Content Creator. Content Marketer. Content Evangelist.
Let me begin with a bit of history of how I got to where I am today and how I’ve gained this compulsive desire for success in this industry.
I’m the son of two first-generation immigrants from Colombia with little formal education and an immense drive to succeed. My mom was a homemaker, and my dad, a traveling businessman.
I was born in the mid-70s and enjoyed a loving childhood. Our family always had food on the table and a smile on our faces despite some incredibly challenging times. My parents taught my older—and only—brother and me to believe we had it better than most people and that being charitable was our duty as humans.
My father fell ill when I was an adolescent, forcing my mom to assume the responsibility of not only running our household but working full-time and being a caretaker.
I started working as soon as I could to help my family. (At one point during college, I held three jobs!)
A different calling
In high school, I was what you might describe as “a creative type.” I liked to draw, practiced martial arts, and created skits. Though I was somewhat shy, I elected to take drama one semester and fell in love with it immediately.
I felt as though I’d finally found my place.
I pursued theater and finance in college, performing in several plays during my time there. My parents were my biggest champions, but our family’s finances remained an issue. Eventually, work became my priority, and college took a backseat.
Fortunately, I was great with people. This skill led me to a job opportunity at a bank. They hired me on the spot. I worked my way up to customer service manager and bought myself my dream vehicle – a 4×4 Chevy Silverado Z24.
My experience in banking opened the door at a residential mortgage call center. As one of their sales representatives, I learned about the internet and honed my computer skills. It quickly became apparent that one’s personality and willingness to help others could get you far in life.
I was in my early 20s with the grand opportunity to make a six-figure income. One evening, I told my parents, ‘I’m going to make $10,000 next month and will help you pay all of your bills.’
It was destiny.
Mortgage banking came easy to me. Consequently, finishing college was no longer a part of my life’s plan. I’d landed on my forever career, and I intended to be a complete success.
Through the process, I met some fantastic people, including my future wife, Yvette. One afternoon at my company’s Christmas party, I recognized her from my college drama class. She was waiting in line behind me at the bar. I was pleasantly surprised to see her. She seemed pleasantly surprised to see me too.
After months of getting to know each other, we’d built an amazing friendship. Yvette even inspired me to pursue acting again. So, I saved up enough money to quit my job and take a one-year hiatus to act.
I was in two low-budget movies (both went straight to Blockbuster), several music videos and commercials, including Publix and Pepsi, some plays, and an infomercial about internet safety.
This infomercial was part of a much higher purpose. In just a few months, I’d find myself traveling in a rock-star-style tour bus across 22 states and over 40 cities with my co-star and her business partner, a driver and a roadie, and Yvette who was also out of work.
The company was called ParentsConnected. We partnered with public schools and local venues in low-income communities to teach parents and kids how to be safe on the internet (a novel concept at the time). Our biggest sponsors were Terra Lycos and Hewlett Packard.
The concept was ahead of its time. It should have been met with much success had it not been for the tragedies on September 11th, 2001. Our sponsors quickly pulled out, and we pulled the tour bus off the road for good.
Forks in the road
Here I was looking for work again. I returned to sales, this time for a large international bank’s U.S. residential mortgage call center. A few years later, in 2004, I married Yvette and we started our family.
The year is 2008, and the banking industry is in a crisis. It resulted in me losing my job as an account executive for Citibank months after having our second son.
Side note: I know this story is long, but I promise it’s worth the read. It’ll prove why you should never burn bridges and keep those who have helped you along the way close to your heart.
One of our friends, Ken LaVan, from ParentsConnected was not only an entrepreneur but an attorney. He was three years into building what would become one of the most successful Social Security (SSD) and Veterans’ (VA) disability law firms in the country with over 20,000 SSD cases and 6,000 VA cases.
He had just bought a website for his law firm and hired Yvette to manage the project. You can read that story in Yvette’s bio.
While Yvette was working with Ken, I was at home running Daddy Daycare for my 2-year-old and 9-month-old sons. Talk about experiences! Let’s say I don’t envy stay-at-home moms or dads.
I took advantage of my idle time between naps and park visits to research what Yvette and Ken were creating at We Do Web (WDW). With little knowledge of SEO or content marketing, they formed WDW on the principle of helping internet users find answers and practical tips online. Keep to this principle, and the success of your website follows.
It all comes full circle.
I eventually had to start working again, so I accepted a position at a friend’s advertising agency. The company sold banner ads and billboard space to lawyers. I was getting my feet wet while investigating the clients’ websites on the side based on the amount or type of content they were publishing. To no surprise, they weren’t.
WDW had a few clients at this point, and with the knowledge I’d gained at my current company, I joined WDW to help them get to the next level.
My journey started with cold calling attorneys, busting my chops sharing content, and building relationships through social media platforms. Linkedin was my vertical of choice. I read articles and books by Chris Brogan, Lee Oden, John Jantsch, Brian Tracy, Seth Godin, David Amerland, Dan Kennedy, and Ann Handley.
Later, we began attending legal marketing conferences. Together, we built an honest company. A company of real people that grew—and continues to grow—through its clients’ success.
Stand apart from the crowd.
Our process takes a different approach to SEO and online marketing. We don’t consider ourselves as just content writers. We’re an integral part of a machine that, without quality content, doesn’t run as it should.
Content can be anything you imagine it to be. I want our team to tell stories that inspire, educate, and engage users.
Well, now you know my story (up to this point in my life, at least). Join me as I continue to seek your success and ours. I believe in doing business with people you like and trust, and I hope this letter guides you.
Now, buy some content!