This story highlights one of the 52 ways to monetize your Instagram account. Just to be clear: It took Jason years to become an overnight success, and land the gig of a lifetime with Pizza Hut.
What Was the Gig?
In 2016, Pizza Hut held an open competition to become the Pizza Hut All American. The Prize was a Job. Travel to every single College Sports Championship game in one school year. The publicly divulged salary was $50,000. The winner would run 2 social media accounts and do the traveling along with a Pizza Hut associate. It would be up to the All-American to interview sports legends, champions and give away a ton of Pizza along the way.
So, who won it?
Meet Jason Zone Fisher
A lifetime sports fanatic, social media maven, and the winner of the 2016 Pizza Hut All-American contest. Pizza Hut brought Jason’s wildest sports dream to life by sending him to 33 NCAA championships across the U.S., the chance to interview star athletes including Jay Williams, Grant Hill, and Terrell Owens, and fueling him with the most important carb out there — pizza. How did Jason land this gig of a lifetime? By entering a contest.
Full Disclosure: Jason is a client of my digital growth agency.
How Did He Do It?
Before being crowned the Pizza Hut All-American, he built his brand from scratch and used the power of social media to market his skillset. I helped him along the way to grow his social media presence and following but truly, Jason did a lot of work before and after we worked together to get where he is today.
Since his childhood days, Jason has always been interested in the entertainment industry and since then dipped his feet in every role imaginable — he was a host, creative consultant, spokesman, and producer. As Jason actively created content, he knew it was just as important to promote it.
A Friend Helped
Sometimes you chase the opportunities, but by actively putting your craft out there on platforms like Instagram, sometimes opportunities are presented to you — in Jason’s case, a friend had sent him a link to the Pizza Hut All-American contest on Facebook knowing he would be up to the challenge.
It was the day before the deadline and time was ticking. Jason ordered Pizza Hut and quickly shot a video explaining why he was the perfect candidate for the gig. He then went through a series of phone and Skype interviews after submitting his video on Sunday, and was selected as the Pizza Hut All-American that Thursday beating 1,000 other entrants. By Monday, he was on a plane to the Pizza Hut HQ’s in Dallas.
Jason’s career and life changed in one full week. But his success leading up to the gig didn’t happen overnight.
Jason didn’t just win by entering the contest; he won because of his active engagement in curating, promoting, and sharing his work which led him to projects with other major brands including Gillette, Butterfinger, and Esurance.
“[social media]is also very important because I think I get a lot of the work that I’m doing because people see me out there, putting myself out there, working and doing stuff,” says Jason. “It’s a form of marketing more than anything else, and I think casting directors look at it, other brands look at it, people who are in position to hire someone like me look at social media to see the direction of where my career is going, what I’m doing, and who I’m reaching.”
Can you imagine the endless opportunities and benefits that can lead you to your dream job just by engaging on platforms such as Instagram?
- The opportunity to create content in exciting places
- Travel (in Jason’s case, attend 33 NCAA championships)
- Endless pizza
- Open other doors of opportunities
Fun fact: Jason auditioned for Coaster Quest while on the road with Pizza Hut
What did he do before this opportunity?
I had previously served as the national spokesman and content creator for major brands including Skype, Gillette, Butterfinger, Esurance and more. In addition, I hosted a college football show on the Big Ten Network for two seasons. All of those experiences, amongst many others, set me up perfectly for this latest adventure with Pizza Hut and the NCAA.
There’s a lot of hard work Jason put in prior to the contest. By engaging consistently and using Instagram as a tool, this sports fan got the gig of a lifetime.
What Is Jason Doing Now?
Catch him on Travel Channel’s Coaster Quest as he’s now living every kid’s wildest dream.
And he host’s Halftime Live
It’s free to play and it’s all sports trivia. I ask 12 sports trivia questions every single day and if you get all 12 questions right, you win cash — hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on what that day’s prize is and it typically takes place at halftime of whatever the biggest sporting event is that day. -Jason
And he hosts: Arena Trivia
Arena Trivia is also available in the app store and you can download and play. That one’s super fun too, where you are broken up into teams and every game has a different theme. You could do Coke or Pepsi, or Kanye West or Taylor Swift, and you pick whichever side you want to be on and I ask 10 trivia questions. If you get them all right, you win money. -Jason
Want to live your dream job while getting paid? Here’s how
Create content and let everyone know what you’re up to! If you’re looking for the latest brand deals and campaigns and want to keep up with trends, Sign up for my free Influencer Marketing newsletter.
Sharing and promoting your work on social media tools like Instagram is just as important as content curation. Don’t know what hashtags to use? Try using WhotoTag.com, a free to use site that helps you find accounts on Instagram that could regram you and promote your work.
Entering contests is one way to monetize Instagram, but here are 52 other ways. Another way may be to become not just an official ambassador but an unofficial ambassador. I’ll share with you soon an influencer/comedian who tweeted to Waffle House every day until they sent him a gift card.
Thanks to Amelia, Shaun, Brandon and Charlotte for reading early drafts.