Ever wondered what an NFL player would do during the off season?
Well, the Super Bowl took place two and a half weeks ago, so this is probably the most boring time of the year for football players. Time for them to go to concerts, tape a new advertising, look for girl friends or just be bored.
Did I make these activities up? No, I know it! I’m following Chad Ochocinco on Twitter.
All readers keen on football know him, but for those that don’t: Here are a few words on Chad:
Chad Ochocinco is a wide receiver at the Cincinnati Bengals, he’s one of the best in the game, Pro Bowler (all star). Ochocinco wears jersey #85 which is actually not because of his name – it’s the other way around. Originally named Chad Johnson, he officially changed his name to “Ochocinco” to have it match his jersey number.
This fact already tells you that he is unique. The 32-year-old shares his life with fans or people that are just curious: He twittered more than 14.000 tweets to roughly 800.000 followers, has over 200.000 fans on Facebook, offers live video journals and an iPhone app. It’s hard to escape, but why should you, because he is very entertaining, positive and fun. Okay, he has a huge ego (“I’m very interesting, very interesting, very different from the rest of the individuals that play this game, and you just never know what I’m going to say, you never know what I’m going to do next.”), but that is not really unusual for wide receivers.
Ochocinco is a brand. Chad discovered it, build the brand, communicates it and maintains it. That is personal branding 2.0 – at least if you believe in the advise given by Dan Schawbel, author of the Personal Branding Blog.
Chad Ochocinco is one of the NFL players with most advertising contracts and they probably earn him quite some money. Some of his Web 2.0 activities are sponsored by Motorola and when he mentions that he is to appear in a Reebok commercial, nearly one million people instantly are informed about the link between the company and Chad. Maybe one day he will start selling the mentioning of brands on his Twitter account, who knows (if you read this, Chad: I want my 10% for coming up with the idea!).
Would he be that successful if he hadn’t built his personal brand?
Well, there are a lot of wide receivers in the league, and even though Chad is a very good one he’s probably not the very best in the game. But does any of the others have better advertising deals? I doubt it.
Here’s another example: David Beckham.
No soccer player has earned more money by means of advertising than Becks, but has he ever been the greatest player alive? Hell no. He is / used to be very good, but others are and were better – except for scoring from free kicks and advertising deals. He lives the life of a movie star because he built his brand: Being handsome and changing looks over time, getting married to a Spice Girl, playing for Real Madrid and moving to L.A. – Beckham never got boring.
For Beckham and Ochocinco, building their personal brand lead to advertising contracts, lots of fans and a lot of attention. For you it may help you to score a good job or simply to be taken even more seriously.
Sounds good? Sure. Sounds easy? Yeah, but it’s not. Here comes the hard part:
1) No one will be interested in you if you don’t share information about you. Chad Ochocinco tells you all the details about his life and David Beckham and his wife have also never been afraid of cameras. A lot of people underestimate the impact of this.
2) Don’t be shy. David Beckham used to be, believe it or not. He got over it. Must be tough.
3) Building a personal brand is not the job. It only compliments your main job. If Chad and David weren’t great sportsman, who would care about what they write or do?
4) Building a personal brand is a lot of work. It costs resources, which may interfere with 3)
5) It takes a lot of time. Don’t expect a quick win.
Good luck. Looking forward to hear from and about you!