My 2015 Goals

Jan. 17

Happy New Year! While it’s already 1/17, today’s post is my first one of the new year. I’m excited to be back in business blogging and sharing my thoughts with the world!

Happy 2015

If you’ve been reading PPC Ian for a while, you know that I take great pride in documenting my goals at the beginning of each new year. I don’t always hit all of my goals, but I consider that a really good thing. It’s all about shooting for the moon, learning, and growing each and every year. If you don’t shoot for the moon, you’ll never know what you could have achieved! Last year, I had a ton of goals, 9 to be exact. (Check out my 2014 goals.) This year, it’s looking like another year of lofty and aggressive goals, although the themes of my goals are certainly changing as I get older and learn!

Goal 1: Invest In Family

The older I get, the more I realize it’s all about family. 2015 is the year of family for Nicole and I. "Family comes first" is what I tell everyone on my team at work. 2015 is the year I truly live my own motto. I’m so excited and blessed with an amazing, magical, and truly special year ahead!

Additionally, I have a sub-goal this year of spending more time with my parents. I was reading a post the other day on Yahoo! about things people regret not doing in their 30s. High up on the list was not spending enough time with their parents.

Goal 2: Grow My Career and Help Others Learn

My life’s mission largely revolves around growing my career, and helping others build their careers. It’s crazy because the more I learn, the more I have to learn! Marketing is such a fun career in that the learning never ends. Right now, I’m totally obsessed with offline marketing. While I started out in digital marketing, I’m finding that I’m just as passionate, if not more passionate, about the offline channels. I’m truly thankful to be in a position to manage all paid marketing channels for my employer. I’m dedicated to giving back and helping others learn and flourish within this amazing career path.

Goal 3: Invest In Great Business Partnerships

When things get really busy, it’s sometimes easy to lose touch with important business partners and friends. (Fun note: Most of my important business partners end up becoming friends!) My goal this year is making an ongoing conscious effort to thank my friends and business partners for everything they do. My favorite method of doing so: Lunch or coffee on me!

Goal 4: Optimize My Life and Have Fun

My life is very, very complex. I’m a master at handling complexity. I thrive in the complexity and have built an art and science around this practice. That said, optimization is all about cutting away the complexity that is not helping. This year, I’m trying to get rid of some of the stuff in my life that is not adding value. I’m mostly talking about material possessions here. However, I’m also talking about tasks and processes.

I believe that the practice of simplification will bring fun and joy to my life, in both the short run and long run. I also believe that the process of simplification will make room for new, great things. There is only so much mindshare available. I look forward to the new, amazing things ahead!

Moreover, simplification is core to financial success. Keep your life simple, and you have fewer financial obligations. Few financial obligations is the absolute key to long term peace and happiness, in my opinion.

Goal 5: Embrace Spirituality

Nicole and I visited Maui back in September, 2014. We absolutely love Hawaii and find a lot of peace and spirituality in the magic that is the Hawaiian Islands. As we departed for our trip, Nicole had an epiphany: "Ian, we’re going to church when we return from our vacation." As mentioned in my recently revamped about me page (check it out!), Nicole is always right and always has the best ideas. Long story short, the rest is history! This year, I’m dedicating time each and every day to reading The Bible. Our Pastor challenged us to read the entire Bible in a single year. I’m going to set the bar a little lower, knowing how busy I am. I’m going to read half The Bible this year, and the other half next year. I’ll be slow, but steady!

Goal 6: Keep Running

Right near my office, there are some truly amazing trails. I’ve been taking full advantage of that fact and going on some really long 5+ mile runs throughout the week. I’m so fortunate to have that opportunity to take a run during lunch, before work, or after work. I’m dedicated to my health and will keep running this year. This is a super easy goal for me because I find so much calm and joy in running. Running is my time of meditation and when most of my empowered ideas come my way. Want to come up with great business ideas? Go running!

Goal 7: Discover New Rap and Hip Hop Music

I’ve been listening to Backspin radio on SiriusXM. I thought I had exhausted all of the good rap music from the 90s and early 2000s. I was wrong! I’m still discovering new rap music each and every day. I’m especially enjoying the Ed Lover show. This goal revolves around discovering new music that motivates and inspires PPC Ian. As a sub-goal, I’m spending a good amount of time discovering old school songs from the 70s and early 80s that have inspired many of the modern rap and R&B songs. I continue to be amazed at the inspiration I can draw from good music.

Goal 8: Save Money and Grow Cash Flow

Whether it’s dividend-paying stocks, peer-to-peer lending, starting new business ventures, or really anything that can drive sustainable cash flow, I’m all over it! In conjunction with the simplification mentioned above, I want to create long-term cash flow that makes my life easier as each year passes.

Goal 9: Stay Calm and Avoid Conflict

This one is best illustrated through example. Today, I was at the bank with my wife. Someone blatantly cut us in line. Did I say anything? Not at all! The old Ian might have said something, but the new Ian doesn’t care. Later today, we witnessed two people fighting in the parking lot. Apparently, one guy opened the door of his BMW on the other’s Audi. In retaliation, the wife of the Audi owner allegedly punched the BMW owner’s car. The fight was starting to escalate quickly, and we didn’t want to stick around to watch. Long story short, everyone is on a tight fuse around here. Professionals are working very hard. Stress in the Bay Area is at a high level. It doesn’t matter how much money someone has, as illustrated through the BMW and Audi example. I’m dedicated to exercising special caution since I see a crazy environment developing in the Bay Area. I’d rather let someone cut me, than have to deal with any drama!

Goal 10: Share My Good Fortune and Help Others

Customer acquisition marketing has been good to PPC Ian. I’m dedicated to helping others this year and beyond. I’m especially interested in helping those less fortunate around the SF Bay Area.

Image of 2015 © fotolia – cienpiesnf

What’s Going On In The World of PPC Ian?

Jun. 04

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here on PPC Ian. I’m so incredibly excited to be blogging again. I wanted to take a moment to share some exciting updates so you know what’s going on in the world of PPC Ian. Also, I wanted to share some recent thoughts on life and business. First, a cool picture, from my recent London/Paris vacation:

Ian Lopuch In London

Let’s start with some fun updates. Why haven’t I been blogging as much?

  • My wife, Nicole, and I recently traveled to London and Paris. Nicole had business in London so I made sure to take advantage of this amazing opportunity and tag along. Above, you can see a cool picture of PPC Ian in London! I plan on doing an entire post about our journeys in Europe. We had the time of our lives, and experienced so much amazing culture. My London/Paris post is going to be a long one, reminiscent of some of my old Hawaii posts. (Side note: We visited Hawaii last summer, and I never blogged about it. So bummed out that I never wrote about that vacation, I’m going to make sure to blog about London/Paris soon.)
  • While in London, I attended Adobe Summit EMEA, one of the best digital marketing conferences I have ever experienced. There have been a lot of these lately. (Check out my post about AdWords Performance Forum 2014.)
  • I’ve been running, a lot. I’m slowly but surely getting back into great shape. My strategy of running right after work before I ever head home has been working wonders. I’m putting my tips about Great Ways To Exercise During The Workday into action, and even have a 5k run coming up soon. I’m a huge believer that exercise and a healthy lifestyle lifts one’s overall well-being.
  • I have been given a tremendous amount of responsibility at work. I do not think I have ever worked so hard in my entire career. It’s simply amazing, and I’m honored to be in such a fortunate and exciting position. My hard work is truly paying off. This has given me a little less time for other endeavors, such as updating this blog, but I’m determined to make just a little time for myself each and every day, and take my efficiency and productivity to a whole new level. With less time and more responsibility comes the need to work with great speed.

With my recent European travels and responsibility at work, many exciting thoughts and theories have been running through my mind. Here are some of my high level thoughts and priorities:

  • There is so much cool stuff out there. It had been quite some time since I have had the opportunity to visit London and Paris. This vacation truly opened my eyes, and re-ignited my passion for travel. I’m looking forward to future opportunities to travel to exciting places.
  • Work time and personal time is a blur. I’m basically working days, nights, and weekends. Fortunately, I do what I love, leading an amazing team of professionals and helping others (through the practice of Customer Acquisition Marketing). That said, it’s easy to get bogged down in the work and forget about yourself. I’m consciously trying to set time aside to exercise, write, and get personal stuff done. Modern-day tech jobs are very different than traditional employment. I’m extending a very flexible work environment to myself and my team, understanding that personal stuff needs to be blended in throughout the day during breaks. I’m looking at things more as a continuum as compared to work time vs. personal time.
  • When you’re really busy, don’t forget about the people. I have personally caught myself from time-to-time keeping conversations very short/frank to optimize time. I’m all about time-optimization and productivity. However, people are the one place where you do not want to cut corners. It’s all about relationships and people. For that reason, and because I love helping others, I’m trying to be more productive while maintaining my high level of priority on the friendships and partnerships that truly matter.
  • It’s ok to say “no”, you can’t do everything. Focus in on the people and opportunities that matter the most. Say “no” to the rest. Invest where you are doing good and/or where you will see returns in the future.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted here at PPC Ian, so I truly appreciate all of you who are still reading and hanging around! Your support means so much, and I’m wishing you all the best.

Image of Ian Lopuch in London © PPCIan.com

My 2014 Goals

Jan. 19

If you’ve been reading PPC Ian for a while, you know that I always enjoy writing about my goals for the new year. Here are my goals from the past few years: 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Wow, that’s a lot of goals! You may be wondering, where are PPC Ian’s 2014 goals? This year has been super busy so far, and I’ve been thinking about my goals behind the scenes. I’m a little late this year, but it’s never too late… Today, I’m thrilled to share my 2014 goals.

2014 Goals

Before I get into the specifics, I wanted to first share my thoughts around the importance of having goals and documenting them. First and foremost, it’s important to have goals. All of us can improve. There’s always more to accomplish. There’s always more you can do, both in business and live. Never settle, always keep building. Second, it’s important to document your goals. Personally, I refer back to these posts about my goals regularly. My goals posts are not only for my readers but also for me. They are a great reference point to make sure I’m on target. Moreover, the written word is extremely powerful. Writing down your goals (via blogging or on paper) is a powerful way to solidify your goals in your mind, and get you one step closer to achieving them. So, if you have not created your 2014 goals yet (and/or have not written them down yet), you are not too late. We’re still in January! Without further ado, let’s jump into PPC Ian’s 2014 goals…

Goal 1: Empower and Grow Careers in Marketing

I’ve built my career and blog on the premise of empowering and growing careers in marketing. Each and every day, I strive to help those on my team, those on their teams, colleagues, leadership, partners, friends, family, and really anyone I interact with. Positivity, encouragement, assistance, and teaching goes so far. Invest in others and you make your company and the world a better place. I’ve written about this particular goal at length over the years, so I’m going to keep it short. The one sub-goal I wanted to highlight, however, is one I’m borrowing from last year’s list: Help at least five people every single day. And, one I’m adding to the list: Inspire at least two people on my team to take on the same goal of helping at least five people per day.

Goal 2: Invent At Least One New, Major Marketing Strategy/Channel

I had this same goal in my list last year, and it came true, two-fold. I truly believe in the power of the written word. I also truly believe in the power of innovation. Customer Acquisition Marketing moves so quickly. How do you stay ahead? Innovate, innovate, innovate (and optimize, optimize, optimize). I’m looking forward to another major, new marketing strategy/channel this year (new to me/my company)! Each year, I raise the bar and try to push myself, my team, and our industry forward.

Goal 3: Focus On High-Leverage Cash Flow Opportunities

As a Customer Acquisition Marketer, I’m always looking for the best ways to acquire quality customers at the lowest possible price. I’m looking for stability, and take a conservative approach. When you manage a large (or really any) marketing budget, it’s important to have a very conservative, thoughtful, and analytical approach. Every penny needs to be treated like pure gold.

When it comes to my personal life, I extend these same values. One thing I’m passionate about in my spare time is the overall goal of generating cash flow and income streams. For example, I’ve written extensively in the past about Lending Club (affiliate link) as one potential income stream and source of cash flow. Here are a few of my favorite Lending Club posts on PPC Ian:

(Side note: If you sign up for Lending Club via my affiliate link, I will be truly grateful. Such affiliate commissions help me pay the expensive fees associated with running PPC Ian.)

Whether it’s Lending Club, building affiliate websites, or any other strategy, I’m a fan of cash flow and passive/mostly-passive income. As someone who works incredibly hard and has very few free hours (maybe just a handful each week), you’ll find me spending a portion of my very limited free time in 2014 exploring high-time-leverage cash flow opportunities. I have been achieving great results via Lending Club as just one example, and will be blogging about them in a future post.

Important Note: I’m not a financial advisor and this is not financial advice. Please consult your own financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

Goal 4: Participate In a Huge Speaking Opportunity, The Largest of My Career

I’m excited about this one! Public speaking is a true rush. It’s also a true honor and opportunity to help others. In 2013, I really enjoyed Speaking At Search Insider Summit. This year, I already have a major speaking engagement on the books. In fact, this is going to be my biggest one ever. I’m taking this opportunity with such seriousness and dedication, I cannot wait. I can’t say too much, but some of my favorite friends from Rocket Clicks Digital Marketing Agency know what I’m talking about.

Goal 5: Connect With Amazing People Who Inspire, Find Ways To Work Together

I love blogging because it offers an opportunity to meet and connect with amazing people, both online and offline. A fun example: I was at the Marin Masters conference (put on by my good friends at Marin Software) and was given a shout out as “PPC Ian” in front of the entire audience. This was a fun example of online meets offline; the event became an amazing opportunity to network and meet amazing people who inspire.

There are so many amazing bloggers out there doing great stuff. As a fellow blogger, I always take the opportunity to leave a comment, introduce myself, and say “hi”. Some examples of people who inspire me who I’ve met via blogging: Jason from Dividend Mantra and Morgan from MorganLinton.com. My goal this year: Forge friendships with great bloggers and leaders, both online and offline.

Goal 6: Deliver “Backyard Blogging” Videos and Innovation on PPC Ian

This is one of my favorite goals, and one of the reasons I’m writing this post a little late. As you may have noticed, I’ve been super busy uploading a lot of video blog posts here on PPC Ian. I’m especially thrilled about my “Backyard Blogging” series, where I shoot casual, fun videos about business, life, and marketing from my backyard. When it comes to PPC Ian, video is one of my biggest goals this year so make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Here are some of my recent videos:

This is going to be a huge year of video. Additionally, I’m looking forward to exploring some other concepts here on PPC Ian to keep things interesting, and push my content to the next level. An idea I’ve been thinking about: A PPC Ian comic strip. (This idea was inspired by a comic strip my friend Jason Thomspon used to do back in the day.) Stay tuned, cool stuff coming this year!

Goal 7: Spend Time With My Wife, Family, and Friends

With an ambitious list of goals, it’s always important to keep the right perspective on the big picture (this goal and the next one). While my goals are ambitious, it’s all about efficiency. I need to remember to work hard and smart, and spend a lot of fun times with Nicole, family, and friends. At the end of the day, I work hard so that I have time for loved ones. (Side note: Nicole is doing amazing stuff, and don’t be surprised if you see a guest blog post here on PPC Ian from Nicole, and also some other exciting announcements.)

Goal 8: Workout At least 4x/Week

I’ve been a bit lax about this goal recently, but the new year is just getting started. My goal this year is to workout at least four times per week. Workouts can be cardio, weights, or a combination of the two. My particular strategy this year is not just about the typical gym workout, it’s about variety and making it fun. The perfect example: Check out my recent YouTube Video About Hiking and how it can clear your mind/help you brainstorm new ideas. Nicole and I are so excited to hike all over the beautiful Bay Area in 2014.

Goal 9: Donate Time and Money To Charity

I like listing this goal last because it ties together well with my first goal of empowering, educating, and helping others. Nicole and I keep raising the bar each year. We achieved our goal of donating a record amount to charity in 2013 and hope to do this again in 2014. It’s all about giving back. We are so fortunate here in the SF Bay Area, let’s do what we can to help others!

If you’ve made it all the way to the end, I truly thank you. I know this is a long post, one of the longest I have written in a while. I thank you for your support. Any special and exciting goals on your end this year? Please do share!

Important Note: I’m not a financial advisor and this is not financial advice. Please consult your own financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
Image of 2014 goals © iStockPhoto – Rasica

Cyber Monday Deals For Marketers, Part Two

Dec. 02

It’s shopping bargains season, and I’m not talking about retail! The time is here for digital marketers to enjoy special Cyber Monday offers. A few days back, I shared three amazing Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals For Marketers. (I hope you took advantage of those special offers. If not, hurry up, you still have a few hours left tonight.)

Number Two

Cyber Monday is not yet over, and today I’m thrilled to share two more deals that you will surely want to take advantage of! And, don’t worry about rushing tonight, you can take advantage of these two new deals through end of day tomorrow (Tuesday, 12/3).

First, I wanted to highlight a special offer from my great friends at AdMedia. Have you heard of AdMedia? They are a long-time sponsor of PPC Ian, and an incredibly impressive ad network (and so much more). AdMedia helps you advertise, engage, and convert across multiple channels and platforms. Customer acquisition is all about diversification. AdMedia provides a fantastic avenue to diversify your traffic sources, and an opportunity to acquire customers a potentially less competitive environment than the highly competitive, big search engines. And, they reach 98% of the web, drawing 40 million users every month across their expansive network! To celebrate Cyber Monday, AdMedia is offering a free $100 advertising credit. It’s easy: Simply open an account, deposit $100, and AdMedia will match that $100 for free. Click here to get started or check out this post to read more about AdMedia and their special offer. Way to go, AdMedia, what a sweet offer!

Kenshoo is a company that requires absolutely no introduction! They are one of the biggest leaders and most sophisticated digital marketing platforms in existence. This technology-driven company truly knows how to empower digitial marketing professionals and many of the most sophisticated operations around rely on Kenshoo technology every single day. A fun side-note: Kenshoo just posted this neat blog post that illustrates how mobile (phones and tablets) accounted for about 40% of all paid search spend on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Simply staggering numbers! Do you have a mobile strategy? To celebrate Cyber Monday, Kenshoo is offering an exciting free demo. Make sure to ask them about how Kenshoo can help with your mobile strategy!

That’s it, everyone. I wish you great fun exploring these exciting Cyber Monday opportunities, both in this post and my previous one.

Image of Number Two © iStockPhoto – tiler84
Disclaimer: PPC Ian is sharing deals compiled from others, for entertainment purposes. Please consult the companies providing the deal for specifics, terms are subject to change.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals For Marketers

Nov. 30

Hi Friends,

Cyber Monday Sale

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! There is so much I’m thankful for, including this blog and you, my readers. It has been such an amazing year, and I’m thankful that PPC Ian is 4 years old, thanks to your support. To share the holiday spirit, I have compiled some really exciting deals to share with you today, thanks to my amazing sponsors.

Think Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about retail? Think again! Today’s post shares special deals for the digital marketer.

Two out of the three deals below are FREE! The other, in my opinion, is close to free since the pricing is so incredibly low (and the returns you will get should very far outpace the cost).

Have fun shopping, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,
Ian

Deal 1, Today’s Special: Acquisio Platform at 1% of Ad Spend OR Acquisio Platform Plus Budget and Bid Management at 1.5% Ad Spend (First 6 Months)

The headline says it all, I would totally understand if you stop reading and drop everything to head on over to Acquisio for this very special opportunity.

Have you heard of Acquisio? They are one of the best digital marketing platforms around, and one of the original sponsors of PPC Ian. The prices mentioned above are truly outstanding, among the lowest I have seen for any top-tier digital marketing platform. Are you in the market for digital marketing technology? Confused by the sea of start-ups and multitude of options? My experience in this industry: It’s often advantageous to go with one of the larger names, those who have been around since the beginning and offer economies of scale. Hint: There are only a handful of larger name platforms that have stood the test of time. Acquisio is one of them, and I highly recommend seeing if Acquisio is the right fit for your agency or business.

Moreover, Acquisio leaders (such as my good friend Marc Poirier, Founder and EVP) are unparalleled values-driven business leaders.

Deal 2: Free PPC Account Audit From Rocket Clicks, Digital Agency

Whether you’re new to PPC or an industry veteran, an account audit from an unbiased third party is always incredibly welcomed. A free audit from one of the most advanced digital agencies in existence is a true blessing! An expert look at your account will always yield helpful insights and optimizations. I’m thrilled to share a really special deal: My good friends at Rocket Clicks digital marketing agency are offering a special account audit to the first 10 people to contact them by end of day Monday, December 2! Simply head on over to their Contact Us page and enter "PPCIAN" next to your URL.

They are offering a free condensed PPC account audit, that will have 5 immediate account optimization suggestions. The audit will be performed by my good friend Nicole Mennicke’s team (Director of PPC Advertising). How can you beat that? Timing is perfect as well, you can add the optimizations to your 2014 roadmap (anyone planning for 2014 right now?).

Deal 3: Free SEO Site Audit From AdLift, SEO Agency

Have you heard of AdLift? They are one of the most amazing SEO Agencies in existence. They do SEO for some of the biggest and best brands around, those brands who require industry thought leaders when it comes to SEO. Prashant Puri, CEO of AdLift, is thrilled to share an exclusive free website audit with PPC Ian readers (thanks, Prashant!). Want to sign up? It’s easy, simply enter your contact info and the code "BLACKFRIDAY-PPCIAN" on the AdLift Contact us Page. AdLift is offering this special deal to first 10 who respond by end of day Monday, December 2. This deal is the perfect complement to the last one. Take advantage of both opportunities and you will have a full queue of PPC and SEO optimizations for 2014 and beyond!

I hope you find this list of deals helpful, and I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving weekend. Have fun shopping, digital marketing style!

Image of Cyber Monday © iStockPhoto – marekuliasz
Disclaimer: PPC Ian is sharing deals compiled from others, for entertainment purposes. Please consult the companies providing the deal for specifics, terms are subject to change.