Being a good baller just isn’t enough to make it to a professional league and unfortunately you have to work on your self-promotion almost as much as you do your game. You have to consider yourself as a product, and then develop a marketing strategy to sell yourself to teams and agents, along with helping to generally foster an overall brand, which represents the product – that being yourself as a baller and the career you have.
There are various things to consider when building a brand, some may seem so simple that they’re mistaken for common sense and often doesn’t have much emphasis put upon it. Some are more complex and take more effort to achieve, and/or maintain.
This is one of, if not the primary form of contact you will use when contacting or liaising with people within your industry so ensuring for starters that you have a working email address is essential. It is probably a good idea to have a separate email for basketball to the one that you use for personal purposes for two reasons. The first reason being that you don’t want basketball related emails to get lost amongst facebook notifications or footlocker deals, the second is you want it your email address itself to be professional. A coach’s first thought when they see an email from ‘email@example.com’ or ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ isn’t going to be a good one – and first impressions mean a lot. Keep it simple by just using your name and maximum of 4 numbers.
Similarly to your email address, your mail box recording represents you and for some people, this may be the first time a industry professional hears your voice and the way in which you speak – so make sure your first impression is a good one. Definite no, no’s include ‘Yo, mans not here right now init’ or ‘It’s your boy D dot, you know how it goes, obviously if I got your number man will bell you back, if not drop me a text’ or worse, ‘I never have credit to listen to these init, so bell man back or whatsapp me’ – yes, these are genuine mail box recordings we have heard. A simple ‘Hi, I’m not here right now, leave your name, number and a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible’ is fine. It might sound boring and generic but keeping it simple is the most professional.
You could essentially be signed to a team off of your game tape alone, at the very least it could land you a trial to play professionally, so getting one made is vital. It needs to show the areas where you are best skilled – if you are a shooter, this needs to be clear, your game tape needs to show a variety of ways in which you are a shooter. For example being able to knock down shots off screens, being able to hit shots off the dribble and spot up shooting. Nobody wants to watch a highlight tape of the same thing so showing versatility in it will be beneficial to you. Your game tape/highlight tape should be between 3-6 minutes long and you should be able to collect footage from games you have played. If however, you know your team doesn’t video your games, ask a friend to video it for you and get it edited externally. You can take advantage of our game tape editing offers exclusively using the code HA157 when you contact us.
Your game tape essentially has the same purpose as a written CV by demonstrating your ability, but coaches will still ask for both. It gives an indication of where you have played and at what level. It enables them a overview of what your statistical achievements were in previous seasons by giving a basic understanding into your ability. Once you have a basic draft, it is easy to update it when you need to with new photos, teams or skills – but you only really need to do this once, or twice a season ready for the open transfer window.
Your CV needs to contain your full name, your height, weight, position, date of birth, previous/current team(s), stats from previous seasons and also it needs to have a little profile about what your strengths are on the court.
Your online social media presence can play a huge role in getting you seen by coaches, agents or even other ballers who can introduce you to new opportunities. You can post links to your game tape, work out videos or pictures at games or training to not only show off your ability, but to remind your network that you’re still playing ball and could potentially work with or for them. It is also a great place to build your network by talking to coaches or agents in groups, on twitter threads and even in the comments section on pictures. Equally, if misused, social media can be hugely detrimental to your career – read our advice on how to use social media to boost your career.