What is this social media stuff all about? How can we ‘engage with our online community’? Do we really want or need to be doing so and what at the end of the day is in it for us? If you are a small business or enterprise and you are investing in your online presence then these are the questions that you’ll be asking yourself and us.

Looking to the young’uns is probably the way to go. They seem to have the instincts and the know how for this sort of stuff, and that is why we are keeping a close eye on our friend, lazer sailor and Olympic hopeful, Ki Sulkowski.

Ki’s father came to us last March asking for some help with copy for a sponsorship brochure to attract support for Ki’s international sailing campaign to enter the 2016 Olympics, in Rio.

We were impressed by the support that Ki was getting from his family. Writing his life story, and distilling it onto four pages I learnt a lot about what it takes to enter into an ambition such as Ki’s. As parents ourselves, to very young children, we were inspired by Ki’s parents; their hard work and dedication to their son’s pursuit of his dream.

The really interested part of the story for us, as social media hawks, was how Ki had received over thirty thousand views on Youtube. Sailors in his ‘online community were blown away by his video that showed his white knuckle trip from Rockingham to Fremantle in 35 knot winds.

Comments left on this Youtube platform attested to the sailing prowess displayed in the video. That was something that alluded me as a non sailor, but I still found the video engaging to watch.

The Youtube video and the following it has, leverages something of real potential value for Ki and his campaign. Previously he could offer potential sponsors exposure at competitions in terms of logos on equipment and clothing, but those logos will be hard to spot from the shorelines when the boats disappear into the distance. Ki’s Youtube video brings viewers quite literally on board. A logo placed on his mast or bow of the boat gets great close up exposure, and not just for the length of and at the site of a competition, but for 24 hours, seven days a week all over the world. That’s one hard working logo.

Ki made the video with his friends. The escapade was a gnarly one but one that he was making anyway because sailing and extreme sailing is his passion and his life.

Ki Sulkowski

I think this story is a sublime example of how following your passions can pay dividends. Sharing your passion on an online platform, you will find a community that supports and appreciates your contribution. Suddenly you have an audience, and that audience may be valuable to your enterprise, or may be something you can offer to a third party for a fee.

We find the information on the web on leveraging social media platforms lacks good solid case studies for what small businesses and enterprises, but real people, such as Ki, are doing it and achieving great results.

If you have a story for us we would love to hear from you. We want real life stories, first hand or fresh from the grape vine, about social media endeavors and outcomes; the good, the bad and the ugly.

For more stories about social media trailblazers that we work with, or hear about, at Open Copy, watch this space.

ReelSEO.com is The Online Video Marketer’s Guide click on this link to see their article on YouTube’s Own Marketing Advice For Retailers: Create Content, Not Commercials

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