they clean up the job site. Nobody mentioned they cut the tree down perfectly. Nobody mentioned, oh, it was great. They're a local owned business. I mean, those are all nice things. those are all important things, but what they were, the problem they were really solving is nobody else shows up on time.

John Jantsch (06:23): Nobody else cleans the job site up when they come to work in our home. So that's a core message that allowed them to stand out. Now it's not enough to just print that on a business card and phone it in. Obviously you've gotta live that too. So, you know, having your on time guarantee, creating your 37 point checklist to clean up a job site that you use, and part of your marketing materials, you, you develop strategy and then you fulfill strategy. You it's not enough to just promise. You have to actually show how you're going to deliver on what you promised. All right, let's move to number three today. I, you know, everybody talks about all the changes in marketing and they're not significant, but the thing that's probably changed the most is the way people choose to buy today. No matter what your business does, no matter how your transaction occurs, there's a good deal.

John Jantsch (07:13): That a, that there's a good chance. I should say that most of the customer journey has been completed by somebody checking you out online, maybe without your knowledge at all. So we have to today build a total online presence that meets people where they are, that that gives them an experience, builds trust when they go and they look at our website that gives them the chance to dig deeper. That shows them social proof that you know, other people think we're great. The reviews, the case studies, I mean that we can demonstrate that, that we've actually done what we're promising to do for you today. You know, that that element, you know, some of it starts in social media, certainly reputation, as I mentioned, content, which I'll get to in, in point number six. I mean, those are things that we have to focus on. Even if most of your transactions are across the desk from a, another human being.

John Jantsch (08:09): I'm not saying that we have to all be eCommerce businesses and sell all of our products and services, but just know that when somebody is beginning, their journey searched to find you or a business like yours, they're doing it online today. And so a focus on your online presence or a lack of focus on your online presence might be something that's holding you back. And I see it every day. Many people look at their website still as a brochure for their business, or as a way for people to contact them. Here's an interesting statistic that, uh, 86% of people who visit a website for the first time do, are there to do something other than make a purchase or contact that company. Right? So if that's the case, then our website, our online presence has a lot of jobs to do, and we have to understand how people are using it.

John Jantsch (08:55): All right, let's go to number four. This is where people start getting excited, but this is really something that holds a lot of businesses back. And that's just a lack of steady flow of leads. I mean, lead generation is something that, that obviously we want customers, but if we don't have leads, we obviously can't, uh, don't have that pipeline to really convert some percentage to customers. So once you narrow your ideal client focused and you really get solid on that core message, you know, now you have the ability to take that message into places where your ideal customer hangs out. And now all of a sudden your ads and driving people to your website and the content that you produce will be on target. it will have a lot more people saying, I wanna know more. They'll fill out your forms. They'll ask for free consultations.

John Jantsch (09:43): And that's really where lead generation starts is by connecting with the right people, with the right message.

John Jantsch (09:49): Hey, eCommerce brands did you know, there's an automated marketing platform. That's 100% designed for your online business. It's called drip, and it's got all the data insights, segmentation, savvy, and email and SMS marketing tools. You need to connect with customers on a human level, make boatloads of sales and grow with Gusto. Try drip for 14 days, no credit card required and start turning emails into earnings and SMS sends into ch Chans, try drip free for 14 days. Just go to go.drip.com/ducttapemarketingpod. That's go.drip.com/ducttapemarketingpod.

John Jantsch (10:33): All right, jumping into number five. Obviously we've gotta turn some of those leads into customers cause ultimately nobody wants leads. They want customers, right? so how do we do that? Well, the up the thing that most people do is they wait for somebody to, to raise their hand and then they try to sell them.

John Jantsch (10:52): And truly, and I know you've heard this before, but today, you know, nobody wants to be sold. They wanna be educated. They wanna learn why making the decision to buy from you or to hire you is gonna be the right decision. So that simply is a process. That's a system of continuing the education, continuing the customer journey so that you become the logical conclusion. So whether that is in a presentation that you're able to make, that really gets at the heart of understanding your customer's problem, that you're going to solve. That gets at the continued materials that you send them into a, you know, some sort of a try, you know, a great deal of what we do is actually have lead conversion meetings where we just continue to teach. We continue to use a process, the marketing hourglass process to help people understand not just what we're going to do, but why it's so important, why the, why there are areas in their business that they just have failed to address.

John Jantsch (11:50): So don't think of it as selling, think of it as educating, continuing the education process. All right. Number six out of 10. And again, I'll remind you that if you want to assess your business in these 10 areas that I'm describing today and you can do so by just jumping over to marketing assessment.co not.com.co, all right, number six, content, you know, so many people, content's probably the biggest creator of stress for most marketers, because it's a lot of work, especially now because you know, it used to be, you could produce anything and put it out there and you were ahead of the game, but now content is expected. In fact, it's the to play in marketing today. And because of that, it has to be good. You can't just occasionally put something on your website and call it content. All of the, a great deal of the customer journey when somebody's assessing whether or not you're somebody they even want to bother spending any time with or learning about they're going to be reading your content.

John Jantsch (12:52): They're going to be going in depth, frankly. It's a, it's one of the ways that many businesses get found today. I mean, if we've got some problem we're trying to solve or trying to understand, we turn to search engines. Well, if you are not producing content, that is significant in terms of consistency and in terms of quality and in terms of addressing the actual things people are searching for, then you're not gonna going to be found, um, maybe doubly true for a local business where somebody's just trying to find, Hey, is there an X kind of business near me? If you're not showing up in those map results or the three pack or, you know, your Google business profile page is not being optimized with proper content. Then in some ways you're invisible. If that's the only way people are finding businesses today, and that is one of the primary ways, then it's, it could be a real challenge.

John Jantsch (13:46): So content's gotta be part of your strategy. It's not just another tactic that you hope to get to. All right, number seven area. That's holding people back, okay. Now we've got leads coming in. We're converting. Those leads to customers. Retention now becomes really the biggest part. And what I mean by that, of course, is whatever that means for your business, whether it is recurring monthly revenue, it is repeat purchases. It is buying the next other thing. Or maybe taking that person. That's buying your starter model up to somebody who wants to now join a more expensive program. Retaining customers is how you build momentum. If you've got customers that are going out the door, , you know, as fast as they're coming in the door, obviously you can see it's gonna be very difficult to grow or build that business. But if you've got the right customers, I can tell you right now, most businesses have customers that some percentage, a small percentage, it might be 10 or 15% that would pay them three times, 10 times as much.

John Jantsch (14:53): If you could discover another thing to sell them or another program to elevate them or ladder than 'em up to. So have you focused on a, creating a great customer experience, onboarding, fulfilling, communicating, setting the right expectations. That's the key to retention quite frankly, but then are you focused on what more you can do discovering what more you can do the next stage. You can take your customers to, that's all part of it. All right. Number eight referrals. I mean, if you've got happy customers, you're retaining those customers, then you can make lead generation really simple. by not only being referable, but amplifying that referability having three, four, maybe five different approaches to generating referrals from all of your customers, or certainly from those champion customers, creating strategic partner relationships that are going to introduce you or allow you to get in front of more ideal customers.

John Jantsch (15:57): This is something that, that, you know, most businesses tell me that they get some percentage of referrals, but they're just happy accidents. But if we focused on this area as a significant part of our marketing, uh, all of a sudden that fact that you are referable, I mean, it's hard to get more referrals. if people aren't happy, but if you've got happy customers, if you are referable, then it can be a pretty simple trick or tactic I should say, to really ramp that up. All right. Number nine metrics. Okay. This is one that quite frankly I struggle with, maybe that's why it's number nine. that a lot of businesses struggle with, but I've certainly seen over the years, the value of understanding what works and what doesn't work, understanding who's coming to your website, what they're doing on your website, you know, setting up some simple key performance indicators, tracking referrals, tracking, retention, tracking, number of leads, tracking percentage of those leads that convert, you start getting close to those numbers.

John Jantsch (17:02): You, you will quite often see some surprises, things that you didn't know, you know, maybe a great deal of your traffic or a great deal of your actual traffic that turns into customers is coming from one place, not knowing that's has you shooting in the dark. And in many cases, wasting your efforts, you know, not tracking things, allows them to slip quite often. And all of a sudden you look up one day and you wonder why you're not generating leads because you haven't paid attention to where, you know, some of your metrics were off. This can, you can overdo this. We have the ability to track and access so much data today that it can be mind numbing. So the key really is to come up with maybe five or six at the most numbers that are very telling for you, that you can go to work on, that you can actually impact and make impact by attaching some of your tactics and your campaigns to all right, then the final one.

John Jantsch (17:58): And this one, maybe this could be first , but for number 10, this is one that I think is really interesting. And that is that you have a marketing plan that you are working from. Now, let me first say that if you Google marketing plan, you're gonna find all kinds of templates and, and documents and examples of marketing plans, even software that will allow you to create marketing plans. And the problem with most that I've seen along these lines is kind of just academic exercises. It's like here, create the executive summary, then create the table of content and it's like, oh, is house this gonna move my business forward? There are a lot of also on the flip side of that, you know, things like the one page marketing plan, Alan, Deb's been on this show. It's great book. The one page marketing plan, the point is having at least a set of intentions, a marketing plan to me can be as simple as saying, here's our ideal client.

John Jantsch (18:56): Here's our core message. , you know, here's where our ideal client hangs out. Here's what we're gonna do this quarter. You know, these are our top three priorities because we want to grow X percent, you know, in the quarter, or we wanna, we want to get X new customers in the, the quarter, or we want to have X new products launched in the quarter. Just simply having a plan that that says here's our intention. And maybe it's for the year, maybe it's for three years, but breaking it down into quarters. What I find is it, first off, it allows you to say, well, we can only do a couple things this quarter. So here's our priorities. And then instead of trying to do a million things poorly, we focus on two or three things, holy and they get done and they move the needle.

John Jantsch (19:40): Or at least we believe they're going to, or we wouldn't have put 'em on the list. So working from a plan that you revisit often, as opposed to something that you dread and you spend six weeks creating and documenting to, to the point where it then does, you know, good because you don't ever look at it again. The idea behind a plan is that it becomes an ongoing project plan for what you intend to do. And just as important, what you intend not to do for that quarter, because that's, to me then backs up into everything. Here's what our content has to be. Here are the campaigns. Here are the ads we have to run. Here's how we're gonna focus on retention or referrals or whatever it is. You create those priorities cuz you can't fix. Most people. Can't fix all 10 of the things that I've talked about, the key areas and not everybody needs to fix all 10.

John Jantsch (20:34): You know, hopefully I've stimulated some ideas today where you're thinking, well, gosh, we're really not doing anything on number five or number eight that John talked about. The point is of all of this is that, you know, marketing's not an event it's never over this is something that these 10 areas, quite frankly, are something that, you know, we might work with you and fix a little bit. And then we'd say, now let's go to the next level. Now let's take this, you know, foundation that we've built and really turn it into something that's going to consistently generate ideal customers. That's going to consistently generate monthly recurring revenue. That's going to consistently improve our revenue and our profit and our, you know, customer experience. All right. So that's it today. Those are 10 key areas that maybe holding your business back, figure out where you are in all 10 of these and figure out which are your priorities to go to work on.

John Jantsch (21:24): Just take our little quick [email protected] marketingassessment.co takes you about five minutes and you'll get a free report. You'll get a PDF that you can download that based on your answers is going to tell you exactly where you need to prioritize and what you need to do. All right. Take care of everybody. And uh, hopefully, uh, we'll see you one of these days out there on the road. Write to me, John at duct tape, marketing.com. Tell me what, what you think of this show, what you think of the assessment, or we'd love to visit with you. If you're in a position where you're like, we need help with this. I'd love to work with you on have my team work with you on building a strategy first for you. That would address all of these areas. All right, everybody take care.

 

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

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

 

Did you know there’s an automated marketing platform that’s 100% designed for your online business? It’s called Drip, and it’s got all the data insights, segmentation savvy, and email and SMS marketing tools you need to connect with customers on a human level, make boatloads of sales, and grow with gusto. Try Drip free for 14 days (no credit card required), and start turning emails into earnings and SMS sends into cha-chings.

2 Out-Of-The-Box Ways To Generate Referrals

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

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

Key Takeaway:

In this episode, I’m wrapping up this Referral series and masterclass on Referral Generation. I cover the last two approaches that are particularly unique but have extremely potent potential: creating your own expert networking club and building a referral mastermind system. You can find the links to all 5 of the episodes below.

Topics I cover:

  • [1:38] The sixth approach is creating your own expert networking club
  • [2:59] Where strategic partners can fit into this idea
  • [3:25] An example success story from my newest book of how creating a networking group has worked extremely well for others
  • [4:51] Why creating a group like this is a commitment and a long-term strategy – it takes time for this approach to flourish
  • [7:43] The seventh approach is building a referral mastermind system
  • [8:39] Creating a monthly referral training for your clients
  • [9:26] Why this works particularly well if your clientele is B2B
  • [10:04] Teaching others how to generate more referrals leads to more referrals for your business – the law of reciprocity just happens

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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 Ben Shapiro and 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 business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben's a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI, and automation. Download the MarTech podcast, wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:52): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch, and I'm doing another solo show. We're gonna talk about referrals. This is a wrap up. This is session number five of me covering the seven grades of referral fuel. If you haven't caught the other shows, you can find them @ ducttape.me slash duct tape in the show notes. Uh, we'll link to all those shows. So you can kind of somehow put all five shows on referrals together. It kind of a, it equates almost to a masterclass on my thinking on the idea of referral generations. Hopefully you can check it out. Love to hear your feedback, love your reviews and testimonials, uh, on the show. All right, this is, uh, number six of seven. So I'm gonna cover two of them today. This one, and, and actually both of these kind of are a little bit, they're not out there, but they're certainly not practice every day, but I think for the, the right business, the right person that really takes this and runs with it.

John Jantsch (01:49): So both of these ideas could be extremely, extremely potent. All right. So I did number six is to create your own expert networking club. Many folks are familiar with organizations like BNI, you know, where people get together and, and join a network of non-competing businesses. And they think about, uh, you know, generating referrals, uh, you know, from, from, and with each other. And those can be great for the right businesses. Those can be great organizations. The only problem is, is, you know, you're joining something that's already established. You really don't know who's there. Uh, you don't get to pick, you know, who's there. And so it's a potent idea, but what if you could control it completely? And what I mean by that is what would stop you from creating your own event? That was a regular, whether you call it a club or whatever you call, it is something that, that people would come to.

John Jantsch (02:45): So it might be like a monthly breakfast that, you know, I'm, I'm in the marketing space. So I might, you know, create something the monthly marketing breakfast, and I would just invite people locally. You know, maybe they'd pay for breakfast, but they'd come and they'd hear for the price of breakfast. They'd hear, you know, some small business topic and it, you know, it doesn't always have to be marketing in my case. Maybe I'd bring in some of my strategic partners. If you listen to last the, the last show on, on referrals, I talked extensively about strategic partners. So this would be a great opportunity for you to bring in those other professionals or folks that, that you work with and have them teach topics. So you're not just doing all the heavy lifting, you're really keeping it, uh, you're really keeping it relevant, you know, keeping it, uh, potent for, you know, reason for people to come.

John Jantsch (03:33): Now, one example that that I've used actually in, in my book, the, the ultimate marketing engine was a woman who, you know, doesn't, here's my point. It doesn't have to be related to your business. If there, if there's a topic or a reason to bring people together, that's going to be a value to them. Uh, it doesn't directly have to be related to your business. So the profile or the woman that I profile in my book, uh, actually was a real estate agent, but she was pretty good at marketing and learned a lot of these new, you know, digital tactics and things. And so she thought, well, I'll just reach out to entrepreneurs and see if they wanna have me. And, and other folks that I work with talk about marketing topics. And so she brought in entrepreneurs and businesses and, uh, around this topic of, of generally around the topic of marketing and they would meet, you know, monthly for breakfast started very small.

John Jantsch (04:19): I think the last time, uh, I talked to her, it was around two, 300 people would come to this thing. Well, she was not selling real estate. She wasn't talking about real estate, you know, as any of this, but she was clearly the one who benefited from, Hey, you know, I'm your host, you know, I'm bringing this together. Here's the next ex expert I'm bringing to you. So consequently, almost all of her business came when somebody, you know, who was in this club needed to buy or sell a house, guess who they thought of. So it really can just be a way for you to, uh, you know, to, to build some authority, to build some influence regardless of the industry, uh, that you're in. Now. There's a couple things that, that I think, make some sense on, if you're gonna take this approach, you're gonna have to commit to it.

John Jantsch (05:03): I mean, it's something where you maybe go out and get, you know, your existing clients and the 10 of you, you know, meet for the first time and then you ask them to bring people. So it's something that you'll, you, you can't just say, I'm gonna do this one day and, and have it just magically turn into this, uh, incredible thing. It's gonna take an investment of time and energy and, and probably some resources in the beginning, but it could build to the point where it could be a, a significant revenue generator, uh, for your business. I think the people that have done this kind of thing, there's another organization that I profiled the book called cadre, which is in the Washington, uh, DC area. And it was the same thing. It was a, a financial advisor who, you know, just got tired of going to the traditional networking things that everybody said you had to go do in order to, to, to meet people in that business.

John Jantsch (05:54): So he, he just started creating these monthly get togethers and he would bring in, you know, experts and authors and, you know, it was very, almost curated. You know, it grew to the point where it actually is. It actually became, he actually sold his financial, uh, planning practice and, and is doing this full time now is, is running this kind of networking club that, you know, people are very, very engaged in as, as members of this. So, you know, it, it really, it's an idea that could be a very big idea, but even, even as a small size idea, I think it really can do a lot of very positive things for your business. Now, I know some of the, in addition, I mean, I think these things work probably the best when people can physically get together. But I think also creating some sort of platform in like meet up and, or event bright, or even LinkedIn and Facebook, you know, events and groups, you know, having something so people can kind of in between these, uh, get togethers communicate as well.

John Jantsch (06:50): But I think that, that, you know, creating that kind of thing, there are many, many businesses that that can benefit from that. Hey, eCommerce brands did, you know, there's an automated marketing platform. That's 100% designed for your online business. It's called drip. And it's got all the data insights, segmentation, savvy, and email and SMS marketing tools. You need to connect with customers on a human level, make boatloads of sales and grow with Gusto. Try drip for 14 days, no credit card required and start turning emails into earnings. And SMS sends into ch CHS try drip free for 14 days. Just go to go.drip.com/ducttape marketingpod. That's go.drip.com/ducttapemarketingpod.

John Jantsch (07:42): All right. The seventh idea is something I call or a referral mastermind system. So the idea behind this, and this is, I think this can work for a lot of types of businesses, but any business that has clients, businesses has clients.

John Jantsch (08:00): I, I will have that caveat you'd need to be selling to businesses for this to work. One of the things that most of those businesses want is more business is more referrals now, regardless of what you do, obviously it's very natural. I do. I'm a marketing consultant. So me going to, to clients and saying, let me teach you how to generate referrals for your business. I mean, that's a very, very logical thing, but you don't have to be, imagine that financial planner I talked about, and they let's say they were working with businesses or law firm, it doesn't really matter. You're working with businesses. Well, all of those businesses, yes, they want what you do for them, but they also want more business . And so what if you created a kind of monthly referral training for your clients and, and this, and in effect, it's not gonna really be this high level training in some ways, it's, it's really gonna be about you bringing them together to talk about and facilitate the, the idea of referral generation.

John Jantsch (08:58): Right? In fact, you could do this in one, on one or, or certainly in groups, you could create some sort of compensation or point system where, you know, people are, you're teaching a referral topic, but you're teaching them a referral topic each month. You're, you're getting them together to talk about how to generate more referrals, or maybe just effectively talking about what they did that month to, to generate referrals. Maybe in some cases they would actually refer each other. In fact, in a lot of instances where if you're B, if your clientele is primarily B2B, that's probably going to happen, but ultimately what's gonna happen is they're going to refer business to you. If you, if you help somebody get more referrals, it is just sort of a, a human law of human nature. I never can say that word reciprocity. There we go. You know, just happens.

John Jantsch (09:52): I mean, if you're teaching somebody how to generate more referrals, they're going to, to, to really reply and kind, and generally speaking, you know, you're the financial planner or you're the lawyer. Who's actually not only doing the legal work that you are hired to do. You're actually teaching them how to build their business. Who's not gonna refer that business. Who's not gonna wanna bring people into your, you know, your referral mastermind group. So this is something that, you know, I just wanna plant the seed for this idea, but I, you know, this would be very easy. If you've already got a client base, this would be very easy to put together. You just create, you know, you just talk about it as almost a networking group or, you know, a referral mastermind loosely. It's gonna be about teaching referrals or facilitating, uh, referrals. You can pick up a book or two on, on the idea of referrals.

John Jantsch (10:42): The ultimate marketing engine comes to mind. I wrote another book called the referral engine, you know, pick up either one of those books and you'll have a whole curriculum for what to teach in your, you know, if you, if you take this idea and you know, you spend a few, uh, your monthly meeting might look like you're spending a, you know, a few minutes meeting and greeting, then people will just go around and share, Hey, here's a success I had then maybe for 20 minutes, you teach a key lesson. Then a lot of times in mastermind groups, it's very common to say, put somebody in a hot seat and say, well, here's, you know, let's talk about a challenge you're having. And then obviously if there's any way to share referrals in, you know, in that, you know, or somebody can say, Hey, here's a referral I'm looking for.

John Jantsch (11:21): I, I think just these won't have to be that structured. I, I, I believe in experience teaches me, has taught me that, you know, just bringing people together, even with a loose agenda is going to bear fruit. They're going to find, uh, that valuable. So it's, if that's the case, it's certainly gonna be worth the time that you invest in doing it. All right. So that's my seven grades of referral fuel. Hopefully you've got some, uh, extra tips and ideas out of the, we'll try to connect the whole series for you. There are actually five. This is number five of five. Hopefully you've had a chance to listen to the other four. If not, you can find them at ducttape.me/podcast. All right. Take care out there. And hopefully we'll see you someday soon out there on the road.

John Jantsch (12:07): Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not.com.co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketingassessment.co I'd love to chat with you about the results that you get.

 

 

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

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

 

Did you know there’s an automated marketing platform that’s 100% designed for your online business? It’s called Drip, and it’s got all the data insights, segmentation savvy, and email and SMS marketing tools you need to connect with customers on a human level, make boatloads of sales, and grow with gusto. Try Drip free for 14 days (no credit card required), and start turning emails into earnings and SMS sends into cha-chings.

What It Means To Humanize A Brand (And How To Do It Well)

Marketing Podcast with Jacqueline Lieberman

Headshot of Jacqueline Lieberman who was a guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jacqueline Lieberman. Jacqueline is the former Managing Partner and the Head of Strategy Story Worldwide and the current founder of BrandCrudo.

Key Takeaway:

Brands are people’s introduction to businesses and their way to interact with companies. The more human a brand is, the better that interaction is going to be. All of the beloved brands that are out there are the ones that behave like human beings. They have a conscience, a point of view, a soul, and a personality. In this episode, Jacqueline Lieberman discusses the work that she does with her clients and the ways in which she has helped many brands become more human.

Questions I ask Jacqueline Lieberman:

  • [1:04] One of the things you’re talking about often is making brands more human and putting purpose into practice – can you talk about taking it beyond the tagline?
  • [3:54] Some companies brand themselves in a way that has nothing to do with their product – like insurance companies for example. Is creating a brand personality an effective approach?
  • [5:36] How do brands address the fact that there are so many channels to reach consumers that are in a lot of ways out of their full control?
  • [8:26] What’s generally going on when a business calls in an outside brand strategist, what’s your process, and then what do you do to try to turn the ship?
  • [12:28] What role does internal politics play in bigger companies when it comes to branding?
  • [13:42] How often do you get the chance to go deeper than marketing?
  • [14:58] Do you have any examples where typical gaps happen and there’s no internal communication that is creating a bad experience?
  • [19:26] 2021 is still going to be a year where people are reeling from 2020. Is there a message of trends, behaviors, or things that people need to be aware of?

More About Jacqueline Lieberman:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:01): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by Ben Shapiro and 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 business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben's a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI, and automation. Download the MarTech podcast, wherever you get your podcast. Hello,

John Jantsch (00:52): And welcome to another episode with the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Jacqueline Lieberman. She's a former managing partner and the head of strategy for story worldwide and the current founder of brand kudo. So I guess we're gonna talk about brands today. So Jacqueline, thanks for joining me.

Jacqueline Lieberman (01:11): Thanks for having me, John

John Jantsch (01:13): Pleasure. So I, I, I always like to get kind of to deeper than the tagline, shall we say when I talk to people about branding, one of the things that, that you are talking about is making brands more human, putting purpose into practice, and I'd love it. If you would take that beyond the tagline.

Jacqueline Lieberman (01:30): Oh, sure. Well, I mean, I think one of the things, one of my goals is really when I say I wanna make brands more human is when I think about brands, brands are really people's introduction and their way to interact with companies. Mm-hmm so that's what a brand is to people. So the more human that, that brand is the better that interaction's going to be. So all the beloved brands that are out there, those are the ones that really just behave like a human being. They have a conscience, they have a point of view, right? They have a soul. So, so I think that's, that's what I try and help my clients to do,

John Jantsch (02:06): But they're also probably telltale signs are also able to communicate that effectively and deliver on it effectively. And, and people experience that it's not enough to just have that soul. Is it

Jacqueline Lieberman (02:16): Exactly? exactly. You have to practice what you preach and you can't just say it, it cannot just be a nice phrase on the lobby wall. You actually have to walk the walk.

John Jantsch (02:26): So I work, I work with a lot of small business owners and have over the years. And if I mention the, the, you know, I sometimes call it the B word because they're, they're almost like, oh, well I don't have a brand that's that's for big product companies. And my contention is every business has a brand because it's, it's really just the collective perception of the people that you come into contact with good, bad or indifferent. So, so where do you fall on, you know, companies kind of ignoring that idea?

Jacqueline Lieberman (02:52): Well, I mean, I think even, even those owners, their brands, their personal brands. Yeah. Yeah. Just walking around embodying. So, so even if it's their company and just because they might have a, a business name doesn't mean that they're not a brand cuz they're associated with, when they, when somebody hears the name of that company, somebody is going to have a gut feeling about that, that company. And so whether it's the, the, person's the founder's name on the wall, or it happens to be a name that you just made up that has to resonate with people. And so you have to really pay attention to that and have some care and attention into branding, even if you're small.

John Jantsch (03:33): So, so I want to get into some specifics, but I will tell you this time of year, a lot of people are watching, uh, football. I don't know if you're an NFL fan at all, but uh, playoff season, a lot of people are. And, and of course all the ads are insurance companies that are basically communicating a brand that has nothing to do with their product, progressive Geico, even state farm. It seems, seems to be the trend with insurance companies is, is create personality. So we don't have to talk about products. People don't really wanna buy anyway. So, so talk a little bit about that as an effective approach. And, and is it for everyone?

Jacqueline Lieberman (04:11): Well, I mean, I think so taking insurance, just for an example, I mean, so that's, that's a tough, that's a tough market to be in. Right? Right. So talk about like a low interest category. We're not talking about automobiles that people look forward to having that purchase when the, when the time comes. So, so taking that tact is, is smart for insurance because they have to associate their brand with something that's positive because for insurance, the flip side of insurance is that you don't wanna need it. So the flip side is that there's some sort of disaster that has happened to you, so they wanna make it a positive feeling. And I think that that's exactly why all of those brands are taking the T that they are. But that said, I think that that's a lesson, a lot of brands can, can take. And it doesn't matter. A lot of, as you mentioned before, oh, I'm a small business and I'm not a big brand, but I think it doesn't matter what category you're in. You can still create a brand around what you're doing because that has to resonate with people. And that's the only way that you're going to be able to connect with people is, is by doing that

John Jantsch (05:17): Well. And I think particularly today there's so many channels and ways to reach, uh, consumers that I think a lot of that's happened. I, I, I think brands in a lot of cases, what going back 20, 30, 40 years ago, I know you weren't around, but, but for some of my listeners, the brand was kind of the personality of your advertising in a lot of ways was, was the brand. But now you go on, you look at Google reviews and they talk about rusty, the technician that came to their house and did an amazing job. And all of a sudden that's the brand. So how, how do, how do you suggest that brands? I, I wanna say deal, that's probably the wrong word address. The fact that there are so many channels and, and so much of the, the brand in a lot of ways is certainly out of our control.

Jacqueline Lieberman (05:59): Yeah. And, and I think, well, I mean, I know that Marty Newmeyer, famous author of the brand gap, he, he basically says a brand is not what you say it is. It's what, what everybody else says it is. And so that's really, that's really what a brand is. So in looking at those reviews and that's the best social listening that a brand can do by the way is, uh, that's the best consumer insight. But I think when looking at brands, I usually the, the quickest, one of the quick tools that I always give to, uh, any client and even on social me, my social media feeds is saying, if you think about a brand in terms of three spheres of like, think of a ven diagram of you have mind, you have heart, you have conscience. And it's thinking about a brand as like in their mind, what's their point of view in the conscience, what's the soul.

Jacqueline Lieberman (06:50): How do you wanna be remembered? And the heart is what are your non-negotiable beliefs? So in saying those things, and, and when you're talking about and how to deal with reviews, it's the reviews fit under one of those things, right? Yeah. So, so it's like, and how a branch should respond is really about that. So if you're always thinking in the realm of that, you have kind of those three facets of the brand, it really dimensionalizes it. And it gives you latitude to dial things up or down as you need to. So you can still be agile and respond. So it doesn't have to be just here's the advertising line. It's like, well, no, what's our point of view about this, or no, how do we help these people who are having the same problem in these reviews? And so I think it's just like an easy construct that people can really wrap their heads around. Even if they know nothing about branding or marketing. I just kind of give that to them as a, as a framework. And it starts to lead people, even non marketers down to a place of like, Hmm. How, how do I think about my brand as a conscience? Yeah. And

John Jantsch (07:52): So, yeah. So as you start getting into like, what would the brand do cluster, right. we can use that as a decision making. We need to get some of those little bands and put 'em

Jacqueline Lieberman (08:02): Exactly

John Jantsch (08:03): Say that. So, so when somebody calls you in, and I know that you, I, I, I know that it's very common for, uh, brands to have a marketing agency that is really doing a lot of the tactics, a lot of the execution, and they will typically sometimes call in a, an outside or a third party brand, uh, strategist what's generally going, uh, is about a five part question what's generally going on when that happens. And then what's your process then for adding or, or I think you used the word excavating as a, as a, as part of the process. So, so walk me through what's going on when somebody finally does that. And then what do you do to try to turn the ship?

Jacqueline Lieberman (08:41): Yeah. Well, I mean, a lot of times, so unfortunately what happens is, and I don't know why maybe you can tell me why, in your opinion, I'd love to hear what you think about it is. I don't know why, but there's when management, there seems to be a, a change in management. Yeah. And it doesn't matter, uh, really what the level is, but it's typically at the senior level, they feel like that they need to completely blow up the brand. Yeah. And start over and put their own point of view and their spin on it for the sake of doing something new and relevant. And I'm not saying that that being new and relevant and, and having a new marketing point of view is, is the wrong way to go. Because usually if there's a change in leadership, there's a need for that change. Yeah.

Jacqueline Lieberman (09:30): Yeah. But the, the part that I, that I always find so surprising is that they come in with no regard to the history of the brand, the origin story of the brand. So whether that origin was five years ago or 50 years ago, or a hundred years ago, it doesn't matter. Every brand started for some reason, it was some somebody thought of it for a reason. There was a value there. So typically what happens is I've gotten called in now more, more than I can count for that scenario where there's a change of a change. Of course, the rest of the team doesn't agree. The senior management wants to go in one direction, but then there's legacy people who feel like that they're go, that it's in their gut, that it doesn't feel right. Yeah. And they need somebody, they need like a, a third party to come in to just kind of almost do brand therapy.

Jacqueline Lieberman (10:22): Yeah. To understand. So, so the excavate, the excavating part is me talking to the CEO or the CMO and finding out. So tell me exactly why is it that you think that this part of the brand needs to change. And very often those are the conversations that's when I start pulling out really the reasons why, because the reasons that they're articulating is actually not it at all. Yeah. Yeah. And so when I start going in and asking those questions, well, tell me why, and tell me a little bit more about that. And then I also will interview the, the other stakeholders, the people who perhaps have been on board for a while, and I start to kind of marry those two worlds together. And, and that's really the beginning of the new brand foundation. So it doesn't mean that we're forgetting the origin story. And it doesn't mean that all we're talking about is legacy stuff. It just means that we're creating a new foundation starting from a fresh place that has everybody's input at the table. Does that make sense?

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John Jantsch (12:38): Out. Yeah, absolutely. But I, but you could see the, you could see the pressure, the internal pressure, the CMO just got fired. The new CMO is not going to make any headway by saying, we're just gonna keep going down this path. Right. Exactly. They do have to bring in kind of their ownership home. This is sort of a weird question, but since we're talking about bigger companies, what role does politics internally play in, in the mess that gets made?

Jacqueline Lieberman (13:02): Yeah, a lot. Uh, it's a huge role. And I think, and a lot of, a lot of my role I end up playing is I am the facilitator and I'm bringing all of these worlds together in a way that allows them to all speak their mind right. In a safe place. And, and I'm the one. So if I'm the one that's coming up with the insights and playing back, what I heard, then there isn't, there, there are no enemies made because they can't argue really with me. Right. Because it's like, well, I'm saying, well, this is what I heard. Yeah. And so that's, so I become like the facilitator, the therapist, the marriage counselor, bringing everybody together. But at the same point, I'm also constantly asking questions to mind. Well, why, and tell me more about that. And when you say your values are, you're a trusted brand, by the way, everybody says they're a trusted brand, but tell me exactly why you think that. So, so that's really a lot of what my role is, is to help get away from those politics and just kind of ask the right questions.

John Jantsch (14:06): How often do you get the chance to go deeper than marketing? So into sales, into service, you know, into, you know, pretty much every facet because I that's all part of the brand, whether people people say it or not. So how, how often do you get that opportunity?

Jacqueline Lieberman (14:22): Well, when I do workshops, I specifically ask for the attendees in the workshops to be all representatives from. And I ask for, give me somebody from sales, give me somebody from R and D, somebody who sits in customer service. I don't want all marketing people in that room. Right. So I say, if we have to make this a, a two part process, then let's do it. But I do not wanna have all marketing people in the room because, because to your point, a brand is made up of all different facets. It's not just what the marketing team streams up. So I need to understand the points of view. And very often a lot of that insight comes from the people, not in the marketing department. It comes from the people on the front lines or the people who are thinking about the brand in different ways.

John Jantsch (15:06): Yeah. Referrals rarely happen because of good marketing

Jacqueline Lieberman (15:10):

John Jantsch (15:11): Right. And, and, and yet most businesses, a significant part of their business comes by way of referral. And that happens because somebody had a great experience. Yeah. Yeah. Not, not because they saw a fun ad. That's true. So do you have, do you have any, I was gonna say examples that you don't necessarily have to use, uh, concrete examples, but do you have any examples of where sort of typical gaps happen and, and it's almost like there's no internal communication and that's creating a bad experience.

Jacqueline Lieberman (15:40): Yeah. Well, I mean, there's, there's one where there's a, a human legacy founder person. Mm-hmm, , who's either no longer with the company and the company is struggling with how to tell that story. So some struggle with, do we tell it at all, or some are struggling with, how do we tell it and then tell it in a new way? Yes. So there's, so that's, uh, that's a typical problem that, that I tend to, to face with with clients. Another is they, they have a, a really great mission statement and all of the players are all kind of singing out of the same hymn books, so to speak, except they don't know what to do with it. So they don't know like they know why they're there and they're really jazzed about working there, but they don't have like that, that statement that actually, because it, it tends to be a mission statement's also very long, typically as opposed to like a purpose statement, which could be very condensed and piffy, and you can remember it.

Jacqueline Lieberman (16:40): So really the recall is really how people start to embody it in their everyday life. So if you can't remember what your mission is, then it's like, then it's probably too long and wordy, right. And you probably need to revisit it. But the other part of it is taking that purpose into practice. And, and that really is going right down to, at the HR level of like, you need to put your purpose in your job postings, make sure you're hiring the right culture. You need to put it in your performance reviews, that everybody needs to be accountable for living the purpose and embodying it in your everyday jobs. Because if, if, if you don't bring it down to that level, then it really is just a nice statement in the lobby.

John Jantsch (17:24): Yeah. It's interesting. I think there are growing consensus among, uh, organizations that internal communications is actually where branding maybe starts.

Jacqueline Lieberman (17:32): Yes.

John Jantsch (17:33): Completely. So, so talk to me a little bit about whether what you've seen or maybe how you sort of advise people on that.

Jacqueline Lieberman (17:41): Yeah. I mean, I think it's it really, because, I mean, I think it's the, it's how people think about marketing. So people just think that marketing is this advertising box that you need to track in order to sell stuff. But at the same point, it's really having a group of evangelists who believe in it inside mm-hmm . So that's why, when I talk about I, I came from the world of brand storytelling and of course I, I believe in brand storytelling, but I also really started to think about, and, and started my consulting around brand truth because no one can argue with what's true. So if you could really, really believe it and believe it on the inside, inside the walls, that's how the marketing really starts because then people are excited to be at work. They feel well compensated. They feel well respected. And, and it doesn't matter whether you are part of the marketing team, you are marketing for that company because you're happy being there. Yeah. So you're creating evangelists inside the walls, and that's the first step of marketing right there.

John Jantsch (18:42): Well, and it's, it's, it's painful almost to see these companies, that transparency is one of our core values. And then internally there's no transparency going on. Cause I really think that's, excuse me. I really think that's the biggest disconnect is people sit around and come up with what should sound good rather than what, like you said, what is

Jacqueline Lieberman (19:01): Yeah, exactly. I mean, when it's very, I mean, and I, I could see why it happens because businesses they're myopically focused on the task at hand, right in front of them. And they're trying to just get through what they need to get through, especially right now, everybody is, you know, having a hard time and in all different ways, but, but you have to at least be in the regular practice of going 30,000 feet once in a while, once a quarter, once a year, at least, and start to look at your brand from that level and say, how are we really living our purpose? Is it really trickling down? Is it something that we need to reevaluate? How are we creating this world for the consumer? That's something that they wanna be in, as opposed to us just selling messages

John Jantsch (19:50): 2021 is still gonna be a year where I think people are reeling from 2020. And so is there a, is there a message of trends or behaviors or things that people need to be aware of or looking out for, or doing more of or doing less of, or is it still, is, is it really just a matter of, of be true and stay the course?

Jacqueline Lieberman (20:14): Well, I mean, well, it's definitely be true and stay the course. I mean, for sure what the pandemic has highlighted, is it really highlighted the brands who did not, if they were not already purpose driven, it really highlighted the brands who were struggling with that. So it's like, if you already know that and that's already part of your marketing, then it's, you're ahead of the game. And the reason why is because consumers are really out there and they're looking for, they're looking for something like they're looking for a little glimmer of hope and optimism, and that's what brands and companies give each other. And so if you're just giving PLA platitudes and you're not really doing anything of substance, then consumers are really gonna look at that and they're making their choices because of that. And, and I think the brands who are winning right now are the ones that are, are really doing things that are, that are real and not just marketing because they're trying to just hang on and survive.

John Jantsch (21:13): Yeah. They're, they're meaningful in some way to their customers. Good way. Look at, so you have a podcast as well called people what they could expect if they tuned in.

Jacqueline Lieberman (21:25): Sure. Um, so I've been told that it's, uh, NPR, like in terms of, in terms of the format and I, I like to have guests on who either have a great brand story to tell. So if it's a new up and coming brand, or even a legacy brand, I like to have brands on who have an authentic story and beginning that they wanna share. And I try to dissect that in a way that I extract insights that really, if you are a planner, if you're a creative designer, uh, account person, if you're listening to it, you can apply those insights directly to your work. And that's really what I'm trying to do is, is give people kind of like a marketing insights, 1 0 1 that if you need, if you have 20 minutes from your day and you wanna listen, but you can listen to that and extract and apply to your work.

John Jantsch (22:11): Awesome. So you wanna tell people where, uh, they can find out more about, uh, brand KU and, uh, your work. Sure.

Jacqueline Lieberman (22:18): Yeah. So you can go to dub, dub, dub, brand kudo.com and on there's a link to UN uncooked we're on apple, Spotify anywhere you, you know, get to podcast, but, but yeah, you can find everything there on brand kudo.com.

John Jantsch (22:32): Awesome. Well, Jacqueline there's pleasure spending time with you this afternoon and hopefully, uh, we can run into each other when we're back out there on the road someday.

Jacqueline Lieberman (22:39): Wouldn't that be nice. that would be great. Thanks so much, John, for having me.

John Jantsch (22:44): Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not.com.co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketingassessment.co I'd love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

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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The Strategy Behind Building A Thriving Online Community For Your Brand

Marketing Podcast with Jenny Weigle

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jenny Weigle. Jenny has been creating, executing, and reviewing strategies for online communities for more than 10 years. She’s worked with more than 100 brands on various aspects of their community strategy and implementations, including launch, migration, programming, and planning.

Key Takeaway:

Community is one of those big buzzwords right now. So what even is community? Does your business need to have one? And what even is the benefit of building a community in the first place? Jenny Weigle has worked with more than 100 brands on aspects of their community strategy and implementations. In this episode, she’s breaking down why it’s so important today to build an online community of raving fans and customers for your business and the best ways to go about it.

Questions I ask Jenny Weigle:

  • [1:19] How would you define community and how is it different than my Facebook business profile or page?
  • [2:50] Do the people who join a community intend on engaging with many members or is it really because of the way the technology works?
  • [3:59] Who needs to be thinking about community — B2B brands or B2C brands?
  • [5:58] Does the way community is used change based upon its a small or enterprise-sized brand?
  • [7:02] What are some of the platforms for a community that works well for smaller businesses?
  • [8:51] What is some of the standard advice you give to brands on how to get engagement in a community they’re building?
  • [10:42] What are the benefits of a B2B company growing a community?
  • [12:41] Are there upsell opportunities in communities?
  • [13:20] What are the risks of having a community?
  • [14:13] How do you approach someone giving their honest opinion in a group or community that isn’t so flattering of your product?
  • [15:00] Should you be curating members for a community?
  • [16:13] What have you seen people do effectively to keep people active in a community through rewards?
  • [19:02] What are a few of your favorite communities that you think are doing it right?
  • [20:25] Where can people learn more about you and your work?

More About Jenny Weigle:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:01): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by Ben Shapiro and 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 business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben's a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI, and automation. Download the MarTech podcast wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:51): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Jenny Weigle. She's been creating, executing and reviewing strategies for online communities. For more than 10 years, she's worked with more than 100 brands on various aspects of their community strategy and implementations, including launch migration, programming and planning. So we're gonna talk about community today. So Jenny welcome.

Jenny Weigle (01:18): Thanks John. Great to be here.

John Jantsch (01:20): Should we start off by defining community? It seems like that's one of those words that for the last 10 years, you know, really gets batted around means a lot of different things. Like, for example, how is community different than my Facebook profile or page?

Jenny Weigle (01:37): Yeah. So the types of communities I work on are peer to peer, usually customer communities. Yeah. So community is a buzzword right now for sure. It's being utilized in a lot of different ways. So I'm really glad that you asked that to start this off, John and one of the differences between say, you know, the communities that I work with and the Facebook following that you might have. Right, right, right. Is that when you are putting things out on your Facebook page, it is a one to many conversation that's happening, right. People have opted to like your page and follow you. They want to know when you've posted things. They want to hear what you have to say. They wanna know when you have updates when you're announcing something. Right. Right. So one to many is a big and a critical factor around social media communities. Okay. Yeah. But the peer to peer communities that I work on are many to many meaning that at any time of the day, you know, someone can post a question, someone can post something and anyone else in the community can go and answer. And so it's not reliant on a main account, like an Instagram even, or a Twitter for whoever runs the account. Yeah. To first say something to kick off a conversation, right. In these closed communities, one can be starting off a conversation at any time.

John Jantsch (02:50): So is that really a point of view difference or a technology difference? I mean, is that, you know, like, do people join a community like that intent on engaging with many members or is it really just because the way the technology works,

Jenny Weigle (03:03): Both actually. Yeah. There's lots of reasons people join communities. Usually the ones that I work with people are joining because they have a shared interest with the purpose, the community or the members in it, or the brand that's hosting it. They might need a quick response or quick answer to something. And the quickest way they're gonna get that is actually joining the community versus calling a company's social, uh, customer service line or submitting an email or so forth. Some people will do it for status because there are some communities where if you are active enough, you can start to get certain perks and so forth. Some people do it for a connection and belonging. They just wanna find other people who have shared interests as them. And, uh, but they're usually the technology to host. These types of communities is very different than social media technology.

John Jantsch (03:47): So I think a lot of, I think there were certain types of organizations. There are certain types of brands where it just made sense. I mean, Pringles needed a community, right. Or being at, and M's needs a community really, you know, more and more people are getting into it. So, I mean, is it really still a B to C thing? Is it a B to B thing now? You know, I guess the general question is like, who needs to be thinking community?

Jenny Weigle (04:11): Well, I think everyone should consider community. Yeah. But community is not necessarily for everyone. I think that's what we're you might be touching on there. John. And I agree with that statement, not every business or business owner should have community. Okay.

John Jantsch (04:25): But you did agree that Pringles needs one, right?

Jenny Weigle (04:27): I'm not, not so sure, but I heard that Wendy started one on discord. Yeah. No. B2B is actually one of the most popular areas of people starting community right now. In fact, that's predominantly my clients right now. Okay. Are B2B communities B2C? Sometimes it's a little more obvious what some of the community benefits are, but B2B is very active in thriving. There's some companies doing great job, a great job out there of running their communities, really creating belonging, creating connection. Yeah. Creating unique incentives for the people who participate the most and recognizing those individuals. And there's also this new wave of either solo entrepreneurs or small businesses that are starting communities. And there's different kinds of technologies starting to appeal to them because obviously the small business owner is not gonna pay the same prices as an enterprise brand for some of these. Right. Right. And these are a lot of the software platforms that I work with that would be extremely pricey for many consultants, solopreneurs, small business owners. I can Dodge for that cause I am one. Yeah. So it's really neat to see these newer platforms coming out that are at our, sorry, are at a lower price point and still serving up great features and functionality for a truly unique experience.

John Jantsch (05:37): I mean, in some ways, when you talk about like a consultant doing, you know, community, it really is in a lot of ways. It's just, I see people who are it as a way to get to know people as a way to start it, to introduce what it would be like to work with them. You know, perhaps as a way to, to really build something that maybe turns into high masterminds and things like that. I mean, is that so different from, you know, a big brand, how a big brand uses it with their customers,

Jenny Weigle (06:05): Not so different in the overall purpose and goals there. Yeah. Yeah. I think a lot of what we're trying to achieve are the same things. Unfortunately, these big brands have the, sometimes the means to hire large community teams so they can do a lot more with their communities and, you know, consultants, small business owners might just have themselves, maybe one or two other people who could help them on the community. And the thing is without someone dedicated toward nurturing the community and help make those connections and nurture the conversations, it will become as a dead zone. And it won't be worth your time. And that's, I guess one advantage that enterprise brands have over that is that they can hire somebody a hundred percent dedicated to that. Right. And we know like the work we do, we're a hundred percent dedicated to every facet of our business. We can't just focus in on one and stay on there.

John Jantsch (06:50): Yeah. And so the thus the 2 million dead Facebook groups that are out there. Right. exactly. So you, you hit on a couple things I was gonna ask about, I wanna double back to maybe giving you a chance you met, you said there are new technologies. What are some of the platforms that, that you like for that smaller price point or that, that smaller business?

Jenny Weigle (07:08): All right. Folks, get ready and write these down or replay because these are definitely some companies you will want to check out. First one disciple sometimes also called disciple media. I think they're starting to go by disciple now, mighty networks, circle dot, so and tribe. And again, a lot of these are appealing to that individual business owner or small business team. And it is a really neat platform to all of them are new platforms. I've seen the UI. It's beautiful. And it's like I said, the price points are nowhere near what these enterprise brands are, are paying. And couple of these specialize in a cohort based experience. So if you're offering any kind of teachings, masterminds classes that you also want a community to prepare and compliment that experience, or you want to welcome people into a community after they have completed it as kind of, you know, part of their graduation gift. Yeah. And yet you're staying in touch with 'em. So some of these have the ability to do that. Also some of these platforms have the ability to offer paid communities. So if you were to start up a community and you wanna charge $5 a month, $50 a month, whatever's gonna be right for your audience. They have the ability to do that as well.

John Jantsch (08:15): Yeah. And you mentioned the cohorts and things. I really think people are a little bit tired of the watch video training, you know, and the idea of having training or learning along with engagement of like-minded individuals. I think people are hungry for that. We're kind of tired of zoom TV and so, you know, a little more personal engagement, I think is really, as I said, people are hungry for the second thing you touched on is it's a lot of work. I think people, you know, the idea they hear of communities like, yeah, that sounds great. But if you aren't in their creating conversation, responding to everything rewarding, as you said, the people that are that seem to be talking a lot. So how do you know, what are some of your, what are some of the advice you give or standard advice for first off, how you get engagement, but then how you need to be thinking about, you know, the, whether it's hiring somebody or dedicating, you know, some staff time to,

Jenny Weigle (09:06): Well, if you're going to try this world of community here, one of the things you can do right off the bat is try to see if you can get some volunteer moderators or volunteer hosts in there with you. So that you're not the, always the one who has to kind of kick off the conversation and also see if some people there's some people who want to also throw some virtual events for your community or help post in person events. So kind of getting this exclusive group together, maybe even giving them some extra perks for taking this on, right. That can take some of the work off of you. And then of course you're managing a team and that still takes time. But I think it also says something really strong to the community when it's not just you doing everything, but they see other community members are also helping to plan and organize events.

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John Jantsch (10:36): You've touched on a few of 'em, but maybe I'll kind of tee it up and you can give your typical sales pitch for this. You know, what are the benefits of, you know, of a typical, you know, B2B company growing a community?

Jenny Weigle (10:48): Oh my gosh, there are a ton of benefits. Probably the easiest to calculate, right, right away is support and customer service needs. Right? Sure. You have one of your agents in there as a moderator handling any of those kinds of questions and, or actually not even handling, but in there to address anything, anyone can't answer, but in a really successful B2B community, it's your other community members who are answering the questions and that saves money on from customer service perspective for those costs. But then from a marketing perspective, you've also got, you know, you wanna create a, an area of loyal fans and of raving loyal fans, right? And when they start to connect to each other and start realizing these are connections that only could have been made through that one community, that's pretty powerful. You can also start getting testimonials out of it.

Jenny Weigle (11:33): And depending on the kind of platforms you're picking to have your community, these days, you can start to create some great SEO because the search engine's favor, user generated timely and relevant content, which is all happening on communities. Let's see. So that's a benefits to customer, to customer service. That's benefiting marketing from a customer success standpoint. You can keep track of how many of you know, your clients are active on the community and kind of, you know what they're talking about, maybe they're starting to ask questions about products they don't own yet. So, you know, any good customer success professional would keep an eye on what their clients are talking about, especially if they might be able to spot upsell opportunities. Yeah. And if you're on any kind of a product team at a B2B company, the community will not only help educate people on more features and functionality, cuz people are gonna be asking, how do I use this part? What's a tip for using this area. So that's gonna create awareness and adoption of further of your products. Yeah. But you can also set up kind of an idea area, you know, and let people pitch their ideas or you could propose a number of ideas, let people vote on them. So there's just so many facets of a company, especially a B2B company that a community can benefit.

John Jantsch (12:41): Well, and you didn't mention this explicitly and I'm sure that you have to be cautious of this, but certainly there's upsell opportunities as well. Right? I mean, somebody that's in it, you know, now learns about this higher level thing they can do.

Jenny Weigle (12:54): Exactly. And I've seen that happen with my clients before. Yeah. They have seen conversations happening amongst members. So these were not solicited by staff or anything. And people are talking about a newer product coming out and that opened a door for them to have some, you know, the relationship manager, contact them separately outside of the community and start to say, Hey, what kind of questions can I answer for you about this?

John Jantsch (13:17): Yeah. So let's do the flip side of that. What are risks? What are risks of doing this? Obviously you can have all kinds of community rules and have moderators and whatnot, but at some point you really, people are gonna say what they're gonna say.

Jenny Weigle (13:32): People are gonna say what they're gonna say. And that's why it's very important to have community guidelines in place as well as moderation efforts happening. Yeah. Yeah. So the risks are that if you allow people to go off the community guidelines and start, and aren't adhering to that, what you're creating is an unsafe environment for the rest of everyone else. And you're also diminishing the value of the community. It's not the experience others signed up for. Right. If people can go on and break the guidelines and speak offensive, inappropriate things. Right. So yeah, that is a risk. And it's also a risk. If you're not tending enough to nurturing the community, that it could become a dead zone and it actually looks quite bad on you and your brand. Yeah. If people go to this and see that the last, you know, post was three months ago. Right. And no one's really interacting.

John Jantsch (14:14): Yeah. Well I think what I was getting at a little more, because obviously you have the guidelines, you know, somebody breaks guidelines, you just like, see ya, but what about somebody giving their honest opinion? That's not so flattering of your product or service.

Jenny Weigle (14:26): That's always a tough decision for brands to have to come to. And I have clients that have done that a couple different ways. I have some clients that don't allow any kind of competitor talk and I have some clients that are open to it and they do list some kind of limitations on what, when you're, what you're talking about. So some only allow people to pose questions, you know, some people will not allow an entire testimonial about another, another product. Yeah. Yeah. It's it really just depends on what the community's purpose is and, and yeah. And how the members will respond to what you're putting out there as the guidelines.

John Jantsch (15:00): Talk to me a little bit about curation. Should you be curating members, you know, for a community? So, so what I mean by that is that, you know, you talked about, I mean, people want to go to a place where they're gonna be with peers or where they're, if it is in a B2B community, they're gonna wanna be able to get answers from people that are having the same problems they're having. Maybe because they're a big company as opposed to a little company. I mean, so, so should you be doing that or to so that you really can have everybody going, wow, everybody's here, you know, is on the same page or does that run the risk of stifling?

Jenny Weigle (15:32): It runs the risk of the community, not growing as quickly as some people might want it to. But I will say that when I've seen people do that, they do get, you know, I guess the right kind of member in there, you know, to engage now, I've been invited to be part of many online communities. Some of them I've had to fill out a quick form and you know, then it said, we'll consider your membership. And I actually like that because I like it when a community team or individual takes the time to ask the right questions and ensure that I'm gonna be the right kind of person to come in here and try to connect with the others. And if I'm not, I could really throw off the whole vibe and the whole, just everything happening, all the good Juju happening in the community. Yeah,

John Jantsch (16:12): Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Talk a little bit about rewards. What have you seen people do to effectively other than acknowledgement or, you know, elevating somebody to being a moderator, you know, what have people have done to, to keep people active by rewarding them?

Jenny Weigle (16:27): Well, COVID changed a lot of the coolest rewards I'll say, because I'll say some of the coolest rewards I've seen are people who are part of a super user or ambassador type program of a community, meaning that they have proven that they are the most active. I've seen them get invited to entire weekend conferences just for that group. So a small intimate experience, the brand is flying you out. They want you to come together. You know, they've got some gifts for you, some ways to wine and dine you. I mean, that is quite the, I've seen community members called up on stage at a customer conference, recognized in front of all the company and all of the attendees and their peers, fellow customers. I have seen some really unique pieces of swag given out only to people who hold a certain status in community. Yeah.

Jenny Weigle (17:09): So there's lot of, lots of different things. I've seen certain permissions given in a community that other people can't do, maybe such as, uh, having a certain kind of avatar or the ability to record some video addresses to their audience and so forth. Mm-hmm yeah. There's, I've seen it all across the board and it's just so critical to have some kind of incentive, not everyone's gonna be able to do that level, but even if your incentive is offering 30 minutes with your CEO or 30 minutes of with you, John in your own communities, I'm sure people would find that extremely appealing.

John Jantsch (17:40): All right. So switch gear a little bit. What if I'm out there listening to this in there and I'm thinking to myself, I think I would wanna be one of those community manager people. What does that role look like? Or how does somebody train to be that? Or is it just, you gotta be like a certain personality

Jenny Weigle (17:56): Oh, no, but there's all kinds of personalities involved in this field. That's, what's so exciting about it, but there are some roles that I think would make an easier transition than others. So if you have worked on social media communities, there's a lot of similarities. You would need to adapt to some new technologies, but you'd be a great candidate. If you've ever been a customer success manager, you'd be an ideal candidate because I know customer success professionals out there. When you're in your position at your company, you have to have connections with all kinds of different departments, cuz your customers can be asking questions that really over here, over there everywhere. Right? So usually I think customer service professionals have their hands and connections in many parts of the company and you would make a good community professional. If so, because community managers also need to have touch points everywhere. And also if you've ever been a program manager of any kind, that's also a makes for a great background and some foundational skills to contribute to a community manager. But I've also people seeing people come from teaching engineering roles. It's really neat to see all the kinds of people coming into this field now.

John Jantsch (18:58): Awesome. So maybe as we close out here, you could tell me a few of your favorite communities that you think are doing it right. That, that you know, are fun or however you wanna talk about 'em.

Jenny Weigle (19:10): Yeah. So on the B2B side, I have to give it up for Intuit. They have a couple of different communities within their brands. They've got a turbo community, QuickBooks and accountants community, and they've also done a really great job of integrating the community into their products. So if you're using a turbo product and you have a question, when you type in your question, one of your results might show up as a question and answer that came out of the community. So really nice tie in with their product there. And also they've just got very passionate group of members, a wonderful community team, running things. And on the B2C side, I've gotta give it up for my former client, Sephora athletic, gosh, they're all doing some really fun, unique things on the B2C side. Awesome. So check out, just Google those names with community next to it and you'll find out what they're up to.

John Jantsch (20:00): Yeah. And I'm, I actually am a member of the REI community and I can say, you know, one of the beauties of that one is it's most, it's where people who people can collect that have similar interests, you know, and I think that's one of the themes on a lot of really strong communities is, you know, it's, you know, you're gonna go there and you're, you're gonna be talking to somebody who likes the outdoors, uh,

Jenny Weigle (20:18): For example. Exactly. And I'm glad to hear you say that about the community. Cause I know that is what they're hoping their members are getting out of it. Yeah. So that's great to hear.

John Jantsch (20:26): So Jenny tell people where they can find out more about your work and some of what you're up to

Jenny Weigle (20:30): My consulting practice is called jenny.community. So just type jenny.community into your web browser. And you'll learn a little bit more about me as well as where you can find me on social.

John Jantsch (20:39): Awesome. Well, thanks for taking some time to drop by the duct tape marketing podcast. And hopefully we'll run into, I usually end the show by saying, run into you out there on the road someday, but maybe I should say run into you in one of these communities someday.

Jenny Weigle (20:50): that's a good one new ending. I like it.

John Jantsch (20:53): Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not .com .co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketingassessment.co I'd love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

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

 

The Key To Writing A Must-Read

Marketing Podcast with AJ Harper

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview AJ Harper. AJ is an editor and publishing strategist who helps authors write foundational books that enable them to build readership, grow their brand and make a significant impact on the world. As ghostwriter and as developmental editor, she has worked with newbies to New York Times bestselling authors with millions of books sold. AJ is writing partner to business author, Mike Michalowicz. Together they’ve written nine books, including Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan, Fix This Next, and their latest, Get Different. She has her own book now called — Write a Must-Read: Craft a Book That Changes Lives—Including Your Own.

Key Takeaway:

How do you write a book that readers rave about? The answer to that question follows a simple, yet powerful philosophy: Reader First. When you learn how to put your reader first at every stage of book development, writing, and editing, you can create the connection and trust required to transform their lives. In this episode, AJ Harper shares her proven methods and frameworks she has used for nearly two decades to write and edit perennial bestsellers. It’s not the easy way or the fast way; it’s the effective way. The payoff for doing this important work: a must-read book, and a massive readership who serve as ambassadors for your message and your brand.

Questions I ask AJ Harper:

  • [2:04] Why is the idea that a book is like a business card and everyone needs one a silly concept?
  • [3:58] Is there a system to writing a good book?
  • [6:32] Can you unpack the concept of transformational reader sequence from your book?
  • [7:44] How do you get someone to trust you in the book that you’re writing?
  • [11:01] What role do credentials play when you don’t really have them?
  • [13:00] What makes a book transformational?
  • [14:00] How do you apply the idea of “Shitty first drafts”?
  • [16:35] Are you a fan of self-publishing or traditional publishing?
  • [18:11] What’s the route in self-publishing?
  • [19:33] The editing process for connection is probably the hardest part — how do you do that as an editor?
  • [21:23] I find that I don’t have the crispest grammar as an editor may want, so where’s the fine line with that kind of stuff while trying to remain authentic?
  • [23:18] Could you share with people how they can work with you and the course that you mentioned?

More About AJ Harper:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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 Ben Shapiro and 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 business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben's a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI and automation. Download the MarTech podcast wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:51): Hello, welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is a J Harper. She's an editor and publishing strategist who helps authors write foundational books that enable them to build readership, grow their brand and make a significant impact on the world. As a ghost writer in a developmental that's easier said than read editor. She has worked with newbies to New York times bestselling authors with millions of books sold. AJ is a writing partner to my good friend business author. Mike MCOW ITZ together. They've written nine books, including many that we've talked about on this show. Profit first pumpkin plan, fix this next and the latest get different. She's got her own book now called write a must read craft a book that changes lives including your own. So AJ, welcome to the show.

AJ Harper (01:42): Thank you so much for having me.

John Jantsch (01:45): So you must be a bit of a Saint to spend that much time with Mike MCZ that's all I'm gonna say.

AJ Harper (01:51): He is like a brother to me, maybe the brother who plays pranks on you a little bit,

John Jantsch (01:56): But yeah. Yeah. One of these days off air, I'll tell you the prank he played on me. It's not quite ready for prime time on the show. One of the things that when we get into talking about books, you know, it seems like the last decade or so the common wisdom is every business person needs a book. It's like an expanded business card. And I was so happy to hear you debunk that. I'd let you kind of riff on why that idea is kind of silly.

AJ Harper (02:20): Well, I mean, number one, what do we do with business cards? We toss them out. I mean, I think there's a, the rare person who saves them, collates them response to them in the system. Right. But even our best intentions, you know, at events we lose them. We forget them. I think that the danger in saying better business card is that it immediately lowers the standards yeah. For the book. And then it's just from there, it's just a long stream of cutting corners that only ends in disappointment. And I define disappointment as no one's reading it. No, one's talking about it. Very few people are buying it.

John Jantsch (02:55): Yeah. It's a really crappy business card. Right. You know, I think, I can't remember who responded to this. I was asking somebody else who helps people publish books? I said, you know, what's the number one thing, you know, or number one reason, you know, to write a book and he said, you know, kind of flippantly, but kind of serious, you know, have something to say and I think that's probably the place to start, isn't it?

AJ Harper (03:16): Yeah. And I, you know, the type of books I help people write are prescriptive nonfiction or personal and professional development. So I would add a piece to that, which is have someone you wanna help.

John Jantsch (03:27): Yeah. Right, right, right. Yeah. Solve, solving a problem. right.

AJ Harper (03:31): Yeah. And also caring about their reader experience. I think that's the differentiator. We tend to focus solely on the things we wanna say, and we need to focus on the experience. We wanna give readers.

John Jantsch (03:44): Now I know a lot of people out there think, okay, I just need to sit down, lock my way, self away for, you know, a month or a week or a long weekend or something and just start writing. But you have a very systematic approach to writing a book. And I obviously we can unpack it, but let's start there. I mean, is there a system to writing a good book

AJ Harper (04:02): There is, and it's not, you know, it's a system I developed as a ghost writer out of necessity because I started with no system. So I had to figure it out and piece it together over time. But yeah, the main challenge with sitting down and just writing whatever comes to mind is you're, you know, you're gonna end up losing most of that. You don't have the clarity. Yeah. Anytime that someone came to me with a manuscript to review as an editor, or maybe to revamp as a ghost writer, it was usually because they didn't have a clear idea of three things, right. Which is exactly who their reader is in terms of hearts and minds and a transformational core message and a promise they could deliver. They couldn't really articulate it. So you have to get that clarity first, before you start writing.

John Jantsch (04:54): And you know, it's funny, I've been saying this for years and I was gonna, you know, when you talk about the ideal reader and core message and promise to solve a problem, I mean, that's exactly what we do in marketing. yeah. I mean, that's what we should do. And I think that's, the parallels are really there. Aren't they? I mean, in a lot of ways, we're trying to gain a customer that customer may be a reader, but we wanna retain that customer, get 'em through the book, you know, we want, and I love the word that you use over and over again. We wanna make a transformation in their lives and books certainly can do that. I fortunately, I've written a couple books that people tell me frequently that this changed their life. This changed their marketing. And I think that, you know, it was pure luck probably on my part, but I think that really is, should be the goal, you know, rather than, oh, I wanna build my business by having a book,

AJ Harper (05:36): But see, I don't think it was luck because you just talked about how these are the things that you know, how to do in marketing anyways. So you applied those same principles. Right? So that doesn't sound like luck to me, it sounds like craft. And I think part of the problem is I know part of the problem is that we identify a reader, but then we don't think about the reader again. It's like, okay, that's step one. And writing a book, here's my reader. Right. And then past ideation, we're not really thinking about them anymore. Now we're just writing the book that solves their problem, which is great. I'm not saying that's bad. I'm just saying that we need to keep the reader on the page. Yeah. So the reason people are telling you, your books changed my life is because they actually read them and they applied the things you asked them to apply, but you can't get people to do that. If you don't write a book that connects with them, respects their experience and delivers on the promise,

John Jantsch (06:31): You, you have something in this book that I really love. And it's early on in the book that you call the transformation, transformational reader sequence, I think is the full thing. I'm gonna mess that up, but you know what I'm getting at. Yeah. And I think that's, that's like the customer journey, you know, it's that we do in marketing. And I really love seeing that because I think people need to think that through don't they, so maybe take a minute or two and unpack that idea.

AJ Harper (06:55): Sure. Well, I mean the first part's easy people buy your book because you have a problem they can solve and they will read your book because they see themselves on the page. They'll move, you'll move through the process as they begin to trust you. And eventually you're getting into where they believe in, you believe in them. And so that's why they're actually gonna do the things that you ask them to do. And finally they believe in you and that's when they tell everybody about it. So it's, you have to help them, you know? Yes, you have, they have to relate to the problem you're solving, but they need to see themselves on the first page mm-hmm and all the way through. And then they need to begin to trust you and feel that you think that they can do it. That's a key element in Mike Macow its' books, by the way. Yeah. And it's all intentional.

John Jantsch (07:44): So to me, I think the hardest part, I think people can write a good book that has a lot of action steps and you know, a lot of really useful things to do. I think the hardest part that you just described there is that trust element that, that actually gets somebody to say, okay, I'm gonna do that. I don't know if it'll work or not for me, but I trust you. So I'm gonna try it. Mm-hmm I, to me, that's always the hardest part. So how do you build that in?

AJ Harper (08:09): Well, you get the first part right. First, which is helping them feel seen. So no, one's gonna trust you if they think you don't get me, you don't understand me. You don't know my life. Yeah. And so that's number one, but then it's also being transparent, I think is one of the keys I see with my students and my clients. So often they're afraid to show how they make the sauce. Yeah. And they're afraid to show when they don't know something mm-hmm or when they aren't sure about something. Yeah. And so if they're just honest with the reader, I also wonder if this is gonna work or I tried this five times, maybe you will have a different experience. I'm not the expert. I'm just a person who try, you know, just being open about the reality rather than trying to be more than they are. I think it's just cuz they're afraid of how their book will be received at the core is of every afraid author is just a feeling who's gonna read this thing.

John Jantsch (09:08): Yeah, no, go ahead. I'm sorry.

AJ Harper (09:10): Tip. I would give about building trust is, you know, do need social proof mm-hmm so you can get that through stories, anecdotes. You can also bring in statistics if you need to. But I do think storytelling builds trust. Yeah. Especially when it's carefully constructed to show that what you're saying is true or that your promise can is possible, et cetera.

John Jantsch (09:32): So obviously this comes off more so in, in Mike's audio books probably than on the written page, but he has a level of sort of self deprecating humor that I think is his one of his tools for building trust. Isn't it?

AJ Harper (09:45): Yeah. That's all intentional by the

John Jantsch (09:47): Way. Yeah. No, absolutely. I mean, it's partly who he is too, but, but obviously he's taken advantage of it.

AJ Harper (09:52): None of nothing about him is disingenuine and he's no, absolutely 100% who he is on the page off the page. But it is the reason that we do share stories where he shows, where he screwed up, where he was a goofball where he wasn't sure of himself is that it endears him to his audience and then they feel okay he's it's not just, he sees me, but he's all, I'm one. He's one of us.

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John Jantsch (11:01): So let's talk a little bit about credentials. You know, a lot of things, you know, you hear people talk about, you know, I, I feel like I'm a, you know, a fake, I don't, you know, I've got this idea. I've helped a couple people, but like, can I really write a book about it? I mean, what obviously great credentials can aid, you know, somebody's wanting to pick up the book, support the book, but what role does credentials play when you don't really have them?

AJ Harper (11:26): That is a great question. And I think it depends on your topic and your genre. If you are trying to write a book, that's gonna appeal to, if you're say writing for C-suite or you're writing an academic you book, you have to have credentials. Yeah. And you may need a co-writer in that case, you could get somebody who has the credentials, but if you're not, then you know, it's as simple as number one, make sure your content works. So, you know, it's not enough to say everybody has a story and everybody can write a book. Right, right, right. No, you need to make yes. And let's actually see if this content lands and works for people other than you. And I think there's simple ways to do test drives little boot camps, workshops speaking. Yeah. All sorts of things to see, I think this works, but can other people do it? And then the second piece would be just like I said earlier, being transparent and honest. So I'm not 15 steps ahead of you. I'm two steps. Yeah. But this is the view I can show you from here. And then you're being honest. Yeah. And they know that they can take that with a grain of salt.

John Jantsch (12:33): Yeah. And that idea of doing things ahead of the writing. I think a lot of people, mistake I see people make is they write the book and then they come to me and say, how can I market this? And I'm like, well, you should have been doing that two years ago. And that idea of building community, doing workshops, doing free clinics, whatever it is, mm-hmm to where you're getting that feedback. You're testing stuff out. You're seeing what works, but you've also, you're also building a little bit of hunger for this product when it, when it comes out. Here's the big question. What makes a book transformational?

AJ Harper (13:03): Well, really, it's just as simple as delivering on the promise. That's your chief goal as an author. So decide first you have to decide can, what is the promise that will speak to my reader? Yeah. That they want, then can I deliver on it within the pages of the book? Not someday. So this is where a lot of authors make a mistake. Well, eventually you might get this thing but it's about, okay, I'm turning the last page. Now I'm different in some way. And it doesn't have to be a major difference, but there need to experience a shift. So it's asking yourself, what can I deliver? But then also on the flip side, maybe challenging yourself to say, okay, I really do wanna deliver this thing. What else could I do within the confines of the book to make that happen and thereby you up level the content. Yeah. But as, as long as your book is designed to deliver, which includes keeping the reader immersed on the page, that's part of that. Then that makes a book transformational.

John Jantsch (14:03): So there's a book that I suspect you have read. That is one of my favorite books. And I, you pulled a little ti tidbit out of it when you were talking about rough drafts and that's Anne Lamont's bird by bird.

AJ Harper (14:13): Yeah. Classic .

John Jantsch (14:16): I actually saw her about 10 years ago and like was a, you know, a reading and signing for one of her books. And I had a first edition of bird by birds and she signed it for me. So

AJ Harper (14:25): Nice.

John Jantsch (14:26): I was very happy about that. Shitty first drafts. The, it just I'll just let you go from there. You know, what, how do you apply that idea?

AJ Harper (14:34): So that's interesting. I do talk about in my book. So she gifted us with the shitty first draft, which frees us from thinking it has to be perfect. But what I've discovered in all my years of teaching authors is that actually they don't really believe it like sounds good and it makes them excited and they try, but in the back of their mind, they think one of two things, they either think I'm gonna be the exception to the rule and my draft is gonna be less shitty.

John Jantsch (15:02): Yeah,

AJ Harper (15:02): Yeah. Yeah. So they're frustrated with themselves and they get locked in that battle or they think surely she doesn't mean this shitty

John Jantsch (15:14):

AJ Harper (15:14): And so, and then they get locked in that battle. And so the problem is they don't really know the definition. Yeah. It's almost like they can believe they can't believe it could be as bad as their draft is and you're a writer. So, you know? Yes. It can yes, it can. There's that beginning spot. It's just a mess.

John Jantsch (15:34): Yeah. I mean, I came to this probably, but you know, I write now almost like journaling. I don't edit at all. I mean, I used to like write a sentence and go, oh, I could say this better, you know? And then you got nowhere. Right? And so now I try to see how fast almost I can write, you know, a thousand words or whatever. Then I generally put it away. And then I come back to it the next day. And it's either really good or it's really bad.

AJ Harper (15:56): See, you have the benefit of having written many books. And I think that part of the challenge, if you're a new author, is that you think that the people who are successful or at least have written a lot of books, know something you don't know or are more talented, all it really is that you're more comfortable with the creative process. Yeah. So, you know, I'm gonna work this out in editing cuz that's where a good idea becomes a great book editing. So, you know, and you know that it's gonna work out eventually and you don't know how many drafts it will be, but a new person isn't familiar with the process. And so not only does it seem daunting, but they just don't know what to expect.

John Jantsch (16:36): Yeah. Let me, I wanna come back to editing, but I wanna segue through self-publishing versus traditional publishing. Okay. Because that's where I think editing really has to be discussed based on the path you go there, are you a fan of one or the other, do you think it depends.

AJ Harper (16:49): I think that the mistake we make is that we try to decide which one is better without considering our own priorities and where we are. Right. I think an author needs to decide, okay, what are my goals? What are my resources? And what is my timeline? Yeah. And then a fourth consideration would be how much control do I wanna have?

John Jantsch (17:07): Yeah. Yeah. And including after the fact.

AJ Harper (17:10): Yes, exactly. so once you've decided, this is what matters to me, then choose a path that fits it. And if that doesn't work, you can always do plan B or C.

John Jantsch (17:18): Yeah. So all of my books have been traditionally published. That just was the route that I ended up going. So my role was I'd write the book, turn into manuscript. The editor who had generally acquired the book would say, this chapter needs to go over here or this big chunk doesn't make any sense and send it back to me. Then I would rewrite that, you know, that part of it. And then maybe there would be one more round of that, but then it would go to somebody who's just looking for crap laying here that shouldn't be , you know, you said it this way, that way you said it this way, that way. And then finally it would go to somebody who would just find all the commas and the, you know, dangling part of simples and you know, whatever other kind of stuff they find. But how that that's part of, I guess the benefit of going a traditional route doesn't mean that they're actually good at, you know, at that. But I think a lot of people think that an editor just gets the manuscript in like mates marks and you know, things and they're done. What's the route in self-publishing?

AJ Harper (18:14): Well, this is the challenge. So many years ago, when self-publishing became more accessible and affordable, everybody was excited and you can get more out there. There are no gatekeepers. Yay. But the problem is you can't abandon all those traditional publishing quality standards that or quality controls that you're talking about. Yeah. The developmental or substantive editor. That's what you're talking about. That first person is the person who helps you make sure the book works. And if you skip that person, then the book suffers for it. But the problem is a lot of people just don't know, they have no idea that is an editor they need. And I don't think that the self-publishing industry is very forthright about the fact that they need it. Yeah. Yeah. I don't blame them. It's the most expensive kind of editing to pay for and it takes so longest. So if you're focused on speed and, and low cost, you're not gonna say, Hey, you need this editor. Yeah. But you do need that editor and you can get it your own if you're self publishing. Yeah. There are many people who do that freelance. Yep. So it's, if there's no reason why you can't get that person to come in and help you.

John Jantsch (19:19): So one of the things you talk about in the editing process is editing for connection. And I think that is probably the hardest, because that requires a level of understanding what I do, what I'm trying to get across, who I'm getting it across to. How do you do that as an editor who you're a ghostwriter? I mean, a lot of what you're doing is extracting somebody's mind and then putting it on the page. I mean, to me that seems like a daunting process of understanding somebody's, you know, voice understanding somebody's, you know, mind and then, you know, editing for that, you know, that final reader having said all that now I'm gonna really confuse you. Maybe that's actually better done by somebody else.

AJ Harper (20:06): Maybe it's better. What, well, I

John Jantsch (20:07): Didn't hear the last part. Well, I guess what I was saying is, you know, my biases that we, you know, that part only I can do, right. Because I know who I'm, you know, and yet I think that's a, an absolutely essential part. And I'm wondering if maybe that distance that an editor or a ghostwriter might have, would actually be beneficial.

AJ Harper (20:27): I don't know. I mean, I only, I co-write with Mike still, but I don't ghost write anymore. And haven't for about five, six years at the time, you know, I often had an editor, right. So I'm the ghost. And then there was another editor. So I was been, but I really do believe that it's the author, whether they're using a ghost or not, that needs to go in and make sure that it connects to their reader. Yeah. Because they know their reader and the editor doesn't, and this is something that comes up a lot since we're talking about Mike in his books where the editor might say, Hey, I, you know, I don't think you need so many stories or I don't think you need to repeat this piece of encouragement. And Mike and I will go back and say, well, actually the reader does actually need this here because this is their, what matters to them. And this is what we hear about from readers. Yeah. And they're, it doesn't mean you're always pushing back, but to have knowledge of what matters to your reader helps you in that editing process.

John Jantsch (21:23): Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I do know when I've had things written articles, I've written all my own books, but I've had a lot of articles written by other people that, that were going to be, you know, ghost written. And quite often the thing I find myself saying, well, I would never say it like that because I feel like my voice, my, who I am, you know, my personality wouldn't use certain words. Wouldn't use maybe crisp as crisp of grammar as you know, an editor might, might want, I mean, words defined on that kind of stuff. Cuz there's some times I've said stuff. People are like, well that's clumsy. I'm like, well, yeah, I'm clumsy.

AJ Harper (21:56): Well then you should write it at clumsy. I mean, you don't want everything to be completely incorrect in terms of grammar, but it is, you need to be authentic. You need to be yourself on and off the page. And I think you're right to say, it should sound like me. The thing about ghost writing is it's actually a really special skill. And just because you say, I don't need to take credit for that and I will work for hire, doesn't actually make you a legit ghost is a ghost. Has to be able to assume the personality. Yeah. So, you know, I could write anything and you wouldn't know if it Mike wrote it or I did. Yeah. Yeah. You would not be able to tell. Yeah. And that was one of my great skills with whomever I've written for people that were complete opposite of Mike . Yeah. And I still, but that was just a skill that I had learned to do as a playwright. That's the connection is I wrote characters, so I was just really good. I just have a good ear, but you know, this is why I stopped doing it and started writing or rather coaching and teaching authors. So they could do it themselves because then at least their voice is authentic.

John Jantsch (23:00): Yeah. That's interesting that you mentioned, I didn't know you had playwright history because I often feel like that idea of creating personas is, is very much what you're doing. You know, mm-hmm as the voice, you know, which is really right out of the theater, even though as a marketers have, co-oped it, that's a great segue to tell us about your workshops. And you mentioned that you even had a course that you could share with folks as well, that they could get a little taste of working with you.

AJ Harper (23:26): Sure. Yeah. So I do teach a 14 week workshop to 15 students at a time it's very small, twice a year. It's called top three book workshop. And it's basically to write that must read book that becomes a book on someone's top three list of FAS. And I just walk people through the whole process. It's very hands on. There's a lot of editing happening and developmental work and publishing, but mostly it's about creating a home for an author who actually wants to write something great versus an author who's trying to can't find any place to go except to maybe some sort of 90 day program. So yeah. Yeah. And that, that was important to me. So it's a small group. I do have a standalone course. Self-directed called test drive your content. And today I'm giving you a special code for your listeners, which is duct tape to get 50% off that course. And we did actually happen to talk about test driving. So it actually walks you through what are all your benefits of test driving? Yeah. Including building demand, as you said, but also specifically, how do you do a test drive so that you can really hear if it's working and you can process the feedback to make changes, but also how can you use that to get anecdotes, endorsements, stories, that sort of thing. So it's seven videos that walk you through that whole process.

John Jantsch (24:46): And that's found where,

AJ Harper (24:48): Oh, I'm sorry. That's [email protected] AJ

John Jantsch (24:51): Harper. Okay. So we'll have those in the show notes. See, I, I think anybody who develops a product course, whatever they ought to be doing that with people you get so much great insight I've over the years done things where I haven't gotten any feedback and I put it out there and people are like, we didn't want this. So , you know, it just really stops you from, I think having those complete disasters when you are finding out what people really need and what they resonate with. Didn't

AJ Harper (25:14): I think it also, if you aren't sure if you understand your reader very well. Yeah. It can also help you get to know them better through those interactions. Yeah.

John Jantsch (25:24): AJ, thanks so much for stopping by the duct tape marketing podcast. And hopefully we'll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

AJ Harper (25:30): Thank you for having me.

John Jantsch (25:32): Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not .com .co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketingassessment.co I'd love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

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 To Grow Your Business Like A Weed

Marketing Podcast with Stu Heinecke

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Stu Heinecke. Stu is a bestselling business author, marketer, and Wall Street Journal cartoonist. His first book, How to Get a Meeting with Anyone, introduced the concept of Contact Marketing and was named one of the top 64 sales books of all time. His latest release, How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed, lays out a complete model for explosive business growth, based on the strategies, attributes, and tools weeds use to grow, expand, dominate and defend their turf. He is a twice-nominated hall of fame marketer, Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center author-in-residence, and was named the “Father of Contact Marketing” by the American Marketing Association. He lives on a beautiful island in Puget Sound, Washington.

Key Takeaway:

Anyone can grow their business into something resilient and unstoppable — just like weeds do. In this episode, best-selling author, Stu Heinecke, shares his model for business growth by using the successful strategies that ordinary weeds use to spread and prosper in almost any situation. We dive into the weed-based attributes you can use to get the job done quickly and effectively and increase your market share, prominence, and customer base.

Questions I ask Stu Heinecke:

  • [1:46] Why did you want to use the analogy of a weed and what was your thought process behind it?
  • [3:14] Why is a weed different than a prize-winning flower?
  • [4:27] The big premise of using the weed metaphor is really to tap into what you’re calling a weed mindset — can you unpack that idea for us?
  • [5:32] What are the unfair advantages that you think adopting this weed mindset gives a business?
  • [7:39] Can you break down the weed model for us?
  • [14:17] How do you apply this model to taking that next step and getting to the next level with your business?
  • [17:41] How do you win a weed award?
  • [19:27] Where can people buy your book and learn more about your work?

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

John Jantsch (00:01): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by Ben Shapiro and 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 business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben's a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI, and automation. Download the MarTech podcast wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:52): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Stu Heineke. He's the best selling business author marketer and wall street journal cartoonist his first book, how to get a meeting with anyone, introduce concept of contact marketing was named one of the top 64 sales books of all time. We're gonna talk about his latest book, how to grow your business like OED, which lays out a model for explosive business growth, based on the strategies, attributes, and tools weeds used to grow and expand, dominate, and defend their turfs. So Stu, welcome to the show.

Stu Heinecke (01:35): Thank you so much. What a, what a pleasure. And as I'm listening to it, I'm thinking, what the hell is he talking? Right? what must this guy be talking about?

John Jantsch (01:46): Well, I'm certain that the first question that many people have given our sort of negative view, typically negative view of weeds is like, wait a minute. You know, that's like how to smell like a skunk, isn't it? I mean, why, you know, why do I wanna used the analogy of weed? So help helps first go there.

Stu Heinecke (02:05): Sure. Well, you know, by the way I think the first thing they think of is you mean this kind of weed, the kind of weed you smoke? Nope. It's not that good. That's not what we're talking about, but yeah. I mean, well, we all know what it means to grow like a weed. So the fact is that all of this whole logic is already built into our experience. We know what it looks like. We know what it means to grow like a weed. We also know what it looks like because we see it every spring and actually not just through, through the spring, but you see what they do all the way through the summer. And you see that they, you know, while blood of the plants have maybe a single season of growth dandelions, for example, just keep doing it. They keep running that process over and over again. So they, they are always running these unfair advantages, which is kind of a big part of the whole strategy of weed strategy.

John Jantsch (02:50): You know, it's funny. I, I really I'm. I love all plants. I love all animals. I love trees so, you know, a lot of times I kinda laugh and say, weeds are just flowers with bad PR firms. I mean, it's like what? I know why we call some things weeds, but their nature of taking over. And for whatever reason, they don't look like what we want our yard to look like or something, but you know, who gets to call something a weed? I mean, why is a weed different than a prize winning flower?

Stu Heinecke (03:19): Well, you know, I guess the fact is that, well, if you look at let's, it's full of contradictions because if you look at, let's say the state flower of California, it is a weed, you know, it's the California poppy. So there are beautiful. I don't think it's really necessarily a function of beauty, but just are they, are they doing things that we don't want them to do? Are they showing up or they're not invited? And so dandelions are probably the great ex example. Everyone experiences them. And you, if you have lawns, you see them show up in your lawn. And by the way, if you see one, then you see you look up and you see hundreds of them. So they're really, they're tough to deal with they're formidable. And so I guess wheat is probably just, I don't know, just a, a nasty name for a plant. It's a plant that some gardeners say is just a plant outta place, but that's true only to a certain point because there are some weeds that seem like they've come from another planet. They're just incredibly aggressive and noxious and we don't really want them around.

John Jantsch (04:19): Yeah. And they'll take out native species and things like that, that, you know, because of their ability to grow and spread talk a little bit, of course, the, you know, the big premise of the book or a big premise of using the weed metaphor is really to tap into what you're calling the weed mindset. So maybe unpack that idea for us.

Stu Heinecke (04:38): Sure. Well, you know, you would, if you think about weed having a mindset, but first of all, to have a mindset, I guess you probably should have a brain and weeds don't have brains. So how could that even be possible? But if you watch weeds at all, if you see what they do, if you see how they operate, then you can certainly, you can certainly see that there is some presence there that looks like a mindset because they're aggressive and resilient and adaptive. And when you, when they're owed down, they go right back to work building right back up again, they don't stop. And, and so they have really admirable qualities that I guess in our experience are expressed as mindset. So that's where the mindset, the weed mindset comes from.

John Jantsch (05:19): So one of the things I've talked about a long time is that having a real point of differentiation, one that matters to the client can be a way to almost make your make competition irrelevant. You call it an unfair advantage. So, you know, what are the unfair advantages that, that you think this MI weed mindset or adopting this weed mindset gives a business?

Stu Heinecke (05:40): Well, I would say that for if we're well, so really the weeds model goes beyond just mindset, but it's leveraging a fierce mindset and unfair advantages against collective scale and running it against a process. But I would say really, if you're using any element of wheat strategy, you're already creating unfair advantages for yourself. And when we're looking at, let's say the, let's say the situation of many small businesses, the ones that have no unfair advantages are not gonna survive. So you have to have right. And I guess we could call them a lot of other things though. Certainly one is a differentiator. So, and one of the wall street journal cartoonists that helps me. When my cartoons show up in the journal, they reach an audience of a little over 2 million readers. That's really, you know, no one's, how is anyone gonna compete with that as a way to cause people to become aware of you and maybe, you know, say, well, you know what I know about Stew's use of weeds, cuz I use weeds to help sales teams break through.

Stu Heinecke (06:34): It's sort of like my day job. So when I get to have my, my, my, you know, my, my cartoon show up like that, then it's just an advantage that is really tough to, to me. But an advantage could be a location. It could be, it could be a partner that you have. We're gonna start up a, a new, a new award based on the book called the total wheat award. And my new partner in this is the NASDAQ entrepreneurial center. That's an unfair advantage. So it's all sorts of all manners of, of unfair advantages from ways to get a lot more, a lot more ER, to help with getting exposure, kind of like this is a seed pod strategy that we're executing right here, but you're my seed pod, essentially. I'm reaching your audience and you're multiplying the, the reach of my seeds of these impressions that I get to create from the book and from interviews and talking about the book. And it goes all the way down through, through thorn strategy and segmentation strategy and Roset and vying and soil and root strategies. All of these are levels of strategies that help us gain unfair advantages.

John Jantsch (07:40): So I think you kind of were just doing it there, but I'm gonna ask you to kind of back up and say, and hopefully you can do justice in a couple minutes, you know, the weed model itself. I think you were ticking off elements of it there, but maybe kind of put it together for us.

Stu Heinecke (07:55): Yeah, well, so there are eight levels of strategy in that weed split in the weeds model, which is an acronym for weed inspired enterprise expansion and domination strategies. So that's, that's what it is. It's an acronym, but what it really is standing for are eight levels of strategy. So the, and it really corresponds with the pieces of the, or elements of the weed plants themselves. So there's seed strategy, which is analogous to anything that causes people to become aware of you and, and form the intent to transact with you. Hearing me on your podcast might hap that might cause people to say, I want to go buy the book or maybe I don't, what else? I dunno, I'd like to have stew consult with me or something else. I don't know, but, and seed pod strategy, seed pods. We see those. And for example, dandy lines, those geo geodesic domes of seeds are held up in the air and those seeds are so magnificently mobile. I mean, they just, they fly all over the place. They probe every possible opportunity to take roots. So holding them up in the air like that actually gives them a greater chance to travel and spread. So, and then,

John Jantsch (08:56): And get a couple, like get a couple five year olds and pull a few of those out and blow 'em too. That really makes a big

Stu Heinecke (09:02): Blow that's true. They love, they look their kind of seat buds with stove, but then thorn strategy is interesting because that's using all legal protections, for example, to protect your IP and really you're turf, you're really protecting your turf and the weeds do that. And we certainly need to do that in business as well, but not all of us do that or are oriented in that way. And then there's segmentation strategy, which might, we could probably talk the rest of the, our time together on segmentation strategy because that's, that is the, when you go out and you find a weed in your yard, you might have found some of these that you'll pull on it. And all you get is you get a handful of stuff, but you didn't get the plant. You certainly didn't pull it up by the roots. And so that's actually a defensive strategy it's there to prevent, or let's say mitigate loss.

Stu Heinecke (09:46): Well in business, we have the same things happening. We have disruptions that occur all the time. One of those that that occurs, every was just a regular cycle of years is recessions. And a lot of us are still caught UN unguarded for recessions. We just sort of dread when they show up and we don't really have much of a much of a much of a strategy for dealing it. But what if you're dealing with those things, there are ways to mitigate them. And that's, we're gonna be doing that probably soon if the press is correct, because they're sort of beating the drum about recession again. And anyway, there are strategies to deal with that. And then roses strategies. Really. I put that into the model because I wanted Rose's are those that well, in the example of dandelions, that radial fan of leaves that spreads out across the lawn, if you come over it with a, it seems like they evolved just to duck the mowers.

Stu Heinecke (10:38): It's not really where it came from, but what they're really doing is they're covering the ground and they are denying the critical resources that plants around them need of the grass around them, needs to grow and really just to live so sunlight and water. And so how can we create those kinds of, it's really about cultivating unfair advantages, looking for those and finding new ones that we can add. A lot of times we can add those by the partnerships and associations that we create and let's mine strategies. So borrowing the infrastructure of others to, to gain dominant access to the sort of warm sunshine of sales and, and all the things that we're looking for, just sales and exposure and so forth. And then finally, there's root strategy in the plant. It's the seed of all life force, but in business, it's all of the, it's where all of the value of the business is sort of stored and curated and maximized.

Stu Heinecke (11:28): So there are strategies for doing that. And then finally soil strategy. So seeds are rather, yeah, well at the weeds, they don't get to, they don't get to change the soil quality that they're in. They just sort of, they just, wherever they land, they make a go of it. But we have the ability to change the substrate in which we grow our businesses. So the cultures within our businesses and with outside of our businesses, our communities and movements are really interesting. If we can grab hold of or start movements, those are amazing things to help change the sort of soil strategy or the conditions for us to grow in. So that's the model of that's the weeds model for creating unfair advantages.

John Jantsch (12:07): And now a word from our sponsor technology is awesome. Isn't it? I mean, I talk about all kinds of technology on this show all the time. Did you ever wish there was a way to get some of the technology, some of the apps that you work with every day to talk to each other? There's just that one little thing you wanted to do well for over 10 years, I've been using a tool called Zapier. In fact, longtime listeners might remember the founder, Wade, uh, foster on this show doing an episode when they were just getting started. Now they've blown up and it is an amazing tool. We use it to get our spreadsheets, to talk to other spreadsheets, our forms, to talk to spreadsheets, our forms, to talk to other forms, all kinds of magic. When it comes to our CRM tool, it's really easy to get started.

John Jantsch (12:54): I mean, there's no coding. I mean, there's 4,000, I think apps that, that they now support and that can, you can get to talk to each other, look, see for yourself, why teams at air table Dropbox, HubSpot, Zen desks, thousands of other companies use Zapier every day to automate their business. And you can try it for free today. It's at zapier.com/dtm that's Zapier, which is Z a P I E r.com/dtm. Check it out.

John Jantsch (13:24): Yeah, it's funny. You'll be driving down the road and there'll be, you know, a, a weed growing up, you know, between cracks and in pavement and, and things like that. I think it really kind of points to the tenacious nature of 'em. But when I hear you talk about the soil, I'm think I'm thinking very much in terms of like creating community and creating value for clients that they want to go out and, and refer you as the idea of soil, isn't it?

Stu Heinecke (13:47): Yeah, absolutely. Yes. It's all those cuz all of those create conditions that are much more favorable for our growth.

John Jantsch (13:56): So how then do we take that model? And if somebody goes through their business today and says, oh, I'm, you know, I can add this or I could add this or I could be better at this one. And so we get maybe our weed strategy put together, you know, what's whatever, what many people wanna do then is really scale, grow that business beyond them or grow that business certainly from beyond where it is to today. So how do you apply this then to, to taking that next step, going to the next level with the business?

Stu Heinecke (14:22): Well, I think in fact, one of the first things that we can do to grow our businesses, I, we gotta be looking at them and making sure they're VI, if there's something that's not viable about it, fix it, but assuming everything is viable and you've got a great concept. Then one of the first things we can do to grow our business is to root out one to one leverage and then jump to either multichannel or collective scale. That's for the ultimate is collective scale. I should explain what that is though. Yeah. We're sure. From just from early childhood, we're all taught to become self-reliant and sort of self-sufficient I guess that sort of happens when we, I, the first time we played musical chairs and you got left without a chair, you say, well, wait a minute, where's my chair. You know, I'm not gonna let that happen again.

Stu Heinecke (15:03): And I think that maybe it's maybe that's the first time we get, it's get it instilled in our heads that we're in a competitive world and you need to be proactive and you need to get things done. You need to be able to rely on yourself to get things done. So that continues when we're told then to go to school and get good grades, study hard, then you'll get into a great college. And from there, you'll get a great job, maybe a really well paying job, but here's the problem. The, all of that is wonderful. We need to be self-reliant. And I would say that the entrepreneurs around us are probably some of the most self-reliant people there are, but, but we can't do it alone. And that's the big realization we, and, and I think probably the more self-reliant and the mortality, the more easily you learn things, the harder it is for you to learn, to let go and say, well, some of the stuff I've just gotta let go of this and let somebody who's either better ranted toward it or better at it than I am.

Stu Heinecke (15:56): I just let them do it for me so that I can move on to other things. And I would say one of the big telltale signs is if you labor is directly involved in your deliverables, you are at one to one leverage. And, or, and let's say, if you discover that it's really hard to take a vacation because the bus, the business stops because you're not there, that's one to one leverage and you need to root that out really quickly. So you do that, I think by jumping to multichannel leverage. And that really means just forming partnerships with, with people who could bring you to, to other to new clients, let's say, or open up new sales channels. I was inviting you to, to, to join a group that I started a group of authors. And I guess in a way that's multichannel leverage because we get together, we formulate ideas, we bring things together and, and you know, that that's the way we've gotta, we've gotta find ways to collaborate with people as much as possible. I guess that's really the, one of the big messages of we is that the more we collaborate, the stronger we become.

John Jantsch (16:55): So with an example of that, say a consultant or coach who is doing a lot of that, one to one work would be building a course or bringing, building a community or doing group work, or having, as you said, strategic partners who are going to, you know, send business his or her way. I mean, is that at a very simple example? What we're talking about?

Stu Heinecke (17:14): Yeah. Yeah. I think so. I think productizing what you do as a consultant mm-hmm and turning that into a course is a great way to do that because once you've built it, and of course you're promoting it, but other people could promote it, you can go on vacation, you can make money while you sleep. All those wonderful things that happen when you're not right. That when you're not the factory and you shouldn't be the factory. Yeah. Yeah.

John Jantsch (17:35): All right. So here's the burning question. And I'm certain people are listening right now and on the edge of their seats, how do you win a weed award?

Stu Heinecke (17:44): you have to be, I was actually a total weed award, but you have to be

John Jantsch (17:50): Total word

Stu Heinecke (17:50): Would. Yeah. You have to be absolutely audacious in, in the way that you, that you approach your market and create unfair advantages and create scale. And you obviously, you need to be an example to the rest of us, but an example of weed, like growth.

John Jantsch (18:06): Yeah. So I've been, uh, doing interviews, you know, for years. And over the last few years, one of the things I've seen is title explosion in the Csuite, you know, you've got your chief people officer, you've got your chief revenue officer, and now I think you are probably going to introduce the chief weed officer.

Stu Heinecke (18:24): I am. I'm proposing one more. That's right. the chief weed officer. I don't know if you do know Dan Walch.

John Jantsch (18:30): I do. Yeah. I do know Dan. Yeah. He's been on the show before he

Stu Heinecke (18:33): Has. Yeah. Dan he's been amazing guy. He's he has the bloggy conversations. I think he has a book out by the same name, but, and he is a turnaround specialist. Anyway, I interviewed him for the book and he, he gave a quote, by the way, the book has all these I'm so proud of these quotes at the beginning of the book, because they were, when I looked to research for the book, there were no positive quotes about weeds. So everybody I was interviewing, I was asking them, could you share some sort of like, now that we've talked about weeds as a positive, what thoughts come to mind? Yeah. And so Dan said, if you don't have a chief weed officer, you lose . That was his quote

John Jantsch (19:07): .

Stu Heinecke (19:09): Um, and yeah, I think that there will be chief weed officers. I don't know if they'll be called that maybe they'll be called chief strategy officers or weed strategy officers, but there will be people who will be responsible for growth of the company, through the execution of weed strategy that we can watch all around us.

John Jantsch (19:27): Yeah. Awesome. Let's do I appreciate you taking time to stop by the duct tape marketing podcast. You wanna tell people where they can find out more about your work and obviously pick up a copy of the book.

Stu Heinecke (19:36): Sure. Well, you can buy the book anywhere, anywhere books are sold. Now it, it launches of course, June 1st, but that actually, well, yeah. Can I start that over? Yeah, of course do it. Okay. Yeah. You can buy the book anywhere that books are sold. Amazon, of course, and Barnes and noble bam and all that. Perhaps the airport soon you can come and visit me at my author site. That's Stu henick.com. And when you come there, then you, one of the things you might wanna do is join my weed, my, my weed boot camp, sorry, my boot, my weed mindset boot camp. And you can join that from, from my site as well. So, yeah. And LinkedIn mention that, that you heard John and my, and myself talking on the, on the duct tape podcast, duct tape marketing podcast, and I will be happy to connect with you there.

John Jantsch (20:24): Awesome. Well, we'll have all those links in the show notes as well, and Stu congrats on the new book. And again, appreciate you taking the time out to, to share with our listeners. And hopefully we'll run into you again. Soon. One of these days out there on the road,

Stu Heinecke (20:37): I would love that, John. Thanks for having me on the show.

John Jantsch (20:39): Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not .com .co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketingassessment.co I'd. Love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

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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The Evolution Of The Podcast

Marketing Podcast with Todd Cochrane

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Todd Cochrane. Todd is the CEO of Blubrry Podcasting – a podcast media company that represents 105,000 Audio and Video podcasters in which his company provides advertising opportunities, media distribution/hosting, podcast media statistics, and other services. He is a podcast advertising specialist, and he founded the Tech Podcast Network in 2004.

Key Takeaway:

Podcasting and the podcast industry have changed over the years in many ways like the way podcasts are produced, how more easily accessible it is to start your own, and how the monetization of podcasts works today are just a few examples. In this episode, I talk with Todd Cochrane, the CEO of Blubrry a podcast media company, about how the podcast and audio content has changed over the years and where it stands today.

Questions I ask Todd Cochrane:

  • [2:07] What shows are you hosting today?
  • [2:54] What does the podcast media company look like today, and what was your idea for starting it?
  • [4:32] Is that was that the initial vision was to just make it easier to get those shows syndicated?
  • [5:48] Do you think podcasting is the hottest advertising medium going on today?
  • [7:06] Would you say that we are almost at a point where we need to redefine what a podcast is?
  • [8:09] What’s your take on the distinction between audio and video and what people consume most today?
  • [12:02] What are your current feelings about the technology that you’re using?
  • [15:48] Could you talk a little bit about the opportunities you think are out there with this form of advertising?
  • [19:01] Do you think podcasting is going to go in the direction of subscriptions and paying for content like other mediums have?
  • [20:55] Is there anything coming for Blubrry that people might not know about yet?

More About Todd Cochrane:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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 Ben Shapiro and 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 tech technology to generate growth and achieve business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben's a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI, and automation. Download the MarTech podcast wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:50): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Todd Cochrane. He is the CEO of Blubrry podcasting, a podcast media company that represents 105,000 audio and video podcasters in which his company provides advertising opportunities, media distribution, hosting, pod, media stats, and other services. He's a podcast advertising specialist and also founded the tech podcast network way back in the dinosaur days of podcasting 2004. So Todd, welcome to the show.

Todd Cochrane (01:28): Hey, thanks for having me. And I think as we talk just a little bit, as we got started, you started in 2005. So you're right there with me.

John Jantsch (01:35): I did, I did indeed. And those were the good old days cuz you know what, so I always, I can go down a rabbit hole really fast on this, but you know what a lot of people don't realize is not only was it hard to produce shows, it was hard to listen to them or to get somebody to listen to 'em right. They had to actually have their own technology. So I'm certainly glad that we are where we are today.

Todd Cochrane (01:57): I am too. And it's, you know, no longer having to connect a device to a computer just to get the sync. Right? Yeah. It's nice to have it automatically happen.

John Jantsch (02:07): So tell me about what shows you're producing or not producing, but shows you are hosting today.

Todd Cochrane (02:14): Well, personally I still have my personal show geek, new central. That was the one they started in 2004. It just hit over 1600 episodes. Then I do a, co-host a show with matter of fact, Rob Greenley from Lipson competitor, it's called the new media show. I say, we can get a PhD in podcasting by listen to that show matter fact, we just finished recording of that about 30 minutes ago. And then we do an internal team podcast called podcast insider. But yeah, so a lot of, you know, still doing a lot of active shows, but it's really the day to day grunge of, you know, running a company and building, you know, building a business and keeping podcasters snapping.

John Jantsch (02:51): So I gave a little insight into the, what the podcast media company looks like today. What was the idea for starting it? And what was your initial vision?

Todd Cochrane (03:02): You know, it's, it was one of those things where, when I started my podcast, my wife had given me an ultimatum to make money in the first two years. She didn't say to want another boat anchor. And I solved that in June of oh five by securing GoDaddy, as a sponsor of the show. And the first round, I really didn't know what to charge and that kind of worked itself out. But in the second call where they're getting ready to sign a contract for a year, the gal asked me, Chris Redinger said to me from Godad. She said, do you know how the podcasts would like to advertise GoDaddy? And I said, yeah, I've got some tech shows that might be interested. And that really kind of set the Genesis point of the idea of raw voice, which is the parent company of Blubrry podcasting. And remarkably. I went on my podcast the next episode. So I'm looking for a lawyer looking for MBA programmer and a graphics developer. I've got a business idea and we're gonna have a call and free conference call do com in 10 days to be there. If that's you. And on that call, it was a lawyer, an MBA and a graphics developer and the graphics developer, new programmer got him on the phone. We formed the company over the phone, just absolutely insane how that company started. We didn't meet each other for the first six months.

John Jantsch (04:20): well, as I recall, I, and you and I were talking about it. I was probably a fairly early on user, as I recall it, it was primarily a WordPress plugin and then hosting came later and obviously advertising network came later. Is that, was that the initial vision was to just make it easier to get those shows syndicated.

Todd Cochrane (04:39): Yeah, the first, really the sequence was we had the advertising piece in place. We started ramping up real quick with shows with advertising. We built the stats platform so we could measure this stuff. So we weren't overbilling the vendors. The plugin happened because another plugin started that we were using was being abandoned. The person that was updating it wasn't being paid update anymore. So we developed our own plugin and that kind of really led the Genesis of everything else. And the plugin really kind of been like that candy at the end of the, you know, when you're in checkout, you know, that piece that you would grab and it really led to everything else that Blubrry does today.

John Jantsch (05:18): Yeah. Yeah. So people are probably already tired of hearing old folks reminisce about the old days. So , let's talk about how that's evolved now. Not just Blubrry, but just, you know, podcasting in general. Yeah. I always tell people they're, you know, the really early days people got into it, but then social media came along and that was shinier and it seemed like podcast kind of went in the background and then a or apple decided to put the app on the iPhone as a native. And all of a sudden, everybody was like, what are these podcast things again, to the point now where, you know, it's probably the hottest advertising, medium going, isn't

Todd Cochrane (05:53): It. Right. You know, and there was this definitely a series of inflection points, you know, it was, you know, the inclusion of iTunes, it was the iPhone, it was the inclusion of the app delivered with a phone. And then obviously listeners got more interest in podcasting when serial came around and had this, we had this huge inflection, true crime shows. So really I think, you know, it's been this long steady climb and now the space is just, you know, it's, uh, the indie podcasters, some of 'em are kind of concerned, but you know, with all this commercial investment that's happened. Yeah. I think that all ships rise together. So I think that there's plenty of room for anyone that wants to create content out there or use it as a business funnel or whatever their goal may be.

John Jantsch (06:36): Yeah. I, you know, I was gonna ask about that, how you think, like, where are we now, you know, in, in the word podcast, right. When blogs first started, they were really almost typically an individual's journal almost. And people interacted with them and there, you know, comments were a big part of them and you know, they've really changed now. Even the blogging software is really referred to as just content management, mm-hmm software systems. I mean, podcasts in some ways started around that individual host of the show. Would you say that we are almost at a point where, you know, we need to redefine what a podcast is?

Todd Cochrane (07:12): You know, there's been a lot of talk about it, you know, if in the pure sense, so, you know, it still requires an RSSV deliver a show to these syndication points, but the average listener doesn't care. They don't care if they listen on Spotify or watch on YouTube or consume, they, it really podcasts are consume and anywhere I've had this saying for a long time, they say, I don't care where they listen, as long as they listen. Yeah. But I want to be every place that they are. So I think in that instant, you know, podcasts are many things to many people, but you know, I'm kind of old school. So I still believe in the, you know, you still need to have an RSS feed to deliver the show, which causes most people's eyes, still the glaze over. But it really is that mechanism that keeps the space open and from being locked down and gatekeepers coming into place and making rules, it's still an open ecosystem. So I think from that aspect, even with the commercial investment of the podcasting space is a medium is very secure and will continue to grow.

John Jantsch (08:09): Yeah. Let's talk audio versus video. Is that a distinction? I seemed like video V cast. I think they, people were calling them at one point, kinda had a point where they were popular. Now it seems like everybody's doing some audio, some video. Of course the technology has helped that, but the portability of audio, I think is still what makes it so attractive to me.

Todd Cochrane (08:32): Yeah. I think still people have more time to listen than they do to watch. I know that I do. Yeah. But at the same point, I think the video piece of it is more of a, well, I started doing video 10 years ago doing live video for my shows. And I did it purely out of selfishness because I do a solo show. So I was, I was doing it eight o'clock in the evening in Hawaii and you know, it was kind of boring. So I was using it as a way to get a little interactivity from the audience when I was doing the show and it kind of just turned into this thing, but that's really most my main reason. And I think that's way a lot of podcasters think about it now too, is some people like to watch some people like to listen, but I still, my show still 70, 30, 70% listen, 30% watch why they watch me. I still don't understand. But it's, it's kind of the way it is.

John Jantsch (09:24): Yeah. I, I do. I mean, I think it's like, it's like when my books would come out, you know, there would be some part of the audience who's like, I'm gonna get it when the audiobook comes out. I was like, well just go buy it now. But there're just some people that, that's what they'd rather do. And there's no question that, you know, enough people have seen you on video now that you could probably go to a conference and people go, oh, I've seen that person. And so it certainly the medium, I think, itself has different uses and you're gonna, people are gonna consume different ways,

Todd Cochrane (09:57): You know? But in all honesty, I've had more surprise interactions from people hearing my voice. So it's like walking in O'Hare a couple weeks ago, someone heard my voice and they turned and they said, oh, you're are you Todd? And I'm like, yeah. Which show do you listen to? You know? So it's, so I think when, and also the audio piece is more intimate. We're truly, we're truly in there, you know, those that are listening right now, we're we're in your head. yeah. You know, we're I call it the earballs we're right in their ears. Yeah. So it's, I think it's a different experience when we watch YouTube, which most of us do, you know, we can be distracted. And I think in podcasting we're able to hold audience's attention span a lot longer. So I think that's why the medium has been for better word. So intimate.

John Jantsch (10:44): Hey, eCommerce brands, did you know, there's an automated marketing platform. That's 100% designed for your online business. It's called drip and it's got all the data insights, segmentation, savvy, and email and SMS marketing tools. You need to connect with customers on a human level, make boatloads of sales and grow with Gusto. Try drip for 14 days, no credit card required and start turning emails into earnings and SMS sends into Chuck CHS, try drip free for 14 days. Just go to go.drip.com/ducttapemarketingpod. That's go.drip.com/ducttapemarketingpod.

John Jantsch (11:28): Yeah. I can't tell you how many times I've had a YouTube video opened in another tab and all I'm doing is listening to it. right. Cause I'm multitasking. Yeah. Mm-hmm no question. What are some of the most exciting things in how the technology is involved? Evolved? As far as youre concerned, we were, again, we were laughing, you know, before we got started here about the early days of recording on, you know, handheld devices and phones that we'd plug into and you know, you and I were recording this on a platform that that's actually just web based. And you know, once we're done recording, it'll upload the two recording, you know, separated tracks. I mean, there's just some really great advancements. What are, what's your current feeling about the technology that you're using?

Todd Cochrane (12:06): Well, I think you hit the nail on the head. It's riversides wild. Some of these platforms that allow us, we don't have to have this big tech setup. I, you know, I've got literally $30,000 worth of gear in this room that I don't need anymore. Yeah. Because of the way the space has changed and the technology being able to see who you're interviewing or being interviewed and have that interaction is a huge difference. In the early days, all we really kind of had to really listen for those visual cues and we often would step on each other just because there wasn't that visual component. So I think that's a big change. Obviously. They've got lots of great software out there now for editing. Uh, I've always been an Adobe edition type of guy. And matter of fact, I don't edit. So I'm one of the few that actually don't, but it's, but I wouldn't be a podcaster if I all these years, if I would've had to have edited because it just takes too much time. But yeah. That's why they've got people out there doing those types of services now. But that's another thing too, is there's a service for everything, right? There's BAS there's people that do transcripts there's people that will do your editing, posting the whole nine yards. It's gonna, you're gonna have to write a check, but you can use your time wisely.

John Jantsch (13:19): I'm I saw, I got a pitch from an, an AI service that was promoting themselves as you, all you did was put in the guest or something about the guest and they would create a list of questions for the guests. Interesting. You know, based on just go out there and just like find, you know, your footprint and go, here's what the, here's what you ought ask this guest. And I was like, wow, , you know, we're, I wonder we're gonna even do the interviews at some point. , you know?

Todd Cochrane (13:43): Yeah. Pretty crazy. And you know, and I think too, the thing that's about podcasting that like this interview, you had a little background on me already, so you didn't have to do too much research, but I think there's a lot of folks that spend a lot of time researching their guests. And some of those best interviews are, is when a Podcaster's able to dig out that nugget, you know? Right. They get deep in a conversation that may not have happened. Otherwise,

John Jantsch (14:11): Can I get up on a soapbox and complain about something? And I'm sure you get this too, but nothing drives me crazy faster than when somebody asks me to be on their show. And I agree. And then they send me to a six page form to basically write the interview for them. I just like, you know, it, this is, I guess I grew up, you know, in a PR background mm-hmm and this feels like journalism to me. Right. And somebody else writing the article, I'll let you riff on that if you want to.

Todd Cochrane (14:37): You know, and it's even funny because I hired a service to help me get more interviews. And they asked me to write the top six questions. I'd like to be asked. I'm like, I don't even wanna do that because , every interview is gonna be wash RINs repeat because some guests are host are lazy and I've been lucky. People have only pulled from that a couple of times. But yeah, when I do guest interviews, I don't want any prep. I want the conversation to happen free flow. I think that's when you really get into the good stuff. Now you have to do your homework a little bit to kind of figure out what you're gonna talk about. But I, I think that

John Jantsch (15:13): That's the job.

Todd Cochrane (15:14): Yeah.

John Jantsch (15:14): absolutely. Let's talk about advertising and podcasts. My first advertiser was at and T I just kind of dropped out of the sky and it was a really big deal for me at the time. Sure. And you know, fortunately I'm currently sponsored as a member of the HubSpot network. So, you know, the money is definitely out there. And I know a lot of small four or 500, you know, a month download folks are now finding, you know, opportunities to get, you know, advertisers for shows like that. So maybe talk a little bit about cuz I know obviously you play in that world substantially with Blubrry. So talk maybe a little bit about the opportunities you think are out there and maybe just the state of, you know, this form of advertising.

Todd Cochrane (15:55): Sure. In the space today, 50% of podcasters are using podcasts for non monetization reasons they're using for funnel business, building authority, building, they have a different goal, but the other 50% are looking and hoping to monetize. Currently today only three to 4% of podcasts are actually fully monetized. So it leads a whole bunch of people on the sidelines. So five years ago, I would say that programmatic advertising probably would not have been effective because there just wasn't enough movement in the space and enough trust. But now programmatic has got to the point where even the smallest shows can get some advertising and it may not be, it may take their spouse or partner to dinner money. Some people will make car payment money. Some people will make house payment money, but there is gonna be an opportunity here in the very new future for all shows to be able to monetize at one level.

Todd Cochrane (16:46): Now, obviously the host read endorsement stuff, which is the core of the space continues to rule and pays the highest C cam rates. Matter of fact, my sponsor GoDaddy, which I've had since 2005, it's remarkable. They've been with me this entire time. Those are completely host, endorsed episodes baked in forever. But then again, my show gets, my tech show is 96 hours. It's achieved nearly 90% of its lifetime download. So it doesn't have a long tail. So it doesn't matter. But I think that from an advertising perspective, you know, niche, real niche content is and high Val niche, high value content can drive a lot of dollars, but if you're not super niche, then you need to big build big and the bigger the audience, the more potential for revenue. I think there's lots of ways to skin a cat. Now there's Patreon. You can, or just a simple PayPal link, which I've used for years to raise money for a show and get support. I think though a lot of podcasters get really wrapped around the ax. So early on about trying to make money too. Yeah. And but I think when a show gets the substantial size and stability and consistency, I think there's lots of opportunities to make money. Yeah. Across a variety of fronts.

John Jantsch (18:00): Yeah. I always, I, I, you know, I guess because it was so much work in the early days, you know, I always told people, I, you know, I'd do it if I had one listener and no, nobody because of the people I got to talk to that yeah. That was really, to me, the reason for doing it. Yeah. And you know, the, everything else sort of turned into a happy accident of consistency, I guess. Yeah. But, but that I that's, you know, I would do it again for that very reason.

Todd Cochrane (18:22): Yeah. I think for me too, is authority was one of the first things I was trying to build authority. And then second was my wife forced the monetization piece on me. She wanted me to get monetized and, and really, it was fun. You know, I had a lot of fun doing the show and the action with the audience. So I have always told my audience when it quits being fun. I'm done, but it's so far, it's still fun. I guess that's a rhyme. But

John Jantsch (18:47): So let me ask you what you think about, you know, some other mediums, you know, of advertising has really waned because people have other ways to, you know, to get around it. I mean, to not, you know, all the, all out of the streaming shows and things, now people are paying for that subscription. So do you think podcasting is gonna go that way? The paid model where I pay to subscribe? So I don't, or maybe one of the benefits is so I don't have to listen to ads is that I know there are people out there doing it, but is that, do you see that being the substantial way that people monetize?

Todd Cochrane (19:16): I think it's a key of scale there. I think you have to be big enough to do that because only a small, you know, it's just like clicking on banners, only a percentage. You're gonna click on a banner. So I, you know, if you can get 10% of your audience to convert, to paid and build an audience that could be significant ongoing revenue every month. Yeah. But I think, again, it's a economy of scale. You have to build an audience to be big enough to be able to, I think it's a combination of both is good, you know, and I have played with that model before and for my show, it didn't work. So I have a purely a, you know, an ad driven plus if you feel like it throw me a, you know, throw me a cup of coffee type of thing within the show, but it's a, I think it's really up to the podcaster, what they wanna try.

Todd Cochrane (20:04): But again, I think for the premium to pay a premium with no ads, I think there's several models that would probably work better. Number one, if you're part of a network yeah. And the network does it, and you get a share of that revenue from the network based upon your volume, that could be a potential or number two, again, you decide it's worth your time to put that out. That separate show. Cuz it's what you gotta do. Also if you're on PayPal or not PayPal, if you're on Patreon and you put it on some type of reward, that's maybe an extra episode for a contribution every month, what happens if only five people contribute, then you're locked in to doing work. Yeah. Yeah. So I think it's a lot easier to produce a second show without an ad, but then again, you may have to pay for a service, the managing of it to have people be able access that. So I, it's a way of time and money I think.

John Jantsch (20:54): Yeah. So anything coming for Blubrry that, that you wanna talk about that, that people may not know about yet?

Todd Cochrane (21:01): Well, you know, we just spent two years completely rebuilding the platform. Yeah. And it was getting along in the tooth. So we spent the time during COVID and uh, to really put spit and Polish on it and knock the walls down. And we've added some stuff to our stats that are really knocking peoples socks off and one's called a retention graph or giving them information about when people are dropping out, when they're actively listening to the show. It's been huge so far. Yeah. That to the bigger pieces, what we're really focused on is helping shows grow. It's the thing I keep hearing day in and day out from podcasters is how do I grow? How do I grow? So my team is focused on providing data and analysis stuff that they can look at at a glance that says, okay, here's where I'm slipping or here's where I'm doing well.

Todd Cochrane (21:43): Or this episode did good and why, or this episode had a drop off and you know what happened there. So we're trying to get folks info that they can easily look at without having to be a PhD and data analytics to figure out what's going on. So that's kind of our goal is to help podcasters grow, cuz be honest with you, that's the end game, you know, as well as I do a growing an audience can be a challenge. And it's oftentimes the grind of doing it for a long time. That's right. People are not that patient anymore, you know, and they want quick results, but it's still, you have to, you know, sit in front of the mic and do show after show on a regular basis to really build that big audience. If you're an Oprah, you know, you come with an audience, but if you're, you know, you may be authority in your town or your city, but maybe you're not in the next state. So it's one of those things where you just have to build.

John Jantsch (22:35): So I'm gonna give you the opportunity to once again, spell Blubrry cuz I bet you've done it 6 billion times with that little, with that little quirk.

Todd Cochrane (22:47): Yeah. It's easy. It's Blubrry without the E's cuz we couldn't afford the E's so if you wanna spell blueberry the way you normally would spell a blueberry, you just drop the E's @ blubrry.com.

John Jantsch (23:00): Awesome. Well Todd, it was great having you stop by the, uh, the duct tape marketing podcast in terms of podcasts. You're certainly the podcasting industry. You're a legend in the industry. So it was really great getting to spend some time with you and have you drop by the show and hopefully we'll run into each other one of these days out there on the road.

Todd Cochrane (23:17): Absolutely appreciate it. And congratulations for your 17 years. That's an accomplishment in itself as well.

John Jantsch (23:23): Well, thanks so much.

Todd Cochrane (23:25): Thank you, sir.

John Jantsch (23:25): Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not.com.co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketing ssessment.co I'd love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

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

 

Did you know there’s an automated marketing platform that’s 100% designed for your online business? It’s called Drip, and it’s got all the data insights, segmentation savvy, and email and SMS marketing tools you need to connect with customers on a human level, make boatloads of sales, and grow with gusto. Try Drip free for 14 days (no credit card required), and start turning emails into earnings and SMS sends into cha-chings.

How To Harness Your Unfair Advantage

Marketing Podcast with Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba. They both are award-winning authors and entrepreneurs. Despite not going to university, Ash became a serial tech founder and the first marketing director of a unicorn startup – Just Eat). Hasan built a successful startup from his bedroom with nothing more than an online course and a yearning to escape the ‘rat race’. They are now international bestselling authors, coaches, and keynote speakers. Their latest book is – The Unfair Advantage: How You Already Have What It Takes to Succeed.

Key Takeaway:

Behind every story of success is an unfair advantage. Your unfair advantage is the element that gives you an edge over your competition. In this episode, I talk with Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba about how to identify your own unfair advantages and apply them to any project in your life. We talk about how to look at yourself and find the ingredients you didn’t realize you already had, to succeed in the cut-throat world of business.

Questions I ask Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba:

  • [1:44] The book starts out with the premise — life is fundamentally unfair.  Could you break that idea down?
  • [3:37] What you would call an unfair advantage that people tend to recognize?
  • [6:46] Would you characterize this book as a business book or a self-help book?
  • [9:43] What are some of the places that are less obvious unfair advantages that people don’t even realize they have?
  • [11:41] Some people are purely lucky, but I would say a lot of entrepreneurs have come to the realization that they make their own luck, and that’s something that is earned as opposed to something that’s an unfair advantage. How would you respond to that notion?
  • [13:52] What are your unfair advantages?
  • [19:13] What do you say to that person that feels that they don’t have an unfair advantage?
  • [22:57] Where can people find out more of the work that you’re doing and grab a copy of the book?

More About Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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 Ben Shapiro and 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 business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben's a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI, and automation. Download the MarTech podcast wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:50): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jan and my guest today is Ash Ali and Hassan. Kuba gonna, I have two guests today. They're award-winning authors and entrepreneurs, and despite not going to university, Ash became a serial tech founder and the first marketing director of the unicorn startup just eat Hassan built a successful startup from his bedroom with nothing more than an online course and a yearning to escape the rat race. They're now international bestselling authors, coaches and keynote speakers. And we're gonna talk about their latest book, the unfair advantage, how you already have what it takes to succeed. So Ash and Hasan. Welcome.

Hasan Kuba (01:34): Hello. Thank you. Thanks for having us. Hi.

John Jantsch (01:37): Awesome. So the book starts out with this premise and we could probably do the whole show without me asking another question, but here it is, life is fundamentally unfair. Who wants to take that doop of hope?

Hasan Kuba (01:50): I'll take it. I'll take it going. So life is unfair. Yeah, that is the under underlying principle behind cuz that life is not fair. And sometimes when you get into self-development like I did and still, I still enjoy a bit of self-development Mo you know, you learned that, you know, what you got in life is what you deserved. You know, you built the life that you're living now, you designed it. Your decisions led to the moment you're in now and all these kinds of quotes and beliefs and mental models to make you take responsibility for your life, which is a very useful tool, but it's limited because it's not actually that accurate. So one of the ways to look at well, when we talk about this in the book is it's, it's all about mental models. So there's one extreme, which is to think that all success is based on hard work and, you know, merit.

Hasan Kuba (02:37): And the other extreme is to think it's all luck and unearned. And the reality is squarely in the middle, right? There's a lot of serendipity in life. There's a lot of luck of births and genetic lotteries. And there's a lot of things that just happened because you were in the right place at the right time. Yeah. But at the same time, you can, you know, stack the deck in your favor. You can make the right decisions. You can be consistent in how you think and how you behave and the decisions you make to lead towards success. So it's a mixture of both. Life is unfair and ultimately, you know, we're so lucky and we should all be so grateful for everything that we have going for us. And at the same time, we can also exert our own agency on the world. We can also take best on responsibility. We can also take control of our lives to an extent

John Jantsch (03:21): Yeah. Cuz it, it is interesting. I mean, we all know people have had everything handed to them, all the funding, all the backing, all the mentors, all the, you know, whatever. And they've still found a way to piss it away. Haven't they . So it really is kind of that combination.

Hasan Kuba (03:35): Exactly.

John Jantsch (03:37): So, so let's maybe start out by defining, um, what an unfair, maybe some examples of what you would call an unfair advantage that people tend to recognize.

Ash Ali (03:49): Yeah. So I mean, an unfair advantage is something that's unique to you based on your circumstances and also based on your background and who you are as an individual. There's so many books out there that talk about strengths. But what we do is talk about your strength, but also about yourself as an individual, as a unique person. So we talk about, you know, life is unfair and it's not a level playing field, but sometimes when life is unfair and it's not a level playing field, some people can grow up with a victim mindset and a victim type of thinking, say, I didn't have this, I didn't have that. But actually what we say in the book is actually, how do you turn that around? How do you make that stuff that you, you felt was unfair growing up in poverty or growing up in an area that wasn't great.

Ash Ali (04:29): How can you turn that around and make it part of your authentic story and use it to an advantage? So an example for me would be, I grew up with little money and when I start companies now, and I know a lot of listeners are listening here who will run small businesses when you don't have a huge amount of money for marketing budgets, for example, I'm the perfect person to come in and work with you because I know how to be resourceful cause I had no money. Right. So my mindset is always based around being resourceful. That's just an example of something that you could use, uh,

John Jantsch (04:56): Straight. But again, I, you know, to the flip side of that, I guess we all know people who had everything and should have made it, you know, there, we, we all probably know at least somebody, or at least you've read their story of somebody that sh never should have you know, like you said, they didn't have the education, they didn't have the backing, they didn't have the money. They didn't really have seemingly you know, didn't seem that smart, you know, mm-hmm but you know, they've, they've made themselves successful the way we defined that. So, you know, what are, you know, I guess to Hasan's original point, it's kind of somewhere in the middle, isn't it?

Ash Ali (05:30): It is somewhere in the middle. It's interesting because you know, like I've got a daughter now who's growing up in privilege and I look at her and I look at my life and think, okay, you know, does she have the fire in the belly? And what can we do to help her have the same mentality of working hard and trying to achieve things in life? And one of the things I found was that interestingly is that constraint does kind of foster creativity. And if you just live, give everything to your children, for example, straight away, then they're not gonna, um, uh, feel grateful for it straight away. And unless they've worked for it. So con sometimes having constraints, uh, does make you more resourceful, more creative. And that's just an example of something. We live in an abundant world now where everything is available quickly, you can audio takeaway quickly, you can order your cab quickly. And, you know, they're growing up in a different environment compared to us where we had to wait for something, but we had to have some patience around something. So it's understanding what constraint is and how to manage that, I suppose.

John Jantsch (06:27): Yeah. I, I, of course it's so cliche now, but you know, I like to tell even 30 year olds, you know, about, uh, dialup, um, internet and, uh, yeah. Things of that nature. Can you, you imagine that now, you know, it might take 10 minutes and we had to take turns who could use it right. Only one person could be on at a time and pretty crazy. So I think what would you classify or would you characterize this book as a business book or a self-help book?

Hasan Kuba (06:53): Yeah. Good question. It really is in the middle because what we've done with our book is we've. So the origin of the book let's get into the origin. We did this book because we were getting pitched by loads of startup for funding. And it was just like shock tank, essentially. That'd come in and, and pitch us. And we thought, what is the difference that makes the difference here? You know, when we confirm we ourselves, we're like, what is it with some people that we're like, you know, even if we didn't believe in them, they're not gonna close out their funding ground. Nobody else is gonna believe in them. And they're gonna really struggle here. And what is that difference? And we started thinking about this and really diving into it. And we decided to write this down. This idea of the unfair advantage is essentially a sustainable competitive advantage for a big business.

Hasan Kuba (07:35): It's kind of the type of thing Warren buffet talks about in value investing. You want a business that has the economic modes, the defense ability that it's gonna sustain. And it's the same thing for individuals because at that early stage of a business, when you don't yet have a product, even sometimes when you don't yet have, um, customers, you don't yet have traction in sales, how are you gonna judge it? Well, you're gonna judge it by the team, by the co-founders. And when you're judging it by the co-founders that's when you have to try and decide, okay, what have they got going for themselves? What do they have? That's gonna allow them to push through, do they have a track record? Do they have something that gives you the idea that they'll be able to get into this? Do they have the unfair advantages? Yeah.

Hasan Kuba (08:15): And essentially that was the idea behind the book. And that's what made us think about like how we can help people to gain that kind of self awareness. Yeah. To know what kind of business to go for, to know what kind of strategy to go for. Should you raise funding? Should you bootstrap? Who should you partner with? These are the kind of decisions we wanted to help people with at that early stage. So we're just bringing it back to the individual. So that's why it's in between a business book and a self development. Cause it's about the early stages of a startup. Yeah.

John Jantsch (08:43): Hey, eCommerce brands. Did you know, there's an automated marketing platform. That's 100% designed for your online business. It's called drip and it's got all the data insights, segmentation, savvy, and email and SMS marketing tools. You need to connect with customers on a human level, make boatloads of sales and grow with Gusto. Try drip for 14 days, no credit card required and start turning emails into earnings. And SMS sends into Chuck CHS, try drip free for 14 days. Just go to go.drip.com/duct tape marketing pod. That's go.drip.com/ducttapemarketingpod.

John Jantsch (09:27): So I think there are some unfair advantages that, that are pretty obvious that people could identify. But if I'm out there listening, you know, what are some of the, what are just some of the places that you go looking? I know you have a framework, you call the miles framework so we can kind of go, you know, letter by letter for the acronym. Uh, but, but what are some of the places maybe that are less obvious that you've said, Hey, you know, these are unfair advantages that people don't even realize they have.

Ash Ali (09:53): Yeah. So the miles framework is, uh, it stands for money, intelligence, location, and luck, education, and expertise and status. And it sits on top of mindset. And we talked earlier about why it's important for people to understand their unfair advantage in the context of business, because business is all about people. And most investors invest in small startups and early stage startups because of the people not because of the idea itself, it's the founders themselves. Yeah. And so if you can identify your unfair advantages and then amplify those in your pitch, in your message to hiring people to your cus or getting customers, it will help you get your early traction, which is what starts a business. So coming back to the miles framework, it's about understanding within each one of those miles frameworks in each one of those acronym letters, what you have, that's going for you.

Ash Ali (10:42): Right? And one of the big ones is insight. For example, when you're starting a company, right? If you have insight into something that nobody else has, and you are starting a business around, that's a very powerful, unfair advantage. And there's so many case studies in our book around that, um, about specific insights around that another one is being in the right place at the right time, right. The location. And look, you know, if, can you find the right co-founder, can you find the right, um, uh, customers who are close to you potentially who can, who can become customers straight away status is another one, you know, your network. And here, you know, when you are starting a business, if you know how to raise money quickly, and you have a network, that's an unfair advantage. And if you need to go out to the market to raise money from ground zero and have nobody, no network, it's much harder to do much harder to do. Right. And we know how that's, how investment generally works. So there's lots of little examples in different places for different types of projects or businesses. It depends where you wanna apply the framework itself, whether it's a project, whether it's your career, whether it's a business itself.

John Jantsch (11:41): Yeah. Let me, I wanna come back to insight in a minute and have you share some examples, uh, to, to help clarify that one, but let's talk about luck. Some people, some, some people are purely lucky. I mean, they run into luck in your right place, right time, like you said, but I would say a lot of entrepreneurs have come to the realization that they make their own luck and that, that that's almost something that's earned as opposed to something that's an unfair advantage. How would you respond to that? A notion?

Hasan Kuba (12:09): I, I totally believe in making your own luck as well. So we talk about luck and we talk about the fact that it's overlooked and luck exists. Hey, luck does exist. Talent does exist. You know, that all these books has become trendy to say, there's no such thing as talent, just work super hard and get the 10,000 hours in. And, and that will be that's enough. These things exist tiger woods, or was like, could swing a, could swing a golf, could swing a club before he could walk. Like, these are the kinds of things that, that is, is like pure talent. Oprah Winfrey was like giving speeches to whole congregations at church when she was three years old making. So these things exist, but making your luck also definitely exists. Yeah. We talk in the book about how you can actually increase your luck. There have been some psychologists who've studied the phenomenon of people who think of themselves as lucky versus people who don't and how the fact that they think of themselves as lucky just makes them more proactive, makes them more observant to opportunities that come up and it's been literally proven in studies.

Hasan Kuba (13:06): So it's quite interesting that you can make your own luck. We say, put yourself out there more. Yeah. Increase your surface area to luck and maybe more lucky things will happen. So it's essentially like rolling the dice. Just keep rolling it. No, one's counting how many you're throwing the dice. How many times you're throwing the dice. If you keep rolling, you're more likely to roll the double six.

John Jantsch (13:23): Yeah. I actually, I started my blog in 2003 that I talk about being in the right place at the right time. That was luck to spot that technology. But also it, you know, it led to my first book four years later, but that point I had also written a thousand blog posts. So , you know, I always talk about really, that was a lucky decision on my part to go that route. But then I, I do think, you know, you, you have to, you, you can also then turn that luck into something that is very fruitful.

Ash Ali (13:50): Yeah,

Hasan Kuba (13:51): Absolutely.

John Jantsch (13:52): So what's your unfair advantages. Yeah. I'll let you both answer that one. Go on. Cause I, for example, as you mentioned, you didn't go to college, so we're,

Ash Ali (14:04): I'll

John Jantsch (14:04): Stop the college degree from Oxford off the table, right.

Ash Ali (14:07): yeah. That is, that can be an unfair advantage if you know how to use it. Some people don't know how to use that as well. You know, we see people coming to us and like, oh yeah, I went to caught Oxford in Cambridge or wherever, and it's just pass a it's normal for them. But actually that could be an unfair advantage if you know how to use it properly, an unfair advantage. You know, there's several different things with strength. There can be double edged swords as we call them. Right. So having something and not having something. And we talk about constraint earlier on, I'll go through it from my perspective, which is kind of like the double edged sword version of it and how someone will go through it from his perspective. So from my perspective, I had no money growing up. So now when I'm building startups, I'm really shrewd and very lean and I can build things very quickly and I'm very resourceful.

Ash Ali (14:47): And, and actually what it does has done to me has made me more creative. So one of my high skills is creativity, um, intelligence, um, and insight. I have lots of insights with businesses because I'm doing things all the time. I'm always taking action. So I'm seeing opportunities and getting insights and different things and intelligence, there's different types of intelligence. You know, a lot of people said to me, Ash, you're really cool. You're the glue amongst your friends. So I'm good at bringing people together and doing things together, which is cool. And I like to be, I don't like to be the smartest person in the room. You know, I'd rather not be the most intelligent person in the room, but I can learn from other people quickly. So as well as that's the, the eye side location and luck, you know, I was born in Birmingham, which is like the second biggest city in the UK and automotive retail industry kind of community.

Ash Ali (15:27): And the tech industry was booming in London. So I moved to London at the age of 19. If I didn't move, I wouldn't have had the same opportunities. Wouldn't have been able to join companies like just eat and do the IPO and luck the IPO, you know, how many companies, IPO for and view between it once again. And there's the luck factor behind that and the right timing of that. And then seeing how that would work out, education excluded. I didn't go to university, so I didn't feel entitled, you know? So that's what made, that's why I kind of did everything in anything. And I built my expertise up in deal to market. So I was, and the time when everyone wanted to know how to do SEO and online marketing, I was there. And in status, you know, like a, you know, and your role ATEX of contacts, you know, like, I didn't know many people, but now I know lots of people. So if I need to do anything now, for example, I can open my black book of contacts, LinkedIn network connections, and make things happen because of my status of having connections that I've built up over time. Yeah. So that's become an unfair advantage.

John Jantsch (16:17): What's interesting, as you said, you know, the degree from a prestigious school used to really mean a lot. It feels like in the, particularly in the entrepreneurial space, it's more about what were you doing for your summer job? , you know, than what degree you got or your side hustle or whatever. It seems to actually hold more weight than, than, you know, college. And I think a lot of it's because people realize college is great for making connections, what they teach in a lot of like a marketing course in college will have very little application to what it's like to market in the real world. And so that, you know, that education, the actual learning classroom education is probably not that valuable.

Ash Ali (16:56): Yeah. I mean, if you want to learn,

John Jantsch (16:57): So, so Hassan, how

Ash Ali (16:59): Then the fastest way to learn is reading blogs like yours, John. And if you wanna learn about marketing, you can learn a lot more from reading blogs and marketing books can get old very quickly. Right? What happened, you know, some time ago, timing wise might not work now. So it's keeping fresh and, uh, up to date with knowledge, I think that's really important. And we talk about this in a book about this there's three aspects of university, but I'll let, has Sam talk about a miles favorite from his side and what his advantages are.

Hasan Kuba (17:25): Yeah, yeah. So, so for me, look, so it, it's easier to simplify to what is your unfair advantage? Well, the reality is we'll have a set of unfair advantages and a unique set of them. And that's why Ash goes through so many well, you know, for Ash, I would definitely say his creativity is, is just one of the top things about him and the fact that he just gives things a go, he just goes for it. So for me, I would say that it's my ability to learn really fast. So I think I have that kind of the intelligence where I pick things up fast and then I'm able to communicate them. So one thing that really helped me to get my initial clients and start to develop and get referrals is the ability to build rapport and build trust very quickly. So I think that's partly just from my ability to absorb information and knowledge in a space that's so new and like something, I was one of the main things I was doing was SEO.

Hasan Kuba (18:15): I was doing branding and website stuff, but SEO and getting people to the top of Google was, was huge. And so the fact that I was able to explain it to local businesses, built connections with them, build trust. I think that massively helped me. So that was huge for me. And then you can go further back and just say, listen, I was born in Baghdad, Iraq. And I came to the UK in London when I was three years old with my family to escape the war and all of that. So I, my unfair advantage is we moved to, to the UK when I was a baby. And I grew up here in London. If you imagine, if I'd come when I was 20 years old and I'd have the thickest accent and I'd have so much difficulty in terms of just how I come across the status side of it in terms of building rapport, building trust. So this is so lucky. So you can kind of go into the genetic lottery of it all you can go into where you grew up and what kind of schools you went to. You can go into your ability to skill, skill stack, and build your skills and expertise and learn things quickly. So I think that learning side is kind of the massive piece for me.

John Jantsch (19:13): So, so I suspect as you've both gone out there and maybe given talks on this or, or webinar done webinars on this that, that, you know, ultimately somebody comes to you and says, look, this is great, but I don't have any unfair advantages. You know, what do you say to that person that that feels, especially since mindset really sits on top of this, what do you say to that person that, that has that mindset?

Hasan Kuba (19:38): So I would say that essentially this idea and ashes touched on this idea of double edged swords. What you think is a disadvantage. You can turn into an advantage and I'll give you an easy one. So we have a few examples in the book of people who had a, kind of a classic disadvantage. So a classic disadvantage is a woman entrepreneur, right? So a woman founder, the example of Sarah Blakely, founder of spans mm-hmm . Now, if you think about it, what was her unfair advantage? Okay, well, it was tough. She had no idea about how to raise funding. Nobody would believe in her. She had no connections in that space, et cetera, but what did she have? She had an amazing insight into a problem based on her status as a woman, which is that this idea of like shape wear and, and spanks turned out to be spanks.

Hasan Kuba (20:24): She would cut off the feet off tights. Like, man, wouldn't have come up with that. wouldn't have had that insight the same with Tristan Walker. Who's another example in the book, he's a, he grew up in the projects in, I think he was the Bronx maybe, or if I'm remembering correctly, Queens actually Queens in New York and really poor. His dad was murdered when he was young, but Hey, he was smart. He got scholarships. He got into good schools. He spent a long time thinking about what his big idea is in the end. His insight was that black men need a different shaving system than other people do because they have more ingrown hairs. And so he developed this single blade, shaving system. He used different rappers who also from his location. So the rapper NAS grew up also in Queens and then he promoted his brand.

Hasan Kuba (21:09): And then eventually he was acquired by Proctor and gamble for 30 million. So it's like, what seems like a disadvantage you can use to your advantage. If you grew up poor, then you have an insight into how poor people live. What, what needs they have, what mass market products you might be able to create, let's say, or if you grew up as whatever, like you grew up from another country or you're learning languages, or you're, there's all these different aspects to everything. So it's all about your mindset. If you have a growth mindset and we call it, we talk about in the book, the growth, uh, the reality growth mindset, because we wanna root it in some real reality, then you can grow and you can turn what seems like a disadvantage into an advantage. And listen, if you're listening to this podcast, if you're able to read this book, you probably have a lot to be grateful for. So you just need to kind of do a sort of an audit and gratitude is one of the underlying themes of our book.

John Jantsch (21:59): Yeah. And it's interesting too, because as we grow up, a lot of the things that drive our parents are teachers crazy, you know, ultimately come out as an advantage. You know, we were told they were a negative, for example, I, you know, I, my parents used to always joke about how curious I was and always getting into things because I had to teachers, same thing, you know, I was told for a long time that that was a problem that has served me extremely well in my professional life. And I think that's, uh, sometimes we just have to overcome, you know, the, what, what society has told us is a negative don't we?

Ash Ali (22:29): Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. When people focus on your weaknesses more than your strengths, that's when you start to misunderstand really what your unfair advantage is because we've all got strengths. And what we, the idea of the premise for the book is to double down on your strengths rather than focus too much on your weaknesses and then plug those gaps where you can appropriately and understand that we work in teams and people is about businesses, about people. So it's not just about you as an individual.

John Jantsch (22:55): Yeah. So, so Ash, uh, Hassan where tell people where they can find more of you more of the work you're doing, and obviously grab a copy of the unfair advantage.

Hasan Kuba (23:05): Yeah. We're all, all over social media. So I'm at startup Hassan. Uh, Hassan is spelled with one S and Ash is, is it Ash Ali, UK Ash, for most of your socials, you can find us. And our website is the unfair academy.com.

John Jantsch (23:20): Awesome. And the book is, will be available in, I don't believe there's an audio version. Is there, there,

Hasan Kuba (23:25): There is.

John Jantsch (23:26): Yeah, there is. Okay. So an audio and then, uh, in E ebook format, as well as, uh, hard cover and available, depending upon when you're listening to this available, everywhere that you buy books.

Hasan Kuba (23:37): Yeah. It's available now, cuz it's at the time of recording, it'll be released tomorrow. So it'll be available by the time

John Jantsch (23:41): It comes up. And I should have mentioned this, but the book has been awarded. I don't have it written here. Tell me the best business book in the UK in 2021 or something, you could do it better than I just did. Tell me, tell me what the award was.

Hasan Kuba (23:55): So, so we were surprised and happy to learn that we'd won our category of the startup category of the business book awards. Yeah. And then it was like 12 different categories and then it turned out we'd won the whole thing as well, over all the categories. So we'd won the business book of the year 2021. It was actually it's based in the UK, but it's an international award as well. The only country that the book hasn hasn't come out yet until now is in the us and Canada in north America. So yeah, it's done really well. It's really popular on good reads. It's on YouTube. It a lot viral videos on YouTubes took summarizing it. So if you want to check it out a bit further, you can see some summaries on YouTube. You read all the reviews it's it's doing it's thankfully it's spreading by word of mouth. Cause people are loving it. Yeah.

John Jantsch (24:39): Awesome. Well, thanks so much for stopping by the, the duct tape marketing podcast. And hopefully we'll run into you both somewhere out there on the road.

Hasan Kuba (24:46): Thank you, Joe. Thank you, John. I'm big fans of duct tech marketing by the way.

John Jantsch (24:49): Appreciate that. Thanks so much. Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not.com.co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketing assessment.co I'd love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

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How Leveraging A Virtual Assistant Will Change Your Life

Marketing Podcast with Tricia Sciortino

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Tricia Sciortino. Tricia is the CEO and Board Member at BELAY, Co-Host of the One Next Step Podcast, and Author of Rise Up & Lead Well: How Leveraging An Assistant Will Change Your Life & Maximize Your Time.

Key Takeaway:

Today is a new day and age where the remote work opportunities are endless. In this episode, I talk with Tricia Sciortino, the CEO and Board Member at BELAY, about how incredibly powerful it can be to outsource elements of your business to a virtual assistant. We dive into what mistakes most people make when hiring virtual workers and what best practices to follow to work most effectively.

Questions I ask Tricia Sciortino:

  • [1:28] What has your entrepreneurial journey looked like?
  • [3:04] Do you feel like your training has helped you excel in the position?
  • [3:50] Remote work has become very mainstream today, hasn’t it?
  • [6:30] If someone came to you who didn’t want to hire full-time staff, what are some of the key roles that you should outsource?
  • [11:02] How do business owners balance outsourcing social media with a virtual assistant?
  • [13:34] What are some of the mistakes you see when people hire virtual workers and what are some of the best practices that bring forth more efficiencies?
  • [17:21] How do you find the right person, and how do you dig deep enough to realize this person is going to work well for you?
  • [19:58] Do you think that something you should be looking for when hiring an executive assistant or virtual worker is someone who has routines and processes already put in place?
  • [21:08] If someone is interested in working with BELAY, what’s the process?

More About Tricia Sciortino:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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 Ben Shapiro and 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 tech technology to generate growth and achieve business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben's a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI, and automation. Download the MarTech podcast wherever you get your.

New Speaker (00:40): podcast. Hello, welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jan and my guest today is Tricia Sciortino. She is the CEO and board member at belay host of the one next step podcast and author of rise up. And Leadwell how leveraging an assistance will change your life and maximize your time. So we're gonna talk about virtual assistance and remote workers and part-time staff and all those good things. So Trisha, welcome through the show.

Tricia Sciortino (01:22): Hey, good morning. Welcome. Thanks for having me.

John Jantsch (01:25): You bet. So, so tell me what give me, I always like to ask entrepreneurs, what got you here? What have you done in your entrepreneurial journey that led you to starting the lake?

Tricia Sciortino (01:33): Wow. That's a really big question to start off with John .

John Jantsch (01:37): Well, yeah, Don, don't go back to second doing it

Tricia Sciortino (01:40): Well back in,

John Jantsch (01:41): In between.

Tricia Sciortino (01:42): Yeah. You know, it was a journey of, you know, I, I like to say happenstance almost in that when I graduated college, I got my degree in business and marketing. I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with myself. And I, I at first was a mom and then I stumbled upon organically and accidentally, if you will, you know, kind of just took a first job out there, quickly rose through the ranks and realized leading people and leading an organization. Actually, I thrived in it. I loved it. I enjoyed it. And so when I came to belay back in 2010, when it was started, my journey started with me as a virtual assistant here at the organization, and then just continued to look to hold my skills really just wanted to lead people and lead teams and lead organizational excellence and operational excellence. And so that has just afforded me the opportunity to just year by year advance my career, to land me at the CEO position. Then again, you know, really honored to sit in that seat today.

John Jantsch (02:51): You know, it's interesting leadership is actually one of the toughest things for a lot of CEOs. I mean, they, you know, especially founders or companies, you know, they knew how to do the thing they did had the vision for it. And leadership actually is something that they quite often have to learn. Do you feel like that, that your training maybe was in that and maybe your gift or is it in that has actually allowed you to Excel in the position?

Tricia Sciortino (03:15): Yeah. You know what I, I would, I, I think, you know, at a very early age, you know, in my young 20 year old, my young 20 year old self had a lot of great leadership mentors who believed in me and taught me and mentored me to be a great leader when it was small and almost when it was quiet and nobody was really paying attention. I was invested in and I really got kind of the bug for leadership. So I think I've invested in my professional development since then. And I've had people who've helped me along the way. So I feel like I'm first a leader more than I am. Anything else,

John Jantsch (03:50): Let let's talk. As I promised about, you know, virtual assistance, remote work, I've actually, you know, I've been working virtually, I've done, you know, my team has been distributed for 10, 15 years. so it's really something that's been around for a while. But I, I think at one point it was almost thought of as like, oh yeah, certain kinds of businesses did that, but really very mainstream today that teams are being built with remote and, and even part-time and virtual staff. So I think,

Tricia Sciortino (04:16): Yeah, I mean, same as when we started bla 12 years ago, working remotely was not all too common. And really the thinking was there was only certain types of companies or industries or people that could even consider remote work. And I think, you know, the blessing and the curse out of 2020 is that a lot of, of industries and people who've never considered that there were things that they could do remotely. They didn't have a choice, but to do them remotely. And so now, today is, is a new day and age where the remote work opportunities are endless. They're boundless, there's so many, we've seen so many organizations, big organizations, you know, the bank of Americas and those, and those types of organizations really saying, we're not going back in office, remote work is here to stay. And so it's been really interesting and very cool journey to watch that evolve over the last two years, even though some of us have known it's possible, it's been possible for many more years than that.

John Jantsch (05:19): Yeah. I mean, I think to go right along with that, the idea that we have to be in a physical space, an office together, you know, that I think a lot of companies for a decade or so have let that go, but a lot of to it and certainly accelerated that idea that remote work could be done without us looking over people's shoulders. And

Tricia Sciortino (05:36): Yeah. And you think about, you know, you think about some of the traditional roles, like think of the role of a, you know, a traveling salesman, somebody who's on the road sounding, and let's be honest, that person who's been doing that. I mean, you're telling copiers back in, you know, the nineties, you were not in an office, you were on the road, you were out and about, right. So it has existed just not in a way that anybody thought about it would exist

John Jantsch (06:01): Today. Yeah. And that was my bonus. That was my promise career. And I think a lot to me seeing how he, you know, he did what he wanted, he had his own hours, he was able to come and go. I mean, he worked very hard, you know, travel a lot, you know, it, it seemed like a really nice lifestyle to me. And I think I probably had some, uh, subconscious, uh, impact on, on me choosing the career. Not,

Tricia Sciortino (06:21): Yeah, that makes sense.

John Jantsch (06:23): So if somebody came to us said, all right, we're thinking about maybe, you know, we don't wanna hire staff full time and bring them in, you know, what are some of the key roles that you're just like, Hey, no business should be doing this, you know, with a staff member, they should outsource of certain, are there certain roles that you gravitate towards or that you just think have become obsolete to have a, a dedicated person doing in an organization?

Tricia Sciortino (06:45): Yeah. Well, and we've kind of done it with more than maybe most people are comfortable with, but some of the standouts are, are truly the ones that we wound up offering as an organization because we knew they were no brainers. You know, first and foremost is the virtual assistant. I mean, it's, it's what we're known for. That's, you know, every executive or leader could have, should have somebody working fractionally part-time, even if it's 10 hours a week, 45 hours a month, or whatever that looks like supporting you as an executive or leader personally or professionally, and that person doesn't need to be in the same space as you. So that, that one is the easy one. And then you think of things like bookkeeping, right? Everybody needs their books done. Everybody's our accounts reconciled. Everybody needs your transaction details and your expense reporting taken care of. But do you need your bookkeeper or your in your office with no, I mean, you can email reports back and forth this great systems where you can share logins. And so bookkeeping is another one that as an executive and a leader, I don't actually wanna know how to do bookkeeping. I just wanna work with somebody else who knows how to do bookkeeping. They don't need to be on staff. I don't need it full time. It's very transactional. It's an easy one. Especially small business startup, absolutely start with outsource bookkeeping support.

John Jantsch (08:08): Yeah. More than one, uh, small businesses got themselves in trouble because they can't do their reporting. They can't do payroll. They can't do all the junk. It's gotta be done and then come, you know, tax time, it's, you know, it's an absolute mess. And, uh, probably what they would pay a virtual birth keep for. They now are paying to their account to try to figure out their book.

Tricia Sciortino (08:27): Yes, yes, yes. And you know, and a book bookkeeper and accountant is, is two different things. And so you don't need the accountant level of the month to month, day to day part of your business. Cause that's a great opportunity to bring a bookkeeper in, to handle the day to day dispensing and things like that, that any business needs, regardless of what the business is.

John Jantsch (08:49): I have used a virtual bookkeeper for at least 15 years. And only because she was traveling through my city, didn't meet one time, but otherwise it is all vendor. In fact, she lives in Mexico now.

Tricia Sciortino (09:00): Fabulous. Right. Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, that's another easy one. And then there are a lot of marketing component jobs, which, you know, speaks to, to you, your audience and right, right. And what you guys do. I mean, we, we outsourced almost every marketing role until we felt the need to bring it out full time over the course of the last 10 years. And so, and we still work with outsource social media management and execution, so that one's a no brainer as well. Typically your small businesses, you don't need full-time 40 hour week staff member, maybe managing your social media angle or your LinkedIn it's, it's probably when you're small, a few good hours a week, great strategy and some good execution. That's something that can be very part-time and fractional and outsourced to somebody outside of the organization until you hit critical mass. And you feel like maybe it's time to bring that role inside.

John Jantsch (09:51): And now let's hear from our sponsor, you know, as a business owner, you eventually realize you can't do everything yourself, but hiring is complicated. And what if you only need part-time help your job is to be the visionary. But instead you spend countless hours on tasks that could be done easily and arguably better by someone else. And that's where the powerful multiplying effects of delegation are mission critical. Our friends at BELAY can help. BELAY is an incredible organization, revolutionizing productivity with their virtual assistance bookkeepers website specialists and social media managers for growing organizations to help you get started. Belay is offering their latest ebook, delegate to elevate for free to all of my listeners. Now in this ebook, you'll learn how to reclaim time to focus on what you can do by delegating to download your free copy. Just text tape to 5, 5, 1, 2, 3 that's T a P E to 5, 5 1, 2, 3, accomplish more and juggle less with BELAY.

John Jantsch (11:02): So let's talk a little bit deeper about the social media role, because I see a lot of business owners that they don't like social media. They, they maybe come to it begrudgingly because they think, oh, everybody's doing it so we better do it. And so they kind of advocate it. They go find somebody to post for, but you balance that. You mentioned the word strategy. I mean, where you're actually doing something that's effective, you know, that's, that's actually helping you advance towards your business goals without being involved in it.

Tricia Sciortino (11:28): Yeah. I think, you know, it's a lot of vision casting and a lot of inspecting what you're expecting. So, you know, that's your social, media's a great way to look at all of that is, you know, there's, you really need to immerse that person into who are we trying to be to the public? Who do we say we are? What is the service we offer? Where is our ideal client, who is our ideal client? Where does our ideal client hang out, you know, understanding some of those core principles. And it's a lot of testing and tuning, which I think a lot of people misunderstand when they get into social media as well. There's a lot of tune and tone and voice. And you know, the algorithms are changing all the time. So things that worked for you today, they might not work in three to six months from now.

Tricia Sciortino (12:15): So having somebody constantly having eyeballs on your social media presence, we find very important now where that presence is, I think is unique to your organization. And what you're offering is, you know, some organizations will thrive and Facebook is their community and they should just spend a lot of time and energy really honing what Facebook does for them. Others. It might be more Instagram, some it's LinkedIn. So I'm thinking, you know, understanding where your, your audience is and what platforms are on is key. And then, you know, cast great vision and inspect, you know, let that social media manager create their vision and strategy. And then you add, edit and approve that strategy to go to execution. So it might be something you're doing an hour a month versus, you know, an hour a day

John Jantsch (13:08): Or, or just not getting to

Tricia Sciortino (13:11): Or not doing it at all or not doing it, getting all. Yes.

John Jantsch (13:14): Yeah. So, so you started to describe an area I was gonna go into too, because I see a lot of people go, oh, for existent, you know, I could just pay somebody 10 hours a week to take all this off my plate. And then they get that person and they haven't really thought through, they don't know how to delegate they, they really don't know how to use that resource. I mean, what are some of the mistakes you see? I guess that's two part question. What are some of the mistakes you see when people do hire virtual, uh, workers, and then what are some of the best practices so that you actually get some efficiencies instead of cuz, cuz in some cases it's two steps backwards first, right? yeah.

Tricia Sciortino (13:49): It's absolutely to get

John Jantsch (13:49): Two steps back.

Tricia Sciortino (13:50): Yeah. I mean, you know, a big mistake we see is that people wait too long, right? So they wait until they are literally so up against a wall and everything is so out of order that for anybody to come in, it's gonna take a minute for there, to there, to be this feeling of relief and order because you've waited too long. So I always say, yeah, you know, like most hires, but especially a virtual system assistant, you know, hire them sooner than you think you need them. It's like anything else, proactive hiring is the best hiring we do. so regardless of the role, but the same for this role, you know, if you can forecast your business, you should be able to forecast your time. And if you can do that, then you know exactly when you need somebody. So bring a on student that you think that's the first thing.

Tricia Sciortino (14:38): And then as far as where to deploy them, cuz there's probably, we, we see a variety, I mean a ma a mass variety of opportunities on where a virtual assistant can help any or a leader, but it's gonna be, what is that right thing for you? I mean, we typically organically go for, you know, the customary, if you will, calendar management and meeting planning, I mean, believe it or not, you spend more time emailing back and forth about when you're gonna meet somebody and then sending out a meeting request and then change the meeting request and then put the links in the meeting request. And then following up to confirm the meeting, like, it sounds like no big deal. You do, you remove that for the 10 meetings a week you have, or whatever that looks like, and you've already saved time. Then you added things like email management, travel bookings, you know, hotels and flights.

Tricia Sciortino (15:31): If you travel at your work, you add in meeting notes. For me, meeting notes has been a game changer inside our organization. We have a virtual assistant sit in on every single meeting we have just to take notes and pull action items and then follow up with those action items to ensure they've actually gotten done because then guess what? I don't have to, I don't have to follow up on the action item that's supposed to get done as the leader, my virtual assistant is taking notes, sharing them and then following up with those action items. So it's even an extra layer of accountability if you will, in that case.

John Jantsch (16:07): Yeah. I think once people start letting go of those kinds of things, because I do think with, especially with leaders, a lot of times that, you know, my neat man, like a, or my travel, I mean, these are very personal neat maybe, but I think that, and so I think sometimes leaders have trouble giving those things. I'm thinking, oh, well, nobody can do it like me, but I think you're absolutely right. Once you experience that there might actually be somebody that could do it better than you. Uh, it really gets a lot easier. Does it?

Tricia Sciortino (16:33): A absolutely. And, and that is truly the moment, the wake up moment, if you will, where you really do have to get to the place where you realize that somebody else can do this, maybe better than me or equal to me and even equal is a win because those hours you saved on that you are now dedicated to higher payoff items inside your business. You're now that's 10 hours a week. You now get to focus on growing your business, vision strategy, sales, Mar you know, areas of the business that are growth associated. You're an entrepreneur versus areas of your business that are highly administrative. You probably can do those things, but the question is really, should you do those things?

John Jantsch (17:20): Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So the, a question I get a lot of times is, you know, how do I find the right person? And so if I'm, let's just say we're the executive assistant, um, role right now? How does you know, how, how do you tell people to not just find, I mean, there are tons of plays you can find, how do you find the right person and how do you know it's the right person? And how do you, you know, how do you dig deep enough to realize that person's gonna work for you?

Tricia Sciortino (17:47): Yeah. I mean, we have found success by using a, a multiple, a multi-layer interview process. If you will. I mean, a, a resume is a great start in knowing things to look for and what looks like a great resume is important, but when you're past that point and you decided there's handful of people you actually want to meet with, you know, we would recommend that multiple different people interview, not even just you. So do you have a cohort or a partner inside your business or is it your, what? I mean, whoever it may be, right? Somebody else having a second opinion going into an interview is important and then interviews are, you know, and should be looked at as skills assessments, you know, even in an interview, were they on time? Was there camera working? Were you interviewing on a webcam? Did, how were they, how did they show up you, there is different things.

Tricia Sciortino (18:40): You're looking aside from the information you're getting out of the questions back and forth. It is like really looking at the whole scenario, everything that led up to that interview and everything after that, did they send, send a thank you note, how is the grammar in that note? So looking at all those things and then having multiple people do that. And then what I would say is regardless of the world, there should be some type of skills, assessment opportunity. So is there something they can do, whether it's a questionnaire that you send them, we, we will do that. We have 10 questions. Is there some type of sample work product you want them to mock up for you do a skills assessment, like for a virtual assistant, if they're gonna do heavy calendar management, then give them a fo meeting to plan for you or whatever that may look like. Or I plan a trip for you and, and send you a trip by itinerary. So assessing a skill is a great opportunity because an interview is words and skills assessment is action.

John Jantsch (19:39): So, so one of the things that I have found in many years of working with dozens and dozens of, of virtual assistant or remote, uh, workers, is some of the best I've worked with actually come with their own processes and own systems that, that allow us to go, oh, that's better than what we're doing. Yes. Do you feel like that's a part of the you to be looking for is somebody that, that actually has routines and processes and not is, and is not just looking for you to tell 'em what you do.

Tricia Sciortino (20:09): Yeah. I mean, to me, that's, it is a big relief for a leader. If your virtual assistant is extremely proactive and organized. And so I always tell my assistant that my goal for her is for her to be ahead of me. And so that, and that usually means 60 to 90 days ahead of me. And so that means that for example, today I'm emailing my assistant about meetings. I'm having in August and she's planning August meetings already. She's sending me sample menus. She's sending me meeting locations. She sent me flight options, you know, already, I haven't even thought about August yet, but she's very planned, very methodical and extremely proactive. So that is what makes it, you know, really helpful. Gives me peace of mind that I know for the next season of time. There's nothing that's gonna come by and blindside me side me.

John Jantsch (21:07): Yeah. Abso absolutely. Um, if, if, if somebody's thinking about to listening to this or they're thinking, well, gosh, this sounds like something I need to hear. What's the process of working with belay?

Tricia Sciortino (21:19): Yeah. So it's a fun process because John, we have a core value at belay and one of them is fun. The first thing you get, first thing I would say is you go to our website, which is belay solutions.com. We have a get started form that you would fill out that will get you in touch with one of our solutions consultants. Then you would have a conversation with one of our solutions consultants. Who's really just gonna help you determine, do you need a virtual assistant? What are you looking for? What kind of virtual assistant, how many hours possibly, what are you trying to get off your plate once that's figured out and you decided to join our team, you were then handed over to a client success consultant, which is your person for your duration at belay. They will take you through a discovery process and hone in on exactly the type of skill set and soft skills you're looking for in this person to match you with whether it's industry knowledge or application knowledge or specific time zone or products like you need somebody to use a Mac versus a PC.

Tricia Sciortino (22:18): They gather all that information. And then our placement team, we actually have a team of people whose job it is to find that right person for you do their search. We come back and present. We found your match. Then we have a kickoff call, which is all on, um, zoom. So your client success consultant to your new virtual assistant new, we have about ki a kickoff call. It's about an hour or so long where we get, you know, we get everything started the transfer of information. We send training documents, so you can help onboard this person. And then your client success consultant will check in with you on your new VA weekly and then biweekly, and then monthly as your engagement continues to make sure that everybody's getting the best value and use out of the relationship.

John Jantsch (23:05): Awesome. Well, you know, you know, I'm a fan. I mean, I've been doing, you know, this type of work and they're hired, you know, we have a, any number of specific team members now that do specific things on earth. So I, I really think it is a tremendous way for pretty much any size organization to go. I appreciate you, uh, stopping by taking time to stop by the duct tape marketing podcast. And it's belay solutions.com. Hopefully we'll run it to you one these days out there on the road.

Tricia Sciortino (23:31): I hope so. Thanks John.

Speaker 3 (23:34): Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find [email protected] marketingassessment.co not .com .co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketing assessment.co I'd love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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

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

 

BELAY is an incredible organization revolutionizing productivity with its virtual assistants, bookkeepers, website specialists, and social media managers for growing organizations. To help you get started, BELAY is offering its latest book, Delegate to Elevate, for free to all our listeners. In this ebook, learn how to reclaim time to focus on what only you can do by delegating. To download your free copy, click here to claim or text TAPE to 55123. Accomplish more and juggle less with BELAY.

The Adventures Of The World’s Greatest Negotiator

Marketing Podcast with Rich Cohen

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Rich Cohen. Rich is the New York Times-bestselling author of several books such as Tough Jews, Monsters, and Sweet and Low. He is the co-creator of the HBO series Vinyl, and a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. Rich has a new book called – The Adventures of Herbie Cohen: World’s Greatest Negotiator.

Key Takeaway:

Herbie Cohen is known for many things like – being the World’s Greatest Negotiator, dealmaker, risk-taker, adviser to presidents and corporations, hostage and arms negotiator, lesson giver and justice seeker, author of the how-to business classic You Can Negotiate Anything, and of course, Rich Cohen’s father. In this episode, I talk with Rich Cohen about his latest book that honors his dad and the biggest lessons he’s shared with him throughout his life – The Adventures of Herbie Cohen: World’s Greatest Negotiator.

Questions I ask Rich Cohen:

  • [1:35] Your father was probably best known as the author of ‘You Can Negotiate Anything’. Would you say that’s why you’re a writer?
  • [2:19] You’ve written about a lot of topics – why write about this topic now?
  • [3:17] Some of the stories in the book were from the ’50s and ’60s – how did you collect these stories in such detail?
  • [4:33] So were you a Dodgers fan then?
  • [5:32] I’m going to go down a rabbit hole here – what’s your favorite baseball book?
  • [6:30] Have you written for TV at all?
  • [7:55] So who were some of his contemporaries in that space?
  • [9:40] My audience is primarily business owners and marketers. So what’s the business application of this book in your mind?
  • [12:01] If somebody were to come to you and ask you to list out five or six key negotiation lessons, what would those be?
  • [15:08] Would you say there is one or two of your favorite stories you’ve told them a hundred times and people still want to come back to them?
  • [18:11] You’ve mentioned Larry King a number of times, did he go to school with your dad?
  • [21:02] Where can people connect with you and get a copy of your book?

More About Rich Cohen:

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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 Ben Shapiro and 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 business and career success all on your lunch break. And if you dig around, you might just find a show by yours. Truly. Ben's a great host. Actually, I would tell you, check out a recent show on blending humans, AI, and automation. Download the MarTech podcast wherever you get your.

John Jantsch (00:41): podcast. Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Rich Cohen. He is a New York times bestselling author of numerous books, including tough Jews monsters, the Chicago Cubs and peewees. Just to name a few, he's a co-creator of the HBO series vinyl and a contributing editor at rolling stone. We're gonna talk about his new book today. The adventures of herbi Cohen, the world's greatest negotiators. So rich, welcome to the show.

Rich Cohen (01:21): Ah, thanks for having me.

John Jantsch (01:23): So, so you are a writer. Um, you've written, I, I, my intro didn't do justice. It would've taken a long time to list all, all of your books and all of your contributions, this latest book about your father. He was probably best known as, as also an author of the how-to classic. You can negotiate anything. Is, is that why you're a writer?

Rich Cohen (01:42): Probably. I mean, the, the main thing, my father, isn't really a writer. He's really a storyteller and kind of a philosopher and a business kind of guy, but storytelling was always a big thing with him and in my family and sort of to keep everybody's attention. You had to tell basically a funny story. So I remember when I first got outta college, I got this job at the new Yorker almost by luck. And there was a story that the, the bio was that the writer is somebody who here who thinks being funny is more important than anything, even warm human relationships. And I realized this is a place for me.

John Jantsch (02:19): so, so you've written all about a lot of topics. Why, why now? Right about this topic?

Rich Cohen (02:25): Well, I always write about my father, tough Jew starts with my father and his friend sitting around a diner in Beverly Hills, talking about Jewish gangsters and peewees, which is my life as a youth hockey parent, losing my mind. I started with a epigraph for my father, which is from you can negotiate anything at a big part of this new book, which is the secret to life is to care, but not that much. So I think my father's philosophy and his general outlook is a big part of my life. And a couple years ago, I was writing a story for audible, Amazon. Mm-hmm, just something about him. And it felt so natural and so fun to write about him, that I just thought, this is what I should be doing. And this is probably what I should have been doing all along.

John Jantsch (03:07): So, as I read some of the stories, I mean, it was really as though you were there, but some of these stories were from the, like the fifties and sixties, you were not there. probably in some of the war stories and things. How did you collect these stories in such detail?

Rich Cohen (03:21): Well, the stories about Bensonhurst and his gang, the warriors and Larry King and Sandy Cofax and all those guys, right? That was like my mythology. I grew up with that, like instead of Bible stories and there was always lessons in him. And when I was a kid, Larry King had this incredible radio show on every night from midnight to 5:00 AM. And he would tell, I would lie in bed at night and he would tell these stories and then I'd meet him and I'd ask him about 'em. That's how I got those stories in the army. A lot of the stories about my dad's time, coaching basketball, right. And he actually saved the reporting, cuz it was, he was coached the league that consisted of guys who were division one college basketball players. Who'd been drafted into the army during the Korean war. And my father saved all the coverage from stars and strikes mm-hmm , which had a lot of photos of these games. Yeah. And it was, you know, very romantic to me to see it, but was interesting. When I looked at how my father was very successful, coaching basketball, it's just the same exact way he conducted himself in negotiation, which is, he always tried to sort of do something unusual, control the timing, you know, control the floor. It was interesting cuz you see this one through line that goes from the time he's 10, 11 years old in Brooklyn, all the way till now.

John Jantsch (04:34): So, so were you a Dodgers fan then?

Rich Cohen (04:36): I was a Cubs fan. I grew up in Chicago and it's a very funny thing where my father playing sort of says he was a Dodgers fan. He grew up in Brooklyn. He was really a Yankees fan. And he says, the reason he was a Yankees fan is the first game he ever went to. The first in person was babe Ruth Day, which is when he was like 11 years old at Yankee stadium when babe Ruth was dying of cancer. And um, my father took me to my first game, which was Wrigley field, which he loved because he said he reminded him of evets field. Yeah. Was after the game where the Cubs had a big lead and then the Cincinnati reds came back from behind and crushed him. He said, I wanna tell you something I'm being very serious right now. Don't be a Cubs fan. A Cubs fan will have a bad life. Cubs fan will accept losing as the natural state of affairs in the world. Do yourself. He a favorite.

John Jantsch (05:23): He was a prophet in other words.

Rich Cohen (05:25): Yeah. But then they won in 2016. So it did happen. Finally. I just had to wait till I was 50 years old.

John Jantsch (05:31): So what's your, I've got to go down a rabbit to hold here. What's your favorite baseball book?

Rich Cohen (05:36): My favorite baseball book. There's this book called? I think the glory of their times. You know that book. I don't my shelf cuz I know that I have it. There's a lot of great. I like the Roger Conn book, the boys of summer. I like all summer.

John Jantsch (05:47): I've got boys of summer written down here cuz I frankly, I, I assumed that was gonna be a Dodge. This

Rich Cohen (05:52): Book, the glory of their times is an oral history of guys that played early. Yeah. Like in the dead ball era and their lives are so wild, you know, like they would jump a freight train to get the spring training and stuff. And that is a unique book.

John Jantsch (06:05): Joe, are you familiar? Joe PO Naski the, the writer sports illustrator I think is his last gig, but he he's got a book called the baseball 100 and he covers a lot of those guys and it, they are some pretty neat stories,

Rich Cohen (06:15): But see it's so Brooklyn stories and my dad, all of it seems like it was like Paul bunion stories. It happened. Right. in such an exotic different time. Yeah. Yeah. When there was the big baseball team in Chicago was in rock, was in Rockford. I think, you know where the first pro it's just interesting.

John Jantsch (06:30): So, so do you write for TV at all? Or have you?

Rich Cohen (06:34): I have.

John Jantsch (06:35): And the reason I, uh, say that is because the book kind of reads like episodes of a sitcom I think would make a great sitcom

Rich Cohen (06:43): Originally cuz my father has all these great stories. Yeah. And originally I just wanted to do it like a hundred chapters. Each one is separate scenes. But then as I started to write them, I realized there was actually a bigger story, which is a story of his life. Yeah. But so I did see it originally episodically and kind of funny with his lessons. Right. Cause my father, when he'd tells stories far follows a very ASOP fables like structure, which is question story moral, you know? So, but then I realize his life is the big story. So I always think of when I write it's like, I dunno if you know those Chuck close paintings or all these made up of little tiny pictures, but when you step back all the little pictures that up to one big picture, that's kind of what the effect I'm going for.

John Jantsch (07:25): Your parents owned a business. Is that right? They were entrepreneurs as

Rich Cohen (07:28): Well. They owned my father's business. My, the business was my father with power negotiations. My, my father's the guy who sort of popularized win-win I believe which he'd taken from game theory where he, he taught at the university of Michigan and he worked on game theory. And, but my mother came up with the company logo, which was, I can't do it cuz I'm one person buts, two people shaking hands at their thumbs like that. Yeah. Yeah. So it was a little cheesy, but very effective, a little cheesy goes a long way in America. It's good.

John Jantsch (07:55): So, so who were some of his contemporaries then in that space? Zig Zigler or somebody and was in that space, right? Yeah.

Rich Cohen (08:05): But the, the people, I remember the people who were around when like one of the things he did was he worked for the FBI. He trained their people and he, and he, sorry, there's like, I can just hear my kids just got home from school. There's a whole hub up. He trained their people and there was a guy named Walt sire and together they created the behavioral sciences unit because his whole thing was, he used to quote this thing from Arthur Miller to understand the price. You have to understand the player. And if you're negotiating with somebody and you don't know what is valuable to them or what they're like, you can't really offer them something or pressure them with something that's valuable. Now he's really, as far as marketing goes, he's like, he always said to me, that life is 90% marketing always said that to me. And he always said that he'd rather have a piece of crap product

Rich Cohen (08:55): With a genius to sell it. Then a masterpiece with an idiot selling it. and that's something I always remember, you know? So, and he taught me little things. I think he taught like a little lesson. He taught me, which I think is kind of like marketing and is I would turn papers in at school. And I would say to the teacher always, and my father found this. I don't think this is very good. You're probably gonna hate it. But here it is. And I'd get a bad grade. And my father said, no, people are very suggestible. You say, I think this is great. It's a work genius. You're gonna love it. And you get a good grade so that's like a little thing that he taught me that I live by all the time.

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John Jantsch (09:32): So if somebody, I mean, because obviously the subtitle world's greatest negotiator hints at some business advice, my audience is primarily business owners, marketers. So what would be your pitch to them of, you know, what's the business application? Because again, it, this book is very entertaining. it? The stories are great. You're a great storyteller or retailer, but what's the flat out business application in

Rich Cohen (09:57): Your mind? Well, my father really worked in the business world. You know, he started out at Sears, he's the executive suite of Sears and he was a advisor mostly to fortune 500 companies and trained their executives and negotiated their deals. And he has a philosophy of business, which is summed up by the secret to successes to care. But not that much approaching life is a game remaining, detached, not becoming fixated on a particular outcome, looking for a win-win deal. Not because it makes you a better person, but as he would say, people will support something that they're part of creating. So you want to bring people in and create solutions together. But his whole training of me was about business. So like my grandfather, on the other side, my grandpa Ben Eisenstadt invented the sugar packet and then invented sweet and low, which is still a privately owned company.

Rich Cohen (10:46): He created out of his diner in Brooklyn and I saw the whole life of that business. So I feel like all my books are in away business books, all of them. So like this is a new book. Like one of my more successful books has been, was the fish that ate the whale about this guy, Samuel Zim Murray, who took over United fruit, started out as a fruit Petr. And I wrote a book about chess records, which was, you know, these are all guys that live kind of, by the way, my father believed, which is give the market something, it doesn't know. It wants, you know, fill in niche that you don't even know exists as, uh, what chess records did, which invented rock and roll is first you, uh, invent the product and then you invent the market, you know, so, and I really saw with sweet and low cause you saw it in the pharmaceutical industry, which is first invent the pharmaceutical and then figure out what you can possibly sell it to cure. And one of my favorite stories, I always tell my kids is the, uh, history of Viagra because it's such a backwards way to come up with a product. But, you know, so I felt like I always kind of understood that about building a business and what happens mostly because I lived through that with my father and read all this stuff.

John Jantsch (11:53): So if somebody were gonna say, there are, there are many books on negotiation, this is, uh, probably the, the most unique one. Well, one of the more unique ones on negotiation, if, if somebody were going to come to you and say, you know, list out five or six, you know, key negotiation lessons, what would those be from the book?

Rich Cohen (12:10): From my book?

John Jantsch (12:11): Yeah.

Rich Cohen (12:12): Uh, okay. The first is approach an every negotiation like it's a game and the, the key is to care, but not that much. Second is don't. My father is always worst person to negotiate for is yourself because you care too much. Don't become emotionally involved. It's not personal. Yeah. It doesn't matter. Okay. Another is, don't become fixated on a particular outcome. People have a single goal in mind and try to reach that goal, but things change and you might come out with something different or something better. Two is try to make your opponent part of the solution because people will support things that they create. You see that in Congress where you get these 50 to zero votes and the thing falls apart because half the people in power are against it and want it to fail. You have to want both sides to want it to succeed.

John Jantsch (13:05): It's an interesting example to bring up though, because it feels like it doesn't really matter anymore in that they, you know, that maybe what people are fixated on is win, lose rather than, uh, win, win.

Rich Cohen (13:17): Well, the thing, one thing that my father said is he was supposed to write a second book and my mom would say, you've already missed a deadline. and he'd go, when what happened? And she goes nothing. Then he goes, then that really isn't a deadline. and that's like a big thing about his, which is I used to quote Jimmy Walker. Who'd been the mayor of New York, like in the twenties, who said, as long as you get there before it's over, you're not late.

Rich Cohen (13:38): you know, so basically this idea that there are these certain rules that are arbitrarily created. And one thing he said almost says like a mathematical formula is things that are, the product of a negotiation are negotiable. So people get very intimidated by authority and they think they can't negotiate something. As he would say about the sticker price in Sears, it looks like it was put there by God. So you can't question it when you realize it's just a few people in a room randomly selecting this price almost you realize itself was ran, was negotiated so you can negotiate it. And one of his key lessons I stupidly left out when I gave you my list was one of his big things is realizing that you have power when dealing with what seemed like more powerful people or institutions. And he always said power is based on perception. If you think you got it, even if you don't got it. And that's the key to his whole thing, which is people have power. You can always make a move. There's always another decision to make. And like he said, as long as you get there before it's over, you're not late. Some can still be salvaged and done. And he saw all that, like, you know, a game.

John Jantsch (14:48): So , I'm trying to, well, I guess I was gonna ask you this. People ask me this I've write books too. People ask me this all the time. I wrote a book that had 366 separate stories. So, you know, the logical question always was, what's your favorite? Yours? I lose track of what are you? 50, 60? How many? 57, 58 what's would you say there's one or two that are you that really are your favorite stories that people you've told 'em a hundred times and, and people still want to come back to them.

Rich Cohen (15:17): Well, I'll have to, I'll tell you two very quickly. One is a famous story, which is the Moo story, which Larry King claimed was when my father learned to negotiate, which is a kid that they went to school with had gone to Arizona, cuz he had tuberculosis mm-hmm and the cousin was supposed to shut down the house, go to the school and get his records, transferred for a school in Arizona. And my father said, you don't have to go to the school to the cousin. They were gonna walk this kid. His name is Mao. He said, uh, we will tell the school, save you a trip. And then my father said, I got a great idea of how to make some money and we can go to coing island and celebrate. Instead of saying MAOS in Arizona, it would say, ma is dead. collect money for his funeral w reefa.

Rich Cohen (15:57): And it was a whole long story. But ultimately in the end, after a year, I just say that it ends up with a giant fiasco, with a bunch of sitting there for the Gill Mermelstein Mao's real name, Memorial award. The first winner of which is my father, Larry and another guy. And Mao comes back to school that day. And my father jumps up on stage and yells go home Mao, you're dead. You're dead. Mao go home. And they sit with the principal and the principal says you're suspended. You're expelled. You're done. And my father goes, hold on, you're being a little hasty here. Cuz he looked at it from his side. He said, you're right. What we did was horrible and we're expelled and we're done. But if you go through it, this like you're planning to, we're not gonna go to school anymore, but you're never gonna work in New York city again. And he explained to him what would happen to him and why it wasn't in his interest to expel them from school. And that was when he was in eighth grade. My father and Larry always said that was when he became a negotiator. And the other second story I'm telling him very quick, here is no

John Jantsch (16:56): That's good.

Rich Cohen (16:57): One thing my father believes in is the difference between the what and the how, right? That's a big thing in his life, which is there's what you do or what you say and how you do or how you say it. We used to go to this terrible restaurant all the time in the town I grew up in and finally said, why do we go to the worst restaurant in town? He goes because they always give us the booth. That's a difference between the what and the how. And when I was a kid, my father took me to buy my first used car and he wanted to show me how to negotiate. He created this big list of criteria of the car we should get. And the car he decided I should get was a Toyota Corolla with 70,000 miles or less on it. That's the car he thought I should afford and I should buy.

Rich Cohen (17:37): So he looked and we finally found this car and I said, this is it. This is the car. And he said, no, no, I don't like this car. And I said, what are you talking about? It meets all your criteria. And he goes, did you see all the writing and on the car, on the driver's side and cursive, it said Barry. And on the drive and on the passenger side, it said Billy, and on the hood of the car, it said, Chuck, that was like the name of the car itself. And I said, so what we'll have it repainted. He said, you're missing the point a schmuck own this car. and that was the what and a half.

John Jantsch (18:10): So, so you've mentioned Larry King a number of times. And were they, did they go to school together? Is that where they met?

Rich Cohen (18:17): They met together. They, yeah, Larry's father died. Larry was like a, in my light, like an, an uncle almost Larry's father died when he was a kid in a heart attack. And Larry kind of grew up at my parents, my grandparents' house and Larry and my father first met when they were nine. I think they both got in trouble at school and they were assigned to be crossing guards and they were together. And my father said, Larry said, this is a terrible job. It's a waste of time. They don't need a crossing guard here. My father said, I disagree. This job has a lot of power and importance. This is like, if you think you got power, you got it. And they argued. And my father to prove his point took the stop sign that you held, went out and just stopped traffic for like five minutes. There was instantly a huge giant traffic jam in Benson or Brooklyn fights breaking out on the sidewalks car talking. And they said they had their sash ceremony ripped off their jackets, but that's their meeting and then they were, you know, they remained, Larry was a big part of my life from I, I worked for his show, used to work for his show was, you know, very interesting.

John Jantsch (19:19): I, I bring that up primarily, uh, because it, I knew it would've, Elit a good story, but also to talk about the acknowledgement for Ellen Cohen, who never understand Larry ,

Rich Cohen (19:29): That's one of my, my father's problems with this book. He thought I should not have done it that way. but the fact is, uh, Larry's a big part of this book and my mom would always say, can't stand Larry because they, they knew each other, their whole lives, since my mother was 18 years old. But when my father got around Larry, my father acted like he was 10 years old. right. And my mom sort of felt like a third wheel and this is even when she's like 60 years old. Right, right, right. So, and I, and by the way, it wasn't just her. I had the same experience. Their favorite thing to do together was to go to a BA, he liked to go to a baseball game, like five hours before the game and watch batting practice. So, and they would get P passes and they'd get out on the field, which wasn't hard to do.

Rich Cohen (20:07): There was nobody there empty stadiums. And I was with them once and they saw a player that they really liked from the fifties. And they both got all giddy and ran off to talk to him. And batting practice was being thrown by Rick Ziff who played for the Cubs. Yeah. And Rick Ziff, I never don't know Rick. I mean, he knew him as a fan and he comes up to me and he goes, did your dad just ditch you? Because he had a chance to meet a celebrity. And I was like, yeah, that's what happens when he gets around Larry. But that's, that was my mom's main problem with him. And also he'd always get into trouble with Larry. They'd go out and do stuff and get in all kinds of trouble. And yeah, it's, it's almost like Ralph and, uh, Ralph Cramton and Norton those do

John Jantsch (20:45): Together. Yeah. It's funny how people do, you know, even, like you said, at 60 revert to kind of their childhood, uh, selves, when they, you know, get together with, you know, old high school friends and things

Rich Cohen (20:54):

John Jantsch (20:55): Well, rich, thanks so much for taking a moment to stop by the duct tape marketing podcast and talk about, uh, the adventures of herbi Cohen. You wanna tell people where they can connect with you. Obviously the books are available, uh, wherever you buy

Rich Cohen (21:06): Books. Well, you can write me on social media. You can write me on Twitter, or I have a website that links up to an email for me, which is author rich cohen.com. And the Twitter is, I think it's rich Cohen, 2003, cuz that's the year I peaked and then, uh, you can buy the book on Amazon.

John Jantsch (21:23): Awesome. Again, thanks for stopping by. And hopefully we'll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

Rich Cohen (21:28): I'll see you in golden. Yeah.

John Jantsch (21:29): Thanks rich.

Rich Cohen (21:30): Get a course.

John Jantsch (21:31): Hey, and one final thing before you go, you know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the marketing strategy assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co not .com .co check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketingassessment.co I'd. Love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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