The Do’s & Don’ts — Marketing Yourself Online

by Philip MacDonald | Last updated

I was recently browsing one of my soccer friends facebook page and noticed he put the link to his personal soccer website. Like many young soccer players, he is trying to be noticed by professional clubs, make a name for himself and play at a higher level. After looking through his site I noticed a number of areas where he could greatly improve his site. These areas aren’t so much about design and colour but the content of his site.

I still applaud this individual for making an effort to market himself through his personal website. It takes a lot effort to put yourself out there. Below are some areas to think about when creating your own personal soccer site.

Do’s

1) Embed your video into your website. I have seen sites where there are dozens of professional pictures of the player in action, their soccer background and then a line at the bottom saying that DVD videos would be available upon request. There’s a problem with this last line. If a scout/coach arrives at your site they will still want to see video footage of you, quickly and easily! It is well known fact in the marketing world that you have the attention of your target audience for a very short amount of time before they begin to lose interest or before they completely block you out.  Even the world’s best players have videos on their website. After all, scouts and trainers want to see you in action so the best thing to do here is make your video easy for them to view. The best way to do that is to embed your video(s) right into your website. This way a coach can see your skills and make a decision if he wants to pursue you any further. They won’t have to request a video and then wait for it to arrive. If so they may have forgotten about you in the meantime.

2) The king of online videos is youtube. However, there are many others including Vimeo, Blip.tv, Viddler, 5min, Dailymotion.com, and MetaCafe where you can post your videos. Remember you are trying to reach out to as many people and markets as possible so it is best to explore them.

3) Have as many sites linking to yours as possible through affiliate marketing. Try linking with relevant people in your market whether it be sports stores, soccer camps/clinics, schools or sports agency sites.

4) Create a personal facebook and twitter page where you can instantly post updates to your audience. I’m sure your goal is to have a scout/coach see your information more so than friends, however, the more people you can link to the better.

5) Have a variety of material to show. One highlight video is a good start although be sure to constantly new footage. If you’re showing a lot of videos try to show different parts to your game not just you dribbling.

6) If you’re showing several pictures of you in action try to have a variety of pictures. One site I visited had over two dozen pictures of an individual dribbling where each picture he had his head down. Dribbling with your head down is not something a coach will want to see. Even if it’s a picture, mix it up and show the different aspects to your game.

Don’ts

1) As mentioned above, don’t say “video available upon request.” Most people stay on an individual page of a website for seconds before moving forward, backwards or on to a different site if there is nothing interesting to keep them there. Therefore, make viewing your video as easy as possible.

2) Don’t have broken links. Nothing is more frustrating than a site with broken pictures, text links, and videos links. Make sure these areas of your site are updated and working properly.

Making a personal soccer website isn’t about having flashy intros, music in the background, an abundance of links and advertisements all over the page. All too often players get caught up in the many things a personal website can have. Nothing is wrong with that but always remember to think of your audience. What would a coach want to see and know about you? How easy is it to locate this information? The goal is create a site that is easy to use and market yourself effectively. A coach should be able to log on, find any information he or she  is looking for without any trouble.  If you think graphic effects, flashy video’s and cool colors are going to get a coach’s attention then you’re wasting your time.

What do you think works well to market yourself on a soccer website?

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