The Get Different Philosophy: How to Create Marketing that Gets Noticed, with Co-Founder of The Different Company, Justin Wise: Podcast Transcript

Ludo Millar
Hello, and welcome to the Qualified Tutor Podcast, the podcast that brings you the latest in the world of tutoring EdTech and education and hopefully inspires in us a big change that each and every one of us is capable of.

Qualified Tutor is an industry-leading tutor training organisation and an online tutoring community for 1000s of tutors around the world. This podcast is the voice of this community, where we aim to hear from tutors, teachers, entrepreneurs, coaches, business experts, students, tutor printers, and more from the world of tutoring about what inspires them every day, how they can help tutors like you and what they’ve learned about tutoring along the way.

The question is, what will you learn today?

***

Hello and welcome to the next episode of the Qualified Tutor Podcast. Today we have a an extra special guest and that guest is Justin Wise. Justin is the co-founder of The Different Company alongside previous Qualified Tutor Podcast guest, Mike Michalowicz. So alongside Mike, Justin has built a brand that quite simply does things differently.

A former pastor in a church in West Des Moines in Iowa, Justin has been at the forefront of understanding the changing face of the digital world ever since he hacked into his college’s email address after graduating just so that he could create a Facebook account, which I think is a wonderful story. And now with over 24,000 entrepreneurs subscribed to his email messaging, his newsletter, Justin has built quite a following along the way. Just this year, Mike Michalowicz released the book Get Different. It is the combination of a whole career thinking from both Mike and Justin about how businesses can market themselves in a way that will get their name out there every single time. So without further ado, let’s find out how.

Thank you so much, Justin, for joining us today on the Qualified Tutor Podcast. It’s a real pleasure to have you on and it’s been great getting to know your colleague and partner in crime, Mike Michalowicz, over a few episodes on the podcast in the past so we’re going to jump right in Justin, if that’s okay with you. Yeah, of course, you’re primed and ready to go. So the question I’m going to hit you with is one that we always start our episodes, one that really allows the audience to get to know you as a guest and you as a professional. So that question is, Justin, what is your why?

Justin Wise 5:11
Long story short, my why is maximising freedom.

So, you know, part of the ways- that has a bunch of different applications in my life, you know, certainly with my family, just myself personally, what I eat, how I, you know, work out, my schedule during the day. But all those things put aside, for our context here, it’s helping folks really understand, okay, who am I? What do I do really well? And how can I introduce more people to what I do really well? Because when you focus on understanding what you do really well, it makes everything a million times easier. And so for our context here, for listeners, it’s really saying, ‘Okay, I have this skill. And other people on the planet have this skill. And so it’s not enough anymore to just have the skill. If I want to get noticed, I actually have to make an effort to get noticed. So people can see how great I am at the skill’. And so that’s, at least with Get Different, that’s what I’ve really focused on. And it certainly has broader applications in my life. But that’s what gets me up in the morning. 

Ludo Millar 6:43
So let’s hear more about about Get Different. This is obviously the book that you use, as The Different Company, that Mike Michalowicz has released, what have you learnt about the advice and teachings in your own work through this?

Justin Wise 7:00
What I’ve learned, I would say the biggest takeaway, for me personally, in watching people go through this, utilising this framework, we’ll get to the framework I’m sure, but watching people, and specifically business owners, or solopreneurs, is watching the dots connect between better is not better, different is better.

So in our business lives, we often will market our ourselves and say things like, ‘We believe internally, that we have a better product, a better service, a better offer, we’re a better tutor, than 99% of the people out there’. But that’s not enough. And that’s what keeps people stuck, is this belief that if I just provide a better product, if I just provide a better service, that will grow my business, or that will give me more clients, or that will give me notice. And if the story ends there, it’s a really sad and frustrating story. Because you have this belief in you.

I like to say, a good product does not market itself. And then the common saying is a great product will do your marketing for you. It’s not true. It’s just categorically not true. Will it help? Sure, it’ll help. But it won’t do the heavy lifting. And so the fun part about what I get to do is watching people, watching the light go on with that concept. So they know that they’re good at what they do, they know that they’re skilled at their craft, but they also understand I have to do something to get noticed. Having a good quality product or offer, being a great tutor, it’s not enough, it’s just not and so flipping that switch has been a great joy for me because when people get it, they get it and they run with it and they are in control of their business growth and their opportunities in a way that they hadn’t been able to influence prior to that.

Ludo Millar 9:20
Yeah, so Justin, I’m dying to know, I know many of our listeners listeners are as well, and perhaps you can just give us a flavour without revealing the entire secret behind it. But what is the framework behind the Get Different philosophy?

Justin Wise 9:35
The framework is super simple, and we created it that way on purpose because what’s simple gets executed, what is simple, gets worked on. All our entire framework fits on a page. And it’s super simple. Like I said, I’ll walk through it right now. It boils down to Differentiate, Attract and Direct … DAD. It’s an easy acronym to remember. And there’s three parts to it.

When it comes to marketing or creating marketing that gets noticed, differentiate. Number one, you have to do something different to get noticed. If you can’t get noticed, you won’t get business. So it’s looking around and saying, ‘How can I do something different or say something different to the other people in my field, because that’s going to get noticed. Best practices in our world is a is a four-letter word. Because best practices is a surefire way to get ignored and passed over. Why? Because everybody else is doing that. So you have to do something to get noticed, you have to do something different to get noticed. That’s differentiate.

Attract is provide your ideal prospect with an ideal, or with an attractive, opportunity. And that is super important to keep in mind, because oftentimes, as business owners, as solopreneurs, we think to ourselves, ‘Oh, hey, well, this is attractive, I think this is attractive’. Meaning, I’m going to put this offer, this invitation, this whatever, to work together in front of my ideal prospect, and that’s attractive to them. And in many cases, it’s not. It’s not. We think it’s attractive because it helps us, but it’s not attractive to them.

So they either ignore it, or run away from it. They ignore it, because it’s irrelevant. They run away from it, because it’s a threat, they perceive that opportunity as a threat. And that threat could be anything from changing the way that they live their lives. The threat could be it’s too expensive. The threat could be it’s complicated. The threat could be any of those things. Or it could be irrelevant, meaning they don’t perceive that your offer is relevant to them. It doesn’t help them any way, it’s not relevant to their lives. So the opportunity you put in front of people to work together, or do whatever has to be attractive.

***

Ludo Millar
Now, just a quick word from the CEO and Co-founder of sponsors of Day 2 at the Love Tutoring Festival 2, The Profs.

Richard Evans
Hey, it’s Richard from The Profs. We’re so excited to be sponsoring Love Tutoring Festival 2. We think tutors deserve a pay rise. And I’ll be chatting with tutors on Day 2 about how they can make 2022 their best ever financial year of tutoring. So join us at the Festival or, if you can’t wait till then, check us out at theprofs.co.uk.

***

Justin Wise 12:37
And then, finally, direct.

Direct is probably the simplest part of the process. But it’s oftentimes overlooked or misunderstood. Because oftentimes, we believe that the ideal prospect, after we’ve gotten their attention through differentiation, and we’ve put an attractive opportunity in front of them, they’re simply just going to know what to do next. And oftentimes, that’s not the case. Oftentimes, our ideal prospects leave confused. Even if we’ve done differentiated and attract correctly, they leave confused because they don’t know what it is you want them to do. And so direct says you have to make that clear, actionable, reasonable, specific. Do this thing. Go here now. Buy this programme. Sign up for my services, whatever has to be clear, has to tell them exactly what the next step is that you want them to take. And that’s it. It’s all right there.

Ludo Millar
When you put it like that, it feels like every single professional should be implementing it.

Justin Wise 12:37
Well I think so. [LAUGHS]

Ludo Millar
Of course you do. Just that’s you’re here. That’s why you do what you do. [LAUGHS] Why don’t people do this then, Justin? That’s a perhaps a tricky question. But why don’t people put this into action?

Justin Wise
The biggest, number one reason why folks will not implement this. It’s very, very simple. It’s fear. It all boils down to fear, fear of doing something different, fear of standing out, fear of the unknown, fear of looking silly or dumb, or, you know, the fear of being ostracised from a community. It all goes back to our primal instincts as human beings, right. So back in the day, a big way back in the day, being ostracised, meant death. If you were ostracised from your caveman community, or caveperson community, you didn’t have protection, you didn’t have a posse to roll with. It most oftentimes meant certain death. That’s not the case anymore. But our brains still believe that that’s the case. And so it takes an act of courage to do something different.

So the number one reason why people don’t do different, why people will continue to do what everybody else is doing, which guarantees that they’ll be ignored, the number one reason why people will, you know, want to ignore marketing, and hope that it’ll just go away, the number one reason why people will say things like, ‘Well, I have all the word of mouth referrals that I need, why would I ever need some market?’, it all boils down to fear. And that, ultimately, is what we help people transition through is that fear of doing different, right? Because ultimately, it’s not, ‘Hey, you can’t learn your way out of fear, right?’. There’s no book, no seminar, there’s no anything that can learn you out of fear. The only way to push past fear is by actually doing, it’s by actually doing different. It’s why our member calls are called Doing Different calls, is because listen, I don’t care. I don’t care if you’ve read the book, I don’t care if you’ve gone through the training in our programme, what I care about is, are you actually doing this stuff? Because it’s not head knowledge that pushes you past fear, it’s tactical knowledge. It’s actually going out there and doing something different. Seeing what works, seeing what doesn’t, adjusting, re tweaking, and then heading back into implementation.

Ludo Millar
It’s time as well, isn’t it? People think that their time needs to be spent on their processes. But actually, it’s their processes that are keeping them the same as everyone else. And people don’t feel like they have the time to sit and think about how to be different.

Justin Wise
Yeah, I mean, in my days as an agency owner, and now working with hundreds of entrepreneurs in our Accelerator, I’ve worked with all types of businesses large, small, everywhere in between, every niche industry you can think of. And what I’ve found to be true is, unless you’re a global multinational brand, with several different marketing budgets and teams, and, you know, folks working across continents, you really don’t need a marketing plan. I know that might sound crazy. But I see so many entrepreneurs who will spend months developing a marketing plan. And the more they develop the plan, the more complex it becomes. The more complex it becomes, the less likely they are to implement, and the less likely they are to implement, the more they stay stuck.

That’s why we’ve made our system so simple in the framework, you know, you heard me go through it, it took me what, five minutes, maybe. That’s it. And if you implement on that, you will see change. But these marketing plans and the time to expand on them, it’s most unfortunately, almost always a waste of time.

Ludo Millar
Okay, so if we as business owners, if we’re constantly trying to get noticed and to be different, then, contrary to what you’re saying, isn’t everything marketing?

Justin Wise
Yes. 100%. Everything when a prospect comes into contact with your business, that’s marketing. Now, some people might call it branding. Some people might say, ‘Oh, you know, it’s our brand journey. It’s our logo, it’s sales. It’s our onboarding, all that stuff’. What folks need to remember and, you know, I would invite folks to burn this in their brain, whenever a prospect comes into contact with your business, that is marketing.

So your website’s marketing. Your social media content is marketing. The way you onboard clients is marketing. The way you show up on sales calls, marketing, it’s all marketing. So, for me, it’s easy to lump everything, branding, sales, you know, customer experience, customer journey, it’s all marketing on some level. Because no matter what goes under that umbrella, Differentiate, Attract, Direct still applies. It applies to how you create offers, it applies to how you recruit team members. One of my private clients, we just walked through the DAD framework for how she hires people, because that’s marketing. It’s a smaller audience, but it’s still marketing. So yeah, since everything is marketing, it doesn’t fit nice and neat and clean into the categories that I think sometimes we want it to. I think that the M-word is a scary word, isn’t it, for business people.

Ludo Millar
So part of what you’re saying is that don’t let it be this this huge, conceptual idea. It’s actually much more everyday and much more achievable than we think it is.

Justin Wise
Absolutely. Marketing is so nebulous, that’s why we want to give it handlebars with the DAD framework, because and listen, like, yeah, we’ve got a book on it, Mike wrote the book on it, I’m building the business around it. What I just said will help. If people take that, what we just talked about, and implement it in their business, that’s going to take care of their marketing, it’s going to give them a grid in which to create marketing. And as I mentioned, marketing, it gets handlebars, boots, handlebars, around marketing. So it’s not so scary, it doesn’t feel so nebulous, and large and looming. It breaks it down, it puts handlebars on it, and helps people start steering the ship.

Ludo Millar
Okay, so I’m gonna explore the next stages of implementing this strategy. What does one do once they’ve got different? Once they have that different strategy?

Justin Wise
Say that a different way?

Ludo Millar
Perhaps I was trying to come at this from the wrong angle. Get Different is a process, right? Not a step?

Justin Wise 21:33
Yeah, totally, it’s a framework. It’s a grid in which to think. So it’s not just, ‘Sometimes it’s marketing’. I talked to folks who are just joining our Accelerator, and they want a certain set of tactics, at least when they start, they want the, you know, go do Facebook ads, or they want the get a messenger bot going, or they want, you know, whatever the trend is. I don’t care about trends. I don’t pay attention to trends, tactical trends, they matter not with the Get Different framework. Because you can plug and play. But if we give you the ability to think through your marketing with Differentiate, Attract and Direct, you could use Facebook ads, you could use billboards, you could use websites, or cold calls or cold emails, the bag of tricks, your strategy then isn’t dependent on a bag of tricks. The strategy is dependent on this grid, this framework in which to work. So then you can apply any sort of different tactics that you want. A lot of the folks who are just starting out in our Accelerator, I tell them, ‘Listen, I don’t want you to spend any money, I want you to use what you already have. And don’t go out and spend any money at all, use what you have, get the framework working with what you already have, then when your marketing starts bringing in more opportunities, which leads to more sales, that’s when you can go out and spend money. But not before it works.’

Whatever platform or whatever, you know, medium you use, it works, whether you spend money or don’t spend money, it works. If you spend a lot of time on something or not, not a lot of time, it just works.

Ludo Millar
So there’s no end date to Get Different. There’s no ending project completion date?

Justin Wise
Nope, the only thing that you would have an end date on, just so people don’t go completely nuts, we put the Get Different framework oftentimes in what we call ‘experiments’. So normally you would call those campaigns. But we call those experiments because the phrasing is important, right? Experiments aren’t so much right and wrong. Experiments are about learning. What did I learn from this experiment about my audience, about our business, about marketing? And so we’ll say, ‘Hey, let’s do seven-day experiments. Let’s do a 30-day experiment. Let’s do a 90-day experiment and try these things out’. And then at the end of that, we say, ‘Okay, what worked or what didn’t? Or what did I learn? What did I not learn? Or how can I do this different next time?’. And so, but you’re right, the overall process of doing different- you know, Mike’s been doing this for 15 years, I’ve been doing a variation of this for, you know, close to five years. It’ll never stop. It’s something that you can use in any business, in any endeavour. From now until kingdom come. So it never stops. It never stops. It never sleeps. It never stops.

***

Ludo Millar

For those of you who know the Love Tutoring Festival, you will be delighted to hear that … we’re back!

From Monday 24th to Friday 28th of January 2022, the Love Tutoring Festival will return bigger and better than ever. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re in for a real treat. The most loved festival in tutoring, the Love Tutoring Festival is a five-day, online celebration of all things tutoring. With some of the biggest names in tutoring, education and pedagogy and hundreds of committed and motivated tutors from all four corners of the globe taking part, it really is the biggest party in tutoring. We will again be working on a freemium ticket model this year, with all our events totally free, apart from our famous, and ludicrously inexpensive, CPD-Accredited workshops. You can find out more, including the confirmed speakers so far, how to grab your place, and key information on our wonderful sponsors at qualifiedtutor.org/lovetutoringfestival.

Let’s raise standards in tutoring together.

***

Ludo Millar 26:04
So Justin, just to bring us to closing, I know you’ve got pressing commitments. What’s next for Justin Wise?

Justin Wise
You know, that is a great question. And truth be told, you know, right now we’re focused on making the Accelerator, helping entrepreneurs implement Get Different in their businesses to the highest degree possible to give them the highest probability of success that they could possibly want in their business. So for right now, for the foreseeable future, that’s what I’m focused on. But I will tell you, as a fun aside, and as a fun side project, I have started to do research investigating how to create my own rum. My own rum brand. Yeah, so part of the fun is being able to say, ‘Okay, I really want to challenge myself here. And how can I take the Get Different framework and apply it to an industry and a vertical and a niche that I have zero experience outside of being a consumer, because I love high quality rum’. So how can I use this framework and develop my own rum? And I’ve learned more about the spirit distillery process in the last six months than probably 99% of the planet. So that’s been a fun side project. But right now it’s all systems go on the Get Different Accelerator.

Ludo Millar
Part of me thinks you’ve never explained that on a public forum before.

Justin Wise
No. Not once. [LAUGHS]

Ludo Millar
Well, I apologise for coercing you into that then.

Justin Wise
I’m happy to do it.

Ludo Millar
Yeah, well, let’s get you back on in four years when you’re either some rum induced alcoholic or you’ve built the coolest, most slickest rum brand in the world. [LAUGHS]

Justin Wise 26:04
I’ll give you a bottle. How about that?

Ludo Millar
That would be very kind. So, just before we finish, Justin, how can people find out more about, and sign up t0, the Accelerator?

Justin Wise
Easiest place is to pick up our Different kit. It’s totally free. You can get that at differentcompany.co. Like I said, we have a Get Different kit, a bunch of Get Different free tools that will help you implement the framework we talked about. You can sign up and we’ll send that to you for free.

Ludo Millar
Sounds pretty good to me, Justin. Thank you very, very much for coming.

Dear listeners, the next time you will see Justin in a QT sense will be at Love Tutoring Festival 2, on Tuesday the 25th of January. Justin is joining us for an evening (UK time) slot to talk about Leads for Life. So don’t miss out on Justin there. He may just give you a bottle of new rum perhaps, I can’t make any promises. [LAUGHS]. Justin, you’re an absolute hero. Thank you so much for coming on. And we’ll see you again next time.

Justin Wise
My pleasure. Thanks for the invite.

***

Ludo Millar
As you may have seen, those of you who within the Qualified Tutor Community, we are rolling out a new feature which will allow you our members to become involved in the Qualified Tutor Podcast episodes. We want to hear your voice. So listen in and hear what the community had to say about the questions that we asked this week’s guest Justin Wise …

Lucy Spencer 29:56
Hey Qualified Tutor. It’s Lucy from Education Boutique. I thought that if you are constantly trying to be different, then you have to ask yourself what for. Because if you’re trying to be different from your authentic, natural self, then it’s going to possibly seem not particularly authentic when you are engaging with other people. Because you’re constantly battling with your own brain about what you should be doing, what you think is going to work to be different from everybody else. But if everyone else is doing similar things, look at it, identify what works with other people, just always listen and always look at what other people are doing, and use it to inform your own practice in terms of your own marketing. But I think the key to marketing is just engaging authentically with communities, such as Qualified Tutor, with clients, finding out where you think that they will be, and just being yourself. So I would say try not to focus on being different, but just focus on being yourself.

***

Ludo Millar

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Qualified Tutor Podcast. Whether you’re a regular listener of this podcast, or you’ve just stumbled across it, join the Qualified Tutor Podcast Group within the Qualified Tutor Community. To stay up to date with our latest news offers workshops and of course, simply to meet other tutors like you, whatever your level is as a tutor, our training courses will be the next step in your professional development. Visit qualified tutor.org/training to find out more about our CPD-Accredited and Ofqual-recognised courses: the first of their kind in the tutoring industry.

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