How to Start Building Your Personal Brand - Work in Sports Podcast e132

There are opportunities out there to build your personal brand, and I'm sorry to say, most of you aren't taking advantage of them. Time to get to work. 


Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for and this is the Work in Sports podcast.

There is no fan question today. Instead, there is a bit of a rant from me. Buckle up.

No, I’m kidding, it’ll be a friendly rant.   

Let me set the scene for you – I don’t do much for our social channels on Instagram…but I should, and I realize that.

I do a lot on LinkedIn – makes sense, that’s where people go when they want to look for jobs, network and have business related conversations. That’s our market, so it makes sense that I become an expert in this realm.

I spend time on Twitter – heck it’s fun, and I share a good amount of content and keep up with all of our guests on the podcast.

And of course I spend a lot of time in our private facebook group for this podcast which is now over 1,000 strong and amazes me every day with the level of engagement and advice that is shared. So thank you for that.

But Instagram… I hadn’t really been there much because our business isn’t always visual, and frankly I hate seeing pictures of people at conferences. It’s like they are just showing off… look where I am! And that doesn’t provide any value.

I always try to focus on value – what can I add to the discussion, how can I help someone learn, how can I change their approach even just a little, that’ll make a difference for them.

I hadn’t been convinced that Instagram or Snapchat was the avenue for that… so I avoided it. BUT, I like to push myself, so I want to grow in these areas.

As I’ve advised many of you countless times, one of the best areas to learn new skills is via Youtube. You can differentiate yourself by learning skills like Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Pro Tools… all skills you can literally master on Youtube. Just last week I was trying to learn how to burn captions into a video… boom youtube video – three minutes later I’m doing it.

So, I go to Youtube… I type in Instagram for businesses, thinking I’ll get some ideas that could spark some creativity.

Now, I’m not trying to be ageist, I’m not trying to be judgmental. Heck I just did an entire podcast intro on not being judgmental. But there is a huge problem when I search youtube for Instagram techniques and videos and all of the advice is coming from 40-50 somethings.

I’m 43 years old, mentioned this many times, not afraid of talking about it one bit… but if I want to learn something in social, I want to hear from the young people who grew up with it, use it communicate with it, have expectations for it, know what they like, what they don’t know what their friends share and the tone and the tenor of what they speak.

Why aren’t any of you taking charge?

I mean this as seriously as possible. And it’s not just about Instagram… it’s about building your brand, building your expertise, building your stature in the marketplace.

I see people who are considered “influencers” by the way, hate that word, and while I think their content usually sucks, they have an audience and they leverage it. They have a brand, they have an audience.

How powerful do you think it would be to create videos on mastering Instagram…you could create hundreds of tutorials from they eyes and mind of a millennial, and develop a huge brand for yourself.

How do you think that would play out when you go to apply for a digital marketing job with Atlanta united?

Hi Katie Gillen, I’m here to apply for the Digital marketing coordinator job – I have this YouTube channel with over 30 videos on tips tricks and hacks for Instagram. I knew it would be important to build my brand and share my voice, so I began creating these a year ago and now I have over 1,000 subscribers…but what I’d really like to do is take that knowledge and share it with the world through the lens of Atlanta United.  

 I guarantee you Katie’s jaw would drop (mentally not literally) she’s play it cool… finish the interview…go watch your videos…and call you back.

And don’t get it twisted, I’m not just talking about Instagram… I’m talking about discovering opportunities to stand out. What does that market need?! What skills and assets do you have?!

There are more tools and toys and broadcasting avenues than ever before… I couldn’t post YouTube videos when I was coming up in the industry… because YouTube didn’t exist! You can.

I couldn’t master IGTV or Stories or hell even Vines or Periscope… I know they don’t exist anymore, but they did…and they were hot for a while there.

Here’s how this is going to work -- spend 30 minutes a day thinking about who you want to be. Do research into the tools and skills needed for those roles – and then put your unique perspective on it.

Say you want to work in sales – you can talk about social selling, what works, what doesn’t, how millennials like to be approached – brainstorm ideas!

Think about the tools and the techniques that are important in your segment. Think about ways you can create a brand around being an expert from the millennial perspective.

You are unique in your thoughts and approach – leverage that to build your brand!

Maybe you are really into analytics and can talk about tools like Synergy Sports, or XOS, or break down Corsi, WAR, OBPplus in a way that makes the games more fun to watch.  

eSports is new and fresh… what if you became the expert in teaching eSports to people that didn’t grow up with it. Explain twitch and the opportunities it presents, talk about marketing opportunities and sponsorship ideas in eSports.

I’m not going to come up with all of the ideas for you…this is literally coming into my head as I speak… but there are avenues out there to separate yourself from the pack…they take work, and you have to be willing to put it in.

I’ll tell you 99% of the people that reach out to me looking for advice start by saying “…I’m a really hard worker willing to do whatever it takes to make it in the sports industry”

Well, here you go prove it.

Last thing, so no one gets confused – DO NOT create a youtube channel where you review games or preview games – that will not make you stand out. That will not build a niche. That has been done, that will be done. You need to do better than that to build your brand.

One you do, you’ll be able to do more than just submit a resume and cover letter and then hope for something great to happen. If you start building your brand right now you’ll have something more to offer.

Rant complete.

Coming up Wednesday – Bill Guertin is the sales trainer to the stars… and what I mean by that is, everyone in sports knows Bill Guertin. He’s worked with over 100 different professional sports teams to train their staff – he knows what teams want and demand and is going to share it on Wednesday… make sure to listen in!

That’s it… I need a glass of water.

By Brian Clapp | November 12, 2018
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