Securing a notable celebrity endorsement can cost tens of millions of dollars. Even “minor league” celebs can pull in strong six figures just from endorsement. Here’s a list of 10 highest paid recent endorsements.
While influencer marketing gets a lot of flak it’s proven to be a highly effective form of marketing. A recent Nielsen study showed an 11x ROI on Influencer spend.
Unfortunately for most brands, especially upstarts, this is way out of their budget.
A trend I’m noticing lately is the inanimate endorsement.
A few examples:
Oreo – Milk’s Favorite Cookie
Honey Nut Cheerios – America’s Favorite Cereal
Kix – Kid tested, Mother approved
The beauty here is leveraging something with a strong connotation (ex. Mom or America) to position the brand in the consumer’s mind.
Would love to hear other examples of this
Skimmed through Purposeful Productivity by the venerable Taylor Pearson and he mentions that for a variety of reasons 90 days is the perfect planning window. It’s a lot easier to see the end of 90 days than 365. I like this framework and instead of one yearly goals post, I’m going to break things up into quarters.
When I think of goal setting I’m often reminded of the story of Warren Buffett’s private pilot, Mike Flint. James Clear has a great summary of the story. Essentially Buffett encourages Flint to write down his top 25 career goals. After writing these 25 down Buffett instructs Flint to circle his top five goals. Then comes this powerful exchange:
Flint: “Well, the top 5 are my primary focus, but the other 20 come in a close second. They are still important so I’ll work on those intermittently as I see fit. They are not as urgent, but I still plan to give them a dedicated effort.”
Buffett: “No. You’ve got it wrong, Mike. Everything you didn’t circle just became your Avoid-At-All-Cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.”
The point here is if I have 25 goals It can be hard to make decisions. If I’m only driving towards one goal I can evaluate every decision through the lens of whether or not it helps me reach that goal.
With that in mind I have two “top-level” goals for Q1 2017:
Lose 1.5% body fat: In 2017 I went from obese to just plain fat. I’d like to get all the way to fit this year. I’m absolutely on the right track it’s just a function of continuing to exercise and not eating like total garbage. Measuring by pure pounds is only half the equation. I’d like to get to 20% body fat by this time next year. That means 1.5% each quarter which is just over .1% a week. Feels achievable.
Find a job I can be proud of: Tim Ferriss has a post I think about regularly on “Top Five reasons to be a jack of all trades“. Having diversified interests is not without complications. I’ve never been the type of person to have one sole north star. At some level, I envy friends who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they want to be a doctor or lawyer or police officer. That’s not me. That said I have a few clusters of areas I’m interested / expect to find work in:
Venture Capital: Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been interested in this space for a while. I absolutely love the idea of investing in something a few years before it becomes mainstream. If you look at Pepsi’s previous earnings and growth rates, it’s pretty easy to guess where they’ll be next year. Startups exist in an environment devoid of data. Angels invested in Lyft in 2009 because the people, product and market were all at the right point in time, there wasn’t enough (if any) data to make this a math-based decision. I consider VC intelligent gambling because it involves evaluating people, technology, markets and the future. What especially intrigues me is operating in a qualitative environment.
Corporate Innovation: Lately I’ve become fascinated by The Innovator’s Dilemma and what large enterprises need to do to avoid being disrupted. Startups generally build something that doesn’t exist yet. This means they can focus solely on building the new thing without concern for legacy issues. Corporates have to build the new thing AND determine how it affects their current business. In some respects, this makes corporate innovation more challenging than building a startup as it can make someone a slave to two masters. Given my experience in this space I’d love the opportunity to explore it further.
Marketing: If I boil myself down to one thing professionally, I think it’s a marketing consultant. I love the process of analyzing and improving how people and organizations communicate with their constituents. It all boils down to 1) understanding your product/service 2) determining who your target is and 3 ) communicating with this audience effectively.
Consulting: I really enjoy the consultant’s mindset. Consulting is essentially a three step process 1) look at the thing 2) make suggestions to improve the thing 3) optimize and implement suggestions. I love this notion of being an external party that helps improve the status quo. I have a few friends who work at management consulting firms and regularly hear how they enjoy this component of the work.
So for Q1 2017 I plan on processing every decision through the lens of whether or not it helps me accomplish either of these two goals.
That said I’d like to add a few “process” oriented goals. These are ones that are 100% in my control and doing the activity every day or week will undoubtedly help me reach to where I want to be. My process goals for Q1 2017 are as follows:
- Use a dating app every day: I can’t control when/where/how I meet my wife. I can control looking for matches on dating apps. It is the best time leverage that exists in the dating world.
- Learn to code via 5 exercises each day on Mimo: I’ve found Mimo to be a delightful way to get bite-sized lessons on programming.
- Answer 100 questions on Quora: Oh how I love Quora. As of Jan 1 I’m at 90 answers. So 190 is the goal
Finally there are three goals that I’ll consider bonus goals. They aren’t important enough to be considered above but still worth writing down:
- Finish Google Analytics course: GA is the foundation for all internet marketing. My skills here could use some polish.
- Draft “Redundancy” medium post: I want to write for an audience that isn’t just myself. I’d like to publish one long form medium.com quality post this quarter
- Polish bestroomba.com: A fun experiment in internet marketing.
2018 here I come.
Let’s see how I help up against my 2017 goals:
Be happier, it’s harder but better (h/t Dylan Gans)
- I tend to be a pretty negative person. hard to quantify this but I’m trying to see the opportunities in things and not just the negatives.
- While not quantifiable or falsifiable I definitely made headway in this area. Tried meditation for a bit but don’t think it is my sort of thing. Have picked up journaling and plan on continuing this into 2018
Get a job in VC or VC adjacent using VC related skills
- Has been on my career list for as long as I can remember. Hopefully pairing down my goals can allow me to focus on this.
- Again we’ll go with yellow. Talent Tech Labs was VC adjacent but not a true investing role. I have realized that VC is not my single north star and there are a variety of roles that interest me.
Draft of my book, prospecting domination
- I have the outline for the book in my head but just need to put it on paper
- Failed. Did not take this beyond outline status. Did not track. Did not calendar at all. I really would like to write a book about prospecting. Think I’ll reevaluate during Q2 2018. This doesn’t need to be a book book. I have 20-30 prospecting strategies that could be a few dozen pages.
Be under 25% body fat
- Pretty straight forward: be less fat.
- I ended the year at ~26% fat. It 25% in September but added a bit of my weight back for the holiday season. Even though I didn’t hit the 25% number I lost a tremendous amount of weight. Started the year at ~250 and 31%. Would like to drop another 6% in 2018
Find bae (girlfriend for you old folks)
- dating has been a sore spot for me for a while. By stabilizing my income and move into the city I’m planning on focusing on this more
- Well I didn’t find the “one” but I think 2017 was a good year for me with respect to dating. Will continue to focus on this in 2018
Finish one online course per month
- I have a backlog of courses I need to work through. One a month seems attainable.
- Failed. I get a little wantrepreneur sometimes with online courses. So easy to buy. So hard to take the time to sit and learn and force the information into your brain.
Blog once a month
- I’ve got a document full of blog posts that I’d like to create.
- Nowhere near a blog post a month but I did spend a lot of time redoing my website. I still struggle a bit with imposter syndrome but the more I publish the less I worry.
Grow a new revenue stream. Bonus points for passive
- Currently I make like $30/ month from Affiliate sales of Convertkit. Would like to bump that to 100 over 2017.
- I didn’t invest as much time into affiliate sales I would have liked but I still crossed the $100 a month threshold. I still feel that affiliate sales is a bit slimy and I don’t know why. I genuinely believe Convertkit is a valuable platform but I struggle to focus on the sales of it.
My business credit card is expiring in a few weeks. Soon enough I’ll have to go through the banal exercise of updating the card on file with companies I buy from.
After checking my credit card statements I noticed that seventeen vendors have this card on file for more than one-off transactions. These vendors are either a) SaaS providers that bill monthly or annually or b) marketplaces where I make repeat purchases (Amazon, AppSumo etc).
Of these seventeen vendors, only three reached out PROACTIVELY to nudge me to update my credit card.
Companies that did reach out: Squarespace, Namecheap and Upwork.
Here’s the email from Upwork:
While it may seem trivial I think this is a “blue ocean” for marketers.
I’d bet that most customers don’t keep track of which vendors have their cards on file and on top of that which cards are expiring. Sending proactive card update emails helps lessen the possibility that a customer will inadvertently have their service turned off.
What’s the old saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
Thinking about worst-case scenarios it’s easy to see how someone could forget to update their card and the service gets shut off. Bad moment for the brand and the customer.
Best practices I’ve noticed:
- give timeline: Notice how Upwork gives specific dates of when the credit card expires and when the update needs to happen.
- explain consequences: It’s obvious to most that without a credit card services will stop. This email is a gentle reminder that fixing the issue now will eliminate problems down the road.
- incentivize credit card update: a credit card on file is one of the most valuable assets a business can hold. The downstream effects of an outdated credit card are well worth investing against. Perhaps a percentage discount or special offer would make it a priority for the customer to update their credit card.