More and more athletes are building their own websites, there are several reasons why this is becoming a critical component of an athlete’s brand strategy, including providing a media platform for the athlete, the ability for them to own their own brand story, sell merchandise and earn revenue through affiliate programs to name a few reasons.
A website provides you with a platform you control to showcase who you are as an individual and highlight your personality, achievements, partnerships and speak directly to fans. Having a strong personal brand, is about combining the key parts of who you are into a consistently delivered, strong and genuine representation of YOU. As an example, your website content could consist of your role as a professional athlete, talent for motivational speaking, promote your side business, availability for coaching or birthday party appearances! It’s your blank canvas and you always control the content.
Brands and sponsors will always check your social media, having a personal website sets you up on a higher benchmark since you’re showing them that you’re professional and understand your marketing influence.
Social media is a great way to put yourself and your personal brand out there, through unique themes, images and content. However, there isn’t a great deal of ways to really personalize the format of your social media. Instagram for example, is formatted in the same way for every individual account, the same three grids of images in a row. This is another powerful element of a website, since you can design and format your website any way you choose.
As a high-profile professional athlete, people will go looking for information about you through a simple Google search, you want the content you own to be the first thing people see about you , not what the media stories, or the often inaccurate Wikipedia pages. With the help of a good digital marketer you can use methods to put your website as the top google search result. This is a game changer, since anyone can easily edit your Wikipedia page, therefore the information about you can be unreliable. By having your own website, you can ensure brands have access to consistently correct information that benefits you and your personal brand and the commercial opportunities you wish to secure.
Here are out Five Tips Towards A Great Athlete Website:
1. Buy Your Unique Web URL!
Your domain URL must be registered and is the link displayed when people access your website. As an athlete, it makes a huge difference to have a domain that is your personal name. For example: www.lebronjames.com If you’re not interested in having a website yet, but you want to take your personal brand seriously, you should buy your website domain immediately (after you finish reading this article)! They are typically inexpensive and it will save you problems down the track. If someone else decides to purchase a domain in your name, you run the risk of other people pretending to be you and if you decide to try and buy it off them, it could cost you a lot of money!
2. Have A Strategy & Know What You Want to Achieve
Have a vision for what the website will look like and do your research to see what kind of features you love! If you want to promote other parts of your life, such as your business or personality, you should! This is a place for you to tell a story about yourself and show your fans and brands that you are more than an athlete. Seek professional help from a brand marketer to assist you with the vision of your website. Great brand marketers will help to plan out the website and work with you on how to build and showcase your personal brand, and how to build in potential revenue streams.
An example of someone doing this well is LeBron James:
He is making it clear to his audience who he is – The Man, The Philanthropist, The Businessman and The Athlete. The rest of the site navigates around these four brand pillars, each has their own specific page. You can create your website however you like; although it takes a lot of planning to ensure all pages work well together. This is where professional help is necessary, professionals who are experienced in making websites know what they’re doing, how a website is navigated and can ensure you make a strong impression with yours.
If you don’t want your website to include a lot of features and written content, it is still effective to keep it simpler. Take David Beckham’s as an example, he only has a constant gallery of high quality photographs, his name, social handles and a link to the UNICEF David Beckham Fund. He’s made it very clear what he wants to be known for and by still owning his domain link and doing something with his website, he is giving the audience a brief but powerful understanding of who he is.
3. Promote Your Personal Brand
A personal website is your chance to showcase your personal brand. What do you want people to think of when they hear your name? Are you the good family guy, promoting his kids coaching camps and local cafe? Perhaps you’re the street wear, bad boy type looking to branch out into the high-end fashion industry.
You have the opportunity to shape your personal brand. It can be quite overwhelming to consider how best to portray your brand, so we highly recommend seeking a professional opinion to help you strategise and plan out your personal brand.
Top Tip: You want your website to stand out from the crowd but it’s also important to think of the people viewing your website. Keep your home page sleek and organised, use fonts that are easy-to-read, stick to a consistent colourway and only use high quality images. A great website flows seamlessly, leaves a good impression and makes an impact on the viewer.
4. Link to Sponsors, Partners and Businesses You’re Associated With
As much as an you’re a significant asset to a brand, demonstrating on your website that you have worked with brands is a huge bonus for your reputation and professional resume. Therefore, if you have sponsorships or partnerships with brands, make sure you include these on your website. You can do this in many different ways but our recommendation is by including their logo, listing their name or including photos of you working with them.
This is a great asset to you because it can show other potential partners or brands that you have experience working commercially, that you’re desired by other brands and as an extra bonus, you might promote that you work with them on your website.
5. Make Sure You Have The Essentials
If you’re an athlete, we recommend you consider including the following elements:
About Me. Make this a concise and punchy retelling of your athletic background and personality. Make sure it supports your personal brand and is updated as regularly as possible. Topics to include may be big career moments, direction your taking outside of your sport and anything that supports your personal brand. Steer away from including biography or Wikipedia type content to keep people engaged.
Social Media. Always have a social media bar with direct links to your social pages.
Personal Touch. Your audience is fascinated by you. If you want to share your thoughts through a blog, it’s a great way to connect with your audience and build your personality online. Although, if you’re not interested in writing content but still want to add a personal touch, you could include a short message to your fans with a signature.
Images. High quality images are very important! Use the networks and resources available to you, to collect high quality images of yourself. Make sure the photos you chose to include on your website all serve a purpose and stick to the overall theme and vibe of your website. For example, if you really want to promote that you’re a fantastic motivational speaker – include photos or videos of you speaking at events.
Contact Me. Include a contact and/or enquiry form so that people wanting to work or connect with you, can do so!
Building a website can be quite a task, but it is incredibly worth it in the long run. If you’re looking to take your personal brand to the next level and be taken seriously by businesses, start considering what a website can look like for you. Seek professional assistance to help plan, strategise and develop your website to save you time and make the project worthwhile!
If you’d like to find out more about how to build a great athlete website or would like to discuss how we can assist with your personal website, please contact Agency X today by emailing us at email@example.com or calling 0419 719 792.