By Dr. Howard Gauthier
How do people view you? Do they see you as a hard worker, a real professional, even an expert in the sports industry? Or do they perceive you as an average employee who clocks-in and clocks-out and never puts in the extra effort? The image you project, and how people perceive you, is your personal brand.
The overall goal for branding yourself should be to differentiate yourself within the profession by providing great value to your sports organization and to the industry as a whole. The following six recommendations will help you begin to develop your personal brand and help you to create a strong brand image.
- Describe Your Career Aspirations – Identify and describe your career goals. Be clear and specific as to the industry, profession, and area of specialization. Is it to be an athletic director at the NCAA Division I level? Is it to be known as an expert in marketing and social media within Division II athletics?
- Identify Your Branding Strategy – What do you want your brand to be? What should it convey? The best way to create a strong brand is to specialize in a particular niche. If you want to be an athletic director, learn all you can about the profession and become proficient in marketing and fund raising. If you want to be an expert in social media, study the best practices of social media strategies and techniques as they apply to sports.
- Create a Brand Statement – Once you have identified what you want your brand to be and your brand strategy, you will want to create a brand statement. A brand statement identifies your area of specialization and should explain (a) who you are, (b) what you do, and (c) whom you do it for. Clearly write out these three elements as they apply to your ultimate career aspirations.
- Assess Your Current Situation – Try to understand how you are currently perceived. In other words, what is your current brand? Attempt to uncover your brand through self-analysis and visiting with friends or colleagues. Once you believe that you have an accurate understanding, ask yourself if you are on track with the correct brand? If not, what needs to change and why?
- Create Your Plan – Once you have identified where you are and what you need to change, you can begin to develop your plan for self-improvement. Do you need to improve your communication skills? How about your attire or behavior? What about your image on LinkedIn and other social media outlets? How active are you within your professional association? Identify the areas of self-improvement. What action steps do you need to take to achieve your branding goals?
- Manage Your Brand – As you begin to build your personal brand, you will want to be proactive in managing all aspects of your brand. This includes your knowledge within your area of specialization, your behaviors, attire, social media presence, and relationships.
Where is your career going? Your brand plays a huge part in determining if you will achieve your professional career goals or not. Read through the six steps above and be proactive in building your brand and controlling how people perceive you.
Remember that the job will go to the candidate who is best prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!
Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.
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In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:
- The types of jobs that exist in college sports
- How to plan and navigate your career
- How to create an effective job search campaign
- The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
- How to properly brand yourself
- Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
- How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions
- How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager
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This is a must have for those looking to get into College Athletics. Great job Howard.
Sports Writer at Nationalsportsjournal.com