Pictured above is a quitter of sports. She tried every one of them though; soccer, volleyball, flag football, basketball, and softball. She even tried other “sports”; cheerleading, triathlons and cup-stacking (yes, stacking cups.) She put her heart and soul into these sports as well, however, she quickly discovered, she was much better off spectating and speaking about sports. She is me.
If you are currently reading this sentence, you can probably gather that I enjoy the world of sports. I found my niche after the long process of quitting team sports and then eventually stopping my participation in individual sports altogether. Some of you may be feeling some pity for me, “poor Karli, maybe she just sucks at sports.” That is not the case. In fact, I was a decent point guard in the YMCA youth basketball program, a quick and handsy wide-receiver in flag football, 5-time 1st place recipient in the five triathlons that I participated in, and Champion of the Cup Stacking tournament at the young age of 10 years old. I was good at sports but I realized that I didn’t have the passion for playing (although looking back now, I wish I stuck to something). I found my niche in speaking about sports and it is what I intend to do with my life.
While my niche is sports, my personal brand is something that I have been working on for a couple of years now. I generally stick to sports, food and humor. As a tweeter, I am humorous and informational at the same time. I believe that people have relied on my twitter page for a smile. I am not in expert in sports (yet) but I fully believe that I have learned how to connect with people and make their day brighter. I continue to post appropriate, funny, professional, informational and, for the most part, interesting content to fortify the brand that I am going for.
“Your brand is simply how people perceive you…” Selena Soo, Founder of S2 Groupe
In an article found on Fast Company, Soo speaks about what self-branding is and how social media users, without even meaning to, are creating their own personal brand. This can be an issue if you are not situationally aware and have no projective vision into your professional future. I have been fortunate to be raised by a business-minded yet hilarious mother who instilled in me at a young age that professionalism is of the utmost importance. If people do not take you seriously, you seriously have no shot.
While I have a wonderful woman role model in my life, I also look at the work of Michelle Beadle for a little personal-branding inspiration. Her twitter is full of sports information, dog pictures and a little bit of sarcasm. There have been a few times where she has tweeted a little more politically than I have enjoyed, but altogether, she does her job well. She is laid back, informational and happens to have some cute dogs. I have followed her from the start of her sports media career and have enjoyed watching her grow and evolve into the woman she is today.
Personal branding is urgent and important. Although I feel that I got a head start as compared to my peers, I work every day to keep things real with my followers.