Never have I learned so much from a podcast guest as I did with today’s guest. I took more notes than I ever have and shared this interview with my team. It’s the first time I’ve ever done that. It was THAT good! Today, you’ll learn why most marketing instruction gets it wrong.
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The Most Important Part of Your Marketing with John Jantsch
I have never learned so much from a podcast guest as I did from today’s guest, I took more notes than I ever have. I shared this interview with my team and we’re going to go through it together. Like it’s the first time I’ve ever done that. It wasn’t that good. So today you’ll learn why most marketing instruction gets it wrong. Welcome to the affiliate guy podcast.
If you want to grow your income, serve your tribe, and enjoy all the benefits of affiliate marketing and having your own affiliates. You’re in the right place. Thanks for joining me today. Let’s get started.
Like I said, at the top, this is a podcast episode. I took pages of notes. Not only did I take notes, I can take six pages of notes and never do anything with them. These notes are worth at least a quarter of a million dollars, $250,000 in value to me. I’m having my team go through this interview so we can discuss it together. Like of all the interviews I’ve ever done, this might be the most impactful to me personally, to me and my business, and to my team. That’s huge. That’s huge.
My friend, John Jantsch, he and I talk about why most marketing instruction gets it wrong. Why your business succeeds when your customer succeeds. We talked about how course creators for instance, and really any business can really hone in on helping their customers be successful customers. What does that even look like? What does a customer success strategy look like? We talk about that.
As entrepreneurs pulled in like a thousand different directions, how do we keep our focus on the most important thing? It’s a big question that we talk about, and we talk about customers as members, mindset, which is huge. Talked about why funnels get it wrong and there’s something even better, that John shares. So let’s dive right into the most impactful podcast interview that I’ve ever done.
Matt: Welcome, John.
John: Thanks for having me, man. I appreciate the support. Obviously. I love to talk about this stuff, so let’s go for it.
Matt: Yeah. So this is what we’re going to talk about today, but you come right out and say that most I’m paraphrasing. You don’t say these exact words, but most marketing instruction kind of gets it wrong. What you call the ultimate marketing engine is not what we may think, I don’t know it. Wasn’t what I thought you would say. I’ll put it that way. It’s not Facebook ads. It’s not SEO. It’s not even affiliated, which is my favorite whole thing in the whole wide world. It’s not the right marketing, not better copy or better branding. It’s successful what you call successful customers. So why is this, especially in 2021 and this new age that we’re living in now?
John: Well, I think there are plenty of books that talk about the hacks for this and different tactics. Those are all useful if you actually know the right tactics to pick. Every one of those tactics that you mentioned may or may not apply to certain businesses. This book is ultimately a strategy book that starts with just what you said. The ultimate marketing engine is a successful customer. It asks the reader to shift their point of view about how they view a customer.
As you know, your business is successful, if your customers succeed. I think that that’s a really key distinction because hopefully it then starts to change and I suggest that throughout the book, it starts to change how you look at what you do from a marketing standpoint, or really even as an overall business strategy standpoint, that your goal is to take a customer from where they are today, whatever stage they’re in today, to where they want to be, and how do you build your business more around that idea of, instead of just looking for transactions that were actually looking for customers that can experience a transformation.
I know that for some businesses that can get a little woo. I mean, it’s like, oh.. I’m just trying to sell some stuff but what I’ve found is that that successful customer is profitable, is you are delivering lots of value to. That’s why they’re profitable customers. They’re evangelizing your business and they become the greatest source of new business for you either because you grow exponentially with them, by doing more and discovering more you can do with them, or because you, you are able to now attract people just like them. I think that’s a no matter what your business is, what you’re selling that focus, I think really can change how you view everything that you do.
Matt: I’m kind of curious. I read this book through two lenses. I told you before, like a quarter of the book to go, but I read it through two lines. I read it through me, and I, dog-eared a ton of stuff. I made a bunch of notes that are relevant to our business. We’ve been in this business for 10 years and I’ve, I’ve been an entrepreneur for 19 years now. But even with that in our business, like we have an established business.
We have at least, I don’t know, 5,000 total customers at some point. So I feel like it’s easy for somebody in my position to be like, oh yeah, I just need to go take the customers and turn them into evangelists. What if it’s like literally starting out, they don’t even have a customer. How do they take this concept of creating customers as evangelists from the very, very beginning?
John: The key is, I mean when you’re just starting out, let’s face it, no matter how many consultants and gurus tell you to find a niche and specialize in it, you’re really doing some discovery. You’re figuring out who your customer is. You’re figuring out who you can add value to. I know that it’s really tempting sometimes to just chase what looks like a great opportunity or great market. But the world is littered with people that did that and then found they didn’t like that marketer. They couldn’t really serve that market. Now they’re stuck and they’re like, oh, I gotta start over again.
So I always tell people, go out and serve who you think that you could serve, go out and get business, discover what works, what doesn’t work, but really start honing in on where do you deliver the most value? What problem can you actually solve for a market that needs that, that problem solved? And if you’re constantly looking for that, you will start to refine who this ideal customer is. You might have to take some really bad customers.
You might have to learn by realizing, oh, I don’t really serve that kind of customer very well. Or I deliver the most value to people that will go through my process in the way that I’ve designed it. So it’s a learning experience at first. And you just jump out there and start having those experiences. I will say that the advice I give any startup business, that has what you believe already is your ideal customer. Can you go out and start offering value to potential strategic partners or other businesses that have your ideal, or who you think is your ideal customer, and really get good at serving them or delivering value to them first and that’s a great way to get introduced to a lot of folks that, they can become your customers pretty quickly.
Matt: I like that idea of the kind of reframing bad customers. I mean, I look back at the last 10 years. There were some painful moments with some bad clients and bad customers but we like it. It helped us learn, those things to look for not only to avoid the bad customers, but I think really, to even redefine who our good customers are. That’s at the time.
John: Well, it does, but you’re absolutely right. I mean, that’s how I look at it. If you go out and get that same customer and make that same mistake thinking it’s going to be better this time and then maybe some of that’s on you, but there’s no question that you have to take that learning and factor it in. Okay. That didn’t work. Now we know one idea that doesn’t work. Let’s go in and try another one.
Matt: Yeah. So in this book, there’s actually a couple of quotes that really stood out to me. One of which I really wanted to kind of dive into and to me, this quote kind of pushes back on the traditionally accepted model that business success is just completely predicated on marketing sales and brand awareness. Right. And this quote is “Your business succeeds when your customer succeeds.” I was like, wow… okay. Yeah. I never really thought about that. Like, yeah, I want my students to be successful, but I never thought like, okay, there’s a linear correlation. So how do we accomplish that? How do we really hone in on helping our customers be successful customers?
John: Yeah, It’s funny, but it’s kind of hard, particularly in an online business, a course-driven business where you may never actually see the face of a customer. To buy. There may be interaction and they seem happy, everything’s great, but don’t, you get frustrated sometimes I’ve sold courses for years and one of the things that frustrated me the most about courses is all the people that buy them and do nothing with them. I felt like that was sort of a failure on me. I did what I said I was going to do, I gave what I promised, I gave their money back if they wanted their money back. I did all the things that I said, but I still couldn’t get over the fact that how often people just would do nothing with it.
John: And so, yeah. So what we’ve done now is I don’t offer a $99 199 or any kind of course that people can buy. Now, everything that we do with our consultants that is going to not be done in a traditional consulting manner, they’re going to get a coaching with it. It’s going to be a program that we are going to be able to hold them accountable. We are going to be able to move them through it. We are going to be able to give them feedback on their homework, which I hate calling homework, but that’s what they all call it in their coaching program.
Matt: That’s what we call it in our coaching program.
John: Yeah, I really think that was a way for me to now have these success stories. So instead of me being successful because I sold a lot, I’m now more successful I feel because my students or my clients are actually reaching the goals that they’ve set for themselves. I can’t make everybody successful. I mean you’ve seen that too. You can hold somebody’s hands, like an unreasonable amount and they still won’t take action and so that’s one of the keys, one of the steps in the book is narrowing your focus to that top 20%.
I know because these numbers have always made sense in the internet marketing world, but they haven’t been as thought about in the offline world or the more traditional business world. But I contend that the top 20% of our clients, some percentage of them want to do 10 times as much business with us, in some percentage of them may be, want to do a hundred times more business if we discovered how and I know that that that’s a principle, that whole idea of laddering up and things have been a principle in internet marketing forever. This concept is something that I don’t think gets talked about enough in all types and sizes and industries.
Matt: You mentioned that the coaching clients are getting more results and we see that same thing too. No matter how hard we try, we only hear back from about 25% of our students, the ones who buy the course, 24% of those are raving fans and they used it and got results in 1% or, the ones you talked about. They never used it and they complained about it. Then the other 75%, I just have to assume a few of them are mild success stories, but I assume that the majority of the rest of those just literally never put it into practice. Our coaching clients get results and I see them, we meet with them every two weeks and I know what they’re doing. Is it a part of that the amount of money they’re paying? is it they’re typically more advanced, they’re more driven? In your opinion, why is that?
John: Well, I think there’s a lot of factors that come into it, but I don’t think it’s just the money, certainly money. If you pay $39 for something that’s pretty easy to blow it up. But certainly, money is a factor. I think it’s accountability. I really think that that’s a huge part. I mean, I know I’m meeting with somebody next Tuesday.
I’m probably gonna make time or schedule time to do the work. I think that’s a big part of it, but what I’m guessing you do, and this is to the point of the book is that that 25 or 24% that are very engaged with you, you’re probably, and maybe you have like a 10 X offer for them, but if nothing else you are at least learning so much more about where they stumble about tricks and hacks and things that worked for them, and that you can now bring into the program and share with other people and that’s really a lot of this mindset is, I introduced the concept of treating our customers as members.
Certainly, somebody that sells a course or a subscription program the membership term has been used forever, but I’m talking about it is probably the truer sense somebody joins an organization, somebody joins even a membership, Costco membership for reasons, people join those for certain reasons, but even a program like yours, Matt, people that join and get a lot out of that. They are the evangelist for that or people that probably want you to show them what else you could do for them now. They come to you at a certain stage.
I introduced in this book, what I think is probably the biggest innovation, something I call the customer success track. Probably most of the people that joined your programs are in a certain stage in their business or their life and you probably know what those characteristics are in that stage and the challenges that somebody in that stage is. You’ve probably also seen, Hey, if we can get them to do these things, they’ll move to the next stage. Or, or we know that what the promises of them.
Going through and successfully implementing the stuff we talk about in our program. Well, there’s not much of a leap to then say, okay, what would the next stage look like? The next stage and the next stage. That’s kind of the idea behind this customer success track is. Could you start layering on from where people are the stage that you meet them in, could you actually start designing? What would it mean to take them to where they ultimately want to be? What do you have to do to the program? What do you have to actually continue to offer? If you’re going to take them to the next stage?
I’ve done this for years and we’ve mapped it out in the book, I’ll give you the five stages of marketing, I give you the milestones to accomplish to get through each of those stages. But what my ultimate hope is is that more and more people take this thinking and start applying it to their business, no matter what industry they’re in because I think it can apply and it can become the mission. And the strategy for the business quite frankly, is to bring every customer that you attract and to really make some percentage of them all the way through. I always call it, where they want to be.
Matt: Yeah. I love that customer success thing. I want to come back to that. There’s you mentioned the whole customers as members early on, and I know one of my favorite, probably my favorite chapter, the one that I’ll say the one that sparked the most thought in me, like the one that had me doing the most writing and it led down like this. sometimes your mind just goes and you read a paragraph and then you write seven pages summarizing the paragraph is what I did.
John: That’s awesome! Would you share those seven pages?
Matt: I’d love to see it. I do want to, I just wrote a note. I wanted to acknowledge it and while you’re talking here in a second, I’m gonna listen because I’ve got a notecard over on my desk, in my office. It’s just I can’t quite reach it without walking away. It’s got some of my thoughts on it that I do want to share because I think it’s just because I want to acknowledge you, but there’s a chapter eight-ish or so somewhere in there called the customers is members mindset and I think this is fascinating. I guess I just got my juices flowing and I’ll share some of my takeaways if we have time here. But what does this mean the customer is member?
John: Well, again, as I said, I’m not talking about a membership model. I mean, obviously, that’s a good business model, but I’m really talking about a point of view where we think about our customers differently. We’ve talked a lot about it, this idea of, instead of thinking in terms of transactions, we’re thinking of transformations that we can bring to that person’s life or that person’s business in a traditional kind of customer relationship, people buy stuff in a membership that they want to belong to.
They think of their dues, if you will, as an investment, and typically if you have a company that you do business with and you like what they do, you might refer them. But if you are part of an organization that you truly believe in and they are helping you get to where you want to go, you’re probably going to evangelize them. You’re going to go out and tell people their story whether you’ve asked or not. And I think that that’s what I’m talking about is what if we looked at the relationship of our customers, that way that they are joining our organization, as much as we are selling them something.
Matt: Yeah, that’s super powerful. As I said, I use this as my bookmark after a while, but I wrote some ideas and I guess that I’ll share those, but I’ll just say this for me. That was the chapter. Like that was the chapter. I was just like, oh my gosh, my mind went in a hundred progressions. Somebody else, it might be chapter one, something else. It might be chapter six. It might be chapter 11, whatever…
John: Somebody else leaves me a two-star review on Amazon. 🙂
Matt: That’s the beauty. That’s the thing I really like about this book. I could see somebody being mind blown in chapter two and not getting anything out of the customers as members. They already thought that way. So before we go any further, I just want to highly recommend guys go grab the book. We’ll put a link, if you’re watching this or listening to this, we’re going to put a link below in the show notes where you can grab that. Just go grab the book. I will tell you right now it’s like every book almost that I’ve ever read is vastly undervalued.
That’s the thing about books. This is John. This is like a decade-plus of John’s active pursuit of helping people to create this. The ultimate marketing engine and to create these ridiculous steps to growth and you’re getting it for less than 20 bucks. So just go get the book, read it. Here’s the deal I always make. Anytime I have an author on, if for some reason you actually read this entire 214 pages, I think I saw yeah, 214 ish pages book and you can honestly say you didn’t get the value of the book out of it. Send me an email at Matt@Mattmcwilliams.com. I will PayPal you the costs that you pay, send me the receipt. I will PayPal you that amount of money. Okay. Deal. Alright.
So I want to share that second quote because it ties into that customer success strategy. We were talking about that. The second quote that just struck me really powerfully said “without a solid customer success strategy, you’re cruising down the road in a car without a gas gauge”. That’s powerful. You have no idea where the next service station is located and I’m thinking, okay, I can see that in parts of our business. As some of our stuff, they go there, and then what do they do? We don’t really know. They might turn left. They might turn right. They might go straight. Maybe they run out of gas. I don’t know.
I guess, first of all, let’s talk about the customer success journey, what does that look like? How does a business owner create that? Then secondly, and these probably tying together like we’re entrepreneurs, my audience is all entrepreneurs. We’re getting pulled in a thousand different directions. How do we keep our focus on that? because it’s real easy to say, this is my strategy I’m going to follow it and then seven minutes later, FireDrill. So how do we keep our focus on that?
John: Yeah, I‘m the first to admit that that is a real challenge for any entrepreneur, especially if you’re running pretty lean and you’re wearing a lot of hats and doing a lot of the different jobs, it’s very easy to get pulled in a lot of directions. I come back to the idea of narrowing your focus to the top 20% of the folks that you are serving, the folks that you are delivering value to.
A narrow focus is a great strategy all by itself because it’s so tempting to chase all these things. The example I think I used in the book, but I use it all the time when I talk is, there’s a waterproofing company, we worked with, they basically did basement waterproofing. That was 80% of their business, probably 90% of their profit, but yet on their homepage, there were 27 services that they could do if you called them, if you wanted that. But some of them they never did and so we got them, to get that down to three and all of a sudden, now when people went to their website, they were like, oh, you are the best waterproofing basements in this city. That’s all you do. That move alone, made their business skyrocket because they were able to stand out and really attract the people that were the bulk of their business.
Anyway, there was no more confusion about who they were really serving, but then we were actually able to take that group and say, what else does that group need? So now foundation repair became their next, really key service, but it was primarily offered to that group that they were able to attract for the waterproofing.
So it uncomplicated their business, they got rid of equipment that they’d never used, their profits skyrocketed because they were really good at doing that kind of work. So that’s really this narrowing. Well, it sounds kind of scary in the beginning, especially if you, a drill that we run people through is we actually have a list of their clients or products or services by profitability.
Almost every time I’ve done that with somebody, they start looking at their spreadsheet and going, why do we even do this business? We lose money every time we do, do one of these or, the greater sort of the greater hidden one is what’s the opportunity cost of spending your time over here in work. That’s not profitable when you know that you could go out.
If you focused on that ideal client, you could go out and do a whole lot more business with them and not just do business with them. But you know, this is why I keep coming back to this successful customer. That’s who you can deliver value to. If you stay focused on the people, you really can help and I always add a caveat to that, like really can help fast. Then you’re going to build momentum in your business. You almost can’t fail if you make that criterion for who makes an ideal customer.
Matt: Sorry. I’m writing a note down. That’s actually powerful, that who you can help fast. Yeah. I love that. I mean, asking the question here who is the best, I liked that example there with the 27 offerings down to three. I think those numbers might line up. I think it was 24 and three. That study that was done years ago where they offered people 24 juices, I think it was Robert Cialdini. It was like, how many people took any of the juices was like only like half the people. Half the people walked away, not choosing a free cup of juice when they narrowed it down to three, it was like 97% you think, but more means, what if somebody doesn’t like orange, apple, or pomegranate juice, they want strawberry juice or whatever.
The other thing that just popped in my head when you were saying that was just the Jack Welch of GE. Their rule was, if we’re not going to be in the top two in our industry, we’re out. They have like a billion industry. I mean, that company is just a dumpster fire when it comes to a number of industries, they make waffle irons and then have NBC, and I think that’s a very powerful example. So you mentioned the word narrow, and one of the things that I think is really fascinating, I don’t know if you noticed this, but I love the way that you challenge the use of accepted words in the marketing world as I’ve kind of dove more,
I mentioned this, you had me on your podcast. I don’t know, six months ago or so. I think I told you this I mean, I’ve been reading your stuff, John, since a long, long time ago. I mean, we’re talking like 2005, 6, 7 with DuctTape marketing that had already been around for a while. I’ve been reading your stuff forever. I’m constantly fascinated by that. One of those examples is the word narrow, you not once, have you said, I don’t think the word niche or niche, however, you pronounce it. So you differentiate between those two words in the book. What does that mean? what’s the difference? Is this semantics or where are you going with that?
John: Well, there are cases where they intersect and you could call it semantics, but most people think of niche and they immediately think of an industry people who do knitting, dentists, think of it that way and the rationale behind that is you can get good at serving them, you’ll know their language, you’ll be able to bake repeatable campaigns that will make sense regardless of where they find you. I’m not necessarily saying that that is a bad thing by any means but when I talk about narrowing, I’m really talking as much about who you want to serve, who can deliver value to that might be a niche. But what I’ve discovered quite frankly, is it’s more about a certain type of business owner.
I serve business owners in hundreds of different over the years and hundreds of different industries. And our most successful engagements came about because the business owner believed certain things or had certain behaviors. The most notable one is they invest in their community. They invest in their industry. They believe that if they serve on the board of the national association of remodeling contractors in their town, that their business benefits by the fact that the industry benefits from their service.
That behavior is actually a way that we narrow our focus. I mean, we go after folks that, that the good news about that behavior is we can identify it. We can buy a list, we can look it up, we can find who serves onboards and who invests in the community and sponsors things in their community. But what we’ve discovered is that behavior becomes an ideal marker for us of a client that, that we can deliver value to because marketing is not an event like so many people treat it. It is a long-term game that is never over, and it’s an investment in a business. It’s not a cost. If we can find people that believe that to some degree, with a few exceptions, it doesn’t matter what industry they’re in.
Matt: Hmm. It’s interesting. Yeah. because I think a lot of people, they focus on the niche or the niche again, however one chooses to pronounce it. It’s like one of our favorite debates in marketing world is how do you pronounce that word? I don’t care. Yeah. I mean, that’s just, that’s kind of choosing the what, but I think the difference is you’re focusing on the choosing the who.
Again, I’m going to go back to something you said, stay focused on who you can help fast. I’ll tell you what, that’s an entire marketing book in a sentence. I think if people just did that, who focus on who you can help fast, that’s going in our playbook. I mentioned I have a few more questions, but I do want to acknowledge a few things that I got out of this for one that is powerful. That is something that I think we’re going to have to talk about in our meeting, in our team meeting next week, I’m going to play around with some concepts on that because I think it’s pretty cool.
The other thing I meant, like one of the things I got out of this was nothing that you specifically said, but something that a couple of things that you got me thinking about was ways for us to over-deliver to our clients because you talk about this next direction when it goes this hourglass model, we think of funnels and funnels, they get perpetually narrower, rightfully so we’re charging more money or we’re targeting a segment or whatever they get narrowed, but this hourglass gets wider and some of the things for us like that I got was a more elegant onboarding process.
I realized that with our customers, we’re kind of like, the way we’re onboarding our clients. It’s like, well, here do this and then, Hey, we’re going to have a call. You know? I’m like, no, we need an elegant onboarding. We need to serve them in ways, a little bit beyond the scope of our coaching. So I have is this idea that I’ve had for years, that we’ve never implemented with these launch care packages. John, if you’re a client and you have a big launch coming up, we’re going to spend a few hundred bucks and send you a care package with some like coffee and some healthy food and a stress ball. I don’t know, like a gift certificate for a massage, things like that that would really make you go, holy freaking crap.
John: A small glass of tequila. 🙂
Matt: The other thing I got, was like, because that continuous 10 X offer. I went with our coaching program. It’s a 25 to $28,000 investment, but it’s the end of the line. There is literally nothing other than just doing it again. There’s nothing else you can do. I’m like, but 10% of them would pay a hundred thousand dollars. So why are we not doing that? That’s just dumb. Then the last one, was it again customers is members. I literally, know you’re not talking about membership sites, but I wanted to acknowledge it because it got me thinking outside the box. I was like, our clients don’t interact. I coach them. They go on their way. They’ll interact. I’m like, well, if nothing else, the next thing for them as a continuity program, as an actual membership site.
It was like, oh my gosh. So I will just go ahead and say it for anybody, listening minimum value out of this and full disclosure. I didn’t pay a dime for this. John was very nice and sent the book, thank you. But even if I’d spent less than $20 on this book, I got at least a quarter of a million dollars out of it. So maybe if you get one 10th of that, would you be willing to pay less than 20 bucks to get $25,000? If not, well, then you’re doing better than I am. Let’s go back to that hourglass thing. One of the things I love about this is like, you got the funnel gets narrower squeezes down, but this one gets bigger at the bottom. So tell us about that. First of all, why does it get bigger at the bottom? And second of all, How do we take advantage of that?
John: Sure. As you noted the hourglass, if you think about a shape of an hourglass, it borrows heavily from the funnel, you’re absolutely right. We do have to get people to realize we’re out there and get them to think about considering us and trust us enough to get out their wallets. That’s typically where the narrow part of the funnel happens. But it’s also where a lot of marketers feel like the job’s done. That’s where marketing ends. I took the funnel and turn it upside down and put them together and that’s your hourglass shape is it’s basically two funnels because what I find is the opportunity to grow your business expands dramatically. Once you get a customer, the greatest source of new leads is always going to be a happy customer.
That continuity program you were talking about, Matt, I tell you, if you just started out by bringing your customers together and letting them chat with each other and talk about what’s working and not working for them, that would turn into referrals for you, whether you charged a dime for them to participate in that program or not because they would reassure each other on how smart they all are for working with you and that in my experience would turn into, maybe they’d ever actually end up with some joint venture opportunities. And I mean, they would actually start doing business with each other and you’re going to bask in that glow and bringing them together.
Matt: That’s what I was just thinking.
John: The mindset then shifts is that you have to plan this stuff intentionally. The hourglass for us has seven stages. They know like trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer. The trust parts, kind of that’s where you earn their trust. That’s where the engagement starts try and buy is really where you kind of that’s the bridge. Now it’s shifted from what you’ve done to what they’re experiencing by being a part of your tribe. All the ways that people are familiar with trying, but by the way, when I pick up the phone and call you when I send you an email when I fill out a form, I’m trying you out at that point. So are we thinking about that as being a great marketing experience or not? And then obviously you talked about it already.
When I buy what’s the onboarding look like? what’s the orientation look like? What’s communication look like are? have you exceeded my expectations? Have you told me over and over again, what great results I’ve gotten? All of these things build towards me wanting to obviously retain you buy the next thing you’ve got for me but ultimately these are the things that lead me to me saying, how can I tell my friends, neighbors, and colleagues about what a great opportunity is to do business with you? How we, as business owners, what are we doing to bring our clients together, to stay top of mind, to ask for referrals in various, various ways? Those are all intentional parts of how we have to look at. I called the hourglass the framework.
They’re kind of intentional parts of how we have to look at the journey, the customer journey, as somebody goes from not knowing who we are to being evangelists for our business. And a lot of those stages let’s face it or out of our control these days. People research things, they start looking, they ask their friends, they do a lot of things before we ever even know that they’re interested or looking at our business. By looking at the questions and objectives and goals somebody might have at each of those stages, those mileposts along the journey, you can then I think get very focused on what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
I had a remodeling contractor that we’ve done work with forever and they do this all the time say, Hey, I’ve been here a lot about Tik ToK. Don’t you think we ought to be on Tik TOK? And I said, what are you going to have like dancing carpenters? is that really a good place for you to get $250,000 kitchen remodels. Now, maybe if you had all the money and all the resources on the planet, maybe, but having this, this customer journey, having this ideal customer in mind, it actually does as much to tell you what not to do as it does to tell you what to do.
Matt: That’s a good point. I think when that journey one of the things that the starting point of that journey is like, well, your contractors are not on tick-tock, that’s an extreme of them. I know my audience they’re not really heavily on Instagram and a few other social media channels. I could get another 4%, but I have to spend 20% of my time on there to get another 4%. That’s terrible stress, literally the 20, 80 rule idiotic. One thing that I look, I keep going back to this and John, be honest, every time normally when I do an interview with an author, who’s got like a book coming out. We talk about everything and go the whole thing to the very end. It’s like, oh, by the way, you have a book coming to outspend a minute telling you about one of the reasons why I’m so heavily talking a lot about this,
John, just to be totally transparent is it’s really good. A lot of books I’m like, Hey, maybe if you think it’s a good fit, go grab the book. I tell you guys it’s like a good fit for probably every single business owner out there or even people who are in marketing.
You maybe you work full-time for a company, but you’re in the marketing department. This still is a great book for you. One thing I love about it is you provide actual resources to go through these things. You’ve got the hourglass journey map. I just want to acknowledge that. I know there are a few other resources. I forget that’s the one I wrote down what are some of the resources people can get when they get this book. This is all bonuses guys.
John: Yeah. So every chapter ends with some action steps and for every one of those action steps, we’ve built a tool to help you complete it. So the customer journey map, but then we also have the journey, all the tactics for each stage of the journey. We have the whole content planning, really workbook, we have tools to help you really narrow your focus to your ideal client, we have messaging, we have a core story scripting, we have referral tools, we have strategic partner-building tools. Every single chapter ends with some tools that when you get a hold of the book, you’ll actually see in there a link to get all of the resources as well and it’s stuff that it’s not stuff that me as a consultant dreamed up and said, this ought to work. I mean, this is, these are tools that we use and have used every day. I actually have a network of independent marketing consultants that license our methodology and install our methodology. And so we were constantly refining these and using them and creating new ones.
Matt: Yeah. So you mentioned the core story script though. Real quickly. Tell us what that is, because this is another part of the book where I got some clarity over some stuff that I kind of got a little bit misguided on over the years.
John: Yeah. Well, storytelling in businesses like the new, there’s probably an entire section in Barnes & Noble now just on the car or I tell it because there’s nothing wrong with it. I mean, it’s become a very hot topic. I mean, it’s certainly better than telling how great you are telling stories that that really engage, gauge the reader or the prospect.
There’s nothing wrong with that approach where I think a lot of people get it wrong is they still believe it’s a linear path that you tell the story a certain way and the end that people followed the certain path. Well, we all know from going to movies that the best movies start with the fiery car crash in the very beginning. And we’re like, oh my God, what happened? And then it cuts away to the protagonist in seventh grade and you’re sucked in.
A lot of what I talk about in this core story script is the idea of beginning with the end in mind, show people what helped them understand that you understand the problem they’re suffering or the problem that they’re trying to solve, but also let them see what a world would be like. If that problem was solved, bring them into the story with, with the goodies first, as opposed to telling them you got to do this and you gotta do this, you’ve gotta do this. They’ll listen to you. You gotta do this and you gotta do this and you gotta do this when they realize the promise of doing it first.
Matt: So as we wrap up John. Again, I think this book I’ve been in this business for a decade, I’ve been in online marketing for 17 years. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 20 years next year. I still got a ton out of it. I mentioned, I get at least a quarter of a million dollars and I probably and vastly underestimated what I got out of this.
I think that this book is for literally everyone, but I want to focus on two very distinct entrepreneurs as we wrap up here, the first one, I want you to maybe answer this for this first entrepreneur, like they’re an aspiring entrepreneur. So they’ve got kind of like the business plan. They’re like, okay, I think I want to start this business. They haven’t quite pulled the trigger yet. This guy has an hour tomorrow to spend on his business that he hasn’t started yet. Like, what would you tell him to do with that hour?
John: The thing I always tell startups, I mean, they definitely want to go out there and start generating clients fastest way to generate clients is to find somebody who already has them and start building relationships with those folks. Start figuring out how what you do or find out away. So for example, we have marketing consultants that licensed my program. They’re starting, they’re jumping out of corporate. So what I tell them to do is to find the accountant and the lawyer and the banker and the executive coach in your town and offer to do a website evaluation or a total online presence audit or something for them free.
Not because you want to get them as clients, because you want them to experience what it is that you do that approach while it seems sort of long-term because nobody’s going to say, oh, I’m going to hire you. I mean, actually, maybe they will, but that’s not really your intent. But what that’s going to do is that’s going to lay some of the groundwork and plant the seeds for that person that could then bring you in front of a dozen prospects or a hundred prospects.
So in terms of getting started, that’s really where I tell people to spend as much time as possible. If you’re a salesperson and you get hired, do the same thing. I know you want to chase your quota. You want to chase down, you know, the business that somebody can say yes to, but building those relationships in that network is just going to pay long-term
Matt: Given the beauty of that advice. Maybe you’ll disagree instinctively. I know 90% of people won’t do it. Yeah. Well, because they have their mindset working for free. Yeah, exactly. It’s an hour, hour equals pay, an hour equals 17, 50 hours equals $25. Like whatever it is. You can talk about a million-dollar relationship, but you won’t do a free website analysis or something like that. I personally like it. I like when people give advice that I know 90% of the people listening won’t implement.
John: Because the beauty of that is that’s going to make you stand out even more if you do it.
Matt: Yeah. So my challenge to anyone listening, who said, I’m not going to do it as I hope. I just challenged you to do it. Yeah. Hope I just made you go. Do you want to see? So, all right, John. So lastly, the other business owner, the other extreme he’s been in business for like 10 years, I got pretty good marketing, the leads are coming in, their sales are coming in, but they’re mostly transactional, right? His business has kind of stalled a little bit. So he’s got an hour of time tomorrow where he’s not meeting or doing stuff, right. How does he spend that hour? What’s his first step?
John: Okay. There’d be one or two or both paths find eight or 10 of your best ideal customers and call them up and talk with them for about 10 minutes. Ask them how they found you, ask them why they stick with you, ask them what you do that others don’t do ask them. If they were going to refer you, what would they say to somebody who is looking for a business like yours? Don’t let them just say, well, you provide good service. I mean, dig a little bit, tell me a time when we provided good service, tell me a story about a time we provided good service. That’s number one.
What you’re going to listen for is this is not scientific research. You’re listening for themes. You’re listening for things that get repeated, because what happens is when people really get talking about what you do and why they stick with you and how you’re different, they’re going to start revealing the problems that you solve for them. Now the, the second side of that is if you’ve got more than 25, 5 star Google reviews, pour-over everywhere. Those yes, it’s awesome that you’ve got 4.8 aggregate stars, read the words that people are saying. If somebody, somebody voluntarily goes to Google, sometimes it’s not that easy to figure out how to do.
They voluntarily go to Google and leave a review for your business. They are going to talk about how you exceeded their expectations, how you surprise them, how you do something different. That’s the messaging that you need to start really digging in and making your core message. I’ll give you one quick example. A tree service we worked with years ago, all of their website, locally owned since 1960, blah, blah, blah, which are all good things. But we interviewed their clients. We looked at their reviews and they almost all came down to saying they showed up when they said they would and they cleaned up the job site. So the problem they were solving for their clients, they figured anybody who has a chainsaw and a truck and cut down a tree may or may not be true but that’s the assumption.
Matt: I have both and I can’t do it.
John: Will they show up at the allotted time? Are they gonna make me wait around? When I get home at the end of the day, am I going to see a mess? Or I’m not even going to know that they were there. So we changed that to their core message because that’s the problem they’re really solving. So figure out the problem you’re solving and then build your business around promising and delivering on solving that problem.
Matt: Man, we’re on a time crunch, mainly because of our kid’s soccer. But I just want to thank you again, because I added a six thing just as you were talking here, you know, something I’ve never done, John, I have never watched our client testimonial videos. Oh, why have I not watched them just full transparency? Because our team does them. They go on, they do the zoom interview. They edit them. They put them up on the website and I don’t really see them, but I’m willing to bet that if I watched them, you said eight to 10 best customers, we’ve got about 15 to 20 of those. I bet if I go watch, especially the unedited versions.
I bet I will notice what you just said. What’s my just showing up on time? What is the thing that I don’t know the answer to that question because I’ve never taken it, I’ve never done that for the first time in my life. The other day, I read our podcast reviews only because I was taking screenshots to give to one of the guys in our team to add. He was like, we should add these to the page because we had a really good one. I never, I never, why do people like my pockets? I have no idea what is, and you know what? There is, there’s a trend. We have a survey and I’ve read, I’ve read through the complaints. How can we make our content better? I’ve read through the questions that they asked. I’ve read through why they subscribe. I’ve read through their demographics. You know the column I never read. We literally have a column called say something nice about me. Never read it. I don’t know why people like me.
That’s powerful, John, that’s a powerful way to end. So, John, I cannot thank you enough. I just want to say one more time. Just go get the book, The Ultimate Marketing engine. Just go get the book. We’re going to put a link. We’re going to make it stupid easy for you. Click the link, buy the book. You’ll if you’re a Prime member, you’ll get it in two days. People start reading it. I’m on page 143.
I got it on Monday on we’re recording this on a Thursday, so it’s a quick read. It flows unless you do like me and stop and write down at seven pages notes. Just get the book, read it, digest it, and then reach out to John and I on social media and let us know how it went. What was your quarter of million-dollar idea?
Your $10,000 idea, $5,000 idea. I mean, for me, just watching my own testimonial videos, if nothing else, it will make me feel good. So, John, I cannot thank you enough. This has been amazing.
John: Well, I appreciate it, man. I’m going to quote you as a testimonial saying, this book is been worth $250,000.
Matt: You can do that. You can do that easily. Thank you. If there’s anything I can do to help support this book, please let me know.
John: Oh, well I really appreciate it, Matt. Thanks.
Matt: Thanks, John. Bye.
Wow. If you got like a 10th as much out of that, as I did, you’re in really good shape.
This is a really good, less than an hour that you spent. There are a few takeaways that I hope to stick with you. These are some of my biggest takeaways. Number one, your business succeeds when your customer succeeds. Now, when your Facebook ads succeed, now when even your affiliate succeeds, although I would certainly argue that’s probably number two, your business succeeds when your customer succeeds and if you focus on that, you’re going to be successful.
Number two, focus on what you’re the best at, not what you can be one of the best at. What’s the thing you’re probably the best and it doesn’t have to be,oh, you make the best such and such for people who ________. So you make the best not shoe, but you make the best running shoe for people who overpronate, if you don’t know what that means, don’t worry about it. people who overpronate and tend to land a little too far back instead of their feet. I don’t know. Like you may not be the best instructor at, the best parenting expert in the world, but you’re the best parenting instructor for older parents who have young children who suffer from a learning disability. That’s it like you’re the best in your niche, right?
Third marketing doesn’t end at the end of the funnel, your marketing is not done. You got to market to your customers, not just to sell them new things, but to serve them and help them succeed. Because remember your business succeeds when your customer succeeds.
Fourth, this was a huge thing for me, stay focused on who you can help fast, who in the world can you get them from point A to point B the fastest. Again, going back to that shoe example, boom, you’ve solved their problem by buying a pair of shoes and the parenting example, you’ve solved their problems fast. Like they can buy a short course and, and take a couple of lessons from you and they’ve solved their problem.
I have a friend of mine, I’ve used this example many times, he’s a parenting expert in one of his things gives scripts to dads to talk to their children about sex. That script helps people fast. There’s a reason why men all over the world pay $37 for basically what amounts to a three-page PDF. Actually think it’s five pages, a five-page PDF, $37. I’m writing a book right now. It’s a 300 and something page book, and we’re going to sell it for less than $20. And yet five-page PDF, $37. Why? Because it solves their problem. Fast, stay focused on that.
So go grab this book. I haven’t looked, but it’s under 20 bucks on Amazon. So if you go to Mattmcwilliams.com/UME for Ultimate Marketing Engine, you can grab that copy. It’ll take you to the Amazon link right there. Grab a copy of the book.
As I say, always, if you don’t get enough, whatever you pay for it, 20 bucks, 18 bucks, whatever you don’t get 18 or $20 worth of value out of it, then email me. I will refund your money. I’ll send you a check for whatever, you know, send me your receipt. I’ll send you a check for that. It’s that simple.
So make sure that if you haven’t already that you hit subscribe, you share the podcast with someone, you know, leave that rating and review and come back for the next episode. This is why subscribing is so important because you don’t miss an episode. It’s always just there just pops up and like, Hey, go listen to this. That’s what you want to do because you’re going to get value out of the next episode, because it’s all about something that’s super important right now, especially I’m talking with Dorie Clark about how to be a long-term thinker in a short term world.
How do we think big? How do we think long? How do we think a year to even five or ten down the road, especially through what we’re going through right now, especially through with some of us, we just feel like we’re trying to make it the next week, a week after I know what that’s like, you know what that’s like? Like sometimes I feel that way on certain days, but it’s this conversation with Dorie it’s going to change the way that you think you’re going to be thinking long-term when everybody else is thinking short-term and you may not get where they are six months from now. I’m sure going to get there and you’re going to get further in 5 or 10 years. So come back for that episode, make sure you hit subscribe so you don’t miss it. I’ll see you then.
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