Employer: SnapShyft

Job Title: Head of Demand Generation

Education: High School Diploma

Hometown: Greenwood, IN

Current City: Indianapolis, IN

What led you to your getting into tech and this occupation? What was your first job in tech?

I started out my relationship with Thor Wood and Stephanie Corliss, Co-Founders of SnapShyft, when they hired my marketing agency, Inspired Blue Media. I personally continued accepting more work with SnapShyft without even realizing at the same time I was delegating most of my work away at my own company. At that time, my company was having consistent HR challenges that slowed growth. I wanted a new, and different challenge. I knew I had many options for work since I had dozens of companies hiring my company for marketing services. I ended up becoming so devoted to the vision Thor had for SnapShyft, I felt compelled to step away from Inspired Blue Media and join the SnapShyft team full time.

What has been your career path so far?

When I was around fifteen and sixteen, I had really struggled with depression. At age sixteen, I founded a skateboard and longboard manufacturing business as therapy to myself and as a way to keep my mind busy and focused on something positive. With the growth that we had and the influence we were having on other high-schoolers in the area – I realized I didn’t just create a business that created skateboards. I created a small, local platform where I can share my story and spread a message about hope, purpose, and positivity. Noticing the impact we were having inspired me to continue in entrepreneurship. 

By eighteen I founded a marketing company called Inspired Blue Media. Inspired Blue Media saw large growth after I had spent some time getting mentored by Dennis Yu. Dennis Yu is the Chief Executive Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company which also partners with schools to train young adults. Dennis’ mission is to provide education at no cost to students. Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise in digital marketing to drive leads and sales by managing ad campaigns for enterprise clients like The Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone. I was able to apply what I learned from Dennis, his company, and his employees to my company.

By nineteen I was full-time with SnapShyft. I also co-founded a non-profit, with Don Wettrick and Hunter Stone, called The STARTedUp Foundation. We launched an accelerator program equipping winners of a state-wide pitch competition to take ideas from the whiteboard to the world. Our 2018 beta program is currently being piloted in partnership with Ball State University and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. The STARTedUP Foundation, empowers and equips high-school entrepreneurs and innovators with programs, events, and curriculum.

Now, I’m twenty. I’m really happy and motivated while still SnapShyft and The STARTedUp Foundation.

When you think of a day in your life, what are the main work activities you do or responsibilities you have?

My main responsibilities include the following:

– Managing and optimizing search, social, retargeting and display campaigns
– Identifying and managing content distribution and thought leadership opportunities
– Developing programs to nurture visitors and prospects through the stages of our marketing funnel
– Manage all inbound and outbound demand generation channels, such as email, direct mail, digital advertising, SEO, webinars, and events.
– Keeping myself informed and aware of trends, new technologies, new marketing channels, and best practices

Communication is a big and important aspect of my job. I must be quick to provide commentary, reports, or metrics at any given time.

Help us picture your work environment.

I am a full-time remote worker. That means my office is my living room, an airport terminal, my actual home office, a coffee shop, an Uber, or a co-working space. I like having the variety of places to work. It keeps things interesting and allows me to constantly have new ideas. In 2017, I traveled a lot for work. In 2018, most of my trips were very intentionally planned and were a lot more calculated thus having me only need to leave a couple times throughout the year.

I work in specific time slots. If I am executing tasks that are more strenuous on the brain or just simply very important, then I will find a quiet spot, play light music in my headphones, and block out the world around me. According to Gloria Mark, who studies digital distraction at the University of California, Irvine, It takes an average of about 23 minutes to return to your original task after a distraction.

If I am executing tasks that are much less taxing on the brain or of lesser importance, then I end up iterating with a lot more people.

When you exercise, you release a hormone in your brain called Endorphins. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. I developed the habit where if I am feeling sluggish, bored, or unmotivated at work – I’ll do about twenty-five pushups, pull-ups, or dips. Each time I do this, I come back to my computer ready and energized to work. Try it for yourself.

The problem with meetings is that sometimes, or most of the time, they can be done with an email.

Jeremy standing next to entrepreneur Don Wettrick after speaking at Butler University

What do you love about the work you do?

To do something, however small, to make others happier and better, is the highest ambition, the most elevating hope, which can inspire a human being. That’s the quote I live by. I’m passionate about my work if it directly or indirectly impacts someone else.

In my opinion, knowing that your actions can make other people happier and better is one of the most exciting and fulfilling things this world can offer to us.

Which personality traits, interests, and abilities are important or common for a person to succeed in and enjoy this occupation?

–  Know how to balance multi-tasking and work efficiencies
– A team player – Most marketing-tech jobs require a lot of collaboration.
– A cultural fit – Employers hire based on those who embody the value of the company.
– Be Self-Aware – Understanding and knowing who you are including your skills, values, interests, behaviors, and character can be really valuable from an interviewing perspective but also in day-to-day operations.

Which tools/technologies or technical skills are particularly important for a person in your job to be proficient in?

My work revolves around Slack, Adobe Premiere Pro, Google Suite, Google Analytics 360 Suite, Facebook Business Manager, and other analytics dashboards.

If you’re going to be in marketing it’s really helpful to have a few technical skills like video editing, website design, excel (Google Sheets), basic data analysis. I’ve made it a goal of mine to develop as many skills as I can because that is an easy lever to increase your value to the marketplace. The more valuable you are to the marketplace, the more hireable and desirable you will be to employers, clients, customers, investors, and business partners.

Which soft skills (aka general business skills or employability skills) are particularly important for a person in this occupation to be proficient in?

– Able to easily shift between strategic thinking and smart execution

– A strong, proactive communicator

– Accountable for the success of your efforts and accustomed to owning specific KPIs

– Willing to listen and learn

– You are adept at organizing and directing a path forward with minimal direction

– You are a creative problem solver, using intellectual curiosity to surface insights and implications to make strategic recommendations and build consensus

From your experience with students applying for and beginning jobs in this occupation, are they missing any particular knowledge, skills, or experiences that hold them back? Please describe.

Digital marketing is a very popular and effective form of marketing in tech.l The problem is, however, digital marketing is a fast-changing landscape. A portion of my job simply includes staying informed in the digital space. From my experiences, sometimes new grads have out-dated information about marketing, especially digital.

This is why I recommend students take, often free, online courses from marketing authority leaders like Google, Facebook, Hubspot, Digital Marketer, etc.

Which resources, people, books, websites, etc. would you recommend to those who want to learn more or advance their skills in this occupation?

For students wanting to have relevant information for digital marketing, I recommend online courses from marketing authority leaders like Google, Facebook, Blitzmetrics, Hubspot, Digital Marketer, etc. A lot of these courses are free as well.

People I recommend to follow and learn from:
Seth Godin, Mari Smith, Dennis Yu, Andrew Chen, Jon Youshai, Simon Sinek

Books I recommend to read:
‘Start with WHY’ by Simon Sinek, ‘Contagious’ by Jonah Berger, ‘Hooked’ by Nir Eyal

What encouragement or advice would you offer to others considering this occupation or wanting to stand out amongst others?

If you want to know you’re moving in the right direction, then follow this basic philosophy a mentor taught me:

Learn, Do, Teach

Do this exercise:
1. Look at your current career and current position

2. Ask yourself these three questions: Are you learning? Are you doing great work? Are you able to give back to others whether through teaching, mentorship, or serving?

3. If not then maybe you can arrange your career so that you hit each of these areas.

In my experience, I’m most happy at work when I’m able to learn new things, do great work, and teach others.

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