I started my first side hustle six years ago in 2015 when I became an NFL Instagram influencer under the username @NFL.Talks. The reason I wanted to pursue this project was because I wanted to combine my passion for football with my passion for digital marketing. I always loved football and I had a lot more knowledge about the sport than others. This gave me a big advantage and I was aware of it. I also loved to make and share creative content using software like Photoshop. This allowed me to produce content that was higher quality than most other influencers.
It did not take me long before I had figured out Instagram's algorithm. By regularly posting content that was high quality, engaging, and exciting, I was able to make it go viral which helped me get thousands of followers per month to eventually grow my account to over 50,000 followers.
During this time, I also created my own website to post blog content and sell my own merchandise. One of my special edition 4th of July shirts for sale had a design of the Steelers All-Pro Wide Receiver Antonio Brown on it and when I shared the design with him on social media on the 4th of July, he reposted it all over his social media accounts for literally millions of his followers to see. This was so awesome to see, especially because it helped me sell a lot more shirts than expected.
Another product I created that got endorsed by an athlete was my silicone wristband. I sent a pair of these wristbands to one of my favorite players at the time, the starting running back for the Tennessee Titans, Antonio Andrews. He responded to me by sending back photos of him wearing the wristbands while also wearing his professional football team gear. I was also able to find other photos of him wearing the wristbands during games and practice. I was so excited to see these photos because it was great material to help me promote my product.
While still managing my other Instagram account NFL.Talks, I decided that I wanted to create another brand in the online sports industry which could compete with and be similar to other successful companies like ESPN and Yahoo Sports. This new company I created is named The Sports Wave.
For my new company, I created high-quality content that got published daily on social media, as well as created weekly podcasts, and a website that posted a new sports article everyday. The website also sells only one special merchandise item, an embroidered snapback hat with our logo on it. All profits of this item went toward helping the company stay in business.
To help me make everything happen, I managed a team of over 30 people who all consisted of journalists, marketers, podcasters, and quality managers. With this company, I was able to obtain over 20,000 social media followers, over 100,000 website views in 2019, and maintain a 5-star rating on my podcast named The Play After. Being able to get results like this was very exciting because it proved I have a unique digital marketing skill set that allowed me to duplicate my successful results.
All while still managing NFL.Talks and The Sports Wave, I was also pursuing my digital marketing career even further by going to a California State University to obtain my Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing. Once I finished my education, I developed a strong passion to do something with my digital marketing skills to help other businesses grow to their full potential. This is why I started my agency Dill’s Digital Marketing.
To promote my agency, I created my social media pages and started posting content that users find to be valuable to them. Me doing this consistently so far has given me almost 2,000 followers and lots of new business opportunities with other brands.