How do athletes build their brand, not only as a student athlete, but as they move into the pros, and if they don’t go to the pros, and they’re student athletes, where do you they go by building their brand as a student athlete?
NIL has completely leveled the playing field. Just of 2021, it became legal for athletes, student athletes, and the coaches to be paid in their name, image, and likeness. So, that is brand new to the student level, not the pro level.
Number two, we’re going to talk about the ways they can make money. Number three, which is the most important, its’ more critical for your tax structure, is how you make the money. What bank account should this money go in?
So, as you look at building a brand, where do you begin? What brands do you like? When this all came out, my son said, “Well, what do I want to do?” There were obvious companies like Barstool Athlete, Viper Sunglasses. Lots of athletes got sent stuff. It was a way for them to just wear the gear. While some of them had a little bit of money attached to them, where they had to do a social post. Local restaurants and bars would have you do social posts for Happy Hour or come down for whatever.
What do you want in this life that you’re gonna get as a student athlete, and more importantly, how do you want to make the money, and what brands do you want to focus on? Some athletes are going towards car brands, jewelry brands, clothing brands. Where do you want to be? Because you can’t be everywhere at once.
So, again, name, image, and likeness. The main thing is again, when you’re 18 and older, you’re a legal adult. You need to be incorporated. When we’re talking about the brands, let’s talk about, not only NIL leveling the playing field, but who do you want to attract to you, and then how do you want to attract them?
You need to have some social profiling. Obviously, most athletes are on Twitter, Instagram, are the primary ones. A little bit on TikTok. But what I see is, most athletes are building their brands on Instagram and Twitter. Building their brands and building their following.
Obviously, you need a great social presence, but before that, you also need to look at just your attitude and your character. Who are you being? You also want to look at the reputation you’ve left behind. The Internet doesn’t delete. So, you’re gonna have to do some cleanup, maybe some reputation management to get cleaned up.
Here’s the biggest thing about brand building and you building a brand. I think you need a database. You need a CRM. We can do this for you for a very nominal fee. We can teach you how to build a following, a database, a funnel. How you start making money by doing this. It’s really important that you move people from followers into a database because you’ll have that for the rest of your life.
The brand that you want to build, that’s up to you on how you want to do it. I can tell you, there are branding agencies that are all over student and pro athletes, and they’re charging a huge percent. The lowest I’ve seen is maybe five ten percent of your contract if you’re a pro. They’re charging thousands and thousands a month.
You don’t need to pay that much money, in my opinion. Now when there’s this much information available and you can organize around it in a much more cost effective, which means you get to eat the money for the rest of it. And the main pattern of money that I teach, whether you’re NIL, or any athlete is, when you make it, put some money away. Get a ROTH IRA. So, you have money later in life, no matter what you do in your career.
So, how do you get started? What brands do you want to attract to you? Get a CRM. Start doing social posts. Start doing content. Do it on a regular basis. Be posting consistently.
As the brands get attracted to you, where does the money go? I don’t care if it’s a quick five-hundred-dollar NIL deal that you did down the street at a restaurant or wherever, you have to have a corporate structure. If you’re not incorporated, you’re running this as a sole proprietor, or even worse, just as an individual, and you’re putting that money in your personal bank account. You have no legal reasons to do deductions.
If you run it like a company, an LLC, an SCorp, a CCorp, a limited partnership, a trust, if you run it like that, and in a partnership with your parents, it’s a very unique structure. Then you have the legal right to deduct your vehicle. You have the legal right to deduct your phone, your computer. Depending on what you’re doing, wardrobe, travel. There are so many legal deductions because you run your life like a company.
So, whether you have side hustles or NIL money, or you have brands paying you, you want to run your business properly. Any money you make should go into your business bank account. Here’s the easiest way I teach it, companies make money, individuals get taxed. There’s 81,000 pages of tax codes, you and your family could do so much better if you are structured properly. So, do it right, do it from the beginning. Get some guidance.
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