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Marketing Agency Exposed Podcast

Mar 11, 2020


David is a self-made solo-preneur from right here in Nashville. With massive achievements inbusiness, marketing, celebrity branding, book publishing and more, David is helping us understand the other side of agency life. As someone who’s passion for business growth has propelled him to the forefront of his field, David helps us dig into the role agencies have played in his journey and drops some great marketing advice around value propositions, and using buyer skepticism to your advantage (even writing entire marketing campaigns based on those skepticisms!).


Resources Mentioned: 


Top 3 Curtain Pulls in this episode:

  1. Practice what you preach! If you, as an agency, aren’t practicing your own strategies within your business, how can you expect anyone to trust you with theirs? 
  2. Recognize the type of business you are talking to and the role that you need to play in their business. You need to be the expert in your area. If you are just hands and feet, you are disposable.
  3. Speak to the skepticism in your audience, don’t run from it! The humanity in us all means we are suspicious of perfection, and we recognize BS when we see it. Lead with the skeptical belief, and break it down with your value proposition and trust elements.


About Our Guest: 

Author of seven books and a millionaire entrepreneur, David Dutton’s story and knowledge of marketing will astound you. From starting with nothing to building a multi million dollar business from scratch in just four years, you are surely going to get some takeaways from our sit down interview with him.


About The Guys: 

Bob Hutchins: Founder of BuzzPlant, a digital agency that he ran from from 2000 -2017. He is also the author of 3 books. More on Bob: 

Brad Ayres: Founder of Anthem Republic, an award-winning ad agency. Brad’s knowledge has led some of the biggest brands in the world. Originally from Detroit, Brad is an OG in the ad agency world and has the wisdom and scars to prove it. Currently that knowledge is being applied to his boutique agency. More on Brad:

Ken Ott: Co-Founder and Chief Growth Rebel of Metacake, an Ecommerce Growth Team for some of the world’s most influential brands with a mission to Grow Brands That Matter. Ken is also an author, speaker, and was nominated for an Emmy for his acting on the Metacake Youtube Channel (not really). More on Ken: 


Show Notes:

[1:00] Bob introduces David Dutton

[1:25] David gives an overview of his life and the road that led him to Ecommerce. Speaks on the Ecommerce wave of the early 2000’s. 

  • Fell into the ecommerce space and began making money from it quickly!
  • “I’m going to pick a niche and I’m going to make $500 a month passively.” 

[8:00] In 2001 David started to teach people to pay off their mortgage in 5 to 7 years. 

[9:35] Ken clarifies: “The thing you’re selling is education.”

  • David’s site is a membership site, with a 1-time fee that pays for itself. 

[9:56] Bob remarks on David’s self-teaching. Oftentimes people hire agencies to do the things that David has done, so his view of agencies is a unique one, as both the customer and the provider. 

[10:55] Brad asks: How is your style different from what agencies have done? How does your passion and “having skin in the game” impact the way you do business?

[11:48] David: “Bottom line, I look for results… branding and direct response is important… when I interview an agency I need to know that we’re going to geta  result. That’s teh biggest thing for me.”

[12:20] David’s rule for salespeople: 

  1. Don’t sign up someone that doesn't need to be signed up. 
  2. Respect our brand.
  3. Sell stuff.

[12:49] Ken asks about David’s role within his team.

[13:00] David: “I have an assistant, my partner has an assistant, then 8 salepeople and a couple support roles.”

  • Internal sales people and external as well. 
  • To help pay for advertising, he has some external salespeople that pay them for leads and appointments.

[14:55] Bob: Talk about how you value cost of acquisition and lifetime value of customer. 

[15:30] David: “Once a human being has handed you their visa, they’re 6x more likely to do it again.” 

  • It’s vital that once you get them as a customer, to sell them more stuff.
  • He leads with a free book, because people trust people with books. 

[17:18] Brad: “So that’s how you get that authority, with that book. Understanding those strong concepts is the way to go… How do you overcome the naysayers with proof?”

[18:25] David: “If I want to convince someone to hand me their Visa… you have to knock the walls down to get to that point.”

[19:00] David: “I try to make it so that there is a preponderance of truth...I try to stack that so it’s obvious.”

  • There is a page on their website that is 150 case studies  of PROOF for clients. 
  • Writing a book builds that preponderance of proof. 

[20:45] David: “When I write a book, I want you to walk away with innate value from that book.” Even if someone doesn’t make a sale, he wants there to be inherent value in that book so that his brand is associated with their understanding of that concept.

[22:15] Bob brings the point back around: “So you’re building this case to deal with the naysayers. What you’re saying is that you’re doing that work so that other people tell them and convince them as well.”

  • This social proof is vital and effective. 

[25:30] Ken emphasizes the barrier that David’s business has to pull down- it’s large and difficult to do. 

  • He “de-risks” the sale super effectively, especially within his industry. 

[27:13] David speaks on the danger of blending in with the crowd: “Don’t be white noise… grab their attention first and build that desire. You NEED to use my agency to grow your business, and here’s why.”

[27:55] David suggests creating a spreadsheet of your top 5 or 10 competitors and noting their strengths and their weaknesses, and compete based on those. “You can be brand new and still piggyback on the knowledge that other companies have created.”

[29:43] Ken asks: “What are other things you do to de-risk your purchases and prove to customers that you are legit?”

[29:46] David: “I use math, #1. You can’t argue logic.”

  • 6-month moneyback guarantee 

[31:25] Brad asks: How do you simplify for those who aren’t particularly math-savvy? 

  • Give them the worst-case scenario, and soothe their pain points. (Fear of interest rates skyrocketing is one example.) Risk-reversal. 
  • “Can you live with the worst-case scenario?”

[34:29] Brad adds that David brings a lot of authority to the table when it comes to verbiage surrounding mortgage rates and loan lingo- for a lot of people these terms and this world is scary and unpredictable, but David has a way of bringing out those fears and speaking directly to them.

  • “You do what we encourage our clients to do, you build strong narratives, you have authority. You provide social proof.”

[35:10] David: “We’re all trying to move up, to elevate ourselves in society. So if you know that someone can provide that for you, and you trust them.”

  • “Trust triggers” like books, word of mouth- people trust those who’ve written books. 

[35:31] Brad speaks on the power of getting referrals and the reliability of leads that come through referrals. “How do you get those stories for your case studies?”

[36:02] David: “Typically it’s hard to get people to post anything- much less something positive.” Getting people in the moment to give their honest feedback after they’ve had a good experience.”

  • While sugary testimonials are great, getting a before and after picture of how their problem has changed. What was your mindset about us prior to working with us? What is your mindset now? How did you feel when you were paying us? Would you recommend us to someone and why? 
  • Capturing this before and after while the situation is fresh.
  • Mention the negative view the client had before, and follow it up with how you changed that perspective for them. This draws in the naysayers with a surprise ending.

[38:05} David: “So if you’re an agency, go out and get your top 5-10 objections. And then get testimonials that answer those questions.”

  • Speak to their fear and then provide a solution.

[38:15] Brad asks: “Why do you think humans are drawn to negativity and skepticism?”

38:40 David: “I’m not sure why… and I don't like it. But it’s never going to change. And so I use that.”

[39:10] Bob recalls a study that he read about, that negative information stick to the human brain instantly, whereas positive information takes about 20 seconds to fall away. This is essentially survival, fight or flight in our psyche. 

  • We may not have bears chasing us, but we do have people saying negative things about us. 

[40:26] Bob: “ When I see something positive and I like it, I know it’s not going to stick in my brain. So I try to reread it. And meditate on it and sit with it so that it does stick and overcome the negative things that automatically stay.” 

[40:55] Ken: “Just being different is important too, right?” Many websites are using positive reviews to convince people to buy, so putting a spin on it (negative headline followed by how the biz answers that pain point) is different and pattern-interrupting. 

[42:03] Ken adds that also just being genuine makes a huge difference. “...there’s obviously skepticism in every single sale. And so saying it and calling attention to it actually makes it more believable.”

[44:15] Brad and Bob discuss using negativity that is inevitable in your business to your advantage. When most people see nothing but good reviews with no negative, the human discernment kicks in and skepticism takes over, because it doesn’t seem real. 

[45:00] David circles back around to authority and proof. “I literally just think about who the person is that I want to hand me money. And what can I do to make it SO obvious.”

  • Write to the person who is in the MOST desperate need of your help, pack your offer FULL of a story, powerful proof and data that will convince ANYONE who falls under your prospect umbrella. 

[47:00] Ken: “So the prerequisite for that is knowing your customer persona, avatar, etc with great detail… Often agencies are the worst at that, because there’s the mindset that ‘Everyone is my client!’ which makes it hard to speak to that one person with specificity about their pains and also do what you’re saying… shoot for the worst-case scenario person.”

[47:42] David: “one of the emails that I came up with that can help any agency, any biz. The subject line is ‘Your top 3 Questions answered about____ (today only)’ that just offers answers to questions they may have in a future newsletter.” 

  • This creates a backlog of topics that you can then put into a google sheet and begin collecting more information about what topics come up and what the pain points are within each. And it allows you to create images of each persona and the specific pain points within that grouping. It allows you to see the verbiage and EXACT points that you can then use in your copy to speak to those pain points. 
  • This ALWAYS boils down to a small set of topics. 

[50:50] Ken recounts a story in Jordan Belfort’s book- objections were listed en masse and they all boiled down to a small list of basic objections. 

[51:57] David: “You can even write a whole article about those- speaking to those pain points directly.” 

[52:55] Bob asks: “When you are outsourcing, do you look for specialists or generalists?”

[53:03] David says mostly specialists, but sometimes specific skills are required. But specialists are preferred, someone who “nerds out” on what they do. 

[54:02] Bob asks for advice for agency owners.

[54:28] David says he wrestles with real experience within agencies, he wrestles with getting results, getting paid on spend (instead of results).

  • He wants to feel like the agency is in the boat with him, that his money is being used by a TEAM member, not someone who’s trying to screw them over. 

[56:58] Ken speaks on the validity of these concerns. 

[58: 57] Brad: “The old agency way is that we make money on media and we give away the creative for costs that are almost free now.”

[1:02:33] Ken speaks on the flaws in a straight ad-spend model. “At the end of the day you do have to figure out how does the value that I contribute scale in a nice proportion to the value that you’re creating inside of the company you’re working for? I do think there are some flaws in a straight ad spend model.”

[1:04:35] Ken speaks on a cool takeaway: “You’ve done the thing for yourself, you are the master. And you can do it for other people. A lot of the time agencies don’t focus on doing the things for their own business that you’re offering to do for other clients.”

[1:05:20] Bob: “I think that’s a good marker for choosing an agency- are they doing for themselves what they’ve promised you they’ll do?”