Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing tips and tricks for building your personal brand.
1. Uncovering Personal Identifiers
2. Recognizing Your Worth
3. Reaching Your Audience
The phrase personal brand can sometimes have a bad connotation, especially as it relates to team sports. It is individualistic and can seem like it is drawing away from the team culture that your coaching staff is so desperately trying to create.
In reality, a personal brand is simply what makes you authentically you. On the day you were born (or maybe a few days later) you were given a name. That name was the cornerstone for the start of your personal brand. And every step along the journey since has contributed to its evolution.
Oftentimes, the hardest part about recognizing your personal brand is knowing where to start. It sounds daunting, but it's really quite simple.
Below are four personal identifiers that can help you kick off the discovery of your personal brand. The simplest way is to start broadly and narrow like an inverted pyramid.
1. Your Name
- As I stated before, your name is your OG identifier. Sure, some of you may share names (looking at you Michael Jordan's out there!), but ultimately your name is yours and yours alone.
- Consider the following as it relates to your name:
- Were you named after anyone?
- Were you named after a specific event or something significant?
- What are your nicknames?
- Why were your nicknames given to you? Your phyiscal attributes? Something you were known for? A specific moment?
2. Your Life's Journey
- I can say with absolute certainty that no individual has followed the exact same life journey as you. Certain road blocks in your journey have shaped you into the person who you are today, and can be looked at as "pivot points." For example, last week we talked about how the signing of Kofi Cockburn changed the trajectory of our company forever.
- Consider the following as it relates to your life's journey:
- What obstacles did you overcome in your life to lead you to where you are today?
- What things has your family has gone through?
- Maybe school was difficult for you
- Perhaps you had a catastrophic injury or accident
- Who is your inspiration? Is there somebody or something that you play for? Why?
- Some move locations more often than others, but generally we all have a hometown. Some are boring, some are fun. Regardless, a person's hometown typically plays a big role in shaping much of who they are today.
- Consider the following as it relates to your hometown:
- What is unique about where you are from?
- Does your hometown have something it’s known for?
- Are people in your town typically one profession (farmers, for example)
- What was it like growing up in your hometown? What sorts of things did you encounter?
4. Your Sport
- As a student-athlete, your sport does not define you but it is an identifier. There are so many things within your sport, however, that set you apart from your peers.
- Consider the following as it relates to your sport?
- Why did this become your sport? At what age?
- What specifically makes you so good at it?
- What position do you play? Why?
- What number are you? Why?
- Do you have any specific plays that you are known for?
- Are there any pictures or videos that best portray your personality?
Now that you have a full list of your personal identifiers, think about some of the thoughts you feel best represent you.
Authenticity is key. Choose things that you are passionate about. The more passionate you are the more genuine you are. Ultimately, that leads to greater opportunities.
Here at the NIL.Store by Campus Ink, we talk through these personal identifiers and figure out how to build merchandise around our players' brands.
Soon we will talk about recognizing your own self-worth and how you can capitalize on it to further build your brand.