By day, we’re marketing geeks. Computer nerds. Quirky writers and artists. And damn proud of it!

But after hours, our team members shed their marketing capes – and pursue all kinds of cool Hobbies, Interests and Talents (we call them HITs for short).

Here’s a hidden talent of Robert Zielonka, a Haley Marketing Social Media Marketing Advisor and PPC expert:

HIT: Singer/Songwriter

Back Story

Music has always been an important part of my life; Tom Petty and Bob Dylan were huge influences in my early years. So, it’s little surprise that I started playing guitar when I was just 11 years old. I was instantly hooked, started performing for others (both solo and as part of a band), and eventually began writing my own songs.

What started out as a fun hobby in my teens quickly grew into a true passion that’s kept me very busy. In fact, I once played 7 shows in 11 days as part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival. It was a really intense week and a half – but I enjoyed every minute of it.

These days I’m really inspired by The Decemberists, Andrew Bird and Prince. But while my tastes have evolved over the past 2.5 decades (yikes!), I’m still just as passionate as ever about honing my craft, writing songs (mostly acoustic with blues and classic rock influences) and performing live. Here’s a video of me performing “Hallelujah“:

What are the best parts of being a performer?

When I was young, performing helped me become more comfortable being and speaking in front of groups. Years of singing and playing for others has helped boost my confidence and presentation skills when consulting with clients or hosting webinars.

Performing has also allowed me to help others, too. Over the years, I’ve played a variety of charity fundraisers to benefit children’s cancer organizations, ramp-building initiatives for individuals with disabilities, and more.

My biggest claim to fame?

Okay, so I’m not Bob Dylan, but I was once named a “Top 5 Acoustic Act” in Buffalo, along with Ani DiFranco. And you can get my autograph for free – ha!

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