The Duct Tape Marketing/Content Marketing Challenge (part 3)

by Paul Wolfe on December 5, 2011

This is the third part of a ‘Challenge’ that I’ve set myself for my offline business.  You can get up to speed with Part 1 here:

The Duct Tape Marketing/Content Marketing Challenge (part 1)

And with Part 2 here:

The Duct Tape Marketing/Content Marketing Challenge (part 2)

The Cliff Notes version of that post is this:

  • I have an offline business called Carte Blanche
  • I want to convert the website for that business from an ‘online brochure’ to a site that will attract more leads AND pre-qualify them
  • I plan to use Content (or inbound) marketing as the main tool to do this
  • I’m using a great book called Duct Tape Marketing as a guide to systemizing my efforts.
  • What I do will be chronicled here on One Spoon so that others can follow, get inspiration, make suggestions, etc.

The Duct Tape Challenge Update

Since I last posted I’ve not done a great deal.  And that’s because I’m stuck answering some important questions that are part of the Duct Tape process.

I did some brainstorming last night and realized that I’ve made two mistakes.

  • 1)   I’ve let the fact that I’m ‘stuck’ stop me from producing more content.
  • 2)   I’ve not reached out for ‘help’ from my mastermind groups or my ‘go to’ list of people to try and get unstuck.

Let’s look at these two mistakes in more detail.

The Law Of Compound Information

As well as using the Duct Tape marketing book to systemize and guide the process I’m using, the other great resource I’m drawing on is Marcus Sheridan’s www.thesaleslion.com website.

If you’re interested in Content Marketing – or inbound marketing – and how it can generate leads and new clients, well Marcus is a guy who should be on your radar.

I was reading some of his archive a few days ago and came across this post:

The Law Of Compound Information In Marketing

The idea expressed in this post is simple…yet incredibly powerful.

But I didn’t fully appreciate it until I read this guest post by Marcus

5 Reasons Your Business Should Be Blogging

In this post Marcus talks about two potential customers – one has read just 3 pages on Marcus’s swimming pool website.  And the other has read 55.

Now there are a million lessons to be taken from this post – but the one that I want to focus on is summarized by this quote from the post:

(BTW, if you’re not blogging, there’s a good chance your company website doesn’t even have 55 pages, so let’s get busy!)

This, combined with the quote, was the figurative kick up the backside I needed.  Even though I’m stuck with some elements of Duct Tape Marketing, I can still be increasing the content on the blog side of the Carte Blanche website.

And over time that increase of content will get that website ranked for more long tail keywords…bring in more traffic….etc etc.
So the learning here is: keep moving forward.  Be the tortoise making steady progress, not the hare leaping from one thing to another.

And my recommendation: go read both of those posts.  And print them out and put them in your content marketing folder.  Seriously.

Discovering The Core Marketing Message for Carte Blanche

Chapter 3 of Duct Tape Marketing is in my opinion the most important chapter in the whole book.  The Chapter is titled:

Discover your Core Marketing Message

In this chapter the author of the book – John Jantsch – talks about the concept of differentiating yourself from your competitors.  This is incredibly important as if your potential clients can’t identify specific ways in which you are unique, then the default position they fall back on is price.

I love this line from the book:

“Price is a terrible place to compete….there will always be someone willing to go out of business faster than you.”

Now this isn’t anything new – Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote a book about this called Positioning. And Seth Godin wrote Purple Cow on this topic too.

But it’s an incredibly important step – and getting it right is crucial.  John has a 4-step ‘Core Message’ process:

  • Discover, capture and commit to a unique position
  • Create a marketing purpose statement
  • Turn your purpose statement into a talking logo
  • Craft a simple core message to use in all of your marketing

My problem with this step is finding that unique position that we can work on capturing.  The service that Carte Blanche offers is a band for parties that gets people up and dancing – and we’re good at what we do.

But so far the only thing I can think of that we do that other bands don’t is that we offer informational content to educate potential clients on what they should be thinking about when selecting a band for their wedding.

(Paul’s Note – the other step that follows on from this process is framing a guarantee.  And it’s possible that here’s where we could stand out from other bands. No other band in the UK offers any kind of guarantee – so it’s possible that a carefully worded guarantee might differentiate us.  Like:

The only band that guarantees to fill the dance floor at your wedding – and keeps on playing until they have.)

Next Update/Task List

Here’s my task list prior to the next update.

1)   Post Regular Content to the blog/how to book a band section of the website.  That content will be both written articles and ‘video articles’ that will be posted to YouTube and other places.  I’m aiming for 5 pages a week.

2)   Set up a Facebook Business page – and syndicate any content created to that Facebook page

3)   Work on the ‘core marketing message’ and the positioning of the band.

Resources

Here are links to the three books I’ve mentioned in this update:

Duct Tape Marketing

Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Your Shout

I’m a big believer in the power of the group – so if any of you have any ideas on how we can position Carte Blanche to differentiate ourselves from our competitors, I am all ears

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{ 14 comments }

Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion December 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I can’t wait to watch the results of this Paul, because what you’re doing in your field is completely unique, which means as the pioneer you’ll be hugely blessed from a business perspective.

And thanks so much for the mention as well bud.

Keep it up,

Marcus

Paul Wolfe December 5, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Marcus

No worries on the mention – thanks for all the real world trail blazing that you are doing. Although selling swimming pools is different from selling a band for people’s weddings….the principles are the same. And the content marketing principles should be the same as well.

So I’ve started reading a lot of the stuff on your swimming pool website – and I’ve started making templates out of some of your posts!!!

If things go the way that they could go….this will be very worth while and create what effectively will be a passive income stream for me (as someone else does 95% of the running of the business – I only deal with the finances!).

Paul

Steve@Affiliate Marketing Tips December 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Paul,

I think you have faced an issue here a lot of people run into. You can get so bogged down by trying to do things “right” you miss the more important tasks of GTD. (getting things done).

Anyhow, from reading this, it is obvious you know that.

I love these real world applications. Not having a “real world” business this isn’t something I could do myself, but honestly I think this is the area where the internet can be its most powerful, because chances are that none of these other bands have anyone nearly as internet saavy as you and just getting pages up there you could dominate all the search terms with some effort.

I am waiting for number 4 here! :)

Paul Wolfe December 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Steve

Hopefully Number 4 won’t be too far behind! And thanks for the encouragement.

Where I see myself having an advantage is that not only do none of the bands that I’d consider to be our competitors doing this…or even knowing ANYTHING about it….even if they cotton on, not a single one of them will know how to write for the Internet, or use plug ins with wordpress, or how to set up Aweber, or any one of a million things I’ve learned from my other sites.

So I’m already literally years ahead of them. Plus Marcus’s law of compound information will really kick in once I really sit down and crank out some content. I plan to create at least 50 posts before the end of January – these posts only have to be 750/800 word posts. I was about to say I can do those in my sleep – but actually I find writing shorter posts HARDER than writing longer posts. How freaking weird is that?

Anyway, I KNOW that if I knuckle down and start doing the GTD as you call it, that I will see results. (Once I start adding video and Facebook in too….that should really drive extra levels of traffic….).

Thanks for dropping by.

Paul

Cheryl Pickett December 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Hey Paul!
First, great minds think alike clearly because I follow and love the work of both John and Marcus. I also agree that differentiating yourself, no matter what you call it is HARD. Been working on that myself a lot lately too.

As far as maybe some help with your band website, do you have any comments from those that have hired you that might indicate what stood out in their minds. They may be the best resource for finding out what you did different/better especially if they hired someone else, were disappointed and then hired you and loved what you did. Maybe send a quick survey if you haven’t already.

We’ve had sort of a similar experience with DJs. We went to 3 events, 2 of them were just awful and one was absolutely awesome. Unfortunately, when we needed one for our wedding, Mr Awesome wasn’t available, so we got a referral from another friend and that couple was fantastic as well. For me, part of what they did for us was to take the stress away from our reception. I was comfortable that I could turn the evening over to them and everything would be both well planned and executed. If you do that for people, you take the stress out of throwing a great party, that is a little different than just throwing a good party.

Not sure if that helps, but that’s what I’ve got for now :-) Hopefully we will talk again soon.

Paul Wolfe December 5, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Hey Cheryl

Great chatting with you and Dave last week…sorry I’ve not replied to your email sooner, been hectic again this week.

Thanks for dropping by – reducing the stress is a good suggestion and one I will throw into my list of possibilities. My copywriting learning tells me to aim at hitting pain points rather than pleasure points….reducing stress is definitely a pain point!

Marcus and John are both innovative guys doing great work – John occasionally drops by and leaves a comment on these challenges. Which I really appreciate. I’ve got his second book – The Referral Engine – and have only skimmed it so far, but I’m mulling over an example he gives in that as a way to really boost referral clients. Without doubt he’s a clever guy.

There are lots of folk talking about content marketing on the old interwebz – when it comes to small business applications Marcus is the one who in my mind is really walking the walk and not just talking the talk. He’s a very, very sharp dude and I’m learning a lot of stuff watching and reading at both The Sales Lion and his pool website.

Probably be too late this week to schedule a chat – how are you fixed for next week?

Paul

Cheryl Pickett December 5, 2011 at 10:55 pm

No problem Paul, figured as much. Actually we’re good Thursday again prob either week I think, have to double check with Dave.

Also in regard to a response you gave earlier about post word length, two tips:

1) I know many who will argue that 350-500 is a good length because of people’s attention spans, so if you’ve got 800 words, you may really have two posts no problem.

2) one way to find “wordiness” is to read out loud or look really closely at each longer sentence. If you’re stumbling, you probably used too many words. Making those areas more concise will help cut down the word count too.

Cheryl Pickett December 5, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Here’s one more thought for you. “We’re the band you call when you want/don’t want___”

Marina Brito@Defeat the Cousin December 6, 2011 at 4:19 am

Hola amigo!

I’m looking forward to seeing how you apply Marcus’s approach to “content market” your band website. I have been reading a bunch of his stuff lately to see how I can apply it to my Real Estate website. Thanks for highlighting the two posts above. :)

About your post – are you really “stuck”? Or are you lacking time to make this project a priority? What can you stop doing so that you can work on this project?

mxx

Paul Wolfe December 6, 2011 at 7:22 am

Hola Amigo

There’s a bunch of learning you can take from what Marcus is doing and apply to your Real Estate stuff.

And yes – I’m really stuck. I can’t find our uniqueness factor, and that’s what’s holding that side of things back. However I’ve decided that whilst I’m scratching around I’ll just get on and carry on creating content. Marcus’s ‘Law of Compound Information’ really kicks in – I aim for 50 more posts before the end of January (these are more like 800 word posts…not the 2500 word beasts I produce here on Da Spoon).

That should really move us forward on this path – maybe that will be what differentiates us. The only band that tells potential clients the truth? Is that strong enough?

Catch you later.

Paulxx

Marina Brito@Defeat the Cousin December 6, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I must ask… have you done a target profile interview? You could create a uniqueness from the responses.

For example, when I hired a band for my wedding, I especially looked for a great band who would give out props (you know; straw hats, shakers, streamers, etc. … do you do that in the UK? Or is it a Mexican band thing?).

Also, the band that I hired learned my favorite song (and played it when the party was at its best).

HTH,
mxx

Tom Treanor December 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Paul,

I love the idea of applying Duct Tape Marketing and Content Marketing tactics to a band. How about adding some different articles in there like: “10 Steps to Getting Your Grandma To Rock Out At Your Wedding” or “How To Dance At Your Wedding Without Embarassing Yourself (with some funny pictures)”.

I love what you’re doing. Maybe put yourself out there a little more. Take some small risks with the content. Things that people would share with others for fun..

Good luck and I’m looking forward to learning from your posts!

Tom

Paul Wolfe December 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Tom

I have a Word Document with Post Ideas in it for this project. Currently I have 20 post ideas in there – I’ll add these two to the list.
I think the idea of creating some ‘lighter’ articles is a good one – one I plan to do is a post called 10 Songs That Will Cost £100 Extra For Each One. And have videos of really terrible cheesy songs from YoUTube like ‘The Lady In Red’ and ‘The Birdie Song.’ (Gawd….do you even remember that abomination???).

So there will be a bit of personality shining through – not just earnest content!

Thanks for stopping by.

Paul

Julien December 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Thanks a lot for these updates, combining references with a live business case take it to a whole different level.

The first question I have in mind is: why are you doing this alone? As a band, you probably have mates who should be able to help you write content, even if it’s just per email and then you copy/paste it into your blog …

Also, on the content side, what about : “The craziest wedding first dances” ? There’s a ton of them on YouTube.

Finally, your Facebook strategy limited to syndication seems pretty light. Your perfect customer criteria (see part 2): age, region, interest in wedding or rock very much sound like criteria for Facebook ads …

Keep us updated

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