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How do you define your personal athlete brand identity?

Updated: May 9

Having a strong personal brand has many benefits, as we discussed in our previous blog. One of the requisites of developing a powerful personal brand, is your brand identity. But what does that actually mean – a brand identity?

Your identity shows who you are, what you stand for. Developing such an identity is for companies sometimes very challenging. The service or product might change over time, the employees will move on at a certain moment and maybe the founders even decide to sell the company or just pull the plug. For a personal brand this process comes more naturally. You are the personal brand, and, in the end, you are who you are. You might change careers after retiring from your professional sports career, but you will always still be yourself.

But do you know what you should think about when you are defining your personal brand identity? With these three tips, you will get a head-start on developing your outstanding personal brand!

1. Know yourself

Since your brand identity is you in essence, your first step in defining your brand identity is getting to know yourself – even better than you already do now. At Valenze we use several tests and models to clearly identify the person behind the athlete. One of the tests we use is the Briggs Myers Type Indicator. Usually you would have to pay to do the test, but 16 Personalities offers a great, free alternative, including an analysis of the outcome. Another model we use for example is the Enneagram of Personality, which helps you define your dominant personality type.

By putting your own personality on paper, you are basically writing the blueprint of your brand identity. Everything you do, both professionally as in your personal life, can be led back to your own personality. By having your own personality clear, you will understand better what actions will fit to your personal brand.

2. Don’t copycat

Some athletes, or other celebrities for that matter, have amazing personal brands. They radiate a positive, inspiring vibe, always show beautiful content, and are so well connected. They do something extremely well, right? Researching what they do so well is a smart move but copying what they are doing not so much. Why? Because they are not you. They have a different personality, different characteristics, and are just different persons in the end.

Learning from their tactics is another story though! What and how are they communicating to give you that special impression? Can you see their personal brand identity clearly and consistently? And how do they engage with their audience for example?

3. Focus on who you are, not what you do

Why do many personal athlete brands look the same? Because they mainly communicate about what they do. Their social content is about their sport and people know them because they follow their sport or just even their sports team. Brand popularity will therefore be highly dependable on sports performance and not sustainable on the long-term. If you communicate about who you are instead, people will follow you because they like your personality first. They will be your loyal fans and stay true to you when your sports performances are on a low. These people are also the ones who want to keep following you after you retire and are most likely the ones who are offering you opportunities out of the pitch later in your life.

Your brand identity should be focused on your why and not rest on the fact that you are an athlete. In defining your brand identity avoid therefore building on the athlete-status but only use this status in explaining who you are.

Share personal brand identity

Taking these three tips in account when defining your personal brand identity, you will assure that your brand is 100% you and will always be so. Having your brand identity on paper is only the beginning. Your work has been mainly internally so far, together with your inner circle of trust. The next step will be visualizing your brand identity and developing your strategy.

In our future blogs we will share more insights in building your personal brand. If you feel like you could use some personalized guidance through the process, feel free to get in touch with us. Sometimes you just need a little extra push to convert your name as an athlete into an outstanding personal brand. Are you ready to take the next step?

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