No fan questions this week for the WorkInSports Podcast, but VP of Content and Engaged Learning Brian Clapp has advice all the same for our aspiring sports professionals.
Communication. It’s a crucial part of branding yourself not only as a trusted expert on your social media accounts and in your industry. Communication is also an important and exciting aspect of branding yourself because you can control the conversation and show a lot of cool content off to your followers.
Your personal brand is more than just your activity on social platforms. Emails, texts, comments, and posts are also a piece of it. When you reach out to someone to connect on LinkedIn and you add a sloppy note (or don’t add a note), that is a representation of your personal brand. When you email a boss, a professor, or an internship coordinator, you are giving a sample of your personal brand. That’s not as sexy as putting out a post on social that gets shared and liked hundreds of times, but it is critical to getting where you want in the industry.
Why Interpersonal Communication Matters
Every communication touchpoint is an opportunity for whomever you communicate with to evaluate your personal brand. In this episode, Brian uses the example of emailing a professor for assistance, but leaving vague information that does not let the instructor clearly know how to help. If you are the person who sends that type of email, understand that your exchange makes an impression and leads the professor to classify you as someone with low potential (and probably not worth the extra effort to help excel).
Social media is the sexy part of building your personal brand – and crafting a good persona there can absolutely set you on the path to success. However, there are still some nuances in doing so. Take LinkedIn, the go-to site for budding professionals to connect and network with experts in their chosen industry. While you can find people the algorithm suggests and hit “connect” to spit out an automated “John Smith would like to connect on LinkedIn” request, remember that you get 300 characters of your own to help that connection request stand out. Use those characters to ensure that initial outreach counts. Make that person feel like more than another number to add to your list of connections or followers.