You may be aware that there is an international pandemic that is affecting business as usual. For months, it was said to be a bug far less deadly than the flu. The most vocal people saying that were several prominent elected officials, certain television personalities, and my father – a retired physician.
Given that there have been some disruptions to the global supply chain, I must be transparent with you about how these changes have affected Serial Marketer and how they will affect you going forward.
Let’s be real though — these changes are about me.
I am getting very little sunlight. That is a good thing. The sun does not cause COVID-19, but sheltering in place reduces the risk of getting it.
My apartment building is no longer accepting furniture deliveries. This will not inconvenience me, as the day before that policy started, I received a shipment of Ikea furniture and now, for the first time, I have a home office.
I put the Ikea chair together backwards at first.
You may think that is difficult to do, given that the chair spins around 360 degrees. Perhaps you are right.
The Ikea desk, which I believe is the Sworggenstrüüm model, has a cabinet that I chose to install on the left side instead of the right. Currently, that cabinet’s only contents are bottles of Tito’s vodka, tamarind Curacao liqueur, and Bulleit and Four Roses bourbon. This is not a joke. I had to readjust the shelf height to accommodate the height of the Tito’s bottle. I now have room for glassware too.
I still need to run to the kitchen to get ice. That is not a bad thing. My iPhone says I am tallying fewer than 1,000 steps daily. And it is probably overcounting.*
I am here to serve you. I am often available to chat via Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, Skype for Business, Skype for Pleasure, Skype for Mixing Business with Pleasure, and Skype for Guilty Pleasures. The last one is just a feed of me eating a tub of Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups.
When we chat, do not be alarmed if a little person runs into the room and starts making puppy noises on the call. This person does not work for me; I work for her. I introduce her as my CEO; she already knows this means she’s the boss.
If it is an audio-only call, she gets disappointed and leaves. She prefers we see each other’s faces. If there are too many people on the call, she asks me a lot of questions.
She now knows how to change backgrounds in Zoom. If it looks like we are about to be eaten by dinosaurs, please remain calm. You have much more serious things to worry about, like how much you are touching your face on those Zoom calls.
The day after I built my desk, my CEO looked at it and said, “Why do you always have beer, Coca-Cola, and tea there?” She is wrong. It was rum. Clearly, I am failing at homeschooling.
I will not be wearing any masks on our call. It is okay. I am not contagious through Zoom. Also, as of this writing, I do not have any communicable or non-communicable illnesses. Also, I only have a ski mask. This will not help prevent the spread of coronavirus. It does not matter. I do not go outside.
Alexa is concerned about me. I no longer ask what the weather is. I just ask her to add things to my shopping list. Then I go on Amazon Fresh, and there are no delivery slots available, even checking for the next month. Maybe if I asked Alexa to tell me the weather, she would give me an Amazon Fresh time slot.
The weather is always too warm in my bedroom and too cold in the office. The forecast does not change. Ever. The living room is perfect, but that’s where the CEO works.
You may be wondering what Serial Marketer is doing to keep employees safe at a time like this. We are taking protective measures, including:
- Ensuring all unnecessary staff work remotely; when your staff numbers one self-employee and the rest of your team is through Upwork, that becomes much easier.
- Washing hands and using Purell after picking up orders delivered to my lobby.
- Bolstering my emotional health by imposing a mandatory limit on checking Twitter no more than 17 times per hour.
- Getting out of my chair at least twice per day.
- Opening the window and hoping that no one has been sneezing on the pigeons that roost outside, given that those pigeons represent the only organic matter I can see, hear, or smell outside my window
One question I have received repeatedly from certain clients and peers needs to be addressed.
Many wonder if I have fled my New York City residence just around the corner from the Empire State Building. I am staying put. My presence has been needed here. Additionally, my fifth home lacks power, my fourth home lacks water, my third home has an infestation of honey badgers, and my second home does not exist. Staying with my parents in the suburbs sounds lovely, but being the good son that I am, I do not want to kill them.
Rest assured, Serial Marketer remains here for you. We are busy serving our clients and working on some new endeavors like the launch of the new Serial Marketers website along with the upcoming debut of the Berky’s Marketing English e-book.
It remains business as unusual here.
Thank you for your patronage.
Now it’s your turn. How are you faring, and what are you making of yourself?
*No need for the “Get off your butt more, Berky!” pleas. I’ll do a piece soon on how I’ve embraced yoga at the perfect time. I also don’t have my phone on me (nor a smartwatch) for when I’m most active. I still take far fewer steps than before COVID, but I am not sitting in my own bourbon-flavored drool all day. Just some of it.
P.S.: We have A LOT of links below. We also have more jobs, including a new section with a recruiter’s corner. I’d love you to spread the word and share this with anyone who might find this useful. Thanks!
LEARN. TRY. SHARE.
Beyond the resources below, we also have a #coronavirus channel in the Slack community for those who want to read and share more updates relating to the pandemic. Thanks to everyone who keeps sharing such useful resources. Please keep ’em coming in Slack or via email.
PICKING UP A NEW HUBBY
Congrats to Online Geniuses founder David Markovich for launching this: “CoronaHub is an online job board and Slack Community exclusively dedicated to confronting the worldwide burden caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The job board is designed for both healthcare workers and volunteers to connect with medical providers, as well as connect people who have recently lost work due to the economic downturn with job openings in various fields. The Slack community is designed for people to share news in their area, job openings, offers, memes, safety advice, and more.”
AN UPSTREAM BATTLE
Because I get to interact with a lot of community organizers, here’s an update from Upstream founder Alex Taub: “We’re putting out the Coronavirus Helping and Hiring Community… This is going to be open to the public and will be a hub for people looking for work and hiring in this trying time. Most job boards consist of roles that people can apply to. This will have that but also the reverse, announcing you are looking for a job. Over the past few months, while in beta, we’ve seen many people get jobs on Upstream and hope we can help, even just one person, find a job during this burdensome time. To join the community you can follow this link below – (use code e1gbX46ZV4 if prompted).”
LESSONS FROM MY FRIEND WHO HAS CORONAVIRUS
Tamar Weinberg was one of several people I knew in New Rochelle, NY (where my family lived for a decade, right next to my hometown) who was quarantined in early March when the virus still seemed like something far more distant. She shared her experiences with that, and after having an unfortunate sequel, she shared what it’s like to get tested and discover she got infected.
MY NAME IS BOND — DINING BOND
I saw this one in The Hustle. There’s a Dining Bonds initiative to support local restaurants to buy gift cards now and cash in later after this crisis passes. I love that this is here but wish it was easier to buy bonds digitally (some reader must be able to help the with this).
IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT AND I FEEL VINE
Want to create a professional-looking video to share updates on health, organizational changes, or other issues during this pandemic? Storyvine has a free template to help you do so.
TOOLS FOR REMOTE TEAMS
Do you know anyone working remotely currently? They might find this massive list useful.
CALLING AN AUDIBLE ON FREE KIDS’ AUDIOBOOKS
This is a fantastic promo: “With all of us experiencing varying degrees of social distancing and school closures, we have created something that we hope makes our customers’ lives a little easier. At stories.audible.com, you will find hundreds of our titles available completely free. The collection has been handpicked by our editors and is a mix of stories to entertain, engage, and inform young people, ages 0–18.”
A GUILDED GUIDE
It’s not a typo; it’s a pun. I promise. Guild has compiled this massive work-from-home guide.
SPRINGTIME FOR REMOTE WORKING
Here’s another massive roundup of articles, books, podcasts, tools, and products for managing or joining a remote team.
JOINING TEAM HUMAN WHEN GIVING A VIRTUAL TALK
Douglas Rushkoff shares his tips for giving a talk when you’re not in the same room as the audience. Much of it applies to presenters, but some is valuable for anyone who has an active role in virtual meetings.
KERNER’S GUIDE TO COVID
Lou Kerner is one of the best informed people about everything, so when he says these are the best resources that informed him about Covid-19, pay attention.
THE CHECKOUT COUNTER
Foursquare amassed a ton of data on the decline of foot traffic, and it’s clearly only getting worse by the day for now.
ROCKIN’ IN A D2C WORLD
Rockerbox assembled a bunch of graphs to show how various sectors of direct-to-consumer (D2C) revenues are being affected by the pandemic. These will be updated regularly with additional information based on what they’re seeing from their client base.
RIDDLE ME THIS, 49ERS
As an advisor to Riddle, I love this showcase that the San Francisco 49ers built to entertain fans in the offseason. Sadly, all sports are in the midst of an offseason (okay, fine, not esports, I get it). If you want an intro to Riddle’s founder, let me know.
IN NEW YORK YOU CAN BE A NUMA
I haven’t done a gratuitous “Hamilton” reference in a while. NUMA, the global accelerator where I’ve been a mentor for years, has a ton of financial resources spanning several states, the Federal government, and overseas.
I’m adding a section on some other links from previous editions that may be helpful, and I’ll keep adding to them so you have them all in one place:
- Bing’s COVID-19 tracker
- Domo’s coronavirus tracker and visualizations
- Financial Times: coronavirus tracker and visualizations (access for free)
- Google’s COVID-19 resources
- Upskilling During a Downturn: resources from Scott Monty and Jeremiah Owyang
- USAFacts.org: up-to-the-minute metrics
Below are events that are either virtual or scheduled far enough out that they hope to be real-world functions. Please send over any great virtual events you’re hosting or attending, and I’ll add them to the list.
All times for virtual events are EST unless otherwise specified.
STACKLIST: VC ADVICE FOR STARTUPS
March 25, 6:45pm
Stacklist is moving its events virtually, and they always have a strong speaker lineup. This week’s guests include partners from Female Founders Fund, Bowery Capital, Lerer Hippeau, and Common.
GOTHAM VENTURE MONITOR: COVID-19, ENTREPRENEURS & INVESTING
March 27, 10am
Gordon’s one of my favorite event hosts. You should join him. “Join us for a panel discussion on dealing with issues facing early-stage companies and investors during challenging times. This webinar is sponsored by the Law Office of Gordon Platt, PC.:
ECOMMERCE GROWTH SUMMIT
Via OmniConvert: “Ecommerce Growth Summit is a FREE 2-day event connecting attendees to the latest eCommerce insights and trends through streamed keynotes, breakout sessions, interactive learning and digital ‘ask an expert’ sessions.”
MAKING A RAPID SWITCH TO A VIRTUAL EVENT
March 27, 1:30pm
The Customer Engagement Co (Thece) is hosting this one, moderated by Serial Marketers member Zachary Rozga. More: “Just moving your event to the cloud is not good enough. Reformulating and reformatting the content and activities of your event must be done. From total event timing, streaming versus pre-recorded content, audience participation, audience engagement, entertainment, SWAG to sponsors and keeping them happy. We have assembled three executives that are building the plane and flying at the same time.”
DISRUPTION FORUM NY
March 31, 5:30-9pm
This is still the NY event about the future of financial services from Netguru, but now it’s virtual.
PITCH YOUR MARKETING TECH COMPANY
March 31, 5-6pm
Hosted by Richard Fallah and Hadba Batour, startups get to pitch for 3-minutes and then receive feedback.
SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK (PIVOTING TO VIRTUAL #SMWONE)
The annual slate of thought-provoking programming returns. This is another can’t-miss event, even as the topics it covers expand way beyond social media as most of us know it.
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES SUMMIT (NEW DATES)
I loved this event so much in New York that I’m joining them in Chicago as both a speaker and media sponsor. I’ll be speaking about how to build and run a successful B2B community, and of course I will be including examples from many others, with a bit of experience covering mistakes I’ve made that others can learn from.
LDV SUMMIT (NEW DATES)
February 10-11, 2021
“The premier global gathering in visual tech” is run by one of my favorite firms of any sort out there, LDV Capital. They specialize in bringing some of the best people together in all sorts of ways.
SERIAL MARKETERS SALONS
Tuesdays, 3pm EDT
Come join fellow Serial Marketers members for an upcoming virtual chat. Following the first one about working from home, our next one will be wellness. If you can’t make this coming one, you can sign in and pick whichever dates you want to RSVP for (I scheduled ten for now). Please note: it’s password-protected for members of the community. Email me for access or check Slack.
Thursdays, 3pm EDT
“At Protocol, we cover the people, power and politics of technology so you — senior tech and business decision-makers — are armed with the news and analysis to lead your organizations and build your careers. We have launched Protocol Virtual Meetups to provide you the inside scoop on what we are seeing out in the tech landscape and give us all an opportunity to stay connected in these wild times.”
Reach out to me if you want introductions or any additional information, and let me know if you have other job postings you’d like to share. There have also been many job updates within Serial Marketers, so if you’re part of that, be sure to check the #jobs channel for more.
Contact me to connect with the recruiter
RECRUITER CORNER: SEARCHLIGHT
–Senior E-Commerce Ad Manager: NYC
–Media Director, Programmatic & Social: Raleigh, NYC
–Customer Success Manager, San Francisco
(I’m trying a new section following a conversation with my recruiter friend Kelly Herrick. If you have positions you’re trying to fill, let me know. None of this is sponsored; it’s just helping great talent find great roles.)
Via Wilma in Serial Marketers: “…We are launching DRK Beauty – Out Of Office – a collection of video content, helpful and authoritative written content and live online events designed to uplift, inform and engage our audience to help us all stay connected and grounded in these uncertain times. We aim our content at communities of color which include people of African descent, Latinx, East Asian, South Asian, Native Americans, and other indigenous cultures. We’re a young company and just starting out and looking to partner with writers and other creatives to help us build out this content and to work with regularly. Check out our IG @thisisdrkbeauty.”
WOMEN IN SPORTS TECH
Fellowship (paid internship)
“This Fellowship grant of $5,000 is open to all enrolled female full-time undergraduate and graduate students at an accredited university located in the United States. Students must be in good academic standing… For the first time, in addition to consideration of Self-Created Projects by applicants this year we also offer you the ability to apply as a General Applicant for one of the Structured Internships opportunities for applicants who do not have their own project in mind. Also, in addition to the $5,000 grant, WiST will cover the cost of housing and first and last flights up to an additional $2,500 for WiST Fellows. Please see the amended requirements below. Application deadline is April 17, 2020.”
Other job resources:
- Ad Ops Online: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
- Built in NYC: Jobs at a range of levels and functions, as long as you’re okay working in this quaint, backwater hamlet.
- CareerList: Here’s a form for companies hiring and a form for job seekers; here’s the public list with tabs for both
- CoronaHub: Jobs relating to the crisis response
- ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster, but I don’t profit from it).
- The Hired Guns: An array of jobs in marketing and related fields at brands, agencies, and media companies
- Hunterz: A way for connectors to get paid to introduce startups to large enterprises
- NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
- TechNY Daily: While more technical, there are also some sales and marketing jobs at NY startups.
- VentureLoop: Free startup job listings; their paid option is $15/month and might surface more leads (but it might not).
- Wanted: Wanted helps top talent in tech and marketing find a job at your desired pay. Plug in your salary, stay anonymous at first, and connect with companies that want to recruit you.
Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I’ll share them.
This column was originally published in my newsletter. While I share the introductory column here, other updates such as jobs, events, and commentary on news are exclusively available to subscribers. Sign up now to make sure you receive it.