College Recruiting Tip No.3: Marketing Yourself
Michael Husted played professional football for nine years as a placekicker in the NFL. He is also the co-creator of ActiveRecruiting.com an innovative online video recruiting tool that connects student athletes with coaches through the use of interactive video profiles.
You’ve signed up with the NCAA Eligibility Center and identified your top 15 schools that you would like to attend. Now you have to let them know you exist. Marketing yourself is vital if you would like to get on colleges' radar screens.
If you are as good as Cat Osterman, stop reading this because you are good to go. If you are NOT as good as Cat, you need to be positioned so that you separate yourself from the competition.
Where to start? First of all you need a resume. Nowadays, having an online presence is vital. Many college coaches use the internet to get introduced to student-athletes.
It is 1000x easier for them to view online profiles then to have to worry about getting paper cuts when opening your mail. Secondly, you need video. Video is key in helping coaches during the recruiting process. (In a recent poll conducted by ActiveRecruiting.com, 100 percent of the coaches polled answered that video was very important to finding players.)
Next, you need to present your resume in a way that is user-friendly for coaches. College coaches want to efficiently view your resume. If you make it hard for them or have incomplete/inaccurate information, chances are they will scratch you off their list.
The reality is that there are several student-athletes that they could recruit who are on a similar skill level as you. Again, what you need to do is set yourself apart from the competition. How are you going to do that? Work your way to the front of the line.
Take advantage of technology to spread the word that you are their "Answer." Every college sports team has a web page. Besides D-1 football and D-1 basketball, you can easily find contact information, phone numbers and email addresses, for coaches in most sports and divisions. They want to be contacted.
How to Make Contact Properly
Yes, the NCAA has restrictions on when they can contact you. However, there are no restrictions on when and how often you can contact them.
- Start with an email to the coach
- Copy and paste a direct link to your online resume
- This puts them one click from being introduced to you and viewing your video
- Follow up with a phone call (Student-Athletes make the call not the Parents)
- When you reach them, chances are they are in their office and in front of their computer
- Direct them to you video profile
- Utilize this call to serve as an interview
- Be confident when speaking with them
- Keep calling until you reach them
My soccer coach used to tell us, "Keep shooting on goal. Eventually, you are going to score." I believe that this advice can be used in recruiting as well. There are hundreds to thousands of college programs out there. There will be several that will be a good fit for you academically as well as athletically, if you are willing to be flexible.
Sending DVDs can be helpful, but most coaches throw them away so they won't trip over them in their offices. These are called "unsolicited" DVDs and a waste of money. Think about the cost to produce and mail out DVDs to hundreds of schools? If you do have DVDs produced, wait until a college requests them.
With an online video profile, you can consistently update your video without having to produce a new DVD. Signing up to an online recruiting site that allows college coaches to search by filters can only increase your odds of being discovered. However, you still need to be very pro-active in getting your name out.
With the cost of gas, many colleges will cut back on traveling. However, they still need to recruit. Help make their jobs easier and increase your odds by working wisely in promoting yourself.
No one is going to market yourself better than you and/or your parent. If you are serious about playing college sports, then prepared to do whatever it takes.