Brand Building for the Introvert Athlete

Mastering personal brand building is challenging. For those who are introverted or don’t prefer the spotlight, brand building can feel like their own personal Everest. As I’ve frequently noted, for collegiate and professional athletes, coaches, and administrators, it’s vital to capitalize on their short-term visibility to achieve long-term gains.

For some introverts, how and why to get started can be a sticking point. For others, finding the daily inspiration and energy to constantly create content can be downright exhausting.

Below are tips to help introverts tackle the unique brand building challenges they face:

Have a strategy. Nothing zaps your energy and focus faster than having to reinvent the wheel every day. Creating short- and long-term strategies for your brand content is a lot of work upfront but can save your sanity in the end. This is key for everyone, but especially for introverts. The journey starts with knowing who you want to reach and where to reach them.

Let a reporter help you out. Leveraging earned media is an effective way to get someone else to do the heavy lifting for you. Just about everyone has an interesting story. With so many athlete-focused media platforms emerging, there’s never been a better time to pitch your story to traditional and digital outlets.

Acquire an extrovert. We extroverts are useful for many things. For one, we’re happy to create content and include you in it. Second, we usually have an idea where and when to be seen. Third, it’s our personal pleasure to get you out of your comfort zone. If you don’t have a designated extroverted brand buddy – I highly recommend acquiring one.

Get vulnerable. Carefully manicured personal brands are boring. We know you’re a real person, so let your real-life be part of your daily content—the good, bad, and even the ugly. How ugly will depend on your comfort level, but there’s a direct correlation between authenticity and higher engagement rates.

Give to get. Launching a charity or actively engaging in one allows you to be part of something bigger than yourself. It also provides you with year-round content without you being the main focus. Launching a charity is an involved endeavor. If mismanaged, it could damage your brand. Make sure you know the risks and rewards before getting started. If you decide to forgo launching a charity of your own, there’s plenty of reputable nonprofits who’d welcome your support.

Hand it off. There’s nothing wrong with engaging a professional to assist you with your personal brand. That’s the reason people like me exist! If this whole personal branding concept feels too overwhelming, an expert can collaborate with you to create a plan, develop content, or both.

As an athlete, coach, or sports administrator, your brand is one of your most valuable professional assets. Every day it’s left unmanaged or mismanaged can leave you further behind—and potentially out a lot of money.


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