Thursday, March 28, 2024

Inside Out: Unlearning it all and Building Leadership from Within

Inside Out: Unlearning it all and Building Leadership from Within written by Tosin Jerugba read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Scott Stratten. President of UnMarketing. Scott Stratten has Co-Authored 6 best-selling business books with his business partner and wife Alison and was formerly a music industry marketer, National Sales Training Manager, and a College Professor. They ran one of the most successful viral video agencies in the world for nearly a decade before solely focusing on speaking at events for companies like Walmart, Pepsi, Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, Cirque du Soleil and Saks Fifth Avenue when they need help navigating their way through the landscape of business disruption. UnLeadership: Make Building Relationships Your Business.


Key Takeaways

In this riveting episode Scott Stratten discusses the concept of Unleadership. A sequel to their practical and effective ideas on Unmarketing. Drawing from their four-page chapters book, Scott compares leadership to culture as it continues to be made of the unseen “everyday stuff”, as opposed to what you can make a picture out of such as: a person addressing a team of individuals.

Beginning with a dose of self-awareness and the fact that “you don’t know what it’s like to work for you”. Scott challenges leaders to define what a ‘job’ really is and to question what they consider ‘insurbordination’ in the workplace, touching on the other side of the coin: the overused, misused phrase ‘we are a family’ when referring to the business, and many other overlooked yet relatable pointers in building professional and empathetic subordinate relationships required to achieve set company goals and build a culture that is understood even at the very top of the organisational structure.

Questions I ask Scott Stratten:

[01:59] When is the aptly named revised edition of ‘QR codes, kill kittens’ coming out?

[06:16] What is unleadership?

[07:26] Would you say that most leaders need to unlearn what they’ve been taught?

[15:18] Talk about how leadership is a creative act?

[16:26] How do we draw the line between the family concept of the workplace and being cordial?

[20:16] Do you have a story that sets a great leadership example of somebody you profile?

[22:23] Where can people connect with you?



More About Scott Stratten:


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

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Sign up for a 15% discount on annual plans until Mar 31,2024. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!


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(01:03): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Scott Stratten. He's the president of UnMarketing. His co-authored six bestselling business books with his business partner and wife Allison, and was formerly a music industry marketer, national sales training manager and a college professor. If we could just add NBA started, it would be amazing.

Scott (01:29): It just

John (01:29): All how professional speaker for companies like Walmart, Pepsi, Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, and the list goes on. But today we are going to talk about his book, leadership Making, make Building Relationships Your Business. So welcome, Scott.

Scott (01:46): John. If it wasn't for my height, my endurance, my strength, my shooting ability, my defending ability and rebounding, I would be in the NBA. Thank you for having me on, John. It's wonderful to see you again

John (01:56): As with all of us.

Scott (01:57): Exactly, exactly.

John (01:58): Here's what I really want to know. When is the revised edition of QR codes kill kittens coming out?

Scott (02:05): The best part. The best. I know it's a joke, but the best part about that is when you write a book called QR Codes Kill Kittens, which is a business picture book of business screw ups. When a New York Times reporter during a pandemic, Googles QR codes because they're doing a story on how crazy they've been. Whose name do you think comes up first for them? Every single time I got into New York Times twice, including I have it right here beside me for my mom, an edition of the New York Times just because of that. So it's like if it didn't bring me anything and people were every single, I swear John, every time it came up in the news somebody, people would forward it to me. What do you think now? What do you think now? And I'm like, it only took a pandemic. And for Apple to make the iPhones have it natively in the camera. That's all. That's all. Congrats. Save the kittens.

John (02:55): Yeah, but they still don't belong on Billboards on the Highway

Scott (02:58): Though. But they still don't belong a billboard. They still don't belong in an email. All the rules still apply. It hasn't changed. Go back, look, go to the tape. You have me. My about it was a Whataburger conference and I had told them, I said there, I'm like in a closed system, great boarding pass killer concert ticket. Awesome. You walking around in public, not as easy to do. If you've ever seen a human being, it just, it doesn't always work. So yeah, so congrats. The QR codes, they're the true winner of the pandemic.

John (03:26): That's right, that's right. Good point. So one of the things I like about this book is that the chapters are all really short. There are 70 like four page chapters, and I get excited when I finish a chapter.

Scott (03:40): One of the great things with, I'm such a lucky human because Allison is a brilliant writer and I run after squirrels. I just run around and there is a reason why I got so big on Twitter, right? That's about my length of my focus of time that I can write things for. And so when originally marketing was doing, I was writing it in the way that I thought, which was very short, great chapters. And Allison just ran that with the baton. And when we got to on leadership, one of the really key things, and the reason why there's 70 smaller chapters in it is because if Allison, and I believe that one of the most important parts of leadership is self-awareness. Meaning knowing what you can and can't do and knowing your people as well and how you affect them. That we can't talk about leadership because Allison and I are blessed with the fact that we don't go into work, that we don't have a boss, that we don't have a corporation and we don't have, it's easy for me to get on stage and say, just do this and then I get to go home.

(04:38): But for us, we wanted to say, look, if self-awareness was the key, we have to be self-aware. And so we found, we looked up and we just figured out over an extended period of time, as you're getting a book together, you just ideas start popping and popping. And we came up with 53 UN leaders that we had learned from and either gotten to know or knew from afar over the past 15, 20 years and decided Allison interviewed every single one of them for an hour, boiled all their thoughts down to about 1100 words each and put it and put it all together. And it's the most diverse group of industries, of levels and of human beings that we think we could find for it. And the best red thread as our Fred Damson would say the best through all of it was almost every single person in the book questioned why they were being asked to be in the book.

(05:29): They didn't think they were, why would you ask me to be in a leadership book? And the answer was, because you're asking why? Because you're not doing these things to be in a leadership book. You're not doing these things to go trend virally on Instagram or something like that, or LinkedIn or something like that that we got to. It's one of the wonderful things, not about social media, but being an author and being in this world where we get to go and I get to see so many companies when I go through and talk to so many people and certain things just kind of bubble up to the surface and then we get to go and say, look, here's our favorite 53 people in leadership. And it is such a joy.

John (06:10): Yeah, that's amazing. So I guess maybe we better let you define it Al Bite, what is UN leadership?

Scott (06:18): I think leadership is really, it goes with all of our other uns, the unselling, unbranding and on marketing stuff, which is leadership is moments. It's not in the time where leadership is not a performance review, leadership is not an all hands meeting and you get up and talk to the team, leadership is made up of everyday things because we understand that it's like the word culture. Okay, and well, what is that? Well, it's very simple. It's how the person at the bottom of the org chart feels. Culture is driven top down and felt bottom up. I just did it last week. I was in front of a bunch of leaders in a room and I looked at him, I said, none of the actual culture of your company because you have power. And the culture is felt by that bottom rung. And that's where leadership is, people looking at the people below them as their inspiration versus the people above them. That's really what it comes down to me.

John (07:10): So a theme of really all of your books is to somewhat say what we commonly take as marketing or as selling or as leadership maybe is wrong. And that there is, here we go, pun unlearning that we have to do. I mean, would you say that's true that most leaders or many leaders need to unlearn what they've been taught?

Scott (07:31): I think really it really comes, yeah, I think people individually, because the reason why I say people is because you can't try to figure out or shift or change as a leader and not as a person. So if self-awareness is really huge, and I beg of people to hear that, that self-awareness is such a huge key to not now going forward, but also in the world that I don't think you put on your professional persona and you can be self-aware and you then take it off and you're not. And I think one of the things is realizing that we are part of the situation. It's like saying for me, example, every single relationship that I broke up with somebody, every broken relationship I've had in my life, and there's been many, I'm the only common denominator in those. It was never my fault, but I'm the only common denominator.

(08:25): So starting to realize those things and if you wanted to have a different relationship, maybe look at yourself too. I'll give you an example of that even though this is right down the personal side of the road, but it's like the phrase, you ever heard that that phrase John, that old phrase, right? Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? They usually say that line about marriage, and I'd always hear that and I'm like, yeah, that's a good point, right? What I never thought, what I never thought was there was a third option, I be wrong, possibly wrong. Not just are you right or you're happy, but maybe also looking at what you could be wrong. And that was never part of that equation. That was never part of that answer. It's right or happy. No, maybe to submits you're wrong sometimes.

(09:09): And it's a fascinating thing in leadership that we don't take that look at a company, look at a company with let's say five levels, c, EO, and then we have vp, director, manager. Then the bottom of the org chart, what you drive down is the weight gets heavier and heavier as it goes down. And if you want to know how things are going, do you want to know how to be more efficient? Do you want to know how to hold onto your people they know? They all know The problem is anytime we go against what the upstream is saying, we call it insubordination, except the only way to innovation is through insubordination. Think of every company that's ever innovated it usually broke into or took away or threatened an existing piece of business or existing way of doing something. But that insubordination, and I want you to hear this, anybody listening right now who is in a leadership position, I don't care how high up or how down low you are, if anybody reports to you, if that individual is talking to you and you feel they're being insubordinate, meaning they're disagreeing with you, which is not insubordinate by the way, but they're disagreeing with you, giving you feedback and saying, I don't think this is going to work.

(10:14): Do you understand the risk they're taking, that they are risking potentially their job or their future placement in the company or their relationship with you to drive this home? That's how important this point is to them. So instead of trying to think of why I'm right or why this person shouldn't be saying this or they were told something, we hire people so we can use their brains on top of whatever else they're doing. And you want to keep people listen to them. You want to keep people ask for their feedback. You can use something simple star, continue the most basic thing that a bunch of people have used in the past. What should we stop doing? What should we start doing? What should we continue doing? But we don't. You don't know what it's like to work for you. I put that on the screen on stage and I let it sit there for about 10 seconds. It's the juiciest 10 seconds of my day because it makes people just shift a bit in their chair. And then I say to them, this can't be about you personally because I don't know you, but if you're getting a little uncomfortable reading this, take note.

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Scott (12:42): And it feels like 10 minutes. It's so great because part of that's for me is that's my job. That's what I do. So doing that type of timing something is really important on impact because also you get on stage and I'm not getting up there saying everybody's a terrible leader. What I'm saying is we have to shake the entire foundation to say, Hey, because there's a lot of people right now that are trying to go back to four and a half years ago. There's a lot of people right now saying, let's just go back to normal, back to business. And you're missing the plot, you're missing everything. People are not going back. Things have shifted. It was the great, we called the bluff. We had resistance to working from home for 20 years. And you know why I say 20 years? Because I asked over 20 years ago to telecommute because we called it telecommuting at the time when my son was about to be born and I traveled to train our distributors in sales and they said, no, we're not a company that does that.

(13:43): They were also not a company that we were on the internet for a long time. And you look at this stuff and people were just like, I can use that example. And one of the problems, John, is get asked to speak somewhere. They're like, can you talk to our audience about retaining people nowadays in a younger generation and attracting younger generation, but just don't bring up two things. Don't bring up pay and don't bring up return to office. And I'm like, so the two main things, the two main things, right? It's like there was a great phrase I saw somebody was speaking at a Davos or something. It's like having a firefighter convention and not being allowed to talk about water. It's literally those things. They're your biggest things or you're like, Hey, well why don't we put something on, how do we attract younger people to our industry?

(14:25): And somebody pipes up an intern's like, why don't we do something on TikTok? And you're like, shut up. We don't do that here. We don't do that type of stuff. And you're just like, what are you talking about? What are you talking about? I'm really hoping, I'm trying to get us back to the point of understanding what a job is. A job, somebody working for you is a business agreement. It's a contractual agreement. I offer you my skills and my intellect. You give me a job description that I'm supposed to follow, including other duties as noted, which is the worst one of the whole job description. And in exchange you give me a compensation package, but we've thrown that somehow. It's just like you work here, you do what I say and you'll like it. And I'm done with that. And so many people are too. One

John (15:12): Of the early chapters, I think it's chapter three, chapter four, I don't have the table here, but you essentially talk about leadership being a creative action or creative act. And I think that is something that so many people miss.

Scott (15:25): You cut out when you said the exact point I was going to talk about, can you repeat it?

John (15:30): The title is, the idea of the chapter is that leadership is a creative act. And that I think that's a brilliant idea that so many people miss because they think they're not creative.

Scott (15:42): Well, and that's part of the point too, right? It's like when you're coming together, look, the subtitle is Make building relationships your business. It's literally about relationship. And when you come together in relationship, the sum of what creates out of that is supposed to be something you can't do yourself. A leader's supposed to be able to tap into their people and stuff they didn't think they had or think that they can come out with. It's a great one. Jeff Alexander is in one of the chapters, he talks about partnerships even where you're going into a partnership where you're supposed to be looking at the other side first when you're leading, you're supposed to be what do they need? What do they need versus this is what I'm trying to get out of something. And it's that same thing as a leadership subordinate relationship as well.

John (16:27): So relationships, connection, group hugs. How do we not make this family? Because I don't believe it's a family. I have a family. It's not

Scott (16:38): Like my business. I agree. I agree with you.

John (16:41): How is this a fine line between when I hear relationship connection, do I start to leap to like, oh, this is a personal thing?

Scott (16:49): Yeah. Well, and that's the thing. Okay, so there's a couple of things. So it's funny is the group that is most against relationships, marketing and connection and leadership are the ones that call their businesses a family. Because what they mean by that is you don't say anything negative. You don't bring anything up. You don't go outside of the house. You don't go outside. Look, and like you said, I don't need another one. Allison and I combined have five kids. You can take your own family and do what you need to, but we're covered here. Okay, we're covered here. And I'm not rolling the dice again. We got five great ones. I'm not going again for anybody else coming into this. I know the odds. But there's this thing that the problem is, it's always the context, right? Because I've talked to people privately about it.

(17:31): I brought it up and I said, don't say we're a family here it, it's not good. And nobody, so many people in leadership donors, because they're the ones saying it and their intent is supposed to be good. But I really want people to go back down to let's go to, depending on where you're in school, it could be grade 12 or it could be maybe college. There's the basic communication model. You just pull that out of a textbook. There's sender and receiver, and the sender encodes the message they're going to send and they send it to you. And then in between you there's noise and then the receiver decodes it and takes it the way they take it. Well, that type of stuff. When you look at somebody who's about to work here and say, we're family, you mean one thing, they hear another. It's just a bad way to put it, first of all.

(18:16): But I really break it down to somebody and say, what do you mean by you mean that you have each other's back then that is not, we're a strong team. It's our wording. Okay, family is, I'm going to feel like I'm going to show up at Thanksgiving. I have to deal with that cousin again. I don't have to want to see him. I got to see him twice a year. Right? Look, and people use these phrases and stuff too, and we throw them out in leadership without even knowing the context of that. Like the family phrase, blood is thicker than water. You hear that phrase? That's an old time. And that's not the saying it's blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb. It's actually the opposite of what the phrase means. That created connections can be stronger and better than family connections.

(18:59): It's actually contradicting what you're trying to do. And that's where it creeps me out as well. But relationships aren't about that. Relationship is simply, you are connected to the other person and you understand them. That's what relationship is to me. A personal relationship is a whole other thing. I don't think that you should have to do anything outside of the office for your job. I don't think you should lose anything because of that. I think that I do my job and I do it well. The problem is people's definition of, well, a team player comes out for drinks, A team player comes on, does this type of thing, going to chip in for the boss. We're getting a gift for the boss. Jurgen chip ins, by the way, stop that. Money flows down, not out. There's no bosses. You don't buy bosses day stuff. Fundraising is inappropriate to do in the office when it's directly threatened to somebody saying walk into their cubicle and say, are you going to fundraise? These type of things, no, because they're like, well, this is professional. You're not professional. So much of what we say and do is not in these workplaces, but they say, well, we're this, no, it's rules for the and not for me a lot of times when it comes to these things.

John (20:08): So you mentioned, and I know this is going to be hard for you, I'm going to do it anyway, there were 53 people you interviewed. Do you have a favorite story? It doesn't have to be a favorite story. Do you have a story you like to tell as a leadership, a great leadership example of somebody you profiled?

Scott (20:22): Dr. Derek Kayongo. He is one of my favorite people on the planet, and for a few reasons. One, he's the best dresser I've ever seen in my life. He's the coolest person I've ever met in my life. But beyond that, he's the most genuine, caring person. One of the people I've met in my life, Derek, one of the things he noticed when he came over to America when he was stayed at hotels was that they were throwing away the soap. And he came from a country that, well, they didn't have a lot of soap, and that would be really fricking cool if all the Soapies would throw out would go over to where I'm from. And he created an entire organization and got the entire entire country to get their soap all sent back. And they had a whole thing and disinfected it. And he created an entire soap company, saw a problem.

(21:13): I have a man bun and Derek changed the world in soap. So it's like I spoke after him at an event and he got up there and then it was like the Kelly Brothers were the day before. So two astronauts, Derek Kayongo, man, who changed the world with soap. And then I walked on stage. I really got to plan these things better because to the moon, saving the world. And I'm just like, man bun. That's what I do. I love 'em. But honestly, John, to give you now the cop out answer after that, literally just feed through it and then pick one. That's Aaron Bur Aaron I knew from Twitter in oh nine, we were all Toronto Twitter people. She ended up creating willful because she noticed that Wills were very cumbersome, very kind of expensive. You had to go through lawyers. She's like, it makes no sense. So she created Willful. Willful is online Wills in Canada. She went and worked with every province, every law board, everything else. And now she's got a wonderful company that gives a damn. And I got to watch her build it on LinkedIn all through her posts because she wanted to change the way things were done. And that's one of my favorite parts of people and of startups and of founders that said, it's one of my favorite parts about disruption is customers who get so pissed off, they create the alternative. And that's what she did.

John (22:28): I love that too. Well, Scott, it was awesome catching up with you, having you stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast anywhere you want to invite people to connect with you or find obviously a copy of UN Leadership.

Scott (22:40): Yeah, UN Leadership Available wherever good books are sold. And yeah, we're at Come by, say hi, LinkedIn, Instagram, whatever you want, and just enjoy the book.

John (22:51): If I reach out to you on LinkedIn, do you want me to unfollow you? Is that

Scott (22:55): Yeah. Oh yeah. It's my last place. I think. I'm like, I'm gone off Twitter. I'm gone off Facebook, but LinkedIn is holding on, so I'm still there for the time being. So hurry up. Awesome.

John (23:03): Alright. All right. Again, thanks for stopping. Bye. Hopefully we'll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

from Duct Tape Marketing

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Silent Power of Entrepreneurial Self-Exploration

The Silent Power of Entrepreneurial Self-Exploration written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Rob Dubé, a seasoned entrepreneur and co-founder of Image One. Rob is the visionary and CEO of The 10 Disciplines for Managing and Maximizing Your Energy, and cofounder and podcast host of Entrepreneurial Leap. He is also the author of donothing, host of the Do Nothing retreat, and host of the Leading with Genuine Care podcast.

From selling Blow pops in high school to building successful businesses, through his work, Rob challenges business leaders and entrepreneurs to look inward with mindfulness and meditation by sharing his own mindful leadership journey. Co-authored with Gino Wickman “Shine: How Looking Inward Is the Key to Unlocking True Entrepreneurial Freedom”


Key Takeaways

Join Rob Dubé as he shares insights into the profound impact of inner work on entrepreneurial success. Explore how personal growth and self-awareness can transform leadership effectiveness and organizational culture. Discover the importance of saying no often, embracing authenticity, and cultivating stillness in a fast-paced world. Rob’s experiences highlight the significance of understanding oneself deeply to lead with clarity, purpose, and resilience. Unlock the silent power of entrepreneurial self-exploration and embark on a journey of growth, fulfillment, and sustainable success in both business and life.


Questions I ask Rob Dubé:

[00:47] Tell us a little about your entrepreneurial past?

[01:57] How did you working with a start-up like image one in your early days inspire the 10 disciplines in your book?

[04:19] What’s your connection to your co-author; Gino?

[07:05] How do the 10 disciplines show up differently in Shine as opposed to your early work with EOS life?

[12:19] What are some of the benefits and approaches to the discipline of ‘being still’ ?

[15:57] Are there certain rituals and habits that could work for almost anybody?

[13:54] How does a leader help their team adjust to their embracing empathy?

[17:25] What has organizing retreats taught you about self-discovery in leaders?

[19:48] Where can people connect with you, learn more about your work and pick a copy of your book?


More About Rob Dubé:


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

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Work Better Now

Visit mention the referral code DTM Podcast and get $150 off for your first 3 months.


John (00:08): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Rob Dube. He's a co-founder of Image One, visionary and CEO of the 10 Disciplines for managing and Maximizing Your Energy. And co-founder and podcast host of Entrepreneurial Leap. He's also a co-author of a book we're going to talk about today that he wrote with Gino Wickman has been a guest on the show. The book is titled, shine How Looking Inward is the Key to Unlocking True Entrepreneurial Freedom. So Rob, welcome to the show.

Rob (00:43): Thank you, John. I appreciate you having me. It's an honor to be here.

John (00:47): I always love exploring a little bit of people's entrepreneurial past. Are you still involved with Image One that was a significantly different business venture than what you're seem to be focused on today? So I'd love to go there first, if you don't mind.

Rob (01:00): Sure. I am involved in the sense that I am a shareholder of the company with the person that I founded it with. Neither of us are involved anymore and we are what you might say in the owner's box, and we have a CEO who runs it and is much more capable than we are to take it to new heights.

John (01:22): So your current business is much more about working with leaders and as we imply in the book looking inward, it's definitely a very self exploration type of work. I'm sorry, image one was very much, what would you call it? A software, purely software play

Rob (01:40): Actually. We provide managed print services, which is document management like copiers and multifunction printers for mid to enterprise size organizations.

John (01:52): Okay, so I'll stop on that except the bridge question, which is how did your work with growing a company like that, which is a little more brick and mortar hands-on ish type of work lead to your discoveries or your exploration of inner and the 10 disciplines that we're going to talk about?

Rob (02:10): Yeah, so just I'll go back a little bit. I started my entrepreneurial career selling Blow pops out of my locker in high school. My best friend and I were doing that together and we had all kinds of businesses through high school and college and the audience, usually when I tell that story, many people relate to it because they've had some experience of their own doing that or they know somebody who has. When we graduated college, the two of us started this company Image One and it was exciting just to have a business, but I had experienced a great deal of trauma growing up and I wasn't feeling like I was as good of a business partner as I needed to be a best friend. And I was married at the time, so I just felt like something didn't feel right. So I started my own journey of inner work to try to find some peace for myself. What I learned along the way was that it was helping me be a better leader at the company. And so that's really, those many years ago is really where I first started to see the benefits of the work that I've done and now to come to where I am today sharing this with leaders, it's an honor to do so.

John (03:25): Yeah, so it's funny how often two things you've mentioned, how often I hear I started a business when I was in seventh grade or that kind of thing from entrepreneurs. They all have, we all have, right? Mine was a very grunt work. I sealed driveways the company during the summers to pay my way through high school and college. It was awful work, but it paid well. The second thing was a lot of times how many entrepreneurs create businesses around trying to solve their own problem or solve something they couldn't find in the market? And in a lot of ways that's what you did. You were trying to solve your own frustration or problem at some level, and that led you to an entrepreneurial discovery, which I think it's so common. I'm curious, as I mentioned, you co-authored this book with Gino Wickman. Many people are familiar with him, the EOS system that he created and moved out into the world. What's your connection or what was your initial connection with Gino?

Rob (04:23): So one of the very impactful things that happened along my journey was that eight years into running the business, my best friend and I looked at each other and we said, we don't know what we're doing. We're growing this business, but it is out of control. And someone introduced us to this guy who was just starting up this business to help entrepreneurs get control of all this stuff. When I met him, I really didn't trust him. At first I thought, I'm not sure about all this stuff, but we ended up becoming one of his first seven clients. He wrote about us in his book Traction, which has been a bestseller, and it really did help us gain control of our business. And so it was a really impactful thing for myself inside because I felt more at peace with my business and a little bit more control. And so that's how we first met. And then we struck up a friendship and we would meet very often at a coffee shop for many hours. And he taught me many different ways that he was living his life, which we ultimately wrote in part in the book that you referenced.

John (05:35): So in the EOS Life book, which was really again an extension of EOS but into personal life of genomes, it ends with these 10 disciplines. I don't want to say they're an afterthought, but there's certainly an add-on to the book. And forgive me if I'm wrong on this, did you do the audiobook with him?

Rob (05:55): Yes. And thank you bringing that up because they asked me to do that interview for bonus material on the audio book. While I was preparing, I realized these 10 things I have been learning from GTO over the last 20 years and they have impacted my life greatly. So after the interview, the two of us went out to lunch and we started talking about how impactful it's been, and I said, I think this would be a great thing to teach to entrepreneurs, but I think it goes much deeper than the way you wrote it. And that started our path on really taking a deeper dive into each one of the disciplines and how they actually help us understand ourselves better once we have a better understanding of ourselves, how we can protect ourselves in our lives, meaning having really clear boundaries. So we are focused on the things that make the most impact in this life.

John (06:56): So the 10 disciplines show up as a big large part of this new offering shine. So rather than buy the book, if you want to know what the 10 disciplines are, we might talk about a couple of them, but how do they show up differently in Shine than they did in EOS life?

Rob (07:13): So what we do is we take a deeper dive into five of 'em and really help you understand yourself at a deeper level. Okay, so I'm going to give you a simple example. One of the disciplines is say no often, and this is where we encourage people to get really clear about saying no to anything that doesn't fit into what their purpose is, how they're going to make the greatest impact. And what we notice in working with our clients is that they have a hard time saying no. In fact, they're saying yes to 90% of the requests that come their way. And so that's high level. So now we have to go a little bit deeper and ask ourselves why do we say yes to so many things that we know don't really fit into the type of impact that we want to make? And so we go a little bit deeper and then we go a little bit deeper from there as we keep peeling off the layers and helping ourselves to understand better why we're doing the things that we're doing so we can change our behavior.

John (08:20): Well, I'll tell you why we say no or why we say yes to everything is because I think in a lot of ways that's a protective mechanism, believe it or not, to stop us from doing maybe some of the hard work that we're afraid to do.

Rob (08:34): Thank you for that, John. That's definitely one of the things that's happening. And we see fomo, fear of missing out on a great opportunity, things like that, not wanting to disappoint people. And so when you start to identify those, we've just named three between the two of us, you can go deeper. Why am I afraid to disappoint people? What's that saying about me? And you keep going deeper into that. Where does that come from, et cetera. So that's why these are so impactful. They really help us take a better look at ourselves

John (09:10): And now a word from our sponsor. Work better now. Work better now provides outstanding talent from Latin America, hand matched to your business with over 40 roles across various industries, including marketing. They're a reliable partner for consistently finding the perfect fit for your business. Simply tell them what you need and they'll handle the rest. We have two work better now, professionals on our team, a marketing assistant and a marketing coordinator, and we've been blown away by their abilities, responsiveness, and professionalism. They've really become an essential part of our growing team. And to top it off, each dedicated and full-time work better now. Professional is 2350 per month and there are no contracts to schedule a 15 minute consultation with a work better now rep and see how they'll support your business growth goals, visit, work better Mention the referral code DTM podcast, and you're going to get $150 off for your first three months. That's work better And don't forget that DTM podcast code. Yeah. And in the end we conclude that it was always our parents' fault, right? That's easy out. There's one of the disciplines is simply stated as know yourself. And while that sounds, I don't think anybody argue with that. Certainly every leader that has some self-awareness is a better leader. How do you from a practical standpoint, break that down in a way that's actually going to serve?

Rob (10:43): Yeah, so what we want, what our hope for you is that you realize what your true self is, that you free your true self. And so this is you starting to understand the most authentic version of who you are, and that's when you start looking at society and the expectations that you're working with in your life. You start to notice how your identity oftentimes is wrapped around what you do professionally and also your social circles and the things that seem important in those social circles, and really questioning that. This is a very deep dive. Now, practically speaking, how can we start? Well, it depends where you're at on the continuum. You can do simple things, which I imagine many of your listeners have already done to some degree, which is take a personality profiling tool, take as many as you can and start uncovering all the things that are you.

(11:43): And you can go from there. You mentioned kind of in a funny way about must be our parents' fault. Well, you can go to therapy. That's very common days. When I started going many years ago, it didn't have that same comfort level for many, but you could go to therapy and those are a way to start to understand cause and effect, et cetera. And there are all sorts of modalities that you can explore that really help you to understand yourself better. And we write about those of the books, so there's a very large list and you can pick and choose what seems to ping you.

John (12:17): Yeah, yeah. So one of the disciplines, probably possibly my favorite, although it took a long time to realize this, and it's just stated as be still, and I live in a national forest, I have lots of ability to get out into nature and be still. But for a lot of entrepreneurs, that's actually probably one of the hardest ones for them to do. I mean, we're so used to the chatter, the noise, the what's next on my to-do list. What are some of the remedies, I guess for that? Well, let's start with what are some of the benefits of approaching this discipline and then what are some of the ways to do it?

Rob (12:57): Yeah, so the first thing I always like to share is one of my favorite quotes from the author Ann Lamont. And she says, my mind is like a bad neighborhood. I try to never go there alone. And so as someone who's having trouble with the Be still, I encourage you to reflect on that quote from Ann Lamont. Sitting is hard because subconsciously we know exactly what's about to happen. We're about to put ourselves through all the anxiety and stresses and all the wonderful, beautiful things that happened over the last 24, 48 hours and maybe the last 24 years. You never know what's going to come up. So why would we put ourselves through that? Well, it starts with our ability to come into the present moment and realizing with great perspective, that's really all we have, and we want to reinforce that as much as we can.

(13:59): The next thing we want to do is be able to pay close attention to our thoughts and our patterns and our loops and our dramas, and again, allowing for us to bring perspective to what those are and what's actually going on. And by doing that, we have a greater ability to begin to settle our mind and also settle our nervous system so our bodies and our minds aren't made to go at the speed that we're going at. So we're really adapting real time these days, and it's of great benefit for our overall health to just settle down much different than sleep. Sleep has incredible benefits and we must do that and get enough of it. But this is different because we are an awake state and we are fully aware of everything that's going on around us. The sensations, the sensations of sight and smell and hearing and tasting and touching and bringing our awareness to those things. And this, again, I'll always go back to the word that I like to use, which is perspective. It all brings it into great perspective, whatever it is that we have going on, and hopefully that helps us to carry that through into our regular everyday lives where we get caught up into the many dramas of life or challenges or successes where we can pause and notice that moment as Viktor Frankl says, between stimulus and response and make a choice. And that's why we encourage people to be still for 30 minutes every day.

John (15:43): And I know probably everybody needs to work out their own rituals or own habits that they practice. Right. Are there some that you think, yeah, make up your own mind, but here's a couple that you really ought to explore or consider? Are there certain habits, certain rituals? I know you talk about a nightly preparation routine and a morning ritual. Are there some that you think probably work for almost anybody?

Rob (16:10): Well, as it relates to be still, some of the ones that we write about are prayer, contemplation, journaling. You and I just talked about meditation. Those are simple. You can play around with each and every one of them. You could spend 10 minutes journaling, 10 minutes in a quiet meditation, and then 10 minutes in a contemplation, and you could do five, 10 minutes of prayer. So you do have to find what works for you and try your best to not get discouraged. People quickly get discouraged. Primarily the feedback that I get is that they're just really busy and it feels like a waste of time, so you have to stick with it and know that there's great benefit down the road for you. This isn't a quick fix pill that brings you calm because you tried it for a few days or 21 days. It's a lifelong practice having a routine, same time, same place every day. Maybe it's the morning before you get your day started or the evening before you go to bed or anything in between. You really do have to play around and find what's perfect for you.

John (17:25): I know you do, or we were talking about, you've been doing a retreat for a number of years that is really a compact way to practice some of what you write about in the book, and I assume that you have worked with some leaders to help them implement some of the ideas and shine. Is there anybody that, I don't know if you can talk about personal case studies, but have you seen significant discoveries that people have by taking up this type of practice as a leader?

Rob (17:52): Absolutely. I mean, in my retreat, I have high performing entrepreneurs that come once per year. They come for five days. Three of the days are a complete silence, which many of them are very nervous about doing that. At the end of the retreat, we do a closing circle and the emotion and the deep love and peace that comes out of these high performing people that are going a thousand miles an hour, and the inspiration and motivation they have to carry that with them when they come down off the mountain because we do it in the mountains and bring that into their leadership, into their family lives is truly amazing. I always share with them, please bring this practice with you into your daily life. So carry it through and keep it going for 30 minutes a day because it will continue to cultivate and grow, and your mind will be at greater peace not a hundred percent of the time, but it will have greater peace and you will have a greater energy with those around you.

John (19:11): Yeah. You know what I find you talked about mentioned that idea of maybe it won't be a hundred percent of the time, but I think what does happen, or at least for me, my own experience, is you start to recognize it when it's not happening, when that piece is not happening. And that to me is that's half the battle because you get off of the autopilot, you're like, oh, I'm witnessing this now, and so now I know what to do about it. And I think that's one of, there is no, like you said, magic pill. I'm going to be happy a hundred percent of the time, but now I'm going to lose some of the stress because I understand it now, if that makes sense.

Rob (19:43): Right? Yep, absolutely.

John (19:45): Well, Rob, I want to thank you for something by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Is there some place you'd invite people to find out more about your work and obviously pick up a copy of Shine?

Rob (19:55): Yes, absolutely. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do that. And the listeners can go to the and you can find the link to the book there. And many of the things that you and I have spoken about today and many more, we always like to encourage people to take our true self-assessment, a 20-question assessment that will give you a sense of where you are with each one of the 10 disciplines. And then we have 10 additional questions that help you understand where you are in terms of freeing your true self. That's a great assessment that you could take every 90 days just to shine light where light needs to be shine.

John (20:40): Again, I appreciate you taking a moment, and hopefully we'll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

from Duct Tape Marketing

Weekend Favs March 23

Weekend Favs March 23 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 I 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 I took on the road.

  • Tweet to Video -Transform tweets into visually engaging, voice-over-enhanced videos effortlessly. Ideal for TikTok, Reels, and Shorts, you can use it to create video without the need for technical skills or software downloads.
  • SuperMeme – Leverage the power of humor in your marketing with, a cutting-edge platform that transforms your text into memorable memes.
  • Map This – Transform complex PDFs into clear, visual mind maps with Map This. Ideal for distilling information and enhancing understanding, this tool is a game-changer for anyone looking to organize and simplify dense documents.

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

If you want to check out more Weekend Favs you can find them here.

from Duct Tape Marketing

Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Ultimate Ranking Recipe: Content, Links & The Power of Persuasion

The Ultimate Ranking Recipe: Content, Links & The Power of Persuasion written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Tim Brown, founder of Hook Agency, a leading SEO and web design firm specializing in home service businesses such as roofing companies, HVAC, and plumbing services. Tim shares his expertise on the ever-evolving world of SEO, shedding light on the crucial components that contribute to successful online visibility and rankings.

Key Takeaways

Tim Brown underscores the pivotal role of quality content and strong backlinks in SEO success, emphasizing the importance of creating original, engaging content tailored to the audience’s needs while acquiring reputable backlinks. Additionally, he highlights the power of persuasive messaging and consistent collaboration between teams to drive engagement and conversions. By leveraging technology while maintaining a human touch, businesses can optimize their SEO efforts and achieve sustained growth in today’s competitive digital landscape.

Questions I ask Tim Brown:

[00:33] What are the big things that have changed in SEO?

[02:03] Would you say Content and SEO go hand in hand?

[02:49] How would you explain the foundation of SEO to a beginner?

[04:30] What about people who have doubts about links?

[07:28] How do you create effective networks?

[18:16] What KPIs should be considered to measure performance and SEO efforts?

[21:47] Where can people connect with you?


More About Tim Brown:


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

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ActiveCampaign

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with our special offer. Sign up for a 15% discount on annual plans until Mar 31,2024. Exclusive to new customers—upgrade and grow your business with ActiveCampaign today!


John (00:08): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Tim Brown Hook Agency, a Google paid ads, SEO and web design firm that focuses primarily on roofing companies, HVAC, companies and home services businesses. Some of my favorites. Tim, welcome to the show.

Tim (00:28): Thanks for having me, sir.

John (00:30): So I guess let's start really broad. What are the big things that have changed in SEO? I don't know, let's say over the last couple of years?

Tim (00:39): Oh, yeah. So navigating AI is one of the biggest difficult things that a lot of people are trying to figure out. And I would say the continuing push to push more and more ads onto the front homepage of Google, or competing more and more with paid ads. And it's the scaling content thing, and I guess it's Google's competition with chat g BT that are some of the biggest ones. And I think a little bit more emphasis, it kind of extends outside of SEO now, and people that didn't have strategies that extended outside of SEO or people that were just SEO specialists should be looking at the other components that relate to marketing. I think it's just not that SEO is going away. We don't know. You know what I mean? People ask me that all the time, what's Google Shelf life and stuff like that. We don't know. I would say SEO will be around another 10 years, but I'm in the profession, so it's hard to know. But I think it's just trying to figure out how to work the other things that interrelate to SEO and work with them together. I think that's kind of a big thing SEO people should be focused on.

John (01:51): Well, and the biggie of course, I mean, I still fight this battle today. People are saying, yeah, I need somebody to SEO my website. And it's like, well, there's no content. There's nothing there to SEO, so to speak. So I mean, you talk about these related things. I mean, content clearly is married to SEO, right? Oh yeah.

Tim (02:06): Yes, absolutely. And content marketing almost. That could be if you're an SEO, that could be your intro to really getting into things that are adjacent to SEO, but not technically. SEO in that content is, and it goes outside of SEO because there's content that we make that has nothing to do with that SEO, but it does generally positively affect SEO when you're doing good content.

John (02:36): So if you're trying to help somebody get started, I know you work with some of the, and this may sound stereotypical, but some of the trade professions, they know their business, they know a little about marketing. And so if you were going to try to tell somebody who didn't know much about SEO, how would you say, here's the foundation, here's the elements you need to understand.

Tim (02:57): Yeah, I usually just talk about content and links. So content and links are the two biggest ones. And then when I pepper in the technical or traditional SEO, it's like your website needs to be fast and well ordered, and it needs to have templates for certain types of content, like with local SEO local landing pages for different cities plus service. So if they're a roofing company or an HVAC company or plumbing company, plumbing plus Indianapolis, we need those pages and all the suburb pages around them. But it's a matter of getting those pieces of content out there and then links from other websites. I mean, they don't know what that means half the time. And I'm so used to dealing with contractors, though I'm used to using the non-technical terms, but it's just getting a link from other websites back to yours from other, usually they should be in your niche or your locality. So you're looking for home service or construction related websites to get links to your website. There's easy ways to do it. I mean, obviously a lot of your audience is probably more advanced on this, but it's figuring out, for me, it's figuring out how to, why do I need that stuff? Well, Google needs to know that your website is legitimate, and this is one vote. Every link from a legitimate website is a vote for your website, that your website is important. So that's kind of one of the ways I talk about it.

John (04:30): And a lot of times, I know a lot of people will say, well, why would somebody link to me? You think about the contractor world, I mean, they work with a lot of subcontractors. They work with suppliers of faucets or plumbing of some sort. They all belong to nri and groups like that. Those are the first places to go get links. They

Tim (04:52): Absolutely, yeah, if you've got a distributor or a manufacturer that you have certifications from, if they have a directory of contractors, make sure you're on that. And you mentioned remodeling one. There's other ones obviously in different trades. Yeah,

John (05:07): Obviously every industry, yeah,

Tim (05:10): There's local ones too, right? Your chamber of Commerce that you're part of should be part of, and you should get that link too and just make sure they're linking to you. And then if you're part of a B nine group and they have a website or wherever, all these networking things, and that's another reason why I say this. SEO effort kind of extends beyond what we're doing just in SEO, because as we network, we get more opportunities to get links as we do real business, we get opportunity. If you have a manufacturer certifications for manufacturers, those are real opportunities for links too. So a lot of times it's kind of finding the natural links that would come to you from all the people in your industry. Actually, Tommy Meow, who's a big home service industry, he's an awesome dude, and he has a business called the Home Service Millionaire.

(06:01): But he told me this strategy and I did it. He said, go into your QuickBooks and look at everyone you've paid in the last three months, and then send them a message, a little quick email or a little video message and text 'em or whatever, and say, Hey, could I do a video testimonial for you? Or could I give you a testimonial? If you're happy with their services, could I give you a testimonial? Would you consider linking to me on your homepage? And I've done that and gotten ones from very big websites. So a lot of times we want to follow the existing relationships and organizations that we're in and get links that way, and that's probably untapped for a lot of local home service businesses.

John (06:44): Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I'm glad you mentioned the word networking, how I've always talked about it as well, as opposed to it being sort of scammy feeling. It's a very legitimate thing. I want to go back to the location service pages that you mentioned, because that idea, particularly with home services, particularly with local businesses, is a way for them to get found in suburbs, but it's also very spammy. I mean, it's been very spammy. I'm not talking about the approach in general. A lot of people have spammed. You go to somebody's website and it says basically it's the exact same content, the exact same photos, it just has a different name of a suburb or neighborhood. How do you create those that are actually effective because Google doesn't like that kind of content either. So how do you create those that are truly effective and useful as opposed to being spammy?

Tim (07:34): Yeah, so I've tried that in the past. I think every long time SEO has, I honestly tried to do it with code where it would inject. I put the name in once and then it would put the city name in every, I've tried all types of things, and I've tried them and failed at them so you don't have to, so it doesn't work, or it works for a very short amount of time and then gets devalued. So this is why we're trying to go for long-term useful content, SEO, because it's less likely to get, we do a bunch of work and then three years later everything goes down. So we try to make stuff that references real things in that town or city. And I also don't think it's the worst thing. It should be original content, but I also don't think it's the worst thing to put out 15 of them and then a couple of two or three kind of take off. And then you keep on building into them. You keep on adding more actual local photos. You keep on building out more local focused content. So it's okay to do 15 all original content, but maybe you're only doing 500 words or something like that. And then over time, you can really push into them and try to make it more comprehensive.

(08:47): We have the same FAQs on a lot of different pages, but you could also answer them again in a different way. I could answer the question about what is a backlink 25 times a plumber could answer the question, what's the quickest way to get a toilet unclogged with infinite number of variations around the language that they're using? So there's nothing wrong with answering the same questions in a new way. And I think ultimately the content, the more and more you can make it original, the better. Honestly, there's nothing wrong with starting with lower amounts of content. Then as something pops off, I think about minimum viable content. We need to get a lot of content out there, and a lot of times, and that is the game right now, right? We're putting out a lot of content and we are AI assisted. We always have every single human, every single piece of content has human edited, and there's a lot of different opinions in the SEO world about what's admissible and what's appropriate and all these different things.

(09:53): I found that I was using AI to create content myself and then modifying it and making it better and using it for research and using it for different things. And I felt like if I'm not doing that for my clients, then I'm almost being like I'm holding them back when I truly believe that this is making my content better because it's making me quicker on research and on different things. So I felt like it was appropriate based on that to actually move into ai. But there's different opinions on that, and people that are going full AI with no editing are getting hammered and hurt in the SERPs right now. So search engine result pages. So basically watch out, and this is dangerous, but it's still effective. So it's figuring out how to effect

John (10:44): A couple really practical uses there. You talked about having different versions of the same answer to a question. If you write a good solid technical answer and then just take it to AI and say, give me eight variations of this, that to me is a super good use. And certainly if you write a good blog post, asking AI to create title and metadata, meta descriptions, it's better at that than you and I are once it's got something good to work with, it's my pleasure to welcome a new sponsor to the podcast. Our friends at ActiveCampaign, ActiveCampaign helps small teams power big businesses with a must have platform for intelligent marketing automation. We've been using ActiveCampaign for years here at Duct Tape Marketing to power our subscription forms, email newsletters and sales funnel drip campaigns. ActiveCampaign is that rare platform that's affordable, easy to use, and capable of handling even the most complex marketing automation needs.

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Tim (12:30): I also like the get the transcript from YouTube. Let's say you made a video that was about something very technical and you have subject matter expertise in that video, using the transcript and turning it into a blog post, still customize it, make freshen it up, make sure it's human readable and feels good, and then embed the video at the top of the post. And if it wasn't your video, make sure you're linking to their website. But I think if it's your video, ultimately you could rep content repurposing, I think is kind of what you're getting at there too. John is like, AI is so good at content repurposing, and I like anything with ai, we're using a smaller data set than just the entire internet. I feel like the entire internet is full of garbage. If you really mixed it all together, it's just a garbage soup. But if we fed it, let's, let's say you're an HVAC company and you're a carrier dealer and you fed it their manual and you used it to build up for carrier products that way, that would be an incredible use. Basically, smaller data sets better information.

John (13:45): And the thing I love about video or audio transcripts too, is you automatically get the voice and tone and style of the speaker, which is something that again, really informs the AI to speak like you do. And I think that's a really important element of it. So

Tim (14:01): As people get, lemme do one last 20 seconds on this topic. People get more and more focused on ai. There's an opportunity to return to the fundamentals of marketing, especially if AI is automating some busy work for you. So return to the learn about persuasion in the fundamentals of marketing, and it will inform everything you're doing. So it's great to use ai, but it should free up some of your time to then go back and get better at persuasion.

John (14:33): So we started talking a little bit about video as it relates to other content creation, but how about just video itself? Do you think that today, the world we live in today, everybody should have a YouTube channel. They should be creating video content, they should be publishing it in all the places you can publish.

Tim (14:52): I'm long video. I'm long video, and you know what I like about it? I like that it teaches me things about attention and grabbing attention. I love SEO, okay, we get a lot of leads from our own SEO, and I believe in it for if 70, 80% of the clicks on Google are going to organic, then you shouldn't neglect it, even if it's hard. Some people want to watch video, so I incorporate it into most blog posts. We're incorporating some kind of video. And then I think the short form video stuff, the TikTok Instagram stuff of the world, it's showing us how to grab attention quicker, getting better at it. In the last two days, videos on our TikTok and Instagram have gotten over 2 million views, and this is niche stuff. This is roofing. So it is crazy what's possible. And it also teaches you things about how quick everybody's attention span is these days and how can we feed that a little?

(15:56): How can we be part of it? I'm not trying to create the problem, but I'm trying to ride the wave. If that's what's happening, then I'm going to try to learn it, and then I think you could apply those principles to your other content. I believe most people should be experimenting with video, and I think it's okay if you're considering it experiments, and I think it's great to fail at it a lot and you still get better. We all get better by failing at it a lot. And it is, but I don't know if everyone should be chasing virality. Local home service businesses should not be chasing virality. They should be chasing sales enablement video content, and then entertainment. Entertainment though sometimes goes viral. So the point is is I do think home service businesses should not just be informing, they should be also entertaining their ideal customers.

John (16:45): Yeah, I remember we have a client that's a home remodeler and they've been in the video for a long time, and the video that to this date got them the most attention and the most clicks was a couple guys were taking a deck, they were going to replace a deck on the back of a house. They were taking the deck off and there was a whole family of raccoons in there, and they videoed that and then shared that. And of course, it didn't have anything to do with the business, but everybody loved it. And so I think it does. I think actually, like you say, showing the human side is great, but I totally agree with you. I mean, what you really want to get is business objectives.

Tim (17:19): Absolutely. And so it's kind of trying to mix those together when possible. And you'll notice if you tried to go, let's say if somebody tried to get a ton of views for a year in a row, I did it for a year every single day trying to go viral. It took me seven or eight months to finally do it. And I was like the first five things that got over a million views were not good for my business really. I just started just slapping my logo on there just to try to get some kind of brand positive stuff from it. But I think you learn, that's why it's experiments and learning. And most businesses though, should not, I don't know if you should do that every day for a year to learn, but it's fun. It's fun. Have fun with your marketing if nothing else, have fun with your marketing. Yeah.

John (18:02): So let's jump to the one that a lot of people have trouble expressing a lot of, I'm sure not you Tim, but a lot of SEO folks don't really talk about ROI necessarily. What should somebody be looking at what KPIs even should they be looking at to really truly measure the performance and their SEO efforts?

Tim (18:25): That's a big question, John. That's a great one. I look at the upward swing of keywords and backlinks over the first six months. I think the first six months we're really talking about these very light, it's kind of soft stuff. And we have to explain to our clients why that's good. Why is me ranking for more keywords, sometimes not even high intent. I think that there's an element though of, I was doing air quotes there, I realize this is audio, so high intent being like they're likely to purchase. And we're just talking through that. We're like therapists for those first six months. And it's tough because it's unclear. And PPC gets to just be like, Hey, we're over here making money. And SEO has to be like, okay, well we're going to make money someday. And that's what we struggle with back and forth. It's not an easy job, but it is easier when you show them deliverables, when you show them specific things that were completed on their behalf.

(19:28): So that's what we focus on. And then we talk them through why more link, we educate. We have to educate. SEO just inherently has to educate more. So here's why we're getting you more backlinks because every backlink is a vote for your business's website. And the more backlinks we have, the more likely you are to rank high. And with content, the more we're ranking for one, those are linking opportunities because every single blog post out there people could link to, especially if it's a good blog post, but it's also giving topical authority. So we talk about topical authority even with our blue collar trades focused industries we're talking about you have to cover a topic more in depth, and then obviously the location pages is a little bit easier to explain, and we show them those rankings over time. And then as ROI is really a year to two years, and that's the hardest part about SEO.

(20:25): We're talking about long-term plays with compounding benefits. And then if you keep on going, it gets really good. And sometimes that sounds like lies to home service business owners and small businesses in general. So it's learning enough. I think as a contractor or any kind small business owner that's trying to hire SEO it, try to get somebody that has a lot of five star reviews, try to work with an agency that actually has track record and case studies, but it's really hard, dude. It's a hard thing. How am I supposed to trust you? And it's still hard, even if you find a reputable one because SEO is hard and some people, this is what most people don't want to say, but some people shouldn't even do it. If you're not going to go hard on SEO, if you're not going to actually go hard, you shouldn't do it. It's really a waste of your time and money. Even if you're spending a thousand dollars a month, that might be complete waste to your money. What's worse five KA month and somebody's actually going hard on your account or one KA month and they're not doing anything. You can see it's a scary thing to hire. And I think if you're not going to go hard, just save your money and spend it on sponsor a t-ball team.

John (21:44): Well, Tim, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. So you want to invite people to where they might connect with you and find out more about your work.

Tim (21:51): Yeah. Should I go too hard there, John? Anyway? No,

John (21:55): At not all. We're just out of

Tim (21:56): Am I still plugged in here? There we go. Yep. Yep,

John (22:00): You're

Tim (22:00): Good., hook agency all over social media hook better leads with the Google specialized team that's totally focused on roofers, plumbers, and HVAC tech companies. And we really appreciate these industries. We love you guys. Thank you for being cool to us Hook

John (22:17): Awesome. Well again, appreciate you stopping by and hopefully we'll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

from Duct Tape Marketing