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3 3 Marketing Strategies You Haven't Tried

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Josh Kaufman – Enjoy!


Photo credit: LollyKnit

Every business owner knows that attracting the attention of the right client at the right time is an essential part of building a thriving business. But what happens if your tried-and-true marketing strategies aren’t working the way they used to? Or if you’re simply tired of using the same marketing strategies over and over again and are ready to change things up? Here are three marketing tricks you might not be taking advantage of — and why they’ll generate more sales.

1. Give something away

I know what you might be thinking: if I’m struggling to market myself and sell my products, how could giving something away for free possibly help me? But even if the prospect of giving something away seems unnerving, free offers almost always work. Customers love the promise of getting something for nothing, and the giveaway is subsidized by additional sales it eventually generates.

By giving your prospects something of no cost up front, you earn their attention while giving them the opportunity to experience the value of your product. Focus on giving away real value that will attract real, paying customers.

2. Don’t shy away from controversy

We’ve been conditioned to believe that negative attention is something to be avoided at all costs. But if you’re too unobjectionable,

People take issue with the fact that I claim in The Personal MBA that it’s simply unnecessary to get an MBA from a college or university. But every time someone speaks out against my claim or the book in general, people’s attention gets piqued, leading them to seek out the book for themselves.

This isn’t to say that you should write an op-ed trashing a competitor or start a Twitter feud with a dissatisfied customer. Seeking out controversy for the sake of attention likely won’t garner you the results you want.

That said, it’s definitely okay to have strong opinions and take definite stances. Doing so creates discussion and dialogue, which are powerful forms of attention. Remember that controversy won’t help you if you lose sight of the purpose behind your actions. But if you can keep that big picture in mind, creating controversy may entice people into checking out what your business is all about.

3. Make heroes out of your clients

As business owners and marketers, we don’t often think of ourselves as storytellers. But telling stories is a universal currency, and whether we realize it or not, narratives play a key role in how we market products to customers.

Joseph Campbell’s theory of “The Hero’s Journey” provides an outline of the narratives your customers want to experience. Even if this desire is subconscious, customers want to be heroes. They want to admired, respected, powerful, and strong in the face of adversity. They want to draw inspiration from those who have come before them and vanquished a foe.

Telling your customers a story about how others have used your product to solve a problem or enhance their lives encourages them to learn more about what you have to offer. These stories grab prospective customers’ attention and show them a path toward achieving what they want. The more vivid, clear, and emotionally compelling the story, the more prospects you’ll attract, and you’ll likely have an easier time translating these prospects into sales.

522151_629733177052501_1375838019_nJosh Kaufman is the author of the #1 international bestseller The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business as well as the upcoming book The First 20 Hours: Mastering the Toughest Part. Josh is teaching a free, live business course on creativeLIVE this August 8-9. You can stream if for free here. Visit his website for more information.

3 How to Get an MBA for Less Than $20

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

Okay, I fully expect that title to tick off a few folks holding real MBA degrees and that’s cool. No you won’t actually get anything close to an MBA degree from listening to this podcast, but you will get some great information and won’t have to take out a $150,000 loan. You can argue the merits of both book and case study learning and in the street, smack you if the face learning done by most small business owners.

My guest for this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is entrepreneur and prolific business book reader Josh Kaufman. In an effort to grow his own business, Josh spent five years or so (and continues) reading every business book he could get his hands and compiled that knowledge into a book calls the Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business.

One of my favorite things about this book is that I believe he condenses and great deal of knowledge into a small business but also focuses on what’s really important to entrepreneurs. The chapter on value creation if worth the price of the book by itself.

There are useful chapters on finance, marketing and management as well as a great deal of information on systems and systems thinking – something missing from most small businesses. I also like the fact that he slips some information in that might only be found in self help types of books – believe me, this information is so important to the entrepreneur, but gets little mention in most academic environments. I get to speak to a number of MBA classes these days and while they seem to be getting a first class education in the fundamentals of business, few things can make up for the layers of information that come from real world trial and error.

You can check out Josh’s personal reading list of what he calls the 99 best business books ever

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