Thanks to everyone who stopped by to read Part 1 of this week's mini-series. Without further ado, let's dive into Part 2!
Arguably one of my favorite questions to receive has been:
"So Nate, how are you finding dads to interview?"
Let's quick review the 3 parts The Dad Book will be broken into (for my day one followers, you can scroll past this part):
Part 1) 20 how-tos every dad should know. Barbecuing, throwing a baseball, ya know, the stereotypical "dad stuff."
Part 2) 10 quirky how-tos, including how to surf and how to set up the perfect tea party.
Part 3) 20 interviews with "dads" that have experienced a different aspect of fatherhood.
As much as I want to say I've had an exact science to finding dads, it's been a hodgepodge of dads finding me, people "nominating" their dad, family and friends helping make introductions, and "cold-messaging" dads on social media.
Working in reverse order, I knew finding dads with unique or unusual stories of fatherhood would be the most challenging to find while on the road. Included on this list was an illegal immigrant, a same-sex couple raising a child, and the single mom raising a family on her own.
As if it was meant to be, I had an individual come forth and nominate their husband as an immigrant. My cousin put me into contact with a same-sex couple and a single mom found out about the book after Fox 17 did a piece on The Dad Book. Those were arguably the hardest individuals to find before leaving and they happened to stumble across The Dad Book in one way or another.
The power of social media has been apparent throughout this entire endeavor. After following dad accounts on Facebook and Instagram, or joining groups dedicated to dads, I've been advertised with everything from Pamper's Diapers, to Red Bull and coffee companies.. And I thought I was being stereotypical.. Nice one Facebook.
I wanted my "how to surf" dad to be from Hawaii. Scrolling through Instagram (remember I'm now being targeted with pictures of dads), I found a picture of a dad teaching his son how to surf... Seriously, how perfect?? I realized this individual had once held the world record for the largest wave ever surfed and was a professional surfer with over 140,000 people following him.
For fangirls of celebrities (myself included) you can turn on post notifications so that you're alerted when someone posts a photo. Knowing that if I could be one of the first people to comment on the post, I stood a better chance of getting in contact with him.
As I'm sitting in my living room, my phone buzzes and I run over, thinking it's the mechanic calling to let me know the Dadillac is ready. The only thing better was the notification saying the surfer dad had posted a photo. With a pre-typed comment already saved in my iPhone notes, I was one of the first of his "fangirls" to comment. Within a matter of minutes, I received the message I had been waiting for. "I would love to be a part of it! Let me know when you're in Hawaii!"
Chapter 33: How to surf because who doesn't want to be "that dad?" can officially be checked off the list!
The final way I've been finding dads has been by searching the hashtag #DadsOfInstagram. By searching a hashtag (I'm explaining this only because I know my parents will ask how this works haha) you're shown a list of photos that someone has used that hashtag on.
Here's an example below:
Here's a dad, tattooed and all, getting his nails painted by his daughter to make him feel better after being sick. That's the kind of picture that makes you stop and appreciate fatherhood. After reaching out to him, I discovered he also founded an organization called Guns and Coffee, dedicated to building a strong community for military, law enforcement, and everyday patriots. Now that's a dad that needs a chapter of a book dedicated to him!
From a combination of cold-messaging dads based on photos on Instagram, to friends and family introducing me to people, I have been able to line up interviews with 20 dads spanning from Florida, New Jersey, Colorado, California, Hawaii, and more!
Do you know a dad that deserves to be in The Dad Book? Shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description and what state they're located in!
See you tomorrow for part 3 of the mini-series:
FAQ 003 | Where do you plan to sleep?
Here's a hint from SNL: