Protected: Marvel Vs. DC

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:


Why Minifluencers Will Crush Bigfluencers

For this article, I am trying something new. I brought on a guest writer, Justin Hackney, to share his thoughts on why minifluencers will crush bugfluencers. The following article is written in Justin’s voice. I hope you enjoy this read as much as I did.

Just the other day I went to the store to buy some wine. My parents were coming into town and I wanted to buy the good stuff. So, I gave a close friend of mine a call. This person is what I would call a “wine snob”. But it worked out great for me, because that five second call turned into a great wine choice for me and my parents loved it. Somehow, without that winery even knowing, my friend became a minifluencer for the 2016 Château de Pez that I paid $30 for.

That didn’t cost the winery a dime. Yet, a minifluecer turned a prospect into a lead and then into a customer within five seconds. I wasn’t thinking about what celebs were drinking what at the time. No! I trusted what my friend had to say. Because I actually knew him. He wasn’t some face on the television.

70% of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTube creators more than traditional celebrities
And I’m not discounted what influencer marketing can do for your business. On the contrary, I’m saying that it definitely works. But it’s also very expensive.

Just in a few short years, the ROI of true influencer marketing has dwindled and dwindled. Just like the real estate industry, there’s a bubble looming over every major influencer on Instagram. And it just might burst in the next couple of years.

I will say that even though the ROI has seen some shrinkage, it’s still the best return in the business. Roughly every dollar invested sees six in return. That’s huge!

But imagine if you didn’t have to spend one dollar, and still hit your KPI’s?

I’m not talking about some philanthropic celebrity out there. I’m talking about your customer’s friends and family… Or maybe the ones that at least have 10,000 followers (this is an arbitrary number. The point is that it’s not too small).

Let’s get theoretical for a moment. Picture yourself owning a chain of restaurants. And you would love to hire one a super hot model on Instagram to post about your food and drinks to her 2 million followers. You give her a call and she gives you a number ranging in the tens of thousands of dollars for this partnership to move forward. That’s a lot of money!

It’s money that you just don’t have to invest into something with no way of knowing it would work in the first place. So here’s another option:

We’re going to personally reach out to 200 people around the city your restaurants are located. These people are going to have over 5,000 followers on their Instagram page. And you’re going to offer them each a $25 gift card to your restaurant, which equates to just $5,000. In return for these gift cards, these particular people are going to post a picture of themselves eating your food and drinking your drinks. They don’t need a big pay out of tens of thousands of dollars to do that. They’re just happy they get a free meal on a Friday night! And the best part, you’ve just reached over 1,000,000 followers on Instagram!

This is the power of minifluencer campaigns. They have the same reach as influencer marketing, but much more return on your investment.


About the author: Justin Hackney is the Director of Business Development for Marketing Eye. Starting out his career in the military, he trained Iraqi Police near the Syrian border in Mosul, Iraq.

Thinking that he was going to be a career military man, he went to one of six senior military colleges in the US at the University of North Georgia and graduated with a degree in International Affairs.

Always operating in a sales and marketing role, he ended up working with nonprofits, Fortune 100 companies, and small tech startups. Drawing from years of experience in growing businesses through digital marketing and sales, he took the first opportunity to join the Marketing Eye team.

Based out of Atlanta, GA, Justin is now on the way to expanding the company into New York and Dallas. Feel free to reach out to Justin by messaging him on LinkedIn or emailing him at

Monmouth Film Festival


MFF Panel

During the weekend of August 11th to 13th, I had the opportunity to intern at the Monmouth Film Festival in Red Bank, New Jersey. The three-day festival consisted of many short films, a few full-length feature films, an industry panel, a few question and answer sessions, and an awards ceremony to close out the festival Sunday night.

While this year was only the second year for the Monmouth Film Festival, I think it’s quickly turning into a force to be reckoned with. This year, one of the full-length feature films which played Saturday night called Lemon was sent in by Magnolia Pictures, and the movie had many actors that people might actually recognize. However, the other films were nothing less than amazing. The other films ranged from international short films to student films to films from all over the country.
Friday night kicked off the festival with a classy networking event for filmmakers and VIPs. Many film festivals do not include networking events, but, similar to Monmouth Film Festival founder Nicholas Marchese, I felt that networking events are crucial to film festivals because they allow filmmakers to mingle with other people in their space and find out what kinds of projects others are working on.
Saturday and Sunday both consisted of blocks where short films were shown, as well as presentations of feature length films. My personal favorite short film and the winner of the best foreign short film award was a Polish film titled Matka (Mother). Matka is based on true events which took place in 1943 and 1944 in a town called Legionowo, near Warsaw. In this short film, Nazi German officers seize a house where a family of four lives.
Saturday evening consisted of an industry panel. The industry panel consisted of television executives, movie editors, film lawyers, actors, officials from the NJ Film Comision, and more. The panel had a lot of useful advice on everything related to producing films from how to protect your story from being stolen to how students can get jobs in the industry to how to get your movie on streaming sites and much more. As a student, the most useful thing I learned from the panel was that legally an internship either has to be paid or for college credits, so in order to increase my chances of getting an internship, I should ensure I could receive college credits for it.
Just before awards were given out Sunday night was the most anticipated feature film of the entire weekend. The film called Shooting Clerks, which was produced by a team from Scottland, is the story of the shooting of a film from 1994, by Red Bank Native Kevin Smith, called Clerks. Shooting Clerks goes behind the scenes to show the true story of how Kevin Smith, with maxed out credit cards and the help of those around him created his first ever film Clerks with just $27,000.
Overall, the Monmouth Film Festival was a great experience. Never have I heard of a film festival with such dedication to helping filmmakers and VIPs network. Throughout Saturday and Sunday, there was a special room just for filmmakers and VIPs so they could mingle. I was able to learn a lot by watching the Industry panel on Saturday and by networking with filmmakers throughout the weekend. If you have a chance to attend the Monmouth Film Festival next year I would highly suggest you attend. The festival improved greatly from the first year to the second year, and I can assure you that next years lineup will be nothing short of amazing.

Dripkit: Portable Pour Over Coffee


I had the opportunity to talk to Kara Cohen, one of the founders of Dripkit (and a fellow graduate of Draper University). Kara met her fellow Dripkit founder Ilana Kruger in 2011 when Ilana posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a roommate. After becoming roommates, Kara and Ilana became best friends, and eventually co-founders. Together, Kara and Ilana came up with Dripkit.

Founder Photo
Above is Kara (left) and Ilana (right)

Dripkit is a lightweight, pocket-sized, single-serve pourover coffee kit. Dripkit is made to fit on any size mug. It even fits on disposable coffee cups. Each Dripkit packet comes complete with a filter, dripper, and single serving of high quality coffee.
Dripkit uses high quality coffee beans from a small cooperative of farms on the side of a volcano in Antigua, Guatemala. Kara and Ilana tested many coffee beans before deciding to ensure that Dripkit customers would get nothing less than the highest quality coffee beans. Kara and Ilana specifically chose these beans because this coffee is robust, comforting and chocolatey with a calming comfort of the region and an added flair of spicy and floral notes. The coffee beans get shipped from Antigua to New York where they get roated by their partnrs in Brooklyn.

How Dripkit Works


All you need is a cup and hot water. Each Dripkit packet contains a filter, a dripper and the perfect amount of coffee. Step one to making the perfect coffee with your Dripkit is to remove it from its packet. Then, the second step is to tear the tab along the top of the Dripkit. Step three is to place the dripper on top of your cup. Make sure the front tab is inside the cup for added support. The fourth and final step is to slowly pour eight ounces of hot water into the filter and to enjoy a fresh cup of delicious coffee.
You can help support Kara and Ilana by donating to their Kickstarter campaign. As of July 31st, they have successfully reached their goal of $25,000, but you can continue to support them for sixteen more days. Help them reach their first stretch goal of $30,000.

You can follow Dripkit using the links below


Summer Silvery: From Ohio to The Valley, to LA in under a year!

Who is Summer Silvery? Summer is probably one of the most amazing people you will ever meet. I had the privilege of meeting Summer exactly one year ago today (Wow! I can’t believe I have already known Summer for a year.) Anyways, I met summer at the start of one of the most transformational programs I ever attended called Draper University, because we were both in the summer 2016 batch (no pun intended). You can read all about my experience at Draper University here
Why am I writing about Summer Silvery? If you couldn’t already tell, Summer has a great story. Though nontraditional, I think everyone can learn a thing or two from Summer. She is always in a good mood, and her positivity is quite contagious. At the ripe age of 24, she managed to make her dreams come true. She not only moved to Los Angelas, where she had always dreamed of living, but she also fulfilled her other dream to become an entrepreneur. Ladies and gentleman, Summer Silvery is a great example of the fact that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, and that you don’t have to wait until retirement to make your dreams a reality.
I ran an interview with Summer Silvery where I asked her a few questions about herself and her projects. She sent in responses that I have edited down for you and can be seen below.
I started off by asking Summer for a basic background on herself so readers can better understand who she is. Summer said, “I was doing everything the societally “normal” and “acceptable” way. I graduated high school, went to college, moved in with a boyfriend and was going down a path I knew everyone around me would be proud of. Although there was a lot to be grateful for, I was miserable. It was like I was stuck in a life that wasn’t mine. I knew I needed to do something about it but I had no clue where to start. So I did something I wouldn’t normally do and applied to a 7-week entrepreneurial school in Silicon Valley, California. And there began my amazingly incredible journey.”
Basically, summer was going down the “normal” path. High school, followed by college, followed by a job, but it just didn’t feel right to her. After all, Summer is an entrepreneur at heart, and entrepreneurs don’t go down the normal path. Summer couldn’t take the “normal” path anymore, so she applied to Draper University, which happened to be the missing puzzle piece that would help set her on the right path.
I then Asked Summer to explain why and or how she ended up being an entrepreneur. Her response was, “Since I can remember, I always wanted to work for myself. I didn’t know anything of what that would entail but I was (and still am) willing to do whatever it takes. It wasn’t until I took a leap of faith and attended an entrepreneurial school, Draper University, that validated I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.”
“Because of Draper University, I learned how much I am capable of. I learned how there is NOTHING to learn when you’re always limiting yourself to the same day to day routine. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and experiencing new things ALL of the time, knowing that failing at things is OKAY, because without it…how would we learn?… This stuff is what sets us up to have a life with no regrets. This is what makes you smile every morning and throughout your day because you whole-heartedly know you’re doing everything you can for what you want most out of life. I will forever be grateful for Draper University because it brought out everything I already had within me, at such a larger capacity than I could have ever imagined for myself.”
Summer always had the entrepreneurial drive deep within her. Just like myself, Summer always knew she wanted to be her own boss. And then just like myself (again), Summer’s acceptance into the Draper University summer program was the much-needed validation that Summer Silvery is an entrepreneur and not a wantrepreneur. The paragraph above is a great explanation of why people choose to become entrepreneurs, and I don’t think I could have explained it better myself.
One major question is still left unanswered. How is Summer Silvery making a living? What is her passion? What’s her hustle that she wakes up every morning excited to work on? Here is a little bit of background first, “My whole life I struggled with A.D.D. As I got older and school got more difficult and life got more “adulty” it got harder and harder for me to focus and organize everything. Picture a filing cabinet sitting in your brain, and as information comes to you, instead of organizing it all neatly within the cabinet, it gets scattered all over the floor. That’s the best way I can explain it. I hated taking medication so what I did was take a dry erase board to class and doodle while listening to the lecture (yeah… people were probably like wtfff). I would take a notepad to work and doodle. For some reason, doodling would clear all my scattered thoughts and allow me to concentrate on one thing at a time. Ever since I was little I would do this not knowing the effect of what it was actually doing.”
For the big reveal, Summer continued to say, “It wasn’t until October 2016 where I made a big money decision that changed my life forever. $700. I spent $700 on an Ipad and Apple pen. Being broke AF I was shitting a little when I made this purchase. But it was 1000x worth it. Every single day since, I have been designing on that Ipad for hours on end. I make social media marketing, website designs, custom designs on apparel and accessories. I have become limitless with my designs now that I’ve taken them from paper to digital. I’ve been recognized by HUGE entrepreneur influencer Gary Vaynerchuk & I’ve made some custom apparel for Logan Paul (social media/ mainstream media influencer).” Summer has been recognized by many many more influential people for her designs, but she is just too humble to mention it, so I mentioned it for her.


gary vee          logan paul
The two images above show both a doodle Summer made for Gary Vaynerchuck as well as a custom hoodie she designed for Logan Paul. And yes, Summer was recognized by Gary Vaynerchuck for her awesome doodle.


Summer didn’t let it get to her that she was different. After all, what does it really mean to be “normal”? Was being different a bad thing? Absolutely not. Being different may have been the best thing for Summer. She didn’t let it get to her when people would make faces at her because she was doodling. Instead of trying to suppress the need to doodle, Summer turned doodling into a viable life for herself. What would the people who used to make faces at Summer say if they knew she was now doodling for a living? Honestly, who even cares. Don’t let the haters and naysayers stop you from doing what you love. Use their negativity to fuel your passions even more and prove them wrong for ever having doubted you.

I asked Summer if she had any advice for readers because anyone who knows Summer knows she is always full of great advice. Summer said she had had 10 different jobs before she finally decided to work for herself at the at age of 24. She had gone through 4.5 years of college without earning a college degree, and that was perfectly okay with her. Summer has no future plans to go back to college because college just isn’t for everyone. Summer spent 2.5 years with a boyfriend, got an apartment with him, a dog, a cat and then a house together. And she somehow went from all of that to being single with three boxes to her name. And if you asked Summer, she was completely okay with that. Summer went from Ohio, to Silicon Valley, to Los Angeles in less than a year (June 2016-May 2017).

“Throughout all of this chaos, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing with my life, but there were a few solid things I knew about myself:
1. In high school I told myself I would make it to L.A. Had no idea how I’d get here, just knew I would (And she did).
2. I told myself every time I’d work at one of the 10 different jobs I had that there is no way in hell I am going to work for someone else “when I grow up”. I will be working for myself (Again, she did).
3. I promised myself that whatever I do, I’ve got to be in love with it. If I’m not in love with what I do, I’d get bored, half ass it, burn out or jump jobs. Just being honest here (Surprise! She achieved this too).
4. I am too stubborn, A.D.D, creative and driven to not be my own boss (And she now is her own boss).
“With all these changes and experiences I had, it wasn’t until about 9 months ago (Oct. 2016) that it finally CLICKED in regards to what I should be doing. Looking back at my life it seems so obvious, but if it weren’t for everything that I went through to get to this realization, I wouldn’t have gotten here. The emotional obstacles, financial obstacles, spiritual obstacles… all of it. It’s crazy everything I’ve been through and how much I’ve grown throughout the years. It’s also crazy that it was only 9 months ago I figured out what I should be doing. Like shit, I’ve been trying to figure this out for years. Little did I know that everything I was going through was guiding me all along.”
Now for the actual advice. “Pay attention to your journey. Every piece of it. You will be led to exactly where you need to be. People get so caught up in the noise, the distractions around them, what other people are saying and it blocks their true path. If your path right now feels like you’re riding on a gravel road, wearing rollerblades on your hands, ice skates on your feet and you can’t move forward at a speed that allows you to balance/not fall over… most likely you’ve been distracted, listened to the noise around you and are somewhere you don’t want to be. GOOD NEWS, if you’re aware of this, you can change it at any point in time! Don’t beat yourself up because you’re not where you want to be, this is just another piece to the puzzle. Your life is everything you make it. Remember that.
Lastly, I asked summer if there was anything people can look forward to from her in the future. Her response was, “I thrive on change, pushing my creative limits and being as multi-dimensional as possible, so people should definitely look forward to seeing my designs EVERYWHERE. I’m talking clothes, accessories, all over social media… you name it! I am currently working on some animation opportunities as well. Bringing my designs to life, cartoon style! Big things to come for sure!”
What is the moral of the story? What is the conclusion to all of this? If there’s anything you can learn from Summer, it is to follow your passions. Forget about the “norm”. What is right for one person will be very different from what is right for someone else. Ignore the haters and naysayers. Everyone has their own path. If you are not living a life full of things you love doing you’re on the wrong path. If you’re not excited to wake up and live each day, then you need to change your life. Be the best version of yourself, and follow the path that was made for you.
I want to leave you with two of my favorite quotes. I’m not sure who originally said either of them. The first is, “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” The reason I love this first quote is that it shows the importance of finding a job you love doing. If you find a job you love you will never feel like you’re working. The second quote I love is, “Entrepreneurs: The only people who work 80 hour weeks to avoid working 40 hour weeks.” The reason I love this quote is that so many people dread working 40 hours per week because they hate their job. Entrepreneurs are the only people willing to take on double the work hours if it means the chance to do work that is meaningful and enjoyable to them.

I promise this is the very last thing. Check out Summer’s social media outlets and website to see more illustrations!

Follow her on Instagram

IG: @summersilvery / @summersilvery.designs and check out her website

Zipkick: Recommendations not Reviews

Today, I have decided to try something new. I would like to share an interview I did with Jason Will, the CEO of a startup called Zipkick. I met Jason last summer while I was at Draper University. Not only is Zipkick a great concept, but Jason is also a great guy. Now for the interview.

To begin, I asked Jason for a little background on himself. A sort of mini bio. As you all know already, Jason Will is CEO of Zipkick. But how did he get there? As a child, Jason grew up in a family that has been in the grocery business for about 45 years. When Jason was older, he became a technology consultant. As part of that job, he was working on many large-scale global projects that required a lot of traveling. Zipkick was the perfect intersection of all these fields that Jason had become knowledgeable in over the years.

Now that you know how Zipkick was born, let’s find out exactly what Zipkick does. The current business model for Zipkick is quite different from its original intended purpose. Before Zipkick became what it is today, it was the first personalized way to search and book hotels. This business model only lasted about three years, because Zipkick heavily relied on a third party. About three-quarters of the way through the three years that this business model lasted, the team lost their source of review data that they had licensed from a third party. It was at that point that the Zipkick team decided not to have a business model that relied heavily on a third party.

At this point, the Zipkick needed a quick pivot to stay alive. They decided to reach out to the influencer community they had built as part of their first business to ask them what they felt they wanted out of a business that was not already offered to influencers. The influencers wanted a way to increase their follower count, increase their engagement with followers, increase opportunities to monetize, and still be 100% their genuine self. Also, Zipkick team Didn’t want influencers to compromise their values. Through this, the second version of Zipkick was born. The pivot to the second business model took place during late 2015, and they were able to launch their IOS app around the end of May 2016.

Zipkick is currently made up of almost 200 influencers. It is also important to note that, as stated in the title of this article, Zipkick is a platform for recommendations, not reviews. Businesses cannot buy their way onto the platform. Every influencer that is a part of the Zipkick community is given a one on one interview with Jason before they are allowed to be a part of the platform.

As a whole, the Zipkick team learned many valuable lessons from their first business model. The importance of not relying on a third party was not the only lesson they learned. With their first business model, they released an Android app, IOS app, and web app all at the same time. This became problematic because any problem they had on one app was the same on the other two apps as well. This meant they had to spend more time fixing each issue three separate times. They learned that the second time around they wanted to launch one app at a time, and they did not want to launch a second or third app until the first was as good as it can be.

A good point that Jason made during my interview with him was, “Don’t try to manage multiple platforms until you understand your business inside and out, and how people are using it, and how you plan on generating revenue.” What he meant is to work out all the kinks in one app befoe launching another. Currently, Zipkick is only available on IOS for the reasons mentioned above. However, they do plan to launch a web app next and an Android app following the web app.

Check out the following links to learn more about Zipkick:

My Goals For 2017

I would like to start off by wishing a happy new yea to all my friends, family, and followers of my blog. I hope you are all successful in 2017, and that you can achieve all your goals for the year. Below I have outlined my goals for 2017. I will update the list as I achieve goals from the list, or if something else comes to mind that I would like to accomplish by the end of 2017.
    1. Make every minute count

      “Free time isn’t free. It’s the most expensive time you have because nobody pays for it but you.” – Jarod Kintz

    2. Get in shape

      This will come from working out regularly and eating healthy “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” – Muhammad Ali

    3. Travel

      I never want to stop traveling and creating memories. Here’s to many many more trips and many many more memories to come in my future.

      “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

    4. Friendship

      I want to keep in touch with the many friends I made over the last year. I also, hope to make many new friends this year.

      “A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.” – Unknown

    5. Keep Writing

      I hope to keep continually writing for my blog.”Whatever may come to mind. Not to write for anyone but me.

      “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”― Ray Bradbury

    6. Wood Badge

      Last year I attended Wood Badge training, and I intend to complete my ticket items or get them near completion

      “We never fail when we try to do our duty, we always fail when we neglect to do it.” – Robert Baden-Powell

    7. Money

      As a full-time student, I do not have a job. Because of this, I am spending money without money coming in. I need to monitor my expenses so I can see where I can cut unneeded expenses from my spending.

      “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” – Joe Biden