You’ve trained hard, day in and day out, for years. You’ve always been the first on the field and the last one off it. Your life has revolved around perfecting your throw, your kick, your speed. Now it’s paid off, and there you are, listed among the best of the best. You’re a professional athlete, with a fan base clinging to your every word. Leveraging your superstar power may not have ever crossed your mind, but here’s why it should.
Personal branding is a powerful way to spread your influence, and it can be vital in building a post-pro income. Fortunately, developing and managing your own personal brand isn’t difficult. Here’s what you need to know to start building your very own personal brand and making it work for you.
Turning Your Superpowers into a Cash Cow
Few people are able to accomplish the level of excellence you’ve achieved as a professional athlete, which is why many people are influenced by professional athletes. Companies know this, which is why they tap professional athletes and Olympians to endorse everything from sports equipment and clothing to fast food and professional services. You have a personal brand already, which exactly what an endorsement uses to promote a product. Like the guys in the video below.
Taking control of your personal brand is the first step in turning your super-powers into a steady stream of income. Your personal brand—your mission, values, and skills—sets you apart from others. It is your identity and if you’re not in charge of controlling your own brand, you’ll find that others will do it for you.
Social media offers nearly endless opportunities for professional athletes to promote their unique personal brand and connect with their fans. Platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are an instant way to share what’s important to you and what you’re working on to an audience that truly cares about what you have to say. Your social media activity is also an excellent way to curate your public persona and ensure that you are perceived exactly the way you intend to be.
Once you have a following, you have a market to begin generating a revenue stream.
Selling Sports and Health-Related Products Online
Many professional athletes go on to become successful entrepreneurs. Often the easiest place to start generating revenue with your personal brand and beginning the path to entrepreneurship is by selling sports and health-related products through an online platform. After all, who knows about sports equipment or health products than an athlete who relies on their body and their equipment to perform?
Endorsement deals are another way to break into sports or health product retail—especially if you already use the products you’re endorsing. There’s a huge market to tap into here, and online retailing has made it easier than ever before to start your own ecommerce business. Fan support is a commodity, and learning how to turn support into income is an important part of the personal branding process.
Social media is a great way to affiliate yourself with certain brands or products and make yourself the obvious choice for the next time they’re looking for a brand representative. If you’ve developed or helped to develop your own products, you can also use your personal brand to spread the word and promote your products.
Whether you’re selling your own products or have an endorsement deal, it’s important to be authentic and consistent with your audience. Communicate your brand values with every interaction, whether you want to connect your followers with high-quality products, educate them, or share your latest ventures.
Effective Personal Branding Starts Now
As a professional athlete, your time in your current career is limited. The threat of a career-ending injury is great, and even if you avoid serious injury, you will reach a point where you’re simply unable to play like you used to. Early retirements can be stressful if you aren’t prepared.
That’s why the time to develop your brand is right now. You’re at the height of your career and you’re well-established as a public figure. You have the best opportunity to use fan support to grow your post-pro career while you’re still playing. And, believe it or not, your brand doesn’t revolve around sports nearly as much as you my think it does.
It can be easy to focus on your performance and training and ignore everything else, however, sowing the seeds for a strong personal brand now can lead to a more secure revenue stream in the future. Don’t have time to handle your personal branding strategy? That’s where a team of experts comes in.
Hire the Right People to Build Your Brand
You build your personal brand with every post, whether you mean to or not. What makes a personal brand financially effective is strategy and a little expert knowledge. Marketers who specialize in personal branding have the skills, know-how, and experience to help you shape your personal brand, as well as create a plan to utilize your brand to build a sustainable revenue stream.
Working with a team of personal marketing and social media experts can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of using your brand to propagate an income and proliferate your influence. These professionals have an arsenal of tried-and-true methods to develop your brands, as well as the expertise to recognize and remain on top of trends. It’s their job to help your brand remain powerful and relevant. Providing your team with an adequate budget can allow them to work wonders on your behalf, freeing you up to focus on what you’re best at—your sport.
Build Your Name, Your Business, and Your Post-Pro Bank Account with Personal Branding
Ready to start building your future? Establishing your business and growing your post-professional athlete bank account starts here. The power of your personal brand is an asset that you already own, and you can increase its value greatly with planning and action.
Your personal brand is more than just a retirement plan, though. Your personal identity, values, and mission should all contribute to your brand for an effective, authentic result. Learning to navigate the digital landscape is challenging, but the pay-off for taking the time to develop your personal brand can last long after you’ve retired from the field.
Interested in learning more about how to build your personal brand and use it to increase your influence? My new book Platform: The Art and Science of Personal Branding will show you just how to develop your influence and establish yourself as an online leader. Find it wherever books are sold.