Right now, Instagram is king when it comes to social media marketing for influencers - especially professional athletes.
But I see a new platform emerging that will create even more value for professional athletes - current or retired.
And that is LinkedIn.
Wait, you mean the website that you use to find jobs?
Oh no, my friend. LinkedIn has become the ultimate platform for entrepreneurs and C-Suite executives to connect and create new business. All without leaving their desk.
According to Foundation Inc., LinkedIn has over 500 million members. 61 million are senior-level executives, and 41 million are in decision-making positions.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has said his goal is to have the platform reach 3 billion members. So, technically, LinkedIn is 'just getting started'.
how do athletes get involved?
It has been very subtle, but I've noticed a few professional athletes - some retired...some active - make their way to LinkedIn.
Some former players include Alex Rodriguez, Ray Lewis, Steve Young, Ryan Howard, and Tiki Barber.
Others that are still playing: Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala, Braxton Miller, and Marcus Peterson.
It's a small percentage, but there is tremendous potential for athletes who want to pursue entrepreneurship off the field. And the best part, is LinkedIn is still in the process of 'being discovered'.
NFL wide receiver, Marcus Peterson, is a prolific user of LinkedIn and agrees we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the adoption of this platform...
"I think maybe people will start noticing it probably end of 2020 or going into 2021. It is definitely a hidden gem and it is cheap to invest in it now!"
Peterson certainly invests quite a bit of time into the platform. He is a prolific user, posting content on a daily basis and always engaging with his connections.
"I’ve always had my LinkedIn account but as everyone else probably thinks it is for 'finding a job'. But I was introduced to the content side of things and how to monetize the app February of this year," Peterson said. "Ever since then so many opportunities and connections have been made! I would honestly say for my off-the-field endeavors and my motivational clothing brand [MP Motivational Apparel] is where 70 percent of my sales and opportunities come from."
Peterson is a perfect example of how an athlete can leverage LinkedIn's organic content algorithm to build a sports-centric entrepreneurial brand. And there's no secret behind Peterson's success. He approaches LinkedIn the same way he does with Instagram and Facebook.
"I use [LinkedIn] just like Instagram and Facebook...on more of a professional mature level."
His advice to other professional athletes looking to leverage the platform is to "connect with as many people as you can".
Outside of building a brand on LinkedIn, athletes will find the platform is a gold mine when it comes to business opportunities to invest in.
There are a plethora of startups either looking to raise money, work with professional athletes as influencers, or a combination of the two. Take a look at Body Armor, who received an investment from the likes of Kobe Bryant and Mike Trout.
Bryant turned his $6 million investment into $200 million over the span of three years.
Now imagine - as a professional athlete - if you had the next BodyArmor knocking at your door. Or maybe leaving a message in your LinkedIn inbox?
Prime Sponsor Consulting offers it's services to athletes who are looking to take advantage of LinkedIn's bountiful platform of business opportunities.
We will look to enhance your current profile (or make one from scratch) and build your base of connects through unique content curation and distribution.
Be sure to reach out to Prime Sponsor today, if you are serious about taking the next step in your entrepreneurial career.
Image via: marcustpeterson/Instagram