5 Steps to Recharge Your Marketing Strategy
Emily Stringer, Manager, Executive Advisory Services at MBO Partners
John Jantsch, Marketing Consultant, Speaker, Author of Duct Tape Marketing
00:04 Introduction of the event, MBO Partners, and the speaker
04:17 Five components needed to restart your marketing strategy
05:44 How to refocus your marketing message and its two primary objectives
16:05 The must-have elements needed for your website and changing content
23:48 Using content as a tactic to generate more leads and turn these leads into clients
36:56 A systematic approach on how to do your follow-up
42:00 How to retain clients and turn clients into advocates
58:30 Closing remarks
When your marketing strategy is not coming together, it may be time for you to restrategize and revise your plan. You don’t have to wait until the following year to start over with a new marketing strategy. You also don’t need to wait until the end of the year to assess both your accomplishments and progress towards meeting your goals.There are a handful of things you can do right now that could have a positive impact on your marketing strategy.
In this exclusive webinar, John Jantsch, marketing consultant, speaker, and best-selling author of Duct Tape Marketing, explained the 5 things you can do to restart your marketing strategy. He discussed how you can develop a marketing plan in advance for the next year to ensure that you meet your goals.
This Q&A-style discussion covered:
- Refocusing your marketing message
- Getting the must-have elements on your website
- Creating a lead generation content plan
- Perfecting your follow-up
- Turning leads into repeat customers
Are you interested in attending the next webinar in the Marketing and Branding series? View our upcoming events.
[00:00:04] Emily Stringer Hello, everyone, and welcome to today's webinar, Five Steps to Restart, Recharge and Revive Your Marketing in 2018, featuring John Jantz of Duct Tape Marketing. To our next slide, please. My name is Emily Stringer, and I'll be moderating today's presentation. A little background on me. I've been with MBO for just over 7 years. As a consulting services adviser, I respond to requests from independents like you who are curious about learning more about MBO's service offerings. This is done through consultation appointments where we learn about your background needs and determine if MBO services are the right fit for your business as one. Next slide, please. MBO's mission statement is to make it easy for independent consultants and their clients to work together. As a high-level overview, we offer a complete, all-inclusive business operating platform for independent consultants. We take care of the administrative items that are typically outsourced to several different vendors, like incorporation, contract review, liability coverage, invoicing, expense review and processing, tax withholding and payroll, and access to tax-efficient portable benefits. Next slide, please. Now for a few housekeeping items on the webinar set up, first and foremost, you can see the controls were here. Secondly, we will be emailing a slide deck and a recorded copy of the entire webinar to all registrants within the next week. Last, we will be taking questions throughout the presentation that will be addressed at the end of the presentation. Any questions that we do not get to will be answered via email after the presentation is complete. Next slide, please. If you want to follow the presentation on Twitter, use #MBWeb to submit your questions and comments @MBOPartners. Next slide, please. At this time, it's my pleasure to introduce you to our speaker, John Jantsch. John has been called the world's most practical small business expert for consistently delivering real-world food and small business marketing ideas and strategy. John is a marketing consultant, speaker, and best-selling author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine, and Referral Engine. He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System and Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network, trained life small business marketing consultant around the world. John, at this time, I'll turn it over to you.
[00:02:49] John Jantsch Thanks, Emily, and welcome, everyone. Pat yourself on the back for investing in yourself with little professional development. I'm actually standing here in my office in Kansas City, Missouri. I've done my own marketing consulting firm for 29 years now. Probably I've lost track of how many, but I suspect in the thousands of clients over the years who were independent professionals, professional service providers. And so this is a space that I know well. I understand the challenges and problems of independent professionals quite well. And in fact, we do a full-on implementation with a lot of the clients that engage us. But this particular program is something that came about really through a conversation I had with a woman who was getting started in her practice and about 6 months and realized that her marketing plan wasn't coming together. Everything she had planned for the year had fallen apart. She'd gotten distracted doing other things. And she was kind of frustrated, like, what do I do now? And I basically said, just start over again. You don't have to wait until January to kick off some new thoughts or new ideas. And while there are thousands of things you could do, there are a handful of things you should do right now that could have some impact. And so this is somewhat of a mini-program that I created specifically for what I suspect are thousands of people that kind of find themselves in that same boat, whether it's this time of year or really any time of year. So the 5 components I'm going to break down to really restart your marketing. But again, it can be a start for anyone as well. The first one is to get your marketing message right. And I have a very specific point of view about what that is. There are, I think website design in the way in which people use websites has changed dramatically. And I think that you have to have some elements on your website, particularly in what I consider professional services, businesses, consultants. I think there are certain elements that need to be there. You need to think about using content, and that is just a tactic but it's a way to generate leads and to convert those leads into clients. There has to be, as part of that process, a very systematic approach to how you're going to follow up. And then lastly, how are you going to retain those clients and turn those clients into advocates? Has a lot to do with how you onboard them or bring them onboard and how you serve them. And these 5 elements, again, as I said, there are many, many things you could do. But these 5 elements, if you would focus on these because I think the challenge with marketing for a lot of folks is that they have very limited time and resources because they're out serving clients and doing the work that they've lined up. And so if we can find a way to prioritize what we should focus on, I think it can actually take away some of the stress to think that you need to be doing everything that you see everybody else doing or that you read about. So this first one, refocusing your marketing message first, for some cold water on it right off the bat. Here's the sad truth. Nobody wants what you sell. They want their problem solved. I think we spent a lot of time focused on explaining what we do and the solutions we have and our expertise. And ultimately, if we don't connect with a prospect around a challenge that they have, and that challenge may be something that they have that's unrelated to what we do if we can't connect with an understanding of the problems that they have and then find a way to draw or guide them to our solutions that are going to, we're going to promise to solve their problems, I think we have a real tough time standing out. So here's a couple of things I want you to consider. When you are creating a core message, I'm going to come back to how we're going to use this on your website. But when you are creating a core message of differentiation, you really have 2 jobs. One of these things has to be accomplished or you're just going to be a commodity. You're just going to continue to compete on price. The first one is you have to change the context of how the world views what you do. So if you are a tax accountant and you're like every other tax accountant and everybody just assumes all you do is tax accounting, you're going to have a challenge marketing your business unless you can find a way to change how the prospect thinks about what it is that you do. And then the second one is one that I love working on, and that is to find a way to make the competition irrelevant or at least incomparable, that what you do or how you do it is so different than everyone else in the industry that there's no sense even trying to compare you to somebody else. All right. Let me give you a couple of examples. The first one is an architect. So, general contractors have a problem. General commercial building contractors have a problem, and that is that they can't start a project or they can't get paid to start a project until the plans are approved in most cases. And so what that means is they can't buy the equipment or the materials or even add additional staff or crews until that plan gets through because it can't draw on the money. So that's the challenge they have. Quite frankly, building a building from an architect's plans is pretty much routine for that. So that's not their problem. They're not looking for an architect necessarily that can help them build a building. Their problem is that they want to get started. They want to get paid faster. So we had a client that is an architect and of course, they went out and told everybody, we do great buildings. Here are all of our credentials. We went and talked with some of their clients and found that actually, this particular architect firm helped them get paid faster. That's actually what the commercial contractors were telling us. And what we learned was that they had some processes. They actually had some staff members that were on city councils and in zoning boards. And so they were actually able to get through the red tape or at least they knew where the challenges were going to be from getting plans approved. And so this particular architect, we actually changed their entire message around to being the contractors' architect and an architect that helps his clients get paid faster. In fact, when they would go out to their business development, people would go out and speak at networking events to potential clients. They would actually talk about this element. We help contractors get paid faster. So it really changed the context of their entire industry or at least how they were viewed in their market. And that change alone and obviously the ways in which we chose to amplify that change took them from being pretty much a lower pack, lower third in terms of the industry in their city to really being the number 1 design-build architect, working with and partnering with contractors in about an 18 month period. Now, the second one I want to give you an example is, this is a software company that actually sells scheduling software for university. So imagine all the classes that have to be scheduled in the buildings that have to be managed and the various facilities on a pretty good-sized campus. It takes software to manage all of that. We're only about half a dozen players in that very specific niche of software. And in our particular case, we had a client that we went out and spoke with their clients and they were actually, they were probably the most expensive option, so we were really curious why people hired them or why people brought their software in. And what we found was that the buyers were telling us that, yeah, sure, the software does what it's supposed to do, but we're also able to get analytics and data from this company like no one else that actually allows us to graduate people faster, allows us to have the right balance of what classes we need, allows us to make tuition more affordable for that purpose. And the schools, their problem certainly looked like it was scheduling classes. But actually, the real problem was that the state funding that they were receiving was based on meeting these targets for tuition affordability and for graduation rates. So all of a sudden, what we did with our software company is we help them solve that problem. We help them promote and change their message around solving the problem of tuition affordability. And all of a sudden, we were no longer looked at as a software scheduling company. And again, this company was probably middle of the pack of small industry and now certainly by far and away the number 1 leading choice really for that. In fact, they have entire states that are mandating that their software be used as in comparison to competitors. So the idea of coming up with a message that is around understanding the problems that your prospects are having, particularly if you can understand those problems very early in the journey, that when they go out looking for an architect, when they went out looking for this software, they weren't really even necessarily comparing one architect to another or one piece of software to another. They were actually solving the problem of getting paid faster and solving the problem of tuition affordability. So that's how you have to think about problems. And I'll tell you, one of the best ways to understand what those problems are, and this is very old school, is not only is, this is a phone with a cord hooked to it, but pick up the phone and call some of your best clients and ask them why they chose you, why they stick with you, what you do that other people don't do, and make sure that you listen carefully. This is not scientific research. What you're looking for here are themes. And so if they say, well, you provide better service, that's a great thing. But it's also nothing you can really bank on. I mean, anybody can claim that, in fact, probably most of your competitors do claim that. So you need to think and dig a little deeper and say, well, what is good service look like to you? Or my favorite? Tell me a story about a time when we provided a good service and listen for the actual words and themes that come about from those interviews. And in many cases, they will start expressing what the problems are that you solved or that they were trying to solve. And that's what you want to really focus on. And you may actually change your entire marketing message around what those themes are. Now, I will I'll tell you, if you're in one of those businesses that gets a lot of reviews and some professional services, businesses do. I mean, obviously a lot of consumer businesses like tree services or salons or restaurants get a lot more reviews naturally. But today it's become a pretty important element of marketing. And so a lot of industries have now embraced this idea of getting reviews. And obviously all the search engines and the various Facebook, the social networks and even professional services like legal services. Those are really big review site. And so those have become an important part to focus on. And what I want to suggest is if you are in one of those businesses that gets a lot of reviews or maybe your competitors do, that you study those actual reviews because the words that are used in those reviews quite often will help demonstrate the message that you should be using as your core message. Because a lot of times an unsolicited review that somebody turns to Yelp, or turns to Google or turns to AVO to in some cases, spend a little time and effort to give. Now, you may have asked them to do this, but they still had to go there and do it. And a lot of cases, they will actually be more honest in that setting than any other place, and so look for themes. I mean, we had recently had this doesn't really apply to independent professionals, but we had a tree service that was a family-owned local tree service, and that was their message and they really embraced that. That's what they wanted to share with the world. And we went and looked at their reviews. Unfortunately, they had a lot of really great reviews, but most of the reviews talked about how they cleaned the job site up. They came when they said they were going to and they cleaned the job site up meticulously. And so we've convinced them that, that was the problem they were actually solving. That other services, whether they were tree services or lawn services or remodeling contractors that weren't doing that and that needed to be the thing that they promised to solve. And it changed really everything about how people looked at their business. There's another client, I land on this problem, idea, and promise. A lot of small business owners is an SEO firm, that's a client of ours. A lot of small business owners know they need a CEO, but they don't really want to understand the technical aspects of it or how it's done necessarily. They want the phone to ring. And so this particular service, I think, makes a tremendous promise to solve a problem. All you need to know about search engine optimization is we make the phone ring and in the end, that's the problem that their small business owner clients want. So think about what these problems are that you could promise to solve. And again, it has, generally speaking, is it about what you sell or what you do? So, number 2, to get the must-have elements on your website, and I'm essentially talking about your home page here, and if I were alive and I could kind of scroll down some examples of pages, you'd get a better sense of what I'm talking about. But the current flavor of design and to some degree an element of design that I think we have to follow. It's not that I'm necessarily suggesting your website needs to be chasing the latest greatest trend. But if people expect a certain type of site or how it works or how they navigate it, you do have to pay attention to that. And I think today, the current trend, I think about a lot of the sites you go to today that you find are services and products and companies that you admire. A lot of today's websites or home pages are kind of that long scrolling, a homepage. That used to be everything was in the window, then you'd navigate off to places if you wanted to follow. Well, I think the way people use websites today, it's really much more of a journey and that your website, particularly your home page, actually has to accomplish a lot of jobs. It's not simply a placeholder that people get to your site and then go, OK, what am I looking for a click here? I mean, your website has to actually guide them in, bring them in. Obviously, a lot of your marketing activity has to have them find your website. But once there, you need to build trust. You need to educate. You need to inform somebody on how you could solve their problems. In some cases, you need to use your website to nurture somebody who is just in the process now of trying to figure out how to solve their problems. And ultimately, your website needs to help you convert clients. It's not when we first started with websites, people just needed to find you, and a lot of cases need to see what you sold and then they would call you. Well, now today people go out and they do all the searching. They in many cases, make a decision about who they're going to hire without ever contacting an organization or the six or seven people that they might be considered. So we have to think of your homepage now as not just a placeholder, but as a way to guide a journey. And so here are the elements that I consider a must-have. I've beat this one to death a little bit already so no surprise that this is the first one. You need to have a promise right above the fold. Here's what's going to happen if you dig into this website, all you need to know about search engine optimization, we make the phone ring and here's an instant call to action. If that's what your problem is, if that's what you want to solve, here, let's not go any farther. Click here. Get this SEO report. Here's value right away. So this above the fold, this idea of a promise above the fold is actually an element that's going to draw somebody in pretty quickly. If nothing else, it's going to make them say, OK, that's what I want. Let me know more. Now, the next thing you want to talk about is problems. So we have that promise above the fold. But Google this sometime and you'll get a sense of what I'm talking about. Google just problems we solve. And what you're going to find is a host of websites that have dedicated an entire page to listing the problems that they solve. And again, you know, a lot of times what you do as a service solves the problem that people don't make that connection. For example, I'm a marketing consultant. Nobody goes out looking for a marketing consultant or very few people are looking for a marketing consultant. But I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say. I have to compete on price, that's all people care about. My service is a commodity, and I can't be any more expensive than anybody else in my industry or I won't get business. Now, that's a problem. That's a real problem that is actually solved by a better marketing strategy. So I have to understand that problem. I have to maybe even tell people that I understand that problem so I can connect that problem to marketing strategy. The next element, and I think everybody on this call, or at least people certainly that are in professional services, independent consultants, independent professionals, trust is such a huge issue. It's a big issue in every business. But if somebody is going to hire, in my case, a consultant, they're going to give me $40,000, $50,000 over the course of the year. At least they're going to commit to that for doing marketing services. There has to be a pretty high level of trust. So to the degree that you can show who else trusts you, that you can show other people you've worked with, that you can have case studies. This has to be something that is more than just a testimonial page that they click off to. This has to be part of the home page journey. Again, another trust element some people might call it social proof showing in this case, this was this SEO company that's working in the local market with local companies that are very recognizable. So, you know, in some cases, somebody might look at that goal. I know that company and that company. You know, if you're working with those folks, they are everywhere. You must be pretty good. So there's a bit of this type of thing that I think people are expecting as part of the journey. For them, making kind of going from, OK, I know who you are now. I like what I see now. Gosh, I think other people trust you. That might be an element that would allow me to want to dig in and talk to you. Today, I'm a huge WordPress advocate, and most of the sites that we recommend to build are built in WordPress, and most of the themes allow you to actually bring blog content to the homepage. And this has, I think, has a number of benefits. First off, for Google's sake, it shows changing content that is coming to your website. And again, this is all theme-driven. You have to obviously be writing blog posts for this to happen. But this is all theme-driven. And so you get this change in content that's coming to your website. And so you have this dynamic element to your website, but it's almost like the website is now become a showcase for everything that you're doing and that this the way we structure the homepage, is kind of a journey to then have somebody say, oh, you know, here's three pieces of content. I might actually want to go, I want to drill into that particular one. So it's like the table of contents almost for your website or at least giving enough of a sense of everything that would happen if I would dig in here. Now, video has become a huge component and I'm a huge fan of video and a website on a homepage. You can do a lot of places. I love videos FAQs, product or service descriptions. But starting off on the homepage with that, here's who we are. Here's who I am, particularly independent professionals in many cases, they're hiring you. They're hiring a relationship. They're hiring somebody that feels very trustworthy. And videos is a great way to really get that idea across. Make sure that you fill up your home page with calls to action. I know you've seen some that are over the top. Internet marketers are great for having about every third paragraph, having some sort of call to action. But make sure that if you have a free consultation, if you have free reports, if you just want to give some people away, like in this case, talk to us, having those calls to action and making them pretty bold and kind of scattered around the site is really a good way to think in terms of how to use calls to action. All right, so I'm going on a number three now, create a lead generation content plan, and I string those words together because I think for a lot of folks, content, we kept talking about the content being king and how you had to produce lots of content. And that just really led people to, first off, a lot of stress. But it also led people to producing a lot of content that wasn't very valuable or at least had very little content for what you were trying to accomplish with the content. And really, you know, I talk about content now as being air. I mean, it really does drive every channel. You can't rank for search terms without content. Content is a great tool for referrals. Clearly, people share content in social settings. I think the best use of your advertising is to drive people to useful content. So every channel now is driven by some form of content. And I think we have to keep that in mind that that we're trying to guide the customer journey using this content. So content that builds awareness, blog posts are great for building awareness. Content that builds trust, those I showed you some of those the testimonials being on some of the review sites, that is content. Video is content. I think a lot of times people think in terms of content and they only think of content that is written in the form of a blog post. But really, any type of demonstration, any type of of how to, any type of way in which you're going to educate people is content. Now, the good news, though, I don't think you need as much content as you think. I'm going to date myself here, but I'll go back even 10 years ago. You just needed a content. You just need a lot of it written frequently because that's how you're going to read it. People were going to share it. There weren't a lot of blogs in every space now. So 10 years ago, all you really needed to do in some ways was show up. But today, the glut of content has made it so that you have to actually, instead of dumping content out of a dump truck, you have to actually hand carry it to the right places. And it has to be perfect or not perfect, but it has to be high quality in order to really get attention. And I think a lot of independent professionals aren't necessarily looking for thousands and thousands of eyeballs. In some cases, a consultant can thrive with 6 or 8 or 10 more clients. And so you have to be much more laser-focused in how you think about content. So here's, you know, as part of this kind of restart plan, here's what I'm coaching people to do. And that is to really map out 6 impactful ideas. And I'm going to give you another prescription on how to tie all this together. But from a content standpoint, map out 6 useful content ideas that your ideal customer would say, yeah, I want to go read that, and then we're going to marry each of those with what we call a content upgrade. And if you're not familiar with that term, I will explain it in more detail and then you're going to take those 6 pieces of content. So let's say that's over 6 months, once a month. Could you produce an epic piece of content? I suspect most of you could, instead of thinking about once a week or twice a week producing something that really doesn't add a lot of value to the world. And then the last piece is we're going to promote each piece of that content with advertising and social media. So the first thing you do is you're going to make a list. You're going to figure out what you're 6 or 10 or 12 pieces of content are going to be over the next 6 months to a year. And here's how I want you to think about what that list looks like. Most independent professionals could benefit from having a book. A book is something I wrote, my first book in 2006 and it is dramatically impacted every element of my business. I know a lot of people are producing books today. It certainly helps if you write a book and it sells very well. But I want you to have this book mentality and I want you to think about this list of blog posts or pieces of content as a table of contents for a book. So if I was challenging you write a book about your industry or your expertise or your problem-solving ability, what would the chapters of that book look like? Because I think there's a really good reason for you to write a book, and I'm going to show you how to do it very easily. So the first thing is to create this list. Again, most of you could give me half of these chapters just by some brainstorming, but you might also check out some other ideas for doing research on topics. If you type the words forum, the plus sign and then any key term in your industry or about your industry, you're probably going to find some very active forums that are related to your industry. And this is the reason I love these are because this is a great place to find the problems people are having, the trends in an industry, the challenges that people talk about. So it's can be a great brainstorming tool. You might look at your email. There's a good chance that you've actually answered a lot of questions that come up over and over again or you're constantly solving problems for people that are similar that might make it onto your short list. And then a lot of times when you're doing searching the titles that Google or the terms that Google puts at the bottom of a search that they call related searches, in some cases can be some clues to other areas for content. There's a few tools that I use every single day that I'll share with you, and again, I'm a person that does this professionally, going out and helping people find it produces content. So but 2 of these tools are free. 1 of them, I use a paid service. But the Google Keyword Planner is a great way for you to find what people are searching for. Actual search terms so that you might round out your table of contents. There's a tool called Answer the Public, which is really great because it returns search data based on questions only. So if somebody a lot of times if I put a search engine optimization, for example, it's going to give me a lot of questions that start with why do people, what, who, how? And I'll come up with probably 600 or 700 questions that actually people have been asking and do ask frequently in search engines. And that can be a great way to think about your structure, your content around answering those questions. And then there's another tool called Buzz Sumo. That's a paid tool and it's essentially a search engine that you can put any search term in and it will show you the most shared content related to that term. So if I put in, say, referral marketing, which is a big part of my work, it'll show me all the blog posts that people have written that thousands of people have shared over the last year. And that can be a great way to kind of round out topics that clearly there's some interest in. So this is what I love answering the public, because the branding is really fun, too. But you just simply turn, put in a search term and it will give you this entire list of questions. So, you know, these are some of the ways that you can then build, kind of your table of contents, if you will. And again, the reason I talk about it as a book or a table of contents is because you should look at content is a long-term game. It's not something I mean, there'll be lots of people out there that will tell you if you do this and this, you can rank and get all kinds of search traffic. But again, most independent professionals would be served better by creating a body of work that they could use for awareness, certainly, but also for nurturing and for getting somebody that has a specific problem to when you're having a sales conversation with them. To actually have this content to use in that sales conversation is more valuable than some kind of writing about some trend that's going to get you more traffic. So once we have our list of titles or topics that we're going to write about. So then here's an example of how you would actually then use that as a lead generation tool. So this is off my blog. I wrote this a long time ago, but this was a very popular post written for this specific purpose, a 16-step checklist for the perfect blog post. So I'm trying to attract people that are writing or that want to write from a marketing standpoint. So I write that post. But then somewhere in that post I have also created and this is what we call a content upgrade. So this is an actual checklist that somebody who came to this blog post who was interested in the topic read halfway down the topic all of a sudden now has the ability to just download this whole list in something they can set by their desk or pin up on a wall somewhere. And then when they go to write a blog post, they can look down this checklist. So that's really high value value for somebody who already demonstrated interest in this topic. So the beauty of this kind of thing, just to show you why it's so impactful is clearly it's highly personalized for the person who was attracted to this content in the first place. It's also very easy for them to get it's not another 20-page e-book that they probably won't read. It's something that is useful. Has some utility right away. Easy to get, no real big commitment. I have many books on my website and those converted about 1-2 %. People come and they see an offer and 1-2% of them will actually sign up for that. On something like this, if we promote it in a campaign, 17-18% of the people that come here will sign up for this. Now, obviously, what we do with that sign up is, what's going to make it most valuable. But the fact that we can get so many more sign ups by using this content upgrade. So essentially, that's what I had suggested. So you write these 6 or 8 or you map out your 6 or 8 or 12 topics and each 1 of those should have some sort of utility that goes with it that people are going to want to subscribe to. They're going to want to get. Now, you know, I probably have a dozen e-books on my site, but I also have all kinds of worksheets and tools and checklists and templates and those, quite frankly, right now, if you ask me in a year from now, this may change. But right now, those kind of simple tools are seem to do better than the e-books. Everybody's got to e-books, everybody's downloaded e-books. And so we're all looking for something we can use right away without really much effort. And I find this kind of one cheater right now are actually kind of winning the day. So here's your recipe for the entire year if you did this recipe. So I've kind of led up to all the things you need to do before this. But if you did this recipe, I can just practically guarantee that your personal brand and authority and expertise and with that, your ability to bring on more profitable clients will soar. So create 12 pieces of content over the next year with an upgrade attached to each. Now, you can do this, doesn't have to be in this exact order and then conduct a webinar around each piece of content. Now, the reason I say you don't have to do this in order, because if you conducted a webinar that was 1 of these topics, you did that first and then just transcribed it, it would actually write the blog post for you. So in some cases, people like to do it in that order. But either way, you're going to record that webinar. You're going to archive it, you're going to transcribe it. So now you've got even more of a body of work around your themes and your topics. And then at the end of the year I would take that. And again, that's why it's so important that you plan this. In the beginning, I would take that and I would write a book, I would put it and get it edited, put it on the create space as a softcover book or an e-book, a kindle book or both, and use that as your calling card now for your business, for your expertise. Again, all along the year you're producing valuable content, you're going to use this content to generate more business, but then you're going to actually create that book, which is not going to be a tangible asset that you can use in your practice or in your business. From there, get booked on podcasts. I actually started a service called Podcast Bookers just to be part of this plan, but get booked on podcasts, get booked and speaking engagements. So taking this recipe, spending and again, maybe some there's some overachievers here and you can do this in 6 months. But somewhere in the neighborhood of a year, if you took this recipe based on what we talked about today, this could be your entire marketing plan for the next year. All right, so how are we going to follow up, some of you probably can't wait for a year to get new business, so how are we going to follow up and get that new business based on this recipe? Well, as I said, you're going to start writing blog posts and address big, obvious problems. A great one for me as a marketing consultant, is 5 reasons your competitors rank higher than you in search engines. That could be a pretty epic piece of content that goes along with a some sort of SEO checklist. So that would be an example of 1 of my monthly themes. So I'd write the blog post. I create the upgrade for that. And then I would advertise that blog post. I say advertise the upgrade. But we're really going to do is we're going to go out and now find a targeted, very targeted audience and we're going to send them to that traffic, to that blog post, because that's how we're going to create leads using this content. This is not a Facebook advertising session, but essentially you're going to create an audience. You're going to just put that blog post on Facebook. You're going to get people to that post, and then you're going to reach out to the opt ins. And again, you know, in our particular business, what we'll do is we know that people are interested in that content. We'll get hundreds of people to opt in to that content and they will immediately give that, put them into a series of follow up emails where we will actually give them more opportunities to take action. So we're not necessarily just going to sell them something. We're going to in that series of 3-5 emails, we're going to get them to make what a lot of marketers like to call micro-commitments. So, in other words, we're going to send them to that email and we're going to say, hey, if you like that, you want to go here and check out this free resource and then everybody that checks out that free resource, we are actually going to now put in a whole another bucket because they've taken another action and we are going to reach out to them where we're going to specifically say to them, hey, I've I think what you're doing is great. I think we can help you. We're going to qualify them with some research. So any time that free is on the table, you're going to get a lot of tire kickers. And so if we have people take us up on this upgrade and then make another step to another free resource we give them, we're going to take them again, we might be looking for 6 or 8 or 10 more clients. So we're going to take the time to qualify them now because of what we can know about them online rather than trying to close them and then qualify after. You ever get that client that you close and then all of a sudden the objections start coming that you should have realized long before you even had your first conversation? So we're going to look at their business. We're going to look at their website. There's a lot of things we can know about their business before we ever reach out. But once we do decide that somebody is somebody we want to work with because they've taken the action, because we've done and taken the step of looking at their website and qualifying them, we're going to send an appointment to actually deliver an audit to deliver a valuable consulting process, because we're absolutely convinced that they would make an ideal client. And so we're willing to invest that in our follow-up. So in other words, we're building this semi-automated plan, but it's not really automated because it's very targeted and has the right message. It has the right content. We know we're going to attract the people that we're after because we know what their problems are. Then we're going to actually not automate the process necessarily of reaching out to them because again, if you don't need a thousand prospects next month, you know, focus more on the quality of your follow up than on some sort of automation process or lead generation final that somebody is pitching. And when we do that, we get somebody to that point, we're going to deliver value. We're going to go out and we're going to tell them, here's what is we think are the issues. Here's what we think are the priorities. Here's what our recommendations are. Because, again, we we believe that they are the right prospect. Now, this is a step in where you could actually add a paid process. And in fact, in most cases, we get to this point and we actually pitch something we call a total online presence audit that is low cost, relatively, for marketing consulting. It's $700 and so people take that process. We can invest a tremendous amount in delivering value over the course of an hour and a half presentation. They feel like they got value because they pay it forward. And typically that's where they will then move to upsell them, so to speak, to our full consultant. But this if you do this process right, and you target the right folks, you have the right message, you can afford, I think, in many cases, to spend more on your follow-up. Now, the last piece I want to talk about is once you get those clients, to me, the real shame is that a lot of people are really good at getting to yes and then they kind of dropped the ball or they it's a different experience every time. And I think they erode the customer experience. And really today, you know, it's all customer experience. If you think about that whole journey, people are coming to your website. If they're finding what they expect to find, they're going to take the next step. You know, if your forms on your website operate the way they expect them to operate, they're going to take the next step. If when they reach out in that first discovery meeting you have with them, they're going to take the next step. And I think that a lot of times we don't we don't appreciate enough the fact that this customer experience has to be looked at stage by stage, by stage. I mean, this was just to illustrate that point about the website. This is 174 consumers that do not work in marketing or at a marketing agency. And 76% of them said the most important factor in the design of a website was that the website made it easy to find what they want. So it's not about design, it's about the customer experience, and it's about the journey. Plan into your practice, into your business, exactly what the first 90 days of a customer relationship are going to look like, because you do that and you will create a loyal champion for your business. So what does the actual transaction look like? Can you strip that out? Can you make sure that everybody has the same experience? What does the orientation process for when somebody becomes a client look like? What's the onboarding process look like? What's your communication process on an ongoing basis with a client? If you don't take the time to figure out how to create great experiences in each of those steps, as somebody becomes a new client, you will immediately erode the relationship. I worked with a bunch of orthodontists a few years ago and on the same idea, and so the first thing I asked him is what's the secret to somebody who has braces, you know, having a successful case? And to a person as well, they have to floss when they have the braces on or otherwise they're not going to be happy when we take the braces off. And so the follow-up is, OK, what's the challenge to that? Well, everybody hates to floss. And so what we developed was this process where this group of orthodontists would take a once a quarter, they would take a patient or a case that they thought would be an ideal prospect for this, and they would significantly discount their services for the agreement that that person would actually keep a journal of what they ate, keep a journal of their teeth brushing, actually do some videos of the of them flossing in kind of a fun way. Again, a lot of these were teenagers, so they were actually producing content for them around this idea of success. But in the kind of the language, I guess, of the client, and then they would also have them and their parents because in this case, the parents were paying for it to journal about the experience, about what happened when we communicated this way. And what they found was over in a really short period of time was the first off, these clients love doing it. I mean, they got the discount, but they actually loved the participation as well. And they learned so much about what they needed to be producing, how they needed to be talking to their clients, gaps that they had in their customer experience. So I think every business could take this idea to heart that you pick a client once a quarter and just make them kind of part of your marketing team. I mean, make that a part of the deal. And I think you will find that there are so many things that we just take for granted that happen in our businesses that aren't necessarily great customer experiences. So those are your 5 things - refocus your marketing message, get those must-have elements on your website, think about content as a lead generation plan, not as a tactic, perfect your follow up in that lead generation process and then make sure that you're creating a great customer experience once somebody becomes a customer because as we all know, the best source of lead generation is a happy customer who's going to tell 10 other people how awesome you are. If you love this approach and this will take me about 2 seconds to explain this, but I actually do coach people in groups through every 1 of these steps where we actually produce each of these over a 5 week period. And it's a complete training course. I do them in groups of 8-10 service professionals, consultants. And so if what I talked about today, it seems like something you need to have here is the next group starting November 21st. So in a few weeks, there's a URL where you can actually find out exactly what we do when we start and what each session looks like. So ducttape.me/dtmplan So, Emily, if you're still hanging around, I think we're time for questions.
[00:47:13] Emily Stringer Great. That sounds good to me, John, thank you so much for a lovely presentation that was incredibly informative. Lots of great feedback for our consultants to take in. I know I see several names on the line that I personally work with, very much are in a place of ramping up their branding. So this is some great, great information to share. Before we go any further, we want to put up a couple of polls just so that we can get the appropriate information out to the appropriate parties. So we will go ahead and very quickly get these launch. First and foremost, who would like more information about MBO partners? We will give you about 30 seconds here so that we can capture this information. So there are no.
[00:48:11] John Jantsch So, Emily, while people are doing that, where are you guys calling in from today? I'm in Kansas City, Missouri, but where are you?
[00:48:19] Emily Stringer Oh, great. So if you ever traveled through the D.C. area, I can see Dulles Airport out the window here.
[00:48:25] John Jantsch All right. Sure.
[00:48:27] Emily Stringer So that's where we are at. All right, 30 seconds here. So we'll go ahead and close this poll now. And get the next one up on the screen for you. And who would like more information about John Jantsch and his business Duct Tape Marketing? What could be about 30 seconds here?
[00:48:50] John Jantsch I don't get to answer that one. Do it.
[00:48:52] Emily Stringer I don't think so, John, but I think quite a few people are going to want more information on you and what you do, because this is just fantastic. All right, we've got about 10 more seconds here. And just while we are waiting on the line, a friendly reminder, we will get everyone a copy of the slides and the recorded presentations in the next week. So I see that question popping up a bit here. Who is asking what and to cover that we will be doing next on things like that. We'll go ahead and close down this poll. Thank you, everyone, for hanging with us for 15 minutes. So we're going to go ahead and dig into a couple of questions that I'm getting here. First and foremost, in terms of a marketing budget by way of revenue for a business of one like these folks that we have on the line, do you have a number that you can recommend?
[00:49:50] John Jantsch That's such a tough one. And I do get asked that question a lot. So it's anywhere from 1% to 10%. But that depends on where you are in your business. And in some cases, are you investing your time right now? So, for example, this content that I'm talking about, it can be pretty time-consuming to produce. Now, you may think, well, nights and weekends, you know, I can slug in that in. That's part of building my business so that would dictate. I mean, you might be spending a lot of time to think about how much time you're spending doing that and don't devalue that time. So even if you are not going to take any money out of your budget, make sure you are budgeting, if you will, the time and what's the value of that time? So a lot of soul openers, I think. I don't spend money on marketing necessarily, but it's because they're not really accounting, for the way they spend their time now. In terms of what I produced today, what I showed today here is actually if you did it all yourself, I mean, your cash outlay might be somebody you pay to a designer a couple of thousand dollars for maybe some website updates, $100 or $200 a month in Facebook ads at the most. And again, from a percentage standpoint, that wouldn't change that much if you were doing $100,000 or you were doing half a million dollars or something of that nature. So that's what makes it hard for percentages. If you're really in an early stage in your business, you're probably going to spend what feels like a higher percentage than 1 or 2%. But if you if you're getting near that million-dollar range, you might be at 1 or 2%.
[00:51:38] Emily Stringer Right, I think that's excellent advice, John. Oh, we have something here that missed the first part of the webinar and it asked if you could recap the must-have for a website. So could you touch on that again for me really quickly?
[00:51:52] John Jantsch I'm afraid they're going to have to listen to the replay.
[00:51:55] Emily Stringer Right.
[00:51:56] John Jantsch No. So the first one is a promise, and that promise is tied very much to a problem that you solve. So the promise to solve a problem so that SEO from the using example was promising that all you need to know about SEO is we make the phone ring, which was very compelling promise. And that's the thing that made people say, OK, you know, I'm going to go farther. And I think that's a big part of that, I think it's very valid to have a problem we solve section in plain English. What are the problems and the things that your clients are whining about when they come to you have a whole page on that. Trust element, social proof, additional content, a blog content, or are you even describing your services, having video, the talk that gives you the ability to kind of talk about what you believe in, your vision and your business and your past? I mean, all those elements, I think, belong on the home page today in this kind of long scrolling form.
[00:52:58] Emily Stringer Great. Thank you, John. Another quick question here that is kind of an interesting one coming in from a wedding planner. How do I say that I'm solving a problem without sounding negative? As a wedding planner that solves the problem of stress management, how do I not point out that it's a stressful event?
[00:53:18] John Jantsch Well, yeah, obviously, you'll have to play with some of those. I mean, a lot of times when we come up with these problems and we start testing and we start talking about them in conversations with clients and seeing how they react. But I suspect in your industry, I think a lot of people I mean, the reason they hire a wedding planners because it's overwhelming and it maybe is stressful. And so the problem in some ways that you might be solving is actually the gift that you give them, which is the ability to focus completely on enjoying the special day. So that's a way to kind of turn the problem if you will, are negative into a positive.
[00:54:02] Emily Stringer Great advice. 1 more that's come in here. How do you balance offering a service that has cost that makes competition irrelevant with offering a service that people can understand and strive to start using?
[00:54:16] John Jantsch Yeah, so that is a real challenge because sometimes people go out there and they create something so unique that they then find themselves having to explain people what it is, even. And so then they end up kind of throwing in the towel and saying, well, we're like these guys, but only different. And so 1 of the things that you have to balance is that the more unique I use that example of the software company, we had to actually build an entire campaign around that, the education process, the slogan for that. That particular messaging was access to completion, so then we had to really go and figure out, OK, how do we influence legislators? How do we influence the people that are making the provost, that are making the decision? What content do our salespeople need to actually start bringing in that data that changes their thought of this being software to this thought of being their funding mechanism? So that took, that was a big leap. And so that took a tremendous commitment to education. And it didn't happen overnight. I mean, we built a whole website called Access to Completion that became a resource that we brought in a lot of outside folks or industry-related folks to produce content. And so if the bigger the reach is with kind of channeling at an entire industry, the more you're going to have to commit resources to.
[00:55:49] Emily Stringer Right, I think that's excellent advice. One last question here, since we have 5 minutes and 1 thing that you had mentioned was how consultants you try to present webinars. You found us and we found you. So do you have any vehicles or platforms you can recommend to help connect consultants with these webinar opportunities?
[00:56:09] John Jantsch Well, I mean, in some cases, you find folks that are doing it already. I mean, it's harder to necessarily convince somebody they should be doing it. But if you find people that get on their lists and do searches for who's promoting these types of events and kind of get on their radar, that's the first step whether and actually, I said webinars and if you want to do in-person in your community, the same thing applies. There's people holding meetings. There are people that are holding education series that are live and in-person in your community. Banks and accounting firms that have small businesses are actually great targets for me to propose doing a, you know, an in-person type of presentation. So it doesn't have to be in this kind of format. But the same applies if you're trying to find people that you could partner with. First of all, in is find people that are doing it. And then the second one is to really find a way to pitch them on useful content. And useful content is not necessarily useful for you. It's useful for their audience. And so I understand their audience, understand what value you could bring, maybe share, do a few of these, even if you don't have a live audience, do a few of them so you could kind of share examples of what, especially if you're getting started. You've got to kind of prove that you can pull this off. I mean, I think in Emily, in your guys case, Duct Tape Marketing has been out there long enough. You've seen a lot of this kind of content from Duct Tape Marketing. So it's obviously much easier for me as a recognized brand. But it didn't start that way. It started for me kind of demonstrating to people that I could deliver. So, build, you might even want to build a little page on your site that says, you know, here are the topics we can talk about. Show, pass slide decks or get a recording tool like Loom or Screenflow, for example, and just do a screen cast and record it and so that people can get a sense of the quality of your delivery and content.
[00:58:20] Emily Stringer That's all great advice, John. Great tips, great tricks to share with our consultants. We always recommend community involvement as well in terms of getting your name and your brand out there. So with that said, it is 1:58. We are going to get things wrapped up here. Again, John, thank you so much for joining us today and giving a wonderful talk to the consultants that we so value and to all of our participants for joining us and staying on the line with us for an hour. Stay tuned for future webinar opportunities and be on the lookout for the slide deck to come through within the next week. Thank you again, John, and thank you again to all of our attendees.