I am here to show you how to market yourself and your business on the internet speaking bluntly on tactics that I have employed with success. Enough of the blog; you could become a people expert later. Meet the man on the other side of the lens…
I was born in Jamaica, Queens, New York. The first memories that come to mind included some of the following scenes at the age of four and under:
- Standing in the kitchen talking with my mother; probably getting yelled @ because I was always and still point out her mistakes.
- Walking on hot Colombian sand; then tasting it.
- Stabbing my cousin in Colombia with a pencil pretending I was a doctor drawing his blood.
- Laying naked under some sheets in an air-conditioned room with a fever and in cold sweats; I had food poisoning from eating Colombian pork-fried rice.
- Getting burned on my calf with the motorcycle’s exhaust pipe before jumping on my uncle’s bitch seat.
- Threatening to have my french poodle bite a group of kids who were throwing snow balls at me; I grew up with those kids; played manhunt and baseball with them; and whooped their asses in basketball and handball. I went to the Navy with one. I could only beat my man, Al, in hand ball a few times; he was nice.
I could go on until next year. You’ll see more of these flashbacks surface as you view and hear me. I used to walk my dog until my ears turned red. I moved to Florida, where I believe I saw the Challenger Space Shuttle blow up. I took a crap in my pants in school in like 3rd grade. I once fell on the steps of the monkey bars; the steps were metal bars on which I landed on my groin. I moved back to New York at the age of 9 because my mother’s mother was dying. My grandmother died, and my mother became a Jehovah’s Witness. My mother forced me to go preaching at 9 am with a wool two piece suit on while my brother got to stay home and watch saturday morning cartoons – I miss you Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Isn’t writing cool? I just remembered that by verbally digging into my memories; I haven’t thought of those words in decades. I would hang out with a crew of other pre-teen Jehovah Witness apprentices. One of whom would be the big brother of a girl with whom I would go out in high school. I played soccer with them.
I moved back to Florida when I was 12 in 1987. I think I was the only person in the state to own a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). So like 6 to 10 kids would sit in my living room and steal my playing time. I’m from Queens, baby; I would charge each kid $0.25 for as many as lives as their moms allowed; better than the arcade right? And they still complained to my mother that I was exploiting them; my first labor dispute. My mother made an executive decision and forced me to let them play for free. I was pissed. I couldn’t watch TV, and I didn’t have any potato chip money to compensate for the loss of entertainment time. My operating expenses in New York were a lot more expensive; on the street all I needed was $0.50: $0.25 for a bag of chips, and $0.25 for a Quarter Water – grape, apple, or cherry drink. However, when I went to school, I maintained the status quo by buying a $1 to $1.50 sugar cone after school – forgot the exact number. Once my friends got permission to go eat pizza in Little Italy, a pizza shop behind my school, instead of eating macaroni and cheese in the cafeteria. My mother respectfully declined; but I left anyway. My second experience cutting school was when my aunt signed me up to take classes to do my first communion at the local catholic school. I went to the class the first day and never returned. I would leave school early and go home to watch G.I.Joe and Transformers.
Back in Florida, I actually got bullied when I was 13. I fought this kid that stood like 5’11, I was like 4’9. He kicked me in the stomach and punched me in the eye. I fell to the ground. We were going to fight again; I grabbed him by the throat and he grabbed my shirt. This Jehovah’s Witness fellow apprentice jumped in. He also stood at 5’11; the other dude let me go. I got a little taller when I was 15 and decided to fight all of Florida. I won some and got into a draw with some behind a Winn Dixie supermarket. I started to hang out with some kids that were from New York. We started to fight gangs and throw hookie jams in my house instead of going to school. The parties typically had more females (humans) than dudes. So everybody took a room and got busy. Some got laid; some got neck. Everybody got drunk on MD-2020; it looked like a flask of purple wine you see on homeless dudes with yellow eyes.
I got suspended from school like 16 times in the 10th grade. I was absent like 80 times, I think. I was to be transferred to a delinquent school with armed officers. I moved to New York to live with my grandparents. I grew up to be a mixtape scratching and blending DJ. I used to make mixtapes for everybody (all the kids with whom I got into the snowball vs. french poodle fight back in ’82) on the block. I learned how to cut hair, and I would cut everybody’s hair. In spite of all the trouble in which I got, I didn’t want to be the only High School drop out among my Father’s family, so I graduated from High School 6 months late and joined the Navy.
I was released in 1995, and thus began my sales and marketing career that would lead me into what I am doing now. I sold Kirby vacuums, stock in the Stratosphere casino in Las Vegas, and none of those companies paid me after my first sale. I got into club promotion and started rapping in open mics, and the Lyricist Lounge where I performed with the likes of Q-Tip, Rah Digga, Channel Live, Tony Touch. I was meeting a lot of people making moves in the rap industry and thought that’s what I really wanted. A short Nicaraguan boy with whom I went to High School in Florida, came to visit me in New York. He said that if we would get into beef he would run. Long story short, he became DMC world DJ champion: DJ Craze. I got tired of the starving artist bit, and I started to export electronics and carpentry equipment to Colombia with my father. Almost got killed in Colombia; call me for all the stories.
I stopped and decided to go to school. I went to the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), and I figured that if I was going to school, I was going to be the best at it. I graduated with honors in the top 2% of my class with either a 3.7 or 3.9 GPA; I forgot the exact stat, but I got straight A’s and only like one or two B’s. I got a scholarship to New York University (NYU). I met Sree in ’02 I think; and his links to Search Engine Land embarked me on the internet marketing adventure on which I dance today. If you read this far, I thank you for your time. I’ll be filling in more details into this page as time allows – clients play tug-o-war with my arms, so the brand dev time has to play the bench most of the time; but my team is growing, so I could spend more time with you.
Neal Rodriguez is an online marketer with a 10-year background in social media engagement and search engine optimization that spans across many verticals including companies serving luxury markets, such as private jet charters and fractional homes, and b-to-b sales engagements. Neal has executed blog outreach, mainstream media placement, and SEO campaigns to promote events featuring Donald Trump and other high-profile athletes and celebrities. Neal is managing director of Shovecom LLC, a New York Interactive Agency.
Neal has engineered SEO and social media strategy for many enterprise-level brands, including Billboard.com, TheHollywoodReporter.com, Adweek.com, and PDNonline.com. Neal drove over 1 million page views to an Adweek microsite in less than a week engaging communities on major social media platforms for over $90,000 in revenue in about 4 days; Neal drove another million page views to a vlog article in less than a week; and drove over 3 million page views to Nielsen Business Media web properties during his tenure with Nielsen.
As a freelance marketing consultant, Neal has helped companies meet and exceed revenue and traffic driving objectives for which their websites were developed. Neal has helped small businesses go from $0 in revenue from the internet to $150,000 monthly.
Neal has been featured on PBS’s Media Shift and the City University of New York. Find his latest video interviews of the brightest minds in interactive marketing and generation-x mashups on nealrodriguez.com where his shows have received over 70,000 page views.
Neal also writes for the HuffPo and PBS.
Neal Rodriguez features best practices launching social media marketing campaigns… having a ball doing it I love each and every one of you.
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