Conor McGregor took UFC by storm, grabbing the attention of the world and the entire Irish nation at the same time. At a certain period, you could not find a single sports network in the world that was not showcasing this sharp, outrageous and successful MMA fighter.
Very few athletes will ever be able to repeat Conor's success - both in the media and in sport. But there are very specific lessons that we can learn from him that will help us in marketing our own athletic careers.
1. Know your value
This is something that a lot of athletes simply miss - me including. We simply don't know our own worth. Conor, on the other hand, knew his own worth and he leveraged it. You constantly heard him saying "I know what I bring to UFC, I know my worth." Knowing his worth, he was able to leverage it to get the sponsors and salary that he wanted.
2. Stand out
One lesson that we can learn from Conor is that we should try to stand out. In other words, we should all be grateful for our differences and instead of trying to hide our uniqueness, we should flaunt it. Standing out is how people connect to you. If you are exactly like the rest of the athletes, there is nothing that fans or supporters can connect with. We're often aware of our differences, and instead of being proud of them, we're shy and try to hide them. In a way, this has to do with confidence, which leads us to the next point.
3. Be confident
I wish this was easier than it seems, but it is time for athletes to really take it up a notch in their self-esteem. Of course I don't mean you should be at the level of Conor McGregor, but nonetheless, he is a good example of how far self-belief can bring someone. I know you are confident when it comes to your sport, but taking that confidence online is a challenge for many athletes. I understand that online marketing is not for everyone but it is definitely worth investing in. Done right, your possibilities will be endless - crowdfunding, sponsorships, etc.
4. Be consistent
The crazy thing about Conor is that his activity on social media never stops, it never even slows down. He is as consistent online as he is in the ring and this is something that we should all learn from. He shares his outfits, workouts, meals, a bunch of selfies, cars and everything else that keeps people interested in him.
He finally suffered a loss, and a big one at that. The most impressive thing was that his brand came back even stronger than before. It humbled him in a way which made him even more like-able. He took his loss like a man. Below is a post from his Facebook after a loss - a great example of how to announce a loss online.
5. Back it up
Some athletes have the idea that your activity online only takes away from your actual training and competing. There are so many reasons why this is wrong. Social media makes you accountable in a way because now people are following your journey and the pressure is on you to share your training and routines. Another reason that social media can even be helpful in your actual performance is that the amount of people that you inspire will boomerang in your own motivation.
The point here is that as hard as you work online, you need to work even harder at your sport. Your results should back up your online image. And if you succeed in that your online presence will only amplify but if you don't, remember Conor and how he came back from a loss - stronger than ever!
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