From right-brained skills like photography and video production 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 services in Jacksonville. 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.
In 2017, I started 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 was from out of the state of Florida, where the treatment facility is located. Through this opportunity, I was able to work with medical professionals from all levels to create unique content that drove traffic from all parts of the funnel. Feel free to read the case study on the success I had while there.
In September 2018, I accepted a position working for Pearson, an international publishing company that also partners with universities from around the world. I am currently leading a team of talented SEO analysts that are working to improve the online presence for many of the top higher education institutes in the world.
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. I attended Second City of Chicago (online) to take writing classes for TV and film and since then, have produced over 50+ funny videos, commercial parodies, and award-winning short films for a sketch comedy collective I founded in 2013, Upside Down Creative Media. Without any budget or financial backing, we were 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.
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.