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.

Chilling At Four Seasons Westlake Village

Sep. 07

My amazing wife, Nicole, and I work super hard. We’re both in the world of digital marketing. We truly enjoy and cherish our fast-paced careers in this amazing industry. As mentioned in my 2013 goals, I’m a big believer in the power of vacations, especially for busy working professionals. It’s all about longevity. You’ve got to take vacation from time-to-time to recharge the batteries and drive maximum results for your company.

I’m also a big believer in people. In this life, it’s all about supporting your family/friends, giving back, and truly enjoying the good company of family/friends.

To that end, Nicole and I jumped at the opportunity to attend a wedding of one of my good high school friends in the Westlake Village area of Los Angeles. We ended up staying at the Four Seasons Westlake Village. We had so much fun! We got to spend some fun time with my parents, enjoyed tons of fun at the wedding, and had some time to relax and unwind at the Four Seasons. We were super impressed with the hotel and will definitely be going back there in the future.

My tip of the day: The summer is almost over. Have you taken any time off in 2013? If not, make sure to take some time. Make sure to spend time with family and friends, and make sure to recharge your batteries. I know so many people who max out their PTO and end up losing PTO hours due to heavy workload. Don’t let this happen, get a little break in there and you will unlock happiness, health, and productivity/results.

Ian and Nicole at Four Seasons Westlake Village

Four Seasons Westlake Village

Image in this post © PPCIan.com

My 2013 Goals

Jan. 03

Happy new year! 2013 is officially here and it’s time for my 2013 goals post. It’s a long standing tradition here on PPC Ian to blog about my goals for the new year. (You may want to check out my: 2012 goals, 2011 goals, and 2010 goals.) These posts really help me document my aspirations for the new year so I’m able to stay on track and strive for excellence. I try to keep my goals attainable, but still a stretch. Typically, I do not hit all of them (within one year), but I have a great track record of hitting most of them (and a super high percentage of them if you project out more than one year). I feel that if I’m hitting all my goals within the year, I’m not pushing myself hard enough. I hope you enjoy reading this post as a way to spark your own goals. I truly feel that documenting goals on paper (or via blogging) is a critical step in achieving your dreams. Here’s to an amazing 2013!

2013 Goals

  1. Save money and invest wisely.. This was also my number one goal for 2012. While I accomplished this goal in 2012, it’s not the type of goal that is over after one year. Saving money and investing wisely is a lifestyle. It requires many years of persistence to truly get the momentum building in your favor. As such, I’m going to be watching every expense very closely and hunting down passive income vehicles (such as dividend-paying stocks) every single day. Specifically, I’m looking to grow the amount of money I have invested in dividend paying stocks by at least 20%.
  2. Help others and build careers. In 2012, I got promoted to VP. This was one of my longest standing goals. I view my role as the greatest honor and responsibility. At my company and also within the industry, I will strive every single day in 2013 to help others. Whether it’s via this blog, public speaking, 1-on-1s with team members, dinner with partners, or just about any other avenue, I’m going to do everything I can to motivate and empower. In terms of making it specific, I will help at least 5 people every single day, in a big way.
  3. Invent a major new marketing strategy. I love online marketing and the marketing field overall because it’s all about innovation. I enjoy pushing myself to the limits. This year, I want to invent at least one major new marketing strategy (new to me/my company).
  4. Continue to grow my offline marketing expertise. I’m all about pay per click and online marketing. When it comes to online marketing, I have 8+ years of experience. In more recent years, I started getting into offline marketing in a major way. I have built some great expertise across several offline marketing channels and am always learning more. In 2013, I want to deepen my offline marketing expertise and invest at least a few hours each week building my marketing toolkit.
  5. Optimize, optimize, optimize. I just wouldn’t be PPC Ian if I wasn’t thinking about optimization. All day/night, I’m thinking about optimization from a PPC standpoint. However, this goal also ties into my life. I’m looking forward to optimizing my time (get more sleep, and more effective sleep), optimizing my workout schedule (getting out there and working out 4 days/week, one of the goals I did not hit in 2012), organizing our home and making better use of the space (a project Nicole and I are working on right now), optimizing my commute (trying different times to get to/from work as quickly as possible), really finding any and all ways to get even more out of life. I’m a big fan of optimization and 2013 is all about optimizing everything.
  6. Match or potentially exceed our 2012 contribution to charity. Nicole and I donated a record amount of money to charity in 2012. We truly believe in helping others and get a thrill out of giving back. I’m not sure if we will exceed our 2012 contributions this year since we need to balance this goal with the saving/investing goal (which would allow us to donate maximum money long term). That said, we will strive to match our 2012 contribution.
  7. Visit Hawaii. My wife, Nicole, and I love Hawaii. It’s one of our favorite places in the world. We try to go every year. (Here’s a fun post about our 2011 Maui Vacation). In 2012, we took a multitude of smaller trips, but no major vacation to Hawaii. Why? We got super focused on work (which is a good thing since we love our jobs). In 2013, we are already planning a vacation to Hawaii.
  8. Invest in family and friends. It’s all about the big picture. I like to keep this goal on my list each year because it’s easy to get focused on work, blog, business, and investments. However, it truly is all about the people in your life. I’m going to make sure to take time for fun times with family and friends.

I could not be more excited about 2013. What are your goals for the new year!

Image of 2013 © iStockPhoto – A-S-L