An email will be your main avenue of contacting coaches directly. There is however, another effective way to place yourself in front of coaches much sooner than ever before. While you email all your ‘paperwork’ side of things to college coaches, admissions staff, teachers etc, you can use the power of social media to ensure you are placing yourself in front of them long before they receive an email from you. Creating a strong social profile will almost guarantee you that coaches will know your face, your brand, and who you are before you land in their inbox, and when you do land there, they are going to click through just out of curiosity of what you may be offering them. Read on now for ‘6 Steps to Create Social Exposure & get in Front of Coaches Sooner’ by forming an indirect social bond with the power of social media.
1- Naturally, your first step is going to be finding those social media channels your target audience is hanging out on, and the channels you like to hang out on. In my own experience, I have found LinkedIn to be a very good platform to follow and connect with coaches, teachers, sports directors, other college athletes, and so on. There are however, many social media platforms out there now, that it pays to do your homework and find what works best for you, and where your folks are hanging out. Search for job titles, sporting titles, sporting personalities, college and university names, sporting institutes, sporting clubs etc. The list goes on. Most social media platforms are free to become a member and are very easy to join. Four of my favourites are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. So get on those laptops and start searching now!
2- Once you have created your social accounts, decide if you would like to stick with using a personal page, or a business page. Both are absolutely fine, though if you create a business page, you may find you can keep with being professional, but you can also check your insights and see who has been visiting your page, the demographics of those visiting your page such as where they are located, average ages, what sex, and you can overall do a lot more as most business pages allow you to use a creator studio which can become an invaluable tool. Having a business page is a good impression on coaches also as you show you have taken the time to target in on the people you should be in front of, and keeping those you shouldn’t be in front of, right away. The word ‘business’ gives a professional boost to any profile.
3- Place your face in the right place! Make your profile picture a photo of yourself. You want your face to be everywhere. Your profile picture is attached to every post you make, every story you tell, and every piece of engagement you have with other peoples posts. Making your profile picture a photo of you, is going to place your face everywhere. It is best to place a portrait type picture that clearly shows your face, and leave the action shots for your posts and photo gallery etc. Your profile picture is generally just a small square tile, so an action shot can be very hard to see. Once you have your profile picture sorted, it’s time to think about your cover photo.
4- Brand your cover photo! Now it is time to let that brand shine. Upload your brand colours, logo, font etc to your cover photo. The program Canva has a Facebook cover option where create your cover picture. Alternatively, you can create your cover picture inside your platform. Get creative and have fun with this one. You can include a photo of you in action, place your logo in there, and put your VOICE to it! What do I mean by this? You can use your cover photo to tell visitors who you are and what you do. You can put your name, sport, school, player stats, year of graduation, college intentions and so on. It is just like a mini version of your sports portfolio cover page. Mimicking your sportfolio cover page for your social profile cover pages, is a really good idea, so when coaches click on your killer subject line and come to your cover page, they will have a light bulb moment, and be very impressed by your consistency, persistence, and professionalism. I am sure you will also find they will begin visiting your social profiles regularly for updates, rather than having to wait for your next email.
5- Get cracking with your content! Start uploading all of your photos, videos, media appearances and mentions, awards, certificates, and milestones. When you have uploaded all that you have to show now, start planning to continually post updates, stories, articles, photos etc. You MUST be consistently posting content in order to continually show up on your audiences door step. It is a good idea to content plan. You can do this from inside your business pages on each individual platform, or you can use a scheduling tool. Agorapulse is one I use that allows me to plan content to all of my platforms at once. There are others such as, Planoly, Hootsuite, and Later, and they all have free trial periods so you don’t have to commit straight away, you can try before you buy. Use these tools to schedule out your posts on a Monday for the whole week. If you are time limited, these tools will be your best friend because you can schedule, then leave it for a week, still leaving you sufficient time to train, study, and work.
6- Go forth and find your audience! Now you need to do your homework and it may take quite a few searches to build your following, but it is well worth it. Use keywords to do your search as these will help you narrow right in on the audience you WANT to be in front of. Recruit as many coaches, sporting directors, officials, referees, and other athletes into your following as you can. The more people you’re in front of, the better. You can search for admissions staff and teachers, co-coaches, and student bodies. Some accounts are private and you will need to request their following but don’t let that put you off, request away. You can also have your own account set to private so only the people you want following you will see your page. To begin with, set yourself a goal as to how many requests you will make each day, so you are consistently recruiting new followers into your sporting community.
I have just given you 6 very simple steps to begin phase ‘Get Exposed’ and place yourself in front of coaches much sooner. For more information on creating social exposure and placing yourself in front of coaches sooner, or for any other tips, tools, and free live training sessions on how to gain entry into college/university on a sports scholarship, or ten, become a member of Promoting Elevating Athletes today by following this link https://mailchi.mp/d2e37d7ced4e/joinpromotingelevatingathletes. Your success is my #1 priority, work with me and my team, and you will achieve the college dream at the college of YOUR choice. See you over there. Yours in sport, Brooke Hamilton.