Marketing is a tough sell especially when some businesses don’t understand how important it actually is. So what happens when you sell marketing as a product?
In this weeks episode, Troy is over the moon to be speaking to one of his heroes – John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing. If you haven’t read this book, then buy it straight away! It blew Troy’s mind in its simplicity and was a total game changer for his career and his life. There is so much to learn and unpack in this podcast, so tune in.
Most notably John Jantsch is the founder of Duct Tape Marketing. It’s the name of a podcast, a blog and a book but essentially it is a marketing system.
John started his own marketing consultancy about 20 years ago and loved working with small business owners. However, the difficulty was that small businesses usually have no budget and a short attention span. So he decided to create a system to overcome this problem.
It’s difficult to buy marketing services these days when everyone is selling a piece of the puzzle, including Google. The fact that this was a full strategy at a fixed cost was pretty remarkable.
Before John wrote the book, he was a practising consultant. He was selling the Duct Tape Marketing methodology as an online course and it was doing so well that he had people approach him to ask when he was going to write the book. It had been on his mind to do this but it took someone to say, “here is the money and a deadline” to give him that extra push.
Writing the book amplified the business and took it to a larger stage. It didn’t change what John was doing day to day, as he was already doing a lot of speaking, but the book opened it up to an international audience and for him to speak at larger conferences. He was also able to quadruple his prices.
John then had marketing consultants approach him and ask if they could learn the Duct Tape Marketing system so that they could then help small businesses. So John formed a network of independent marketing consultants that licence the Duct Tape Marketing methodology. They collaborate to help each other grow their businesses.
The idea of Duct Tape Marketing is that marketing is a system. That appeals to a lot of small business owners because usually, they feel they have no control over marketing. Duct Tape offers all services though, because when potential clients approach them, usually they want a particular service. Once the client is onboard, it is then easier to have the conversation about what they actually need and educate them on how a system will help the business.
Marketing is hard to sell because a lot of the time people don’t even know what it is or how to measure it. So he tries his hardest to sell it as a product at a set price. This made the sales cycle so much shorter because he didn’t have to do “the proposal dance.” It instantly repels the wrong people and attracts the right people.
John stays involved in the strategy and he often says that his role is “spotting the landmines.” He has built a repeatable process so that he can train his marketing assistants to give them the tools and processes to effectively do a great deal of the client work that needs to be done. They are then assigned to the clients as account managers and John oversees them and adds insight to what is being done.
Duct Tape Marketing has another model where they train someone within a company to become the expert. So Duct Tape Marketing do the strategic work but the “expert” will be doing the day to day marketing such as the social posts. This model works for businesses that have a marketing person but perhaps they aren’t being directed properly if the owner of the business doesn’t have the expertise.
At one point John got out of doing client work and was doing a lot of speaking, writing and travelling. Now he is focussing more on processes and tools.
John has five full-time staff members who are doing the work with the network, clients and their own marketing. They have created systems and thoroughly documented all of the processes so that if someone goes on maternity leave or holiday then anyone can jump into the role very easily.
They have tried a few different tools for documenting but they keep coming back to Google drive and docs. Their project management tools are Asana which they use internally and Base Camp which they use with their clients. They do this because they had trouble getting clients to use Asana as it as it is a little more complex than Base Camp.
He created the system in 2001, and gave it a name because he wanted it to be a brand, not a “John Jantsch fan club”. Although some people still identify Duct Tape Marketing with him, he has an onboarding team and account managers who will look after the clients. They soon realise that John is spread so thinly that it is best to work with the team and just have John’s brain involved.
Firstly, you need to ask – where am I going to go with this? And keep in mind that to transfer all of your years of expertise and knowledge to someone who doesn’t have any experience is a lot more work than you think.
When he first started licencing out there was no quality control. But over the last couple of years, they have it so thoroughly documented that it is easier for someone to follow the system than wing it on their own.
John loves helping people that love what they do and are great at it, but the marketing side is sucking the life out of them. He says that if he can give people their life back then that’s the thing that keeps him going.
At the end of the podcast, Troy asks how the name “Duct Tape Marketing” came about. There’s a funny reason why. Tune in around the 28 minute of the podcast to find out!
And that’s a wrap! Have you read the book? Was it a game changer for you? We would love to hear your thoughts on this podcast and the Duct Tape Marketing methodology in the comments below.