Our fearless leader at Hawke Media has just been named Young Entrepreneur Council’s newest chair. Erik Huberman has been a member of the council since he founded Hawke in 2014, but the YEC has just named him as the Los Angeles Chair. In his new role with the YEC, Erik will focus on helping members build the kinds of core relationships that have been so valuable to him throughout his membership.
What exactly is the Young Entrepreneur Council, and why has Erik found his membership so valuable that he immediately accepted this leadership role? YEC is a highly selective membership community of entrepreneurs under 45 whose companies have revenues or funding of at least $1 million. The YEC Chair program is a new initiative designed to better connect and engage members through the creation of micro-communities based on location, industry, and interests.
Each community is led by a volunteer chair, hand-selected by the YEC team for outstanding leadership in the community during his or her membership tenure. All chairs share one common trait that makes them exceptional: a people-first mentality with regard to relationship building, heavily invested in giving more than is expected in return. Erik is so grateful for his entrance into the YEC that he wants to make sure he can pay it forward.
“I had heard about the organization, and to me, it was a pinnacle of achievement to bootstrap the company to a million dollars and be able to join something like YEC,” Erik says. “It was super exciting.”
Since that very first year when Erik joined YEC after Hawke Media reached the $1 million mark, we’ve seen a lot of numbers go up at the company—and it’s more than just dollar signs. We’ve grown from seven employees to over 150, and we’ve helped over 4,000 turn their small businesses into bigger ones with the right marketing strategies. No matter how much bigger we are now than we were back in 2014, we’ve stayed true to the principles that Erik and Co-Founder and COO Tony Delmercado built Hawke on: that ALL businesses deserve access to great marketing and we can bring it to them.
Erik credits YEC for guidance along the way, as members gave him advice on a variety of business issues, such as sales and business development, and he continues to benefit through ongoing conversations with members who are not only professional connections but also friends. What he’s learned from YEC members has even helped Hawke Media weather through the 2020 global pandemic. Instead of panicking and retreating due to our clients cutting back on costs and therefore canceling their marketing services, Erik spread the message to attack marketing, not retreat, and that we did.
“Erik has been a part of our YEC community for a long time now, and I’ve had the privilege of watching him learn along the way and grow his company into what it is today,” YEC Founder Scott Gerber says. “I couldn’t think of a better person to be our new YEC LA Chair. He’s going to be an incredible resource for his YEC peers.”
We were able to pivot to remote work almost overnight and despite a sales a dip in sales in April, we were able to almost fully recover, thanks to pushing through and staying innovative. Within the first three weeks of quarantine and working remotely back in March, the Hawke Media team was one of the first companies to put on its own massive online conference, to make up for the missed SXSWs and F8s in 2020, and do it well. The appropriately-named Quarantine Conference attracted over 4,000 attendees spanning 16 different time zones around the world and not only featured a lineup of speakers including Shark Tank’s Daymond John and former White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci but also brought viewers live music on Zoom from LA to London, uplifting words from a spoken-word poet, and a short-but-needed stretch and yoga session.
While Quarantine Conference gave us the first boost we needed to get back on track, we’ve also seen success pushing eCommerce right now with our clients, and we’re kicking off the very first eCommerce Week LA at the end of next month. We were already eCommerce pros pre-pandemic, but we leveraged our expertise to help clients really embrace this time and take their products and services completely online. It’s paid off in a huge way, and our clients who have stuck with it have seen record ROI the past few months.
In a post-pandemic landscape, we don’t know exactly what we’ll look like as a company. We’re leasing our HQ in LA and sticking to the remote model, with the goal of expanding into smaller spaces in locations all over the country, outside of just Boston, Los Angeles, and New York City, where employees and former offices are located now. We can’t know what the future holds, but we do know what always holds to be true: you can expect Hawke Media to have its fingers on the pulse of cutting-edge marketing and the way to do business.
We know that YEC members will get the same energy from Erik as their new LA Chair as we do at Hawke Media.