It wasn’t long ago that Erin Sharoni dismissed Twitter.
A year-and-a-half later, @ErinSharoni attributes much of her success to the microblogging platform and the contacts she’s made by connecting to people via Twitter.
She’s currently the sideline reporter on Darren Rovell’s new show, “CNBC SportsBiz: Game On” which airs Fridays at 7pm EST on Versus, and Sharoni’s star–not to mention her following–is on the rise. Rovell (@darrenrovell) is the preeminent sports business personality on Twitter, and the new TV show is quickly carving out its own niche covering the high-stakes financial side of the industry. Sharoni’s background in both finance and sports made her the perfect fit in a supporting role to Rovell.
Sharoni’s career and interests are all over the place. A trained dancer, artist, actor and musician from Queens, NY, she worked in finance for the majority of her career – and never loved it. But her apathy for the financial world aside, she certainly learned to diversify her portfolio, so to speak. The 2003 Wesleyan grad with a degree in Digital Media and Architecture is a tech geek who can build you a desktop computer one day and get in front of the camera for a fitness-modeling shoot the next. She appears in the upcoming feature film Peace After Marriage, which is set for a 2011 release. A former swim coach and personal trainer, Sharoni’s naturally a sports junky and diehard New York Knicks fan.
Given her varied interests and jack-of-all-trades background, her LinkedIn profile seems a bit incongruous, but when you talk to her at length, Sharoni’s recent career path makes a lot more sense. She’s not afraid of opportunity when it knocks, and she knows how to open her own doors as well. Twitter’s been prominently involved in much of her recent success and is helping her extend her reach.
I connected with Sharoni on Twitter after offering feedback about “CNBC Sports Biz: Game On”, and found her story fascinating. So I reached out to her to chat more about how Twitter has helped grow her career and personal brand over the last year. Once a non-believer, Sharoni has embraced the power of Twitter and is now a self-described “huge advocate” of the service.
“Largely I attribute where I am today to social media. I mean, I also attribute it to my own ability to hustle and be industrious, and to my own talent as well, but social media has helped in a huge, huge way,” Sharoni said. “Twitter has helped with half of my success and half of my connections–it’s connected me to people who’ve helped with my success.”
Sharoni admitted that she was originally underwhelmed by Twitter and the hype surrounding it. “I was anti-Twitter because I am anti-conventional, or just skeptical. I was not informed about Twitter. We in the Twitter world think everyone is on it, but many people are not on it and have no idea how to use it. When people don’t know something they tend to be scared of it.”
Her first offline break came about a year ago, when a friend suggested she attend an open casting call for a FILA modeling shoot. After getting the part, Sharoni was featured in a national campaign for the struggling athletic apparel company. But when the company was covered during Rovell’s regular sports business segment on CNBC, Sharoni met Rovell, who learned of her interests in sports, finance and Twitter.
Rovell later mentioned Sharoni on Twitter after she’d appeared on the show, sending out a picture of her ad campaign. Sharoni instantly picked up 600 followers.
“Wait a second. This is really powerful,” Sharoni thought. That tweet led to Sharoni’s next big break when St. John’s University was looking for a host for their Red Storm Report show, and DIME Magazine also found her on Twitter as well.
“I had no idea how to do sideline reporting, but I can write and I can act, so I thought it can’t be that difficult, right? Of course, it’s a completely different beast, but I loved it,” Sharoni said.
That experience set the table for her gig on “CNBC Sports Biz: Game On”, where 4,000 followers later, Sharoni is featured in a weekly segment with Rovell chatting about the news of the day in the sports industry. And when she’s not on the air, she’s online keeping the conversation going on the #SBGameOn hashtag, gathering feedback from viewers and further discussing stories from the program.
“Now, my literal job is the show, so my main focus is helping to promote the show and that doesn’t mean just, ‘hey we’re on at 7pm on Fridays,’ but it means interacting with viewers, getting their feedback, and also, staying relevant in that niche or that circle so you’re on people’s minds. So that’s not about me, that’s about the show and trying to drive traffic to it and seeing what makes people tick.
“The show premiered a few weeks ago, so my follower base increased, I get more mentions, and it gives me more incentive to be on there more often because I can interact with people and they’ll generally reply,” Sharoni said.
Whether she’s tweeting about the Ortiz-Mayweather boxing controversy, or reading up on quantum physics, Sharoni enjoys interacting with people from all over the world through the service. She checks up on her Klout score–she’s listed at 68 and considered a “pundit” by the service–and is fascinated by the idea that she can influence people on the service even when they don’t specifically follow her.
Sharoni says she’s trying to create a persona and give people a reason to follow her, and ultimately offer up information that people can’t find anywhere else.
“My end goal is to tweet interesting stuff that people want to retweet and comment on,” Sharoni said. “You’re broadcasting yourself to the world. I think that’s the theme of the generation, and the different modalities we’re using to do that are going to grow and change over time organically.”