Interested in marketing like the Fortune 100 without the Fortune 100 budget? Us too!
That’s why we brought in Erik Huberman, marketing expert, to talk to us about how to market like the big dogs as solopreneuers and microbusinesses.
Erik Huberman is the founder and CEO of Hawke Media, one of the fastest-growing marketing consultancies in the United States.
He went from making only $350 his first year in business to growing and selling two successful companies.
He was also named in INC’s Top 25 Marketing Influencers, Forbes 30 under 30, and Relevance’s Top 100 Marketing Influencers To Follow In 2020. To say the least, Erik’s the man when it comes to marketing.
There’s something for everyone to learn in this episode. We learned a ton!
Hope you enjoy this one.
Watch the Podcast 👀
Listen to the Podcast 🎤
Show Notes 📓
✅ Read Erik’s new book, The Hawke Method here: https://hawkemethod.com
📷 Watch the video version of this episode and subscribe for updates on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYAr3nGy6lbXrhbezMxoHTSCS40liusyU
🚀 And as always, don’t forget about all the mind-blowing free resources at https://speakerflow.com/resources/
Read the Transcription 🤓
Taylorr: Welcome to another episode of Technically Speaking. Now, are you interested in marketing like the Fortune 100 without the Fortune 100 budget? We are too. We’re your host, Taylorr and Austin and in today’s episode, we’ve invited on a legend in the marketing world, Erik Huberman. And he’s here to talk to us today about how to market like the big dogs with small budgets as solopreneurs and micro businesses. Erik is the founder and CEO of Hawke Media, one of the fastest growing marketing consultancies in the United States. And he went from making only $350 in his first year in business to growing and selling two successful companies. Erik has been awarded Incs Top 25 Marketing Influencers and Forbes 30 under 30, and Relevance’s top 100 marketing influencers to follow in 2020. Least to say, Erik’s the man when it comes to marketing. Now there’s something for everyone to learn in this episode and we learned a ton. So as always stick around until the end for some awesome resources and we hope you enjoy this one, see you in there.
Austin: All right. And we are live. Erik, welcome to the show, man. So good to see you.
Erik: Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Austin: Oh, of course. Okay. So we have so many great things to talk to you about today, I’m super excited about this episode, but I have to ask before we get into it, how is lemonadestand.io going for you? I saw the video on your website and it looked like a pretty compelling [cross-talk 01:38].
Erik: Yeah. I’m thinking about a pivot, Hawke Media has been fun run, but selling lemonade man, and child labour.
Austin: Both of those [inaudible 01:47], there’s so much missing context here you guys so if you’re listen to this, please go to the website, watch the video. It’s hilarious.
Erik: Thanks man that was fun. We made that seven years ago, I think it was.
Taylorr: Wow, no kidding.
Erik: Was like let’s do a TV commercial, like we’re a tiny business, but let’s try it. [Inaudible 02:02] what we’re going be talking about, but we went for it and it actually did really well for us.
Austin:I believe that it made us both literally laugh out loud and that’s usually a good sign.
Taylorr: Just add some humanity to the mix. It’s like pattern disruption, people just don’t expect it. It’s awesome.
Erik: Well, like the full conversation of making that was what do people like? Well, they like puppies and kids, but like GoDaddy had just been banned from the super bowl for creating a puppy mill ad, and they were like, no, we’re not running this. And I was like, so let’s not go puppies because they’re having bad confrontation right now, let’s go kids. And those kids were like hilarious, because they were so professional and they’re like nine years old and they’re asking me like what the motivation for their role was in that commercial, which they did a great job obviously, but it wasn’t a two hour feature film. It was a 32nd commercial and they’re asking me for deep insight into what they’re supposed to be experiencing in the role and what exactly is an outsource CMO. And I’m trying to explain this to a very professional nine year old.
Taylorr: Wow. What a trippy experience was. [Inaudible 3:03].
Erik: It was really fun.
Austin: That’s great.
Taylorr: That’s cool.
Austin: I wasn’t sure if they were kids that you had just brought in from your neighbourhood or not. But it sounds like [cross-talk 03:12].
Erik: That would’ve been my move, like actually. Still to this day how I work, but no, we hired a production company to help us with that, we did work in trade actually. So we helped them with a bunch of marketing and they helped us make that commercial. And they brought in real professional actor kids with their parents and it was fun.
Austin: Wow. I’m so fascinated about it. Okay, we can get into real stuff. Now that was [inaudible 03:33].
Taylorr: So Erik, rumour has it, your bio, just so at all, but you know, you went from making $350 your first year in business to successfully selling two companies. My first question is what led that entrepreneurial spirit in you and what was that journey like so far to where you’re at now?
Erik: I don’t think it’s ever one thing, but if I had to point at one thing, I’d say it was my dad and my upbringing. My dad and grandfather were both entrepreneurs, and so in the actual literal sense of the use, I took it for granted. I’d go get a job to learn something, but like I’m probably going to end up starting my own thing. And entrepreneur wasn’t really a word to me until I was already doing entrepreneurial thing long into it. I was going to just start something. It was like, I’m going to build a business and I didn’t think of it as a calling or a need, it was just like, I thought, that’s just what you did. Like again, the taking for granted thing. I was like, of course there’s people that just want to work a job, but if you really want to go for it, you probably want to start your own thing and explore and it’s fun. And so I was constantly starting little things, actually my first business endeavour was taking a bunch of my parents stuff I decided they didn’t need any more throwing it on a trash bag and selling it door to door when I was six.
Taylorr: Heck yeah. I like that you made that decision. [Cross-talk 04:49].
Erik: And my neighbours were looking at me and I was six, but I had enough EQ to know that I was being weird, but I didn’t care. I was like this golf balls is 5c.
Taylorr: [Inaudible 04:48].
Erik: And I think I made $1.37 or something that day. And the, and I had to split it with my friend that joined me, which pissed me off because it was my current stuff and I didn’t do that again. But yeah, I did the lemonade stand thing realized that was going take too long to make the money I wanted and then started buying and selling beanie babies when I was eight and made like four grand as an eight year old and went, this was good. I’d started doing it because at eight years old I wanted to be a rock star. I was going be a guitarist. I still have guitar sitting right there and I’m not that good to be clear, I just enjoy it. But at the time I thought I was good. And so I told my dad I needed an electric guitar so I could be like Eric Clapton because my name’s Erik too, and he goes, great, get a fucking job to an eight year old.
Interesting word choice but that was my upbringing. But again, I didn’t take that as a hit. It wasn’t like an ego hit because I just took him as serious. So I was like, all right, get a job. And so that turned into beanie babies, which I bought the guitar, I bought a BMX, I saved money for a car all at eight years old buying and selling beanie babies. And so I always liked doing things like that and when I turned about 12, I realized I was not that good of a guitarist and started getting more into the business side of things.
Austin: Wow. [Inaudible 06:04] Well, first of all, respect for the journey. I can tell that’s like in your bones, that’s entrepreneurial DNA right there, which I love about a person. What I’m fascinated by though is like, I see so many people that get really good, I suppose at, for example, the selling of services or products or whatever, but you are able to take that skillset of being able to go out and sell beanie babies or whatever, and then segue that into a much larger enterprise. And that’s not even just a skillset thing, that’s a human being thing to be able to take yourself along that journey and become the person necessary to run something like that. So how did that transition happen for you?
Erik: Listen, you have to be smart enough and hardworking enough to be successful in these kind of things and there’s a lot of luck. I think luck is actually the biggest variable and I don’t think enough successful people give it enough credit of circumstance, timing, don’t get me wrong, you have to be working for the opportunity to happen. There’s a great joke that I heard that it’s like a guy woke up every morning and prayed to God that he’d win the lottery that day. And every day for 10 years he prays every day, please, God, let me win the lottery And 10 years into this, he’s walking down the sidewalk right after praying and the clouds open and God speaks to him and says, you got to meet me halfway here and at least buy a ticket.
Taylorr: Exactly right.
Austin: Wow. I love that.
Erik: And I think that is a lot to do with success. You have to do things to actually be able to receive the opportunity, but then how successful you are is luck. And I really believe that. And it’s not trying modest, it’s just I can go back to where my success has come from and like want into real estate out of college 2008, the entire banking industry collapsed as you mentioned, I made $350 that year. I’d be in real estate right now. If we didn’t have the worst economic situation since the great depression, when I graduated college. Which could have been fine, I actually think I wouldn’t have been nearly as happy. I definitely wouldn’t have been as successful because I’d just be another real estate guy and like there’s money to be made, I’d be fine, but I don’t think I’d be this level.
And then after that I had grown up trying to start things. I actually tried to start an eCommerce business when I was 12 and my dad refused to sign the seller’s permit. But I built the website, I got all the contracts, I did everything to the point of launch, but then I needed a licensed to buy the products to sell and it was like, I can’t get that license. So when I say refused, I think you just said no like once and I didn’t really push it because I was 12. And so I always had an interest in internet so I ended up starting an online music company because I had played music. The drummer from my high school band dad turned out to be a successful entrepreneur that really liked me, reached out and said, there’s got to be a way to do this. I know you’re looking for something, I really admire your hustle. Let’s do something together.
It’s a lot longer story than that. But he ended up raising us a million bucks and putting me in charge of it, giving me 5% of the company paying me minimum wage, which is a lot better than 350 bucks a year, and so I went to work. So I spent two years making minimum wage, but basically, I think my title was chief development officer and then became COO or something, the title thing was always funny with him but I ran the company for two years, got to completely figure out how to launch and build an online music, it was business coaching for musicians. So worked with Deepak Chopra on it and Tom Silverman who ran Tommy Boy records like one of the godfathers of hip-hop from the record label side.
He had Queen Latifah, Too Short, Naughty by Nature, Afrika Bambaataa, Wu-Tang like crazy label guy. I got to work with these amazing people and I was 22. Then from there I built it for two years, realized it was never going be a big business. It was a great passion business, but I was 24 and wanted to build a nest egg And so I hired a CEO to take my place moved on, started a t-shirt subscription eCommerce company. Literally just thought it’d be fun to do this. Subscription eCommerce , wasn’t really a thing, But we thought like if we could just ship someone a t-shirt every month that fit their style, maybe guys would like it because who like shopping? Got my buddy from college to put up like a PayPal account, a one page lander that went to PayPal, put it up. And then I got one tip from a friend that said, hey, if you want to get into tech crunch, just tell them you raised money.
So I completely lied and said, I raised a hundred grand, which also now nobody would care if you raised a hundred grand, it’s not a number for these company, but they literally picked it up in 15 minutes and put it on the homepage and turns out that tech crunch readers like t-shirts. So it immediately took off, then we got picked up in like Thrillist and Maxim and Huffington post and Wall Street journal and Vogue and all these things and it blew out and sold it after a year and a half. Got offered to run, this a lot longer story, but got offered to run Biz Dev at Live Nation eCommerce at Warner Music because [inaudible 10:40] the music and eCommerce tie in or joined this little incubator called Science that had just launched this cool start-up called Dollar Shave Club and wanted me to consult on the marketing side for all these companies.
They had a bunch of E-com companies and I went, well, I don’t want to commute to Burbank or Hollywood from Santa Monica. For those that don’t live in LA, it’s like it’s going be an hour and a half each way, it kind of sucks. And literally, that was a big part of my decision. They were all offering the same money, other two are way more credible, but I was like this start-up stuff’s kind of fun. So I would join Science, things went pretty well there. And then I helped them launch an active brand that after a year we sold called ellie.com. We sold it to Bally Total Fitness. I’ve identified the buyer, They tried to recruit me to come work for them. I said, no, but I’ll consult. And I was making, at that point I was 26.
I went from making minimum wage for four years at my Fame Wizard was a music company, then Swag in a Month was a t-shirt. Minimum wage for four years with those and in decent amount of debt and this company goes, we want you to work full time. I’m like, I’ll work one day week, they’re like you work three days a week. I’m like fine, but you’re going pay me 200 bucks an hour and they’re like, okay. I was like, what? So start consulting for them. Meanwhile, I like working. So I had three days a week of work with them, I had four free days a week so I started consulting for other people, figuring it out and after about six months I had eight clients I was making 30 grand a month as a 26 year old. and I was like, this is pretty fun. But, and I kept trying to find agencies and other marketers to help these companies. I’d like be there quarterback through outsource CMO. But then when it came down to execute, I found that like the entire marketing ecosystem was completely broken.
99% of marketers and agencies are just completely full of shit. Just sucks, but it’s true. And in the few that are good, tend to get really expensive, wanting long contracts, high minimums. And I went this is this sucks. I’m just going hire my own little SWAT team. I’m not used to making this kind of money. So I’ll just pay these people and use it for that, and I’ll hire a little team of seven people each with their own expertise, like a Facebook market or email market or web designer, I’ll have a fractional CMO so I can kind of step out and help grow this and we’ll go from there. And went back to the company, said it’s all [inaudible 12:25] month to month, make it easy. And that was how Hawke was born. That was eight years ago. Started with these guys, the companies loved it immediately started growing, started building a reputation, and so eight years later and a lot of things in between, we’re now like 320 people have worked with over 3,500 brands. Yeah. It’s been a fun ride.
Taylorr: Holy crap. There’s just so much to unpack just from that whole story, Erik. [Cross-talk 13:09] I love it. Wow. That was so cool. And what I about that story is like it’s the essence of what we’re talking about here today. Scrappy actions with a lot of results that have kind of just happened, and of course you put effort in there and you kind of attributed luck to being some part of the equation, it’s not like you started with a massive budget at your fingertips to be able to launch something.
Erik: Well, now that I’ve gone through this story, let’s rewind and say like, again I’d be in real estate, but then I ended up in music because of a friend’s dad that I stayed in touch with. And the only reason he liked me, I shouldn’t say that the only reason, but one of the main reasons we stayed in touch was his son got into a little bit of trouble when I was in college and I came out to LA while he was living in LA and I basically dragged him out of it. Just said, snap the fuck out of it and take care of yourself. And he did and his dad was appreciative. I didn’t even know who his dad was by the way, just until he raised a million dollars, I was like, wait, do you…are you…like, I grew up in a small town called Ojai and real, estate’s not expensive there, so my mom has a giant house on three acres and it’s cheaper than a one bedroom condo in LA and it’s only an hour away.
So growing up, if your friend had lived on a few, eight years of land, it didn’t mean anything, so I didn’t look at his family as like this wealthy family. I just thought it was, they did fine, whatever it turned out, he was one of the co-founders of Paperview on the Board of Men’s Warehouse and had a non-profit with Deepak Chopra, like did pretty well. And so that was random and then I left that just because of like 24, I literally remember saying this isn’t going to be the company that puts my kids through college at 24. I don’t have kids yet, I’m 35. So it was like, I don’t know why I thought about that, but I did, and so then I went, I’m going to find something else and then the t-shirt thing was super random too. My next door neighbour was a t-shirt guy in my apartment, we came up with this idea together and just did it. And it’s like, again, all these things that just like all of a sudden I’ve got… I’m 26, but I’ve got kind of 14 years of experience in eCommerce .
Because again, when I was 12, I had tried to start my first eCommerce brand so I had all this experience. I was one of the only guys in the space that had built and sold to eCommerce companies that was also willing to go advise other ones and obviously that came with doing things and executing, but there was a lot of luck that then that was the period when like HP, Red Bull and Verizon all reached out to me to try to figure out their e-com and marketing strategies. Nobody understood digital yet, I was this guy and I was willing to run an agency in service business because most people with my background want to start their next brand are going to CPG and stick to starting product companies. And I was like, I kind of like working with a bunch of different brands. So again takes doing it, but there was a lot of just, I could have never predicted this going forward, but now looking back, it’s like, look at all these things that lined up that put me into eCommerce at the perfect time.
Austin: Yeah. This reminds me of the saying that an old mentor of mine used to say, which was that luck is created when preparation meets opportunity. Because I think that it’s so easy and I feel this way too, by the way, so just to reciprocate, I feel like there’s been so many random happens, chance situations that have led us to where we are today. And I feel very grateful for those to things because they could have not happened and my life would’ve turned out differently. However, it’s easy to hear that, I lucked into my success on some level and feel a little bit powerless for somebody that is not yet there, but wants to go out and do it.
Erik: And I think that’s where it’s important. Execution, you’ll be some level of successful if you get shit done and you’re smart enough to learn from what you’re doing. I don’t mean to learn from just mistakes, but also double down when it’s working. You have to be intelligent, you don’t have to be Mensa, you don’t have to have the giant IQ, but you have to be… Malcolm Gladwell talks about this, who I have mixed feelings about this point that he makes in outliers, I think is prudent, which is you have to be smart enough to be successful. If you’re dumb, it’s going be tough. You also have to be hard working enough. Because so many people credit their success with, I worked really hard. We all have 24 hours a day, what the fuck does that mean?
Taylorr: Yeah, shit. Yes.
Erik: We can all work so hard. I actually need my sleep. I need to seven to eight hours of sleep at night. I’m not like the whole, like I go to bed at 2:00 AM, I wake up at four, I meditate for an hour, then I take a steam bath or whatever the these people… I don’t know why I wake up, I look at my phone for 10 minutes. I brush my teeth. I put some gel on my hair and I go out and I go take my first call on my laptop. These people make this sound like this crazy intangible thing to be successful and it’s like, no, you do the work you make sure to learn from what you’re doing, really assess and be reflective on what you’re doing, are you spending your time on the things that are gonna make you the most successful. Don’t chase, shiny objects, but again, be smart about how you’re building and growing, but then it is luck and how successful I will not be the richest person in the world.
I really doubt it. I have not bet on the horse that’s going make me the richest, like building Hawke media, I’ll be plenty successful, but I don’t think I’m going to beat Jeff Bezos. I don’t think that I’m building Amazon that’s okay. I know that, but be conscious about that. And also don’t go the other way where if you’re betting on a business that you look at it in the scale can only be, what does maxed out look like? Is it a $2 million business? Is it a hundred thousand dollar business? If you’re opening a coffee shop in a 300 person town, you’re probably limited at the level of success, be reflective on that, make choices consciously, but then again, how successful you are if you’re really if you have a large addressable market really does depend on luck and timing a lot of the time and that’s okay. That’s part of it, but your baseline will be high enough if you really focus on being successful.
Taylorr: Yeah, man, I love. [Cross-talk 18:37]
Austin: The opportunity presents itself, you can capitalize on it.
Taylorr: That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. So now Erik, I know you know that our audience, primarily solopreneurs, thought leaders, coaches, speakers, consultants, maybe teams of up to five, let’s say, and we’re talking about how to be impactful with marketing. And I feel like there are many misconceptions just about marketing as a whole. I know everyone we talk to knows that they have to do it, and a lot of it it’s like, well I’m doing social media. And maybe they have a small email list or what have you, and thinking about robust marketing just seems like this impossible task largely because they often didn’t come from a realm of maybe sales or marketing and the thought about even hiring an agency just seems so far-fetched, just seems impossible to make a splash. So very simply put, is it really possible for solopreneur small business to make a splash with a limited budget?
Erik: So I’m going say yes and no.
Taylorr: Okay. Interesting.
Erik: Should they invest in marketing? Absolutely. Don’t think of it as a splash. That’s finite and my partner likes to call them sugar rushes. You want to build sustainable marketing, not splash, because people don’t have that kind of attention span, great. You get your for one day and you make a splash, they’ll forget about you tomorrow. And so if you don’t do ongoing marketing and, so little plug, but just came out with the book, the Hawke Method, and so what we talk about literally the whole framework of this is, has to do with this, it’s we talk about those three principles of marketing and you have to cover all three because it’s kind of like a tripod. If you don’t, it falls over. So awareness, nurturing and trust are those three principles.
Awareness, how do you make new people aware that your company exists? Whether it’s advertising, PR word of mouth, what are the ways you introduce someone to your company? Just introduce them doesn’t have to turn into a customer. That’s awareness. And so that’s usually what people think of as marketing, it’s where this splash comes in. How do I get a bunch of people aware I exist? The issue is the biggest thing people miss in marketing, and I really mean this is the biggest thing is the idea of what’s called a purchase cycle. The time from when someone becomes aware you exist to when they buy, there is a time period there and it’s usually somewhere between weeks and months. It’s not usually days and it’s not usually years either, unless it’s a house or a car maybe, but generally it’s weeks to months. And so what you do during that period, from when they first become aware that you exist to when they actually purchase and then what they do after they purchase, so they keep coming back, that’s nurturing and nurturing is critical because that’s actually where you make your money, and that’s where splash has nothing to do with it.
You still need to fill that awareness to actually have someone to nurture, but then email marketing, SMS marketing, stay in touch, if you’re a solo entrepreneur, just like literally sending emails to your contacts and making sure you stay in front of them that’s… you want to credit my success to one specific thing, it’s that? I email everyone on my contact list every quarter, still to this day. And there’s like 16, 18,000 of them. So…
Taylorr: Hell yeah.
Erik: Still check in with everyone all the time, because you never know staying top of mind, staying in touch, what’s going to happen as they build trust with you as their needs change, et cetera, that is critical. And so that nurturing piece is so important and building more and more awareness so that nurturing piece gets bigger and bigger and bigger, but then continuing to your nurture is incredibly important. Then trust, which is synonymous with brand is really about like early on no one’s going trust you because they don’t know who you are, you have no brand. So getting third party validation is really critical to getting that because you can borrow trust. So thinking about like reviews, testimonials, endorsements, influencer marketing, PR, these are all places where someone else is trusted and they’re and they’re validating you. You’re basically borrowing the trust in them. And that works until you start being consistent with your own delivery, you build a reputation of your own, especially as a solopreneur, people start to go, this is the go-to person for this, you get that word of mouth piece, people start to hear your name all over, they start to maybe see you all over, hear from you in emails, you’ll build trust with them and you can also will help convert that way.
And so again, those are really when you’re thinking about marketing, if you’re literally by yourself still, how are you introducing new people to your product or service or you? How are you nurturing that? So you can continue to bring people along to get them to a point where they want to buy and bring them back to buy again because lifetime value of a customer is way more critical than whatever that first thing they buy is. And then how do you continue to build trust? That’s it. And don’t get wrong, there’s a billion things in that tactic wise, but at every scale, whether you’re a solopreneur or you’re a Fortune 100, those are the things that matter. And like we talk about it in the book, I met with a giant company in New York and they were trying to figure out why they weren’t growing and we’re talking multi-billion dollar company and I’m like, well, what are you doing for market?
They’re like, well we have email marketing, we have SMS, we’re doing tons of content where we just rebuilt our site and I’m like, you just listed a lot of nurturing items, what are you doing to build new awareness? Like, well, advertising is expensive. I’m like, yeah and customers churn like [inaudible 23:24]. You’re losing customers, you’re losing people on that list and you’re not adding any new ones, it sounds simple, I’m to a person managing multibillion dollar marketing budget that was like, oh yeah, we really need to step that up. By the way, they didn’t end up working with us. I don’t think they ever got out of their own way. This is one of the problems with bigger companies. But in your case, in smaller companies case you can be nimble about this and then reassess, where do you think you’re missing?
Do you think that you don’t have enough people on, you’re always going want to be doing all these things, but like how are you doing on converting those potential customers that awareness. Are you doing a good job of nurturing? Are you doing a job of trust? And it kind of helps you, that was a whole idea of the book is like, this helps you assess, where am I missing on marketing and where do I need double down just from a high level. And then we talk about the different channels you can use, whether it’s, why use Facebook versus Google versus TV versus radio versus TikTok. Why use email versus SMS versus content? Why use them all? How they all work together, other tactics that you can use.
Austin: Oh, okay. Unless I just say that this may be one of the most valuable conversation that I think we’ve had on this show already because…
Taylorr: Erik man.
Austin: It’s so like looking at it from the outside, if you’re not an experienced marketer and I’m a novice at best at this so I’m speaking for myself here as well. There’s so many moving parts that it can be really difficult to identify what’s the next thing that I should do or what it is working or what’s not working, but that three step framework that you just explained really does a good job of encapsulating the process as a whole. And you’re right, you can always expand that out further or get as granular as you need to with it but I think that people get hung up with very specific components there and now you can point to one of those things that’s so helpful.
Erik: And the piece that’s missing honestly is the benchmarking side. Like, okay, so, you know in a vacuum, how your business is doing, but how are you doing compared to other people? And how is your conversion on a lead compared to other people? And that’s something we’re actually building at Hawke is a free tool to just be like, hey, where do you stand on a benchmark so that people can actually take this framework, look at where they stand on benchmark and go, oh, my nurturing is broken.
Austin: Wow. Please let us know when that tool comes out.
Taylorr: Yeah. Definitely have to check that out.
Erik: Moving along.
Austin: One of the things that I really like about this conversation as well is that it speaks to this like delayed gratification that’s inherently involved in marketing. Because people want those instant [cross-talk 25:43] that’s..
Taylorr: Always instant.
Austin: Where the language of the splash comes from because people want to see their actions lead to results and the shorter period of time between when that happens, the easier it is to continue doing it.
Erik: [Cross-talk 25:53] because it’s now published and everything, but I quoted my business partner and he used to tell our team all the time, like nine women can’t make a baby in a month and it’s like, that’s the best marketing in a nutshell, like yeah, you can’t rush this. It’s going to take time, time takes time, turns out that. So Warren Buffet quote, but now he’s internally immortalized in this [cross-talk 26:13] but what do we literally learned like a week ago like yeah, Warren Buffet said that that’s like a famous quote of his I’m like, oh, well it’s [inaudible 26:24] from Minka Minnesota as well.
Taylorr: Well hey, give credit where credits do you know?
Erik: No, don’t worry. [Inaudible 26:32] to do that. Yeah,
Taylorr: For sure. So here’s a question for you, Erik. So you’re obviously out here you’re promoting your personal brand right now, just being on podcast, writing your book, you are a thought leader, you’ve had the expertise and you’re out there doing the things. So as a marketing professional for your own personal brand, what’s your strategy there? Is it quality? Is it quantity? How are you approaching it?
Erik: It’s both honestly. I have no problem with quantity, but I’m also always trying not to quality. So I’ve had been on some funny podcasts and it’s like a dude in his bedroom in India, on his cell phone, like, so tell me about the company because I just say yes and that’s been me the whole time.
Taylorr: That’s cool.
Erik: Thankfully my wife is very understanding and I have no one else rolling on my time yet so like I’ve gone all in on, like I’m just going say yes to everything. And now I’ve had to be a little more limited because things have scaled, but I found that you never know, like I was on a podcast recently that I didn’t even know was that big, and like the next day after I went live, I got just bombarded with people, heard you on this podcast, heard you. I thought it was like some friend of a friend that was someone’s bedroom podcast, but it turned out it had a giant audience. I could do more research on it, don’t get me wrong but in terms a personal brand, it’s funny. I don’t think anyone on a podcast has asked me how I build it, but I do invest a lot in it. I have a speaking agency, I have a podcast agency, I have a book PR firm, I have two book launch companies. I wrote the book obviously to build the brand, but also the whole mission of Hawke morphed into accessibility to great marketing for everyone. The idea is like, how do we make the best marketing in the world accessible to the masses? The book is all part of that too. Like now we can just tell people what we do. We still know it takes a lot of work and it’s not like this is going just replace us. Like read the book, wow you don’t need anyone to help you. It’s not that way.
Taylorr: It’s a starting point. We’re sending it to every client, every employee, it allows us to speak the same language, it really has been a powerful tool and all of this goes into my brand is attached to Hawke media and the more I can be a marketing thought leader, the more it drives Hawke. And I’ve found that I have a knack for getting into rooms and doing things. So I have all those firms plus an internal PR firm plus a content team that helps me write thought leadership plus an SEO PR firm that helps me publish articles that we want just for SEO purpose. So I’m speaking at tons of events, I’m on podcasts, we host our own events, I’ve got the book, I’ve got my own podcast with I think, 80 episodes at this point with about 25,000 monthly downloads. And it all feeds back to the same principle of like we’re trying to help people with marketing so it ends up all becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy of the more I build my brand, our Hawke builds its brand and that’s been fun too.
Building a personal brand comes with a lot of work, and I I’d say it has to be, I don’t want to say it has to be authentic, but I think a lot of people get into this personal brand world and they start trying to flash cars and do things that like, look I’m rich and you can be rich too. And the problem that they don’t realize, and frankly, a lot of them don’t have that high of an altitude, I’m just going be blunt. Two things. One that I like to talk about a lot. Number one, a Ferrari is cheaper than my lowest paid employee. So the idea that a Ferrari is a symbol of wealth is absolutely fucking absurd. It’s a symbol of priorities, I’d rather hire another person than buy a Ferrari. And if you’re like a car person and you want to race, I respect that. I love racing cars. I like racing rental cars so I don’t have to trash my own, so I get that. But if you’re buying a Ferrari to show it off on your Instagram or renting a Ferrari to show it Instagram, the only people you’re attracting are the lowest common denominator and they don’t make good customers either.
So like that whole world that’s gotten bigger and bigger, you get a lot of Instagram followers you really do, but you don’t make any money, none of these people make any money and they all it’s like this circle jerk of bullshit that is a problem. So in solo world, be really wary because having a big following doesn’t actually get you any business. Most of the people are chasing the wrong thing and they don’t actually make any money. I’ve know many, many of them. And you realize like, yeah you should just get a job, you’d probably do better financially. And it’s actually the case. So when you’re thinking about how to build that brand, really think about who you’re trying to attract. Because like when I say something like that, I just off every bullshit artist out there. Well thank God I don’t want them as customers. Because I did this live at a traffic and conversions summit, marketing summit in San Diego.
Taylorr: Oh cool.
Erik: And I said that and it turned out the front row were five guys that had all just pulled up in Lambos. And I had just insulted the fuck out of all five of them and everyone in the crowd is dying laughing, and I had no idea why. I didn’t know, but I had pulled up the hotel and there were a line of Lamborghini out front. I’m like these, and again, I grew up around cars, I have a couple nice cars. Nobody would ever know cause I don’t fucking flash them because that’s not the point. And it’s, if you love that fine, but to do it to be like you should work with me because I make money. It’s like we all make that kind of money. It’s just, you prioritize your Lambo over your employees. And at the end of the day again, if you make enough fine, but I think a lot of people think that that’s like the step of like I’ve made money because I bought a supercar and I know I’m ranting about this, but that’s, I think really important when you’re thinking about personal brand is like, who are you attracting? What are you trying to attract?
Because I’ve always just put out entrepreneur tips, marketing tips, and tried to attract people that want to work with us. At this point, thankfully we’ve built a big enough business that we’re aspirational to a lot of our clients, and so that is part of how we think about it. But then that aspiration has to be really real. Like it’s what do business owners really want? What do they want out of us? And let’s be that for them. And if we’re getting entrepreneurs that their goal is to go buy a Lambo it’s probably the, the wrong customer. If their goal is to build a big company and a successful company of employees that love them and be able to do different things, that’s who we’re working for and then on my level, one thing that I’ve defined as part of my brand, which I actually will say is to the argument of a lot of the PR companies and stuff that I work for sometimes is I think work life harmony is really important.
I say harmony not balanced because I think it has to all blend together. I go on entrepreneur heli boarding trips and go snowboarding in Eastern, British Columbia with a bunch of entrepreneurs where I get a bunch of business out of it and I get to jump out of a helicopter on a snowboard, those kind of things. So like part of my brand has become all this adventurous shit that I do and I got one of the most flattering statements, a friend of a friend called me Batman the other day.
Taylorr: What an honour.
Erik: You’re Like tactical training, because I do tactical training. I’m a pilot now, he’s like, you’re like jumping out of helicopters, he’s like you’re basically Batman. I’m like, that is my hope. Like I will never be Superman, I’m not an alien, but if I could be a rich guy that has cool and knows how to do things, I’m into it.
Austin: Hey, you know yourself. I like that about you.
Taylorr: That’s exactly right. And I think that story just perfectly sums up that you need to know what you’re after, if you’re just doing this for the sake of doing stuff what’s the point [inaudible 33:14].
Erik: That’s totally true because a lot of people say like, do I need to grow my Instagram falling to be successful? It’s like, no.
Taylorr: Yeah. I know. It’s like small stuff like that, no there’s a million other ways to do it. But what’s the point? Why are you…
Erik: If it works for you and if you’re naturally good at it, like I’m actually, I would say I’m mediocre at it. I’ve just been associated with a lot of people, I’m not the most incredible personal content creator on the planet. I like to think that this book is good, and so far the feedback’s all great but when it comes to like creating videos on Instagram or something, I don’t want to be Gary Vanerchuck and I love the guy, I think he’s great, but I’m not trying to rep…he already does that. I don’t need to be a motivational speaker on Instagram. That’s not what I’m going for so that’s not where I’m gonna double down. And a lot of people almost get this stress and it’s not FOMO, but it’s like, [cross-talk 33:53] I’m not doing everything.
Taylorr: That’s right.
Erik: But you can’t do everything well. And so you have to focus on like, where do you have superpowers? Where are you good, and double down on that and that’s where you can be successful. I think that’s what a lot… and that’s where I feel like the most fortunate is. I found a combination of something I love to do and something I’m really good at really young and that’s hard to do, but really if you can find that balance, I think people overemphasize the idea of chasing your passion. I have plenty of passions. I’m passionate about my business, but in terms of my passion, like what could I do every day, all day? And probably not ever be bored? It’d be snowboarding, but I’m not that good at it. I’m not going be a professional snowboarder. I’m the same age as Sean White and he just retired, which makes me feel old as fuck, but I missed that window apparently.
So I’m not going to be a pro snowboarder and that’s okay, I love what I do. You still can love what you do and not have it be your passion. And I learned this with music too, where it’s like, you can be a musician. I still play guitar all the time but finding the thing that you’re really good at and really focusing on it and figuring out how to silo yourself and as much as you can and to just what you do well, and then as you build these businesses surrounding yourself with people that it compliment you and everything you don’t want to do and aren’t good at, that’s the key. Everyone…
Taylorr: That’s the nugget.
Erik: Kind of a cliche of success.
Taylorr: That’s right. Wow. So much value Erik. First, I just have to say thank you for making so many things that are abstract for so many people, as simple as you’ve made them. It’s a true sign of thought leadership. So thank you for coming on the show today and sharing all of that. I know you have this book that just came out actually relative to when the show got published, where can people go and find that book? I’ll make sure there’s a link here in the show notes.
Erik: Yeah. It’s just The Hawke Method. It is available everywhere. Amazon, target, Walmart, Barnes and Noble, thehawkemethod.com
Taylorr: All of the places.
Erik: Yeah, exactly. Should be easy to find.
Taylorr: Heck yeah. And if you can’t find it, reach out to us and we’ll send you a copy.
Taylorr: Erik. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. This has been so impactful, really excited to get this out there and hey, if you listeners out there like this episode, don’t forget to rate it, like it, subscribe to it and if you want more awesome resources like this, go to speakerflow.com/resources. Thank you so much for chiming in, I just wanted to take a second to thank our sponsor Auxbus. Auxbus is the all in one suite of tools you need to run your podcast And it’s actually what we run here at Speaker Flow for Technically Speaking, it makes planning, podcasts simple, it makes recording podcasts simple, it even makes publishing podcasts to the masses simple and quite honestly, Technically Speaking, wouldn’t be up as soon as it is without Auxbus. Thank you so much Auxbus. And if you are interested in checking Auxbus out, whether you’re starting podcast or you have one currently get our special offer auxbus.com/speakerflow, or click the link below in our show notes.