We live in a society where digital media has blurred the line between our personal lives and our professional lives.
Who we are has merged what we do and what we do has become who we are. Perception has become reality and vice versa.
There are barely any lines between someone’s private life and their public life especially for those who live in the limelight 24/7.
For new and emerging athletes, building a strong personal brand is the first step to creating a long, successful career. After all, your personal brand is one of your most powerful tools for accessing your targeted market. It determines how your fans, sponsors, and the professional sports world perceive you and how they remember and recognize you.
If you start building a better brand today, you’ll reap the rewards tomorrow.
Steps To Building A Better Athlete Brand
Figure Out Who You Want To Be
To stand out as an athlete brand on any level, you have to first have a deep understanding that there is someone who looks up to and wants to know what you’re all about. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a college athlete or professional athlete, you are always in a position to influence someone else and elevate your brand. Put this above everything else because knowing your target market is crucial. Take the time to find out who your target audience is and build a community around them. This will result in fans that last forever.
Own Your Network & Platform
When I talk to former athletes about their careers and what they wish that they could have done differently or what they regret, a lot of them say that they wish they would have met more people and took advantage of their platform as an athlete. It’s not about what you know or even who you know, it’s about who wants to know you and during your athletic career, everybody does. Own that relevance and next own your platforms. Having your own website is one of the most important aspects of an athlete’s brand because it is the hub for everything that anybody could ever want to know about you. Social media is great but a website is fully functional and controllable plus it is centralized for everything you do on and off the playing field.
Create Consistent Content On At Least 3 Social Platforms
Content is the key to everything that you want in this world. You have to produce an unbelievable amount of content to stay relevant no matter what you’re trying to do in life and it can be very difficult to do. That is the reality of the world we live in which is why it is perfect for athletes to integrate this into their everyday life. Have someone film your workouts, get a marketing team to produce written content, host a podcast once a week and find innovative ways to interact with your fans. Because it is so hard to find the time for every platform, choose three at max, that meet your career goals and go all in on those. It can be a nonstop job but the reward is a lifetime worth of love, respect, and admiration.
Elevating & Growing Your Brand
Keep in mind that your brand is constantly evolving or declining. There is no in-between.
If you’re not doing the right things to maintain attention, then you’re losing attention to other athletes and even other people in general.
As you know in your sport, if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse and it is the same for branding.
Every time you do something on and off the playing field it reflects your brand and people’s perception of you.
You have to have the mindset that the camera is always rolling.
Everything that you’re doing is being watched all of the time and if you always try to do the right things then that will have a positive effect on your brand and grow your influence.
Look at every day as a new opportunity to take your brand to another level and do the right things that you’ll thank yourself for in the future.
As an athlete, all of this may seem complex and confusing to you. But don’t worry; no one expects you to be a branding expert. That’s why sports marketing agencies exist.
If you are familiar with some aspects of branding, like social media, even better. You can definitely use your social media knowledge to leverage your brand. But be wary of treating social media as the end all be all to building your brand.
Social media on its own is simply not sufficient enough to create a strong brand. Instead, social media should be treated as one component of your branding strategy. Failing to realize the full potential of your brand could cause you to miss out major opportunities and/or potential revenue.
All of these things are very time consuming, so it might be a great idea to work together with an expert.
Your goals, whatever they may be, are attainable. You just need to focus on the right strategies to get there.
Schedule a Call to Discuss Branding Strategies
If you have questions about professional athlete branding and sports marketing or would like some assistance with building your brand, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our professional team would be more than happy to schedule a phone call to talk to you to answer your questions or discuss branding strategies.