I would not have met many of the people who have been on this list if it weren’t for a random encounter and interaction with Jeremy Smith.
(friend and Founder/CEO, JeremySaid)
Jeremy Smith is a marketing consultant, writer and instructor that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for seven or so years.
His specialty is helping businesses drive revenue and lead capture through data-driven conversion optimization. In English, that means Jeremy helps companies better understand how do drive more business through their website by using data to determine how people are buying, what they are buying and how they got to your website in the first place.
He launched his current venture, a marketing consultancy called JeremySaid, in 2010, but previously founded Twine Interactive in downtown Raleigh. For a while, you may have seen their office in the heart of Fayetteville Street when the street first reemerged as the center of Raleigh’s business and nightlife. After selling his stake in Twin Interactive, Jeremy went out on his own.
In addition to his consulting work, Jeremy has been working with my company to develop and teach marketing courses across the US. From Google AdWords and Analytics to Social Media and marketing strategy, Jeremy has helped us develop and teach a full curriculum of marketing courses.
But +100 sessions later, Jeremy and I still laugh that if it weren’t for one random and seemingly insignificant tweet, none of this probably would have happened.
It was around 2008 at a luncheon for the Triangle Chapter of the American Marketing Association when Jeremy and I first crossed paths.
As the times were back then, I strolled in late, grabbed some food and grabbed a seat without talking to anyone. I was good about strategically missing networking times at events. However, in this case, it meant sitting at one of the tables in the front of the room because those were the only open seats. No biggie.
I couldn’t tell you what the topic was or who the speaker was because meeting Jeremy was what stuck with me. What I do remember is that at some point in the middle of the presentation, as is always the case, somebody’s phone started to ring.
Smart ass me had to say something, but of course my social anxiety meant not actually doing it aloud. So what does any good millennial marketer do…I went to social media.
Shaking my head at this person, I pulled out my phone and headed to Twitter. Mind you, it was 2008 so Twitter wasn’t super popular at this point, but it was gaining traction in the marketing world.
Anyway, so I threw out a quick post that basically read something like: “You’d imagine that with all our technology, people would learn to put their phones on vibrate.”
(Side note: Why is that 7 years later, in 2015, that inevitably someone’s phone will still go off during a business presentation. It’s literally one switch to turn it to vibrate. Come on people! You’re better than that.)
Little did I know that the event organizers had someone monitoring Twitter for the event and they spotted my tweet. Even more strangely, they were sitting a couple seats away from me.
That person was Jeremy Smith.
We made eye contact, he said is that you, pointing to my tweet on his phone, and we exchanged a little chuckle.
That lead to a handshake and an introduction when the presentation was over and we went our separate ways. The two of us continued to follow each other on Twitter, occasionally exchanging info and thoughts and later started to connect at more live marketing events around Raleigh.
Jeremy helped me breakthrough many of networking phobias and introduced me to many of the local who’s-who’s of our profession. He introduced me to people like Ryan Boyles, Greg Ng, Phil Buckley, Jeff Tippett, Chris Moody, Dan London and so many more.
I was only a few years out of school and I learned a ton from Jeremy, the people he connected me with and from all of the events I went to. They shaped me and directly contributed to my professional success early on.
And that all traces back to Jeremy and my one snarky tweet.
I have so much respect for Jeremy that he was one of the first people I reached out to when my company was first considering the marketing training division that is now ASPE-ROI.
Today, Jeremy and I unfortunately don’t get to talk as much as we used to despite how much our companies work together. However, I’m excited that a current project is actually starting to change that because the two of us in a room gets exciting. It’s rapid fire and some really creative work results from it.
So, while this has been mostly a story of how we met and a thank you to Jeremy for what he did for me, let me finish by getting to the point about why he inspires me.
I’ve watched Jeremy build two successful marketing businesses, one completely from scratch. He is also incredibly well-rounded, which made him a perfect choice to help us build a curriculum of courses. Even for cutting edge concepts, Jeremy’s thirst for knowledge has helped him stay ahead of the masses and has resulted in our business making better decisions. From traditional marketing and direct response to digital marketing and data-driven optimization, Jeremy does it all.
That to me is rare, inspiring and how I strive to be.
But even more than that, Jeremy is loyal. He’s done and continues do a ton for me. He’s been a great friend. He’s always there when you need him despite his hectic schedule and travel. That loyalty and dependability may be even more rare.
To wrap up, I’ve had a lot of strong connections, colleagues and even friends come and go, but one of them never has.
And it’s all because of 140 snarky characters.