LinkedIn For Athletes
In this video you will get 5 steps to using LinkedIn to best build a meaningful network as an athlete and for life after sports.
So why LinkedIn? Isn’t that for people in suits and recruiters and more mature people? Yes kind of – but that’s exactly my point. 500 million of them actually. But that is not the only difference that makes LinkedIn an obvious place for you to be networking as an athlete.
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In this video we are going to look at how you can get a meaningful network as an athlete and for life after sports.
I’m going to tell why LinkedIn is my preferred tool for this and give you
You probably know the value of a good network. Feeling connected, supported and meeting open doors is….satisfying. A lot of this happens in person – but if you want to go more global and connect faster, I have found LinkedIn to beat all the other social platforms.
LinkedIn ???… you might think. Isn’t that for like people in suits and recruiters and more mature people? Yes kind of . 500 million of them actually. Mostly decision makers that you can actually connect with. Not « friend » or « follow » – but CONNECT with.
That is not the only difference that makes LinkedIn an obvious place for you as an athlete.
I’ll save the best reason for the end but let’s get started.
So like I said, people “connect” on LinkedIn – it’s not about being “friends” or “followers” or « fans » like on other social platforms. If you are mostly interested in watching what your connections had for breakfast or their kid’s first day of school…or you want to share a sweatie selfie… this NOT the platform !
But IF you want to build a network in the professional world, this is The Place
And yes, you DO want to build a network in the professional world. You may have heard this before – or even experienced it – your network is your net worth – or something along those lines…
And yes, even if you are still active with no plans to retire just yet. You might as well get started connecting while you are still active – and actually stand out from the rest of the crowd there a bit.
And besides using LinkedIn, can make you more attractive and valuable to a sponsor – and even more visible to a potential sponsor – but that’s for another video…
SO another thing that is unique to LinkedIn is that you can see all the professional experience and information about your connections – and you can even check out people you aren’t connected to yet. So you can create a MEANINGFUL network. Not just fans – fans are great and you can nurture them on instagram posting lifestyle photos and so on – but on LinkedIn, it’s about connecting – with a professional, two-way mindset.
Okay, so now that you know WHY using LinkedIn in as an athlete is a great idea to build you network, let’s look at HOW to do it.
Bascally it’s about 2 things – showcasing and connecting
1) Showcasing means setting up your profile
– to grab the attention of the people you want to connect with
The two most basic things of course is a professional looking headshot and a descriptive title, using relevant keywords.
If you are a sponsored athlete – put that into your job title: International tennis player sponsored by X. Or put your sponsor or the tour you compete on as your employer.
You can also put anything you want to be known for or associated with:
“Blogging for” let’s say…Tennis Daily. Or “Environmentalist”if that is big part of you.
That shows you have qualities that reach beyond sports.
Put a real headshot for profile picture. Nobody wants to visit a profile without a photo.
If you don’t want to do anymore right now – just put something like : « Busy training and competing – coming back later » in your description.
Those are the very basics to make LinkedIn any use for you.
Now you can begin to reach out and connect while you complete the rest of your profile.
Step 2 : If you really are too busy to be proactively using LinkedIn then start organically.
Reach out to people you meet and deal with in your life as an athlete –
Start with people who will know who you are. They won’t necessarily go in and check your profile, – or care that it is not very elaborate yet.
Step 3 :
Reach out to people who work in the sports industry and other industries you are interested in. In order to get people you don’t actually know to accept to connect with you, it is always better to use the “add a note” option to just send a couple of lines about how you like what they are doing, or if you read one of their articles or whatever. Or that « so and so » recommended that you reach out…and say you’d love to connect with them here.
4) Connect with other athletes.
Connecting with athletes – and former athletes – in other sports is both inspiring and fun. Again, if you haven’t actually met or you feel it is weird reaching out – do the « add a note » thing to give them a reason to connect with you.
5) Join groups that are relevant to you. There are a ton of groups that are relevant for athletes and former athletes. where you can get tips yourself about everything from improving your mental game to sports marketing, trends, sport science you name it.
You can also contribute to with your 2 cents as an athlete. Is that a bit of work – yes but it shows you have value besides being good at sports. So it’s up to you. But joining is easy.
Now those are the steps to build your professional network on LinkedIn as an athlete.
I promised I’d save the best for last – so let’s call that a bonus step
It’s about how you can make LinkedIn work for you in a more passive way.
And here comes the coolest advantage to LinkedIn :
Contrary to the other social platforms, you are not expected to post things daily on LinkedIn. Not even weekly. You can, but you don’t have to in order to make it work for you. In fact as a rule of thumb – unless you have something valuable to post or write or video – don’t post. Save your selfies and food art and private life shots for other platforms.
But if you have something at heart, do write an article and know that it will not disappear as the feed moves on. It will be right there in your articles section, working for you for a long time.
So even if you are not super active reaching out – you may as well set up your LinkedIn profile to attract other people – MEANINGFUL people – this way to connect with you.
Make a complete profile with something in all the sections.
It doesn’t have to be all at once – it’s easy to go back and edit – and it doesn’t disappear after 24h.
So there you have it – the most simple way to make a global professional network for life after sports. If you want to see my tips on how to use LinkedIn to provide value to a sponsor. Look out for my video :