Personal branding tips for the undrafted  

This year’s NFL draft has come and gone. You may not have been selected as a top pick, but you know this isn’t the end of the road. There are many more avenues to pursue before you hang up your cleats. Please remember, though, that the average pro football career is around four years so you must get as much out of your time as you can.

I can’t help you with your playing skills, but allow me to give you a few personal branding tips that will set you up for short and long-term career success regardless of where you land.

If you’re picked up as an undrafted free agent or receive an invitation to a rookie minicamp tryout, you’ll want to tackle (pun totally intended) these tips right away. It’s essential to get your personal brand in working order so can focus on what’s most important: securing a spot on the team!

  1. Refrain from any negative talk.In this period of frustration and disappointment it’s natural to want to air your grievances. This does you no good. Teams are possibly still looking at you, so refrain from any negative statements about yourself or anyone else via social media and/or in interviews.
  2. Double down on your narrative.Going undrafted means you must hit the gym—and take that camera with you! Document your training. Document your fan interactions. And document your community engagement activities. Keep showing teams that you will not just be an asset to them on the field, but a stellar steward in the community.
  3. Keep connecting and engaging.Continue to grow your fan base by connecting with followers. Also, engage them further by “liking” and replying to their positive/supportive comments.
  4. Ignore trolls.There will be those who feel the need to remind you via social and traditional media that you weren’t selected. Ignore them. You currently have bigger fish to fry, so refrain from engaging with trolls who are trying to bring you down.
  5. Ask for help.Your focus needs to be on honing your craft, but your personal brand is important too. If managing it becomes too much to handle, don’t hesitate to ask a trusted person or hire someone like me to assist you.

If you manage your personal brand correctly, the money that could be made beyond the game could be extra savings or valuable spending money that’s not included in your playing contract.

I wish you the best of luck in your journey. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me at frances@yourfirestarter.com.

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