More Cheese, Less Whiskers

Marketing podcast with Dean Jackson (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Karl Palutke via Flickr

The human brain is very similar to that of the mouse. That’s why so much research is conducted using mice. Much like our brain, the mouse is wired for pretty much two things – get cheese, avoid cat.

When we attempt to sell something to a prospect we look very much like the cat, no matter what our intentions. Buyers are wired to view sellers as cats and even the greatest deal in the world may go unnoticed because of our whiskers are showing.

The job of the marketer is to offer cheese and build trust, not in a manipulative way, but in a way that allows the buyer to put down their guard long enough to understand that you do indeed have something that will benefit.

This approach takes a change in mind shift, but it can color the way you approach marketing entirely.

It requires you to have the client’s best interest first and foremost in mind. It requires you develop the ultimate customer experience first. It requires you to create ways for them to experience results without risk. It requires you to develop ways to show them how they can make money before they ever have to spend money.

See, everyone in every company has permission to bring money in, but generally only a select few have permission to spend money. In fact, some organizations have people that feel it’s their job to shield the boss from anyone trying to sell them something.

So, how can you position your product as a way to make money, not spend money?

In this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast I visit with copywriter and information marketer extraordinaire, Dean Jackson. Jackson is one of the most sought out marketers in the real estate world and is well-known for his “more cheese, less whiskers” take on lead generation.

In this episode he outlines several case studies in which he applies the customer’s best interest approach and produces incredible results where the sales only approach had failed miserably.

Let me add for emphasis, while I’m suggesting that the shift in thinking that Jackson presents is a powerful way to approach lead generation and conversion, it will only work if you have a product or service that truly does provide massive value – otherwise your cheese is just bait and switch.

Listen to this recording and Jackson’s simple approach several times. Don’t let the simplicity escape you, this is one of the most profound marketing lessons you’ll ever get, precisely because it is so simple.

Go to work on creating the ultimate customer experience, make your business whisker free and start generating greater results from your lead generation efforts.

You can hear Dean talk about it in even greater depth on the ILoveMarketing podcast.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Getting Creative with Foursquare for Small Business

Marketing podcast with Carmine Gallo (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Foursquare boasts over 10 million users and some 400,000 businesses, and even though it’s not this week’s hot topic anymore, it’s ripe to add to your marketing mix.

foursquareMy guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Carmine Gallo, journalist, communications coach, speaker and author of The Power of foursquare: 7 Innovative Ways to Get Your Customers to Check In Wherever They Are

We discussed the various ways that small businesses can move into the location based marketing game and take advantage of the fact that most of their customers are using mobile devices to locate the places where they shop.

I’m going to skip the introduction and focus mostly on how to use it as a customer magnet. If you don’t really know much about Foursquare yet go here first: Foursquare 101.

Since a lot of folks are using Foursquare, it’s time to break out some creativity and move past the “me too” users that are simply copying what they see other people doing.

It’s okay to play the checkin smorgasbord game. You should consider a special deal for different kinds of checkins, such as a generic checkin and get something special, a special for the first time someone checks in and, of course, treat your mayor to something really special.

If you really want to make Foursquare pay, consider adding one or more of the advanced and slightly more creative offers listed below.

1. Target the hot spots

If there are businesses near you that get lots of checkins—hotels, conference centers, sporting arenas—consider adding tips to these venues that point people to your business or special. Foursquare has a feature that will point to nearby specials, but why not write a great tip (be outrageous to get some attention) and attract even more of those large numbers of people checking in?

2. Make referrals

You can take this last point up a notch by collaborating with strategic partners to make referrals all over town at a multitude of locations. This can take a little time, but if you place checkin tips referring your team of business partners to dozens of sites—and your partners do the same—you’ll gain lots of exposure. Make sure you’re not placing tips on competitors’ sites, as that will likely backfire.

3. Flash specials

Foursquare recently add a few new kinds of specials that offer much potential. A flash special is something you can offer to a certain number of people that act fast—this is a great way to create buzz and get people promoting for you. Let’s say someone checks in and learns that the first 50 people that check in that day get a cool offer…this kind of special really gets people reacting and sharing.

4. Friend specials

Another new special type is the friend special that allows someone to check in and get a great deal only if, say, they get three friends to check in as well. This one is nice because you can limit it and offer something really great for someone that goes to the effort of getting his or her friends into your store. The game and sharing aspect of this one offers lots of fun potential.

5. Create a swarm

In Foursquare terms a swarm is when a lot people check in at one place. This is a great one for events and could even make a neat little fundraiser kind of thing for an organization. Imagine hosting a PTA or club and offering them a special donation for everyone that visits your business and checks in on Foursquare creating a custom swarm of whatever you determine.

One of the things that Foursquare offers small businesses is the technology to track customer behavior. Use your creativity and you may find even more ways to tap this tool to grow your business and community.

You can find out more about various forms of special at the Foursquare for Business support forums.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Talking About Rainmaking Conversations

Marketing podcast with Mike Schultz (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Conversations are a bit part of everything in business these days including selling.

Rainmaking ConversationsMy guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Mike Schultz, president of the Rain Group, editor of RainToday and coauthor of Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation.

Schultz contends that the gap between what we are making and what we are worth, our incredible value, lies in having great sales conversations.

“Every conversation you have is an opportunity to find new prospects, win new customers, and increase sales. Yet so many professionals and sales people struggle with generating initial conversations and moving them to the close. They make common mistakes that end up losing them deals.”

Sales skills can be learned, desire and commitment are another thing. The salespeople that really want it and do what they need to – they get the end result.

People buy from people they like. So, how do you get liked digitally? Buyers are yearning for a true deeper connection because companies let them down so often. Online interaction has the potential to facilitate relationships that are started in person.

In addition to the content in the book, Schultz has compiled a number of resources, tools, and free online training to help you more quickly and effectively apply RAIN Selling to your sales efforts and take your selling to the next level.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Everyone That Likes Meetings Raise Your Hand

Marketing podcast with Al Pittampalli (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Read-This-Before-Our-Next-MeetingOkay since I’m not seeing a bunch of hands go up I’m guessing that maybe you’ve worked in one of those places where it seemed like your job was to attend meetings, really long, boring, everyone needs to say something meetings.

I’ve been self employed over twenty five years now so, I can tell you, I don’t do meetings very often, but even I detest those meetings that seem to be held so someone can read you a PowerPoint deck or go over the contents of an email or, worst of all, pick your brain.

This week’s guest on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Al Pittampalli, author of Read This Before Our Next Meeting.

Pittampalli worked for years consulting with large organizations and wanted to find out why some companies have so many meetings. He thinks he’s found that answer and now claims without hesitation to be a meeting culture warrior. He’s on a mission to change the way organizations hold meetings, make decisions, and coordinate action.

Read This Before Our Next Meeting several meeting principles that Pittampalli calls the “Modern Meeting Standard

Perhaps pivotal to understanding the key shift in meeting thinking the first tenet of the Modern Meeting Standard – The Modern Meeting supports a decision that has already been made.

According to Pittampalli, most meetings are held to try to make a decision, something he claims is why so many meetings are needed. When in fact, most decisions need to be made by a few and meetings should then be used only to resolve a conflict about a decision or communicate actions based on a decision.

Pittampalli is also quick to point out that his way of thinking requires a bit of a culture change in organizations that have long meetinged people into submission. Part of that culture change is to move brainstorming out of the meeting format so that it can live and thrive as the truly different beast that it is.

Read This Before Our Next Meeting is available in Hardcover, Kindle, or Audio formats, published by the one and only Domino Project.

As is part of the Domino model the book also enjoys a sponsorship from Citrix, the Kindle version of Read This Before Our Next Meeting is available for FREE until Aug 10th. You can download it right now.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Simple Formula to Propel Your Business

Marketing podcast with Mike Stelzner (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Launch - Mike StelznerFor this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I interviewed Mike Stelzner – founder of the wildly popular Social Media Examiner and author of Launch – How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition.

Mike uses a no nonsense and pretty matter of fact approach to describe one of the most powerful ways to build a business in the new marketing reality we live in. Mike’s Elevation Principle Formula pretty much sums up what many successful marketers are doing these days – whether they realize it or not.

The formula GC + OP – MM = G or Great Content + Other People – Marketing Messages = Growth. The concept of content as a core marketing strategy is one that most business accept anymore, but the addition of other people to systematically spread the word and the subtraction of blatant marketing messages is what trips many up.

Once you start producing great content (or perhaps even before) you need to actively build a network of folks that might take an interest in helping your spread the word. Like it or not this is done best by first figuring out how you can help them meet their objectives. Take an active interest in the needs of your network and you’ll find that they will take an active interest in your objectives as well.

There’s nothing that complicated about Stelzner’s formula, but simple and easy are not the same thing. This approach takes work, every day, but it’s one of the most powerful and profitable way to build a business.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

5 Google Plus Tips and Chris Brogan

Marketing podcast with Chris Brogan (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Google Plus LogoFor this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I grabbed a few minutes with Chris Brogan. Chris is the founder of Human Business Works, writes and speaks on all things related to social media and is a documented Google Plus fanboy.

Chris and I talk about what Google Plus is, what it means, its strong points and weak points and why he has moved a great deal of his own personal networking activity to Google Plus. Have a listen.

Below are a couple tips that I’ve been using to enhance my own Google Plus experience – connect with me on Google Plus if you like.

1) Add the Google Plus Profile card to your blog – Grab the Google Plus Card WordPress plugin puts your Google Plus profile in your blog sidebar just like you see over there to the left – this will help spread the word about your presence there.

2) Add photos like a slideshow – Create a new Album and upload a series of slides as images (all the same size) in the order you would like them to show and Google Plus creates a viewer that can be clicked through much like a slideshow.

3) Send Google Plus items to Evernote – simply create a circle and add your Evernote email address as the lone user. Then share anything on Google Plus with that circle and it will automatically be sent to your Evernote account.

4) Search Google Plus – Google Plus doesn’t really have any good way to find people you might want to connect by occupation or interest yet. You can, however, use Google search to do the job – to search by topic, add this to a Google search – your topic site:plus.google.com ie: “small business marketing” site:plus.google.com

5) Publish your Google Plus public feed to your WordPress blog – I’m sure badges and widgets are coming for G+ but until they do here’s how I published a mini G+ feed on my blog

First – find you profile # – mine is 103952215474318614668 – then simply use this tool from plusfeed to create an RSS URL with your # – http://plusfeed.appspot.com/yourprofilenumber here, this is an RSS feed for my G+ public feed only (you can actually do this for any public feed if you wanted to publish other people’s feed)

Next take the RSS feed above and burned it at Feedburner (I know, another Google property.) Feedburner has a feature called BuzzBoost that makes it pretty easy to republish an RSS and produces the code you need for your widget. Take that code and create a text widget in WordPress, place it in your theme (you might also add a link back to your profile) and that’s it.

Bonus: Don’t forget to add the Google +1 button to your blog and Website pages. This is one way that people point out content on your site and share it with their Google Plus followers. I show you how to do that here: Adding the Google +1 Button

5 Types of Content That Every Business Must Employ

Marketing podcast with John Jantsch (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Dawn Endico via Flickr

The creation and distribution of content has become such a significant aspect of effective marketing that it requires a high place in the strategy conversation in most every business.

Some might go as far as to suggest content marketing has become the most effective way to build a business.

The word content is confusing enough as it’s bantered around these days, but it’s also difficult for many small business owners to come up with a big picture view of the role content plays in the acquisition of clients.

Strategically, the word content must mean more than a blog post or a blank sheet of paper each day. You must begin to think of your content as a total body of work that is being built to serve your business over time.

You must understand and create content for the most important keyword phrases for your industry, the essential themes of education in your business, and your company’s core points of differentiation.

You must also think in terms of your content as a tool that moves prospects from awareness to conversion and in this effort there are at least five types of content that you must address. Each type must be considered as part of your overall content strategy.

I’ve listed each below and I also discuss them in the audio track that accompanies this post.

Content that builds trust – One of the first jobs of your content is to bridge the gap from awareness to trust building. Your SEO efforts actually marry with this type of content to make sure you are both found and found in abundance.

  • How to content – specific advice or tips and tricks
  • Reviews – customer reviews on sites like Yelp and Google Places
  • Testimonials – endorsements from happy customers
  • Articles – articles you’ve written or that mention your firm in outside publications

Content that educates – Once you create awareness and trust a prospect will be hungry to find out much more about your unique approach, your solution, your story and your organization.

  • White papers – not boring, dry technical stuff, your best writing tying a bigger topic together
  • Newsletter – Weekly or monthly education that nurtures their interest
  • Seminars – in person or online, these allow prospects to learn as well as engage
  • FAQs – some folks just need the answers to their questions and this format serves well
  • Survey data – results from surveys can be very compelling as a way to let prospects know you understand them

Customer generated content – Getting your customers involved in the production of content builds loyalty and community, creates proof of results and gives you another avenue for content creation.

  • Automatic referrals and reviews – create ways to move happy customers to a referral and review process
  • Testimonials – automate this process by providing online audio and video tools
  • Video success stories – create events that bring customers together to tell their story and network

Other people’s content – one of the primary jobs of marketers these days is to provide some insight to the stream of information that our customers face. Filtering and aggregating content produced by others is not only a great service, it’s a great differentiator.

  • Custom RSS feeds – create customer or industry specific feeds to share
  • Republish, Share, RT – point to and share great content that being produced
  • Curate – use tools like Storify to collect and republish customer newsletters

Content that converts – this last category is one that gets overlooked in the write for writing sake view of content. Ultimately, great content has the ability to call and convert prospects to the action of buying.

  • In person events – live events are the absolute best way to use content to close
  • Case studies – deep studies into the success of another client act as tangible proof in the buying decision
  • ROI calculators – use content to help prospects understand the specific value of making a change
  • Results – provide documented proof results in simple and easy to understand forms that address the common needs of most prospects.

I’m in Alaska this week so I’ll be sharing some photos from their in my posts.

Is Facebook Still Likeable?

Marketing podcast with Dave Kerpen (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

The title to today’s post is a thought that’s making the rounds these days as Google announced that their new social network, Google Plus, added 10 million users in the first two weeks of limited beta launch.

A great deal of the conversation is decidedly skewed as much of the buzz is coming from hard core social media users and those predisposed to move away from Facebook, but none the less, this is a valid question.

I asked my Facebook followers if Google Plus had impacted their time on Facebook and over 50% claimed they were not yet Google Plus users. At the root of the question, however, is the issue of time. No matter what happens we only have so much budget for business building activities such as social networking and something is going to have to give. It’s like a family budget, if you buy a new car you might not go on vacation – it doesn’t mean the auto industry has targeted the travel industry, but they’ve impacted them anyway.

I think the same is true as people consider their available social time budget – something’s gotta give – it’s yet to be seen clearly what that something is, but it may not be as obvious as another social network such at Facebook.

For some perspective I turned to a guy that’s still very bullish on Facebook. Dave Kerpen, author of LikeableHow to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks) .

In this interview, Kerpen addresses the obvious success of Google Plus, but is quick to point out that Facebook’s place is still firmly rooted in the hundreds of millions of users that spend hours on the network every day. Kerpen’s take is that people don’t want to create yet another network on another social platform.

Kerpen also points to the killer targeting aspects of Facebook’s platform as reason enough to still engage and use the network. Kerpen emphatically states, “You know what’s cooler than 750 million people on Facebook? Being able to target the 750 that are your perfect prospects.” He goes on to tell a story about how he targeted a birthday wish ad that only his wife could see.

My take is that we have some interesting times ahead and we may very likely see a shift in audiences coming.

So, what’s your take?

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or