And- John Jantsch: Iíve been there, on the shores of Lake [inaudible]- Ben Robertson: Have you? So I started off as a freelance website designer and what happened was that my customers were mostly small businesses and they wanted marketing services in addition to website design and thatís how I ended up joining Duct Tape Marketing because I was providing marketing services but I felt like there was a lot that Ö I didnít wanna reinvent the wheel, and I felt like Duct Tape Marketing offered a great system for ready-made, turn-key solutions that I could plug and play for my customer base. So itís definitely been a good business development for me as far as the benefits of being part of Duct Tape Marketing Network and having access to the resources. Or even maybe worse, people would come to you and want a website design but they had no strategy and so you pretty much had to do it for free? And itís worked out great. But the thing that really makes it work and really sells the business when it comes time to talk to the customer or talk to new customers is having goal tracking and conversion tracking so that we can really do a good job of showing the customer what their cost per lead is in all their marketing channels. John Jantsch: Wouldnít it be great if in your business, all you had to do was the stuff you love? John Jantsch: Yeah, and I imagine you come across clients that just have taken the approach of ďWe have to be in all these things and weíve always done direct mailĒ or ďWeíve always done this thing or that thingĒ and all of a sudden, you run the numbers or you start tracking the numbers and you realize they could just cut that out. John Jantsch: So Ben, tell people where they could learn more about you and Menadena. Ben Robertson: That would be great and Iím sure Ö I imagine that Iíll see you somewhere else with Duct Tape Marketing before then.
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John Jantsch: Marketing is a system, youíve probably heard me say that before, but maybe youíve never heard me talk about the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. Thatís right, I have a network of about 125 consultants that collaborate and work together, and use the Duct Tape Marketing System. So in this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Ben Robertson. He is a consultant in the New Hampshire area and he talks about his experience being a member of the network. Check it out.
This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Asana, a work management software tool that we use to run pretty much everything in our business. All of our meetings, all of our product launches, all of our tasks. And Iím gonna show you how you can try it for free a little later.
Stuff like payroll and benefits are hard, thatís why I switched to Gusto. And to help support the show, Gusto is offering our listeners an inclusive limited time deal. You sign up for their payroll service today, youíll get three months free once you run your first payroll. Just go to gusto.com/tape.
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Ben Robertson. He is a marketing consultant and founder of Menadena in lovely Keane, New Hampshire, a city Iíve actually been to. He also happens to be a member of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. So weíre gonna talk about his practice but weíre also going to talk a little bit about, I donít spend that much time talking about the network necessarily on the podcast, so weíre gonna do a little bit of that as well. So Ben, thanks for joining me.
Ben Robertson: Yeah, thank you John.
John Jantsch: I have to ask, Menadena certainly has some sort of meaning or something, thereís gotta be a good story.
Ben Robertson: Yeah, so I live in the Monadnock region of Southwest New Hampshire. We have the most climbed mountain in America, actually, Mount Monadnock. And-
John Jantsch: Iíve been there, on the shores of Lake [inaudible]-
Ben Robertson: Have you?
John Jantsch: On the shores of Lake [inaudible] or something like that.
Ben Robertson: That, well, one or the other, there are a few lakes around it. But it-
John Jantsch: I hiked up there. I hiked all the way up there, yeah.
Ben Robertson: And its distinguishing feature as you may remember it, is it has no mountains around it. So it stands up from the landscape and itís surrounded by flat land and lakes. And so thatís the meaning of a monadnock and so when I was looking for a business name, I wanted to use that but it was taken, as you can imagine. So it turns out that the Abenaki Indians who were one of the Native populations here, their name for Monadnock was Menadena.
John Jantsch: Oh, awesome. Well, thatís good. I knew-
Ben Robertson: Yeah, itís an Abenaki Indian word.
John Jantsch: That is a cool story.
Ben Robertson: Thank you.
John Jantsch: Thanks for sharing. So you joined the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network, I lose track of time but itís probably been two years?
Ben Robertson: No, actually, just one year ago, I just anniversaried right around the time of the summit back in October.
John Jantsch: Maybe, letís set it up by Ö describe your practice and then maybe describe Ö and maybe you can say, ďHereís what I used to do, hereís what I do nowĒ, describe your practice and maybe what being part of the network meant for you.
Ben Robertson: Yeah. So thatís a great way to get going. So I started off as a freelance website designer and what happened was that my customers were mostly small businesses and they wanted marketing services in addition to website design and thatís how I ended up joining Duct Tape Marketing because I was providing marketing services but I felt like there was a lot that Ö I didnít wanna reinvent the wheel, and I felt like Duct Tape Marketing offered a great system for ready-made, turn-key solutions that I could plug and play for my customer base. And thatís how I ended up joining a year ago and I actually just did my annual review and 2019 strategic planning and this year, we did 13 websites, which was great, but we curious have 11 customers that are in Duct Tape Marketing package services. So thatís a huge change.
I think when I joined Duct Tape Marketing, basically what that means is having them on retainer, I probably had maybe two customers on retainer. So Iíve added nine customers on retainer since then and the value of those retainers has gone up considerably from where it was back when I first joined. So itís definitely been a good business development for me as far as the benefits of being part of Duct Tape Marketing Network and having access to the resources.
John Jantsch: Well, you know, itís funny but we have, I always talk about it as three different avenues that people join us. And certainly about a third of the network are people like yourself, you were offering a service, so to speak, website design or SEO or something little that and did you find that you were getting asked to do some of this or you were leaving money on the table? Or even maybe worse, people would come to you and want a website design but they had no strategy and so you pretty much had to do it for free?
Ben Robertson: Yeah, well. So basically what was happening was I was getting asked to do stuff and I was doing it with some degree of success. I was training myself through online courses. I took a Moz bootcamp in SEO and I was developing some expertise but I felt like I just wanted to accelerate that process and develop the expertise faster. So thatís where Ö I feel like Iíve lost a little bit the thread of the question but I can give you one example of something kind of bad that happened. It was horrible but I charged one customer upfront for a lot of SEO work that we got done and then it was over and they were like, ďAlright, great, where are the results?Ē
And there were results but I realized afterwards that it would have been much better to be offering those services on a monthly basis, so that we could be ongoing and continuously doing stuff. And because the cost to them is a lot lower per month and the benefit to them is a lot greater over time, if the attention is monthly rather than just one time. And so that was right before I joined Duct Tape Marketing, it was kind of what got me motivated to join, was thinking, ďI need a better way to approach what Iím doing because Iím doing it well, but I know that thereís a better way to do it.Ē And Duct Tape Marketing, now I offer all of my SEO on a monthly retainer basis. Does that answer the question?
John Jantsch: Absolutely. So you didnít just start this business? Youíve been Ö well, I shouldnít say ďdabblingĒ, but youíve had a business for a decade, right? But youíve made a pretty significant change.
Ben Robertson: Yeah. I was a financial consultant and a business consultant, so I was doing my start-up finance and strategy and even working as a CFO in start-ups and small investment companies and stuff. And thatís really how the company got going but the living in New Hampshire, we didnít have access to Ö that market is very much a, at least for me, it was a New York City market and without being in that network all the time, on a regular basis. You know, I didnít wanna live down there, so I was struggling to find a way to make a living up here with the same type of skills where the cashflow is predictable.
And what I stumbled upon, because Iím also an actor and a writer and I build websites for myself for my creative work, and I found out the websites sell really well. And people, they just Ö the cashflow became very steady on those. And then I discovered that I love that strategy part because…