Erik Huberman is the founder and CEO of Hawke Media, the fastest-growing marketing consultancy in the United States. Launched in 2014, Hawke Media has been valued at $75 million and has grown from seven to over 150 employees. The company has serviced over 1,500 brands of all sizes, ranging from startups like Tamara Mellon, SiO Beauty, and Bottlekeeper to household names like Red Bull, Verizon Wireless, and Alibaba. Hawke Media has taken home numerous industry awards including being featured on the Inc. 5000 2017 list of fastest-growing companies, Fortune Magazine’s “50 Best Workplaces in Southern California”, and Forbes’ “Content Marketing Companies to Check Out in 2018”.
As a serial entrepreneur and marketing expert, Huberman is a sought-after thought leader in the world of digital marketing, entrepreneurship, sales, and business. Prior to Hawke, he founded, grew, and sold two successful eCommerce companies. Huberman is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including Forbes’ “30 Under 30”, CSQ’s “40 Under 40”, Inc. Magazine’s “Top 25 Marketing Influencers”, and Best in Biz North America’s “Marketing Executive of the Year”. A regular contributor to major publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, and CSQ, Huberman is also a well-known keynote speaker.
Tell us about the early days of Hawke Media.
Hawke Media was founded on a simple premise. We believe great marketing should be accessible to everyone, and I found out through building three different eCommerce brands that finding good marketers, attracting them, and affording them is incredibly difficult, both in-house and agencies, along with standard problems that arise from going down either path. When I first started Hawke Media, it was a small team of seven marketers, each with their own expertise (e.g. facebook marketer, search marketer, web designer, fractional CMO, etc.) and the idea was to have a little swat team where everything was a la carte and month to month, and you are able to get exactly what you need, when you need it based on a menu of services, so we can be flexible with the needs of the company.
That mission really resonated and it turned out the problem I had identified was pretty much ubiquitous for business owners and marketing teams, so we were off to the races. Like any service-based business, people are always the variable. Whether it is internally with our employees, or externally with our clients, people can behave more emotionally than logically and we always have to hedge for that. That being said, it has definitely been a successful ride, growing from seven to over 160 people in 5 1/2 years with no outside funding or debt…completely bootstrapped.
At this point, we have acquired two other agencies, have offices in LA and NY, have our own venture capital fund called Hawke Ventures, built out our entire executive team, and are really poised to build something incredibly large, sustainable, and powerful so that we can fulfill our mission at the top level and really bring accessibility to great marketing all over the world.