Tag: Author

Shifting Mentally From Sports Injury To Ailment – Rodric Leerling

Shifting Mentally From Sports Injury To Ailment – Rodric Leerling

After seeing the sports medical doctor, I learned to accept that my swollen knee wasn’t due to a sports injury, but rather an ailment. Changing from the orthopedist (mechanical) to a rheumatologist (inflammatory) should be regarded as logical therefore. Suffering twelve weeks of this kind of swelling (and only a swift pain attack) simply can’t be blamed on excessive sports stress or trauma.

No, the diagnosis probably goes in the direction of my GP’s first hunch back in May: gout or pseudo-gout (chondrocalcinosis). Gout is an ailment in the rheumatic line, caused by christalized acids heaping up in the knee after errors in the body’s metabolism. After reading about the gout causes, I understand why the doctor is studying the ‘pseudo-gout’ option. This ailment looks similar to gout, but this time the chrystals are formed by calcium and not acids. And the circumstances are different.

Some 90ml of excessive (yellow) fluids were extracted from my knee last week and are now being examined, along with new bloodtests and X-rays. A new medication makes me feel lots better and should reduce the inflammation cause. In total, it feels like getting more serious attention, but with a less clear outlook.

A cure for pseudo-gout isn’t around the corner unfortunately. But it can disappear as sudden as it started. Your body has to recover by itself and wash out the calcium chrystals. In two weeks I will know what my physical future holds in terms of sports and exercise. Maybe the current medicins will do the trick and will allow me to start training again.

“Nothing more irritating than a good referee” – Rodric Leerling

“Nothing more irritating than a good referee” – Rodric Leerling

There are mainly two reasons why players can get irritated during a game: having either a lousy or a very good referee. They sometimes hope for the first so they can air their daily frustrations, but pray for the latter in order to fully focus on their own performance.

The good referee sometimes wonders why he is criticized from scratch. It can get him totally out of his balance sometimes. Even when he recognizes the small nasty fouls and clearly shows he can’t be fooled. Especially when he is in great condition, concentrated on each game no matter the league level, and equal and fair in his decisions.

I tell myself often I should ignore players’ comments, knowing I’m a good ref. But last weekend I got the official word from a player: sorry ref, you are just doing a very good ref job. We are getting irritated because you figured us out, recognizing the little fouls which other refs just let go. Please accept our apologies.

I was flabbergasted. But satisfied at the same time. I should stick to my game plan and stay focused.

“Not my hobby, but you should renew your profile pictures regularly” – Rodric Leerling

“Not my hobby, but you should renew your profile pictures regularly” – Rodric Leerling

We had another good meeting with a potential new business network this week. We talked about the need to have a good personal positioning online. Not to white-wash any possible negative publicity, but rather to use the Google page 1 hits as your personal show case.

Google page 1 is where people will look to check you out (page 2 the perfect place to hide a dead body). As we all do before purchasing a new product, destination or service. What is available about you as a person and a businessman? Can they trust you and, even better, where do you stand for? Make no mistake, everyone is checking everyone, all the time.

Now, whether you are outspoken and proud person, or just a modest businessman, for Google it doesn’t matter, they will present you on whatever is available when being used for search. And ‘no news’ is not ‘good news’ because when all the 10 slots are blank, an opportunity to shine has gone wasted. Are you another nobody or a warm personality whom it’s great doing business with? It’s up to you.

After our meeting I had some pics taken to refresh my own personal presence. You will start seeing them appear on my blogs. When will I see yours being updated?


“Human2Human” – Rodric Leerling

Sportief Westfriesland, leerling,biz, refrod, Rodric Leerling, Sales Power Provider
I was brought up in media sales with B2B and B2C marketing strategies. With the introduction of social media, the People-to-People or better: Human-to-Human (in short: H2H) is becoming increasingly popular as marketing trend. Weird, as this kind of communication has been around for as long as human beings started communicating. But ok.

For many purchase decisions, we all like to check with our peers or relatives. Also checking out the manufacturers directly online (do they exist at all?). Do your friends have experience with this product or that particular destination? How much did they pay and are they still happy with it? Increasingly, thanks to social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, we can now get a personal product analyses from our friends. In stead of through a well-thought-of B2C campaign, for which a complete strategy and marketing execution has been worked out, tested with A and B advertising plans etc. Taking time and big communication investments, but often using a polished language.

The B2C tactics will no doubt continue to play a role, using linear TV as prime advertising channel, in order to hit a large batch of consumers at once. The viewing numbers for this medium are starting to crumble, though. And more and more consumers are online, doing their own research, using critical notes from other consumers to shorten the list of brands before they purchase. People are also more concerned about the environment and want to know how things are being produced and at what costs. They don’t take the boxed advertising for granted anymore. And they follow other people with experience, with a solid tech view on products or just funny articles on daily life.

Consumer manufacturers have taken notice and are starting to get a stake of this new communication channel. They are hiring people to influence us as consumers in a different way. It started years ago in the US with big TV and sports stars (the so-called ‘macro-influencers’ with sometimes 1mln+ followers) who were wearing sponsored shoes or paid to promote a skin cream. And the masses followed, because they trust these stars and want to be like them.

The new trend is to start using less of the macro influencer, but rather mimic H2H and use a set of ‘micro-influencers’ (with max 10k social media followers) and spread the word in more consumer corners and niches. It will not only reduce the costs and help a brand to reach more consumers with different flavors, but also requires a normal language, like H2H language. People will be paid to continue tell their story online, how they cook, how they sport, how they travel etc. So beware of certain messages that might come across as very ‘human’ but are still orchestrated by a brand you might consider buying and using yourself.

“Also Nice to Know: What I do for a Living” – Rodric Leerling

Rodric Leerling, Leerling,biz, Sales Power Provider, RefRod, CoolBrandsPeople, Sportief Westfriesland

People sometimes ask me what I do for a living. No, it’s not sailing and while refereeing is just my way of letting off steam, during weekdays I’m an all-round media sales guy and in essence a story teller.

I am passionate about media concepts in any shape or form. I am interested in people and their communication skills. Especially the tools they use to convey a message. From storytelling around the campfire to today’s social media, technology has come a long way, but people’s emotions and social interests have stayed the same. I know how to use all tools available today to tell other people’s story and get resonance.

I’ve experienced an exciting journey through the colorful media landscape since I left university in 1988. From a small media rep house to the world’s largest news magazine, working through dotcom bubbles, mediabuying and outdoor advertising on ski slopes, to my career dream of living and working in the USA. I spearheaded the concept of crowdsourcing whereby video content is collected for international brands. Developed native advertising concepts, working with social media video stars to promote brands, and currently helping a start-up in the HR sector.

Key to all this: I like to tell great sales stories. Find the right listeners and make them respond to the pitch. It could be your story. Need sales power? Call or email me. Over the years, I’ve built up a large business network in various industry sectors and use social media to sustain it with blogs, tweets and managing forums on LinkedIn.

Tell me your story and I will spread it for you.


“Write or die” – Rodric Leerling

Pulse logoSomebody explained to me recently that being found on search engines is vital for one’s business, especially when you are a sole-trader or freelancer. Make sure your name pops up easily when search is done on keywords and business terms in your sector. Or by contributing to discussions on platforms. And then also make sure the right impression is formed by writing various and regular blogs about your business, adding value to your personal brand.

For that reason, I decided to let my personal branding site Leerling.biz be overtaken by my mini-blog site on WordPress (rodricleerling.wordpress.com). It contains small blogs, mostly about my sports hobby as football referee. Intertwined with business experiences, like this one today. By always adding my slogan ‘Sales Power Provider’ in the tags (and my name, key words for the story etc.), I am now listed on page 1 of Google, along with energy power providers!

Today, another dimension in this ‘being found process’ was brought to my attention. Apparently, it’s even better to publish your blogs on LinkedIn and it’s channel dedicated for this: Pulse. Google’s ranking is simply less easy to influence than this platform, where your direct network is more present. I’m keeping an eye on this and in the meantime keep writing.

“Go forth and publish” – Rodric Leerling

day plannkingMy blog publishing frequency is increasing by the week. I picked up this good habit last month. Not all pieces are published and may stay in draft for a while. Maybe they can be used later after another edit round. Others are published without much further ado.

This morning I received a list of tools to stay productive throughout a business day. Very useful and most of them free to download on your phone or laptop. And not only the tools itself, but also the order in which they are presented struck me. One of the striking tips was listed as nr.2 in the morning, after meditation: writing. Just write something and clear your mind!

Followed by the usual to-do-list and collab tools for meetings, in the office or remote. A creative brainstorm when distracted in the afternoon and workout when your lungs are at their max at 5PM. Then another of my fav habits is listed: podcasts to train to listen and relax your mind. Finish the day with journaling or keeping a diary, something I have to start doing again as well. Finish the day off with a good drink (no booz tools available) and doze off for a good 9hrs sleep.

“Social Media” – Rodric Leerling

Doha tower 11 2014Being invited to train people in an international school is a welcome deviation in the life of an ad sales man. Especially when it’s a school in an exotic location. Admission marketers working hard everyday getting the seats filled for next education season, only 3 months into the current school year. They were invited to join a 2-day training course to be initiated in the world of social media. Despite being inundated by work, they managed to keep their phones off and gave it their full attention. The national government demands a list by last day of November of all pupils attending next school year, so work was piling up in the meantime.

We talked about creating more virtual touchpoints with the help of social media tools like Twitter and YouTube where prospective parents would be able to get a good feeling about the school, the teachers and the USP’s of their teaching plan. Happening all before they visit the school website and schedule a (short) visit. How to become that ‘purple cow’ (Seth Godin) among the many international schools in their city – what makes them stand out of the crowd? Extra curriculum activities, mother tongue teaching, flexible child care before and after school hours. How to reach the new generation of parents, the millennials, who demand a mobile communication platform and look for multiple referrals before they decide on a purchase.

We set up some new online profiles, checked the competition and I helped them with first social media tool choices and suggested schedules to fill the tools with content. All in all, a heavy but satisfying training project with that neat extra touch of exotic destination to tick off the list of ‘been there, done that’.

“Elevator Pitch”- Rodric Leerling

elevator pitchIt was one of those weird meetings. The introduction call and elevator pitch on Friday morning had been successful. “Sounds like a great concept, let’s meet next week and show me a bit more”, was the reaction. I sent an Outlook invitation for Monday the following week.

But no reaction. As it was a Friday and the client seemed very busy, I didn’t worry. There was a date in my digital agenda and I even could work another meeting into the schedule. I even used a little trick and confirmed once again from my end before the weekend started and updated with a slightly later time slot. But still no confirmation, change or cancellation.

After two earlier meetings in town, I arrived on time at the prospect’s office. The 1st floor receptionist lady waved me in and I was picked up by another colleague at the main doors on 2nd. Told her whom I was meeting and got a cup of tea while ‘he was still in meetings’. And then a big silence. People came and went, briefly looking at me but no questions asked. I decided to start walking a bit to make sure I was noticed.

After 30 minutes, I decided it was time to take action and announce myself once again. The first person walking the corridor was approached and I told her I was waiting for so and so. Whether he was still in meetings? No, he is at his desk. Let me tell him you are waiting for him. The guy turned up and looked real puzzled. I had seen his pic on LinkedIn but he was now wearing spectacles. Why I was here? Our meeting was only ‘next week’. But this IS next week,  we spoke LAST week. Yes, but I’m extremely busy this week, didn’t check your email. Really sorry.

Well, how long do you have? I’m taking a 15 minutes coffee break. he told me. Great, that’s my other elevator pitch version. We went through the slides and  I repeated the key advantages of our platform. It worked. he was glad we made the quick tour after all and agreed for another bigger meeting in 2-3 weeks. I left his offices 45 minutes after entering. As always.


“Living Billboard” – Rodric Leerling

ResizeImageOn my way to a football match last weekend, I passed a huge new digital double sided billboard on the A5. It’s erected along the new road between the notorious Coentunnel (a recently solved bottle neck) and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. From a distance you could see the message, clear and colourful. On the Clear Channel website the outdoor company calls it a “Double Digital” with 160m2 digital surface – available for commercial messages. If I had the money and mass audience as my target, I would sign up today.

It reminded me of the living billboard I met this summer during our holiday on a Dutch lake. The tall guy had a clear voice, greeted everyone his eyes met en walked and talked like a sailor. He had to, as he was the sailschool’s head instructor. Every morning he got his gear organised on time, ready for the kids to assemble on the lake side. Even when you were not taking lessons, he still greeted you and wished you a good morning, afternoon or evening. Always cheerful, friendly and ready to help when someone’s boat was not working.

I was impressed. Living billboards do exist! Colourful, friendly, inviting and with a clear message: join my sailboat lesson, enjoy sailing, come back next year. My girls are still talking about him. After years of hinting a week of sailing lessons and learning this great watersport skill, suddenly they got interested. The free evening activities, using the canoes, peddle boards and sailing boats, worked miracles. They decided they want to come back next year and take lessons. I wrote about this positive experience on their website and gave them high scores on the independent travel site we used to check them out. Advertising works as long as you are using the right tools to reach your target audience!