• Dusty Weis

Lead Balloon Ep. 24 - The Dreaded Grand Jury Subpoena, with Duct Tape Marketing Founder John Jantsch

Updated: Oct 4, 2021


Host of one of the web's longest-running marketing podcasts, John Jantsch shares a cautionary tale from early in his career.



There's nothing easy about striking out on your own as an independent marketing consultant.


Work can be scarce and hard to come by, and when an opportunity does come along, there can be a lot of pressure to accept it no matter what.

John Jantsch knows from experience. Before he was the founder, host and author of Duct Tape Marketing the agency, podcast and book, he was a go-getter looking to make his way as a consultant in Kansas City.


But an association with one early client--a client that he wouldn't touch now as a wiser, more experienced marketer--was enough to get him called in front of a federal grand jury at the time. And he took away some valuable lessons about being discerning when it comes to whom you work with.


We'll also glean some lessons from his more than 15 years as a podcaster, and catch a few tidbits from his new book.


John's new book is The Ultimate Marketing Engine: 5 Steps to Ridiculously Consistent Growth.


Subscribe to the Podcamp Newsletter to score an invite to our upcoming studio grand opening in Milwaukee.



Transcript


Dusty Weis:

Things are tough for an independent marketing consultant just starting out. Unfortunately, there's nobody out there throwing themselves at you, saying, "You're a marketer? You just started your own business? Oh my God. I've got so much work to throw at you. Here. Come have some money." Speaking from disillusioned experience here, that's not how it works. You've got to grind, and when an opportunity finally comes along, if you've been grinding long enough, you might be ready to jump at just about any old thing that comes along.


Dusty Weis:

John Jantsch knows. The founder of Duct Tape Marketing, a well-known firm and podcast, he's been grinding since the 1980s, and early on in his career, before he found his niche as a small business marketing maven, his mere association with one of his early clients planted him on the receiving end of a federal grand jury subpoena.


John Jantsch:

That was a knock on the door, and I'd never wished for it to be an insurance salesperson worse.


Dusty Weis:

The ordeal isn't an experience that he much likes to talk about even these days, but in today's episode, we'll parse some of the takeaways from John's cautionary tale, glean some lessons from his more than 15 years as a podcaster, and catch a few tidbits about his new book. I'm Dusty Weis from PodCamp Media. This is Lead Balloon, a podcast about PR marketing and branding nightmares and the well-meaning communications professionals who live them.


Dusty Weis:

Thanks for tuning in. Before we introduce John, I wanted to share some exciting news from the team here at PodCamp Media. We've been in the business of making podcasts for corporate clients about two years now, but first, out of startup necessity and then out of pandemic necessity, we have been an all-virtual operation that whole time. While I love the flexibility that offers me, sometimes our clients want to have an opportunity to tape their shows in a full-blown professional studio, and sometimes I need a place to go where the pitter-patter of thundering little feet doesn't dictate when I can and cannot roll tape.


Dusty Weis:

So I am thrilled, thrilled to announce the relocation of PodCamp Media world headquarters from the basement of my home to a homey little studio in vibrant downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A huge thank you to all the clients who have entrusted us with their brand success to get us to this point, big ups to the PodCamp team for their hard work, and, of course, thank you for sharing your time and your attention with us throughout the years.


Dusty Weis:

In fact, as an additional thank you, you're cordially invited to join us for a grand opening celebration a little bit later this fall. Visit podcampmedia.com/leadballoon, or click the link in the episode description and sign up for the PodCamp Media email newsletter to make sure you get the party invite when they go out in a couple of weeks.


Dusty Weis:

We're joined now by John Jantsch, founder and president of Duct Tape Marketing, a consulting agency based in Colorado. He's an author of several books on the topic, including the eponymous Duct Tape Marketing and his latest, The Ultimate Marketing Engine. He's also the host of one of the most well-known and longest established marketing podcasts in that space, which, of course, is called Duct Tape Marketing. So John Jantsch, thank you for joining us on Lead Balloon.


John Jantsch:

Oh, thank you, and I think that that's the first "eponymous" that I've had attached to my intro. So thank you for that.


Dusty Weis:

Anytime I can drop a $1 word into a world filled with 5 cent words, I'm always happy to do it, but so very cool to have you on the show. You've been doing Duct Tape Marketing, the podcast, for more than 15 years, since those dark, dark days when a podcast was still something that you downloaded onto a computer and then transferred onto an iPod. You're one of the most widely cited and often recommended podcasts in the marketing space, and so in a little bit, I want to pick your brain a little bit about the success of that show.


Dusty Weis:

But first, you and I talked previously about the dangers of starting out as a consultant, about how early on, it feels like there are wolves at the door and you just need to take any client who comes along, and certainly that's a feeling that I know all too well as someone who's just two years into his trajectory as a business owner. So take us back to early in the history of Duct Tape Marketing. What led you to launch your own operation in Kansas City, how'd you do it, and how did you get by those first couple of years?


John Jantsch:

Yeah, so I would say that that danger that you mentioned is true of any entrepreneur, any business, but I had worked for an ad agency for about five years, actually, right out of college and thought, "One day, any dummy can run a business. How hard could it be?" That was my business plan, in fact, I think, but jumped in like a lot of people and hustled work. I worked my connections of people I knew, big companies, little companies, big projects, little projects. Pretty much anything somebody said, "Well, we need this. Can you do that?," my answer was always, "Sure. I can do that."


John Jantsch:

So to some degree, that's how it should be, and what I mean by that is very rarely could we say, "I'm going to start a business that's going to focus on dental practices, and this is all I'm going to do," because we just don't know enough about the market we don't know enough about. We don't have any experience. So a lot of those early years is about gaining the experience to maybe fully understand what your business should be or who you should focus on. I think that that's why it's so often that companies pivot, because they come up with this grand plan in a room or a garage or wherever it is where they come up with a grand plan, but without real-world data and testing and trying and learning what the market needs, you really can't end up, I think, where you're going to end up.


John Jantsch:

So I ultimately did decide or focus in on the fact that I loved working with small business owners, and that's really something that I've now ... It's probably been my life work for the last couple decades, is to bring a very systematic approach to marketing to the world of the smallest, in some cases, of businesses.


Dusty Weis:

But it took you a while to find that niche, and in the meantime, they say that no battle plan survives first contact with the battlefield.


John Jantsch:

Right.


Dusty Weis:

That's kind of where you were as a small business owner. What sort of clients did you have early on in the history of Duct Tape Marketing?


John Jantsch:

Yeah. So as I mentioned, it was pretty much anything that would come my way. I had a particular interest in politics. I was young and naive, so I-


Dusty Weis:

I, too, once did politics, and that's why I have the haircut that I have now.


John Jantsch:

I thought that was a really cool, happening space. You could make a difference. Frankly, they're very much in need of marketing, especially since the world was just at that time starting to dip their toe into the online world. So a lot of industries were like, "Hey, we're behind the eight ball on this. We don't know how to fundraise or communicate online." So there was a lot of opportunity in that space, too. I had corporate clients as well. I even had some small businesses that kind of looked at me as their marketing department. So I was really kind of all over the place, but I did do a significant amount of business in the political world, particularly focused on campaigns, initiative campaigns and things. So I wasn't a lobbyist or anything for anybody, but I helped them get elected. I helped pass measures.


Dusty Weis:

Right. Help them tell their story, essentially, is what I've always thought that we do in marketing and public relations, is take people who are not necessarily great at telling their own story and help them connect with the public in general.


John Jantsch:

Yeah, it was really everything. I mean, if you think about a lot of campaigns, they basically are pop-up businesses, in a way. So there's no logo. There's no brand at all, necessarily. Maybe that person is a known entity to some percentage of the constituency, but direct mail was probably the biggest tool that we used to help tell the story, just because when I was doing this, email and certainly social media was not even a part of the landscape.


Dusty Weis:

It is a different world to work in back then. But let's talk about this one client in particular, the one who landed you where no marketing or public relations professional, no person, I would imagine in general, ever wants to be, and that's in front of a grand jury on an FBI subpoena. We're going to speak vaguely about this for a number of reasons. One, because it was a long time ago. Two, because I still have to work in this town. Three, because nobody wants to get a visit from the leg breakers. But what can you tell me about this particular client? How'd you get started with this one?


John Jantsch:

Yeah. So anybody who's familiar with particularly initiative campaigns, a lot of different groups come together to support them. So you have conservative groups. You have labor groups. You have religious groups. I mean, any kind of grouping or community of people typically get actively involved in politics. So the client that you're referring to represented actually a number of trade and labor unions, and, as anybody knows, a lot of those groups really try to have influence in certain campaigns. This was actually a campaign to pass legalized gambling in the state of Missouri. At the time, they were calling it Riverboat, but they kind of decided that they actually just would build a building next to the river and called it Riverboat. But at any rate, that was somehow more palatable to the more conservative forces. So they passed that.


John Jantsch:

So just in working certain campaigns, typically, just like people call themselves Democrats or Republicans a lot of times, consultants that are involved in that typically get involved on one side or the other. Now, there definitely are people that work both sides of the aisle, but for the most part, especially on a localized level, you're branded as or you choose to be involved in one camp or another. So you end up working with a lot of the same people that typically get behind certain campaigns and get behind certain candidates, because they're of a certain party. So this group that represented labor unions was very involved in fundraising and certainly direction of campaigns a lot, because they poured a lot of money and support into them. So that's actually the client that the FBI was investigating.


Dusty Weis:

The specifics on this one, we're going to have to just leave that to our imaginations. John assures me that whatever we come up with is going to be a better story, anyway. But for my part, I'm going to imagine some burly backroom dealing Teamsters in a federal probe into Jimmy Hoffa's whereabouts. Regardless of the nature of the charges and the organization, John was just trying to do his job on the ongoing casino campaign and grow his business. He never suspected that he might get roped into a federal grand jury investigation until the day a federal agent came calling at his front door with the subpoena.


John Jantsch:

That was a knock on the door, and I'd never wished for it to be an insurance salesperson worse. But no, that was delivered by a special agent.


Dusty Weis:

What was your initial reaction? Was it just pit of the stomach sort of, "I can't believe this is happening to me," or what do you do after you have that conversation?


John Jantsch:

Yeah. I mean, it was a long time ago, so my vivid memories of it are probably not what they were at the time, but certainly the first is obviously shocked.


Dusty Weis:

You don't have to have any personal experience with a federal probe that they can be pretty far-reaching. So John assures us that his grand jury appearance, while traumatic, was not due to any even tangential involvement in the alleged impropriety.


John Jantsch:

After one or more of these campaigns, they basically called in anybody that showed up on their books as a vendor, if you will, which included me, and just wanted to know what you knew. Now, the good news is I knew very little. I mean, yeah.


Dusty Weis:

That's a good place to be in a situation like that.


John Jantsch:

Yeah, that's right. My story was totally uninteresting to them, and so it was a very in and out, no reprecations for me at all. It definitely was the wake-up day to say, "Yeah, I get to choose who I work with and not the other way around," but I think it was more than that. I mean, it was probably also the moment I said, "I'm out of this industry," as well. So obviously, that was a big shift. Just by being near and in this industry, you can get your reputation tarnished then. So that was a real pivotal turning point in my career where I said, "I'm going to get out of this business. I'm going to really focus on working for clients that I love, that I respect, that I believe we at least have some amount of shared values."


John Jantsch:

I tell people a lot of times that obviously, I wasn't doing anything illegal, but I was pretty sure they were, or at least I had a sense that they were. So that to me was the wake-up in that I was ... It's really easy to find yourself in that position, where you wake up one day and go, "This isn't who I am. This doesn't represent my values. Why am I playing here?" I think you either do something about it or you continue to get sucked in. So that was a sort of pivotal moment for me and really informed the next three decades of my work.


Dusty Weis:

That work would come to include one of the most well-known and longest running podcasts in the field, Duct Tape Marketing, and so coming up after the break ...


John Jantsch:

Just to record the show was hard. Then just to get somebody to listen to it was hard. So obviously, I think that was a lot of the drag on why it actually didn't take off immediately back then.


Dusty Weis:

The evolution of podcasting as a marketing tool from the guy who's pretty much been doing it longer than anyone. That's in a minute here on Lead Balloon.


Dusty Weis:

This is Lead Balloon, and I'm Dusty Weis. A cursory Google search for best marketing podcasts will yield many results, including this one, which was named Marketing Podcast of the Year by Adweek in 2020. But a constant presence in those search rankings is John Jantsch's Duct Tape Marketing, not only because it's a reliably informative show, but because he's been doing it since before most people even knew what a podcast was.


Dusty Weis:

You launched Duct Tape Marketing, the podcast, in 2005. For those who weren't into podcasting back then, I'll tell you this. It was a labor of love for both people that made the podcasts and the people who consumed them. I just want to note that in the years since 2005, I have had nine different jobs in media and strategic communication, John. Honestly, I'm not sure that I could name them all without having my resume in front of me right now. So what made you jump into the podcasting space, and what made you stick with it for so darn long?


John Jantsch:

So a couple things. I started blogging in 2003, which was certainly not the first blog, but very early on in when people started doing that. I really saw podcasting as the next thing, as an advancement of that. I think people even talked about that. "Oh, audio blogs now are really going to be it," vlogs, but you're absolutely right. It was hard on both ends, which was really never a good thing. It was hard to produce, but it was also hard for people to listen. There was software out there called podcatchers that people would have to actually download in order to subscribe to your show. Now, it still used the RSS technology that we use in many, many ways today, but it was new enough that just to record the show was hard. Then just to get somebody to listen to it was hard.


John Jantsch:

So obviously, I think that was a lot of the drag on why it actually didn't take off immediately back then. I mean, I would say you could point to about 2010, 2011 or so, when podcasting just really took off. So that kind of gap years in between there, it actually kind of faded. 2006, 2007, all of a sudden, this thing called Twitter and Facebook came along for people, and that became the new hot, groovy thing for people to do. So podcasting kind of fell by the wayside.


John Jantsch:

The second part of your question, I mean, why did I stick with it? I didn't really get into it to build a giant audience. I got into it because it gave me an excuse to call up or to email people that I wanted to talk to, who all of a sudden were more interested in talking to me, because I was going to promote their new book or promote their business or something. For example, one of my first guests was Seth Goden. I didn't know Seth at all, but I'm sure many of your listeners know him. He's become a good friend. He's actually written cover blurbs for many of my books. But my first contact with him, my first reach-out to him was, "Hey, I see you have a new book coming out. I'd love to get you on my show for 20 minutes."


John Jantsch:

Now, had I sent an email that said, "Hey, I really like your work. Can we get on a call? I'd like to pick your brain for 20 minutes," silence, right I mean, I don't know that about Seth necessarily, but I'm guessing I would have gotten no response. But when I was a member of the media wanting to interview them and promote their show, do something for my guests, I generally got a yes. So it gave me then the opportunity to have some conversations with folks that I wanted to speak with. I produce great content. It raises my level of authority by being associated with these guests. So it was definitely worth sticking with it.


John Jantsch:

Now, around, as I said, 2010 or so, Apple decided to put Podcast App native on the iPhone, and the rest is history, because now it was very easy for people to listen. All of a sudden, the NPRs of the world said, "You know what? This next generation is not listening in their car to radio as they're driving to work. We need to be in these places, too." So now, obviously, it's a giant industry, it's a giant medium, and frankly, I don't study these things necessarily, but I think it's still in its infancy in some ways for a lot of folks, because a lot of brand advertisers, we have fortunately, because have stuck with it, built a very large audience. So it's the hottest area at which brand advertisers are now contacting us to want to be a part of the show, want to be a part of our listener base.


John Jantsch:

So sticking with it has paid off, but I really tell people all the time I would have done it if I only had two listeners, because especially during the pandemic, we couldn't see anybody. So it was like it was my lifeline to really being able to connect and network with some of the smart folks that I get to interview.


Dusty Weis:

Yeah. People ask me, "Okay. Where do you get your clients at PodCamp Media?" I tell them it's kind of three different buckets, and the first one is just the word of mouth, which is a classic marketing tactic that you come to rely on. The second bucket is the content marketing that we do via this show. People listen to Lead Balloon, and they say, "Oh, I really like how you guys make podcasts. Can you make one for us?" But the third one and the one that surprised me the most is people that I reach out to to have them on the show-


John Jantsch:

Right.


Dusty Weis:

... as guests who then turned around and finished the conversation and say, "So wait. Your business model's you just make podcasts for anybody that hires you to do that?" We say, "That's what we do." More often than I think I expected, they turn around and say, "Well, I think I've got a job for you."


John Jantsch:

Yeah, yeah, that's right. I will tell you if you have any small business listeners out there thinking, "Oh, podcasts are ... It's too late for me to get into podcasting," I tell people all the time, "Who's your ideal client? Who's your target market? Okay. It's mid-size company CEOs. Great. Start interviewing midsize company CEOs around the country, companies that you admire, companies that are prospects that you would love to get on their radar, because as a member of the media now, you will be an invited guest. You'll get to meet some of the people who would never return your email or your phone call." So you don't have to look at this and look at shows that have huge followings and have sponsor ads and all those kinds of things in their shows. Use it as a lead generation, as a lead mining tool, which is also going to produce awesome content for you.


Dusty Weis:

Now, by the same token, you better make sure that when you reach out to that mid-level CEO that you're coming at them with a pitch that is professional and polished and when you get them on the phone to interview them that it's not just this sort of bargain basement level of podcasting, but something that actually reflects well about your business in a way that makes them want to work with you further on down the line. So definitely, I coach people that, yeah, you've got to make sure that you're putting your best foot forward in your podcast production process as well.


Dusty Weis:

But I'll say this, too. I cite your podcast regularly as a cautionary tale for new podcasters, not that there's anything wrong with what you do or how you do it. There's not. You've been doing it for a long time and you're the best at it. That's what I tell startup podcasters, that if they're getting into this space, they need to come with an original idea.


John Jantsch:

Yeah.


Dusty Weis:

That's how I arrived at the concept of Lead Balloon, for instance, because I wasn't going to launch a marketing podcast and jump in and out John Jantsch the John Jantsch. So if you were new to this space today and if you were launching a marketing podcast tomorrow, how would you go about it now?


John Jantsch:

Well, I think a lot of it depends on your objectives. I mean, what are you launching this for? I mean, in your particular case, to get podcasting clients was a big part. I mean, it is a logical thing, but I think that that would also dictate who you would interview and how you would approach the show. But if I'm that local accountant and I'm thinking, "How can I differentiate?", launch in your town interviewing whoever your target market is or maybe come up with a particular topic or two that are problems that a lot of businesses have in the world of accounting and really focus on solving those or having conversations with people about solving a particular problem or set of problems.


John Jantsch:

I mean, I agree with you. I mean, does the world need another show where an author interviews a bunch of marketing authors? Maybe, but probably not in terms of ultimate reach for your goals. So I really come back to it, and I know it feels a little too much of a consultant answer, but what you do and how you do it, no question, you always want to stand out. You always want to think about, "What problem is this podcast prepared to solve for people who would listen to it?" But a lot of it's going to be dictated by your overall objectives. For me, my objective was never ... I shouldn't say never, but it was not originally to make money with my show. It was to have conversations. So the beauty of that is that's why I stuck with it. That's why I muddled through. We haven't even talked about the technology in 2005.


Dusty Weis:

What were you doing recording on back in 2005? I have to know. Nobody had Skype.


John Jantsch:

So certainly, you and I are recording on Riverside. Nobody had Riverside. I mean, that's a new invention. I actually was able to acquire a device that I could plug into a telephone that would allow me to then plug a digital recorder, a little portable digital recorder. So people would call me on the phone. I would plug this device in, and I would hit Record. Then after we were done, of course, this was all just on one track. After we were done, I would take that over to the computer, and I had to get some adapter, I think, for a USB device. I would upload it to the computer from the handheld device that I had. Really, this handheld device, they actually may have even had ... No, I guess they were digital. I was going to say I might've even had a tape version.


Dusty Weis:

Oh. A MiniDisc, maybe.


John Jantsch:

Yeah.


Dusty Weis:

The old Marantz MiniDisc recorder.


John Jantsch:

I did have a two-track Marantz recorder. It was probably one of the original digital versions, but a ton of work to get done, and quite frankly, the sound quality was bad. We weren't using these thousand-dollar microphones. I mean, we were on a telephone connection, which is a pretty crappy microphone, and going across a pretty crappy delivery device. So that's another thing, of course, that obviously not only has it gotten easier, but the quality is ... You can get studio professional quality now for very low cost.


Dusty Weis:

Yeah, no, it's a wonderful time to be creating content. But again, what I like about that is you hit on the fact that you weren't focused on monetizing it right out the gate. Too often, I think we hear from people getting into the podcast space, "Man, I can't wait to get those ad dollars coming in." I think what gets lost in that conversation, at least until they talk to someone who is expert in this space like you, is that monetization comes later. You need to focus on putting out good content that connects with people and serves a niche and answers a question that they have before you ever start focusing on monetization.


John Jantsch:

Well, and that's true of, if you think about it, just every sort of relationship and connection and marketing channel. I mean, put value out there first, and the money will come.


Dusty Weis:

Speaking of putting value out there, you've got a new book coming out-


John Jantsch:

I do.


Dusty Weis:

... which happens to include some allusions to the tale of woe that we discussed earlier on today's program. Where do we look for that, and how do we get our hands on a copy?


John Jantsch:

You bet. So it's called The Ultimate Marketing Engine, and it's five steps to ridiculously consistent growth. So it is essentially a strategy book that is an evolution of ... I've continued to practice marketing every day for the last 30 some years. So it's an evolution of my thinking on marketing. As far as getting a copy of the book, there is a companion website. It's just theultimatemarketingengine.com. You can get some free chapters there to get a sense of it. I've also got if you pre-order a copy of the book, you can pick up a companion course for free. It's some videos and worksheets. Really, I like to talk about this book as almost being like a workshop contained in a book, because every chapter, I give you action steps, and all those action steps have forms and tools and resources to help you accomplish the action steps. So if you get the book and you'll get the links to the resource pages, you'll find that this is a book you can really take a lot of action on.


Dusty Weis:

Well, ridiculously consistent growth is something that I've been looking for. What's step one? Can you give me a little preview of this?


John Jantsch:

Sure. So the first step I really introduce in the book is to map where your best customers are today and then to understand or discover where they want to go. So a lot of people, a lot of businesses are very engaged in selling what they sell. We help people create podcasts. But, for example, people come to you probably in the stage where they don't have a podcast or they have a podcast, but they haven't been able to be consistent, and it's kind of crappy quality or something. So you probably recognize, here are the characteristics of somebody in that kind of starter stage. Here are the challenges they're facing, because we see it every day. But here also is the promise that if we can get them to have a professional show that's targeted on their market that has the ability to grow because it is doing all the things that we say a show should do, you can take them to the next stage.


John Jantsch:

So ultimately what I'm suggesting is to create what I call a customer success track that really does focus on, "Let's do understand the stage most of our best customers come to us in, but ultimately, if we get them a great show going, what's the next stage? Could we get them monetization? Could we actually get them more publicity for their show? Could we get them fans and followers? I mean, what do the stages look like?"


John Jantsch:

I think that the beauty of this is first off, when somebody is coming to you, they're coming to you with a problem, but you're actually able to show them what the world could look like if they not only solve that problem, but what's next and what's next and what's next. I think that giving people that view of the blueprint or the roadmap really differentiates you from somebody else who's just basically slinging the tech at them and saying, "Here it is. You sound good on tape now. Here's the bill." I introduce this idea of thinking of your customers as members. They don't just come to you for a transaction. They actually start coming to you for a transformation in their business or in their life. So what would that roadmap, that customer success track, as I call it, look like?


John Jantsch:

I've built it completely for marketing, because that's what I've been doing for 30 years, is helping people mature their marketing and grow their businesses. But my contention is that really every business out there, regardless of industry, could start taking this approach. There's a lot of really practical reasons for it, too, because people come to us in the foundation stage. Their website's not working. They have no content. SEO has been kind of an afterthought. We know that if we complete a series of milestones while they're in that stage and tasks associated with those milestones, we can move them almost guaranteed to the next stage. So from a training, hiring, messaging, mission, even, for our business, this customer success track actually is the overarching strategy for our business now.


Dusty Weis:

I've been kind of talking through some similar principles, actually, with the folks on my staff. One thing that I'm trying to drive home to them is that we don't sell people podcasts. We sell them essentially confidence. We sell them the ability to go to their marketing team and say, "Hey, what we've got here is a really good piece of content that represents the company well," and the ability for them to not have to worry that it's going to get picked apart by their management team.


Dusty Weis:

We sell them the coaching that it takes to ... When we've got someone who's going to be hosting their own podcast and serving as the voice for their brand, we sell them the confidence of being able to feel like a rock star when they sit down behind that microphone and take away the worry of, "What are people going to think of me? What if I stumble on my words? What if I don't come across as well as I want?" by knowing that we're going to have a team of editors standing behind them to be able to cut up their thing and make them sound like professional order, whether they're having a great day or not. So I think that there is a ton of wisdom in that, John.


John Jantsch:

Yeah. Thanks. The real key there, though, is I talk about making your customers successful. You can't make every customer successful. So you really have to understand, "Our best customers, our top 20% of our customers, what is it about them that makes them our best customer?" They're generally profitable. They have the right mindset. In your business, I'm sure they have a plan for where they're trying to go with this. So one of the real key steps to this is not just to build this customer success track for the world. Build it for the top 20% of your current customers today so that you can, A, go out and find more of them, focus on finding more of them, and, B, figure out how to grow with them.


John Jantsch:

So many businesses are ultimately focused on getting more customers, which is great. Nothing wrong with that necessarily. But my contention is that the top 20% of your customers, some percentage of them would do 10 times more business with you today if you had a way for them or if you discovered a way for them to do so. Maybe even some smaller percentage of them would do 100 times more business with you if you thought in terms of helping them go from where they are today to where they want to be or where they want to go. To me, retention and repeat business and evangelists for your business, that's where your greatest source of lead generation and growth and momentum comes from.


Dusty Weis:

Well, I'm sure that there are a ton more insights like that in the book. It's certainly something that I'm going to plan to check out. But John Jantsch, founder, author, and host of Duct Tape Marketing, the agency, the book, and the podcast. ducttapemarketing.com is your website. Your new book is The Ultimate Marketing Engine. It drops later this month. John Jantsch, thanks for joining us on the Lead Balloon podcast.


John Jantsch:

Oh, pleasure. Thanks for having me.


Dusty Weis:

That is going to do it for this episode of Lead Balloon. If you find value in the show, do me a solid. Take got your phone, pull up your podcast app, and find the Share button. Your recommendation to your friends and colleagues is still the best way for me to grow the audience and produce more and better PR and marketing disaster stories. So tell your friends, please.


Dusty Weis:

Lead Balloon is produced by PodCamp Media, where we provide branded podcast production solutions for businesses. Check out our website podcampmedia.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and until the next time, folks, thanks for listening. I'm Dusty Weis.



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