A Shortcut to Small Business Marketing Success
I’ve got a confession to make: For the last 5 years, I’ve been short-changing my clients.
WHOOMP! There it is!
Actually, in looking back at the work I’ve done since I started Lift. I’m pleased with what I’ve achieved (with my clients, of course). I’ve had some great engagements with some really excellent local small businesses, consultants and non-profits. I’ve helped them hone their business strategy, improve their brand identity, create some creative and compelling new websites, and establish a presence in social media. Together, we’ve produced online newsletters, created beautiful and effective marketing collateral and drafted and delivered messaging to help their audiences focus on inspiring people to understand their organizations and their products and take action.
So, why the big confession?
We’ll, it’s partly because people so rarely hear apologies anymore and I thought the headline might draw you in and keep you reading. But mostly it’s because over the last couple of years it’s become increasingly clear to me that local small businesses need much more than strong branding and a great website. Yes, those are foundational pieces of any marketing strategy and they have a huge impact in making a lasting impression and establishing credibility and trust. But in order to grow awareness of their businesses, reach their ideal clients and nurture them along the path to becoming loyal and repeat customers, they need a sensible, comprehensive and lasting approach. They need more!
I’ve been wanting to do more for my clients for a while now.
I’ve wanted to help my clients be more strategic. To have a bigger picture approach. To offer more comprehensive services, including robust content marketing, on-going SEO support, blogging, social media delivery, lead generation and automated lead nurture campaigns. And measurement to see that their efforts have traction (that they are working over time).
But scaling a company that could offer comprehensive services like that would take time and expertise:
- Time to educate myself on the ins-and-outs and nuance of all of those cutting-edge marketing practices
- Time to create new processes
- Time to hire and train people in those processes and ensure they know what they’re doing.
I knew what I wanted, but I wasn’t sure how to get there.
I needed a shortcut.
Enter Duct Tape Marketing: My shortcut to your small business marketing success
If you know me personally and we’ve talked business recently, you’ve probably experienced one of two scenarios:
- I’ve talked your ear off about the Duct Tape Marketing program and how it’s going to revolutionize the way I do business (sometimes I forget to be a good listener)
- You’ve asked me about Duct Tape Marketing and I’ve been hesitant to talk about it.
Scenario 1 happens because I truly believe the Duct Tape System is the right approach for small businesses and I’m genuinely excited about it.
Scenario 2 happens because I’ve seen the fearful look of people who have less context than me and are intimidated by my wild-eyed ravings. You haven’t read the book or even sauntered by and side-eyed the Kool-Aid trough. So, I proceed with caution and assure you (despite that Kool-Aid crack) of this: The Duct Tape Marketing System is NOT a marketing cult. Also, it’s not a pyramid scheme, but I digress.
Here’s what Duct Tape Marketing is…
Duct Tape Marketing is a brilliantly practical method of marketing that puts strategy before tactics. It encourages small businesses to take time to think through the big picture of who they serve, how they help them, and how they can nurture their clients along the journey to know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat and refer (that’s called The Marketing Hourglass™ and, yes, it’s so original it’s trademarked). The Duct Tape Marketing system encourages and enables small business owners to make sensible marketing decisions that actually work, rather than chasing (and paying dearly for) every latest shiny tactic.
Duct Tape Marketing (and The Marketing Hourglass) were created by author, speaker, and marketing consultant John Jantsch. Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide, was published in 2007. Since that time, Jantsch (I’ll call him John from now on, because he’s now a business partner and a friend) has offered workshops around the world and has established a certified network of consultants like me that use his approach. Duct Tape Marketing is not a cult, but John Jantsch is definitely a guru.
After recognizing the potential of the Duct Tape Marketing Certified Network program, I decided to jump in. It’s been a significant investment of time and energy, and I’ve spent the summer completing online coursework, attending boot camp (where I was able to learn at the feet of my new master—seriously though, no sleep or food deprivation was involved). I’ve been busy integrating this new framework into my own business, implementing the very practices that I’m going to employ for my clients and reworking my website to reflect my new offerings.
If you’re a past client, please accept my apology and know that I hope to make it up to you. In the meantime, check out John Jantsch’s podcast or visit his blog to get a better sense of what this is all about. I’m going to be following up with you soon with some recommendations for your business. If you’re a future client, I hope this post gives you a good introduction to what my business and all this Duct Tape Stuff is all about.
I’ll sign off with these words, which I heard recently in a Ted Talk by Joe Gebbia (one of the founders of Airbnb):
“Any time you see duct tape in the world, that’s a design opportunity.
It’s an indicator that something’s broken; that something didn’t perform the way that it was designed to. And that there’s an opportunity to improve it.”
This post originally appeared on the Lift Communications Blog.