My career in advertising sales started at a media rep house called Insight Media, with their cosy home offices in Blaricum, the Netherlands. From the start, senior owner Pieter Lindeman taught me the job of acting like the foreign publisher’s ambassador in your country. Always being available to connect the media-owner abroad with advertisers of all sizes, and their agencies, and fulfill all their questions, demands, rate requests etc. I realized this was the sector I would like to grow further and gain more experience.
From Insight Media to TIME Magazine (Benelux office Amsterdam), felt like a natural step in my career, followed a few years later by Nikkei Business Publications America (New York office). In between I gained experience during the internet bubble selling online content, worked briefly at a media agency and helped build the European sales network for an outdoor company.
After finishing the US project, I launched my own media rep house Leerling.biz and worked for several media sales projects and contracted new foreign publications like the Washington Times, Huson Media, Chatila Publishing House, Nikkei BP. Parallel to foreign media, I offered Sales Power to national media projects.
“Washington Times and Nikkei BP” – Rodric Leerling
It’s been added in my genes apparently to record things I do and the challenges I face in life. First for your children: first words, first questions, funny expressions etc. When blogging became available online, I realized this was for me. I launched a blog called AdRep AdRem, expressing my views and funny experiences as advertising representative and always adrem, Latin for direct and outspoken.
While in the US, I wrote several blogs to express our feelings about another culture and different habits. These were initially published on my blog posts and later collected and published in book and still available at MyBestseller.nl.
Zooppa is a global social network for creative talent that partners with brands and agencies to launch user-generated advertising campaigns. Inspired by the principles of crowdsourcing, Zooppa’s website hosts brand sponsored advertising contests.
In competition for cash prizes, filmmakers, graphic designers, and other creatives submit their original ads in response to a client’s brief. These ads can take various formats including video, print, banners, concepts, and audio.
Me and my family lived for 2,5 years in New Jersey, USA, because of my job with Nikkei Business Publications America in New York. Surprisingly, despite the fact that you think to know it all, living in America at the beginning was still a slight culture shock. Fortunately, there were lots of nice, welcoming and very helpful people. But also a few red-tape and suspicious government officials who made our life sometimes sour. This resulted in a series of hilarious situations of modern ‘JanKezen’ in America.
I was initially asked to sell the b2b pubs by Nikkei BP on US East Coast, ranging from Toronto to Miami and was later asked to add to my portfolio the IT pubs as well and visit West Coast regularly to that purpose. All in all, I’ve seen lots of cities and met different clients and agencies and sold both off and online publication tools Nikkei BP had on offer.
When in 2008 the financial crisis hit New York, a few blocks away from our offices in fact, I became restricted in my travel plans and when I realized the crisis could be deeper and longer than ever before, I agreed to return to the Netherlands, and keep looking after the clients from a distance and help Nikkei BP find and appoint a local media rep. This was eventually done in late 2010.
In hindsight, I should have started much earlier. I reached my career ceiling since I’ve hit the 50 year age bracket. And now it’s too late. Too late for a serious career at least, but still plenty of time to have fun doing it! On grass, on sand and indoors.
I still remember a slow Saturday afternoon, some 20 years back, when I watched a local football match go wrong because the referee just stood there in the middle, mainly signalling in and out-balls and copying his assistants’ calls for off-side. That should be done better, I thought, but was too busy with my career. Years later, when we moved to another town, I decided to pick up my fav sport and first became U12 coach.
Two years later I decided to go for the Dutch ref badge and start reffing on weekends instead. Another switch was made last year after having had several tricky games with adults. I’m now working mainly U18 and U16 games. Mostly as stand-alone ref, but play-offs happen with 3 neutral refs, thank goodness. I envy the US refs who always work with a ref trio. Something I did for 4 half seasons while living in New Jersey.
This passed season 2013/14 produced one major game incident that shook my ref constitution. A collective fight out of the blue between the teams resulted in a temporarily suspended game. Reports written from various parties produced a heavy penalty on which both teams appealed and the appeal court sentenced a lower penalty because not all reports could be proven.
I’m still enthusiastic and driven to give my best and report back when things are not according to the rules of the game.
It takes skill, experience and insight to work as a sales professional in any market today. I was trained in the international advertising business, where old business models have to be re-designed and new publishing ideas grow fast.
But also new ideas need experienced sales talent. You can benefit from my 26 years of experience in a broad range of media sectors on three continents: Europe, Asia and North America. Let me help moving your project forward, either for long term or short term.
Everyone is always looking to hire successful people. I agree with the definition I read somewhere: “Success is doing something enjoyable with people I enjoy being with.” I’ve had the great pleasure to work with people passionate about their company and its products. I always made it my goal to add value to their business by finding advertisers or buyers with a long term commitment.