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EXECUTION Pacific Northwest cannabis industry media project attempt #2

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Jonathan Hoch

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The hills in Seattle are already no joke. Add snow? You’re slipping all the way down and into the Puget Sound.

At least the snow is incredibly rare in Seattle. Just sucks that it’s mid-grind-mode.
 

Jonathan Hoch

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Glad to hear the ice age is over! If I’m ever back up in the PNW, I’ll be needing a tour.

Have you thought about growing “child” accounts? I would suggest a Handful of smaller accounts so you still have plenty of reach, without as much risk.
 

Jonathan Hoch

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Yah so glad that chit is done, now its just cold as balls, but I see the light! When you come back u may need a tour as it probably will have changed so much, crazy the growth here.

I've seen others do it, but since I haven't taken my main account serious, I don't really want to deal with a second one. Im talking with some local people to form a team and once that is done I for sure will get on secondary accounts.

Is Instagram a specialty of yours?
No, but I get obsessive about something and then move on. I had an instagram kick, and rapidly grew a ford raptors account to a couple thousand followers, and then abandoned it for some other shiny object.

It was nothing but re-posting other peoples trucks, and giving them credit. Then it snowballed and people started tagging it when they would post their own stuff.

I still get tagged notifications for it all the time. But I don’t own a raptor, just a regular v8 f150. And it was taking too much time to source awesome pics. Although, I should probably fire it back up, because the engagement was fairly high, at around 1,000-1,500 likes per pic, on an account that had just around 2,000 followers at the time.

I was going to buy a couple of weed IG accounts, as they are super easy to grow. Everyone loves showing off their bongs, blunts, and babes, so there is a ton of source material to post and repost.

The big thing, is growing them yourself. And that can take time :( I have a few friends I can talk to about helping develop a strategy for you if you would like. If you’re serious, definitely delegate this stuff to someone else. It’s boooooooring!
 

Private Witt

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The week leading up to the event was a complete nightmare, worse than during the snow nonsense. I had around 6 sponsors cancel on me for one reason or another. I also had a few performers have issues and bailed on me. In addition, I had a few problems with my core team out of cannabis. Im happy to say I found solutions and took it to the wire with getting stuff done for the event.

Swag bag heroes rose and got a huge donation of 50 beanies from a new cannabis brand. Also had an amazing reach-out on Instagram at the right time and two days later had a box of bag fillers shipped from across the state to a new friend. A few other companies came through and the bag came out dope. Ill link a pic when I have the media going.

My human resources consolidation was a huge success. I was able to weed out a ton of posers and find the true players. I will say the lack of attention was the main culprit. Many of these people Ill still see and be friends with but any business will have to wait as Im going to be processing and working with those who showed up at this important time.

I ended up working with around 25 entities for the whole event. I think I want to get to 35 in the near future but still processing the information and will have a new set of standards developed for the next show. I will say doing a show a month is a little nuts at this time, but for sure want to get to this level. I do think I may do other creative events and can hit the one a month during 2019.

I had massive Instagram success when I brought on two cannabis influencers who many would consider 420 models. Posting their pics that they were on my staff brought me two models who ended up coming as VIP guests. I will be closing deals with the two models within a few weeks. The two cannabis influencers are more complicated due to higher costs and also due to the fact they have established brands and deeper business will take more work and time. Also a rapper reached out and he became a non-paid opener for exposure trade. He did well and has a nice following due to being a former wrestler and could be an interesting side story and will be doing more work with him.

While the lead-up was from hell the actual event was beyond epic. Everything went correct and those who were involved all came through. So many people shined that Im still a little shocked. I lost money due to many factors but was worth it. My contact base has exploded from musicians, models, brands, and others it was worth every penny.

Ive learned there is massive after effects from events and is a great time to strike deals and pump up media. Im going to rest a bit while working from home, but have a feeling it will be a big few weeks. One thing to note the manager from a cannabis VC fund was at the show and he is on a cannabis brand team that is launching and looks like I may have some media rolling out on the company and event, will be interesting if I can get a meeting with this guy, but at this point Im going to draw resources from a pool of family and friends who make small investment intake smooth and quick.

Looking forward to a event non-planning break, but already know Ill have something on the books quickly as it seems I just can't stop :).
 

Private Witt

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I hate to say this but the reaction to the virus has been one of the worst situations Ive ever experienced. I spent four months positioning this event to be epic and a big brand bump up, but not looking like this is going to happen, its all about survival now.

My income from my regular gig dropped over 50% due to the connection to the tech industry. This has demotivated me and I've been working less hours. Ill be alright with my bills, but think in a few months will see a cause and effect and my business abilities will be hampered at the wrong time.

Tickets sales have stopped, cancellations are rolling in and music promoters are telling me people are stopping going to shows. My team wants to go ahead, 18 - 0 voted yes to proceed. Keeping in contact with the Hard Rock Cafe on safety proticals and if the event needs to be cancelled. I prefer not to reschedule as want to clear this event, if so would have to be summer and just detach for a month or two to re-balance and start marketing again. As for cancelling, if full refund from venue would end up losing around 1500. I wouldnt mind at this point as the loss wouldnt kill me and can get out of this nightmare and can just focus on content, my newspaper and business structuring.
 

Private Witt

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Sorry to read about your troubles.

I'm close by (Vancouver) but the hysteria hasn't hit Canada as hard . . . yet. Just today I was doing my weekly groceries (just a top up, I have more than a month of stuff stocked up just in case) and for the first time my local Walmart was out of certain brands of toilet paper, all out of cheap sanitary wipes, and low on the giant, cheap bags of rice.

All it will take is the first death in the country and I have a feeling it will be SHTF time: no more public events, school closures, MAJOR business impact, etc.

The weekend when the news was released of the first deaths in WA, there were TWO major conventions happening for different scenes, one on Vancouver and one in Seattle, and I know that a lot of people from both countries went to each one. There's no way it isn't spreading in Vancouver and probably the rest of Canada by now.

It's only a matter of time . . .

It came so quick for me last Monday. I was following in China but once seeing the real impact it really hit hard. If this thing duplicates what it has in Seattle the economy is going to take an epic chit dive.

Good luck up there.
 

GravyBoat

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Way to keep a positive attitude man. I just read this entire thread after not having seen it before, and kinda saw the ending coming now that we're here. What a shit show. Keep your head up. Your hard work will pay off in spades.

I'm from Seattle so next time I'm back there I'll hit you up. Seem like a cool dude.
 

GravyBoat

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Thank you Gravy, your words help.

Im sorry to say I got really negative yesterday and have entered a funk. The reality hit that my dwindling income may not be as stable as I thought and on top, my main investor is in trouble and a future scheduled cash injection may be in jeopardy as well as my remaining business balance as I had terms on the deal that I wont be able to meet now.

Not going to lie Im a little shocked and Im on day 15 now. I guess yesterday when heard San Fran shut down and that Washington closed bars and restaurants it shook me up a bit. The virus doesnt scare me that much as I live alone and have limited contact, but worry about my elderly parents. Once my pay took a hit two weeks ago and saw how Seattle shut down in front of my eyes, the feeling of impending economical collapse was really what I feared the most, knowing the cause and effect could take me out and so many others.

The exact same thing happened to me man.

My roommate and others were spewing about how we need to get guns, and crazy shit like that, for about 3 days now. I also checked the news a few times, and heard other people freak out.

I ended up sending some pretty sad depressing messages to my groups.

I woke up this AM and realized that I was tripping.

I immediately took back what I had said, and assured everyone that we will be just fine. Keeping the calm is worth the MOST right now.

Then I went and made a bunch of money and feel all better.

Keep your head up and CUT the negative news sources, and channels of negativity. Tell those people you need to do some self reflection and self improvement, and that you'll talk to them once things pick back up again.

Seriously do this. I just came out of the same feeling you had.
 

Bearcorp

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Did your business do anything special for 4/20? The Zoom sessions sound like it would be a laugh!
 

Private Witt

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Did your business do anything special for 4/20? The Zoom sessions sound like it would be a laugh!

No, there were so many events from big boys decided to just jump on and learn what they were doing. One local major player in media industry had Whoopie Goldberg, Ricky Williams, Mike Tyson and other bigger names on and music.

I'd love to live stream a national name but for now just gonna work on building this Thursday event very simply and at almost no cost.

Another note a friend of mine is creating branded masks and may order a few dozen and slap on models and see what happens.
 

SteveO

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What a roller coaster ride! Hang in there and keep moving forward.
 

Private Witt

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Not to mention the people this person probably knows, and that if you're not a good match for her, she might know of someone else who can help you out in some way.

Exactly!

I ended up going in and had a nice talk with her. We both agreed I'm not a tech company and would not qualify. The thing is I have a lot of undeveloped tech-related stuff and I could fall into the specs sometime in 2019. She suggested I work out of that branch for a bit and we can meet so she can get a better understanding of where Im going and she can see progress as I go along. Im going to think about it over the next few weeks but for now going to focus on my event tonight.

Im so happy the day is upon us as once this is over I can reevaluate so much, in addition to clearing major stress and tasks off the calendar. I don't know how long it will last as I may try to turn around and do an event in December, but there is nothing like starting a clean event with lessons learned from the last and the snuts to take the punishment once again.
 

Private Witt

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Cheering from Texas... grew up in Seattle. Down here they condescendingly call it the devils lettuce, while drinking their piss water/bud light.

Haha, will be funny how the devils lettuce attitude changes when Texas starts to feel the $$$$ potential. Ill never forget my trip to Oklahoma last summer and now the industry has gone nuts in that state.

Man, u must be shocked when you come home to Seattle. Ive been here only going on my 4th year and the changes have been incredible, what a disaster. Shocked when I hear when the long-term locals tell me what this city used to be like.
 

Private Witt

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I never plan on going back for more than maybe a few Seahawks games, so I've never looked into the laws. bummer!

You're right though, the politicians will eventually get greedy enough to want their piece of that green tax, and it'll spread like a humboldt county wildfire >< And of course, I'll be waiting for that gold rush with my shovels and headlamps!

As far as the accounts getting shut down, any reason why? Maybe some sort of "+21 Only" watermark on your images, so you can really showcase yourself as a responsible brand?

PS: As I was typing this, I got word back from my friend, and he naturally has lists of California and Nevada. Nothing in Washington or Oregon.

Yah the government in Washington is the big winner with a 38% tax rate and banning home grow to the public.

I dont know why but they target a lot of local influencers with shutdowns of massive cannabis Instagram and Facebook accounts. There is a lot of infighting in the industry and it could be people reporting each other for nonsense causing issues.

Im not a big fan of watermarks or putting disclaimers up to satisfy the powers-to-be. Maybe down the road I'll develop a strat, but for now happy with my small local crowd and adding a few people a day to my followers.

Speaking of BS platform rules. I just got pushed back a few days to market my event because Eventbrite rejected my listing after being up with no problem. I found a local company that allows cannabis events but waiting to get approved. Check this chit out, I do break the first as there are legal cannabis gifts in the swag bags on the buses.

It has come to our attention that your event may violate U.S. federal regulations surrounding cannabis. While various activities related to cannabis are permitted under certain states’ or countries' laws, they still remain illegal under U.S. federal law and are therefore not permitted by our Terms of Service.

Specifically, Eventbrite prohibits:

  • events where cannabis or cbd of any type is included with a ticket or registration, for example, free samples, gifts, giveaways, or infused food or refreshments available at the event
  • events where attendees learn how to extract or grow cannabis
  • dispensary tours
  • events that highlight attendees sharing their own cannabis as a key element of the event
 

Private Witt

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Damn. That’s like your entire business model summed up in 4 bullets. Stupid.

It touches on a lot but nobody really enforces that, but the ticket website I guess.

I do not like a lot of the restrictions in place in the industry. I loath business obstruction and there is some serious mismanagement going on by our great government. Is one of the cool part of the industry as there are causes to jump on and collaborate with like-minded people doing stuff.
 

Private Witt

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The hills in Seattle are already no joke. Add snow? You’re slipping all the way down and into the Puget Sound.

At least the snow is incredibly rare in Seattle. Just sucks that it’s mid-grind-mode.

Yah man, its nuts on those hills. It looks like the last few days have been a warmup and on Friday and Saturday the worst snowstorm to hit Seattle in a long time is coming. Than a day off and another storm Monday and Tuesday.

Ill be ready for this one stocked up with supplies and no meetings. As long as I have Internet I can get stuff done. I do have to do more sponsorship work than I thought as I have a few people MIA and may as well start bombing away throughout the industry as so many entities and people to reach out to.
 

Private Witt

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Glad to hear the ice age is over! If I’m ever back up in the PNW, I’ll be needing a tour.

Have you thought about growing “child” accounts? I would suggest a Handful of smaller accounts so you still have plenty of reach, without as much risk.

Yah so glad that chit is done, now its just cold as balls, but I see the light! When you come back u may need a tour as it probably will have changed so much, crazy the growth here.

I've seen others do it, but since I haven't taken my main account serious, I don't really want to deal with a second one. Im talking with some local people to form a team and once that is done I for sure will get on secondary accounts.

Is Instagram a specialty of yours?
 

Private Witt

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That is pretty cool your page grew like that.

Yah I find it boring and I dislike phones and that is why I just drop and GTFO. But Im seeing some pretty amazing human resources results as well as tickets sales through IG so will be stepping my game up.

Thanks for the offer for help, will get back to you on that. My plan right now is to put a local team together for my events out of the ones who shine on this one. Ive talked with a few of the prospects and they are up for joining on a local IG growth campaign. I really need local content and others maintaining the content and posting, but for now Ill just have to slug it out and not gonna lie enjoying it as getting some fantastic zero cost results, but once this event is over feel like Ill get back to it being a drag and the only way to get real growth is with on-the-ground help.
 

Private Witt

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Today has been rough as Seattle has been gripped with Coronavirus panic.

My event is in 26 days and now a little nervous. Going to let the week play out but if this blows up I'm gonna need to cancel. In for 3.5k and total budget was 6k with remaining expenses being paid over next two weeks.

Any advice on this one, never in my mind thought this would be issue until this morning when news started leaking about local cases and an expected uptick coming soon.
 

EVMaso

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Sorry to read about your troubles.

I'm close by (Vancouver) but the hysteria hasn't hit Canada as hard . . . yet. Just today I was doing my weekly groceries (just a top up, I have more than a month of stuff stocked up just in case) and for the first time my local Walmart was out of certain brands of toilet paper, all out of cheap sanitary wipes, and low on the giant, cheap bags of rice.

All it will take is the first death in the country and I have a feeling it will be SHTF time: no more public events, school closures, MAJOR business impact, etc.

The weekend when the news was released of the first deaths in WA, there were TWO major conventions happening for different scenes, one on Vancouver and one in Seattle, and I know that a lot of people from both countries went to each one. There's no way it isn't spreading in Vancouver and probably the rest of Canada by now.

It's only a matter of time . . .
 

Private Witt

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Way to keep a positive attitude man. I just read this entire thread after not having seen it before, and kinda saw the ending coming now that we're here. What a shit show. Keep your head up. Your hard work will pay off in spades.

I'm from Seattle so next time I'm back there I'll hit you up. Seem like a cool dude.

Thank you Gravy, your words help.

Im sorry to say I got really negative yesterday and have entered a funk. The reality hit that my dwindling income may not be as stable as I thought and on top, my main investor is in trouble and a future scheduled cash injection may be in jeopardy as well as my remaining business balance as I had terms on the deal that I wont be able to meet now.

Not going to lie Im a little shocked and Im on day 15 now. I guess yesterday when heard San Fran shut down and that Washington closed bars and restaurants it shook me up a bit. The virus doesnt scare me that much as I live alone and have limited contact, but worry about my elderly parents. Once my pay took a hit two weeks ago and saw how Seattle shut down in front of my eyes, the feeling of impending economical collapse was really what I feared the most, knowing the cause and effect could take me out and so many others.
 

Private Witt

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I sunk into a what I would call a darkness with light. All I wanted when I came here was to be free with movements after being locked down in the PNW so long. It was critical I had solid wheels. After 55 days without my car I was so thrown off, especially the last 12 without a car to drive at all. No busses, very few walkable food options that is not crap food, Uber even is a failure as many times not available as Im on the edge of Tulsa into the sticks. So hot too, 95+, pure humidity everyday which I knew I was getting into, but when reality hits, it sure gets real daily.

Also I use weed for medication and not to have access due to not converting on the card has been very damaging. Luckily with a car I can access the black market, but the lack of the card does hurt my industry access, but should be solved in time, the card is in the mail, just not arriving.

The light was emitting because local business pulsations have been emitting pretty hard. I keep pushing forward but just stayed out of deals, became more of an observer. I havent even launched my own social media, but an article I wrote on a event got linked at least by five influencers all over local FB groups and my site has been very active in Oklahoma and Texas. It was a surprise on Texas, mostly from Dallas which is like 3.5 hours away. this info is helpful information when I start to market both cannabis and music events.

Im now talking to a ton of local players and I can now see many pathways for forward motion. My site is a basic WP theme which gets the job down. Its pretty clean and feel down the road Ill migrate to another platform for feature reasons and also have had a lot of issues with this site, one being with speed. I got down to 2 to 3 seconds but there are issues with the theme and can do way better. Ill be talking about the site soon as know I could get great feedback on the FLF.

I got my car back yesterday and the weight I felt lifted off was huge. Instead of 4 weeks they did it in 10. The shop ended up breaking down the 1st replacement engine and figuring it out and after putting 100 miles on it between them and me its running perfect. I drive like an old lady now and wont be testing the engine for a bit. I was able to get my cannabis medication on the black market and now feel so much better, in particular my incredible constantly painful lifelong tainted knee.

Going pump another event piece of content and distribute the same way like the one mentioned above within the next three days. This one can be better as the event was high profile. Going to get my social media going focusing on FB (0 followers), Instagram (47 followers), YT (have five videos up), and two cannabis related social networks.

Lastly, Im shortlisting venues for both small and larger events. My budget for events is from 1k to 20k so I can make some magic including very well-known names with an interesting short list for the first events Ill share soon.
 

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