What is a personal brand?
The word ‘brand’ is hugely recognised as being associated with a business; and you may or may not know, there is such a thing as a personal brand.
What exactly is your personal brand? It’s essentially what people think of when they hear your name. What do they picture? How do they feel? Politicians create personal brands when they campaign for elections, you buy-into their ideas, vision and values. The same goes for Athletes. People support them because they’re great athletes, the work they do in the community, the support they show to charities and how they treat their fans.
As an elite athlete or sporting professional, your personal brand is vital, and managing / transitioning it isn’t easy. What is your personal brand? What does that look like? And do you have a brand already? Are probably just some of the questions running through your head as you read this. Understanding what your personal brand looks like is the key to improvement and truly taking control.
Just type your name into Google and the world already has a perception of you as an individual, your personal brand is on display for everybody to see. Journalists, fans, super-fans are creating your brand for you, whether you like it or not.
Taking back control of your brand identity is possible, and by doing so, you can improve your brand equity and potentially your earning power, now and after your sporting career.
How do you improve and take control of your personal brand?
There are some important points for you to consider about yourself in order to do so.
The first point to consider is your personal attributes. If you’re a leader, a team player, tactically brilliant or a community ambassador, you can bring all of these attributes to the forefront of your brand’s personality. Understand what it is that you’re known for and use that to apply to your wider brand.
Priorities in life
The second point is to understand priorities in your life, your missions and values. Ask yourself what your goals are today, tomorrow and in five years’ time as this will help to define your personal brand. Think about what is important to you both in work and in your life, your values and what your priorities are. This will help you to understand what it is that you really care about which in turn will help you decide which opportunities are the right ones for you and most importantly, which ones to say no to. It becomes a lot easier to say no once your brand identity starts to become clearer for you.
What makes you different?
Lastly, in terms of your personal brand, what is it that makes you stand out? Only you can answer this one. It’s not just about what you’re good at in your sporting performances but also your passions, your personality and your interests. Personal branding is content which you control. Your choices could end up leaving a lasting impression, and sometimes it only takes one small action, to gain a great re-action. That could be the one action that changes your life. Create a strong brand by making good choices.
You are in control of your brand so it’s important that you are the one that shares it, making sure you share what you want the public to see.
How do you share your brand?
Be present on the internet
Whether it’s through social media platforms or through a personal blog or website, make sure people can find you and the content that’s important to you. As an athlete, consider how you can demonstrate your value in a corporate setting by commenting on, engaging with and publishing content relating to specific sectors and topical news items.
Make sure your social channels are up to date, profile pictures changed regularly and that the look and feel is consistent across all platforms, making your brand easily recognisable. Be seen as the person you want your audience to see.
Engage and Interact
Get involved in community / charity groups that are core to your values. Engage with businesses by telling your story and demonstrating your knowledge. Consider your future aspirations and align your activities to what you want to be doing / where you want to be.
Your brand is your reputation, it’s what people will see when they think of you. Define it, earn it and promote it diligently.
Remember to always be true to yourself, those who you would like to engage with – potential sponsors, fans, the media – and respect the authentic voices. By taking control of your own brand, you will attract opportunities which reflect who you truly are as an individual.
About The Author
Ross Jones is our in-house brand specialist. Ross supports athletes manage their personal brands and position them ready for life after sport.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can support you with your personal brand.