For anyone, when building a personal brand, the first and most important step is determining who you are and what you really want from life. Simple statement, but a not-so-simple-action. Most people battle with this self-analysis.
As an athlete you have already chosen your preferred sporting code, but you need to ask yourself – who are you and how do you want the world to see you? (this includes potential sponsors)If you do not resonate with “me”, why would I be interested in you, and why would a company be interested in sponsoring you?
Being at the top of your sporting profession is important, but what additional value can you give to a potential sponsor, that is different to other athletes? Similarly, you might still be on your way to the top ranks as an athlete, but you can still offer marketing opportunities to a sponsor if your personal brand is definitive and unique- something they can grow together with you.
For this first step, you will need to determine + understand your:
- Needs (include all that you wish to achieve with your life – not just your sporting career)
- Values (your core principles)
- Interests + Passions (things that intrigue + motivate you)
- Vision (an expression that outlines who you are + what you wish to achieve)
- Mission (the “what” to achieve your mission)
- Strengths (again, both personal + sporting)
- Freak Factor (your unique factor)
- Personality Attributes (descriptors of your personality)
- Education + Career History (Sporting + academic education)
- Goals (specific about what you want to achieve in your sporting profession and post)
- What others say about you (your friends + family know you best, what are they saying about you?)
- Target Audience Positioning Statement (who is your target audience and how do you want them to see you?)
Once you have looked at each one of the above points in detail (really determining the crux of each point), you will have a clearer understanding about yourself. You will now have a more focused direction in building your personal brand. Potential sponsors will understand who you are and be able to asses if there is a fit for their sponsorship. Without this, how can you show what value you offer a sponsor? This is the foundation of athlete marketing.
Once this first step has been finalised, you as an athlete then need to communicate your personal brand to your audience and continue to build on your brand story consistently over time