Although the whole entire NEPA BlogCon 2016 is going to be fantastic, it cannot be overlooked Gerard Durling is going to provide one of the most entertaining and chipper segments for the day. As MC, his natural talent and high spirited personality is going to charge the room and set the stage. All of us in the audience will be positively prepared to receive what each speaker is going to offer through the help of Gerard.
He’ll keep things rolling, amusing, and provide lots of fun in between each powerful presentation. We are going to all be blown away from this event. The outstanding Squirrel Team, Karla, Mandy, and Michelle knew not to forget how to make it flow best by having Gerard’s flair lead the way. He’s Chirpy. There is definitely Squirrel inside him too.
Gerard Durling, CoalCreative
1) Last year’s BlogCon was remarkable. As MC you kept things running exceptional well and did an awesome job introducing speakers. I seem to remember you mentioning CoalCreative a few times there too. Would you share a bit more about this business of yours, and what prompted you to create it?
I started creating websites when I was 15 years old and it just kind of became a hobby of mine throughout High School. I think that because of this “Do-It-Yourself” mentality I had to learning all things web, I found it exciting/rewarding when I could land a freelance gig outside of having a “real job”. I worked for several different web companies (igourmet.com, WirelessUnits.com, Dog.com) and one day thought to myself “if they can run their own business, why couldn’t I?”
Instead of creating my own portfolio website, I decided to create a brand. I hired a friend to make our first logo and that’s somewhat how I decided to start building the company. It started off as a website and graphic design agency, just two of us combining our portfolios together to make a more impressive piece. Today, it’s evolved into creating a tech-culture in NEPA that only seems possible in bigger cities. We’re primarily an internet marketing agency but we’ve also just recently expanded our office space to include an in-house Studio for video production as well as speaking events.
2) The BlogCon is a growing and fantastic event for anyone interested in expanding their own businesses, websites, or blogs through use of Social Media or Digital Tools. What do you feel is one of the best advantages to attending the conference? What did you find most memorable from last year’s event?
I think that people see the name “BlogCon” and make the assumption that it’s all about blogging. It’s certainly much more than that. When you look around the room, you’re surrounded by an open-minded community of people ready and willing to learn something new. My favorite memories from last year’s event were hearing people share their stories of how they made what they do possible.
3) What’s this about You and Wrestling? I know nothing about wrestling? Does it even exist in the NEPA? How did you get involved or what do you love about this sport?
A quick Google Search of my name may result in a much longer conversation, maybe even with a therapist involved, who knows. (I’m kidding, I think) In my opinion, pro wrestling is theatre and escapism at its finest. It’s something I’ve watched as a kid and continued to watch throughout my teens. The first website I ever created was a pro wrestling news site and without pro wrestling, I would 100% not be where I am right now nor would I be MC’ing NEPA BlogCon. It is without a doubt my #1 passion.
I started wrestling professionally at age 18 and was trained by Mike Quackenbush, Chris Hero and WWE Superstar Cesaro. Throughout my 8-years, I was fortunate enough to perform in over 300 matches, 25 states, 4 countries, and piss off the entire Professional Bowling World (again, that Google Search). It’s truly an incredible feeling to sit back on Monday nights to watch some of my personal friends perform for the WWE.
As for wrestling in NEPA, it does exist here in a few different places but most consistently in Moosic with a promotion called “Grand Slam Wrestling”.
4) I think your NEPA Influencers is an excellent idea and mission. There is so much to discover ‘nearby’, no matter where you live, and these places/events are often overlooked by those living closest to them. May I ask what are some of your favorite spots and activities in NEPA? What do you enjoy about the area and people?
Thank you. I think a majority of my free time revolves around trying new foods and running said foods off. This past year, I really got into running and just try going anywhere/everywhere I can, whenever I can. I’m at that age where all of my friends are getting married and having kids – it’s fun!
5) The line, ‘Without marketing, you have no business’ can be a very true statement. No matter how great of content, product or service you may provide, if no one knows about, you have not a business: defined simply as producing something of value, a person wants, at a price they are willing to pay, in order to satisfy their expectation and at a profit for you to remain in business. As seen in that definition, Marketing comes into play by letting people know you have something they want and of value. What do you feel is one of the first steps to do this? From your experience, what seems to be an effective way/ways to bring awareness to what they do?
Talking with people about it, asking questions and learning from it. There’s nothing really more at the core than that. There are millions of things you can do, but if you’re not asking other people for their opinions, you’re not really giving anyone the opportunity to relate to what you’re doing. You’re just talking at them, not with them.
Thank you Gerard! I’m so glad we got to hear and learn more about you before the Big Event. You’ve given sparks of fire in your answers and they are sure to help us burn bright. I love your last answer, as it hints towards one of the most important things we can do during NEPA BlogCon, and that is to Listen. Listen. Listen. To learn and relate. See you There! Thanks again.