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5 Ways the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network Helped Me Start My Consulting Business While Keeping My Day Job

5 Ways the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network Helped Me Start My Consulting Business While Keeping My Day Job

5 Ways the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network Helped Me Start My Consulting Business While Keeping My Day JobThere’s nothing more exciting, rewarding, and challenging to the entrepreneur-at-heart than starting your own business. I think this is even more true when you want to be a Marketing Consultant in today’s digitally connected world.

You get to be your own boss, your own project manager, and your own decision-maker, and every iota of success you achieve for yourself and your clients can be traced back to your hard work and dedication.

However, if you currently have a corporate day job and aren’t sure if starting your own business is the right move, then it can be daunting to explore potential opportunities. After all, you don’t want to leave your day job only to find that your fledgling company isn’t seeing the revenue and growth you were looking for, right?

On top of that, what if you truly enjoy your current day job and don’t necessarily want to give it up right now? Can you still successfully start your own business while working a day job?

That was my exact predicament when I was looking to start my own consultancy. How could I continue to do my day job effectively and grow a business, while still being able to spend time with my wife and kids?

It seems like too much to ask for. Most gurus will tell you that you can’t effectively do both, that you need to drop the day job completely in order to dive full force into your business. I feel that makes sense if you are in your 20s or if your current job sucks the life out of you.

But for me, there had to be a way to make it work. I found that way with the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network (DTMCN).

Here are five ways the DTMCN helped me start my own marketing consulting business, while keeping my day job.

1. DTMCN Gives You All the Resources You Need to Succeed

One of the most difficult parts of starting your own consulting business is getting all the resources you need in place to get off the ground. For instance, if you’ve never run your own business before, then you probably have a million questions about how to structure the company, what works and what doesn’t when selling to prospects, what software tools to use and where to get them, and so much more.

That’s one of the reasons why the DTMCN is so valuable to me. I got access to all the resources I needed to successfully get my company rolling, including:

  • Proven systems
  • Training and live events
  • Samples
  • Ready-to-use templates
  • Ebooks and forms that can be co-branded with your own information
  • Checklists
  • A complete and fully activated website
  • Duct Tape Marketing academy courses to become a certified partner

2. Their Solid Network Gives You People You Can Count On

Another resource that can be difficult to locate when starting a business is the people you need to assist you along the way. These people can come in the form of partners, consultants, mentors, collaborators, and even just other business owners in a similar situation to yours.

DTMCN has a vast and global network of consultants and partners who have been where you are and who are more than willing to provide advice, act as a sounding board for ideas, and otherwise coach and support you through the early days of your startup.

For many new business owners, this can mean the difference between finding success and feeling overwhelmed and like you have nowhere to turn. But luckily, DTMCN wants you to succeed and grow, and the partner network will ensure you have the tools, resources, and support to accomplish this.

I would say that having the ability to interact and feed off of the more experienced consultants has been the number one driver of taking my business from the hobby phase to serious phase.

3. DTMCN Will Teach You the Ropes Quickly

Another difficulty you’ll likely encounter is actually finding the time to start a side business while keeping your day job. If you’re like most Americans, then over the course of your lifetime, you’ll end up spending 90,000 hours at work. That doesn’t sound like it leaves a lot of time for other things…including more work.

However, in order to be fair to your employer, it’s critical that you do find time outside of work hours to dedicate to your own project, and the DTMCN makes this possible.

John and team have built a Duct Tape University for the members. This portal allows for all-hours access to content and comes with accountability modules. This format allowed me to gain knowledge of the marketing system quickly while being flexible to my schedule.

4. The Lead Generation Assistance They Provide Just About Guarantees Success

When you partner with the DTMCN, you get access to proven lead generation funnels that mean you can hit the ground running as soon as you get started. Moreover, they have ready-to-implement marketing service packages for you to use, and a proven marketing methodology you can use to increase awareness about your brand, locate new leads, drive traffic, and expand your business.

Joining the DTMCN also comes with the added benefit of promotions and discounts on third party software and services that will further assist with your business to increase leads and prospects.

5. DTMCN Makes Growth Easy

About 70 percent of new businesses will survive their first two years, and the DTMCN provides everything you need to ensure you’re included in the ranks of successful startups. Along with providing lead funnels, marketing strategies, support networks, and plenty of resources, they also provide a concrete service and value proposition you can offer to potential clients.

As a certified Duct Tape Marketing consultant, you’ll be allowed to sell managed marketing service packages to clients that are set up as a monthly retainer for your services. The name recognition is a real bonus to lend credibility to your offerings.

As you grow, the DTMCN also provides all the resources and strategies you need to scale your business without the traditional overhead associated with such growth.

The prospect of starting your own business can be simultaneously exhilarating and frightening, especially if you’re worried about not having the security provided by a stable job and steady paycheck.

Unless you’re a superhero, trying to stay sane while doing both effectively is a real challenge. But when you choose an option like partnering with the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network, you get the advantage of keeping your day job while also working toward growing your own entrepreneurial venture and the benefits it brings.

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions if you are weighing the pros and cons of going out on your own or if you have any questions in general about the DTMCN.

About the Author

Brian RuggieroBrian Ruggiero is the founder of Webistries Marketing & SEO, where he helps business owners develop their best possible web presence. Prior to founding his business, he worked for over 10 years as an analytical consultant to Fortune 500 companies in the consumer goods space.

 

grow business through referrals

Building Your Business Through Referrals: A Complete Guide

grow business through referralsReferrals are one of the most lucrative and reliable ways to create new business. If you want to gain exposure to potential clients who are already in the market for your services, or who you already have an important relationship with, referral marketing is your best source.

Many business owners understand the power of referrals and referral sources but aren’t sure where to start when attempting to develop a profitable referral program. Here is the complete guide to building a referral system that’s effective and income-producing for your business.

Show off your business’ worth.

If you’re focused on turning every single client into a source of referrals for your business, the most important part will be the service and value your business can provide. An excellent transaction where the customer feels you went beyond what was expected is more likely to reap referrals from the client. Exceeding a customer’s expectations should not only make you feel great about your company’s performance, but it should also get you excited for the referrals to come.

You need to truly believe that your business is the best out there to convince potential referral sources. When you talk about your business to potential clients or referral sources, it’s also important to know how to explain the value your company provides with its service, and what makes you different from anyone else on the market. Having a few valid points to hit about the trustworthiness, value and client satisfaction of your business can make it more appealing for potential referrals. The smart people at Inc. recommend you “keep in mind the importance of word of mouth as you focus on making the buying process effective and enjoyable – before, during and even after the sale.”

“Satisfied clients are usually eager to connect you with prospects, but they have other priorities, too,” says The All Access Group CEO Kelli Richards. “Suggest a recommended time frame for making an email introduction, or ask if you can use the client’s name when reaching out to a prospect you both know. This takes the burden off of the client.”

Nurture current client relationships.

It’s not enough to display stellar customer service and smooth business transactions. Your current clients must also stay connected to you and your business, while feeling nurtured. A past client who still receives information about your business won’t forget about you and is more likely to refer potential clients your way.

While hounding your current clients for referrals is a definite faux pas, you should always gently remind them that you appreciate when they send friends, family members or colleagues your way. Offer them information, valuable resources and then interject your communication with a recap about your appreciation of customer referrals.

Here’s an excellent example of nurturing referrals from Srikumar Rao, Author, Happiness at Work:

“Let’s say you run a dog-boarding service. How about preparing an authoritative booklet on how to prevent separation anxiety in your dog? You describe the condition, the ill effect it has on the dog and — by extension — the owner’s family. You give helpful tips on how to ameliorate this, and, of course, these tips are implemented in your operation.

You offer to send the booklet to your satisfied client’s dog-owning friends. She can also select any three of them to receive a greatly discounted boarding package.”

Create new referral sources.

“Connecting synergistic business that will help your contacts is a key way in generating value for your connections,” advises Jason Bettinger, Founder of Ocean Friend. While current clients are easy sources for referrals, your referral seeking strategy should also include brand new sources.

Consider potential referral sources that are in the same type of industry but not offering the same services as your business. Setting up meetings with these potential sources to explain the value of your service and your unique business can help you to snag them as reliable resources for referral business. Don’t let it be a one-way street; figure out how you can help this business owner with referrals or other lucrative resources and connections.

If you’re ready to tap into the business you’re missing from a stream of referrals, it’s important to develop a program you can rely on. Follow these steps to start your successful referral program today.

If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Referrals.


About the Author

jodie shawJodie Shaw is The Alternative Board (TAB)’s Chief Marketing Officer. She brings over 20 years of B2B marketing and 10 years in franchising to the role. Prior to to her work with TAB, Jodie served as the CEO and Global Chief Marketing Officer of an international business coaching franchise, serving more than 50 countries.

How to Increase Your Sales Without Having to Find New Customers

One of the biggest mistakes many businesses make is only dedicating their attention to going after new clients while forgetting about their existing clients. If you have been doing business for some time now, you may have likely realized that it can be far more economical to generate sales from your existing clients than to target new ones.

Targeting your existing clients to increase your sales has its benefits:

  • Since you have already done business together, there is a sense of trust between the two parties. Hopefully, they are satisfied with your services and believe that you can consistently deliver the same quality over time.
  • You no longer have to spend a lot of money on your branding. Since you have already attracted them, you don’t have to keep marketing your brand to them. All you have to do is sway them over with your services. This means that you can save up a lot of marketing costs if you strictly focus on your existing clients. In fact, Ruby Newell-Legner, a prominent customer service speaker, and author, believes that it is six times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one.

The Marketing Metric research states that the chances of selling to your existing customer base are 60 to 70 percent, but for new customers, it is only 5 to 20 percent. Above all else, a study by Bain and Company revealed that if your customer retention rate increases by 5 percent, it can boost the revenue up to 95 percent!

These numbers prove that it is extremely beneficial to target your existing clients and increase your revenue without having to find new ones, but the question arises: “How do we do it?”

How can you increase your sales without having to find new clients?

Improve your services

Clients have a lot of options to chose from, and if your service isn’t up to their expectations, they will have no qualms switching from you to a competitor. I am sure you are constantly working to better your services, but understand that no matter what you do, the client expectations and demands will always be higher than your service delivery. This means that you always have to be on your toes when it comes to delivering top-notch services. If you can exceed your client’s expectations, you can be confident that they will keep coming back to you. Here are a few tips on how to improve your services:

  • While interacting with your clients (either online or offline), make sure that you have a personal and casual tone. Even if you are doing business, your tone should be empathetic and warm. You should keep your tone personal in order to imply a sense of trust in your clients.
  • Keep asking for feedback from your existing clients. This is what I mean when I say you constantly have to be on your toes to improve your client service. Ask for feedback and improve upon the areas that went wrong. If your clients notice that you are taking their feedback seriously, they will invariably end up taking your business seriously.

Stay in touch with your existing clients

It is true that your clients don’t take your business as seriously as you think they do. If you want to leverage your existing clients to generate higher revenue, you have to change this and keep them engaged. You can follow up with them by sending emails, informing them about a new service they might like, or offering an exclusive discount. Stay in touch with them, but beware of getting too clingy. There is a fine line between the two, and you are mature enough to stay on the right side of the line!

Make sure that your employees are on the same page as you

Finally, your employees can add great value too when it comes to providing better service to your clients. Remember that you can only come up with policies, it is the employee that is going to go out there and implement them. They should know how to interact with the client, and how to take the necessary actions to leverage a client up to their full revenue potential. All in all, your employees should be on the same page as you when it comes to targeting existing clients. This can only happen by raising awareness, initiating conversations, and implementing transparency. Your employees are the biggest assets you have. While sourcing new clients, and targeting existing ones, do not forget you have to keep your employees engaged as well.

If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Sales.


About the Author

anthony bergsAnthony Bergs is a project manager at Writers Per Hour. He always keeps an eye on the marketing sector to implement the best innovations in the strategies that he builds. He’s always open for new connections and partnerships.

How to Proactively Engage With Your Clients

How to Proactively Engage With Your Clients

How to Proactively Engage With Your Clients

There are two different types of client experiences: reactive and proactive.

Reactive means you’re responding to client’s interactions with you and your business, fulfilling their expectations, wants, and needs. For the most part, this is an outdated approach to doing business and requires you to spend a lot of your time putting out fires.

Marketing consultants that spend time creating a reactive client experience are typically those that believe investment into client experience is a cost that they don’t necessarily need.

It’s time to think again.

Here are a few metrics to help you understand why being reactive is bad for business:

  • More than 75% of clients have abandoned a deal or not made the intended purchase because they’ve received poor service or follow up.
  • Loyal clients are 10 times more valuable to a consultant than a brand new client.
  • Many clients require 12 positive experiences with you to change their mind about a single negative experience they’ve had.
  • More than 90% of unhappy clients will never do business with you again.

If you’re simply reacting to events that happen in your client’s buying lifecycle, instead of moving them through a carefully planned out sales funnel, you aren’t giving them the experience you know they deserve.

A proactive client experience builds an ongoing relationship, usually starting well before a client is even a client. You anticipate problems before they become a problem and nurture the connection you have in many different ways. This hopefully leads to you being their consultant of choice for future projects and you may even get some positive referrals too.

Here are 7 different ways consultants get it right and proactively engage with their clients, both current and future:

Proactive Associate Engagement

Genesys ran a survey to determine how much a poor client service experience costs a business and found that 40% of clients stated if they were able to improve one aspect it would be the human element.

You are the face of your business and should be able to identify a problem before it becomes a major setback. By ensuring that you engage with clients that are looking for help, you’re creating opportunities to prevent those problems before they come up.

Clients that get the attention they need long before they get frustrated are going to become long-term clients. Even the smallest changes can make a big difference. For instance, addressing your clients by name can help you create an intimate bond. It’s unfortunate, but most consultants will only engage their customers by name around 21% of the time.

Client Surveys

You can never really be sure what type of client experience you’re providing unless you take a step back and ask. Most consultants believe they are delivering superior client experiences, while less than 10% of clients believe they have gotten outstanding service.

Talking to your clients about the experience they’re having with you can be a great way for you to engage them in several different ways.

You want to ensure that the surveys you ask your clients to take are short and to the point. Focus on making them client-centric and make sure they understand that they have a chance to gain by completing your survey.

Journey Maps

Nothing says proactive engagement quite like looking at your client’s journey and figuring out how you play a role in it. By mapping out your client’s journey, you can share fresh ideas, add a new perspective and predict any bumps in the road before clients realize they’re an issue.

Calling Your Clients

Whether it’s a new client or a long-term client, one way to proactively engage with them is to simply call them and ask if there’s any area you can improve. The best time to do this is shortly after they’ve had an interaction with you.

By contacting them and asking them a few questions, you’ll get feedback from them about areas that can be improved on or that you excelled in while the interaction is still fresh in their mind.

Engaging on Social Media

Engaging and interacting with your clients online can help you extend your client experience.

You can use Google Alerts to figure out when clients are talking about you or your business and monitor the conversations that they’re having. Whenever you react to one of these conversations, you are proactively engaging with future clients that will search for your name.

Clients love to know that they’re being heard. By interacting with them while they are voicing their opinions online, you are showing them that you are proud of your clients.

You can also install live chat software on your website where clients can actively voice their opinions. Opening this dialog with them will help show them that you’re always available and that you do listen to their feedback — especially if you implement what they’re saying.

You will be able to glean new insights based on how they interact with social media posts you create or advertisements that they see from you.

Customized Offers

No client is the same and there is no one-size-fits-all client experience.

The more you’re able to customize your products and services specifically to your client, the better the experience they will have with your business.

When clients give you access to the type of offers they want to see, you need to step up and start offering those solutions. If one client has the need, chances are high that there are other clients that have the same need — even if it’s in a different way.

Educating Your Clients

The best way to proactively engage with your clients is to educate them long before they actually become a client. This is commonly known as content marketing and refers to using content on your website and other websites to help bring new clients to you.

If you’re engaging with your prospects long before they actually become a client, you’re setting the stage for the type of experience they will have once they begin working with you.

The leads that come into your business through content marketing will already be warmed up to the thought of working with you, so it’s far easier for you to implement the other strategies listed here.


About the author:

Jock PurtleJock Purtle is the founder of Digital Exits, a business brokerage. He specializes in appraising and buying/selling online businesses and enjoys helping others do business and achieve their business goals.

metrics to business outcomes

Tying Metrics To Meaningful Business Outcomes

metrics to business outcomes

I have been creating various types of digital media metrics and reports for more than 20 years, for large corporations as well as small businesses.

Too often, the people to whom I present the metrics reports do not find value in them. Generally, that is because they do not understand what is being measured nor how the findings can be directly applied to their operational goals.

For your sake as well as that of your clients, it is absolutely essential that both sides understand the company’s goals and agree on the most effective strategy to achieve them.

There is not any one kind of report that will satisfy everyone in any organization. While the saying, “what gets measured gets managed” is often true when working with on a digital project, it is critical to be sure you are measuring the right things in the first place.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are often a standard in many businesses and unfortunately can become a goal all of themselves.

When we start an engagement with a client, it is critical to understand the business goals. The key is to get at the objectives for the business. Then, map the metrics we are going to measure month by month with that client so that everyone understands what “success” means.

The page view metric and how it can go wrong

I remember sitting in my office one day looking over the metrics from a particularly strong news day the previous day. We had almost a million page views due to some strong news stories. I had reported that fact to upper management as they had asked to be informed about page views.

They understood from the page view total that a large number of people had “engaged” with the site by reading those stories.

A little while later I got a call from the publisher asking, “How many more ads did we sell?”

He thought that a strong page view day meant we sold more ads. He did not understand that one strong day of page views had no relationship to the business outcome he was interested in, which was more digital revenue.

Are you trying to buy players or buy runs?

I love baseball and especially the book and movie, “Moneyball.” It is the story of how the game evolved to being much more analytics- and metrics-based. There are a couple of favorite quotes in there that I think are relevant here.

In the movie, at one point Peter Brand starts out saying, “There is an epidemic failure within the game to understand what is really going on….People who run ball clubs, they think in terms of buying players. Your goal shouldn’t be to buy players. Your goal should be to buy wins. In order to buy wins, you need to buy runs.”

Creating value for your audience first

We are a content marketing company. We focus our marketing strategy on content and helping clients build and grow website audiences — over time. Please note the “over time” in that last sentence. Metrics can be a tool to help guide the client to be more patient and understand the time frame it takes to build an audience.

Whether you are a media company or a product brand doesn’t make a difference. You have to build an audience and create value for that audience before you can extract value for your business.

The more audience, the more visitors to your website, which means more leads, and more leads means more customers.

Those are the types of metrics you need to help your clients embrace so they understand the flow of audience and visits to business outcomes.

What do metrics do? Metrics help you optimize for that audience.
Also, understand the different social media metrics and how they differ from regular website metrics.

Jay Baer has written an excellent free eBook called, “The 3 types of social media metrics.” He goes in depth in explaining why “the goal is not to be good at social media, the goal is to be good at BUSINESS because of social media.”

So tune your metrics to the business outcomes you have set with your clients so everyone understands what success means.


About the Author

John R. Triplett is the founder of Desert Path Marketing Group, a Tempe-based content-marketing focused consulting company that handles digital marketing strategy.

John has been building corporate digital brands for more than 20 years for newspaper, television, and cable media companies including Cox, Belo, and Gannett. At the Arizona Republic’s website, Azcentral.com, he handled business development and built content partnerships. He was the founder of Austin360.com, AccessArizona.com and former general manager of AJC.com.

The extensive blog network, built for Azcentral.com, won the best blog network from the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association.

John can be reached by email or at 480-226-1124. Please follow this link to view John’s profile on LinkedIn

 

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