Updated: Nov 21, 2022
As an athlete, you might have heard the term ‘personal branding’ several times. Maybe you haven’t really thought about it, or think you don’t need a personal brand. But the reality is that even if you don’t make any attempts to create your personal brand, it still exists – especially if you are active online.
Yet many athletes feel they don’t have the time or the energy to build their brand. Or they don’t know where to start and how to leverage it. Instead they choose not to spend time on their personal branding and let the crowd decide who they are.
Why you should invest time in building your personal brand?
As an athlete, your schedule is full enough. It might be hard to find time besides your training sessions, games and team meetings. The question you might ask yourself is: is it worth it to spend my time on building my personal brand? – the answer is yes!
In this article, we will name 6 benefits of building your personal brand and why it is worth your time and energy.
1. You are in charge of your own image
Personal branding is all about being in control of your own image. If you spend time on personal branding, you decide what other people will say about you, because you decide what to show about yourself and how to position yourself.
‘But I am posting pictures on my Instagram account, so I show who I am right?’ – The answer to this question really depends on the thought behind it. Why are you posting it? What do you want to show or tell people with the specific picture? How do you want people to see you? Does it fit your personality and personal values?
If you do not have the answer to these questions, then you are not working on your personal brand and you are not in charge of your image. The result? Others will form an opinion about you that you might not want them to have. And that will influence many other things on the long term.
2. You can make an impact and influence others
Having a strong personal brand can help you to inspire others. You are a role model to a lot of people and by setting a good example you can influence them in a positive way! A personal brand gives you a voice and with that voice you can make a difference.
3. You create more exposure
As an athlete, you want to be seen. You want people to know that you are a good player to increase the chance of a transfer. You want businesses to notice you so you might be considered for a sponsorship. The more exposure you get, the more you will get noticed by others.
Your personal brand helps you to grow your audience. The strongest brands in the world, whether it is a business or a person, have a huge amount of people following them. Look at players like Nikita Parris, Robert Lewandowski or Megan Rapinoe for example. They created a strong image around themselves and their powerful brands make us want to follow them and work with them.
4. You grow sponsorship opportunities
An important benefit of building and growing your personal brand is that it increases your sponsorship opportunities. A strong personal brand means strong values, a strong personality and a unique identity. And with that you will distinguish yourself from others.
You are not the only athlete out there seeking a sponsor. In order to be noticed or considered by a business, you need to stand out from the crowd. The thing that differentiates you from the other athletes out there is your personal brand.
A sponsorship is a mutually beneficial relationship. A business is therefore looking for athletes that can offer them something and match their brand. They can identify with your view on the world, your values and your personality, and use this to communicate with their audience. The stronger your personal brand, the easier it is to find and make that match, and the stronger the message to the world will be.
5. You will increase your value
Who do you think will have a higher value: someone with a strong brand who has created a unique image, or someone who presents him or herself as just another athlete?
You probably know the answer. You have to invest time and energy if you want to build your brand, but it will also help you to increase your value on the market. The stronger your brand, the more interested potential sponsors will be to work with you and the more they are able to offer you. Simply because you have more to offer to them.
6. You will increase job opportunities for after your sports career
Do you ever ask yourself what will happen if your football career is over? What are you going to do? How are you going to work for a business without experience? What do you have others to offer?
Your personal brand can help you increase your chances of a post-football career. It helps you to share your knowledge and experience with your audience, so you can position yourself as an expert in the field you want to work in. This can be connected to the study you did/do, the hobbies you have or the things you have done during your football career.
But it also helps to increase your network. The network you are building today, may be very important later and can positively affect your career opportunities in the future.
YOU are your personal brand
So, personal branding can offer you a lot of benefits. It is not something that happens overnight and also not something you should leave up to chance.
You might consider outsourcing it, because of the limited time you have. But your personal brand is about you. No-one else can create a better image of who you are than you.
YOU are your personal brand!
At Valenze we educate, advise and guide you during the personal branding process. We help you to understand how you can build your brand and how to leverage it, but you need to be in charge of your own image at all times.
Interested? Contact us for more information about how we help athletes with their personal branding!