This is an easy review to write. Sometimes results in marketing are too ambiguous to quantify. This is not the case with Duct Tape University and the Consultant Network. As a successful Master Consultant, beginning my fourth year, my QuickBooks annual revenue and an outstanding P&L clearly document return on investment.
Why Did I Choose Duct Tape Marketing?
Having co-founded a web design firm, after many years as a corporate marketer, I was very familiar with web design and development. In my roll as operations lead and co-founder, I managed client relationships and served as the conduit between clients and the design/engineering team. We build gorgeous websites on a stellar platform of our own design.
Nevertheless, it became clearer every day that clients needed much more than pretty websites. The search began for solutions, and I discovered John Jantsch and Duct Tape Marketing. Shortly thereafter, I attended one of John’s webinars entitled The Marketing Hourglass. The focus was exactly what we needed: Follow the buyer’s journey, nurture their interest, educate, and inform them—on their terms.
I was particularly attracted to the concept of a buyer or customer profile. For me, it offered the opportunity to stop building what I called “billboards in the desert,” and to focus instead on attracting, retaining, and converting visitors to customers.
Duct Tape Marketing practiced what they preached. I received emails with links to marketing gems that fed my hunger to provide true value to my customers. Eventually, I picked up the phone to get the details. In truth, I was ready to buy, I just needed some encouragement and to do some due diligence.
Time to Make a Move
My partner could not be convinced to make such a dramatic change to the business. We worked out a deal to separate. I was warned, people do not start new businesses at my age, a sexagenarian (get your mind right! It means I’m in my 60s!).
So, what inspired me to take such a risk? This was a business in a box and much more. Not only did they provide full training, but help from others, many of whom followed a similar path to mine: that is, corporate executive to entrepreneur. All of the tools you need to start a great marketing business are included: forms, templates, ongoing training and educations, marketing materials that carry a brand, packages to offer clients based on a proven strategy, and (a huge bonus) a network of highly-skilled marketing gurus to help you along the way. The DTM staff are totally devoted to helping you through the training process and are always available.
And if that isn’t enough, we have our own annual summit and three more offsite opportunities to get together and advance our skills. When we’re not meeting in person, network training seminars and webinars keep all of us at the leading edge of modern marketing.
The summits feature many of John Jantsch’s famous friends. Thought leaders in marketing that get big bucks for huge keynote speeches all over the world come to our seminars and summit to teach us how to be the best at what we do! This is all led by John and his outstanding support team.
Taking the Plunge and Executing the Plan
The training was somewhat daunting—so much to learn. I thought, “How am I ever going to learn and retain all this information while doing the marketing that is needed to grow a new business?” Even with 30 years of experience, I was scared.
I spoke with one of the Master Consultants in the network. That was all it took for me to take the plunge.
Part of the training is a section on business planning. I set 90-day, one-year and three-year goals. Along with completing the steps and submitting each step for review, I went to DTM HQ in Kansas City for Certification Training.
I had completed the coursework and my new website and was ready to be certified. I imagined a tribunal of DTM employees behind a large conference table, focused on putting me through the ringer!
Instead, there was a room full of men and women at various stages of Duct Tape development and John and his daughter, Sara, spent two full days showing examples of success, describing the use of strategy over tactics and giving us even more tools to be successful. On the last day, because I had successfully turned in the coursework and business plan, I was awarded the DTM Certified Consultant Badge. What? No tribunal? No telling me, “Back to the drawing board, rookie!”
What About That Business Plan?
November first marked the beginning of my fourth year in business. It should be said that I had planned for up to three years of no-profit and had the funds to last that long. My 30 years in business taught me that being underfunded could be a path to failure. That was a bit too conservative, as I was able to land new business within months of completing the training. Some do it faster, others maintain full time jobs while they prepare.
I was profitable after the first year. In my second year, I decided to specialize or—as some say, niche—my business. My business plan called for me to be at $250k in gross sales by year three.
This goal has been achieved and I am on track for 2020 to possibly double. I was also certified as a Duct Tape Marketing Master Consultant at our annual summit in October of my third year.
Some Other Results
- I am a local search optimization expert with 25 clients all on page one of Google SERPs.
- I only work with ideal customers, which I believe to be the secret sauce of business joy.
- The only tools I used were Duct Tape Marketing packages and their many recommended or preferred partners. (Don’t forget the network and our private Facebook group!)
- Reputation and review management is one of my favorite revenue streams.
- Having a strong sales background helped me to get some quick wins.
- An almost insane focus on delighting my customers has been the core of success. I am proud to say that the only customer I have not retained was one I let go because he did not meet my ideal customer profile. That said, he is ranked on page one for his desired keywords and I passed him to another Duct Tape Marketing consultant with skills and an approach more suited to his needs.
- My SEO expertise was honed with the Duct Tape Marketing training, but it was supported greatly by the book, SEO For Growth by John Jantsch and Phil Singleton.
I now have a wonderful network of fantastic marketers and all around great people that, instead of playing their cards close to the chest, eagerly share, educate, and teach each other. As I have heard John say on several occasions, “People come for the training and tools. They stay for the network”.
One of my goals was, and is, to outsource as much as I can. I am not a slave to my business. I outsource and resell products from our well-vetted partners. I wake up knowing that my success is in my own hands, with a little help from my friends in Duct Tape Marketing.
I highly recommend Duct Tape Marketing and am happy to speak with anyone considering this step. Having a marketing background is helpful, but not a prerequisite. Commitment and a love of learning is more important. Find me on the web at DottDigital.net.