The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur Reading: October 17

The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur Reading: October 17 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur – October 17

It’s time for another episode of The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur. Once a week, I’m sharing a reading from my new book, due out in October 2019. The book is structured around 366 daily meditations for entrepreneurs. They begin with a quote from some of the great authors of the mid-19th Century, which I then place in a modern context for today’s entrepreneurs and business owners.

The excerpt below is from the October 17 entry.

Today’s Reading: Creating History

“The student of history is like a person going into a warehouse to buy cloths or carpets. They fancy they have a new article. If they go to the factory, they shall find that their new stuff still repeats the scrolls and rosettes which are found on the interior walls of the pyramids of Thebes.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Uses of Great Men” The Oxford Book of American Essays, ed. Brander Matthews (1914)

Spanish-born philosopher George Santayana popularized the adage, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill paraphrased the quote slightly when he said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

Both meant this as a warning to those who did not study the failings of past as a guide to the future.

What if you saw your entrepreneurial journey it in a much different light? What if by recognizing that your “new stuff still repeats” you created your own history?

Starting today, could you look at content creation and journaling in the way that a documentarian might? Could you start to document every aspect of your journey as a way to learn from yourself, learn from your mistakes, your triumphs, your daily observations of the mundane as well as the thrilling?

You have much to teach yourself by stopping and taking note, and there’s a very practical element from a brand standpoint. Sharing your journey and using your documenting practice is one of the strongest ways to connect with your audience and invite them to join you on your journey.

Challenge Question: What’s the hardest part about being an entrepreneur? (That might make a great blog post.)

Want to learn more about The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur? Click here.

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

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From the Ground Up Interview – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur

From the Ground Up Interview – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing expert and author John Jantsch sat down with Jordan Stella of UpCity for an interview in their From the Ground Up series. Jantsch discussed his own entrepreneurial roots and how that relates to his latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur, due out on October 22, 2019.

The book is structured as 366 daily meditations designed to help entrepreneurs find meaning and purpose in their life and work, and it features quotes from transcendentalist authors framed with thoughts from Jantsch himself, informed by his own entrepreneurial journey.

Check it out – From the Ground Up: An Interview with John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing

What All Businesses Need to Know About Website Design

What All Businesses Need to Know About Website Design written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Chris Martinez
Podcast Transcript

Chris Martinez headshot

Today on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I sit down with Chris Martinez, the CEO and co-founder of DUDEAgency.io.

Martinez has been working in web design for years, first as the founder of WebsiteIn5Days.com, which was focused on creating websites and providing digital marketing support to solopreneurs. With the creation of DUDE, Martinez now focuses on digital marketing firms (DUDE actually stands for Digital Updates Done by Experts).

In this episode, Martinez shares some of his vast knowledge about website design. From the best way for a small business to get their first website up and running to the elements that any business must include on their pages, this is the episode to listen to if your website could use some help (or hasn’t been created yet!).

Questions I ask Chris Martinez:

  • What’s the role of the website for small businesses? 
  • What are the must-have elements that any business website needs?
  • What are the options business owners have when it comes to creating their brand’s website?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How to strike the balance between design, content, and SEO.
  • Why website design is never really finished, and what that means for business owners.
  • How to create a cohesive on-boarding process for new clients.

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Chris Martinez:

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

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Transcript of What All Businesses Need to Know About Website Design

Transcript of What All Businesses Need to Know About Website Design written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

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Transcript

John Jantsch: Hello. Welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Chris Martinez. He is the current CEO and co-founder of DUDE Agency, dudeagency.io. An outsourced web development firm in Tijuana. Mexico, so, Chris, thanks for joining me.

Chris Martinez: Thank you so much for having me.

John Jantsch: So let’s talk about websites in the big picture. For businesses, particularly small business, I have a lot of small business owner listeners, what’s the role of the website today? What’s its job?

Chris Martinez: I think that there’re several jobs, but overall, if you’re looking big picture, it’s got to be a revenue generator for you. It’s got to be a way that you can capture and then with some other software integrations, nurture leads and eventually convert those people into paying customers.

John Jantsch: I read a statistic the other day that said something along the lines of 82% of people that visit your website are, first of all, doing it for the first time, and secondly, won’t take any action that first visit. I mean if that statistic’s true and I think that we can all agree to some extent it is what does that implicate for somebody building or somebody using a website in their business?

Chris Martinez: I think it’s very, very accurate. I think it’s very accurate for the majority of people who have websites. I also think it’s reflective of just the world in general because the first time that you meet somebody you don’t really … If you were to walk into a store for a first time, you never knew who they were a lot of the times you don’t buy anything. People are trying to gather information and then once they have some information and they feel they can make an educated decision, that’s when they get further down into the funnel and they’re ready to make a buying decision.

John Jantsch: So with that in mind, if somebody comes to you and says, “I want a website,” and they don’t have any real ideas in mind, in your kind of checklist of how to design a site, are there some must-have elements that at least for today you would tell pretty much, obviously, different industries have some different things, but for the most part, are there some elements that you think need to exist in some way on every website?

Chris Martinez: So that’s kind of a loaded question and I’m going to give you a plug right now because it absolutely has to start with a strategy, right? You do need basic fundamentals of your message, identifying your market and then having some sort of offer. And then once you have those fundamentals in place and you have their overall strategy, then you can start going into the website and you can basically transfer all the things that you created as a part of the strategy to the website. So in terms of things that you absolutely want to have, I mean you have just a couple of seconds to capture somebody’s attention when they come to your website for the first time. So you absolutely need to be able to communicate to them what it is that you do, how you help them and what that person is supposed to do next.

Chris Martinez: And I’m kind of swiping that from Donald Miller, sorry. I almost a Dennis Miller. Donald Miller in StoryBrand because that’s a lot of what he says is like, “Passing the grunt test,” and so those are three elements and that’s more along the lines of copy. But in terms of layout and design, you absolutely want to have those three things above the fold, meaning before somebody has to scroll down a website, that’s what that visitor is going to see. And then a call to action, a primary call to action and then a secondary call to action.

Chris Martinez: And then as you scroll through the other things that we recommend are like testimonials and social proof. A very, very simple explanation of how you help a client go from point A to point B, so ideally it shows your three or four-step system. And so that’s basically it. I also like a simple thing is images, right? You want images that show real people. So real images are always going to outperform stock images and you want to show images of people who look and seem like your ideal client.

John Jantsch: So over the years, design trends seem to come and go. So homepages are very small, they had a lot of navigation, options on them, and essentially it was like an index page. That’s what we actually called them, right? And so the goal was somebody, “Here’s every option,” like a table of contents, “go find what you’re looking for.” Today, it seems like we have the long scrolling kind of journey page. You see times when people use a lot of stock photos and now it seems like we’re into a lot of illustrations that are very light and airy and a lot of white space. How do you manage as a design firm? How do you manage the fact that or balance maybe the fact that that people want to kind of see … They want their site to look updated, but then we’re jumping on one trend to the next, I mean, is there some sort of balance or I guess another way to ask that is are there trends that are driving your design today?

Chris Martinez: Yeah, design definitely matters. It’s really hard to pinpoint if you do X, Y, and Z, you’re going to hit the ball out of the park every single time. Every business is a little different. Every industry is a little bit different. Design does matter. But what matters most is your ability to convey how you help people. So let’s look at the flip side of one of the most ugly websites in the world that crushes it, Craigslist. Now, everybody has used Craigslist for the most part, and if you’ve never heard of Craigslist, please go type in craigslist.com or.org and look at it. It’s the ugliest, most simple website ever. But it absolutely conveys what it is what they do and it helps people get what they’re looking for. So at the end of the day, you do have to show people how you help them, whether that be through a video or actual text or even like a podcast interview. And that is what really is going to help you to generate more leads and sales.

Chris Martinez: And then the other thing that you want to think about is how are people coming to your website? So maybe they heard you on a podcast interview and they’re like, “Oh, my God, the story that John just told is amazing. I’m really, really excited.” So when that person comes to your website, they’re already a little bit further down in the funnel so the design might be different or the impact that the design has might be different based on where that person is coming from. If they heard you from Yelp, it’s a different story. If it’s the first time that they’ve ever heard you because they Googled you and your name popped up for a marketing agency, then that person’s going to be at a different stage. And so design matters, but there’re all these other things that you need to take into consideration as well.

John Jantsch: So that leads me right to my next question. I think there was a time when people would say, “Let’s go get a website.,” as it was kind of a separate element of everything else they were doing. They had all their other channels and I think a lot of websites were designed that way. I remember, in the early days, people would have sites, they wouldn’t have their logos on them, they would be different colors. I mean, it was like nobody actually talked to anybody else at the business when they designed the site. But today, I mean it’s clear that you can’t have a useful website without a ton of content. You can’t have probably a useful website from a marketing standpoint without considering search engine optimization even in the design phase. I mean, so how do you balance design content and SEO? Because I think they almost have to be done together, don’t they?

Chris Martinez: Yeah. So the easy answer is to hire somebody who knows what they’re doing. Because if you’re a business owner, it’s very, very difficult for you to be able to implement all these things yourself in addition to running your own business. But everything does need to work together and it needs to be congruent in conveying your message. So for design, for example, I’m not a designer. We have a lot of designers here and I’ve hired many of them, amazing ones. And so there’s a thing called color theory and basically, color theory is that different colors convey different emotions. So depending on who your client is or company that you have in your value proposition, you want to have certain colors that reflect and convey emotions to that perspective visitor.

Chris Martinez: In terms of copy, I mean, copy is unbelievably important because people are going to read what’s on the page and that’s one of the ways that they’re going to determine whether or not you can help them or not. And then in terms of development, designers can design amazing things or you might have some concepts in your brain as to how you want things to function on the website, and a developer has to come in and be actually able to make those things come to reality on a website. And then from the marketing team, “How are we going to drive traffic? How are we going to optimize things and basically, get the most leads that we possibly can and making tweaks and changes as we go along the way?”

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John Jantsch: Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about the importance, the overarching importance of a website, and so I think that puts a lot of pressure on getting it done. So you actually you have a certain model for working with business owners and you work with a lot of agencies. You’re a partner of Duct Tape Marketing. Let’s just kind of briefly define what are kind of the options out there for somebody trying to get a website built? So they realize maybe they’re starting a new business and so they’re starting from scratch. What are the many options that they have available to get a website built?

Chris Martinez: I mean, I like to say that there’re really only three options. You can do it yourself, you can hire an in-house team to do it or you can outsource it and basically contract an agency or your local web development company to be able to build that for you. And most people when they’re starting out, they opt for option one, which is doing it themselves or hiring a company to be able to do it for them.

John Jantsch: Well, and really over time, it’s gotten easier. I mean, you’ve got WordPress as a core, CMS and there’re lots of themes and there’re lots of page builders, so in a lot of ways getting it done, I mean just physically getting it done has gotten a lot easier. But again, I think the question comes down to getting it done well is one consideration. And the other consideration for a lot of business owners is, is that a good use of your time? I mean, I know I used to actually put together WordPress websites and I mean, you can go down a black hole and two days have passed and you haven’t eaten, you haven’t drank any water. I mean, if the site’s done, but maybe that wasn’t a good use of your last two days. So I’d like to give you an opportunity to kind of explain your model at DUDE Agency because I think it’s a bit of a hybrid.

Chris Martinez: Yeah. So we work with digital agencies. So those companies that are building out the websites, they’re typically very, very good at the strategy and they’re very good at selling, so they work with the local businesses and they come up with this overall plan. And then where they struggle is they have a hard time in the operations and actually getting these projects completed on time and on budget. And that’s basically where we come in and we give the agencies, the people as well as the processes so that they can take on more projects and get these projects done profitably. And so our process is basically, we run a subscription-based model. We have a team of people, my company’s like you mentioned in the beginning of the show, our company is actually located in Tijuana, Mexico, which nobody ever thinks of when it comes to web design and development. And when most people think of Tijuana, they’re thinking of other things that we won’t talk about, but we all know what they are.

Chris Martinez: So yeah. So we give these agencies a team of people to help them set up and implement. So the strategy’s already created, the instructions are given to us and then we’re able to build everything out and any tweaks and changes that need to be done we have our team here in Tijuana to be able to help get all those things done. And one thing I do want to mention is that a website is never finished. It’s always a work in progress, not just like fixing tweaks and changes. Actually on my own website yesterday, for some reason a button was showing really, really strange on the website.

Chris Martinez: So I sent a little a support request over to my team and I said, “Hey guys, can you fix this?” And they were able to fix it really right away. Those little things happen all the time. But on a bigger scale, once you start driving more people to the website and you start collecting data because that’s another function of a website. This website that I should’ve mentioned is it’s a data collection center. So once you start to collect data, then you can make updates and changes to the site to help improve what we call conversion, getting more leads.

Chris Martinez: So maybe your offer that you had up there for the free consultation is just bombing and so you want to change it. And so maybe instead of free consultation you change the verbiage and it could be meet your new consultant, or maybe you change it all together and it’s like download an eBook and then it goes into something else after that, after you’ve built a little trust with that perspective visitor. So all those tweaks and changes are gathered by an agency and then interpreted into, “Hey, this is what we need to do to optimize,” and optimization is always, it’s always ongoing so it never really stops. And so all those support tasks, technical and design-related, those are the things that we help agencies with.

John Jantsch: And you mentioned a support ticket. And one of the things that I think I is, in my experience, I’ve worked with a lot of business owners and we’ve come into websites that in various different ways and some needed a total overhaul, some needed new content, some had been around forever and they were on this old platform. And I mean it didn’t ever seem like two of them are alike. How have you been able to streamline the process or actually create process that has allowed you to really move pretty rapidly through what sometimes can be a clumsy process?

Chris Martinez: Yeah, this is one of the things that I nerd out on and that I really, really get excited about that most people are like, “God, get this away from me,” But it’s like standard operating procedures, right? And being able to see, “Okay, these things might all look different, but how can we identify what’s similar within all of them so that we can create standards and processes for that?” So one of the things is standardizing your onboarding process. So the way that you’re collecting information from the customer, and this actually can apply to any business.

Chris Martinez: If you have a new client let’s standardize the way that we’re collecting all the information that we need so that we can start implementing the solution. I mean I’m talking about scripting it out, asking the same questions, inputting the information the exact same way with every single client and new client project. And then once that gets conveyed over to whoever’s going to start that implementation process, having that person do that process the same way every single time. And basically, just breaking down all those things into very, very small, manageable steps.

John Jantsch: So I think process is great, but how do you also fight the inevitable client or two clients that say, “Well, we just want to do it this way. I mean this is how we’ve always done it.” And then you don’t want to lose the business so you bend a little and next thing you know you’ve got 10 different variations of the process. Have you been able to wrangle that in?

Chris Martinez: Yes, and I believe that that starts in the prospecting and sales conversation. So when you work with somebody, you want to establish yourself as the expert. I’ve torn both of my Achilles, believe it or not, and so I’ve had two very, very different experiences. The first time I tore my Achilles on my left leg, I had absolutely no idea what that process was like. I didn’t know that there were different doctors with different skill sets. I didn’t know that there were different procedures. I didn’t know that there were different ways to rehab it. So I went into the first guy and it was a disaster. I mean, I play soccer, I’ve played soccer my whole life and my recovery with that was over two years. It was horrible.

Chris Martinez: The second time I did it, I went into the doctor knowing exactly what I wanted and I told the doctor, “Hey, I want this type of procedure,” and then he said, “Perfect. I understand exactly what you’re looking for. We’re going to do this, this, this and this and this and we’ll have you up and walking again within 10 weeks,” and I was like, “This is fantastic.” Now, I did not question the second doctor’s procedures at all because he completely understood what I was looking for and he had the social proof to back it up that he could give me the results. He could have told me to eat a can of lima beans every single day and I would have done it because I had that much respect for his expertise. And he had the proof. On his walls, he had all these pictures of professional soccer players that he had worked with.

Chris Martinez: And so that’s the type of relationship that you want to establish with your new client even before they become a client. So that then they know that you’re the expert and they’re essentially hiring you because of your expertise. And the big thing with clients is that in many ways they want to be told what to do, but they just want to feel like they’re a part of the process. Nobody wants to feel they’re there having information jammed down their throat. And so you could actually build that into your onboarding process by asking them, “Hey, so when we initially spoke, you said you’re looking for this, this, and this. Tell me a little bit more about that.”

Chris Martinez: And then once they give that to you, now they feel like they’re giving you information. You might actually disregard everything that they say, but still, they feel like they’re a part of this process. And now as you move into the next stage, you can basically deliver your solution that you know is going to work and then also say, “Hey, and this is how we integrated in your recommendations or your requests.” and now they feel like this is a teamwork type of project.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And I’ve always contended that you get ideal clients by teaching them how to be ideal. And if you have a process that you know is going to deliver value, that if they adhere to it, then I think you can get pretty confident about saying, “No, we know this is good for you.” And I think you’re right. I think, if we don’t guide clients they just assume that it’s up to them, to design the process, and so I wholeheartedly agree. So, Chris, where can people out more about you and your work at DUDE Agency?

Chris Martinez: Yeah, so you can go to the website at dudeagency.io and then we’re also on Facebook, facebook.com/dudeagency and then Instagram dudeagency.io and then also on YouTube too. So we have a lot of really cool videos, fun as well as educational and stuff. And then we also have our podcasts on our dudeagency.io website, and I do know a certain somebody who is going to be on that very, very soon, so it’s a great, great listen. Yeah.

John Jantsch: Awesome. Yeah. Thanks, Chris. And, of course, we’re going to see you at the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network Summit in October and Savannah. Yeah.

Chris Martinez: I cannot wait. Cannot wait.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Looking forward to it. So thanks for stopping by and we’ll see you soon.

Building a Business Your Team and Customers Love

Building a Business Your Team and Customers Love written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Seve Farber
Podcast Transcript

Steve Farber headshotOn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I chat with author, speaker, and leadership coach Steve Farber. He is the founder and CEO of The Extreme Leadership Institute, where he helps leaders in the business, non-profit, and educational worlds grow and learn to inspire.

He’s written four books about leadership and business, including his latest, Love is Just Damn Good Business: Do What You Love in the Service of People Who Love What You Do.

Farber and I discuss the foundations of his most recent book, and he shares how integrating love into your business model can inspire employees and win you loyal fans. Then, he gives leaders a framework for cultivating love in their own businesses.

Questions I ask Steve Farber:

  • When you say “love” in the title of a business book, what do you really mean?
  • How do you make love a discipline and a practice in business?
  • What’s the link between loving what you do and creating a business your customers love?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How the structure of modern life influences the way people approach their work.
  • What the LEAP model is and how you can apply it in your business.
  • Why focusing on impact can help you find the love in your own business.

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Steve Farber:

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

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Transcript of Building a Business Your Team and Customers Love

Transcript of Building a Business Your Team and Customers Love written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

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Transcript

Klaviyo logo

John Jantsch: This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Klaviyo. Klaviyo is a platform that helps growth-focused eCommerce brands drive more sales with super-targeted, highly relevant email, Facebook and Instagram marketing.

John Jantsch: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Steve Farber. He is the founder and CEO of the Extreme Leadership Institute. And he’s also the author of a book we’re going to talk about today, Love is Just Damn Good Business: Do What You Love in the Service of People Who Love What You Do. So Steve, welcome to the show.

Steve Farber: Thanks, John. It’s great to be here with you.

John Jantsch: So there’s been a lot written over the years about this idea of do what you love. And actually I think one of the great distinctions that you have added to this is in the service of people who love what you do. And I think a lot of people get that equation wrong.

Steve Farber: Yeah, I think you’re right. Do what you love is, it’s a nice to have, right? And we all aspire to that, I would guess. I don’t think there’s many human beings that would say, “Nah, I’m really not interested in that.” But this whole notion of that’s all it takes, that’s the end of the story, if you can reach that everything is taken care of, is really not accurate. So for example, if all I’m doing is what I love, right? That’s it. And I don’t care about the impact of what that is on anybody else, as long as I’m doing what I love. That’s just another way of saying narcissism. So you know, doing what you love is important, but for what purpose and toward what end. So do what you love in the service of people who love what you do, I believe really creates the full context for that. So yes, I’m doing what I love, but I’m using that, I’m tapping into that, I’m harnessing that in order to give great value to you. To you, my colleague, to you, my employee, to you, my customer. So yes, I’m doing what I love, but I’m using that to give great value to you. And if I do that to its fullest, what’s going to happen is you’re going to reciprocate, you’re going to love me in return. And that’s where our great customers come from, among other things.

John Jantsch: Yeah. I can think of half a dozen things that I love to do that no one would pay me for. But one of the things that I think is missed, and I think maybe I want to pull this out of you a little bit because over the years what I’ve experienced is that it’s almost cyclical. You’re going to love your… If you’re doing something for people who love what you do, it’s going to increase you’re loving what you do. And think that a lot of people… You know, I tell people all the time that are looking for, how do I find that thing I love? I tell people all the time, “Get good at something and I bet you love it.” And I think it’s the same way here. Get good at serving some ideal client delivering tons of value and it’s actually going to increase how you love your business.

Steve Farber: Yeah, I think it’s a really important point. You know, we like to kind of sort things out and to make them into a nice, neat, linear kind of a formula or a process and it’s very organic, right? So, like you said, if I’m doing work that I’m not particularly fond of, right? But I’ve been doing it for a while and I’ve gotten really good at it. And then I start to notice that, well, you know, I really enjoy being good at this and I like the impact that it’s having on people. And maybe I’ve made some great relationships at work and maybe I get letters from my customers or clients telling me what kind of difference I’ve made in their lives. And then pretty soon as it starts to dawn on me, you know what? I really do… At first, maybe it’s, I’m rather fond of this. And over time it can become more of a passion, right?

John Jantsch: So I’m sure you have to defend this all the time, if you’re going to put love in the title of a business book that you know loves this kind of soft thing. I’ve actually experienced it to be really hard, but I don’t think you’re talking about the greeting card kind of love are you?

Steve Farber: No, I’m not talking about love as a sentiment, but more like love as a practice in a discipline, right? So saying the words is easy, writing the card is nice and it makes people feel good to get to get a nice card, and I think that’s something we should all do. But in business it’s not simply about going through gestures like that. It’s about really, I like to call it, operationalizing love as a business practice. So what we have to answer is what does that look like? What does love look like in our business? Or what should it look like? If I want to create an environment, for example, that people love working in because I understand that people that love working here are going to do better work and they’re going to attract other people like them. They’re going to be my best recruiters.

Steve Farber: And I’m going to attract and retain the best possible talent, right? If I want to create that kind of environment that I believe we all should, then I’ve got to ask the question, what do I need to do differently to show the people that work with me, for me and around me, that I love them? And that I appreciate they’re working here and that I value their contribution. What do I have to do in terms of how I engage them in making decisions and the physical environment and our policies and procedures. It filters into all of that. So you’re right, love is not soft, it is hard and it takes discipline and it takes practice. And yeah, I suppose there’s a bit of a risk in slapping it right there on the front cover of a book. But, you know, that’s the… I’ve been doing this for 30 years, John, this is the conclusion that I’ve come to, it’s inescapable. It’s inescapable. So why not just put it out there and sound the trumpets, et cetera.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And I’m on board, I’ve been saying it for 30 years as well. However, probably like you, I remember it was till about 15 years ago that you didn’t get a lot of eye rolls still, even with business people, hardcore business people that thought, you know, show me the money, show me the numbers on this kind of stuff. But I’m finding more and more people and maybe it’s a symptom of the fact that there seems to be no division between work and play and family. And it’s like, it’s all kind of run together today. And do you feel like that dynamic has actually made it easier for people to accept this idea of something that maybe was seen as, “Oh no, I love my family and I love my church and my…” That kind of stuff that was over there. But now I cross over the door into the business and I’m a different person and it seems like that’s gone away a little, hasn’t it?

Steve Farber: Yeah, I think it has. I think we’re progressing along those lines. And having said that, for your more mature listeners who may remember Tom Peters, and I wish that everybody would, but the younger generation doesn’t know him as well. I was vice president of Tom’s company back in the ’90s, from ’94 to 2000. So Tom Peter’s is arguably one of the greatest management thinkers of our day. And we were talking about this stuff back then in the early and the mid-’90s. That people want to do meaningful work and they want to love their work and we should create an environment that people can really do incredible things. And so the concept is nothing new but then using the word love overtly out front as a challenge to people, that’s still a little bit new.

Steve Farber: So what I’ve found is what is… I think you and I have experienced the same thing. There is very little eye-rolling that happens in response to this when it’s put in the right context, all right? I mean if I were to come out on stage in one of my keynotes and say, “Listen man, you know, the solution is all you need is love. Just, just love everybody and let’s, let’s all be happy all the time.” It would empty the room, but that’s not what this is. So, the argument, if that’s the right word, is our competitive advantage comes from having our customers and clients love what we do for them. That’s it. I mean, we should all know that by now. Anything short of that, there’s no loyalty. Right?

Steve Farber: So then let’s back it up one more step. The only way to really create that kind of experience for customers in a meaningful and sustainable way over time is to create a culture or an environment or a team or a company that people love working in. And I can’t do that. As a leader, as an entrepreneur, as a business person, as a colleague, I can’t create or contribute to that kind of culture that people love working in, unless I love this, the team, the company, the values we stand for, the customers that we’re serving, myself first.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And like so many things related to love. I mean it’s pretty hard to fake it. You know, you’ve got some great case studies of companies that have shown ROI, shown proven results from taking this point of view. But I’m sure you’ve also worked with or talked with organizations that are, “Yeah, we’re on board. You’re right. This makes sense. Everybody’s going to love our company now.” So how do you actually do that? As opposed to just having a meeting about it once a quarter.

Steve Farber: Yeah. So that’s the thing. It is about doing it, not having done it or having talked about it at a meeting and checking it off of your list. That’s what I mean when I say it’s a discipline and a practice. Right? So really what it starts with though, I believe it does start with laying the expectation out there, right? We get to say to your team, we want to create an experience that our customers are going to love, is a very different challenge from saying we want to improve customer service, right? So, if you’re on my team or brainstorming together and I say to the team, Hey, how can we better show our customers that we love them? We’re going to get a different quality of idea then if we say, how do we improve customer service?

Steve Farber: So the languaging is important, but it’s just the start, right? So then the question is, well, if that’s really what we want… So if you want to create an environment that people love working in, for all the reasons we just talked about, then what should that look like in the way that we do business, in the way that we contribute to this culture, in all of the nuts and bolts and the very fabric of the way that we do business. And that’s something that we need to work on consistently over time. It’s not something that you’ll slap the copy of love is just damn good business on everybody’s desk and say, read it and voila. You know, we’re all a bunch of a… You know, now we’re all driving around in Volkswagen bugs and beetles and you know… That is not what this is, it takes practice and discipline over time. And when I find really interesting about this, John, is that our collective expectation as business people, and I’ve seen this in in North America, I’ve seen it around the world, our expectation is that people see that love has no place at work.

Steve Farber: Yet. And I can’t prove this scientifically, but anecdotally I will tell you that most people that I talk to and work with, they already get this. They already knew this. They just thought that maybe something was wrong with them, right? They already had this impulse and this idea and this kind of tendency, but they’ve been conditioned to believe that it has no place at work. So we’ve got this weird kind of dynamic going on that everybody thinks that everybody’s going to be resistant to this idea, but really very few people are. I mean there are certainly are some and there are always going to be some people that say, “You know what? This is not going to happen in our business. I pay people and they do their job and that’s it.” And that’s cool. That’s cool, I’m just not going to end up working with those people most likely. I’m not in the business of convincing anybody of anything.

John Jantsch: Yeah, I think it’s going to be people who love what you do, right?

Steve Farber: Yeah, I think. So really, I’m not in the business of convincing anybody, but I am in the business of confirming what a lot of people already know and just haven’t known what to do with it.

John Jantsch: I want to remind you that this episode is brought to you by Klaviyo. Klaviyo helps you build meaningful customer relationships by listening and understanding cues from your customers. And this allows you to easily turn that information into valuable marketing messages. There’s powerful segmentation, email autoresponders that are ready to go, great reporting. You want to learn a little bit about the secret to building customer relationships, they’ve got a really fun series called Klaviyo’s Beyond Black Friday. It’s a docuseries, a lot of fun, quick lessons, just head on over to klaviyo.com/beyondBF, beyond Black Friday.

John Jantsch: So you have a bit of a model that you call LEAP, as kind of the pillars of this. And maybe briefly you could, L-E-A-P, tell us what those stand for. But then I’d like you to kind of come back and say, okay, if I’ve got a successful remodeling business, for example, a local business, how do I bring LEAP into play now? So first unpack LEAP and then let’s go into kind of how that would work in a real business.

Steve Farber: Sure. And by the way, you know this whole model is built on observations of real business. So, this was not created in an ivory tower, saying, well what sounds nice and that people would buy, right? This is observation, trying to encapsulate what I’ve learned in 30 years of doing this work. But LEAP, it’s the roadmap or the framework, it stands for love, that’s the first foundational element to this, energy, audacity and proof. Love, energy, audacity and proof. I first wrote about this model in my first book called The Radical Leap, which came out in its first edition way back in 2004. So this model has been out there for quite some time, lots of companies and individuals have been using it to great success in their business. So there’s an action element to all this.

Steve Farber: So if I take love, energy, audacity, and proof and put it into an action phrase, it’s cultivate love, generate energy, inspire audacity, and provide proof. So love is what we’ve been talking about here so far. It’s really the foundation for this whole thing. Energy is the juice, the enthusiasm, the engagement that we bring to bear on everything that we do. Audacity is a pretty highly charged word and I define it as a bold and blatant disregard for normal constraints in order to change things for the better. So it’s not think outside the box, it’s more like what box? Right? And then finally, proof is everything from the results that we get… So, you know, as business people, our proof is largely in the bottom line, certainly. But proof also has a personal element to it, am I proving that I mean what I say and I’m not just saying it. I mean what I say and I prove that through the consistency and congruency between my words and my actions. I say something, you see me do it. It’s the old walk your talk, practice what you preach, lead by example, kind of a thing, right?

Steve Farber: So love, energy, audacity, and proof. So in a business like a remodeling business or any professional services company or any fortune 100 company for that matter. The question is whatever it is that you are working on, so if it’s the business as a whole or a particular project, can I cultivate the love for this project, idea, business, et cetera? Can I generate if… Let me think of it this way, if I can cultivate the love for it, generate the energy necessary in order to get that done, inspire myself and others to be audacious in this pursuit with generating big ideas and taking bold action, and provide proof along the way that I’m making progress, whatever it is that I’m trying to do, I have a better chance of succeeding in it. Right?

John Jantsch: Absolutely. I will tell you by observation, I’ve worked with thousands of businesses and increasingly this idea of love and energy and even proof, I think make a lot of sense to anybody who’s trying to run a business this way. The one that really struck me is I see very little people thinking, at least proactively, about the potential impact their business is having on the world. In some, occasionally after the fact, “Wow, we didn’t mean to, but we sure helped a lot of people.” You know? It seems like. And I think that… Well, again, this is just personal bias, I think that idea for a lot of existing businesses probably has more potential than any component of this because I think it’s so radically different than how most operate.

Steve Farber: Yeah. So I think that varies from company to company for sure. But just to give you a little confirmation of your instinct there, John, I did a survey… This has been maybe at least five years ago now. I just went out to my list and most folks are at least relatively familiar with that LEAP framework. And I said of these four, love, energy, audacity, and proof, what do you feel you need the most help with? And audacity came out number one, by a factor of like three to one. And I think… So there’s a lot to, as we like to say nowadays, unpack there, but audacity involves risk, right? It’s challenging the norms, it’s going beyond the status quo. And risk by definition is a scary thing. If it didn’t feel scary, we wouldn’t feel like we’re taking a risk.

Steve Farber: I mean, a risk means there’s no guarantee of a positive outcome and that scares us. Right? And the only way to really have a huge impact and be innovative and be a market leader is to take risks. Again, we know it intellectually, every business book that’s ever been written tells us that we need to do that. But there’s a difference between the intellectual understanding and the actual experience of it, right? So the connection there is, if I really love this idea, I’m much more likely to take a risk in order to carry it out. So there’s a very strong connection. You know, love and fear are kind of two sides of the same coin here, love is the motivation that gets me to step up and the fear associated with audacity is what the experience feels like and kind of some of the things that I need to do.

Steve Farber: So if you expand that to its fullest, the most audacious thing that we can do, as business people and as individuals, is to strive to change the world for the better. To have that impact that you were just talking about. And a lot of companies don’t… If I’m going to remodel somebody’s kitchen, for example, I’m not thinking about changing the world. I’m thinking about all the stuff that I’ve got to get done, hopefully, on time and within the budget. Right? And if we could do that, man, that’s really something.

John Jantsch: Well, that’s proof. That’s what I mean. Yeah. That’s proof that we do [crosstalk 00:20:05]-

Steve Farber: And very important. Right? But here’s the thing with a little bit of added perspective, okay? So listen, if I remodel this person’s kitchen, am I changing the world? Well, maybe not world with a capital-W but I’m damn well changing the world of their family and I’m having an impact by doing phenomenal work for them. And if I do phenomenal work for them and their family feels that for decades to come, are you going to tell me that that’s not going to impact my business in terms of my reputation and the word of mouth and referrals and all that stuff? Of course it is, but we just think… We limit ourselves. So we limit our own view of our capability to change at least our piece of the world for the better and those small-w worlds, as I like to refer to them, they add up and we are having an impact. So you don’t have to be Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa change the world. You could be Bob or Jane, the interior designer, that changes the world of their customers. And that’s a phenomenal thing.

John Jantsch: Well, I do marketing consulting, and over the years, my best clients are ones that I started actually looking for them as a behavior, were the ones that were trying to change their industry. They were trying to raise it up, they participated in it, they were on committees, they were in their association. And I think that that’s not much of a leap to have a pretty significant impact on your industry. But I think it’s more of the point of view of that’s one of our goals rather than just getting through the day.

Steve Farber: Yeah, exactly. It’s like, I think just like anything else, people get involved in causes and associations for any number of reasons. And there are those people that will do that for networking, they want to make the connections. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but you can always tell the difference. For somebody who’s involved in… Let’s just say an association for example, involved in an association because they want to make contacts that will help their business and those that want to really leverage the collection of people there to do something phenomenal. You could tell the difference. And I think the more we tap into that part of ourselves or culture that part of ourselves, the more possibilities it opens up for us in business and in our communities and beyond.

John Jantsch: Speaking with Steve Farber, he is the author of Love is Just Damn Good Business. So Steve, why don’t you tell people where they can find the book and of course find more about your work.

Steve Farber: Sure. Well, the book of course is available wherever fine books are sold, including, of course, Amazon, et cetera. And you can find me at stevefarber.com and if you can remember my name, you can find me pretty much anywhere. So on Twitter it’s @stevefarber and Instagram is Steve Farber and LinkedIn is Steve Farber and Facebook of Steve Harvey. You get the picture. So yeah, I’m very easy to find. And on the website at stevefarber.com we’ve got a lot of great resources, video and audios, and the blog lives there and I’ve got digital learning experience and lots of really great stuff. So I invite you to come and check it out.

John Jantsch: Awesome. Well thanks Steve for joining us and hopefully we’ll run into you soon out there on the road.

Steve Farber: Thank you, John.

Basics of On Page SEO

Basics of On Page SEO written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

A great SEO strategy is focused on getting your entire website to rank well. Rather than using generic keywords across all of your pages, you can tailor your SEO page-by-page, giving each individual webpage the best shot at performing well in SERPs.

That’s what on page SEO is all about. When you focus on these SEO elements on each page of your website, you can spread the SEO wealth and work to get multiple pages ranking for specific, targeted keywords. Here are the elements of on page SEO that every business should be thinking about.

Create a Legible URL

Every URL on your website should be short, sweet, and keyword-rich. Establishing the keywords for your homepage and main product pages are usually straightforward. Your homepage will likely be your business name. Your product pages might feature the names of the specific products. Your contact page should say just that in the URL.

Things sometimes get a bit more complicated when you’re creating URLs for content pages. How do you name each blog post? What’s the best URL for your latest podcast episode? The same basic principles apply here.

Keep the URLs as short as possible. Write them in plain english, avoiding number or letter sequences that might represent dates or mean something to your team behind the scenes, but that will read as gibberish to an outsider. And include relevant keywords in a way that makes sense. Don’t simply stuff keywords into URLs for the sake of hitting an arbitrary keyword goalpost.

Craft a Keyword-Rich Title

Each page on your website should also have its own title. Don’t get your title confused with your blog post headline; they’re two different things. Your headline is what appears at the top of your post, whereas your title is an attribute that affects your search engine ranking.

A title is the blue header that appears in Google search results, so you want it to be matter-of-fact and contain a relevant keyword early on. While blog post headlines should be created to entice the reader and draw them in, your title should cut right to the chase. What is this page about? The title will be read by both human prospects and customers as well as Google’s robots, which are looking to understand the content of your page.

There are a number of tools out there designed to help you create an effective SEO title for each of your website’s pages. If yours is a WordPress site, I’d highly recommend the Yoast plugin.

Write an Enticing Description

Your description is the other half of your SERPs metadata. While your title is the blue link that Google searchers click on to travel to your page, the description is the blurb underneath that gives them more information about what they can expect to find on the page.

As I said above, your title should be matter-of-fact; it’s the description where you can get creative and really work to draw the reader in. I like to think of descriptions as an ad for the page itself. In SEO strategies of yore, people tried to stuff as many keywords into descriptions as possible, thinking they’d trick the search engines into ranking the page higher based on their keyword-heavy word salad.

In reality, it’s the descriptions that are written for your audience, not search engine bots, that will win out. When your descriptions draw readers in, they click on the blue link. And actual attention from real readers is better than sneaky attempts to cram keywords in where they shouldn’t be.

Descriptions are another metadata component that the Yoast plugin can help with. The plugin allows you to change the description for each page, so that you’re not stuck with generic information that Google pulls from your site.

Include SEO Elements in Images

Images can do more than add visual interest to your website. By doing a little bit of behind-the-scenes work on your images, you can put them to work for your SEO strategy.

Whenever you include an image on your website, give the file a keyword rich title. If you run a lawn care business and are including a photo of a garden you worked on, rather than leaving the image file as the date the photo was taken, change it to something like “[Business name] garden care Denver Colorado.”

The same approach should be taken when including Alt text on images. Alt text is designed to help search engines understand what an image is about. A rich Alt text description that includes relevant keywords is yet another way to signal to search engines just what this specific page on your website is about.

Focus on H1 Headings

When you think about how you want to organize your on-page content, you should consider both human and robot audiences.

Think about how to divide the content up in a way that makes it easy for readers to understand. Let’s return to the lawn care company example. Say you’re writing a blog post about how to eliminate common lawn and garden pests. Before you write the post, create an outline. Where do you need to start when it comes to explaining this topic? What basics should you include for those who know nothing about lawn care? Consider the most sensible order in which to present the information.

With the lawn pest example, maybe you start by outlining signs a reader’s lawn might have a problem, with descriptions and photos to help them figure out just what kind of pest might be causing their particular issue. Then, you can detail specific courses of treatment for each type of pest.

Once you’ve decided how to divide up your content for reader usability, you want to think about how to organize that information in an SEO-friendly manner. Your headline should become an H1 heading. Your sub-points should be H2 headings, and bullet points can help organize information under each subcategory. While this strategy for organizing content makes it easier for readers to skim and settle on the information they’re looking for, it also helps Google to better understand your content.

Include Internal and External Links

A well-optimized page will include both internal and external links. Including internal links to other pages with relevant content can help Google to better understand how all of your content is related. When you include internal links, make sure the anchor text has keywords in it. That can boost your rankings with search engines.

Some people are hesitant to include external links on their site. Won’t that just drive traffic away from me and to someone else’s business? In reality, high-authority external links create a better user experience and are good for SEO. When you can draw a connection between your brand and a well-established and respected business’s page, it benefits you in the eyes of both your prospects and search engines’ algorithms.

On page SEO is a critical component in your overall SEO strategy. It’s all well and good to have broad SEO goals for your site, but you also want to optimize each page individually to give it the greatest chance at standing out in SERPS in its specific area of focus.

Forbes Interview with Andy Molinsky – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur

Forbes Interview with Andy Molinsky – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

John Jantsch’s latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur, is due out October 2019. He sat down for an interview with Andy Molinsky in which he elaborated on the concept of the self-reliant entrepreneur. Jantsch shares why self-reliance is such a critical trait for entrepreneurs to possess, the common mistakes he sees young entrepreneurs making, and what piece of advice he’d give to his younger self.

Check it out – John Jantsch’s Forbes interview

Weekend Favs October 12

Weekend Favs October 12 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • StoryBoost – Design beautifully-branded Instagram stories.
  • Shoulder Tap – Manage requests for your time coming through Slack.
  • Milk Icons – Access a library of hundreds of vector icons.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

Convince & Convert Social Pros Podcast – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur

Convince & Convert Social Pros Podcast – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Entrepreneurs need daily inspiration to find the creativity they need to run and market their business. In his latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur, John Jantsch turns to the past for inspiration. He’s gathered quotes from famous mid 19th-Century authors who were part of the transcendentalist movement, and he’s applied their writings to aspects of the modern entrepreneurial journey.

In this episode of the Social Pros Podcast, Jantsch sits down with hosts Jay Baer and Adam Brown to discuss his book and what entrepreneurs and those working in social media and marketing can learn from these authors about harnessing your creativity to create wins.

Check it out – Convince & Convert Social Pros Podcast episode with John Jantsch

CMI Weekly Wrap Podcast – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur

CMI Weekly Wrap Podcast – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

John Jantsch stop by the CMI Weekly Wrap podcast to chat with Robert Rose about his latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur. The book offers 366 readings from transcendentalist authors with musings, explorations, and challenge questions from Jantsch, aimed at helping those on an entrepreneurial journey to grow and improve every day.

In this interview, Jantsch and Rose discuss some of the central themes of the book, including self-reliance, trust, and empathy.

Check it out – the CMI Weekly Wrap Podcast episode with John Jantsch

The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur Reading: October 10

The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur Reading: October 10 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur – October 10

It’s time for another episode of The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur. Once a week, I’m sharing a reading from my new book, due out in October 2019. The book is structured around 366 daily meditations for entrepreneurs. They begin with a quote from some of the great authors of the mid-19th Century, which I then place in a modern context for today’s entrepreneurs and business owners.

The excerpt below is from the October 10 entry.

Today’s Reading: Abundant Trust

“He who is firmly seated in authority soon learns to think of security, and not progress, the highest lesson of statecraft. From the summit of power people no longer turn their eyes upward, but begin to look about them.”

James Russell Lowell – “New England Two Centuries Ago” Literary Essays (1865)

It’s funny how we scratch and claw and dig our way to the top, and then once we get there we spend an enormous amount of time looking back and around to make sure sure nothing is crumbling around us.

It’s sort of the nature of how this game is often portrayed. Beat the competition, win, cash the check (or some new kind of money).

Funny thing is, few things erode progress faster than getting stuck in Paranoiaville on what feels like your slippery summit. Want to pick up some momentum again? Start down the hill, release the breaks, fly on by, and start to trust again.

Trust in abundance.

Extend trust to those who believe in you and your dreams. People, customers, partners, team members, want to go on this journey with you, if you’ll let them. They want you to show them how you can help them. They don’t need you to have the answers or even a plan, they just want to know you care about their climb up the hill too. Mostly, get out of their way.

Want to win? Show up with a passionate community ready to eat marshmallows with you. (You know they’re made from horse hooves right?)

Today, turn your eyes upward, and hand out the marshmallows.

Challenge Question: If someone wrote a story about you, would you be the champion or the challenger?

Want to learn more about The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur? Click here.

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

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

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How to Focus on High-Value Work

How to Focus on High-Value Work written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with David Finkel
Podcast Transcript

Today on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I speak with business coach and author David Finkel. He is the founder of Maui Mastermind and the author of several books, including his latest, The Freedom Formula: How to Succeed in Business Without Sacrificing Your Family, Health, or Life.

Through his work with Maui Mastermind, Finkel has coached over 100,000 clients, helping them to buy, build, and sell billions of dollars of business assets.

He is the author of 11 business and financial books, which have become Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestsellers. He’s also written for over 6,500 publications across the United States.

In this episode, we discuss his latest book, The Freedom Formula, and touch upon how leaders can move away from busy, time-stealing tasks and help guide themselves and their team towards their highest-value work.

Questions I ask David Finkel:

  • How do we avoid falling into the trap of time-stealing activities?
  • How do you identify your highest payoff work?
  • What is the freedom formula when it comes to involving your entire team?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • The difference between the time and effort economy versus the value economy.
  • Why focusing on fewer objectives is actually better.
  • How to coach your promising team members for development.

Key takeaways from the episode and more about David Finkel

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

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Transcript of How to Focus on High-Value Work

Transcript of How to Focus on High-Value Work written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Back to Podcast

Transcript

John Jantsch: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is David Finkel. He’s the founder and CEO of Maui Mastermind, and he’s also the author of a book we’re going to talk about today. The Freedom Formula: How to Succeed in Business Without Sacrificing Your Family, Health, or Life. So welcome David.

David Finkel: Oh John, a pleasure to be back here on the show.

John Jantsch: So there’s been a lot of work lately that I’ve covered, that a lot of authors who have covered, about this idea that that clearly working harder and longer isn’t the answer. Is that a way to maybe sum up the thesis behind the freedom formula?

David Finkel: It sure is, and I’ll give a different metaphor for it. I think we operate in the world in two different economies. There’s one economy, we call it the time and effort economy, and in a time and effort economy, we think we’re getting paid for hours, effort, and attitude, right? If it was a Hollywood movie, we would probably choose Rocky as its poster child. And we say, “Well, hey, he became heavyweight champion.” And I would just say to somebody who’s thinking about that, number one, that was Hollywood in the 1970s, but number two, there’s got to be a better way to succeed in business, whether it’s your own company, or you’re key executive somewhere else, than just absorbing hours and hours and hours of punishing time and commitment for a career to have that.

David Finkel: So then there’s the other economy that operates behind the scenes. We call this the value economy, and in the value economy we’re getting paid for results. And everyone says, “Oh, I get this.” It becomes almost a cliche in our culture that I should work smart, not hard. But the reality is most people don’t know how to operationalize that, how to actually do that in the face of 100 plus emails a day, probably four different app feeds, text feeds and other things that they’re dealing with. The world has just changed. I mean, it’s so easy to work from anywhere at any time, and the expectations around that have been such that we haven’t updated the way that we design how we run our day, week, quarter, and company to accommodate that so that we actually behave in the value economy. Because most people … Most people say, “Of course I should be in the value economy.” But we don’t realize how we ourselves live in the time and effort economy, or even worse, we push our staff to subtly behave in that time and effort way.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And I think it certainly, as I listened to you, and I know we’re going to unpack this, it really has to be an intentional thing too because, man, there are a lot of time stealers out there that, as you said, it sort of can unconsciously … The day goes by and you, you come home, and my spouse asks me, “So what happened good today?” Well, I don’t know, but I sure was busy. I think that that’s a trap, isn’t it?

David Finkel: It absolutely is. It’s funny. So in chapter two of the book, we have this quiz in there for the 10 time stealers. We had done this originally about four years ago at a large conference we had, we had business owners and key executives answer. On average, these 10 things were taking up 18 hours or more of their week. 900 hours of their work life every year was going to things that were creating almost no value for their company. When they added up those hours each week, and I had to multiply that by 48 assuming they were taking four weeks off, they were floored. Here’s what became even worse, John, when I said, “Okay, now do you think your staff [inaudible] as well, or better than you, or the same?” Most people said about the same or worse, which means it’s not just their 900 hours, but the 900 hours of their five people on their leadership team each. And they were horrified when they did the math on that,

John Jantsch: We only have so many days, or I’m sorry, so much time. Well, I guess we have so many days, but we only have so much time in the day. And so I’ve been a big proponent of this idea of focusing on your highest pay-off work if you’ve only got so many hours a day. But how do you advise people … Because I know you agree with that idea, but how do you advise people to figure out what is their highest pay-off work?

David Finkel: Yeah. The first step is to actually do that in writing. And so, I mean, I guess I’ve made a career out of not just telling people what to do, but being that anal retentive person that’s always said, “Well, here’s mechanically how you go about doing it.” So we’ve created what we call the time value matrix. This idea that Pareto’s principle just doesn’t go far enough. The 80/20 rule is phenomenal, 20% of what I do gives me 80% of the result, but I need to take that further. Well, then what’s 20% of the 20% going to get me? And we call that 20% of the 20% B time, and then 20% of that 20% of the 20% is A time.

David Finkel: So as we look through and we play this through, there are 4% items that we do, we call this the sweet spot things, that generate huge valleys, 60, 65% of the value for the week. And there’s a magic 1%, if you actually work the math, it’s 0.8%, but we round it up that creates half the value. So I start by asking, “Well, what is it on the payroll that just I’m there to do?” And so I gave an example from the book for my company, so I run a business coaching company. So the three things that I do that create the highest value, number one, are large scale promotional places where I can be a spokesperson for the company to bring in large numbers of people, and that could be from a interviews like this, that could be from the syndicated column I do for ink.com, that could be from a keynote at a large industry conference of our target market. That’s one thing that I do that creates tremendous value.

David Finkel: Another thing that I do that creates tremendous value would be developing my leadership team and managing them for accountability. So those are just some quick examples. What I know doesn’t create lots of value are doing things, like for me directly, any more coaching. I’ve got a great coaching staff that does that coaching. For me, that’s what I would call C time. It’s valuable. I can bill for it at a fairly high rate, but it’s limited for what I do. And, I’ll give the example with an attorney, most attorneys think, “Oh, what am I on the payroll to do? To produce law services.” Well, actually that’s just billable work.

David Finkel: Billable work is never more than that that 20% time value. We call that C time. But perhaps if I could focus on what can I do that brings in lots more work in the business, or like one of the law firms I talk about in the book, there’s this guy Marvin who runs a successful boutique law firm, and for him, making decisions about where he should set his fee structure, which he had been so busy doing actual legal work that he had never done before, and really thought about, looked at what his competitors do and he’s like, “Well, hey, I charge 600 an hour for my time. I’m at the high end.” I challenged him, I said, “Marvin, but your paralegals and your legal secretaries you’re billing 30, 40, 50% below your competitors.” And when we looked at that, it took him about two hours to make the decision, get the information, make the decision, John.

David Finkel: With that one decision there, he probably made a quarter of a million dollars more profit just by increasing his mid-level pricing for his paralegals and legal secretaries. And his clients were thrilled with it because more of the work was now incentivized to staff down so that rather than paying him 600, I could pay one of his six legal secretaries or paralegals that he worked with and I could do that at 195 and he just now had more capacity to get more work out the door, and he was more incentivized to do that because he made a fairly good spread on their work. So that’s an example of this value economy, about how do I identify in writing, and it’s almost never … My highest value work is almost never the production of my main product or service. That’s almost never the highest value of my timescale.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And I think … I work with a lot of smaller organizations and the founder typically sells the work, does a lot of the work is seen as the mentor for the client a lot of times. And even when they start adding staff, I think it’s really hard for them to let go of that work, but I think they really … I think they, in some, ways devalue their relationship or their ability to advise a client, because the client sees them not only … Like in my world, not only as the marketing strategist, but also as the person that fixes their blog post. And if you’re doing both of those, regardless of what you’re charging for it, you’re probably devaluing how your clients sees what you bring to them.

David Finkel: That’s a great point you make.

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John Jantsch: So one of the things that I … I was working with an organization on kind of marketing strategy and a lot of times we have quarterly planning sessions to try and say, “Okay, what’s next?” And invariably you get the team together and 19 objectives come out of that meeting because you know, everybody’s got their thing, and I know you’re a big proponent of the idea that you can only have a couple. So how do we get people to think in terms of fewer better?

David Finkel: Absolutely. I’ll go back to that example of those 19 different things that you have. What this becomes like, the analogy I’ll share is I start all these home improvement projects in my house, but I finish none of them. So not only does it absorb my time, but it’s made a mess of the house and nothing is actually better from it. Instead, what we would tell a client, and what the freedom formula chapter three goes into, is this idea of how can I turn my plan for every quarter into a one page plan of action, with no more than three focus areas for the discretionary time? Three top priorities max. It’s okay to even have one or two. And by defining these out, “Hey, for this focus area this quarter, here’s what I call my criteria of success for it. And then now I’m going to create my action steps in milestones.”

David Finkel: What it does, John, is it gives me a visual tool to hold myself and the rest of my team accountable to be focusing our best resources of time and attention on those fewer things that make a bigger difference. One of the things I would almost always tell some to look at is, well, what’s the single biggest limiting factor in your business or in your department right now that you’re dealing with? The one constraint more than anything else that holds you back from the results that you want? And some people might say, “Oh, I need more leads coming in the door.” Others might say, “I need more operational capacity.” Some people might say, “There’s a certain key hire I don’t have.” Great. Well that quarter, one of your top three focus areas is going to be solving, or at least making better, pushing back, that one limiting factor.

David Finkel: Then on that same subject there, people say, “Well, I have an action plan.” And I say, “Oh, great, show it to me.” Oh, it’s not in writing. Okay, well then you don’t have an action plan. And then those that show me the action plan, John, invariably it’s like seven or 17 pages long. And I laugh. I ask one question that really puts it into a new light. How often do you look at this action plan? And they look at me and go … Yeah, they don’t. They don’t. Once a year. So one page plan you can keep right there by the side of your desk, pull it out each week to look at what do I need to get done from this plan this week? And it just changes everything. It’s so easy. So simple. One page.

John Jantsch: So in your previous work, and you’ve been on my show before when we’ve talked about some of your previous works, it’s been very leader or founder-focused. And in this book you really go into the fact that systems and team and culture and all those things … And building leaders in internally are all the things that are, that are really going to set you free. I mean, ultimately if you’re going to go beyond where you are today. So I guess kind of paint the picture. What’s the freedom formula when it comes to involving the team?

David Finkel: That’s right. So the common denominator we heard from a lot of people who read earlier books that I’d written was, this is fantastic, but … And here came the common but. But I wish you had something for my staff, but I wish you had something that applied to me. I’m not the owner, I run the department, or I manage a team of six people. And that really stayed with me for a while, even though our core business is working with owners of small and mid cap companies. I finally sat myself down, it took probably almost two years to write this book, which is much longer than it typically takes me to write a book, and found a way to find a voice to to say, “Hey, this is the book, not just for the owner but for key executives.” And matter of fact, some of the people that I worked with to do this book, to validate the ideas, were fortune 50 companies.

David Finkel: I started working with some of the VPs and executive VPS and division leaders for various large name brand companies. I can’t mention names because part of that was signing nondisclosures on that, but it was really interesting to me to watch. I’d seen this work for companies of 100,000, a million, 10 million, 100 million, but I hadn’t had the opportunity prior to this project to be working with companies that were in the 10, 50, 100 billion dollar companies. It was really fun to do.

David Finkel: Also what struck me about this was the same challenges that we’re dealing with at $1 million or $10 million or $100,000 or $50 million, they’re still dealing with when you just add the word billion versus million. It’s the same stuff that they’re dealing with. How do I balance work with life? How do I get my team and myself to focus my best time on those things that matter most in the face of all these other demands, in the face of my own desire to have control, in the face of conflicting priorities and messages that I’m hearing. How do I do this practically behaviorally, in the marketplace? What do I need to do first? What I need to do second? And that’s why I wrote the book. And so this book would be for anyone, whether they’re the owner, self-employed professional, an executive, or someone who aspires to be.

John Jantsch: One of the sections, and I think it’s in the team accelerators, or the accelerators under the team, and it’s become a pretty popular topic of late, I think, is this idea that that really leadership today or raising your team up is about coaching more than maybe the traditional leadership models. So you want to unpack what coaching looks like if I’m a department head?

David Finkel: Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, I come from a background that all the companies that I’ve owned for the last 25 years have been coaching companies. We’ve coached 50,000 or more people over that time for all the various companies. So we’ve learned something about coaching. The difference is that most people think about, “I’m going to manage.” Well, when I manage, I’m looking to work with somebody to make sure I organize, coordinate to get a certain result. When I’m coaching though, I’m developing a team so that not only do I get a result that moment, but I’m going to be increasing our capability to get more results, more autonomously over time. So, for example, one of the key coaching responsibilities I have is to ask myself, “Am I coaching this person for development, or am I coaching this person for a result?”

David Finkel: Let’s say I’m working with Joe, I might say Joe’s not one of the people that I’m looking to grow. So I’m going to coach him for the result. But Sheila, you know what? I’m coaching her for development, which means I’m not going to tell Sheila what to do. I’m going to ask her more questions that are open-ended. I’m going to follow back up with Sheila and challenge her thinking, helping her get to the conclusion, versus if I have a team member who’s been with me for awhile but really is never going to be capable or shown the interest of growing, I’m going to be more directive with him or her. Hey, this is how I want you to do it. Versus with Sheila, I’m going to help her get to the right answer so that next year she is more capable of solving all of those same challenges without me having to be there, and now I can work with her on the next level of development.

John Jantsch: I think it’s a like parenting, isn’t it, David? That you can tell a kid, “Here, go do that.” Or you can let them make decisions for themselves and let them figure things out on their own, and sure that’s going to take more time, but we all know the investment’s worth it, isn’t it?

David Finkel: That’s right. And so just me as positing as a leader, just saying, “Am I coaching this person for development, or am I coaching this person for the immediate result?” Helps me. And here’s one more simple one that helps me, John. I ask, “Where is this person on this function, on the spectrum of scale of capability.” If one to 10 says 10 is they know it cold, they could do this in their sleep, and a one if they’ve never seen this challenge, this responsibility, just by pausing and asking where they stand on a one to 10 changes how I lead them. If there’re two or three, I deal with them very differently than if they’re an eight, nine or a 10. Yet most of us never pause to ask that question, and as a result, some of our staff feel we micromanage, and other of our staff feel like we don’t give them enough support, we just advocate. And we can easily solve that.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And I think one of the things that should give some incentive to leaders who micromanage is that people just get used to it, and then they expect it. So then they don’t initiate, they wait for you to tell them what to do and give them the answers. And boy, if you can let go of that, all of a sudden, you’re going to bring a lot of innovation into your organization.

David Finkel: Absolutely. And that’s why they’re working 70, 80 hours, because they’re doing their job in the midst of doing three other people’s jobs at the same time.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Yeah. So another big accelerator is a positive culture. I mean, if we’re going to call a book succeed in business without sacrificing your family, health, and life, I mean, there’s certainly an aspect of culture just in that statement. So how does culture really play into your formula? Well, I know how it plays into your formula, but how does somebody use it as a positive driver?

David Finkel: Yeah. Well, we take it just in the context of this idea that we’re going to build a company where we don’t value people who just look busy or who are responsive, but we’re looking to value and reward and to give attention to people who truly do create value [inaudible] push the organization towards its goals. So one of the cultural aspects that I encourage them to do in the book is to actually have an honest conversation about this and run a 60 day experiment. And for 60 days you’re going to take a look at what are the boundaries and the ground rules? Where should people be responsive and where should people be able to put some boundaries? If Tim is going to be running a meeting with your three best programmers, shouldn’t he be able to have all those people turn off their email? Shouldn’t he be able to have all those people turn off their phones for that two hour meeting without other people saying, “Oh my gosh, you let us down by not being responsive.” Well, our culture is there.

David Finkel: How about our culture at nights and on weekends? One of the things we talk in the book is about take the needle out of the haystack. Well, a lot of people are connected to their phone because they’re afraid of missing that one email out of 1,000 or 5,000, and so they’ll literally give up their entire quality of life so they don’t miss that one email. Let’s be smarter than that. Let’s ask ourselves, “What’s a better mechanism to deliver that one out of 1,000 message that really is mission critical and needs to be addressed in the evening or on the weekend?” But outside of that, that gives me back my life, and because of that we’ll retain our staff longer, their families won’t resent them and their company, and will get more of their whole hearted buy-in for them because they can have a life and not have to sacrifice everything.

John Jantsch: Visiting with David Finkel, author of The Freedom Formula. David, one thing I know about you is you are a systems and process and tools kind of guy, and so everything we’ve been talking about, I know you have built into a toolkit that comes with the Freedom Formula, so you want to tell people where they can find out more about the book, and especially about this toolkit?

David Finkel: Yeah, absolutely. So they can go to freedomtoolkit.com, and while they’re there, not only can they can find links to go ahead and get a copy of the book at freedomtoolkit.com, but once they’ve gotten the book they should register it and as a free value add, there’s all kinds of PDF and video-based tools. For example, there’s a 90 day quick-start program that guides you and your staff through the book over the course of 90 days, where it gives you one page every month that you’ll go through with your team for a meeting to run about that particular section of the book. You get a copy for each of your staff, you follow it that way through. You can download the PDF, the rest of it. I think your listeners will really enjoy that. Just at freedomtoolkit.com

John Jantsch: Absolutely. It is, I mean, invaluable. Not only the book and what the book teaches, but just having those templates and those forms really can help you get started. So David, it was great catching up with you again. In fact, I was just out in your part of the world, I did a little backpacking trip through Yellowstone. So I probably flew right over you on the way up there.

David Finkel: Thank you for having me on here, John. I had a really good time here. I appreciate it.

John Jantsch: Well, hopefully we’ll catch up with you again sometime soon on the road. Take care.

Unskippable Podcast – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur

Unskippable Podcast – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

John Jantsch is a marketing expert and the author of six books. His latest, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur, is due out later in October 2019 and is a departure from his other works. While he’s focused on sharing his marketing expertise in the past, this book is about leading entrepreneurs on a journey of self-discovery and reflection.

On this episode of Jim Kukral’s Unskippable podcast, Jantsch discusses The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur and talks about what he hopes fellow entrepreneurs will get from their reading experience.

Check it out – Unskippable Podcast episode with John Jantsch

Finding Stillness in the Modern World

Finding Stillness in the Modern World written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Ryan Holiday
Podcast Transcript

On today’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I sit down with writer and media strategist Ryan Holiday. Holiday is the author of 10 books, including The Obstacle is the Way, Ego is the Enemy, and his latest, Stillness is the Key.

Holiday’s writing is grounded in Stoic philosophy, and he is considered one of his generation’s foremost thinkers and writers on ancient philosophy and its place in everyday life.

His writing has also been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, and other major publications.

In this episode, we discuss his latest book, why it’s so difficult to find stillness in today’s tech-obsessed, constantly on-the-go world, and how to push past it all to find stillness and wonder in your daily life.

Questions I ask Ryan Holiday:

  • How would you define stoicism?
  • What does success look like, when you’re living by the ideals of stoicism?
  • Which contemporary writers who are discussing stillness do you admire?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Why finding stillness or banishing ego is not a one-time thing.
  • Why letting go is so hard, and how to do it.
  • How to maintain a state of wonder.

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Ryan Holiday:

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

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This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Klaviyo. If you’re looking to grow your business there is only one way: by building real, quality customer relationships. That’s where Klaviyo comes in.

Klaviyo helps you build meaningful relationships by listening and understanding cues from your customers, allowing you to easily turn that information into valuable marketing messages.

What’s their secret? Tune into Klaviyo’s Beyond Black Friday docu-series to find out and unlock marketing strategies you can use to keep momentum going year-round. Just head on over to klaviyo.com/beyondbf.

Transcript of Finding Stillness in the Modern World

Transcript of Finding Stillness in the Modern World written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

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Transcript

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John Jantsch: This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Klaviyo. Klaviyo is a platform that helps growth-focused eCommerce brands drive more sales with super-targeted, highly relevant email, Facebook and Instagram marketing.

John Jantsch: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Ryan Holiday. He is, today, one of the world’s foremost thinkers and writers on ancient philosophy, and its place in everyday life. You’re probably familiar with The Daily Stoic, Obstacle is the Way, Ego is the Enemy, and his latest book we’re going to talk about today, Stillness is the Key.

John Jantsch: Ryan, thanks for joining me.

Ryan Holiday: Yeah, thank you for having me. I was thinking as I was getting ready to come on this, I think you were, like, the first or the second podcast I ever did, way back in 2012. You have been at this a long time, and so have I.

John Jantsch: That was with Trust Me, I’m Lying, I’m thinking?

Ryan Holiday: I think so, yeah.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Well, I have been at that a long time. It’s been really fun to watch the arc of your career, it’s taken you some pretty amazing places.

John Jantsch: So, I’m sure you get tired of this question, but I’d like to hear from you, the answer to this from you. I could look it up, and there’d be lots of Wikipedia entries on this, but how would you define stoicism?

Ryan Holiday: So, I give two definitions to people.

Ryan Holiday: If I’m giving the really, really simple definition, I just say stoicism is not emotionlessness, it’s not resignation, it’s the belief that we don’t control what happens to us, we only control how we respond. Right? The stoic just says, “Look, the vast majority of the things in the world are not up to me, but I control my thoughts, my opinions, my attitudes. That’s what I’m going to focus on.” That’s one really simple definition.

Ryan Holiday: If I was going to go a bit more advanced, I’d just say, look, stoicism really worships four virtues. It’s an ancient philosophy that dates back to Greece, and to Rome. The four virtues of stoicism, they sound familiar because they also happen to be the four virtues of Christianity, and a lot of Western thought. It’s just courage. Temperance, that means moderation. Justice, that means doing the right thing. Then, wisdom, that’s intelligence, education, learning, understanding. It’s a pretty straightforward philosophy, with not a lot … That’s not as controversial as people might think. It’s all in the execution, right?

Ryan Holiday: It’s easy to say, justice, wisdom, temperance, courage. It’s hard to do those four things, and to do them regularly, when the stakes are high.

John Jantsch: So, this book, Stillness is the Key, I’ve heard you refer to as a trilogy to go with Obstacle is the Way, Ego is the Enemy. What do you hope the third book in the trilogy adds to the over-arching message?

Ryan Holiday: Well, to me, stillness is this thing that’s timeless, but also very, very urgent.

Ryan Holiday: 500 years ago, Blaise Pascal said that “All of humanity’s problems stem from our inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” It was true five centuries ago, but today it’s impossible. It’s not our inability, it’s that it’s impossible. We have a device that magically transports us away from that room, or from any feeling of discomfort, or worry, or whatever. We don’t have any of the clarity we need to make decisions, to know what’s important.

Ryan Holiday: Both the Stoics and the Buddhists were very fond of a metaphor. They said that it’s like … “The mind is like muddy water. You have to let it sit, you have to approach it calmly, for the dust and the silt to settle. Only then, can you see through it, do you know what’s really there.” That’s just so hard to do for entrepreneurs, and for executives, and for parents. They’re running a mile a minute, and they never have any slow time in which the things sift to the bottom.

John Jantsch: Your books have sold extremely well. I know Stillness is the Key will sell quite well. Is your publisher asking you for the fourth book in the trilogy yet?

Ryan Holiday: Well, no. I was just laughing about this with Steve, who is our mutual book agent, that I talk about in the book, this idea of there never … The problem is there’s never enough, we’re always doing. I think I’ve done nine books in seven years. Steve is out with a proposal for the next one right now. I do like to always be working.

Ryan Holiday: In my defense, what I would say is the reason I like to have the next book, is that I find that the stillness of work to be better than the anxiety of, what am I going to do next? Or, look how successful I am? Or, how is it selling? As much as I want this book to sell well, and I’ve wanted the other books to sell well … I’ve gotten very lucky. When Obstacles … They way it came out, I had sold what became Ego is the Enemy before it came out. When Obstacle is the Way came out, and it did okay, but it didn’t blow the doors off, I didn’t care because I had deadlines to meet. Then, when Obstacle is the Way really started to take off, I also didn’t care, because I had deadlines to meet.

Ryan Holiday: I think it’s important to have good things to focus on, rather than to have just space for our mind and our ego to do their dirty work.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

John Jantsch: You and I were laughing a bit before we started recording this that, you know, when you write a book like this, or a series of books that suggest a way to live, you probably yourself get held to a higher standard, right or wrong. How has that impacted you, or do you feel that sense of, oh, I can’t let anybody see me freak out? I’m the one that’s telling them you can’t do that.

Ryan Holiday: I mean, you can imagine writing a book about stoicism, and wring a book about ego and stillness, and then I go home to my wife, who does not allow me to get away with any of not having those things. It’s like, there is a downside to writing a book about ego, as you can never … You’ve got to be constantly on guard that you’re not being a hypocrite.

Ryan Holiday: I do think about that. It’s really hard. When you are out doing and making things, it’s busy, your active. You’ve got anxieties, you’ve got fears, you’ve got frustrations. It’s never as good as you want it to be. People are never doing it the way you want them to do it. I’ve dealt with enough monstrous people in my life to know I don’t want to be those people. I’m always trying to catch myself before it spins out of control.

John Jantsch: Well, I think a lot of what you’re suggesting in this work is that we’re all a work in progress. You’re working towards something, you haven’t arrived at anything, right? Would you suggest that’s right?

Ryan Holiday: Oh, completely. Ego is not this thing that you magically get rid of once. What’s so insidious about ego is that it’s always creeping in. What’s so both demoralizing and refreshing about obstacles is that there’s always another one up around the curve.

Ryan Holiday: I think with stillness, you have this moment of stillness, maybe it’s early in the morning. You wake up before the kids, you don’t check your email, and you go straight into this project you’ve been working on, or you go for an awesome run or a swim. You just experience, you’re just present, and you’re killing it. It’s just awesome. Then, you pick up your phone and you’ve got to start from scratch.

Ryan Holiday: It’s not only we’re a work in progress, but this state we’re trying to get to is inherently ephemeral. It’s like success. Success isn’t something you have, success is something a bit more elusive, [inaudible] with, but you don’t own it, for sure.

John Jantsch: Yeah, it’s funny, but I think you’re, in some ways, the work that you’re doing is helping people redefine how they even talk about success, or think about success.

John Jantsch: I read between the lines, that you’re writing that success in a lot of ways, is realizing that you can’t control everything, and you need to trust yourself enough to know that you’re hopefully doing what you’re supposed to be doing, but that you need to let go of trying to control every aspect of how it’s going to get done. I think when we come to that ability to have some level of letting go, to me, that’s like stage one, or the starting gate for success.

Ryan Holiday: Yeah, totally. What I try to do a lot of work on in my own life, and when people ask me for advice about it, I talk to them about this, too. Particularly in something as unpredictable as the book world, which you know very well. You have to find a way to root your idea of what success is, as much as possible in the parts of the process you control.

Ryan Holiday: So, we’re talking here. My book comes out tomorrow. I feel … I’m not at 100%, I don’t think it’s possible to get to 100%. I feel like 90% of the success of the project, I’ve already gotten all of that. It came from enjoying the writing, it came from expressing what I wanted to say. It comes from knowing I put as much of myself into it as possible, that I grew in the process, that I didn’t cut corners. That I got even the opportunity to do it, so on and so forth.

Ryan Holiday: Look, if it sells zero copies tomorrow, or if it sells 10 million copies, obviously that’s going to have some impact on how I feel, but I’m not going to live and die by it. If I woke up tomorrow, and this happened two books ago. I went out for a run with a friend, and while I was running my phone blew up. I got a bunch of text and emails that it had been positively reviewed in the New York Times, which I had no idea was coming. It was really wonderful that had almost no impact on me. I don’t feel like, this isn’t a weird humble brag. I had already knew that I had done what I was best capable of doing. If the review had been negative, I don’t think it would have rocked me. Had the review not happened, I wouldn’t have missed it. The fact that it was positive was just like, oh, that’s a wonderful surprise rather than, oh my God, I hope this comes back. Please come back good, please come back good.

Ryan Holiday: You’re trying to set yourself up in a position where you’re as invulnerable as possible, to things that are outside of your control.

John Jantsch: What’s interesting is, and I could find the [Seneca] quote, here. “When no noise reaches you, when no word shakes you out of your self, whether it be flattery or a threat, or merely an empty sound buzzing about you, with unmeaning din.”

John Jantsch: I think what a lot of us miss this idea that, you have to stay … Not just worry about the things that you see as a threat, but also forget about the things that you see as flattery. Don’t judge either of those as right or wrong.

Ryan Holiday: Yeah. Marcus [inaudible] talks, he says one of my favorite lines from him. He says, “To accept it without arrogance, and to let it go with indifference.”

Ryan Holiday: So, you shrug off the bad stuff, and you shrug off the good stuff, too. I just love the idea that Bob Dylan didn’t go accept his Nobel Prize, he was too busy working. You know what I mean? I love that. That’s a whole other level, and I have no idea … I’m very sure that if I was ever given a Nobel Prize, I would accept it, but I respect the amount of confidence, and stillness, and just focus on the craft that it must take to be like, “I don’t want to go to Sweden. I’m busy.”

John Jantsch: That may have just been him being on brand, too, but yeah.

Ryan Holiday: Sure, sure, sure, sure.

John Jantsch: I want to remind you that this episode is brought to you by Klaviyo. Klaviyo helps you build meaningful customer relationships by listening and understanding queues from your customers. This allows you to easily turn that information into valuable marketing messages. There’s powerful segmentation, email auto responders that are ready to go, great reporting. If you want to learn a bit about the secret to building customer relationships, they’ve got a really fun series called, Klaviyo’s Beyond Black Friday. It’s a docuseries, a lot of fun, quick lessons. Just head on over to Klaviyo.com/BeyondBF, Beyond Black Friday.

John Jantsch: So, you quote 500000 year old text and writers. I’m wondering if there’s some contemporary writers that you think are getting this right, right now?

Ryan Holiday: I think Cal Newport is one of the great, non-fiction self-help writers of our time. I think Mark Manson, another friend of mine, really great. [inaudible] people out there that are touching on it. How do you minimize your exposure to things that disrupt your stillness? How do you make sure that you’re caring about only the things that matter?

Ryan Holiday: When Mark Manson talks about the subtle art of not giving an F, he means don’t care about the things that you don’t need to care about, so you can care more deeply about the things that you should care about.

Ryan Holiday: Yeah, I think there’s lots of great writers out there that are touching on it. I think that’s what’s so wonderful about this topic is that we’ve been struggling with it a really long time. There’s lots of insights and wisdom about it.

John Jantsch: Yeah. You quote Robert Green quite often. I would throw him in that category I suppose, huh?

Ryan Holiday: Of course, yeah! Robert Green is, I think, probably the greatest writer, non-fiction writer of our time. I think he’s just spectacular. He talks about … In Mastery, he talks about just how transformative it is, mentally, spiritually and physically, to just fall in love with just every aspect of what you’re doing, and to so deeply love that process.

John Jantsch: Yeah. I think there’s a lot of people that preach this idea, you’ve got to find what you love. Then, that’ll be your purpose. I think it throws aside the idea that, get good at something, and you’re probably going to love it.

Ryan Holiday: Yes! Yeah, of course. If you’re not good at it, it’s hard to love it. Yeah, of course.

John Jantsch: All right, a big part of your work, and certainly it shows up in Stillness, is this idea of letting go. I think that, no matter how many times … I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs. No matter how many times they hear that, I say that, it still seems to be one of the hardest things to do.

John Jantsch: First off, why is that, and how do we do it?

Ryan Holiday: Well, it’s really hard because what made you who you are is that you care. You become a champion, or you become a successful entrepreneur, or you become a leader because you always want to get better, and you’re not satisfied with the status quo.

Ryan Holiday: Obviously, I think that’s better than not caring at all. There are plenty of people that are like, “I want to be successful.” It’s like, do you really? Because it doesn’t seem like you’re putting in the effort or the commitment. It’s just realizing that on the other side of that gift, is a consequence. That consequence is it makes it very hard for you to accept when you don’t have control over things. It makes it very hard for you to enjoy what you’re doing, as you’re doing it. It makes it hard for you to ever feel satisfied.

Ryan Holiday: I think you just … Every virtue has to be balanced out, just like every vice. I think what we’re talking about is how to do you take some of your natural inclinations and make sure that you them on a leash, rather than the other way around.

John Jantsch: One of the things you talk about a lot is this idea of staying in wonder, and having wonder still for many of the things you’re doing. As you start a business particularly, a lot of things become un-wonderful over time, because they’re routine, or because you just don’t like doing them. What do you do to stay in that state of wonder?

Ryan Holiday: One of the things I always just remind myself is how absurd existence is. We’re these monkey spinning around on a rock in space. How lucky we are to be where we are, how lucky we are to be here right now. As scary and bad as things might seem, I’d much rather be alive now than 100 years ago, or 1000 years ago.

Ryan Holiday: I always go, this is so frustrating, this is so annoying, but it’s so much better and so much unbelievably better than what many people could have ever even imagined. I would be an idiot to take this too seriously. That’s something I do.

Ryan Holiday: The other thing is just make sure you’re not … I remember early on in my career, I was working in Hollywood. I realized that I had not seen outside during the daytime during the week for months. I would leave my apartment early, and I would get to work right as it was starting to get light. Then, I’d go, I’d be leaving the office after dark. It’s just crazy! That’s just not a healthy way to live.

Ryan Holiday: It might seem irresponsible to say, you know what? I’m going to go outside for an hour and read a book on this picnic table, or I’m going to go for a walk. Or, you know what? I’m working from home tomorrow, and I’m going to do it at a café, where I sit out on the porch. That might seem irresponsible, but if it’s about preventing burnout, it might be the very … Think about athletes. They’re the most driving, ambitious people in their field. They don’t practice on Monday if they played on Sunday, because that’s how you get hurt. The coaches know you have to have rest days because the muscles will snap. The mind is a muscle like any other, and you’ve got to be giving it rest.

John Jantsch: I know the Stoics wrote about this, and I’ve, as you know, have embarked on a workout where I’m really curating a lot of the work from a body of literature a lot of people call The Transcendentalists. Thoreau being in that, Emerson being in that.

John Jantsch: For them, nature was such a perfect example of how to live, and how to stay in wonder. That, to me … I happen to be sitting in the Rocky Mountains right at the moment, and have pine trees out my back and out my front. For me, going and sitting under one of those is the most refreshing thing I can do.

Ryan Holiday: Yeah. There’s even a term for that, they call it forest bathing. You’re just bathing in the forest. If you’re not doing that, I think you’re accumulating a lot of gunk, and goo, and nasty stuff. You’ve just got to go out and wash yourself in nature from time to time.

Ryan Holiday: In Austin, there’s a pool close to my house, at a gym that I like. There’s two outdoor pools that are spring-fed, right along the river.

John Jantsch: Is that Barton Springs?

Ryan Holiday: Barton Springs and [Deep Eddy 00:21:01]. It takes longer, it’s more expensive. Sometimes I’ve got to wait for a lane. Every time I do it, I’m just so glad that I did it. I feel like it roots me in something in a way that a chlorine filled pool in a windowless room just does not do.

John Jantsch: So, you write about this, the Stoics wrote about this. I think there’s lots of contemporary literature that suggests this is a good practice, and that is the practice of solitude, or seeking some level of solitude.

John Jantsch: Why are we so deathly afraid of that? The worst punishment you can give somebody in prison is to put them in solitary confinement. I mean, on top of that being … Obviously, we’re talking about that being a positive thing, but why, as humans, are we so frightened by it?

Ryan Holiday: Look, I certainly wouldn’t want to spend 60 days in solitude.

Ryan Holiday: I think one of the big reasons is that, going off to a cabin in the woods to think doesn’t sound like work. Sitting at your computer at an office, where you’re actually just reading ESPN, and checking your Fantasy scores, that looks like work. A lot of people … If I walk into your office and you’re not there, I go, “Where’s John? He’s supposed to be working, he has a book deadline.” If I came into your office, and it looked like you were sitting there, but I couldn’t see what was on your computer, you’re actually watching YouTube videos, I’d be like, “That guy’s hard at work.”

Ryan Holiday: I think a lot of this is just the logistics and the appearances of how our modern world is set up. Even Silicon Valley had the idea that everyone should work in one large room, where they don’t have any doors. It’s like, have you ever met a human being? This is not how people thrive. People … What does every kid want? They want their own room. They want their own space where they can think, and reflect, and have quiet time. For whatever reasons, in terms of workplace culture, and society, we have just obliterated that. Then, we wonder why people are frantic, and nervous, and stressed, and overworked.

John Jantsch: I believe all human, living things are connected in whatever soup pot you want to call it. You’re right, we are one big collective organism engaged in one endless project together. We are one, we are the same. Still, too often, we forget it, and we forget ourselves in the process.

John Jantsch: How do you come to terms with this idea of us being all connected?

Ryan Holiday: Yeah, this is a really important stoic idea. They talk about this idea of [sympathea 00:23:44]. The stoics talk about the idea that we’re this large organism, that we’re made for each other, that the common good is the thing that matters. So many people, they’re not starting a business to make the world a better place, they’re starting a business because they want to get rich, or they want to get famous, or they want to get powerful. I talk to authors and they’re like, “Oh, I’m writing a book.” I go, oh, why? They’re like, “I want to be a best seller.” It’s like, aw, man, that’s such a crappy reason to do anything.

Ryan Holiday: The reason you should write a book is because you have something that you feel needs to be said that would help other people. The reason to make a business is because you feel like there’s a need that deserves to be met, and that would improve the world if it was met.

Ryan Holiday: I think it’s just like, when you’re selfish, it seems like a good strategy, but it’s a short-term strategy. Eventually, you burnout, or you overreach, or you become alienated from the people that you’re serving. You’ve got to figure out how to make this about more than just you, if you want to be happy and you want to thrive. At least, that’s my take.

John Jantsch: Yeah, absolutely.

John Jantsch: Speaking with Ryan Holiday. Out October 1st, 2019, everywhere that books are sold, Stillness is the Key. Ryan, you want to tell anybody where they might find out more about your work, and you?

Ryan Holiday: Yeah. The book’s available everywhere. You can go to RyanHoliday.net, or @RyanHoliday.

Ryan Holiday: Then, if you’re interested in stoicism at all, or that idea of a page a day thing, we have a website called Daily Stoic. It sends you one email about stoic philosophy every single day. It’s my favorite thing to write. I think I’m on the fourth year of it now, it’s been just an awesome experience.

John Jantsch: It sounds like a lot of work, but you have built a heck of a community and following. Obviously, it’s reflected in the depth of your work, but also in the depth of your following. Go on you, Ryan.

John Jantsch: Thanks again for stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast, and hopefully we’ll run into you soon, out there on the road.

Ryan Holiday: Yeah. Thanks for having me.

The Most Useful Ways To Utilize Google Search Console

The Most Useful Ways To Utilize Google Search Console written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Even if you don’t have much marketing experience, you understand how critical a presence on Google is to getting your business name out there. It’s the world’s largest search engine, and it’s often the place people go to discover new brands that can solve the problem they’re facing.

All of this to say that how and where you appear in Google search results matters. If you want to develop a better understanding of your business’s presence on the search engine, you must set up your Google Search Console account.

This free tool is designed to help you measure traffic to your site, understand where people are coming from and what they’re searching to find you, plus fix issues that are holding you back from putting your best foot forward in search results.

Let me walk you through the specific features of Google Search Console, so that you understand how to use the tool to its greatest effect.

Submit Your Sitemap

When you’re creating a new website—or making major changes to your existing site—you need to introduce this new site to Google. Google will only consider displaying your site in their search results once they understand what your site is about, and the way that Google comes to know the content of your site is through crawling and indexing.

Basically, Google has robots that crawl each site, looking for keywords, content, links, errors, and any other information that can help them understand what a website is about and whether or not it will be a helpful site for their users. From there, it indexes your site; essentially, it adds you to their roster of sites they might display in search results.

Google will eventually index all sites on the internet, but by uploading your sitemap to your Google Search Console platform, you can fast track the indexing process for your site. While Google might happen upon your site a few days after it’s been uploaded or overhauled, sharing your sitemap within Google Search Console cuts that indexing time down to a few hours.

Find Crawl Errors

While Google is crawling your website, they’ll be on the lookout for errors. If your site is sprinkled with broken links, 404 errors, or shows signs of having been hacked, Google will punish your website in SERPs. They’ll infer that your site will likely be unhelpful for searchers, and so they’ll move you down the results page (or omit you altogether).

Sometimes, though, there are errors on your site that you don’t even know about! If you’ve been in business for a while and have a website with dozens or hundreds of pages, blog posts, webinars, podcasts, and the like, it’s hard to keep on top of finding broken links and 404 errors in that maze of content.

Similarly, hackers can basically piggyback on your website, without you knowing, and use your domain name to host their own spammy or dangerous content. This happens outside the bounds of your own website’s backend, so it’s impossible for you to see the hack through your WordPress site or other hosting platform.

Fortunately, with a Google Search Console account, you’re able to access all of the information about errors that Google finds on your site. They share a list of the issues with your pages, so that you’re able to go in and fix anything that’s causing Google to penalize your page.

Understand Query Keyword Ranking Data

Knowing how and where you rank on Google for certain search terms is vital information for a business owner to have. When you understand what search terms are leading real people to your website, you can tailor your existing content to better address their needs and create all new content designed to rank for search terms you’d like to be seen for.

Google Search Console is the place to see how you actually rank in Google. It will show you real search terms that led consumers to various pages of your site. Not only that, it will give you an assessment of your average ranking for that term.

For those pages that are ranking on the first page of SERPs (basically, anything that falls within the 1-10 ranking range), you know you’ve done some great SEO work. The content is strong, and the metadata and descriptions are enticing users to click on the content.

For pages that are ranking on that second page of SERPs, you know you’re almost there. Armed with this information, you can begin to tweak your approach on these pages. Maybe the on-page content itself is great, but the meta description needs work to draw readers in. Or perhaps you can add a video to accompany the existing content that will keep readers on the page longer and encourage them to move onto other pages on your site.

Discover Click Through Rate

Your click through rate (CTR) is a ranking factor on Google. If you have a great ranking for your page but a low CTR, Google might punish you in rankings. Any page that’s ranking within the first five links should have a CTR of between seven and 10. Anything lower than that indicates that the page’s content is useful, but for some reason people aren’t clicking through to it in search results.

Armed with information about results ranking and CTR, you can better identify the issue with your content. In the case of a high ranking page with low CTR, you know the issue isn’t the page itself. Once people land on the page, they’re loving the content—that’s how your page ended up ranking so well in the first place.

But the low CTR indicates that something’s off with the content as it displays on Google SERPs. Maybe the title isn’t compelling or doesn’t accurately describe what readers find on the page. Maybe the metadata and description are misleading. Whatever the case may be, you know to focus on that aspect of SEO, rather than wasting time trying to optimize the page itself.

Get Definitive Answer About Backlinks

Backlinks are another ranking factor. When your website is cited on other sites, Google infers that yours is a trustworthy page that is an authority in your area of expertise. These are major signals that you’ve got a useful website, which will in turn give you a boost in your SERPs ranking.

While there are other tools out there that can estimate your backlink status, Google is able to give you the definitive answer. Using Google Search Console, you can see exactly where your website is linked to elsewhere on the internet.

From there, you can work to build out more backlinks strategically, or even ask to remove links that are harmful for your site (more on that next).

Disavow Links

Sometimes your content can end up on strange websites. I’ve seen instances where clients’ content was shared by weird, seedy websites. While you want to build up backlinks, you want them to be with reputable companies and on websites that are related to your industry or field. Backlinks on untrustworthy sites can actually be toxic for your online presence.

Once you’ve seen where your site is linked to, you can submit a disavow list via Google Search Console to remove your backlinks from unsavory sites. Keeping your business’s online presence clean is a key part of managing your online reputation and ensuring you continue to rank well.

Eliminate Duplicate Content

Google will punish websites that have duplicate content across their pages. In some cases, this duplication is necessary (like if you have the same content on your standard webpage and then have the exact same content on a printer-friendly page). However, duplicate content can theoretically be used for nefarious purposes, so Google flags all large chunks of duplicate content as suspicious.

Through Google Search Console, you can see what content Google has taken issue with on your site. From there, you can either remove the duplicate content, or take steps to consolidate your duplicate URLs.

Google Search Console is a powerful tool that allows business owners a behind-the-scenes look at how Google is assessing their website. Using this information, you can optimize your online presence to address Google’s concerns, create content that resonates with your ideal customer, and ensure that your site is achieving its greatest ranking potential.

On Brand Podcast – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur

On Brand Podcast – The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

John Jantsch has been an successful marketing entrepreneur for over 30 years. In his latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur, due out later in October 2019, he shares his insights and expertise with other entrepreneurs. Organized as 366 daily meditations with quotes from well-known transcendentalist authors, the book is designed to help spark insight and action for those on an entrepreneurial journey.

On this episode of the On Brand podcast with Nick Westergaard, Jantsch details how The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur works, discusses why he structured the book as he did, and even shares some marketing tips with listeners.

Check it out – The On Brand Podcast episode with John Jantsch

Weekend Favs October 5

Weekend Favs October 5 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Music Maker – Access music to enhance your podcast, videos, or other multimedia projects.
  • Video Search for YouTube – Search for textual content within YouTube videos.
  • Time – Stay on track with your work, and don’t fall into distractions on your phone.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

42 Years of Furthering Fitness: A Timeline of Healthworks’ History

healthworks timeline

Since 1977, we’ve been demonstrating The Power of Women.
This October, we are celebrating our anniversary and our right to exist. The challenges we’ve overcome have made us stronger than ever. For instance, in 1997, a man sued Healhworks claiming that an all-women’s club was discriminatory. Our members and our staff worked hard in court to fight for our right to exist. While we lost in court, in 1998, Governor Paul Celucchi signs into law allowing single-sex clubs to operate. 

Healthworks is more than a gym. We are a community of strong and empowered women. And we’re here to stay!

Let’s Take a Walk Down Memory Lane:

October 30, 1977

Light n’ Lovely opens in Salem

January 1984

Salem location renamed Healthworks

July 1984

Healthworks Cambridge opens at original location in Porter Square

“Healthworks had only two locations: the mother ship in Salem, and our ‘under Tag’s Hardware’ location at Porter Square. We were two small strip mall locations, both with a very neighborhood feel.” —Jenny Briggs, personal trainer at the Cambridge club. Jenny wrote this in 2012 after 20 years with the company; she started with Healthworks in early 1992.

 

“The ceiling was so low that when we brought in an assisted pull-up machine, a ceiling tile had to be taken out and your head went into the ceiling!” —Mark Harrington Jr., Healthworks executive director

 

September 1992

Healthworks Brookline opens on Commonwealth Avenue

January 1996

Healthworks Back Bay opens in Copley Square

1996

James Foster sues Healthworks to become a member of the all-women’s club

October 1997

Healthworks’ 20th anniversary

December 1997

Suffolk Superior Court judge rules that Back Bay cannot bar men

“The possibility that men would intimidate, harass and leer at female club members was not enough to justify a contention that the women’s privacy would be violated, Judge Nonnie S. Burnes wrote in her decision. ‘Absent the unclothed exposure of intimate body parts, or the touching of body parts by members of the opposite sex, this court can find no basis for overriding the public accommodations statute’s mandate,’ she wrote.

“If that was the law, responded Mr. Harrington and others defending the nearly 50,000 Massachusetts women who belong to women-only clubs, the law had to be changed. They took to the State House.” —Carey Goldberg, “Lawyer’s Suit Challenges Women-Only Gyms,” The New York Times, January 26, 1998.

January 1998

Governor Paul Cellucci signs new law allowing single-sex clubs to operate

“…Foster may have won the battle, but he did not win the war. A bill was quickly introduced in the Massachusetts House that allowed single-sex clubs to operate in that state, and in January 1998, Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci signed the bill into law.

“’In a lot of ways, it was very positive for us,’ says (Mark) Harrington, who has owned Healthworks since 1977. ‘It brought attention to the niche we had, the significance of it and how important it was to a lot of people.’”—Stuart Goldman, “Women-only Health Clubs Play Important Role for Members,” Club Industry, March 1, 2012.

1998

Healthworks Foundation formed as a 501c3

1998

Healthworks Cambridge moves to new building in parking lot of original club

“Despite operational challenges, it was the strong team that worked together to provide a home away from home for ourmembers and coworkers that made every day so enjoyable. It always felt like a family and still makes me smile,” —Beth Gaudet, former Healthworks manager, and director

2002

Healthworks Foundation opens first club at St. Mary’s

November 2003

Healthworks Chestnut Hill opens

“The positives were memorable—the immediate success and acceptance, with members signing up in the parking lot trailer. The great team who knew not only every member’s name but all the family news that went along with creating relationships,”—Healthworks cofounder Mark Harrington Sr.

2008

Healthworks Community Fitness at Codman opens

2011

Healthworks Brookline relocates to new club in Coolidge Corner

2011

GymIt brand formed; first location opens in Brookline

2012

GymIt Watertown opens

2012

Healthworks Group refocuses on premium clubs (Healthworks) and high-volume/low-cost clubs (GymIt). As a result, Salem location closes.

December 31, 2014

Republic Fitness brand formed; first club opens

2016

First Fitness Management formed, specializing in the design and management of fitness centers for corporations, property managers, and institutions.

Where Are We Today?

-Four Healthworks locations

-Two GymIts locations

-One Republic Fitness location

-Two Healthworks Community Fitness locations

-Twelve First Fitness Management sites

-600-plus employees

-30,000-plus members

-Boston’s leading locally owned fitness business

“It is amazing to think of how social media and the internet have changed how everything operates. Healthworks has always kept up with the latest equipment, classes, programming, volunteering opportunities, outreach, and technology.

“It has been quite a ride. My thanks to a great company.” —Jenny Briggs

The Power of Women – Anniversary Event Oct 15-17

Achieve

On October 15 – October 17 we are bringing you giveaways, vendors, beverages, yummy treats, and amped up classes!

This is the perfect time to bring in your friends to try out our new classes for FREE and share the power of this amazing community of women.

When you refer and your friend joins, you receive November for free.* Refer your friend here.

During a number of Strength, HIIT, and Cycle classes, we will storm the studio and give away phenomenal prizes including gift cards to:

        • Grainmaker
        • Cryomed (Chryotherapy)
        • Amazon
        • Bright Bar Spray Tanning
        • Local coffee shops
        • Healthworks massages

      Schedule is below. You can sign-up via the web or app as usual. No special sign-up required. We hope to see you there!

      CC Date Class Time Instructor
      VIBE 15-Oct 6:15am Tara B
      ACHIEVE 16-Oct 6:30pm Desta M.
      IGNITE 16-Oct 4:30pm Claudia B.
      GRIT 17-Oct 6:00PM Sandra K.
      CB Date Class Time Instructor
      Build 10/15/2019 6:00am Maria V
      Grit 10/15/2019 6:30am Maria V
      IGNITE 10/15/2019 12:15 Claudia B.
      Achieve 10/15/2019 7:00am Jakki
      Ignite 10/16/2019 4:45pm Tara B
      Vibe 10/16/2019 5:30pm Tara B
      Achieve 10/17/2019 6:45am Lori
      Octane 10/17/2019 4:30pm Claudia B.
      CH Date Class Time Instructor
      VIBE 15-Oct 7:00am Kate S.
      GRIT 16-Oct 5:30pm Jalynn
      BUILD 17-Oct 10:00am Kate S.
      IGNITE 17-Oct 5:30pm Julie S.
      BB Date Class Time Instructor
      VIBE 15-Oct 6:15 AM Heather Buda
      BUILD 15-Oct 12:30 PM Cindy Ralls
      VIBE 16-Oct 7:00 AM Katie Kaschak
      BUILD 16-Oct 6:00 PM Mary Legget
      GRIT 17-Oct 12:15 PM Katie Kaschak
      IGNITE 17-Oct 5:00 PM Tara B
      RF Date Class Time Instructor
      GRIT 15-Oct 5:30PM Katie K
      VIBE 16-Oct 5:30PM Heather
      IGNITE 17-Oct 7:15AM Tara B
      BUILD 17-Oct 11:30AM Tara B

The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur Reading: October 2

The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur Reading: October 2 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur – October 2

It’s time for another episode of The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur. Once a week, I’m coming to you with a reading from my new book, due out in October 2019. The book is structured around 366 daily readings from some of the great works of the mid-19th Century, and then I share my thoughts on how that quote relates to the modern entrepreneurial journey.

Today’s Reading: Done Growing

“Lord, when shall we be done growing? As long as we have anything more to do, we have done nothing…Lord, when shall we be done changing? Ah! it’s a long stage, and no inn in sight, and night coming, and the body cold.”

Herman Melville Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne – published in Memories of Hawthorne by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (1897)

Here’s another question to ponder, when shall we start growing? Melville admitted in an earlier letter to Hawthorne, “Until I was twenty-five I had no growth at all. From my twenty-fifth year I date my life.”

Growth requires change, change is hard, so growth is hard. 

Stop growing and life stagnates, but as Melville seems to express, it’s exhausting at times. Mainly because growth doesn’t happen by hoping or even setting audacious goals. It happens when you admit where you are now and accept all the chapters in your past without regret.

From this lucid place you can chart your growth.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we got a cake and celebrated each step in our personal growth, you know instead of simply acknowledging we lived another year. 

Admit we don’t know it all—cake, realize we don’t have to react—cake, decide to leave a toxic job—cake, hug more, forgive sooner—cake, learn how to listen to and support team members—cake, admit, without blame, that our parent’s shortcomings don’t define us—cake.

Maybe those are our real “birth” days?

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to unpack there! One of the things that became clear to me as I was doing research for this is how much the writers of that time knew each other and spent time with each other. A lot of the writings that I came across were letters back and forth amongst these famous authors, and it’s interesting to get that private perspective on these very public people.

But now to focus on the content of the reading itself. Wouldn’t it be amazing if, instead of getting a birthday cake just because we’d aged another year, we instead celebrated moments of growth? Maybe some years we’d get seven or eight cakes on our birthday, if we had a particularly growth-filled year. It’s worth paying attention to the fact that we are never going to be done growing. While change and growth can be scary, they become less scary when you consider the alternative.

And now for today’s challenge question: Do you tend to focus on the positive or negative traits of others? Why?

Want to learn more about The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur? Click here.

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

SEMrush is our go-to SEO tool for everything from tracking position and ranking to doing audits to getting new ideas for generating organic traffic. They have all the important tools you need for paid traffic, social media, PR, and SEO. Check it out at SEMrush.com/partner/ducttapemarketing.

Creating a Brand Name That Sticks

Creating a Brand Name That Sticks written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Jeremy Miller
Podcast Transcript

On today’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I sit down with serial entrepreneur, writer, and branding expert Jeremy Miller. He is the founder of Sticky Branding and the author of several books, including the forthcoming Brand New Name.

Miller first became interested in branding when he took on the task of rebranding his family’s struggling business. After launching a successful rebrand there, he sold that business and started Sticky Branding, where he now helps other business owners create names for companies, products, or services that resonate with customers and generate long-lasting success.

Questions I ask Jeremy Miller:

  • What does a brand name need to do to be successful?
  • What do you have to invest to turn an empty vessel name (like Hulu or Verizon) into a household name?
  • Does everything need a brand name?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How to go about inventing an empty vessel business name.
  • Why you need a process for naming your company, product, or service.
  • How to address the need to change the name of your brand.

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Jeremy Miller

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

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Intercom. Intercom is the only business messenger that starts with real-time chat, then keeps growing your business with conversational bots and guided product tours.

Intercom’s mission is to help you provide simple, quick, and friendly service for your customers. When you can give your customers the one thing they’re looking for, you’ll generate amazing results for your business.

Want to learn more and take advantage of a 14-day free trial? Just go to intercom.com/podcast.

Transition House – Domestic Violence Awareness

Each club will be designating a current class on their schedule to benefit Transition House, a local nonprofit focused on spreading awareness of and aiding in the intervention and prevention of domestic violence. Suggested donation for the classes are full sized, brand new toiletries including shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.

See your club for more details.

Transcript of Creating a Brand Name That Sticks

Transcript of Creating a Brand Name That Sticks written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Back to Podcast

Transcript

John Jantsch: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Jeremy Miller. He is a brand strategist speaker, founder of Sticky Branding and the author of Brand New Name: A Proven, Step-by-Step Process to Create an Unforgettable Brand Name. So Jeremy, welcome to the show.

Jeremy Miller: Thanks John. It’s a pleasure to be here.

John Jantsch: So I have to tell you, I’m going to have a confession. You know my brand name is Duct Tape Marketing.

Jeremy Miller: Yes.

John Jantsch: But my original company name was Jantsch Communications.

Jeremy Miller: I love that you changed your name then. It’s one of my favorite marketing names that has been unforgettable, and following you for eight years, it’s in that range that it just sticks.

John Jantsch: Well, Jantsch Communications was terrible as a name, because it was-

Jeremy Miller: Well, it’s your name. You can’t knock your family name, your parents worked hard on it.

John Jantsch: It was my name, but people thought I sold long distance or something, I don’t know. I’m dating myself, right? What’s long distance? But anyway, yeah, we’re going to talk about that. Let me ask you the first question. What’s the job of a brand name? What does a brand name need to do to be successful?

Jeremy Miller: Well, I think of a brand name as a label in a file folder in your customer’s mind. It’s that thing that people refer to when they have a need. When you go to a grocery store, when you are talking to someone, we think in words, we think in names. It’s the way we identify something. There’s this classic scene in the Simpsons, I don’t remember if you recall, but Mr. Burns loses his power plant and he becomes a normal person, he has to do his own grocery shopping. He’s sitting in the grocery aisle and he’s looking at catsup and ketchup, and just back and forth, “Ketchup, catsup,” and everyone down the aisle are looking at him, “What’s this crazy person doing?” He doesn’t have the words to know how to buy something. And that’s the purpose of a name. It’s that thing that gives you meaning.

John Jantsch: Well, and full disclosure, I lucked on to Duct Tape Marketing. I mean, I just thought that that sounded like a good name, but I didn’t do all kinds of extensive research. But what everybody kept telling me every time I would say it is like, “I get it. It tells a story.” And so without really knowing, I think I kind of lucked onto really one of the key attributes of a great brand name, isn’t it?

Jeremy Miller: I think so. And I think a great name absolutely does tell a story, and that’s what makes it memorable, that we understand it. Now, not all names have to tell a story. A name could be an empty vessel. When you look at Kodak, George Eastman’s vision was to create a name that meant nothing, that he could breathe life into so that it became a story of the Kodak moment. So you took a descriptive metaphor and were able to apply it to marketing. We understand what duct tape is, we understand what marketing is, but by putting them together, it creates this aha moment. But it all depends on the entrepreneur’s strategy. What do you want your business to be? And then you choose the name that fits it.

John Jantsch: Let’s go to that Kodak example, because yes, in hindsight, huge brand name, everybody knows what it meant or what it stood for at one point, but when you come up with a name like that, does it require then that you’re going to invest so much energy in having to explain to people and describe it and maybe even spend years getting it to become a household name?

Jeremy Miller: Yes, absolutely. So when you choose an empty vessel such as a Kodak or a Verizon or Hulu or any of those types of names, then you have to breathe life into it and make it your own, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s your opportunity that when people interact with your business and your products and your service and your people, that’s how you’re inserting meaning and value into that name, but you’re going to have to work harder to promote yourself. So you have that balancing act, but that’s actually part of the strategy too. The biggest reason why we are going towards empty vessels is that there’s a trademark issue.

Jeremy Miller: There’s actually a naming drought. In the United States alone, we are registering 564,000 new small businesses every single month. That’s 2% of the United States population starting a company at any given time, and that’s just a mind boggling number for me. Now, not all these businesses are going to survive, but they all need names and they all need websites and then a chunk of them are going to do trademarks. And so we’re, today, experiencing an issue where all the available .coms, if you’re going to go buy a website, chances are you’re going to have to buy it from someone else. It’s like real estate. But if you throw the trademark element to the mix, now we’ve got really complicated things.

Jeremy Miller: So being able to register something like Duct Tape anything today, it’s going to be really hard. You got in at a moment in time that allowed you to create this powerful brand story.

John Jantsch: Well, and I love the Hulus and the names that you threw out there when they really evoke emotion for me. Even if I don’t know what it means, I like the sound of it or something, or even then when it’s explained to me what it means, sometimes. But can we also get too clever? I mean, I see a lot of people doing stuff where I’m kind of like, I can’t even say that, let alone spell that.

Jeremy Miller: Well, I think there’s absolutely that. So my advice if you’re inventing a word is focus on something that is a phonetic spelling versus a Latin or Greek spelling. It’s a lot easier to say Hulu than Verizon, and it’s a lot easier to remember that, same thing with Uber and other things, even though they’re short. Acura is an example of a phonetically spelled word that was invented or Swiffer is another one. We speak and think in sounds, whereas something that has more of, say, a pharmaceutical type of nature is a lot harder to remember. So there’s that element of our programming as people.

Jeremy Miller: But I would also just say this, that name is strategic. What you choose to name something should represent your brand, your positioning, what you’re trying to create. So if you called, say, a chain of retirement living centers, purple taco, you probably have got the wrong strategy, even if it sounds kind of cool. So the name has got to fit what you want to create. So your strategy is where everything starts.

John Jantsch: The name thing is hard, because you can come up with and test some names … I’ve found over the years, you’ll get feedback, people, “Oh, that’s terrible. That’s awful.” But then you go with it and 10 years in it’s like Frisbee. Probably a stupid sounding name the first time somebody heard it, but then became … And again, not everybody’s looking for naming a whole category of a device, but isn’t that a good example of sometimes you got to throw stuff out there at first maybe doesn’t just sound right?

Jeremy Miller: I’m going to come back to the Frisbee story in a second, but yes, a quirk, something that is odd or doesn’t quite fit, like Slack. How could a product focused on team collaboration have all these negative connotations? But the name is just great. Same thing with Banana Republic. If you look at the history of what banana republics are, calling a clothing brand that, is a pretty risky, bold move. But those quirks are what makes something so memorable. You mentioned Frisbee, that’s actually a story I tell in the book. Fred Morrison, who was the inventor of the Frisbee, hated that name. He thought it was the dumbest thing. The original name was called Pluto platters.

Jeremy Miller: So Frisbee was bought by Wham-O. They were the guys who created Hula Hoop and Silly String. And so [Fred Knerr 00:00:22:52], who was one of the founders, went out and he visited Fred Morrison in Connecticut near Yale, and he saw all the kids were calling this thing Frisbee. And it turns out Frisbie was a pie company in Connecticut, and what the kids did before Netflix and internet and iPhones, they would take empty pie tins and throw them around the quad. So they took the name of the pie tins and applied it to these flying saucers. And Fred Knerr was just a brilliant marketer and he saw what the customers were already calling it and took that.

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John Jantsch: So tell me this. Does everything need a name? In other words, should we be naming our processes and our products and our divisions and our job titles? Brand it?

Jeremy Miller: Yes, 100%. I think you can go probably a little too crazy on it, but I would say for something to exist, it needs a name especially in the professional services world, if we’re selling thought leadership. You look at just how you name your systems, how you name your services, not only does it give it gravitas from a customer marketing perspective, it gives it gravitas from an internal perspective. So that if you are talking about your efficiency and the way you deliver customer service, simply by giving that thing a name creates value. And so naming is probably the most important construct of language, because once something has a name, it gains meaning. And if you are deliberate on this, you are making choices of how you are going to grow your business.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And I think sometimes, you said gives it meaning, but it also makes it tangible. It’s almost like, “Oh, here’s proof that we have a 37 step process to make sure that your product or your service gets done right.” Where everybody else is just saying trust us.

Jeremy Miller: Exactly. And in the world of differentiation, especially if we’re looking at small businesses, often we are selling something that somebody else is already selling. So how you describe your services, how you describe what makes you unique and why you do what you do, those simple things of giving them names are what affects meaning and give you credibility when you describe your 37 step process for delighting your customer, then people go, “Oh, that’s why you do that.”

John Jantsch: And I know the answer to this is yes, is there a process for coming up with a name?

Jeremy Miller: 100%.

John Jantsch: You want to share that with us?

Jeremy Miller: Sure. Let me tell you a bit of where it came from. I’m a serial entrepreneur and you are too, and we work with lots entrepreneurs, and naming is one of those vexing things that consumes so much time and every time you find a great name you find someone else has taken it. And so the reason why I wrote this book was I tried to answer the question of, what do I wish I had when I went through that naming process? And so Brand New Name draws on the ideas of the GV sprint and agile project management. And the idea is over the course of two to four weeks, it gives you three stages to build your strategy, generate lots of ideas and test and select the right name for your brand.

Jeremy Miller: And so in stage one we need to build a strategy, what does it mean to have a great name? And how are you going to know it when you see it? And step two, I believe in employee co-creation, which is how do we get everybody on our team to participate and generate as many ideas as we can over the course of five days? And then the hardest part of naming isn’t coming up with ideas, it’s that vetting process. How do we find one that resonates, fits the brand and most importantly, we can own it? And so that’s what the book does. In the span of that book, everything you need to name something, whether it’s a company, a product or service is all there in those pages.

John Jantsch: Go back to number one for me, because I think that’s actually the hardest part for a lot of companies, because they don’t have a strategy anyway. And so a naming strategy is like a subdivision of strategy. What are the actual steps in that?

Jeremy Miller: So what we start off with is defining, what is it you’re naming. And so it’s the simple question of, what are you naming? Is it a company? Is it a product? Is it a service? And then describing it. My first book, Sticky Branding, I talked about this idea called simple clarity, which is the ability to describe who you are, what you do and who you serve in 10 words or less, and so we build on this a little bit. Part of what we look at in developing your strategy is to be able to answer those basic questions. What are we naming? What are the criterias? Who are our customers? How do they buy? Who are our competitors? What are the naming trends in that space? And what is it going to take to stand out?

Jeremy Miller: And so we go through those questions so that you could set some naming principles. But what you said was very interesting, it’s a subset of strategy. Oftentimes though, when we are doing a naming strategy or when I introduce this to somebody, this is the first time they’ve actually ever considered some of these questions as brand, because we’re not necessarily thinking about brand all the time. So naming is the first step for many people to actually ask the deliberate questions of, who are we? Where do we play? How do we win? How do we want to be known? And by simply getting that down on paper, starts to set the guidelines for what it’s going to take to find a brilliant name.

John Jantsch: I’ve worked with a lot of small business owners and we go through the whole strategy thing, and just like Jantsch Communications, I talked about, was a lousy name, I have to deliver the really bad news that we need to change the name of your business. Is that something that … I mean, you’ve probably faced it before, and if the name’s wrong, I mean, I suppose we can live, but we’re not going to get the message across, we’re not going to get the differentiation across. How do you address or approach that idea of maybe the name now is going to be sort of the leading edge of our strategy, because it’s going to be something that we’re going to have to change everything about? I mean, how do you address that?

Jeremy Miller: Face forward and deal with it head on. So we deal with name changes all the time in our practice. And so for example, a large part of my work is with multi generational family businesses, and we did a naming project a couple of years ago where it was called A-1 Shipping Supplies. It was made for the yellow pages basically, but 35 years later, there is no yellow pages and A-1 looks cheesy as hell. Oh, by the way, they’re doing food packaging, primarily not shipping supplies. And you deal with it. When your name is causing dissonance or hurting your credibility or preventing growth, you change it. Now, in their case, they changed their name to Rocketline, and they created a quirky, whimsical name that didn’t have a lot of meaning, but it allowed them to shape what they want to be.

Jeremy Miller: But the key in changing a name is that all that meaning and all those experiences people have had with you are associated with the one name, you have to deliberately pour those contents into the other vessel. And so you have to have a marketing strategy and a communication strategy of how you’re going to convey what your new name is and why you’re changing it to customers, prospects and whoever it is. The nice thing is as a small business, you could probably call up all of your customers and tell them face to face or over the phone why you did it, whereas if you’re talking about a large global or multinational company, it’s a lot more complicated. But generally speaking, it’s not that hard, and so if your name hurts you, change it.

John Jantsch: Is there a place for a transition? In other words, go through two name changes or something? You’ve seen people do that, where they blend the logos or something like that. Does that make sense or does that just make it harder?

Jeremy Miller: I guess you would have to tell me what the strategy is. I think within mergers, that sometimes makes sense, but those are probably larger entities with a larger communication strategy. What I would suggest is go with the name for the brand you want to be. So whatever you look at three, five, 10 years, don’t worry about what’s happening in the next 18 months, think about where you’re going and choose the name for that. What you need, though, in your communication strategy is … Where most people underestimate is how long they should be communicating the change. So they do say a 90 day or a six month campaign to communicate the change, but-

John Jantsch: “We did a press release.”

Jeremy Miller: Yeah. It’s 18 months minimum. 18 months.

John Jantsch: Yeah. You already mentioned this idea of domain names. I mean, have you ever come up with a name, and then first thing you did was look for the domain and just said, “No, it’s a nonstarter, because we can’t get a good name.” I mean, are we at a point where that is dictating branding?

Jeremy Miller: If you asked me this question five years ago, I would have said yes, 100%. Today, no. I think domain names are losing a little bit of relevance. So now, we add a descriptor. So for example, say you wanted to call your company Grant, and you want a grant.com, well I know that’s available right now, but it’s $10,000 a month on lease. I don’t know about you, but I got better ways to spend that kind of money on an annual basis. So what you look at is … So Tesla was Tesla Motors until very recently, or Buffer ran as Buffer app until their second round of funding and they could afford to buy the .com. Focus on creating a great name, and then put a descriptor on it or get creative.

Jeremy Miller: One of my favorites is Zoom, they have zoom.us or Zoom us, so they made their name a verb. The only place people are seeing domain names primarily today is in your marketing collateral and your business cards. When you go to a browser, you type in the word not in the URL, and when you see it on a website or somewhere else, you click the link, or more likely you’re going to be talking to Siri or Alexa and not even saying the URL.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Well, and there’s, as you just mentioned, .us and .ios and all those I think have become pretty … People are very accepting of those. And I think you’re right. I’m sure there’s a zoom.com, I haven’t Googled it, but I’m sure there’s a zoom.com, and so then if somebody has the exact name and a .com, that probably could lead to some confusion.

Jeremy Miller: It could, but it’s like trademarks, are they in the same space and the same category? Like you have Pandora, which is jewelry and Pandora, which is a streaming music service. So you can have multiple companies using the same names, but because they operate in different places, they can get away with it, and especially small businesses. Chances are we are local, and so the fact that there’s someone else named what you’re named in another state, it may not be all that relevant.

John Jantsch: You’re right, the behavior has changed. It used to be .com or nothing else, and I think that now, as you said, it’s not so important that people are typing it, as long as you do the fundamental SEO stuff with it.

Jeremy Miller: Here’s my most fundamental comment to branding, and this is a bit of a flippant, but build a great business. The classic example is you see a restaurant, comes out with brilliant marketing, brilliant ad campaign, beautiful restaurant, great everything, and then you get food poisoning. So the brand is, “Don’t go back to that place, I got food poisoning.” None of the marketing mattered. And I think you could actually start a small business with a terrible name, but do such great work that people love you and they come back and they refer you, and that’s your brand actually. It’s two parts. A brand is based on what you’ve done, so the results that you have delivered to your clients, and branding is what you’re going to do.

Jeremy Miller: Now, if the name starts to hurt you or you grow beyond it, now you need marketing that needs reach and that crappy name doesn’t work for you anymore, absolutely change it, but never lose sight that the quality of your business is the number one predictor of the quality of your brand.

John Jantsch: Yeah. I’ve often said, and listeners of my show will recognize this, that every business has a brand, I think it’s just whether or not they are directing it intentionally, so that goes so much to that. Jeremy, where can people find out more about you and your work and of course, pick up a copy of Brand New Name.

Jeremy Miller: Well, Brand New Name will be sold wherever books are sold. It comes out on October 8th, so Amazon for sure. And the best way to find me is just to Google Sticky Branding. Stickybranding.com is my website, and I’m on all the social networks @stickybranding, and I’d love to connect with everyone.

John Jantsch: Awesome. Thanks for taking the time, Jeremy, and hopefully we’ll see you out there on the road soon.

Jeremy Miller: Awesome. Thanks John.

How To Write an Effective Brand Story

How To Write an Effective Brand Story written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Every business has competitors. No business will ever be the only option available to a client or customer. So every brand has to do some work to differentiate themselves from the competition. Why would someone pick you over that other guy or gal down the street? What unique value are you bringing to the table that they just can’t get with anyone else?

This is where storytelling comes in. Sure, there are a number of businesses out there that could theoretically solve your prospect’s problem. But by crafting a compelling brand story, you can differentiate yourself as the brand that understands the problem the best and has the most thoughtful solution to the issue.

There are five key elements to any effective brand story. Here, I’ll walk you through them, and give you the tips you need to create a statement that sets your business apart.

Address the Problem

People don’t seek your business out because of the product or service that you offer. They seek you out because they have a problem that needs fixing, and they think that yours could be the business to solve it.

The first step to proving that you are the best business to fix their issue is clearly defining the problem at hand. When you’re able to articulate the pain that your prospects are feeling, they immediately feel at ease: Here’s a business that gets what I need, and likely has the know-how to deliver.

So a great brand story starts with calling out your ideal customer’s problem, frustration, or challenge. Take, for example, a brand like Glossier. In recent years, they’ve squeezed into the crowded beauty space and now have a valuation of over $1 billion. They identify their customers’ issue right on their home page: “Beauty inspired by real life. Glossier is a new approach to beauty. It’s about fun and freedom and being OK with yourself today. We make intuitive, uncomplicated products designed to live with you.”

They acknowledge that their ideal customers have too many options when it comes to beauty care, that those high-fashion brands make them feel like they can’t live up to those impossible beauty standards, and that the steps to a beauty care regimen have gotten more and more complex over the years. They’re looking to pare things back and offer a handful of great products that get the job done, rather than complicate things with some other product you now need to cram into your medicine cabinet.

Paint a Picture of a Problem-Free World

Okay, so now you’ve gotten your prospect’s attention. You understand what their world is like, and you’re on their side: You know there’s a problem that needs solving. The next step is to show that a problem-free world is possible. What would your prospect’s life look like without the problem in it?

Returning to the Glossier example, they address this by sharing real-world stories of women who have embraced their intuitive approach to skincare. They include pictures of their smiling, naturally-glowing faces, and the women tell stories of a quick and easy beauty routine that still allows them plenty of time to enjoy their morning coffee before heading off to work.

How Did We Get Here?

Sure, your ideal customers have a problem, but now that you’ve called it out, you want to make sure they feel like they’re not alone. Visitors to your website shouldn’t get the sense that they’ve been called out; you want them to feel like it’s not their fault they’ve gotten into this mess!

The team at Glossier does this by acknowledging that they’re just like their ideal customer. They say that they’re “beauty editors [who have] tried it all.” They’ve walked into a Sephora and picked up every serum, eye cream, face mask, and eye shadow palette under the sun, just like their ideal clients have. And from this place of knowledge, they now create products that are uncomplicated and just work.

Outline a Way Forward

Now that you’ve addressed the issue, acknowledged that a better way is possible, and made your prospects feel that you understand how they got here, now you can show them another way.

Outline a way forward for them. Show that by taking a first step with you, they can move towards getting out of this mess and finding themselves on the other side, in a problem-free place.

Glossier does this on their site by then introducing their core products that are designed to simplify a skincare routine. There are only a handful of products, and they’re the basics anyone would need (like a moisturizer and face wash).

Invite Them to Contact You

Once you’ve proven your value by identifying your ideal customer’s problem, acknowledging that they’re not the source of the issue, and offering up your way forward, towards a brighter, problem-free future, it’s time to invite visitors to reach out. You’ve made your case for what you bring to the table, now it’s up to them to contact you to learn more.

Glossier does this at the bottom of their site. In addition to products that can be purchased online, they invite visitors to “Meet [them] in real life” by finding a store or pop-up location, and then they offer up their newsletter as a way to stay up-to-date on product launches and events.

Getting your brand to pop in the crowded online marketplace is about more than having a spiffy logo or memorable slogan. It’s even bigger than offering the best product or service out there. The secret to standing out is telling a compelling brand story. And when you follow the steps above and include those essential elements, you can guarantee that you immediately build a sense of connection between your brand and prospects.