Social Media Helped Me Become The Woman I Am Today
I have been using social media to professional network with leaders in the professional sports entertainment industry since 2011. Social media has helped me reach my goals in more ways than I could have ever imagined. The power of social media can be witnessed in unprecedented ways throughout global society and it can be used and utilized to achieve real results.
My goal is to become an influential and diplomatic icon in the world of professional sports entertainment. I use social media to market my personal brand; Leah Dyck and connect with people who I never would have met otherwise. I am well on my way to achieving this goal.
Find Resources, Connect With Interesting People, Get Inspired
On April 30, 2014, I met with Aaron Lafontaine, the Director of Business Development at Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment for an hour and a half, downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He reached out to me on LinkedIn after he read a post I wrote and published on RumorMeThis (a sports blog owned by Fox Sports). The post was about the social media marketing funnel: http://goo.gl/nDgBDk. He asked me if we could get together and chat about my perspective on social media and sports - but he said he was not sure about where it would lead. I agreed to meet and by the end of our meeting, I received a tentative job offer for September, 2014. Aaron told me that the fundamental key for me to move forward with MLSE is to continue doing exactly what I’m doing: which is launching my business and finding my voice.
How It All Started For Me
In 2012, I launched my first blog, which was about sports marketing. This is when I applied for my first, new business start-up grant through the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka. I received just over $2,500 in funding, which paid for office space for three months, a website, professional photo’s for my social media profiles and an editor, who taught me how to write for the web.
I started writing for RumorMeThis around that time. In one of my posts, I talked about how sports marketers need to start engaging with their sports fans on social media and offer sports fans more than what they were currently offering. I mentioned a company called SocialToaster, which offers a gamified mobile application to national, top-tier brands that allows users to collect points for sharing content and then redeem their points for memorabilia and other free swag. At the time, SocialToaster had about seven or eight professional sport franchises as clients, including the Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Pistons, Baltimore Ravens, etc. A few days later, I received a phone call from SocialToaster, asking me if I would like to have a partnership with them. The man on the phone told me that one of the biggest struggles for sports bloggers today is coming up with interesting content on the regular. He then told me that after reading several “excellent” posts, he just had to give me a call. I continued to learn more about the company, completed several training sessions by working through various decks online and over the phone with their lead sales guy, who is now the Vice President of Sales - I totally saw that coming.
At the end of the day, it was a commission-based position and I did not feel like it was the job for me. However, I learned quite a bit about mobile applications for sports fans, as well as international business development.
In June 2013, I got my first trip paid for by a client, who flew me to St. Louis, Missouri for four days to manage their digital presence at an international trade show. I got to watch the notorious last game of the 2013 Stanley Cup Play Offs, where Chicago literally took the Cup from Boston in 17 seconds, while sipping beer next to the Owner of the Columbus Blue Jackets at 360 Restaurant; one of the world’s top 10 rooftop patios located 400 feet above downtown St.Louis.
Online Empowerment Leads To Offline Empowerment
I am currently in the process of starting a weekly podcasting series about athlete marketability. My first podcast is featuring a guy in the UK who is a motivational speaker, licensed UEFA coach and has worked with many of the biggest European Football leagues including the English Premier League and pro Footballers. The discussion topic is about Messi being a statistically better Footballer than Ronaldo, yet Ronaldo reaches and engages with his online following significantly better. A journalist recently reached out to me on LinkedIn, asking me if I would write a review about a recently produced documentary called “Cristiano Ronaldo”. Now, Ronaldo has his very own, hour-and-a-half documentary and Lionel Messi doesn’t. So who is worth more? The athlete that performs better on the Football field? Or the athlete that performs better on the social media playing field?
Today, the answer is obviously Messi, but how much longer will his reign presume?
Digitally Empowering Women Is Important
Women bring a different kind of value to the table. They bring with them a unique understanding of relationships, business acumen and unparalleled passion to the digital sphere. I can see myself making significant change in third-world countries, implement positive impact and educate this entire, broken world about becoming better human beings in general; not just educating sports marketers about better sport business practices.
How will I do this?
I write in non-sponsored frameworks, which gives greater credibility to what I’m saying. I’m not afraid to voice my hefty opinions and I get-off on debates. During my in-person chat with Aaron Lafontaine, he told me that he works with Director’s, Producer’s and Creative’s everyday, but he has never met anyone who knows social media like I do. Wow, what a compliment. That day, Aaron pulled something out of me that I didn’t even know was there, let alone existed in anyone. Aaron has inspired me to become a leader in the global professional sports entertainment industry and I plan to take this small, grain of empowerment as far as I can. Through various social media marketing strategies, I will become the world’s first female professional sports entertainment leader and make some serious changes in the way that global sports governing bodies mandate, operate and run major sports leagues and events.