Um, so Luca has the coolest sounding job around. He does digital strategy for Chelsea Football Club. He answered a whole bunch of my questions on working in Uni and how it helps prep you for the real world. Thanks for being a good sport, Luca!
Sarah: Luca, you have a degree in Music Technology, how did you end up working for a Football Club?
Luca: I wish I knew. I guess the answer is opportunity. While at University I ran an events management business putting on student club nights and gigs for unsigned bands. To market these events and to organise them with the 20+ staff I had I used Facebook (this is 2007 by the way). I learned the power of social media for my business. It was here that I developed the ability to influence with messages, simply because my business depending on it.
Fast forward to 2009 having graduated and relocated to London I was just another graduate. My business didn’t account for much in text on my CV and I knew that getting into the music industry wasn’t gonna be easy. I had been using Twitter at this point for a while, primarily for ego boosting but also for seeding blog content and networking with like-minded people.
Twitter not only allowed me to network with relevant music industry people, but it allowed me to gain insight into other industries that I was interested in and the personnel that worked in those industries. Having been an advocate for social media and all things digital and having built my own blog and assisted others to use the web to build their own brands, it was only a matter of time until I landed a real opportunity in the digital sphere.
It was in the Summer of 2010 that a friend of mine @Mazi who at the time was working for SKY, tweeted there was a vacancy at Chelsea Football Club. I got in touch with Mazi and the rest is pretty much history.
I recently wrote a post as Twitter turned five years old documenting this whole journey and my appreciation for it.
Sarah: While you were in Uni, you were also working full time. How do you think that helped you find work after graduating?
Luca: When I graduated I didn’t feel like fresh bait. Even at Uni I didn’t feel like a student. I believe University is primarily about finding yourself, but it is also about building networks for the future (it’s not about gaining a degree).
Having experienced management, finance, marketing, leadership, team building and all the fundamentals that matter in business whilst at University, when I graduated I was ready to take on the world… so to speak. Although it did not mean I could walk into a job, it meant I was a few steps ahead of anyone else who’s sole selling point was a qualification printed on corrugated paper.
Sarah: I imagine a number of people think you have a dream job. Is it as great as it sounds? How do you spend most of your time at work?
Luca: For Chelsea fans, they believe I have a dream job. Others, may be envious, but working for a football club is no different to working for any other large corporation… except we have Sky Sports and Chelsea TV on all day.
My role has developed recently from Digital Marketing Analyst to Digital Strategy and Product Development. My time is divided up by product development, strategy, analytics, search engine marketing and consultation to other areas of the business.
Sarah: What’s the best advice you can give someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
Luca: Personal branding. In today’s new media age, personal branding is everything. I believe the future is not in companies, but in people. More and more individuals everyday are becoming successful. Some are extremely lucky, others have built the fundamental roots and have planned for success. Eventually we are going to see a world where everyone has a website, a social presence and a brand that can be monetized.
We are all built up of individual traits, DNA that makes us different. Therefore we all have different abilities. The key is to harness the strengths and be able to admit your weaknesses, because transparency and authenticity is everything.
Gary Vaynerchuk took this concept and wrote a book named ‘Crush it!’. He turned his strengths, his weaknesses and his passion into a monetized business and shared his journey for us all to see.
If you are seeking employment in digital or in a company that you expect to research into your background when you apply for a positiony, don’t let their ‘Google’ search come up with the spell check because they found nothing about you. Even worse don’t let the only thing they do find be Facebook.
- Invest in a website, whether it be your money or your time learning how.
- Create a blog giving your real voice on a topic that gets you excited.
- Be creative with your web CV and ditch the lame Word document as your first point of contact.
- Allow the world to see a dynamic personality that represents who you are and what you are capable of.
- Utilise Twitter to locate the businesses and the people who matter in the industry you want to be a part of.
- Build relationships that allow others to recommend you and someone will notice you
- Act confident in your ability and be positive even when it feels like you aren’t moving forward.
By following the advice above I guarantee anyone can achieve whatever goal they have their sights set on.
Sarah: Do you keep regular hours, or are you working around the clock?
Luca: My job is contracted 9am – 5pm but it always varies depending on the workload. I believe it is important to relax as much as possible and exercise frequently. We all spend our whole days working out our minds but don’t pay the same amount of attention to our bodies, hence why most people look run down, tired and moody. Everything is about maintaining a healthy balance.
Sarah: You also blog regularly and help others figure out how to use social media. How much of your time does that take up?
Luca: I maintain my personal brand by blogging rich content as much as possible and by assisting others in their journey to achieve. Usually I post twice a week, which includes one ‘Industry Spotlight’ and one topic post.
When Tony Robbins spoke of the six human needs and the sixth one being ‘contribution beyond ourselves’ I wanted to utilise what strengths I had to help others achieve. I help anyone I can who seeks advice with personal branding, digital marketing or business development.
I have consulted to an array of clients and companies (there is a list on my About page) and am always locating for new opportunities.
Sarah: What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
Luca: You know, I really have no idea. You have this goal when growing up that you and all your mates say, it goes something like this. “By the time I turn 30, I wanna be a millionaire.” Im pretty sure every young lad has said that. Back then, success may have involved money, nowadays, not so much.
Since University my philosophy has been to help others achieve and that philosophy has only grown stronger. I believe that humans were made to contribute something and we don’t do enough of it.
As I mentioned above in reference to Tony Robbins, self-fulfilment comes from many different human needs and emotions. I like to think in five years time I may be in a position where I have utilised my skills, my strengths, my opportunities and my network to contribute in a way that means others can benefit on a large scale.
To help the sheep you have to learn to howl like a wolf, which means you have to grow up, learn to lead and teach from experience. As Jay-Z said “and I can’t help the poor if I’m one of them.’
The future is in people, in individuals who realise they can leverage themselves but also how much they can achieve by leveraging each other.
I expect the game to change very soon and hopefully for the better, with it being less about how ‘me and you’ develop individually our brands, our products and our personalities and more about how ‘us’ and ‘we’ develop together.