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Marketing professional Erik Huberman is the Founder and CEO of Hawke Media. Hawke Media is your outsourced CMO and one of the fastest-growing marketing agencies. The company is valued at over $150 million and is responsible for growing over 3,000 worldwide brands.

Erik is a captivating speaker, storyteller, thought leader, and writer. His published writings can be found in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and Rolling Stone. Erik is also the author of a national best-seller, The Hawke Method: The Three Principles of Marketing That Made Over 3,000 Brands Soar.

Additionally, Erik is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including The International Business Awards’ Entrepreneur of the Year, a Telly Award, Forbes’ 30 Under 30, CSQ’s 40 Under 40, and Inc. Magazine’s Top 25 Marketing Influencers.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Erik Huberman talks about the origins of Hawke Media marketing agency
  • Erik recalls his first milestone as the head of an agency
  • Hawke Ventures’ key hires — and how Erik grooms the company’s leaders
  • What are the goals for Hawke AI?
  • Who are Hawke AI’s ideal customers?
  • How Erik copes when he experiences burnout
  • Erik talks about his book The Hawke Method: The Three Principles of Marketing That Made Over 3,000 Brands Soar 
  • How fatherhood has increased Erik’s productivity

In this episode…

Founding and operating a company is no easy feat. Furthermore, heading a company becomes more challenging as it grows and profits. But what happens when one company evolves into two or more?

By age 26, entrepreneur Erik Huberman had already successfully founded, grown, and sold two e-commerce businesses. But he didn’t stop there. As the owner of one of the most successful and fastest-growing marketing agencies, Erik has spearheaded two entities under Hawke Media company. It seems that everything he touches turns to gold. So, what is Erik’s magic formula for establishing and growing lucrative companies?

Listen to this Inspired Insider Podcast episode with Dr. Jeremy Weisz, featuring the Founder and CEO of Hawke Media, Erik Huberman. They discuss Erik’s methods for developing successful companies, Hawke Media’s origins, and Hawke AI’s future. Plus, Erik shares a story from his best-seller The Hawke Method: The Three Principles of Marketing That Made Over 3,000 Brands Soar.

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:15

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz  0:22

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, founder of, where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. Today is no different. I’m gonna be talking to Erik Huberman of Hawke Media. Erik, I always like to mention other episodes people should check out of the podcast. And there’s one, you know, Jason Swenk, you were actually on his podcast before he had two episodes with me where, you know, he built up to over eight figure agency sold it and he talked about how he’s acquiring agencies to and what he looks for. And I know you do acquisitions too. So I’d love to hear your criteria. And I Todd Taskey. Todd Taskey is kind of like I guess, private equity, you know, is kind of a matchmaker for private equity and agencies and help sell agencies so that was interesting also on what private equity looks like when you sell your company. That was fascinating episode, so that and many more, check them out on inspired This episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25, we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. And how do we do that we help you run your podcast. You know, for me, I’ve been podcasting for over a decade, the number one thing in my life. Erik has relationships, I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships, I found no better way to do that, than to profile the people and companies I most admire on this planet. And you know, shout from the rooftops what they’re working on. So we’re gonna talk about Erik’s book, his company, his podcast, his venture fund and all this stuff, cool stuff he has going on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should. If you have questions go to To learn more. Erik Huberman, CEO and founder of Hawke Media founded in 2014, now is valued over $150 million. And Hawke Media is one of the fastest if not the fastest growing marketing consultancy agency in the US. Prior to its launch, Erik successfully founded, grew, and sold two e-commerce companies by the age of 26. And he continues to strategically expand his business portfolio. I mentioned handful of acquisitions, the launch of Hawke Ventures, he reached a close a single point of $5.6 million. The launch of his podcast HawkeTalk, the launch of Hawke Z, an agency offered brand, the tools needed to tap into Gen Z we’re going to talk about their AI tool and platform as well. He also is the author of The Hawke Method that became a national bestseller. So Erik, thanks for joining me.

Erik Huberman  2:47

Thanks for having me.

Jeremy Weisz  2:49

You know, I can go back into you know what, what struck me with listening and hearing about the story from your journey was when the original idea was when you’re running your consultancy, and you have this original idea for running your agency, and you hire seven staff, and your method for the revenue sharing. I’d love for you to talk about that. And how it turned out because I thought it was going to turn out completely different from what actually happened.

Erik Huberman  3:16

Yeah, so yeah, I started out, I was frustrated that I couldn’t find I was consulting, as you mentioned, and advising for a bunch of brands, couldn’t find a decent agency to do their job. So I was like, I’m just gonna hire my own little SWAT team, each with their own expertise. So Facebook marketer and email marketer, web designer, etc. and made this whole applecart month to month model with these experts. And what you spoke to is, I’m surprised you dug that up. I don’t think I’ve talked about that in a while. We I originally, how I caught people is a really well base pay, and then a percentage of the work they worked on. So we’re gonna pay you it was at the time, I think it was 30 grand a month or a year, excuse me. 30 grand a year salary for pretty nice marketing people. But then 30% Of all the business you’ve worked on all the revenue, and you know, to me, it was like they’re generous. Yes, guys. Yeah, sky’s the limit, you’re gonna make a ton of like they can we’re genuinely make a ton of money. And what I found was the, within six months, all those people are gone. Because most people don’t want the volatility. Like most people are not entrepreneurial. They’re not like they’re salespeople. There’s entrepreneurs. Other than that people want stable jobs, they want to know that they want to know what they’re making, even if it might be a little less than what they could be making. And that’s most people they want consistency and reliability of that. That’s why they take a job versus being an entrepreneur. And so I learned that really early that they didn’t want that spiking and all that kind of things. What was the

Jeremy Weisz  4:33

first major milestone that you remember hitting in the agency? major milestone? Well, it was revenue or staff or?

Erik Huberman  4:43

Well, yeah, in terms of that, I’d say revenue like hitting a million in the first year was you know what we I was ambitious to do it, but actually doing it was really cool.

Jeremy Weisz  4:51

And then, you know, what do you consider a point where you were plateaued in so you hit the million mark? Was there a time or Like, we just need to push past this, this mark.

Erik Huberman  5:03

Yeah, thankfully, we were always able to like growth. What surprised us about that was growth percentages slowed, which is obvious, you can’t double every year forever. That’d be awesome. But it’s not normal. And so our compounded growth is what slowed, but we always grew. Like, you know, it’s even this year, you know, economically, it’s, it’s a recession or whatever you want to call it, I think we’re still gonna have a little growth, but not a lot. Just to be blunt. Like, we’re this will be a tough year for us in terms of like growth. But every year up until this year, we’ve grown pretty significantly. Yeah. Now, there were periods where it was like, the monthly revenue wasn’t like we had to put it like it’s on a monthly basis. It’s more up and down, like a jagged up and down. And sometimes a staircase where we just flatlined for a couple months, but I was always so aggressive about trying to find ways to grow that it seemed to, you know, be a self fulfilling prophecy in that sense, too.

Jeremy Weisz  5:54

Yeah. I mean, one of the things, you know, you were on Hawke Media Hawke Ventures, I mean, I see that you have arrow route, capital and BLT enterprise, all these different enterprises. And I’m sure you have a lot of really good people behind these companies allowing you to do a lot. What are some of the key hires? It could be positions of these specific people, but that you remember, as you grew with Hawke Media?

Erik Huberman  6:17

Well, so this is a big lesson I learned this year. And it’s part of the fallacy of hiring key members and key executives, the average retention of an executive at Google is three years senior executive C suite, three years. So there’s always key hires being made, and there’s always key hires being rotated. And do I wish that we could find the people that are going to sail with us into the sunset for 30 years and just run the company with me the way we need to? Absolutely, that is the goal. But generally, there’s life happens, business happens, whatever that things shift. And so, you know, the definitely the most key hire was when I brought in my co founder and my partner, that’s not the president of the company. He was originally came into VR strategist to manage the strategy piece, but because he was managing the strategy, he had to report against all the other metrics. So quickly, he started just managing the team instinctually, because he had to report against them. And so then after like, literally a couple of weeks, he’s like, I’m managing the whole team, like, can I just do this? And we figure out a different deal here. And that’s when he started becoming like, on a path to being basically a partner in the company and a significant partner.

Jeremy Weisz  7:18

That’s Tony. Yep. Yeah. What was that conversation, like when someone I guess it was early on, but someone who, you know, was proving themselves but one at stake.

Erik Huberman  7:30

It’s not a hard conversation, when they’re going to like, it’s like, if you’re gonna have the steak, you also have the burden. That’s the part that I’m really big on. So it’s like if you want and we haven’t had anyone else end up with a steak at Hawke, because, frankly, everyone else is treated like an employee employer relationship, versus I own this, I’m going to bleed until this thing happens. Like my we was a lot of it realized this year, we had a lot of rotation out and leadership this year. And it was like, no, like, nobody’s gonna grind to what it takes, except for us too, because the difference in this is going to sound shitty. But the difference between someone that works for a company, and some of them owns a company, the person who owns a company, if it fails, they lose everything. The person that works at a company, if they fail, they get another job, assuming employment markets, anything but the worst of a recession. And so the stakes are just different. And if someone’s not treating the company, like the stakes are that as an owner, then we look for that, at least the aspiration to be there to want to make a partner. And that’s what Tony showed immediately, like Tony joined me and he was helping me run the business. He didn’t have that stake yet. But by the time we got to that point I did, it was a no brainer. And he owns he owns a quarter of the company, and had no contract promising any of that just to be clear, but it was a no brainer that I’ve never regretted because he has carried that weight.