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Ordinary People Use Social Media To Achieve Extraordinary Goals

Over the last few weeks, social media has provided endless opportunities to expand my global network of industry leaders. As I sit here in awe of the uniqueness this new medium continues to pull forth on a daily basis, I wonder where I'll be in merely a few weeks from today.

Social Media Connects Me To The Entire World

Two days I ago, I Skyped with a 21-year-old boy named Michael for nearly two hours. Michael resides in South Africa and is currently in pursuit of his dream to become a professional soccer player. Unfortunately, the realities for Michael seem far from positive when you dig deeper into his life.

As I listened to Michael's story that morning, he told me there isn’t a day that goes by where 10-15 people aren’t killed. Two weeks ago, his father died and when he was 15, his older brother died at the age of 23. As I pried into the details of their deaths, I became increasingly aware of the hardships he faces every single day, constantly. Michael doesn’t deserve this way of living and I feel compelled to do something about it.

Don’t worry, we’re not getting married.

Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa

I am going to help Michael showcase his skills to the people that matter... I am going to help him become pro. Unfortunately, Michael does not have any equipment to video-record his talent. I happen to know someone here in Canada who used to live in the exact same city Michael lives in now: Benoni, Gauteng. I reached out to my friend and asked if he could get me connected with someone in that town to video-record Michael while he plays soccer. He said he doesn't know anyone off the top of his head, but he did say he will look into it for me.

Southern California

Later that day, I texted Jason Rutherford, the MLB scout in Southern California that I'm currently working with. I asked him, “where do I even start?” He recommended that Michael look into Fresno Pacific University, a big soccer school in the States and Fresno Fuego Soccer. Jason knows the admissions officer for foreign students at this school as well, which will help me get the inside scoop regarding admission requirements for students just like Michael. The next step is create a player profile. This is something Jason has been doing for years and insisted he will help me create profiles for my star players as I continue to immerse myself in the professional football/soccer entertainment industry.

Manchester, UK

This morning, I chatted with a young man named Simon, who lives in Manchester, UK. His job is to find new football talent for the world's greatest Football Clubs and Leagues. Simon is contacted by professional soccer teams with a detailed resume of what they want in a player. They look for things like strengths, weaknesses and the player’s nationality believe it or not. Every Football team has a different style of playing the game and they are looking for a perfect match when hand-selecting prospects for acquisition.

New York City

An hour after this Skype call, I spoke with the CEO of an American Football company in New York City named Neil. Neil hosts sporting events and is currently working on an event for amateur American Football players aspiring to become pro. These 21 and 22-year-olds do not receive many opportunities to get noticed by scouts from the professional leagues. It is Neil’s job to generate exposure for the event, which ultimately generates exposure for the players. I consulted with Neil for 45 minutes about my personal experiences regarding my own talent getting noticed by “the big boys” through a multitude of social media marketing strategies.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Last week, Ryan Babel’s marketing manager sent me a direct message on LinkedIn, asking if I would be interested in helping out with some of the social media components involved with Ryan’s digital presence. Ryan is a dutch soccer player who’s kind of a big deal - and I didn’t even know that until I started doing some research well after several email conversations with his manager. I just sent him a social media marketing plan proposal this evening... wish me luck!

The 2014 TCS Amsterdam Marathon & Dom Tot Domloop Run

I'm also working with a social media company in Amsterdam that provides social media marketing services for sports events. They provide social media coverage for the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, which is happening on October 19 this year, as well as the Dam Tot Damloop Run on September 21. I'm planning on participating in these runs myself and would promote my training routine and progress via the Nike+ FuelBand before and during these live, broadcasted runs... wish me luck on that too.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

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Comments

Safecity's picture

Wow

Hey Lea,

Am amazed that you did all that for someone you barely know. Power to you girl.

Am not surprised with the power of the internet. The world has become closer and flatter because of it. It does connect us very closely to each other and makes us realise we are more similar than we think we are. It also gives us an opportunity to help each other. That's probably why my initiative Safecity resonates with a lot of people.

Keep up the good work and I would love to hear how this turns out.

Kind regards,
Elsa

Terry Mullins's picture

Good for you!

Hi Leah - this is a great, great testimony to the power of the internet and how you have used it to your maximum benefit. I was just having a conversation earlier today with a colleague regarding the "instant connectedness" we have today that was merely a figment of someone's imagine when I was in high school (40 years ago). You nailed it when you said "Social Media Connects Me To The Entire World". The fact that you even met Michael - and face to face over Skype - is even more amazing when you think of where we were from a tecnological perspective just a few years ago.

Thank you for sharing and good luck to you!!

Terry

Bheki's picture

A Great Reminder

Hi Leah,

thank you so much for your posting. I think those of us who are older and used to working in more traditional ways need to be reminded of the power of social media and of the many technologies that are available for us to weave our own web of connections across the planet. It is very interesting and heartening to hear about all of the various places and ways you are using the internet to work and promote your own skills and talents.

With the advent of nanotechnology, things are going to change at a very rapid pace over the next few years. The futurists say we will not even recognize our world! May these technologies be used to truly help us connect more deeply and broadly for the benefit of all!

Thank you for all you are doing. Michael is very fortunate to have you in his corner! Best of luck to you in your own athletic pursuits!

Bheki

Leah Dyck's picture

Thank you for your comment

Thank you for your comment Bheki,

I do not know anything about nanotechnology although it sounds interesting. I also have an interest in biometric data. Nike has been taking an interest in biotechnology that uses biometric data as well. I'm curious to see where that leads :)

Leah

Leah Dyck
Social Media Sports Marketer
@Leah_Dyck

Nabiye Tal's picture

Wow! Awesome!

Dear Leah,

All i can say is wow!!!! Indeed, the internet connects you and takes you round the world, i actually enjoyed the imaginary ride with you as i read your story over and over again. Its awesome, you are doing a great job and i wish you plenty plenty luck!!!! Cheers sister.

Nabiye Tal,
Founder/CEO- IEVAWC.
@nabiye, @ievawc

Dani26's picture

You walk the talk!

Hi Leah

Wow, what an amazing amount of work you're doing! I think it's fantastic the follow-up work you're doing to help Michael reach his goal of becoming a professional soccer player - a lot of people 'talk the talk' but you really follow through! I think your story really shows how the internet can connect people from across the world, but also how willing people are to help when asked, e.g. your friend who lives in Gauteng and Jason Rutherford.

Good luck with your work with Ryan Babel - you've got such drive and determination I'm not sure you need luck! Best wishes as well for your upcoming runs in Amsterdam!

Warm wishes
Dani

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