My Big YPO Keynote Presentation

Apr. 11

This past Wednesday, I had the immense honor of being the keynote speaker at the YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) Wisconsin Chapter meeting. This particular meeting was all about Internet Marketing, and getting businesses excited about opportunities in digital. YPO is an esteemed group since I was speaking directly to the Presidents of extremely successful businesses. I wrote back in my 2014 goals that public speaking was at the top of my list, and had this particular event in mind when writing that goal, since this event has been many months in the making. I’m really excited that this opportunity worked out so well, it was a true honor! Today, I wanted to share a bit about the event and what I personally learned.

It’s All About Your Network

Ian Lopuch YPO Speaking Event

Ian Lopuch Speaking At YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization)

This event came to me, from my good friends at Rocket Clicks Digital Marketing Agency. I have been great friends with Rocket Clicks for a number of years now. I see them at nearly every digital marketing conference, and we stay in close touch. They have been loyal friends and supporters, and an all-around amazing team. They are true values-driven business professionals. (If you are looking for a digital marketing agency, I highly recommend checking out Rocket Clicks.)

Back in 2013, I got a call from my good friend Nicole (VP of Operations at Rocket Clicks) and couldn’t believe the opportunity that was coming my way: An all-expenses-paid trip to Wisconsin and an opportunity to keynote YPO. I’m in! Honestly, I was (and still am) humbled that Nicole and the Rocket Clicks team thought of me. I try to be a good guy, a values-driven business professional who helps others whenever possible. I feel like this opportunity was a reflection of the luck that comes when you help others, and my strong network with the best-of-the-best in our industry.

Lesson: Always help others and invest in your network. Especially invest in good people like the Rocket Clicks team.

It’s All About Preparation

Rocket Clicks Dinner

Dinner With My Good Friends From Rocket Clicks

A 45-minute keynote presentation is no joke. As a busy customer acquisition professional, I have extremely limited free time. How did I prepare? Nights and weekends! Honestly, I left most of it until the last weekend and then worked super hard to pull it all together. I took advantage of a surge in energy and basically completed my presentation in one (long) sitting. After preparing my presentation, I felt a great sense of relief. My deck is great, I have speaker’s notes on each slide so I can easily remember all points, and now all I have to do is deliver.

Lesson: Always prepare early. Time spent ahead of time will truly set your mind at ease. Take advantage of surges in energy to get it done!

My Presentation and The Event

What happens at YPO stays at YPO. It’s an open and trusting forum for collaboration, and I owe it to everyone to uphold that trust. I’m not going to blog about the specifics, other than the fact that everything went incredibly well. Everyone was so kind, the questions were great, and my preparation paid off. I’m truly proud of this presentation and accomplishment, and look forward to future opportunities with YPO and Rocket Clicks.

Spending Time With Rocket Clicks

Speaking At YPO Wisconsin Event

PPC Ian Speaking At The YPO Wisconsin Event

While my YPO keynote speaking opportunity was amazing, I had just as much fun meeting up with my good friends from Rocket Clicks. We had multiple gourmet dinners (Wisconsin has amazing food), caught up, and I even got a tour of the Rocket Clicks office the day following the conference. The highlights of my tour:

  1. Meeting the amazing Rocket Clicks team. I don’t know how to describe it, but they are truly unique, in a values and goodness way. I don’t think I’ve run across a nicer group in my career. There is nothing more important in business and life than values, honesty, and kindness.
  2. Meeting 1:1 with Jeff Hughes, the CEO of Biz Lab (the parent company of Rocket Clicks).
  3. Sitting in on a very special meeting at Rocket Clicks that truly impacted me and my overall perspective.

Rocket Clicks, I cannot thank you enough for your hospitality, kindness, friendship, and generosity. You have a friend and supporter for life. Special thank you to: Jeff, Nicole, Matt, Liz, Amanda, and Chris. You truly made this event memorable.

Lesson: Cherish those friends who truly care. It’s all about the people! Gravitate toward good, honest, kind people. Go out of your way to help out good people.

PS Other Random Lessons

  1. Southwest offers the only nonstop flight from SFO to MKE, to the best of my knowledge. How pleasant to have a direct flight on the way there.
  2. Wisconsin is really cool, and the people are incredibly friendly.
  3. Silicon Valley could stand to learn a lot from Wisconsin.

Motivating and Making Things Happen

Apr. 05

I truly enjoy customer acquisition marketing because it’s a very operational role. At the end of the day, it’s all about making things happen and driving the numbers. I love that responsibility. That gets us to the topic of today’s post: motivation. You need to be greatly motivated to get stuff done and drive results. I recently blogged about how You Can’t Always Do It Alone, Your Team Is Strength. While your team offers you strength and support, how can you motivate and support your team? Following are just a few tips…

Make Things Happen

  • Always place your team first.
  • Be available at all times. Prioritize your team first.
  • Take feedback and ideas seriously. Foster an environment that rewards new ideas and creativity.
  • Embrace ideas from your team that are even better than your own. Hire those that are incredibly smart, and reward them.
  • Create career path opportunities. Reward excellence.
  • Fight for those on your team.
  • Trust your team with great responsibility. Mistakes are ok, that’s the best way to learn.
  • Make sure your team gets credit for the work. Try to find speaking opportunities, case studies, and more so your team shines. As a manager, you’ll get credit for shining, but you’ll get even more credit if your team shines and represents the team.
  • Be a proud manager. Be proud when your team shines.
  • Send your team to fun events and conferences, even if that means you cannot go.
  • Create a work hard, play hard environment. I emphasize the play hard side of things. When people are working late nights and weekends, it’s all about creating that balance. Reward your team with lunches, days off, and times of less work. It’s all about longevity.
  • Celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries, and holidays. Don’t be afraid to bring small gifts to your team. The thought truly counts!
  • Be ready to help those on your team at any time. Offer strength through challenges and difficult situations. Approach all challenges in an extremely calm and strong manner.
  • Make sure to invest in your team, especially from a technology standpoint. Audition platforms such as Kenshoo. Make your team a very critical part of the process. Purchase those platforms that are favored by the entire team.
  • Get in early and leave late. Managers should always be available at all times, and work hard. Teams will not respect managers at much who do not put in the same hard work as everyone else on the team. More than anything, you should want to do this. Management carries great responsibility.
  • Stand up for your team. Don’t be afraid to protect your team/family.
  • Be a fearless leader. All businesses face uncertainty and challenge. The leader can make such an impact via the right attitude. Be fearless and lead your team through both bad times and good.
  • Grow employees internally, if possible. I don’t like bringing in high-level hires. I prefer to push employees and stretch their abilities. Grow employees internally. Even if they’re not ready, throw them into the fire. Give your employees their own employees. Nothing is more motivating than a manager who truly cares and is doing everything in their power to create a true career path.
  • Be an advocate of people management and get those on your team opportunities to manage new hires. Make it your life’s mission to build great people managers. This is a great way to amplify your impact on your business and the world.

Hope these tips help. How do you motivate your team?

Image of Make Things Happen © marekuliasz

I’m A Huge Fan of YouTube (Part 2 of 2)

Mar. 29

I’m a tremendous fan of YouTube. Recently, in part 1 of this series, I shared my passion for YouTube as a purely incremental digital media channel. Today, I’m excited to share some of my other perspectives on YouTube and why I think it’s so critical to your career in digital marketing.

Old TV

  • When it comes to careers in digital marketing (or really any other career for that matter), public speaking matters. It’s important to present yourself well, and practice, practice, practice. The best practice is actually engaging in public speaking opportunities. I have a huge one coming up in the next few weeks, and I’ll be blogging all about it here on PPC Ian. Last year, my big public speaking accomplishment was Search Insider Summit. What happens, however, when you don’t have opportunities to speak at big conferences every month. (I’m so busy that I can typically only do one or two speaking events each year.) After all, public speaking requires consistent practice. Get out there an build your own YouTube channel! Leverage YouTube as a way to practice your speaking. You’ll quickly find that certain videos take multiple takes to get it right, and you’ll refine your presentation skills.
  • The best digital marketers find ways to refine their craft. Moonlighting (dabbling in your own side projects/experiments) is a great way to learn and explore facets of digital marketing you may not get to engage on a day-to-day basis. Moonlighting allows you to bring added insights back to your job. As long as you stay in a completely different space from your job, get approval from your company, and spend a very small amount of time moonlighting, I see tremendous value coming from this practice. If you’re going to moonlight and dabble in something different, why not create your own YouTube channel? You’ll truly learn how to make money online, engage an audience, create compelling content, and so much more with your YouTube side project.
  • There’s so much involved in building and ranking a website. Take PPC Ian, for example. I absolutely love my blog, but it has taken countless hours to get to where I’m at now. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, however what if you want to learn in your spare time and don’t have a lot of time or money. YouTube is a one-stop-shop for setting up an online business. Because it’s a really good product and because it’s a Google product, you get everything in one package. I’m talking about ease of use, ease of ranking organically (and in related videos), ease of management, ease of monetization, and so much more. With YouTube, Google takes the guesswork out of everything so you can focus on one thing: Creating amazing content. This point really ties into the last one: YouTube is probably the easiest and most scalable way to dabble in a digital marketing project in your spare time. Case in point: I have one YouTube channel that has 200,000 video views, and I only have a total of 14 videos.
  • YouTube is the future. The future of television is interactivity, mobility, and limitless choice. I still truly believe we are in the very early stages of YouTube and online video. Embrace the trend now, and you will be incredibly well positioned for the future. Truly own your vertical. Create the best resource for your vertical. That is an asset that will pay dividends for many years to come. The time to embrace YouTube is now. From a strategy perspective, I encourage all brands to invest in YouTube.

Speaking of YouTube, please make sure to check out the PPC Ian YouTube Channel. Do you have a YouTube channel? Please share!

Image of Old TV © iStockPhoto – Palto

You Can’t Always Do It Alone, Your Team Is Strength

Mar. 09

Think you can do it all alone? Anyone who’s been in business for a while understands that this is impossible. As you navigate business and life, you’ll face challenges. Especially in a fast-paced corporate career, hurdles will present themselves. I enjoy the hurdles because they help me grow, build character, and are often exciting puzzles worth solving. However, what happens when things get truly challenging, seemingly impossible in nature? Look to your team for support. The best teams support each and every member of the team, the best teams offer each member of the team strength.

Support

I wrote a post a while back called The Values-Driven People Manager. That post was all about creating a great team environment and building your leadership skills. Today’s post is meant to be a continuation of that one, but a little broader in scope.

The lesson is simple: Everyone will face challenges. It doesn’t matter if you are the leader of the team, and hold a high title. It does not matter if this is your first job. It does not matter if you have been working 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years. Challenges present themselves.

The secondary lesson is also simple: Every single person on the team offers incredible value, ideas, and strength. The best ideas will come from anyone on the team.

Whenever a challenge presents itself to me, I tackle it with great strength, attitude, persistence, agility, and creativity. After all, challenges offer the ability to learn and grow, and they can be fun. However, what if a challenge becomes overwhelming? Don’t hesitate to tap into your team. Build a culture of helping others, especially those on your immediate team. Treat each team member like family. Think you don’t have the strength to overcome a challenge? You do, especially through your team. Share your challenge. Band together. Find creative solutions. Support each other. There is true strength in numbers, friendship, and collaboration. You would be surprised how much power and strength the team has collectively, it’s almost infinite.

(Of course, I’m assuming here you’re on a great team, one that wants to support each other. I navigate towards those types of teams, and hire those types of team members. If you do not find yourself in that type of environment, you will first need to either create or find that special team-oriented environment.)

My advice today is for everyone on the team. While I happen to be blessed as the team leader, I too face challenges. I know I’ve built a truly amazing team when I’m able to call up various members of the team to acquire the strength to overcome challenges. It makes me proud and honored to be part of that kind of team. The team is much greater and more powerful than any single person. Approach challenges as a team, and you will never fail. Most importantly, don’t feel discouraged. Recognize that you always have a great team that’s ready to support you along the way.

Image of Support © iStockPhoto – VCTStyle

I’m A Huge Fan of YouTube (Part 1 of 2)

Mar. 02

I’m a tremendous fan of YouTube. There are many reasons why, and I’m thrilled to explore them as part of a two-post series. Perhaps the most striking reason is the screenshot below from one of my personal YouTube accounts (not my PPC Ian one, but another account). This report (from YouTube’s amazing video analytics) demonstrates the ways in which viewers arrived at my YouTube videos. Before looking at my YouTube analytics, I naturally assumed those watching my videos would find them:

  1. Embedded on my website (the particular channel in question is related to a high-volume website, and most videos are embedded)
  2. Searching on YouTube
  3. Searching on Google (since YouTube videos are embedded in the organic search results)

While all three of these are driving video views, the number one way in which people are finding my videos is a surprising one: YouTube suggested videos. Out of my 5,888 video views in the last 30 days, 4,090 are from suggested videos (that’s 69.5%)!

What are suggested videos? At the end of a YouTube video, you will oftentimes see a matrix of suggested videos, those of similar topical matter (or closely-related topical manner). Those watching YouTube videos typically watch a series of videos and they find the next one of interest by following YouTube’s suggestions.

It’s almost like watching TV. You’ll be sitting there watching a channel. All of the sudden, you get bored and start changing the channel. You don’t just watch one show, you watch multiple. Since YouTube videos are short, one can expect the average viewer to watch many clips in a row. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense, but I would have never guessed this going in!

So, we’ve established that I get a lot of video views from suggested videos, but why does this matter? Why does it make me a tremendous fan of YouTube? It’s easy: This is a brand new customer acquisition media channel.

I’m always looking for new channels, new ways of reaching users/potential customers. I’ve got organic search and paid search covered. If most of my YouTube traffic was coming from Google organic results, for example, I don’t see that as truly incremental. However, I view these suggested videos as incremental. It’s a media channel I’m really not getting at any other way. For this reason, I’m even more of a fan of YouTube than I was before. Stay tuned, in part 2 of this post, I’ll share more interesting nuances and thoughts around why YouTube is so important for your marketing program.

YouTube Stats

Image of YouTube Stats © PPCIan.com