Why Wandering Eye?

Why Wandering Eye?

Hello! My name is Paul Eide and I am President and CEO of Wandering Eye Marketing.

The term “wandering eye” is typically applied with some level of consternation.

Which never made sense to me. Except when my high school math teacher would warn the class right before a test that he was on the lookout for “wandering eyes.” Because I was terrible at algebra lol. And still am.

Old Spice
JJ Watt

Paul interviews NFL All-Pro JJ Watt at the ESPY Awards

What is a wandering eye, really?

Looking at an attractive person, or a sunset, or great brand, is a natural physiological reaction. You can’t control it; you just do it. Something within compels you to look and acknowledge. It speaks to you in a non-verbal way, like animal magnetism.

Wouldn’t it be weird if a person DIDN’T appreciate something beautiful? Those people are dead inside, but EYE am not.

A wandering eye is a natural acknowledgment of attractiveness, something so attractive you have to look.

And that “too cool not to look” experience is what we are “focused” on delivering as an agency.

enthusiastic interview stud

Michael Irvin Tells INCREDIBLE 90s Dallas #Cowboys Stories!

So, how did we get here?

How did WANDERING EYE come to be?

Well, “eye” am happy to tell you.

I’ve been working in marketing and branding since 1999 – but I didn’t realize it.

My goal was to be a writer, plain and simple. Give me 30k a year (in 1999 money), a cubicle, and a view of the tree outside so I can watch the squirrels (#Milton) and I will write like a mofo.

But what I discovered was that writing is the discipline of language, the base of all other creative skills.

Think about it. Every great marketing campaign, logo, website, video anything in the realm of “digital marketing” started with a written outline, however crude. And trust me, I know crude.

So how did I realize this? I entered a writing contest held by local-Omaha entertainment rag, The Reader.

I was in my junior year of college at UNO studying Business Administration – something I thought was completely unrelated to creativity at the time. But “eye” would realize in the ensuing years that it was absolutely necessary to build a sustainable career as a writer.

I had no formal training as a writer. And still don’t lol. But I have 20+ years of experience being successful at it. The parameters of the contest were to write and submit three original pieces of content, of at least 500 words.

A friend told me about the contest on a Friday night, and the submissions were due by Monday at 9 AM – in physical form.

Remember kids, this was 1999. The internet was in its infancy. Email existed but had yet to dominate communication.

I didn’t know what was more daunting – the actual writing of the articles/ pieces, or figuring out how I was going to print it lol. #DotMatrix.

Printers sucked back then too and if you had one, you were probably a doctor or lawyer (BTW what do you call 500 million lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.). Or, you were going to a print shop and paying 25 cents per page. What a racket.

Regardless (or ‘irregardless’ as some dumbasses say which I was informed of by an astute copy editor at The Reader when I tried to use that word in an interview piece with the Wu-Tang Clan before being appropriately word shamed), I went home and sat by myself.

Akin to a mini-Burning Man, I spent the next 48 hours writing. And I came up with three absolute GEMS:

I won the contest and became an Entertainment and Music writer for the next two years.

And I quickly realized, content creation, specifically writing, has the least amount of monetary value associated with it. I.E. cash. Clams. Dinero. Bones. Duckets.

So to make a living writing, I was going to have to:

  • Write until my fingers bled
  • Figure out additional related skills
  • “Werk” with Harvey Weinstein aka Weinstein’s Wiggle Stick

But That’s Not All….

The Race Begins

I did A for a while, but then social media came to be a thing. And I employed B as a freelance social media expert for the next several years. Which is why social media management is not one of the services “eye” offer lol. But, we have partnerships with great people who have that shit mastered. I learned that social media was dependent on great writing, just in a different form. 

I was still writing as a freelancer. But I had shifted my focus to Men’s Lifestyle and sports. I LOVE sports. So much so that I started my own sports blog and created a moderately successful YouTube channel, both full of first-person content at the biggest events, with the biggest athletes, in the world. 

This was back when you had to send PHYSICAL query letters to outlets you wanted to write for. It was time-consuming and wrought with failure. 

But now that email was a thing, it was better than the early 2000s when you had to send PHYSICAL query letters – you damn meddling kids don’t know nothing about that!

At this time, the internet had become THE thing. Everything was shifting to the online world, more so than physical. 

This was when I built my first website and began developing and building websites. My first website was a portfolio site of prior published articles and interviews that I could send to prospective employers. That first site was built on Yahoo Sitebuilder(!!). SO archaic. 

I eventually migrated that content (manually, ugh) to WordPress – this new fandangled content management system (CMS) that took the mystery away from website building. No one had to hard-code anything anymore. 

Remember: A website is just a collection of individual files grouped into folders. But back then you had to manually build every aspect of a website via coding knowledge. Until WordPress. WordPress changed the game. 

After sending about 10 million query letters and query emails, I finally had success. I was hired by Sports Illustrated and AskMen to create content. 

And I did that for the next several years – all while I was working a day job in the corporate world (which ultimately taught me about contract law, proposal writing, and negotiating). And being a single-parent to the best daughter on earth. 

I built a very friendly relationship with the then-greatest wide receiver in the history of the New Orleans Saints, Joe Horn. I had interviewed him several times and written several pieces about him, all of which he apparently enjoyed lol. 

One thing NFL Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs told me to my face on multiple occasions applies here: “The quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life.”

Then There Was SEO

The Mysteries Of Ranking On Google

Joe was reaching the end of his NFL career and was looking to diversify and create his life after football. He created his own BBQ and sausage line called “Bayou 87.” He was selling a ton of it in person, but had zero online presence.

So I teamed up with a friend and developed a fully functional e-commerce site. I also began managing all of Joe’s social media accounts, content, strategy – anything in digital marketing, I was doing it. 

I also learned a shitload about BBQ sauce. For example, if you try to send glass bottles of BBQ sauce via UPS to various places across the United States, there is an extremely high probability that at least half of the bottles in every single order will break. 

So now, I know how to write, I know social media, I know website design, and I know e-commerce. What do I need to learn?

Search Engine Optimization. Known more commonly by its acronym of SEO. 

SEO (or more commonly known as ranking on the first page of Google for a particular query) is based on 200+ signals that Google calls Ranking Factors. 

You can hit that Contact button and we can set up a time to talk further about it. In a nutshell (“Hey, this is me in a nutshell.” – Austin Powers), written content and the structure of the content on a webpage, is absolutely vital and the most important signal of all. From the moment I understood what SEO was, I engrossed myself in it. 

At this point in my life I was still working double duty. My sports writing career took on a life of its own and I was traveling non-stop, having once in a lifetime experiences about every two weeks. 

I built relationships with people at some of the biggest marketing agencies in the world. And, with people at the biggest brands in the world. Relationships that I still maintain to this very day. 

One of my favorite and most enjoyable things to do is remember the awesome experiences I’ve had. 

Then, text a person I experienced it with, that I would ultimately become friends with, beyond “colleagues.” 

“Bro, remember when we produced 40+ hours of streaming content at the Super Bowl?”

“Dude, ‘member when we ran that Tough Mudder at Kentucky Motor Speedway with the Old Spice Guy?”

“Yo Holmes, remember at the ESPY awards in LA when we interviewed Cam Newton and had him sign his actual game-worn SEC Championship Auburn University football pants?”

“Hey Bud, remember the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition launch party in downtown Manhattan? KILLER, BRAH” 

Key Point: A brand isn’t a big immovable object; it is the culmination of the people that comprise it. How well they get along and the success they have is dependent on how genuine they are with each other, and to the common goal of “The Brand.” That’s why so many of them SUCK and fail. And why the ones that are so great, become and stay so great. 

Back to the incarnation of Day Job Work Paul. At this time I was director of digital marketing for a local Omaha company. Now I was getting paid to do all the things I had learned on my own in the past 10 years. Plus, they encouraged me to learn as much as I could about all of it. Specifically SEO. 

So I ate, breathed, and shit SEO. For three years. My only time spent coming up for air was on video production. 

My employer had a full-fledged professional video production studio on-site. And they tasked me with working with our in-house video producer to produce a weekly webinar series. Does anyone even use that term any more – webinar? LOL!

And guess what video production is dependent on? WRITING. You can’t produce anything without a shot list, which is made of words. You can’t have dialogue without a script. Which guess what? Is made of written words. 

We won several marketing awards during my time there, working with a team of in-house designers. And then I left and started my own marketing agency.

In 12 years my client list grew from a handful of customers to 100+. Working with business owners in every conceivable segment, with every conceivable need, advanced my understanding of not only digital marketing, but business. 

Looks like the minimal education I received in Business Administration became useful after all. Either that or I comported it based on need, then added and grew through forced experience. 

I sold my portion of the company but not before I added several more skills to my portfolio as a marketing expert. 

And that’s the short list. 

So, now what? 

Well let me tell you what “eye” am “focusing” on now. 

WANDERING EYE. 20+ years of experience in all forms of digital marketing led to this. And I am excited about “seeing” where it will go.

What’s different about Wandering Eye?

Let’s Get Down To It

“Eye” have worked at the highest levels of the game and have had more successful experiences than anyone I know locally. That experience benefits my clients directly.

“Eye” am focused on only working with clients and projects that inspire me; no more ‘yes to everything’.

“Eye” am maintaining a very limited number of clients; no more than 5 projects at once.

At the end of the day, digital marketing agencies all fall victim to the same trappings and cycles. Here’s a popular example:

Get Clients→ Get More Clients→ Hire More Staff→ Get More Clients→ Lose Clients→Stress To Get More Clients→Get More Clients→ Hire More Staff→ Put Out Crappier Work→Stress And Enjoy None Of The Work That You Wanted To Do In The First Place

Depending on the industry, most brands’ relationships with a marketing agency lasts an average of three years. At that point, people are sick of each other or the ideas are bland.

That’s when eyes start to “Wander” – either the clients to other vendors, or the agency reps getting bored of the work.

USE ME AND LOSE ME. I’m not in this to get married, I’m in this for fresh ideas, titillating experiences, and creating dope shit.

You’re my most important client…for now.

And, for as long as we both feel the magic, energy, and momentum that a great creative exchange can bring.