Hello! I'm James.
Web3 doesn't matter.
Let's just be really honest here. I hate writing about myself. I was half tempted to ask a copywriter friend to do this for me, but that felt less authentic.
(just in case you're in a rush)
Currently - Social Lead at Floor & Marketing Lead at Halliday
Formerly - CMO Rising Tides
Building & Creating - Read Together, 3.14
James Richard Fry
Senior Marketer, Designer, No-Code Developer, Web3 Enthusiast.
I'm a pug dad, mixologist, partner to my incredible wife, and senior level Growth Marketer. Most people describe me as...well to be honest, I haven't asked them. I like to think they'd say I'm creative, empathetic, caring, genuine, hardworking, and overall working hard in storytelling, marketing, and striving for inclusivity and accessibility and diversity in all aspects of my work.
I'm available for work, and am looking for opportunities to lead marketing efforts for web3 focused companies, or web2 companies looking to take a step into web3.
When I'm not working, you can find me in the kitchen pretending to be a chef and mixologist, hiking with my partner and our two pugs, or watching my guilty pleasure "veg out" show - Bob's Burgers.
SOME OF MY MOST RECENT WORK
Let's connect & talk about the details!
Founder, Creative Director.
Managed over $50m in marketing budgets for clients between 2017 and 2021.
Go to Market Strategy / Re-Brand / Website Design & Development
Brand, Web, Product Design, Go to Market Strategy, Amazon Marketplace Integration - $5m in revenue year one - then acquired.
Long Road Distillers
Growth Marketing Lead, Social Media Lead, Design & Strategy
NFT Project Founder & Artist
Co-Founder & CMO, fundraise led by Polygon Ventures.
People first, always.
Without people, marketing doesn't matter.
We are at a critical intersection in marketing and the future of how we sell. If we don't put people first, leading with stories & experiences, we will miss the point completely: impacting the world for good.
Our stories connect us in ways that technology simply cannot.
It's our stories that connect us. What is art if it is not story telling? One of my first jobs in marketing was as a commercial photographer, capturing and telling stories of other artists and creatives and individuals through images. It was there that I learned that stories are so much more powerful than any other type of marketing, because we all resonate with story. It is what drives deep, authentic connection - and when done with authenticity, helps others to connect to us in ways that "selling" just falls short.
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
The more life I live the more I've learned that it is better to surround yourself with people who are smarter and better than you. Lean into your strengths, and find people who fill the gaps of all of your weaknesses. Diversity is humanity's greatest strength, but only if we truly embrace that value.
It's not about hustle culture. It's about hard work that makes long term impact.
When I was a freshman in high school, a few of the juniors told me I'd never make the basketball team. Truthfully, I shouldn't have. But because they said I couldn't, I did. And then I was captain by my junior year. It's a silly example, but that story is a good example of my work ethic.
Obstacles are meant to be conquered.
Marketing without creativity is like a Marvel movie with no end credits scenes.
Marketing NEEDS creativity.
There's so much noise out there, and in order to truly stand out, creativity must be the driving force behind every idea.
Create more. Consume less.
I know my "why", and it has changed my life.
A mentor of mine challenged me years ago with a simple question: "what's your why?"
Beyond being a catchy Simon Sinek talking point, my why has impacted the way that I work in ways that I couldn't have predicted. I almost went back to school to become a therapist, and as I reflected over the last decade of my life, I found the common thread:
"To help people take a step forward."
My goal is to help others take steps forward, and I'm most fulfilled in my work when I'm able to do so.
My Work Story
Graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Communication and Sociology from Saginaw Valley State University. I've always been fascinated by the interconnectivity of humanity. To this day, I'm convinced that we are meant to be, live, create and build together.
James Fry Photography was my primary job for four years. I worked with creative agencies around the midwest to use photography to tell the stories of their projects. This was my first real creative endeavor in the professional world, and it left me wanting for more. I didn't want to just be a piece of the puzzle. I wanted to be part of creating the entire puzzle.
I led a team of marketers as the Marketing & Content Lead, working directly with the Director of Sales and Marketing at Ferris Coffee & Nut Co. I helped to lead the team through a full rebrand, new website with D2C solutions, organically grew their overall social media following from under 500 to over 10,000, and helped to contribute to a record breaking 52 million dollar year for the company.
I was recruited to become the Marketing Director for Rowster Coffee Company out of Grand Rapids, MI. I led the team through a full packaging revamp, developed a full social media program with an ambassador program built from scratch. After my full time tenure, Rowster Coffee became our first client at Germination Labs. (see below)
You know those seeds you find in the packets in the store? They lie dormant until you add the right elements of soil, water, & ☀️. In 2017, I founded the creative agency, Germination Labs. We add the elements of strategic marketing and design to help ideas germinate, sprout, and flourish. At one point our team was 5 people big, which ended up scaling back to myself and a team of contractors in 2020 during the pandemic.
I was recruited to lead the team of community builders & marketers for Rising Tides Protocol & DAO as the CMO & Co-Founder. While the story does not have a happy ending, and we were unable to reach our fundraising goals due to the timing of the market crash, the experience of hiring, developing, and leading a team in this new web3 effort was life changing. The silver lining was the people I met along the way - and I truly mean that.
Rising Tides was a Proof of Work protocol & token being built on Polygon as a competitor to Upwork in the web3 space. I'll share the full story of how this came to an abrupt end if we get a chance to talk, but rather than excluding it, I'm damn proud of what me and my marketing team did accomplish, and celebrate the experience we all gained.
As they say: know when to hold 'em; know when to fold 'em.
In October 2022 I joined the team at Floor as the Social Program Lead. Working at the forefront of web3 with a team of builders and creators has been life changing. While I take the lead on all things social media at Floor, it's far from a "one man show." Collaboration is key in web3, especially as we work to make NFTs more understandable & accessible for all.
I'm currently seeking opportunities to lead the marketing efforts of web3 companies who are focused on the potential of this emerging technology to make real impact for people all around the world.
Without people, web3 doesn't matter.