May 30, 2008

PR Interview: 5 Tips to Reach Small Businesses - How to Pitch John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Blog

SUMMARY: Are you a marketer needing to reach small businesses? Go no further than John Jantsch and his Duct Tape Marketing blog. Jantsch has hundreds of thousands of readers and a reputation for being the “World’s Most Practical Small Business Expert.” Here are 5 tips on how to pitch your product, service or news to him.
Contact Information
John Jantsch
Duct Tape Marketing
916 W. 47th St.
Kansas City, MO 64112

Jantsch spent five years at The John Henry Co. after graduating from the University of Kansas with a political science degree. There, he worked on small projects for large companies, but what he really enjoyed was working with small business owners who had the same marketing needs but much smaller budgets.

Jantsch left John Henry to become a consultant about 20 years ago. About six years ago, he created a marketing system and curriculum dubbed: “Duct Tape Marketing - The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide.” His Duct Tape Marketing blog has won numerous accolades from Forbes Magazine, the Harvard Business School and MarketingSherpa. It remains a Forbes favorite for small business.

The Duct Tape Marketing blog has about 183,000 RSS subscribers. The Duct Tape Marketing newsletter has about 45,000 email subscribers.

Blog Coverage
Jantsch’s blog is filled with practical, common-sense marketing tactics and advice for small businesses, marketers and entrepreneurs. It’s the kind of information you nod your head to while reading. But Jantsch also offers advice you probably wouldn’t think of on your own -- surprisingly simple, yet innovative, solutions to common problems.

Recent blogs offered advice on what type of business you should start, for example, and how to use public speaking as a competitive marketing tool. He also discusses how to get started with blogging, how to get more blog comments on your blog and several other how-to guides.

How to Pitch Jantsch
Jantsch started blogging by tailoring content on keywords he knew were important to the small business niche. Soon, everything around him seemed like a good blog post. He would be meeting with a small business client and they’d ask him a question -- the answer would be his next blog post.

Now, he gets pitched regularly by PR agencies and publicists. Here are some tips to help you stand out from the rest:

-> Tip #1. Make sure your pitch appeals to small business

Jantsch has worked with about 25,000 small business owners in his career. He knows who they are, what they think, what they believe in and what they need based on things he hears every day.

He keeps those issues in mind every time he reviews a new book, tool or news that is pitched to him. He asks himself: Would this be useful to the average small business person?

-> Tip#2. Understand small business challenges and needs

Three things you need to know:
- #1 small business challenge is time: they don’t have enough of it.
- #2 small business challenge is money: they don’t have enough of it.
- What a small business owner wants: somebody they trust to tell them how to do something in a way that works.

-> Tip#3. Make sure what you pitch is simple, affordable, practical

The other filter Jantsch runs pitches through is his brand. Duct Tape Marketing is known for providing actionable tips and advice. He looks for this hook in whatever is pitched. Is it doable? Is it practical? Is it affordable?

-> Tip #4. Relate Web 2.0 pitches to marketing automation

“Most small business owners are really not cutting edge at all,” Jantsch says. “They are very practical.”

So, if you’re pitching a Web 2.0 tool, it has to be something that is simple and would save the small business owner time and money. Hence, Jantsch’s search for marketing automation.

-> Tip #5. Personalize your pitch

It’s PR 101. Jantsch says he doesn’t mind getting pitches from PR people, but “the ones that get my attention are the ones who read my blog, comment on my blog, participate in the conversation, find a way to come and meet me at an event I’m speaking at.” It means a whole heck of a lot more to him than the standard cut-and-paste press release.

Pitch an Expert or Yourself
Jantsch records a weekly podcast and a monthly live interview for the Duct Tape Marketing Coaching Excellence Series. For both, he usually finds his own guest speakers but says he’s open to ideas from readers and PR firms.

What he looks for in potential speakers:
o Name recognition
o Thought leadership
o They represent a small business related aspect of a big company
o They can speak to a trendy, relevant topic in the business of marketing, publishing, innovation

Where to Meet Jantsch
Jantsch travels all over the world to speak and conduct workshops and seminars. Click on the “Events Calendar” on his blog page to see his upcoming engagements. If you want to meet him, send him an email (he prefers that). Tell him you would like to meet before or after the event and he’ll try to make time.

Useful links related to this article

Duct Tape Marketing Products:

Duct Tape Marketing Podcasts:

Duct Tape Marketing Coaching Excellence Series:

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