On one side of the spectrum, I am a digital marketing professional with the role of Senior SEO Strategist at Lakeview Health, with a side gig of providing SEO services for small businesses in Jacksonville. On the other side of the spectrum, in my spare time, I am an independent filmmaker, most known for my award-winning VR addiction short film, Real Reality: Life Inside The Discomfort Zone. I also wrote a semi-searched article talking about Mandela Effect examples on my blog. On top of juggling these few things, I also make time to do my favorite job of all: being a father. My heart is with my children and my family, but I love what I do for a living, too.
I know what most people think when they see this site: there is no way he is able to do all of these things. The truth is, it’s hard. I’m both a left and right brained person, constantly battling what it is I really want to do versus what I can do realistically.
From right-brained skills like photography, video production, and web design to left-brained skills like SEO, content marketing, and analytics, I’ve had the luxury of learning many different skills over my years. I am autodidactic in my skills set, in that many of the skills I’ve learned have been self-taught or through professional opportunities. I’ve held a variety of jobs since I was 16 years old: from unloading trucks, selling shoes, and selling beer at NFL games, to executing highly profitable SEO campaigns and working in a world class photography studio. I’m very well rounded, to say the least.
How I Got My Start As A Digital Marketing Professional
I’ve been building websites since 1996, when I used to use Microsoft Frontpage Express to build my Michael Jordan fan page hosted on Geocities. The earliest evidence of me building websites is from this weird website I created in 2002, which is basically v 1.0 of what this site is. Due to growing up in Munford, TN (population around 4,000 in 2001 when I graduated high school), I was brainwashed to believe I was going to be a teacher, which is ultimately what I went to college for. Needless to say, I didn’t want to do it and I spent most of my 20’s confused about what I actually wanted to do.
In 2012, I applied for a job to be a Product Photographer at an e-commerce company that I’d never heard of. In a short time there, I started working closely with the social media and digital marketing team and through my desire to learn more about what the company had to offer, I applied for a position as an SEO Associate. Basically, my first experience in SEO was being dropped into the world of the enterprise level, business-driving SEO team at Fanatics, Inc, the industry leading sports merchandise e-commerce company that operates websites for all of the major professional sports leagues, top media brands, and over 150+ NCAA and professional sports teams.
After 4 years of working at Fanatics, I decided to start freelancing SEO. In 2016, I landed enough clients to start working independently, while also being a stay-at-home dad to two children under the age of 4. In that time, I worked for a couple of agencies, but was not happy in that environment and in 2017, I started seeking out opportunities to do SEO in-house.
Since March 2017, I’ve been developing and remediating the SEO and Social Media campaigns for Lakeview Health, a nationally recognized drug and alcohol rehab that serves patients seeking addiction treatment from all over the United States. 75% of the patient population in our Jacksonville addiction treatment center is from out of the state of Florida, where our facility is located. We also just opened up a new alcohol and drug rehab in Houston, Texas which is a state-of-the-art PHP and IOP serving the whole North Houston area. The website averaged 45-55% organic traffic growth (YOY) in 2017, driving more leads each month, and it continues to rise.
How I Got My Start In Filmmaking
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to work in film or television. When you grow up in a small town, you either go with the herd or you take a risk. It took me a long time to realize that taking risks can sometimes result in achieving the things you want in life. I finally started following my dream in 2008 when I linked up with a budding filmmaker in Jacksonville. Throughout a period of 4 years, I created and participated in a handful of sketches that never really did anything. In 2013, when not executing marketing campaigns, I met my current writing partner, Rob Moccio, and started working on my own comedy based website to start practicing SEO. Together, we have produced over 50+ funny videos, commercial parodies, and award-winning short films for a sketch comedy collective we founded in 2013, Upside Down Creative Media. Without any budget or financial backing, I was able to get our content shared on several top social channels, including Comedy Central’s Twitter. We’ve also won the Audience Choice Award two years in a row (2016 & 2017) for two separate comedic short films, in two different festivals.
On the side, I am the webmaster for a few different passion project websites, including the website for the Jacksonville Short Film Showcase, an indie event focused on showcasing local films in Jacksonville. I recently partnered with Aftershock Pictures to build a website to promote their upcoming feature film, Gorehound. I also run a blog that hosts infographic submissions for SEO’s looking to gain backlinks for their linkable assets (infographics & informational videos.)
However, if you are interested in who I really am, I can tell you that I am not what I do for a living and I am not what I do in my leisure time. I am not my achievements and I am not my failures. I am not what I look like and I am not what you physically see. I am not what I have and I am not what I do not have. I am not my reputation or what other people think of me. Who I am is not separate from everybody else. I am not my ego. What you view on this website is merely a vehicle for employment, so that I can provide for my children. I don’t really identify with much of it, if you get my drift.