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Jonathan Jacobs 3:41

you like? Yeah, well, I’m gonna you know, we do a ton of work in nonfiction. As you pointed out, within that we do a lot of work in health and wellness, and also working with business executives and CEOs. I wanted to talk specifically to business books that I think your audience would be interested in that I’ve got a few here. The first one, I always have to plug that I don’t have with me because I loaned it out. It is Good to Great by Jim Collins. I think that’s just one of the greatest business books of all time, I use that the advice and the guy insured in that as I think about how we drive our agency day to day. So I always recommend that if you haven’t checked it out yet. The next book I would recommend is Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen. They have two books on the subject. This is the follow up to Difficult Conversations. The subtitle here is the science and art of receiving feedback well, even when it’s off base, unfair, poorly delivered, and frankly, are not in the mood. This was powerful. It was a really powerful book. I mean, this is actually my second copy of it, because again, I gave away the other one, but my first one is marked up like crazy. I mean, you know, and here Even I still have underlines. I took a ton of notes on this book. It was really powerful to think about how do I have difficult conversations with my business partner, and it was valuable for me to take it. I preferred approaching it from the feedback side first, because I want to think about how am I going to process this and then also put myself myself in the shoes of the recipient to think about receiving that, and I actually because of that sound his book more useful than I did difficult conversations, so I highly recommend that as well. The next book, I would suggest if you are obviously in the marketing world, ideally if you’re listening to this is this called The Copy Book. It is an anthology of advice and guidance from some of the greatest copywriters and ad execs in the history of this business and industry. The beautifully done book, it’s like a miniature coffee table book, maybe we’ll call it a nightstand book. I basically every day I’ll pick I’m in the process of reading it now I’ll pick one mini chapter, which is a set of advice and examples for one different copywriter and go through and read it. You know, I think storytelling is the basis and the most powerful elements of our industry. So to me continuing to figure out how I tell story stories and the words we can use is really important. We

Jeremy Weisz 5:51

stick on that one for a second. Jonathan, who are some of the copywriters mentioned in there?

Jonathan Jacobs 5:58

Yeah, yeah. So these are going to be people from I think this, this book goes back at least like 5060 to 70 years of copy history. And here’s the I’m just gonna shout out some of the names. Yeah. You may or may not recognize them. David Abbott, Ed McCabe, John Salmon, Steve Simpson. Mary Wear, Eric Kallman, Steve Hayden, Neil French, Richard Foster, really, really powerful list here. folks who’ve kind of shaped this industry, great stories. I mean, folks who worked on things like the famous VW campaign in the 60s, like really, really great.

Jeremy Weisz 6:33

That’s timeless stuff. I asked as I went on this, I totally agree with you. I think the foundation for everything is storytelling and copywriting, whether it’s an email, whether we’re talking, and I went on the stint of interviewing over 100 of the top direct response marketer copywriters on the planet. And so I was curious, I, no one has mentioned that book and I’m like, I need to check out this book. So

Jonathan Jacobs 6:55

yeah, it’s a great little like, if when I you know, if you’re doing like, what is it the Pomodoro method, this is a great way to spend those few minutes in between tasks to just like, give yourself some creative energy.

Jeremy Weisz 7:06

You know,

Jonathan Jacobs 7:07

the last book I will give you, and I don’t think people would traditionally consider this a business book. I think people probably think of it as a memoir. But it’s Who Is Michael Ovitz?. And it’s Michael Ovitz his memoir. So if you’re not familiar with Michael Ovitz, he is the guy who founded CAA, one of the big, the big three agencies in the, in the creative arts industry. What I love about this, I’m a, I’m a pop culture and film junkie. So for me, this book has a ton of value within it. And the stories I absolutely love, the photos are great. But I love it because it is not written like a traditional business book. He doesn’t try to give you a lesson at the end of every chapter, he doesn’t tell you, hey, here’s what I’m going to kind of set out and say from the beginning, and here’s what you should take away from it and exactly what you should do. It’s really told as it’s really just told as a story, and then it’s kind of on you to figure out Alright, what speaks to me as a lesson within this book. And I’m trying to see if I can find a good example of a note from here I took on now,

Jeremy Weisz 8:06

as you do that, I’ll just say, that’s a hilarious title. Because when you say Michael Ovitz, I’m like, well, it makes me really well, who’s Michael Ovitz? Well, that’s the that’s the title of the book. So you got to kind of read it.

Jonathan Jacobs 8:19

Right here, I’ll give you two snippets. You know, one is this section, he goes, you have to risk alley. Now again, he’s talking about as an agent, but again, I can have applications outside of that. You have to risk alienating your clients. When you tell someone the truth, all they can do is get upset. They can’t call you an idiot. And again, I think that’s a really powerful reminder of live your truth, you have an experience, you have an opinion, you may have fact, you can’t control how people respond, you can only control your honesty, it’s your own story. And another one, I’ll give you, this section a little bit more traditional. He lives with the four commandments that CAA has. But something he said at the bottom that I felt really valuable. If you were confident about your own work, why snipe at someone else? You know what, I don’t have to spend time complaining about the work my competition does. If someone wants to bring me in and say, you know, how could we improve what we’re doing? That’s one thing, but I’m not here to critique the agency that’s doing it, because they’re doing it and under what is their truth for what this needs to be to succeed. And I may not agree with that. But I’m not here to be petty over that story. That doesn’t help me get ahead that doesn’t lift the industry up, that doesn’t lift people up. And I thought that was valuable, and I branded that coming from the Hollywood agent may seem a little bit hollow to people. But the book I mean, I we I read this on vacation, I devoured it. And I do highly recommend it. Because it’s it’s a fun thing to read. And you happen to learn some interesting lessons along the way.

Jeremy Weisz 9:42

Yeah, you mean saying just let your work speak for itself? You know?

Jonathan Jacobs 9:45

Yeah, absolutely.

Jeremy Weisz 9:47

Let’s talk about I’m curious. So I want to talk about Dr. David Perlmutter, and kind of the things you did with him. Did you change anything from your daily habits Working with him because obviously if you don’t know his his work, I love his work. I mean, he has I think the Grain Brain. He’s got a number of books, the Brain Maker. And it’s really, he’s got some just amazing research and life’s work around making people healthier and helping them be healthier. So I’m wondering, have you changed anything?

Jonathan Jacobs 10:24

Yeah. So it’s funny you say that I always tell people if you could tell if you could take me back 15 years when I was starting college and tell me I’d come out of this start a marketing agency and I would launch the book that is like the foundation of the gluten free movement, I would have thrown a glass of water in your face because I used to be 265 pounds, eating whatever I wanted. This was not an area that I cared about at all. flashover. You know, here we are. And I’ve launched my team and I have launched not to Grain Brain, but you know, dozens of other bestsellers in the health and wellness space. So but I will say we, when we did Grain Brain, I did the Grain Brain diets for about six weeks, I lost, I think 22 pounds. And then I did go through a cycle for a little while where every diet book we did I would or lifestyle, but we did I would try the suggestive practices within reason. I mean, I didn’t I don’t have a gluten sensitivity. So for me, I wasn’t looking to get rid of Heinz ketchup, I’m sorry, it’s the best ketchup, I’m not interested in other options, like I will, I will take the gluten and sugar. It’s fine with me. But I would try within reason. And I occasionally did do them. But I you know, what I always say is, what that book taught me is that as a Jew from New York, I do not need to eat pizzas and bagels every day of the week. I think it changed. It changed my relationship with carbs in a way where I can have this if I want to not his breakfast when we have a bagel, like a bagel is the thing. I always say like I probably went from being someone who has pizza or a bagel at least once a week to being someone who has that maybe once a month. And that’s a huge, that’s like a huge behavior change. I would say I probably have more bread or cards now. Because if you have a partner who does not follow that lifestyle that you’re living with, it can be very hard just

Jeremy Weisz 12:03

around and totally

Jonathan Jacobs 12:05

Yeah, like I’ve always said, I mean, I lost a lot of weight because I don’t have willpower when it’s in the house. But I have the willpower to not buy it. But once a tear, all bets are off.

Jeremy Weisz 12:13

I think I’m with you on that.

Jonathan Jacobs 12:16

I did change my habits. I read the book and it did stick. I also quit diet soda at that point. That has been my pandemic vice though it has come back into my routine during all this. Although I don’t think that’s the worst advice I could have chosen. I’m sure it’ll work its way out with them in the world more. But yeah, no, I definitely definitely took some of those tips and guidance that he gave to heart.

Jeremy Weisz 12:39

So what is he’s basically saying cut out things with gluten or Yeah, so

Jonathan Jacobs 12:45

I mean, granted, this book was 2014. The message at that point was low carb, a low carb diet, a gluten free diet, a grain the minimal diet is work has as science has evolved, his work has evolved over the past almost decades. We’ve got you know, now it’s focused on a, a probiotic rich diet. So things like fermented foods, kimchi, from huge den Bay. So that’s now a huge emphasis of what he does. He’s a little bit more, you know, keto, Mediterranean, or some of the words that are thrown around in reference to him, he focuses a little bit more on plants now. And we just announced we’re working on his next book is called Love, which is the low the low uric acid diet, so minimizing the amount of fructose. So when I

Jeremy Weisz 13:28

think of him, I think of the gut, the gut health, and the probiotics and the fermented foods. That’s what I think of but I know, and that’s

Jonathan Jacobs 13:37

really where we’ve been for the past six years. So that makes sense.

Jeremy Weisz 13:40

Yeah, but I mean, that work done years ago. I mean, what it was now, it’s, I don’t know, it’s a popular view with the Paleo and all these other things, but but his grain brain really was, was one of the works that was out there that most people

Jonathan Jacobs 13:58

weren’t talking about this stuff. And the New York Times, and this is probably a good segue to talk about the project a little bit, The New York Times referred to it as one of the foundational texts of the gluten free movement. And that’s because that’s first book, which came out in 2013, Grain Brain was on the bestseller list for 47 weeks, which is as we can assume a very long time. It takes a lot for a book to make the list for that long. You know, you have to be an Obama or you’re on that book educated. Like that’s how you get on the list for that long. But what I think made that book so successful when it came out his fighter team was a very different marketing landscape that we’re in right now. Forget about, like, the fact that I’m not even talking about the fact that TikTok and Clubhouse didn’t exist. We didn’t have live video functions, organic reach was still possible. You know, we would regularly post content that would have 50 to 500% of his audience on Facebook, because we have a strong content strategy. So when we launched that book, we really just relied on human psychology and we said, okay, what do these people need? they’ll share and advocate for a message but they’re looking for is gluten free was still not in the mainstream. At that point, low carb was not in the mainstream at that point. So we said, let’s give these people the science and the facts that they need to endorse their lifestyle choice. And they’re going to want to share that a to tell everyone else and be to tell the people who disagree with him. Hey, see, I was right. That’s just human nature, right? With no matter what when you get evidence that supports your lifestyle choice, and someone tells you it’s wrong, you want to fit

Jeremy Weisz 15:26

in Luckily, it’s actually factual evidence because people use fake evidence all the time. So

Jonathan Jacobs 15:30

Diane, yeah, we didn’t have just that we had anecdote and we had science behind it. So putting that out there, like I said, we were we regularly hit a huge portion of the audience, we really, you know, we rocket ship rocket ship to social before the launch because of that. And that’s what to me really made that book of success is that we got to those people in a way where we were able to become the foundation for their scientific understanding of this lifestyle. And that’s what they bring brings such a success in that. But then, of course, we’ve worked on him with, I think, for four or five books. Since then, each one has come as a different time in the social media landscape. So even just jumped forward to his next book. And now I’m forgetting if it was 14, or 15. But it was this cookbook, I think, was 14, because cookbook comes out. Now videos coming out as a key component of these platforms. So now we’re in But fortunately, we’re working with food. So we were saying, we got to produce some high quality recipe videos, and people are gonna want to see how to make these these things, we want to better connect them with you face to face and visually. So we spent a lot of time going into what seems crazy, given the landscape of video now, but high quality video production, informative content around that. And that helped make that book a best seller and cookbooks. If anyone’s familiar with, it’s hard to make those the best seller the ones that really are come from established brands to begin with. So that made that a real success. We go

Jeremy Weisz 16:54

dig on that for one second until one in the next one, Jonathan. So talk about, you know, the organic versus paid and some of the stuff that you’re doing for them, you know, because the first one, you’re saying the Grain Brain, there was a lot of organic reach. What were some of the things you were doing now with the cookbook? Was it the same kind of ratio of organic or paid and maybe maybe get a little granular so people can understand kind of what what are the stuff you’re you’re doing with them?

Jonathan Jacobs 17:24

Yeah, you know, it’s funny, you say that I forget if it was the I think it was a cookbook, I think it was a cookbook, and I’m going to tell this story, because it was a cookbook or the next book kind of doesn’t matter. But it’s worth telling the story now, because when I wrote paid, we had an $800 budget for paid ads in a given month. And at this particular point in time, his publisher was kind of going to the math with Amazon, because they were having an argument It was his publisher to shut them and one other house, there was an argument is basically about the royalties and the cost per sale being paid from Amazon to publishers. So people could not preorder his book on Amazon. Yes. Can we go order from Barnes and Noble? Can we go call up the store and order it? Sure. Do people go and do that when Amazon is the best option? The easiest option? No. So we had a real challenge of how do we get people to preorder this book. And if you’re familiar with book, publishing careers are incredibly important if you’re trying to list and also if you want to send indicators to retail that this book is going to be big. We had a real challenge, or how do we drive people to Barnes and Noble and make them want to do it. So that was kind of the focus of our paid ads component. So I set our $800 budget for a couple ad sets for the month. And I walk away from my computer, I come back the next day. The book is number two on Barnes and Noble. And we were like what the heck happened? So I go in as we start trying to figure it out. nothing had changed. We didn’t send an email, there were no interviews, there was no new blog posts that went up, like social hadn’t even been social content had not been posted in that timeframe. The only thing that happened was I started these ads. First, let me see what was effective? Well, it turns out, I had set it to spend $800 in a day. So we spent all of the budget for the month in 24 hours. I never thought like it was worth it, though. Yeah, I only told the story about two years ago, because I was like, I don’t want people to know I made that mistake, but I want them to know why it came of it. But really just kind of proof in a very short timeframe, we’ve made something super powerful happened with $800 in budget. And it shouldn’t have been that easy. Because we became the number two book on all of Barnes and Noble with a cookbook when it’s already hard to make sales happen on Barnes and Noble so I would also argue that began at different time in terms of how competitive Facebook ads were at that point that point but paid to all of us were thing paid became incredibly important, the more we went forward because even that year later, organic reach was beginning it’s it’s very steep decline to where we are today and this you know, 5% 1% fraction of a percent range. You’re now when we do a conscious I think we traditionally have always had like a three to five Have a budget for these things. But we’re telling people to prepare to invest more. And the way that we always say the way to think about it is it is a faucet and we’re going to open it up and close it based on when we have things that are performing. But you’ve got to be ready to spend that thing until it comes loose, if we’ve got something that really works, because if we can build that positive ROI funnel, we got to keep this thing going.

Jeremy Weisz 20:20

Yeah, I love that. So I interrupted you. So the next after the cookbook, what was

Jonathan Jacobs 20:26

what was the cookbook brings us to 2015, his next book, that would be Brain Maker, then that we worked on. And that starts to bring us more towards kind of, I would say, Brain Maker and his book in 2016, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan came at a very similar time, they came out within a year of each other. And anecdotally, the book Grain Brain was supposed to come out the last week of October 2016. And we threw a fit about it. Because if you do any the media landscape ahead of the election, you couldn’t get any air, any airtime, there was nowhere to go, there’s ongoing media. So we pushed it to the week after the book came out. And I’ll never forget. He says, you know, no matter what happens, it’s going to be the first post apocalyptic bestseller. According to at least 50% of the world is going to be opposed by Hulu, which is very funny and mobile hold it was we were a best seller with that began with Brain Maker. But those two books kind of our joint because they came out of the time when we were starting to realize social media is not going to be the answer, which to me is going to be a part of the answer. But we’ve got to figure out the rest of the strategy. So there were kind of a two pronged approach. And that was to say, how do we get introductions to the audiences of Dr. Perlmutter his audience because his people are always going to buy the book at a certain rate. But we don’t want to limit ourselves to figuring out how do we get these half a million? How do we squeezing these half a million people? How do we keep squeezing the sponge to get all the money out of them? At a certain point, they might not do it, we need to keep growing that pie. So what we focused on was saying how can we use our promoters network to get introductions to large pots of people that we could pick from? So for us, it was figuring out how do we capitalize we didn’t really build a traditional affiliate model, which I’m sure some of your listeners are familiar with in terms of like a pay to play scheme or or giving kickbacks for link traffic. We just said let’s do live interviews. Let’s provide content. Let’s provide blog sharing back and forth. Let’s let’s give information like collaboration. Exactly, we did everything we could to establish collaborative partnerships, because we wanted that trusted introduction to that person’s 50,000 fake person Facebook page, that person’s 10,000 person email as because that is more a much more qualified action than someone seeing the book on the stand at Barnes and Noble or seeing our paid ad on Facebook. So that was kind of part one. And then Part Two was, that’s when everything started to come back to email more in the mainstream. So we were saying are we’ve got this big audience, how do we convert them to his email list? And then how do we funnel that email list and turn them into book buyers. So that was really a key part. When all that came out, and I think everything we started doing them really piqued with what we did for the book that came out last year Brain Wash in January of 2020, when organic reach again, now basically gone. That book was a best seller because of what we did to build and enrich on those personal relationships, a really strong Instagram Live strategy in terms of generating as much like we view Instagram Live as the new TV, how many channels can we be on at once? And then again, the email component of that as well. So like that collection of email, qualified introductions, and IG live, I think are really what help make a book take off right now.

Jeremy Weisz 23:30

Yeah, and it benefits the other party as well. And that collaboration because now, you know, you have a huge I mean, Dr. Perlmutter has a huge audience and so they’re gonna want to help because he’ll probably great I’m gonna push this out to my audience, they’re gonna find out about what you’re you’re working on also. And, you know, if anyone you know, checks out, the Brain Maker is just a big head of broccoli, and you’ve probably smoked whatever. Yeah, right. And it’s the power of the gut microbes to heal and that’s that’s kind of how I think about them. And, you know, like my solution for you Jonathan is replacing diet soda is like I am addicted to kombucha. I always have it within arm’s reach. I had the the founder of WILD TONIC on who I love, they’re very good. And it’s made from honey and I remember I was walking out of the specialty grocery store I got the WILD TONIC of blueberry basil, which is one of my favorites and I snapped a picture I emailed lamb and try that I’ll have to look at you have to it’s I emailed them like I’d love to have you on I’m a huge fan and was able to kind of talk about how she created this but um, so back to you the collaborative partnerships for a second I was just trying to get you healthier with the off the diet soda to the cambogia. That’s my attempt. But the collaborative persons who are good like minded people For individuals out there that we’re good collaborations with Dr. Perlmutter.

Jonathan Jacobs 25:06

Yeah, I mean, you know, that’s probably why he’s been in the space for a while and we’ve helped establish it. So I mean, he we get to play at a very top top of the flight class there. And, you know, we get to work with Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Daniel Amen. Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, Dr. Terry Wahls. Dr. Jeff Bland. I mean, these are some of the leading names and folks and kind of functional medicine, plant based medicine, the keto keto diet and lifestyle. Doctor Will Cole it a lot of really great and powerful folks now who not only have influence but who changed lives through the work. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz 25:39

no, I love that. And not everyone knows my background is actually in biochemistry as a chiropractor. So I was reading Jeff Bland books, like, whenever they first came out this functional medicine books, I mean, he’s been around for forever. I’m even thinking in in 2000 ish. I think his book was, but um, so let’s talk I want to switch gears. Anything else on the Dr. Perlmutter, that would be interesting to to talk about. So I want to move on to the NFL for a second. But anything else interesting with the launches and releases and selling more books?

Jonathan Jacobs 26:17

You know, I think with Dr. Perlmutter, I think that’s really, that story really captures kind of what makes it happen really well. And I think, you know, for people who are gonna listen to this now, what I would say is really start to think about potential value of Clubhouse. You know, we have seen a few folks on they’re not clients of ours, but anecdotally, when I go on and watch Adam Grant had done one, his book, suddenly I wasn’t in the top 10 it was on before the Clubhouse it was obviously doing very well. But suddenly, it jumped into the top. I think three during his clubhouse because he had like 2000 people in there, he had the really influential people in the space, you know, Jen Rubio, I think, Sophia Amoruso, like other CEOs, founders startup exact coming in. And then there was someone else who had a book, and I’m blanking on her name come out about a week or two ago, and she also shot to the top three on Amazon, while she was doing a really powerful Clubhouse, and that obviously was not the only component of it. But if you can get that many tastemakers in a room, and a few people are going to get pinged that they’re in that room and Clubhouse. And then also, it continues the conversation afterwards. So I think we’re looking at how do we evaluate that now for clients. And I think in the COVID era for people think about it, again, think about Instagram Live as the new PR platform. You know, our goal with our clients is let’s get as many interviews as we can during launch week on Instagram, we want to be on all the channels, whenever somebody opens up that app, they should see you doing an interview with someone on there.

Jeremy Weisz 27:41

Thank you. Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s I love hearing those little tips, too, because people are probably neglecting some of those channels, or they don’t know enough about it. So they’re just gonna not use it. Right. So what the NFL, what kind of things that you do with the NFL?

Jonathan Jacobs 27:59

Yeah, that was a really fun one. And you know, I always think about people always asking what’s been so exciting and cool. And it definitely was, but it’s also a little bit like working in the ice cream parlor. You don’t want to have ice cream anymore when you’re done. So it definitely changed my fandom for a little while. But we had a really fun shard, you know, we got to work with them. It started our relationship with the Super Bowl 47. That was in New York City. So that’s when we started working with them because they needed a local agency to do some activation. We specifically worked with our Consumer Products Division. And within that there’s kind of two pieces there’s, there’s actual merge and like sales, and we didn’t really do that. That’s NFL shops. That’s a NFL shop that’s run by I’m blanking on the name of the company right now fan. You all know the name and you will recognize it and someone listening will remember but I’m currently blanking on I don’t know, either. So it will come to me as soon as we finish. But there are very famous company that does most of the mercial, most of the handling of like sales and end up in the purchase with the sports leagues. But then there’s consumer products, which is where we were, which is kind of like the licensing department, and then also working on the idea of purchase. So the way I always said it is while everybody else owns, you know, Sunday and Monday night, we are here to own Tuesday through Saturday. How do you be a fan outside of the game outside of the stadium? So how do you work it into everyday life? What What is a fan eat? What is a fan sweep? And what is a fan drink? What is the fan bring to their wedding? What’s at your desk? So it was all these really fun ideas of just how do we build the culture of fandom, like what traditions do we tap into? What What do we create around that? So we got to do some really fun stuff while we worked with them. You know, it’s hard to pick a favorite but one of the things I enjoyed the most was we did a lot of influencer marketing. And what we did for two years on a shoestring budget was built an influencer network of about eight to 10 influencers and we basically ran them as a fantasy football league. But then through that we’re able to generate all this content with them all season long. So we got to Got some really fun partnerships. And we, I think an endorsement and a data point behind something I’m sure some of your listeners who have worked with influencers before now, we work with influencers who had 9000 Instagram followers, and that was primarily where they were all based. And we worked with Instagram influencers who had 900,000 followers, who drove the most sales and traffic, the influencers with, you know, 15,000 and fewer followers, which was, we all knew that that would probably be the case, we knew we’d get more impressions up here, but we knew we’d actually make the dollars and cents down here. It was just amazing to actually see the numbers behind it. And the degree of difference was really, really incredible. And it’s also just funny, because when you bring the taste to the public or to an award submission, the impressions is the impressive number that everybody wants to see. those dollars are less impressive, because they’re perhaps they’re not as significant a number you never generate as many dollars as you do impressions out of something, or depending on the price point of what you’re selling. Because we have so many different things we never would. But that to me was the number that was most powerful because it was driven by such a smaller component of what we did, like yes, the story was helped to be sold by the impressions and hopefully that we’ve more dollars in the future. But the short term revenue growth came from the smaller group who could really form a bond and that connection with their with their audience.

Jeremy Weisz 31:20

That is interesting. I would love to hear how do you choose an influencer?

Jonathan Jacobs 31:26

So first of all, of course, there are constraints, right? There’s constraints of budget and contents. So things like that I think are kind of the obvious ones, like we’re doing the NFL, when we’re going to be talking about fashion and food and the sport, going to someone who’s a book influencer doesn’t really make sense. And then also someone who might be too much money. So there’s some obvious constraints there. It’s also getting harder the way that some of these platforms are changing. So there was a hubbub this week about Instagram properly rolling out the hiding of likes, platform wide, that would make our job a lot harder. Now, there are a lot of great tools for finding influencers. Sometimes we use them sometimes we don’t, I mean, at this point, we’ve built up our own internal database of who we’d like to work with, and who’s valuable for our audience. Sometimes we’ll use a third party tool if we feel like it’s valuable. So there are those that you can go to and I’m blanking on the names, I can send you some links to some after if you want to put it in the post around them. But I think for us we look at, we really want to make sure if we’re building a group that we’re going to work with a few a diversity of audience size, a diversity of approaches to the topic of diversity of creator, are we representing who our consumer actually is? And then I think we’re looking at you know, will they actually tell the story, we want them to tell about this not to say we need to have control of the content. But if the story, you know, if we want them to talk about football in a certain way, are they going to be too focused on the on field product and not as much on their enjoyment of the on field product? So it was kind of looking at what’s their approach to storytelling? And will it help? Or will it help us move towards the goal that we’ve set for the project?

Jeremy Weisz 32:58

Does it help you to be like we are you you’ll be working to represent the NFL, for people who may be charged more or, you know, maybe wouldn’t do a project? Or do you find that factors in at all?

Jonathan Jacobs 33:11

It did? Yeah, the first year, we did that people just wanted to work with us. But then as people got larger, they didn’t want to so it helps us without like, let’s say 100,000 and below group who were on the way up, and now they can they can take, hey, I worked with the NFL and convert that into another brand. Once you get a little bit larger, it’s a little tougher. Sometimes they’re willing to sometimes they’re not. And I mean, listen, I also don’t love it either. We did it on no budget because they wanted proof of concept before we could really throw money behind it. And you know, I struggle a lot with that because I don’t you know, this is I think it’s also common in our industry and something that a lot of people who are better than me are currently working to solve and advocate for is I think we are we chronically under pay, and we chronically undervalue something like think about there are common stories. Of course, internships are Case in point number one, we’ve only ever done paid internships at natives. But in this industry, unpaid internships and minimally paid internships are one of our most terrible acts of negligence in my opinion. But beyond that, you know, we we have a history of not valuing the work that the people at the lowest point in the food chain, do you know, we see the job person going around like Social Media Manager $35,000, who can live in New York City on $35,000 I don’t mean to sound overly privileged in terms of that, I wouldn’t appreciate having that amount of money but the quality of work that these people are going to do in the place they’re choosing to live that is not a realistic salary to be paying something like this because in my opinion, that work is undervalued. But it you know, it even goes deeper than that into the hiring process and people talk about going on a tangent now but this is one of my hills, so I’d like to die on it if that’s okay with you do you ask for work samples for specific prompts or for a specific channel. During the interview process, and people don’t pay for that work, you’re asking someone to do work. Sometimes it might even be for actual clients you have, you know, for us it is because we really want to see can they integrate into what we do, but we always pay for that work. And we also don’t make it cumbersome before, if we’re going to do a safe client, we will get a little bit grander with what we do, because we don’t want them to feel like we’re just asking them to do the work as a contractor, rather than do something for an actual client of ours. You know, we may not say, hey, write a white paper, but we’ll say, hey, write a blog post or write five social media posts, just so we can see how you grasp the material. And again, and of course, we’ll always pay for that particular thing. But I think it’s, you know, your question was about, sort of being able to how do we is the brand has value in influencers? And absolutely does, but I think as a whole, I wish it was not that way in our space. And we were thinking more about how can we make sure we are paying people for the true value of what they create?

Jeremy Weisz 35:51

You know, that takes me, you know, jump to the next thing I want to talk about, which is your advice for agency owners. Right. And so, you know, we talked a little before we hit record about pricing and negotiating, explain the value of what you do and, and just keep going on that topic of explaining the value. Right? So yeah, demonstrating the value to a brand who, you know, they want to spend the least amount of money and get the most amount of value as in a lot of people do.

Jeremy Weisz 36:20

So let’s start there. You know,

Jonathan Jacobs 36:22

I think we work with, and I think a lot of agencies who might disconnect with is you work across a diversity of individuals, there’s a key difference to me with a good client versus a bad client, it’s not about the size of their budget, it is not about the size of the company, it’s do they view marketing as an expense or as an investment, I will take investment people, no matter the size, please don’t send me expenses. Because expenses, the example I always give is I could run $500, I could run $150 on a Facebook ad that doesn’t perform for a client who is an expense client. And that could terminate the relationship because that money didn’t lead to anything. I could spend $1,000 on an on an Facebook ad investment that doesn’t work for a investment client. And they will give me a slap on the wrist and say, What did you learn, let’s make it better next time, there’s a huge difference there, I should never feel like I have to constantly be looking over my shoulder before I do something to determine if it’s going to work or not. Because Jayde Powell, who is a social media marketer, and a marketer in general that I really look up to on Twitter, she does a great job. She was she tweeted something the other day, you know, I’m gonna butcher it. But it was basically the idea of like, what we do in marketing sometimes is our best guess. And then we’re going to, we’re going to keep working away at that as we figure out what works and what doesn’t. And then in six months, it might not work anymore about change it again. And like, I think we forget that there really aren’t truism. In this work, every brand is going to be successful for a different reason. Every thought leader is going to lead based on something different, you know, and so to that, I say I always tell agency, or then we tell this to our clients, they will come to us, especially our authors and say we want, we want to go there, I want you to do for me what you did for David Perlmutter. And they say, take me to that spot on the mountain. But there was a degree the promised land job Exactly. But what they want is walk the same path and take no risks. I can’t think we can’t do that. Because eventually, if you walk that path, enough time, the earth gives out underneath you and you have a landslide and you fall back into the getting, what we need is someone who can say that and then hear me say back to them, I’m your I’m your tracker, I’m going to take you on a journey to the top of the mountain. But you need to have faith that we as individuals, and we as a team, know the best route to get you there. And we may sometimes make a mistake, but we’ll backtrack and then we’ll find the way to the top from there. Just like navigating a maze, there is a route to get to the top. But we’re going to have to work to figure it out. And you need to trust us to get you there. If you’re constantly pulling me back and saying, well, this isn’t working, where are we going? Where are we going? It’s like having the kid in the car. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? It becomes the it’s an awful experience for everyone. And you just want to pull over and go home. So you know if I can offer any advice agents, always think about the you have someone who’s going to hold your pack back or someone who’s going to follow you wherever you’re trying to lead and I I say this explicitly to clients like no, you are joining us on the journey of discovery. We’re going to work together on this we will be transparent about this. We will admit our failures on this. We’ll go We’ll talk about when we’re gone back. But we cannot promise you the same journey as someone else who did this. Because to the point of David Perlmutter, it doesn’t work anymore. organic reach doesn’t exist like it did seven years ago when we make Grain Brain a bestseller. So landscapes change

Jeremy Weisz 39:42

platforms change. You know, there could be an event in the world that changes you know, like pandemics or elections or whatever, stuff changes so you always have them And to your point like best guess, you know what, what makes what I think about Jonathan is that You go to the doctor or you have a migraine, they could give you a pill. It’s like I think this will work. You know, let’s try it out for a few weeks. And then you can go back and be like, No, no, no, the migraines will let’s try this. So in all these practices, it’s a best guess. There is no nothing. The same thing doesn’t work for everyone. You wouldn’t go back to your doctor me like, You’re fired. That pill you gave me. Didn’t do didn’t do the migraines. Okay. Well, let’s try something else. Right. So I totally get what you’re saying on that? Um,

Jonathan Jacobs 40:32


Jeremy Weisz 40:33

So talk about price

Jonathan Jacobs 40:36

is inherently linked to what we just discussed. And something I always encourage agency owners to remember is, we’re always going to have that conversation of like, why is this so expensive? My cousin, my niece can do it for 50% of this or the other firm said, 30% of this. And I know there is a you might have to send me over this. But there was an oven mitt, I found the window somewhere the other day, and it said it was you know, someone who was the other mitt and on and it said, you know, bitch on the secret ingredient. And I was like, Well, hey, that’s reason number one. I was like, we are the secret sauce. And that’s the same for I was like, but the reality is what that what you need to listen for? When you hear that question is, do I have someone who’s trying to negotiate drive someone who’s minimizing value, because that’s a really informative moment, before you sign a contract with someone. And negotiation, we, let’s do it, you know, if you only have this amount of budget, and this is what I’m pitching, like, let’s have let’s let’s have that, Getting to Yes moment and figure out what makes this work for both of us. And maybe there’s a way I can’t charge what I want. But I can get value in some other way, whether it’s an introduction, or getting to try something new on the project, who knows there are other ways to generate value there, I’m okay reducing the price of my service for a time. Value minimization is something different. And that is to me when we’re when you’re interacting with someone who simply can’t believe that you provide value that’s resonant with what you’re charging. And that’s to me, that’s the red flag. And that is I will not continue the conversation. That is, if you would like to go work with that person, please go ahead. But this is this is our price, and we’re sticking to it. Because that person is so shocked. They’re not uncomfortable with the price and trying to figure out they are shocked that you would have the audacity to try to charge that when they could get it so cheap somewhere else. You’re not going to get the same thing from those people. You want this team of mountaineers to lead you to the top of the mountain, go with us, you want to stay at a Holiday Inn Express. Great. This is the Ritz Carlton, like and this is the price we charge for that service. And it may be the same exact, I know it’s not and maybe the same exact bed with the same sheets and linens on it. But this is where you’re coming for an experience that you’re not going to get at that other place. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz 42:42

that’s a good way of putting it. Just one last question. First, I want to thank you. I want to point people to check out more about what you do. Then there’s there’s some great blog posts and they can check more about your company. Check out more episodes of the podcast check out any other place that we should point people online, Jonathan, besides or is that the best place?

Jonathan Jacobs 43:08

Yeah, I would say well, you know, please connect with me on Twitter. My DMS are always open @JonEJacobs JonEJacobs. I also read a bit on medium JonEJacobs89 would love to connect with you there. But I’m a social animal, find me on social media would love to give any questions on anything I said today or want to continue the conversation wanted to bait me up for it. Let’s Let’s go.

Jeremy Weisz 43:30

So last question. And I know we only have a minute or so. But what’s been sticking out in my mind. There’s so many good gems of from this discussion. I’m going to have to go back and listen. But what sticks out of my mind that we kind of glossed over a little bit is your journey used to be 265 pounds if anyone’s looking at you? You’re a lean mean fighting machine now I’m curious what were the things that you did maybe mindset wise or otherwise to to make that transformation? because really what we’re talking about is transformation whether it’s a book one of the best seller or whatever. It’s a transformation so I’m curious about your personal transformation II

Jonathan Jacobs 44:11

thank you for asking about that. Yeah, so you know, I wait that was my peak was like the summer before college I weighed like 262 65 for me getting a college made all the difference in the world. To the what we talked about before the world power going to the cafeteria, or going into the kitchen and in our dorm, or a dorm Hall and cooking like I chose what was on my plate. And I very bland food for a little while, like I was very into the idea of food as fuel. And in that period of time, that’s what I needed. You know, I was basically having a tuna salad for lunch every day. And it was it helped me It helped me build that routine. And that control helped me make sure that I wasn’t inflating my my routine with excess calories that were kind of pushing me off. I started exercising more than as well but I was exercising even before so it’s really a reminder of How important nutrition is. So that that was kind of that first weight loss to the brain from like 265, down to 185. And then every, you know, I always go through the band of one a between 185 and probably 205. I’m constantly fluctuating in that 20 pound unit. But now it’s a different fluctuation, it’s muscle that may be causing that as I go back and forth. And then it’s Yeah, there are times that I’m bad. I had three scoops of ice cream off my I felt guilty about it. Because I have a, I have a historically poor relationship with food. That’s something I’m always working on. But I’m allowed to have that because I chose it, I want it and I build a routine where I can eat whatever I want. Now, I try to be smart about what I do. But I’m also I think what’s helped me in this phase of my life now is I’m very protective of my exercise time. Like for me, I live on the west coast, my team is on the east coast. So I tend to keep East Coast ish hours. And what’s been great is that I work out every day at three o’clock. And it makes me stop working, which is super super, because I would work until you know, five or six o’clock, which means I’m working almost 12 hours a day,

Jeremy Weisz 46:08

as you’re waking up really early for it to be an

Jonathan Jacobs 46:10

exact time. Exactly. So I missed my morning workout. And it’s been awesome. We also got a peloton. So it’s an easy way to like sit, you know, if we weren’t doing an interview, and you and I were just catching up, I frequently take calls on the bike, just to passively kind of ride and get some movement in. But protecting the time and then I also for me, and this is something I work on again, because being in a partnership with someone I know my relationship with food is I can only really have one bad meal a day. And I don’t I know it’s uncomfortable for some people to to hear food judged in that way. But for me, it’s I need to have a healthy meal. And I can have a less healthy option, which is like I got to have a salad for one meal a day. And then I can have a burger or a tuna mouth or, you know, a big dish of some kind later, but I need to have that out. If I have both. I just don’t feel well. It’s not psychologically that I’m upset with myself. It’s just my body feels off. So for me it’s building. Okay, I know my partner may want to go to dinner tonight. So let me have a healthier option for lunch. So I don’t constrict that. Or I know we have I have a lunch meeting. So hey, in advance partner, I’m going to be a little bit more conservative for dinner tomorrow. So those are some of the things I but for me, it was really just about getting putting myself in a position where I was in control of what was in front of me. And that’s what’s really made the difference.

Jeremy Weisz 47:26

Jonathan, thank you. I want to be the first one to thank you check out and more. Thanks everyone for listening.

Jonathan Jacobs 47:35

Thank you