Building your online and offline profile can have far reaching benefits no matter what stage you are at in your career.
The one message that many current and former athletes would benefit from embracing, is that the plethora of skills gained during their sporting careers can be transferred from the playing field to real life.
In saying that, many sports people find it difficult to adjust to unfamiliar role of being a ‘former’ athlete and move into a new chapter of their life where their sporting achievements are consigned to history.
With many being institutionalised after years of scheduling and structured routine, when the day comes to call time on competing, the next step can be the most challenging.
Some of the most admirable skills that sportspeople exude are:
High motivation levels. Sportspeople often over-achieve in life and this will most certainly help them to continue to push themselves in their next career step.
Extremely disciplined. Years of training, competing and adhering to strict routines will only stand you in good stead for life in any working environment.
Adaptable. Whether a team player or individual athlete, you adjust well in different environments around a range personalities. Being a good colleague means communicating effectively, resolving conflicts and developing problem-solving strategies together as a group.
Great focus. This is a skill which is essential in sport, but also is important in other aspects of life and career.
Goal setting. Athletes regularly have to set targets, providing a roadmap to follow for success. The same goes in business and career growth.
Resilience. Fighting back is perhaps the most important transferable athletic skill, as stress, frustration and failure are all part of sport and life in general. How you deal with it and come back defines who you are.
With the rise of social media, building a presence online and offline, both during your sporting career and after, is as important as ever in creating options for you further down your career path.
It is publicly known that many struggle when giving up their respective professional sports and this is why building an impressive profile online is a major step in helping ensure success off the field too.
Cristiano Ronaldo is known for his world class footballing abilities, but he is now a known brand outside of the footballing world. He has his own underwear range, fragrance and a number of other sponsorship deals.
Undoubtedly these contracts have been largely achieved through his sporting abilities and legacy, but credit has to be given to the enormous online presence he has cultivated.
On Instagram he has a massive 119 million followers! The size of this audience makes Ronaldo an extremely useful marketing tool for brands, which is why he receives up to 300,000 euros per sponsored post.
Another two of the most famous examples are Michael Jordan and David Beckham.
Jordan used his profile to build one of the most iconic shoe brands in the world ‘Air Jordan’ and rocketing his own self net worth up to approximately $1.4 billion, according to Forbes.
Beckham is proof of how successful profiling can help create a career outside of sports, with him being a fashion icon, featuring for many high name designer brands, allowing him to earn even more post-retirement. Like Ronaldo, they have also released many of their own branded products, turning their names into brands alone.
Your initial thoughts might be ‘I am not a superstar’ or 'I am not big enough to promote myself online.’ However people fail to see what is directly in front of them. Don’t undervalue yourself.
Think about the millions of ‘Joe Bloggs’ who regularly promote their knowledge and achievements through channels like Linkedin. The new trend of ‘influencers’ on Instagram too, who are generally people with a passion for something but though strategic posting convert it into earnings.
You have been a professional athlete and if you write your achievements down, your accolades include a rich history of athletic excellence and achievement at whatever professional level you competed at. This most certainly would make for interesting reading and marketability.
Media and coaching are two of the largest pathways for retiring athletes, as the wealth of experience they’ve gained throughout their time competing is invaluable in both industries.
Radio, television and even newspapers are becoming filled with ex-athletes providing insight and their opinion. Building a strong online profile could help create a pathway into this industry.
Opening academies or acquiring jobs with clubs can be helped by profile building to maximise the chance of being successful. Helping to boost the brand of an (ex) athlete’s name, can create an image of what will be provided and gained by signing up/being selected for the coaching service. This will attract the top talent, or a wider range of talent, depending on the institution’s aim.
Online promotion is the easiest way to reach a wide, diverse audience, and could be the difference in becoming the preference over competitors.
Give yourself a voice, without relying on someone else to give you an opportunity.