The responsibilities of an athlete are constantly changing. Between NIL deals, proving your value to coaches, and standing out from the competition, being a young or amateur athlete in today’s age requires you to market yourself in order to reach the next level. One of the most effective tools for getting your name out there is social media. In this blog, let’s look at a few of the Dos and Don’ts of social media when marketing yourself as an athlete.
These rules apply to both young athletes trying to be recruited for college athletics and amateur athletes looking for their shot at the next level. The ultimate goal with an athlete’s social media is to get your name in front of the right people. The key is once you garner that attention, make sure that what is being shown is enticing to these coaches, scouts, sponsors, etc.
1. What to post on social media?
DO: Post videos of individual training sessions, stats from recent games, highlights, awards/achievements, engaging with your community, and content that promotes a positive and driven mentality. You want to promote yourself as someone who is focused on athletics and is willing to put in the work that is needed to climb the ladder of success.
TIP: Make sure you have the “Manually Approve Tags” setting turned on for your social media accounts. This allows you to review any post that you are tagged in before it shows up on your profile.
DON’T: Post videos of constant partying, engaging in reckless behavior, talking down on teammates/coaches, etc. A good rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t show it to your grandmother you probably shouldn’t post it.
2. How to get your name in front of the right people.
DO: Find the spaces where coaches and scouts are active. This can include which social platforms they are most active on, popular recruiting hashtags and social accounts that promote up-and-coming recruits such as Perfect Game, Ball Is Life, recruits.cfb, etc. It is also highly beneficial to follow and engage with programs and coaches you are interested in on social media. Shooting a DM occasionally showing your interest can help you stand out from the rest.
DON’T: Constantly message coaches with an overly confident attitude. At the end of the day, your talent and character are what will sell you to these coaches. Your goal is to simply be on their top of mind, not to harass. Do not simply copy/paste messages to all coaches. You want the messages to be personal and show real interest in the athletic programs and school.
3. Creating a brand around yourself.
DO: Think about the type of athlete you present to the world. Essentially, take your personality and put it on display through social media. This will give fans something to attach to and want to support. While this will be more important in the future, establishing a brand early on will help speed up the process for things like sponsorships. Some great examples of athletes who created a brand around themselves would be Tim Tebow, Lebron James, Serena Williams, Christiano Ronaldo, etc.
DON’T: Do not try to be something you are not. Your brand should be authentic to you, not who you think people want to see. Even if you are a more shy person, play into that personality. Be the “no nonsense” type player that so many athletes have presented in the past. For example, athletes like Kobe Bryant, Davante Adams, Lionel Messi, Kawhi Leonard, etc.