What comes to mind when you think of the term ‘personal branding’?
Some people directly think of the influencer culture, being the center of attention all the time and filming every step of the way to reach a large following.
But it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that. We sometimes confuse the definition of a personal brand with the actions to market it.
We sometimes hear players say that personal branding is not for them, because it does not fit their personality. They don’t want to be in the spotlight or don’t feel like it's in their introverted nature.
Not all football players are extroverts. In fact, there are a lot of big names with an introverted personality. Lionel Messi, Jackie Groenen, Casemiro, Leah Williamson and Benzema are all introverts. Does that mean they don’t spend time on personal branding? - The answer is no. They just do it in a different way.
In this blog, we want to show that personal branding is more than being an outgoing person who shows herself everywhere she goes.
What is an introvert?
People tend to identify with either the introspective introvert or the outgoing extrovert. But it is not always that simple. Many people have predetermined notions which are not necessarily true. Not all introverts are shy and not all extroverts are dominating.
An introvert is someone who feels more comfortable in their alone time. This is when they process things best and where they recharge their energy. They can be characterized as people who are good listeners, enjoy time alone, avoid conflicts, consider things carefully and are creative.
Extroverts on the other hand tend to draw their attention from the outside world. People, places and things give them energy. They are comfortable in groups, like to think out loud and feel more energized around others.
Some people can relate to one of the two personality types, others are a mix of both. They might have certain qualities on the football pitch that are more extroverted, while they are more introverted in their personal life. If you have a mix of traits, you could be an ambivert.
Having a shy personality or if you are not comfortable with putting yourself in the spotlight all the time, doesn’t always mean you have a 100% introverted personality. Whatever your personality type is: not one is better than the other.
Why personal branding is for everyone
As we mentioned before: we sometimes confuse the definition of a personal brand with the ways to market it.
Personal branding is about getting clarity of your unique positioning and the association your name evokes in the minds of other people. Some people are struggling with this and find themselves in a situation where they feel like an imposter (the imposter syndrome).
It is all about answering questions like ‘why me?’ and ‘what makes me unique?’.
Not everyone knows the answer to this. Some might even think there is nothing that differentiate them from others.
But that is not true!
We don’t say it is an easy question, but everyone is unique and everyone is able to position themselves in a strong and unique way. That is what branding is all about, you just have to find your own way to do so!
Personal branding tips for introverts
Play to your strengths Each personality type has its own strengths that can help you build a strong brand. Introverts are good listeners and take time to understand certain infromation, which give them deeper insights on the bigger picture. Carefully making decisions and planning out a strategy how your work and personal life fits into you brand is a brand building superpower.
Start with communication tools you are comfortable with There are many different communication tools nowadays. Social media platforms make it possible to connect with people, whitout actually facing them. LinkedIn and Twitter are good platforms to start with, because they give you the opportunity to build credibility and grow your network through written posts. You can slowely ease into the different ways of communication and add other platforms like Instagram and TikTok later.
Schedule content Some people enjoy constant sharing of content on social media, for others its a draining activity. For the last group of people it is wise to plan ahead. By creating and scheduling the content in large batches, you work on it once and can then forget about it for a while. This gives peace to your mind and gives you time to recharge.
Outsource tasks Some activities might cost you energy or are exhausting. These tasks can be outsourced. This way you can focus on what is truly important to you. We have to be carefull though. Personal branding is all about communicating your authentic self, and outsourcing certain tasks might risk that authenticity. Make sure that it is always your voice that shines through your messages.
Focus on relationships Social interactions might not be one of an introvert's favourite things. Networking does not have to be with a wide range of people. Instead of trying to connect with many different people, it is better to focus on building deeper relationships with just a few. Choose quality over quantity and nurture the connection you have.
Promote your message As an introvert, self-promotion can be difficult and feel unnatural. You will always be the face of your own personal brand, but that does not mean you always have to be in the picture to show where you stand for. You can also create content that promotes your message or share the work of other businesses aligned with your own values. When personal branding becomes more comfortable, you can start promoting your own image.
Let yourself be vulnerable Who do you show what is happening behind the curtain? Putting yourself out there and sharing personal stories can feel unnatural. At the same time, introverts tend to spend a lot of time thinking and come to interesting insights. It might feel a bit uncomfortable, but sharing your perspectives and opinions on topics in your industry, will be a great way to build connections with people. When people can relate with your situation and story, they are more likely to respect you.
Segment private vs professional social media One of the challenges of building your personal brand is to determine what to share with your audience. The content you like to share with friends and family might be different from content you are comfortable sharing with your professional network. Segmenting these audiences can help you where and what to share with each one of them. For example, you can keep your Twitter and LinkedIn account public and keep your content strictly professional. On Instagram, you can create two different accounts: a professional public one, and a personal private one.
Personal branding is important to all football players, even introverts.
You just have to find your own strengths, your unique identity and a comfortable way to communicate your authentic self.
At Valenze, we help female football players with their personal branding. At our service page, you can find out more about our Authentic Athlete Branding program and how we can help you!