11 months ago I sat across a board room table from Ben Zifkin, the CEO of Hubba. I can remember it like it was yesterday, Ben was wearing his trademark blue button down and I was wearing some thing equally as dashing. At the time I was a fan of Ben (still am) and it was incredible to hear his vision for Hubba. Ben is truly someone I wanted to work for and learn from, heck I chose him from quite a few applicants in the #winsaul contest. It was that moment and in that meeting that I blurted out “if you give me 10 months I can make Hubba the hottest startup in the city”…and with that I started consulting for Hubba.
For some that may seem like a bold statement but with 10 months I can make the Statue of Liberty disappear.
Since we are being honest it took 11 months (still quite the accomplishment) and as of this week my contract is up, promise kept and I begin the unenviable task of looking for the next project to not only keep me busy and fed but also the next canvas for me to make some thing amazing out of.
So how does it feel to be at the end?
Honestly, its never fun but I am getting used to it. Contracts end and there is no reason to make a big deal about that. If anything its exciting to dive into something new and fall in love with a new problem.
Similar to former (two time) Toronto Blue Jay David Cone I am growing into the guy you add to your team when you need something a little (or a lotta) extra to take you to the next level.
He was a “Hired Gun” and didn’t mind and nor do I.
So what exactly did I do to get Hubba from there to here?
…and I’m going to tell you all about it but first this is a good place to remind you should hire me to do for your business what I did for Hubba!
To be fair, I didn’t do it alone, and must give a lot of credit to the Hubba team. I can’t do what I do without great support and Ben has built a great team.
Some will look at this as bragging but it’s just an informal case study of sorts capturing a few of the steps I took to make magic happen and for the sake of length I left out about 100 non public facing things.
- Delivered 15 keynote talks to over 6000 people. The largest was 800 people and the smallest was 15. If the group was targeted I was there.
- Managed PR that resulted in a feature article in the Wall Street Journal (Online and Printed) and several other great mentions.
- Made 19 appearances on other people’s podcasts, 3 Live radio appearances, 2 web based TV shows and 1 live AMA, all sharing the Hubba story, Hubba news and marketing advice.
- Conceived and managed the design (with Wise & Hammer) as well as wrote the majority of the copy for 2 separate web sites.
- Launched, produced, promoted and co-hosted the Hubba Podcast. Grew it to an average listenership of 3500 downloads per episode. The highest downloaded show was heard by 5200 people with no paid advertising.
- Executive Produced (hired crew, identified brands for videos, co-ordinated the shoots, researched the brands, conducted the interviews, and promoted) over 25 customer brand videos that averaged over 12k views per video.
- Created, Planned and Executed a 13 day cross country trip with the goal (and result) being to personally meet F2F over 500 customers, heard their compliments, complaints and fixed their issues. This was also the experience we used to launch and film our #hubbaAA video series (above).
- Wrote the plan that included Ben Zifkin writing a book. That book went on to being the #1 selling book in the Entrepreneur section of Amazon.
- Was part of the (6 person) team that designed the new Hubba.com you see today. I include this but with an asterisk. It was a big team and don’t take credit for things I wasn’t in charge of.
- Placed Hubba on the global home page of Kangol.com (Bottom Corner video)
- Wrote the tagline “Where products get found” and the Hubba elevator pitch.
- Launched the new Hubba.com in Los Angeles with an event featuring PB Wolf, Jim Mahfood and a full room of people even with a serious rain storm..and if you know LA that is an accomplishment.
- Personally landed a Television Development Deal to create a show and brought Hubba into that project. Sadly this is my only regret in my time at Hubba as in hindsight I should have kept it for myself. With all creative projects, it is hard to be creative by committee, and harder when stakeholders have different goals for the project. I let too many people have a say because I thought I was being a good person. I would love for the show to be shared one day because it is really good but that is a little out of my control. That being said I plan on trying to buy the rights and footage when I can for the purpose of getting it out to the world, even if it only lives on Youtube. The TV show was bittersweet for a few reasons. One I saw it as a huge break for me but more that that I really wanted to use the show to highlight some cool stunts for some amazing brands. The first episode featured JonWye.com. I love this company, Jon is a friend and saw it as a huge honor to be able to help them in anyway. Since it looks like that wont happen with this opportunity I urge all of you to please check them out. They make the best belts in the world and I plan on working with them on projects for free until I feel like they have benefited from my promise to them.
I could go on and on but any more and it may seem a little much.
Thank you Hubba and Ben for the opportunity, I wish you all the success in the world and am looking forward to see where the company goes from here.
…and if you are still reading this and want a little of this magic for your company, drop me an email. I am smart, work quietly and am easy on the eyes.
P.S. having trouble with the David Cone of marketing reference? Both of us get brought onto teams when there is something that needs a little something extra. Both tend not to be fully appreciated until we leave resulting in being traded for again years later and of course we both have been accused of making love to fans. [I told him to remove that line but he doesn’t listen – Ed]