How I Got Into Media and How You Can Too!

My Journey Into Media

My Backstory

In the world of media, it’s often said that opportunity favors those who are prepared. But what if you’re unsure how to begin or don’t even see yourself as a media professional? This was my reality. I had no intention of entering the media industry. My journey is vastly different from the typical story of those who find themselves in front of the camera or behind the microphone.

I was born in Trinidad but grew up in Canada, where I spent most of my life before moving back to Trinidad in early 2014. My passion was technology. I worked at Apple and a company called Telus, which is similar to Digicel in Canada. My role involved teaching customers how to use their devices, which further fueled my love for technology.

When I first moved back to Trinidad, I was curious about the local tech scene. I visited some tech stores and observed the interactions between sales representatives and customers. One conversation stood out. A customer asked if a particular phone was waterproof. The sales rep confidently responded that the phone was waterproof, even suggesting that it could survive a dive to the ocean floor. This wasn’t true, of course, and I quickly realized that there was a gap in the market for tech education. The customer was being misled, and I knew that there was a significant need for accurate tech information in the Caribbean.

Starting The Droid Island Blog

Back in Canada, tech enthusiasts and those who were complete nubies could attend workshops at stores like Apple and Microsoft to learn about technology and its applications. But in Trinidad, such opportunities were scarce. So, I decided to create a blog (Droid Island) to share my tech knowledge and help people navigate the world of technology more confidently. However, before launching my blog, I had to learn how to build a website, optimize my content to reach a broad audience and learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I started with blogs because the idea of getting on camera and recording myself was a terrifying one at the time. At least with writing, I could be in the comfort of my home and get my thoughts out clearly and go back to make edits if needed.

In 2016, I published an article on my blog, and to my surprise, CNC3, a major television network, reached out to feature my work on their Tech Thursday segment. This moment was pivotal. It taught me that the work I was doing online was being noticed by traditional media, and if I wanted to expand my reach, I needed to be where the people were.

Despite my lack of initial ambition to work in media, I started seeing that traditional media has an important role in building your brand. I also realized the power of convergence between traditional and digital media. Learning more about Digital Strategy to build my Droid Island business taught me the benefits of platforms of that convergence. If you get content in the Newspapers, they publish it to their website and the Search Engines give media houses priority on the Search Engines, so their content shows up on page 1, high up in the rankings.

Now I needed to figure out, how I could get my content onto the media platforms consistently. I started to find all of the reporters who wrote about tech and connected with them on Linkedin, just to ensure that they were aware of who I was and were able to see my content.

The Turning Point

Over time, I built a tech blog, opened a physical store, and continued to hone my skills in digital marketing and e-commerce. When the pandemic hit, my brand skyrocketed as businesses turned to online platforms to survive. Organizations from the UK and the U.S. to Canada and the wider Caribbean were reaching out in order to bring me into virtual events and online workshops to speak about and teach, how to take their businesses online, do digital marketing and set up payment tools.

In 2021, I shifted my focus entirely to teaching others how to build their businesses online and decided that I would stop business Droid Islands. My goal than became to show businesses how to participate in the global economy and monetize their platforms.

Putting out all of my blog content was one of the best things I did because coming down to the end of 2021, I started thinking about how I could expand my brand and meet people where they are at. I thought, that if I wanted to get people to elevate, I would need to meet the people who are offline and get content in front of them, plus we have a number of C-Suite execs who still place major stock in traditional media as a stamp of approval. I was approached with an opportunity to do some work in media and when I had the meeting, I asked about getting a column, Newsday loved the idea because of my blog content that they have seen and it was a natural fit.

Then in April 2022, I read this amazing book called, The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman-Scott, which solidified the strategy to start converging my digital presence and traditional media. That book was everything I needed and after reading it, I began doubling down on the media work.

Despite the challenges, including limited financial incentives in media, I’ve built a brand that generates significant opportunities that make the media partnerships more than worthwhile, to the point it has become an integral part of my overall brand.

Today, my Digipreneur brand encompasses a few things:

How To Break Into Media

Don’t wait for media to find you, don’t wait to do a course or go to school neither. If you want to break into media, start learning how to produce content on the mediums that you want to break into.

If you want to:

  • Get into TV – Start a YouTube channel
  • Write in the Newspapers – Start a Blog
  • Get on Radio – Start a Podcast

Breaking into media doesn’t require waiting for the perfect opportunity. Start by leveraging the tools you have at your disposal. Create videos, start a podcast, or write a blog. Even if you don’t have a website, platforms like Medium can be a great place to start.

The most important thing is to build your portfolio. Media companies are always on the lookout for new talent, and by showcasing your work, you increase your chances of getting noticed. Whether you’re pitching to a media company or applying for a role, having a body of work to present can make all the difference.

So don’t wait. Begin building your portfolio today, and when the opportunity comes knocking, you’ll be ready. Your work will speak for itself, and you’ll find it much easier to break into media if you have a solid foundation of experience to stand on.

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