Okay, so you didn’t get to be a professional ballplayer, dancer, actor, musician, beauty queen, or whatever. But you had kids to continue the dream. After all, if you couldn’t make it, they could, and you’re going to ride their success to the top with them.
As your child climbs the ladder of success, after hours and hours of practice; games, performances, pageants, and concerts; lessons, schools, and private coaching, you need to know how you can promote your child’s brilliance online so they catch the attention of a coach, scout, or agent at the next level.
Here are three tactics you can use to profit off filling your child’s early years with an activity they grew to resent by the time they were 12.
1. Post Videos on YouTube
Take high definition videos of your child’s games and performances. Keep in mind that while an iPhone has a great high def camera, it can only work optimally in well-lit situations. Plus, it doesn’t have the anti-shake feature that many other professional video cameras have. So get a decent video camera that has some additional lighting capabilities. Consider it an investment in your child’s and your future.
On the other hand, with an iPhone or Android phone, you can upload your child’s greatest triumphs — like you taunting Joely, whose daughter Miranda got third runner up — directly to YouTube without having to download it to your laptop first. So use that for those unexpected moments.
And for your end-of-season montages that you post to your Facebook page, be sure to edit out the parts where your kid is crying and pulls away whenever you try to console her. Also, the parts where you yell at her for getting second because she didn’t stick the landing are best left on the cutting room floor. We all know how hard you work to get your little prodigy ready for showtime, but no one wants to be reminded of it.
2. Connect With Agents/Coaches/Pageant Organizers on LinkedIn and Twitter
This is one avenue that father-coaches and mother-agents don’t pursue often enough. Search on LinkedIn for those people who could play an important role in your child’s future. Use Twellow.com to find them on Twitter too.
Of course, you’re going to have to make some choices later on, but while your kids are young, start connecting with everyone at that post-high school level you can find. As you evaluate those coaches and teachers, weed out the ones who don’t meet your high expectations for doing what’s best for your child. Soon, you’ll have narrowed it down to the two or three people who can greatly benefit from your child joining their program.
And don’t overlook the importance of graduate assistants, especially if you have dreams of Junior playing football. Today’s grad assistant is tomorrow’s defensive coordinator (especially if you’re already pushing Junior into PeeWee League football at age 7).
Connect with these people and remind them on a weekly basis how awesome your child is doing. Invite them to all your child’s events, email them the videos, and later on, send them the end-of-season DVD so they can see the progress your little star is making. If you do this, I guarantee the coach or organizer will remember you and your child for life.
3. Facebook Is a Great Way to
Remind Your High School Friends How Awesome You Were Show Your High School Friends How Much Better Your Kid Is Than Theirs
Facebook is for sharing interesting news about your families, your lives, the things that make you happy, and all that other loser crap that everyone else from high school is yammering about. But they all know the truth: if Coach had just put you in for that last play, you’d be the state champs, not Fimore.
Still, use Facebook to show your friends that you’ve moved on. That you’re tired of living in the past, and you’ve put all your stock — and energy, effort, disposable income, and entire identity — into your future: your son, the starting QB for the Susquehanna High School Sycamores.
Take plenty of photos (you may want to invest in a camera with a giant lens that compensates for your, uh. . . sports car you gave up to send Danny to Peyton Manning’s QB camp), and upload them to your Facebook photo album. Be sure to give a rundown of every play of every game, especially that one where Danny rolled out for a 20-yard pass to the end zone.
But be objective. Don’t forget to point out his failures, like where his fat blob of a right guard slipped, and let the lineman through. Or where Danny didn’t get his head out of his ass after his last interception because he kept glancing fearfully up in the stands at you.
Social media can be a great boon to those parents who push and drive their children to have the successes they wish they’d had in high school, but everyone else kept them from realizing. Now, they can help their children have the success and approval they themselves so desperately craved 20 or more years ago.
Erik Deckers is the owner of Professional Blog Service, and the co-author of Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself. His new book, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing. He is also a humor writer and satirist, which hopefully you figured out before you got this far into this blog post.