In the world that we live in today, networking in football has become so much easier in comparison to the past decades. Technology has certainly had a significant influence on this part of career/player development. At the same time, the know-how regarding the management and marketing of footballers has risen to a new level, with professions such as sports management becoming increasingly popular. In addition, the modern footballer must learn to manage his/her own career and promote his/her player image.
After all, the tools to accomplish this are now available to (almost) everyone. Almost everything you’ll need is inside your smartphone and your internet connection. Let’s see the step-by-step process of managing and promoting yourself as a player.
STEP # 1: Creating Your Networking Tools
When you’re networking in football, there are two tools you’ll need: a CV/Resume and a Highlight Tape. Both are prerequisites to be able to network online. These tools are your digital player profile. The person you are communicating with can get the most important information about you within them. Unfortunately, the vast majority of footballers don’t have a CV and/pr a Highlight Tape.
In an Instagram survey we did, we found out that 68% of the players surveyed don’t have a CV ready to use, and another 72% of them don’t even have a Highlight Tape! That is something you need to avoid.
So, let’s see what each tool really is and what it should contain.
- CV – your CV contains all the basic information about you that an agent, coach, or team would be interested in. This includes your full name, your date of birth, height, weight, primary and secondary positions, your achievements, the stats of your last three seasons, etc. along with a profile photo (preferably a football-specific one).
- Highlight Tape – your highlight tape contains game film of your best moments as a player. Make sure to include a small introduction of yourself at the start (super basic player info like shirt number, position, height, weight, name, contact details, etc.), put your best moments closer to the start, and add some light music to it – nothing extreme. Video quality also matters. Anything above 720p-1080p is considered decent! Don’t forget to include all your contact details both at the start and at the end of the tape.
STEP #2: Search for New Contacts
Finding new contacts has become way easier with the use of the internet. But for this to happen we must first find the contact details of these people and get in touch with them. Below, you will find a list of all the “places” where you can find new football contacts and start networking with them.
- Football Events (Trials, Combines, Social Team Events, Attending Games etc.)
STEP #3: Creating a Channel of Communication
So after you have found enough contact information, it is time to start contacting people. The way of communication varies depending on the means of communication. However, some basic key points should be maintained throughout the whole communication, such as professionalism, honesty, respect, and empathy.
All these (and many other) elements should be observed regardless of the means of communication. So let’s see in what ways you can get in touch with people from the football world.
- Direct Messages
- 1on1 Talks (Physical Interactions)
YOU CAN’T NETWORK WITHOUT A CV – GET ONE NOW! – Football CV – How To Create A Professional One (With Examples)
STEP #4: Negotiation – Career Opportunities
Negotiating and acquiring new opportunities is the final stage of the whole process.
Let’s be honest, the replies you will receive will (probably) be little to none. Unfortunately, this is the truth, since teams and agents receive a lot of e-mails, phone calls, CVs, and Highlight Tapes every day. Therefore, whatever answers you receive, it would be wise to respond with care and professionalism.
As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, all your interactions should be professional, honest, respectful, kind, and confident.
On the other side, expressions that evoke despair should be avoided when you’re networking in football. Properly structured text/speech, without spelling mistakes is a prerequisite.
Do not be afraid to express your ambitions and vision. Be realistic with them and always stay down to earth. Exaggerations should be avoided and the discussion should always be focused on the goal – the acquisition of new opportunities for development.
Honest and direct communication will help both parties come closer to a possible agreement. Be direct in what you ask for and be adaptable.
Many times, things are not as we really want them to be. They never will be.
However, with a little patience, you will reach new levels in your career that would once have been unimaginable.
Take it step by step.
Take advantage of all the tools you have in your hands.
Lastly, we shall not forget to mention that you NEED to be aware of all the scams that exist in the industry, whether these are online or in the real world. Be aware of people that just want to take advantage of your dreams and pump money out of your pockets. Stay SAFE!
If you liked this article, we’re sure you’ll also like these ones…
- Football CV – How To Create A Professional One (With Examples)
- Soccer/Football Highlight Tape – This Is The Only Guide You’ll Need
- Football Cover Letter – This Is What You’re Doing Wrong!