WHO IS GAZ VOGAN?
I’m never sure how to write these kind of sections.
I'm a media professional
I’m a snowboard judge.
I've got 10 years of digital marketing experience
I am a Digital Media Freelancer.
Welcome to my world.
I've had a varied career - from running a social media management and digital content creative agency, to judging the snowboard competitions at the 2022 Winter Olympics. I've been the Head of Communications for a national governing body (Snowsport England), managed the creative team at Planet X Bikes and lead the marketing of a sporting events brand (Marauder Events).
I can just as easily create a successful digital marketing strategy and produce the content for it, as I can identify an Olympic Gold-medal performance.
All business coaches and mentors tell you to "find your niche" - however in todays digital marketing age, I believe doing the opposite leaves you in a much stronger position, for both myself and for your brand.
Creating content, whether that's photos or videos, requires knowledge of the distribution channels that the content is going to be used for, as well as the brand image and the brands existing content. Creating social media campaigns are best utilised when there's an understanding of the overall marketing strategy and what content is achievable.
Why hire a multitude of different freelancers for a project and have to coordinate and liaise with all of them, when you could just hire one - me.
Having worked in both a professional and freelance capacity for smaller businesses, I've become adept at looking at the digital landscape from multiple angles and wearing a variety of hats.
During my career I've been a:
Social Media Manager;
Digital Marketing Executive;
It's over to you now - how do you want me to help your business?
I've been snowboarding since I was about 12 or 13 - I can't exactly remember when I had my first lesson. A snowdome opened up near where I used to live, and my mum asked if I wanted to get some lessons.
I said yes and within weeks - I was hooked.
I think my poor mum just thought it would be good for me to try a new activity, I don't think she ever expected me to turn it into a career. Through my teenage years, I told everyone I wanted to be a professional snowboarder, so I put all my effort into making that a reality.
And I failed. Kinda.
I was never good enough to go pro - I wasn't even close. But what I did manage, through enthusiasm and passion, was find a hobby that paid me to go snowboarding - which I think is pretty damn close to being a professional, just maybe not in the way I was hoping for as a kid.
In 2014, I broke my spine in 2 places, and when the doctor told me I couldn't snowboard again I was pretty put out, to say the least. A good friend of mine (Shell Quaile) was organising competitions in the UK for the British University scene, and she suggested that I become a judge for those competitions so I could still stay involved. I did some training, started judging, and haven't looked back since.
I then attended the FIS International Judging Clinic in Switzerland the next year - where I knew absolutely no-one, and was a little nervous to say the least. Rather fortunately, not knowing anyone - I went down for breakfast and sat with Sandy MacDonald and Iztok Somatic, who are (unknowingly to me at the time) legends of the judging world. I sat with them because they were only guys speaking English, but that moment probably kickstarted my international career.
Since 2018, I started travelling the world to judge competitions - and it's become my priority. I started off doing just 1 or 2 weeks a season, and then when it got to the point of having to take 10 or 12 weeks off work a year to travel - I realised I had to quit my full-time job and enter the murky world of freelancing, just to ensure I had the flexibility to travel to contests when I wanted to.
I've now been involved in 2 Winter Olympic Games. First, as a commentator with Eurosport for PyeongChang 2018, and more recently as a Snowboard Judge for Beijing 2022.