Marc Zarefsky, a freelancer, has a background in sports writing, and now the sports consulting and sports communication, especially in sports media. My name is Marc Zarefsky. I'm a communications consultant, freelance writer, editor, content strategist, social media strategist, website editor, designer. At the end of the day though, I call myself a storyteller. Facebook launched my freshman year of college. Twitter came out, I think my junior year of college, something like that. When I graduated, if you told me I would be doing this, I wouldn't believe you at all. My goal was to be a sports writer, to be a beat reporter really embedded with the team and spending my life with that and I quickly discovered that was not what I wanted to do. So I did traditional newspaper writing for a few years and then I just realized that I didn't have the same passion for it and also it was hard to build a family with that timetable, with the timing necessary to be in that sports role. So I decided to make a switch and I wanted to go more toward this marketing communications around. It was at that time where I really started getting interested in social media and looking at how to use Twitter effectively, Facebook effectively, eventually Instagram and that sort of thing. Then as I started doing it, I just fell in love with it. At the end of the day, you're still telling a story and that's what I realize I loved. It didn't need to be a game story for sports, it didn't even need to be sports at all. I just wanted to tell stories. So I started to figure out how to do that on digital platforms and in different digital ways that are both innovative but still also compelling and get the results that I'm trying to get. Everybody needs content. Everyone is looking for content, they want compelling content, they want engaging content, but not a lot of people know how to actually create the content and even more so, how to be strategic about the content. To create something that is delivering on your goals, getting your audience to do what you want. Over my career, I've been able to develop a wide ranging skill set that puts me in a position to come up with that strategy and not only the strategy, but also create the content. So, a project I'm working on right now is actually with the Chicago Fire. They are celebrating their 20th season this year and they knew they wanted to do some special things to look back at the history of the team, but they weren't quite sure what they wanted to do. They knew they wanted something. They wanted it to be a digital creation so it could be on the website and they can send fans to this site, but again they didn't know what they wanted. So, one of their Director of Communications and I, we went back and forth and we ended up creating an ongoing interactive timeline, where you can click and literally track through the history of 20 years of fire organization highlights. I actually just got a note a few days ago from the director who I've been working with and he said, "Just so you know, everyone has been enjoying it, it's been very well received and most importantly, our season ticket holders who are usually some of the hardest to impress have been coming back over and over and saying, I love this content, I love looking back and remembering this moment that I had forgotten about." Well, so I started, my primary reason was to spend more time at home with my two young kids. So, that's an unbelievable plus. One of the minuses is your spending a whole lot of time with your two young kids and so needing to factor in when you're actually getting work done is hard. This afternoon I was doing work in a parking space in my car while the kids were sleeping in the backseat. So, you have to get a little more creative with your time management, but if you're good at it and you push, you can really develop the flexibility that you want timing-wise, the flexibility work-wise. So, I'm doing some writing work, I'm doing some editing work, I'm doing some strategy work, and that was one of the big things I wanted. Because I didn't want to be doing the same thing every day and I wanted to be able to pick and choose. But the reality is that it's hard, it's a grind. You need to constantly be looking two months down the road, three months down the road, six months down the road, figuring out what clients you're going to have, what work you're going to have. So, it's not easy by any means, but it's fun. I will not be surprised if I never have a traditional nine to five office job again. Being able to know what a good story is and how to draw people in emotionally, this idea of emotional storytelling that you're able to connect with your audience at a deeper level, if you can figure that out and you can learn that, I think you're golden, because you can learn the platforms. You can learn how to write in 140 characters, you can learn how to write a long form stories. You need more background and more training with that, but if you can tell a story, you can figure the rest out.