My Digital Marketing Journey
About me, Gus Ryan… Here’s the slimmed down story of how I got to where I am.
- My academic career peaked in 1989 with an A in honours English in the inter cert (now Junior Cert).
- Probably better known from the secondary school days as an out half of the junior and senior cup rugby teams. Scored a few drop goals in cup games.
- Achievements at UCD include taking 4 years to do a 3 year degree, squash, indoor football and drinking the most pints ever in one sitting… #TrueStory
- I left the education system in 1995 with average qualifications and not a clue of what career I wanted to pursue.
- After some factory and retail jobs I started in an insurance company in 1996 and spent almost 18 years there figuring out what I wanted to be when I grow up.
- 15 years were spent as a Business Development Manager for the Fund Management Company.
- The main part of my role was telling complex investment stories in a way that people who weren’t complex investors could understand. I loved this part of the job.
- This also involved doing laps of Ireland in the car to turn up in rooms of people from 5 to 500 to give presentations. Driving gives me sciatica. So, as part of our web development strategy we decided to do online videos… remember this is 2008.
- This started a series of events led me to where I am today…
Enter Emma Ledden.
The former MTV VJ, BBC presenter and author of The Presentation Book trained a bunch of us in how to script and deliver a 3-4 minute ‘piece to camera’.
The was my offering… I had a little har back then… memories.
- During the debrief Emma told me I was good enough to be on TV… there’s an idea…
- Around this time I had been looking for a change. I’d applied for more senior roles in Aviva but didn’t get any.
- I realised sitting in a final round interview that I actually had no interest in being a head of sales or something similar. I had no interest in climbing the corporate ladder.
- So I started climbing something else, a personal ladder or goal, to reach the top of the presenting game… to get TV, for real.
I gave Emma a ring and she laid it out.
Pick a niche
And get connected/known.
Around this time I had started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at an MMA gym. I’d been a fan of Mixed Martial Arts since the late 1990’s. The only place you could find any MMA coverage was on the internet. Mainstream media frowned on it… and there’s the niche.
I began to create content, writing articles and needed to get them out into the world.
The Start of the Media career
I figured I had 2 options
- create my own media outlet, which is a fancy way of saying setting up a website and social channels
- try and get an existing outlet (the bigger the better) to carry my content.
Coincidentally a few other lads I knew started their websites. Hmmm… maybe I’d missed the boat with the whole ssetting up my own website thing. So, I decided to take the path less travelled. I wrote some articles and peddled them around to all the mainstream media outlets in Ireland.
I reckoned writing was going to be the path of least resistance. It was now 2010 and video wasn’t as easy an option then as it is now.
JOE.ie and Fighters Only were the first victories.
I attended my first Irish MMA event in November 2010.
My goal became a reality a few more months later I commentated at Battlezone Fighting Championships 4. https://youtu.be/XIO3GZK7ufc
I wrote for JOE.ie for over 2 years but never earned a cent. They’d promised pay as soon as it was commercially possible. It got to the point where I stopped believing them so I stopped writing for them.
To be continued…
Why not get in touch.