Social media can be a beautiful thing for your sports career. Especially when you learn how to leverage it in a way that leads to a job offer from your favorite sports team or sports brand.
However, as great as social media is for networking yourself into a cool job, there’s an even more powerful tactic. And it’s available to everyone, free of charge.
I call it “Direct Networking.”
This is where you network – directly – with the person who has the power to hire you. Nothing (and no one!) comes between you and the decision-maker when you implement this job-search tactic.
Direct Networking can put you to work. Fast. It’s helped me with my career when I was just starting out. And it can work for you, too. I still use it today.
Below is a list of people and companies who’ve hired me, or my company, using the Direct Networking tactic.
• Werner Scott, President, AMG Sports (Clients include Emmitt Smith)
• George Killebrew, Executive Vice President,DallasMavericks
• Pepsi-Cola (They sponsored my events)
• Frito-Lay (They sponsored my events)
• Wells Fargo (One of my clients)
I contacted these high-level sports executives directly with a simple email and phone call. This tactic resulted in either a full-time job, or we became partners in a business deal.
Below are a few more examples of the people I’ve networked with – directly – and have been able to establish a genuine connection with. And I believe, when the right kind of deal comes down the pike, these connections could easily become business relationships. A few of them already have.
• Rich Dalrymple, Vice President, Public Relations,DallasCowboys
• Lewis Howes, Founder & President, Sportsnetworker.com
• Bob Beaudine, President and CEO, Eastman & Beaudine
• Tony Fay, Vice President of Communications, Super Bowl XLV Host Committee
It’s important for you to know that I did not know any of these individuals. And they did not know me, or ever heard of my company. I sought them out specifically because there was a mutually beneficial situation that needed to be shared.
As a sports job seeker, you can do the same thing. Start by identifying companies that present a mutually beneficial relationship; then do the legwork to find out who makes the hiring decisions.
Social media makes this part easy. But if you’re relying on some quasi friend to introduce you, it’s over before it even starts.
Remember this: no one can sell you as good as you. You just got to know what it is you’re selling. And how to sell it.
We’ll cover that next week.
Note: there is one tactic that beats Direct Networking, and that’s if you have an uncle in the business, or is if you have a mutual friend, a true friend, one that can influence the hiring manager.
Direct Networking – I love it.
Which is why my favorite social media tool is the telephone. Nothing beats one-to-one with a person who can say yes.
Stay firm on your boundaries, and don’t let your partner talk you into something you don’t want to do.
Tell them how much time you need to spend on your own and how long you’d like to be dating before you jump into major decisions.