A well-designed online recruiting profile can greatly increase the chances of an NCAA coach to respond to the email messages you send out to coaches and schools you are interested in playing and applying for.
Rather than just sending an email with a link to a YouTube video, you can direct coaches to a specially-designed recruiting profile that steers them in exactly the direction you want them to take.
Over the last 18 years as a digital marketing entrepreneur, I realized online recruiting profiles are just like landing pages for businesses.
One thing I learned about a great (not good) landing page is they contribute to conversion rate optimization and literally run your business when you’re not there.
It’s the same thing when building your online recruiting profile. You want to build a proven system that has the convincing power to speak and appeal to potential coaches interested in you as an athlete.
After all, if getting recruited requires 100% of your effort before any conversations are generated, sooner or later you’ll most likely give up.
Don’t let that happen to you.
What should a coaches state of mind be when they discover your online recruiting profile? What first impression do you want to create with your profile? How will you convince them to commit to your call to action? And how do you increase responses?
These simple steps have worked for a lot of top businesses. Having a great online profile is no different and I’m certain you’ll get results, too.
1. Understand a Coaches Pain Points
How do you satisfy a coach that barely knows you?
The truth is that it’s hard to do.
To have an impact on a coach, you must understand their pain points.
Other athletes may not be taking this path, which is great – you can take a different path and communicate with understanding.
Think of the coach you are communicating with has a headache and you’re trying to give him/her the medication for a stomach ache.
Will they listen to you? Wouldn’t your solution turn them off?
What is your biggest selling point? Whatever that is, make sure you communicate this on your profile and structure it in a way that you can assist on the coaches pain points.
For example, maybe you are a hockey player who is a great penalty killer and can play anywhere in the lineup….4th line, 2nd line etc. It’s important your profile conveys this message.
How is this different from other athletes communicating with a coach? Most likely they are trying to promote their offensive skills or how fast they are etc. Hockey coaches are always looking for that player they can use in all situations. Make it easy to start a conversation with you.
2. Think of a Click-Worthy Page Title
Your page title is the first thing that catches a coaches eye after they click on a link from your email message. If it fails, it could lead to the coach closing your profile page immediately.
Therefore, when creating a click-worthy page title, make sure it short & simple, benefit-driven to the coach (pain point) and it includes words that build up curiosity.
Take a look at the example above. It has the following:
- High res photo of the athlete.
- Athlete’s name
- His grad year and what he is ranked in his province. Ranking will peak curiosity for a coach to learn more about Cade.
- GPA based on his grades presently, using the GPA formula.
3. Choose The Right Colour Scheme
While being involved in the building of thousands of websites over the last 18 years, I have learned that color really does matter. In most cases a contrasting color scheme works best, however, it is always important to test varied colors before settling on one or two.
Did you know, that the colours of a website can instantly affect a customers’ decisions on whether to buy from that website or not?
This is why I spent a lot of time deciding on the colours selected for the Nadeau Sports Recruiting website. Knowing athletes were going to be relying on our platform to help them get discovered by NCAA coaches, it was important I chose colors that were going to hopefully impact a coaches decision to speak with an athlete working with us.
Through my experience and research over the years, I decided to go with Blue and Red as the two main colours for the website.
- Blue – (most popular) trust, reliability, belonging, coolness.
- Red – (most noticeable) excitement, strength, passion, speed, danger.
Not focusing on the colour for your online profile could be a deciding factor in why a coach doesn’t contact you.
4. Include Images and Video
How else do you expect a coach to learn what kind of athlete you are?
In the digital marketing world, content with images gets 94% more total views than those without. Adding video increases that percentage even more.
Make sure you have a picture or two and at least one video.
If you start early in the recruiting process, it’s a great idea to have multiple videos so you can show progression as you communicate with coaches.
I also believe it is great for the coaches to see you performing in practice mode as well as game mode.
Sticking with the hockey theme, here is a sample video of how that can look.
Here is a basketball example.
I know I said the colour of your online profile was important, well your video(s) is extremely important.
Have it professionally created or if you record the clips yourself, make sure it is professionally edited. Coaches do not want to sift through hours or even more than 10 minutes of footage.
Try to keep your highlight reel video between 5-8 minutes.
5. Include Credible Coach Testimonials
Testimonials are a form of social proof. By incorporating an authentic testimonial on your profile from a coach who has worked with you, you are able to display experiences current or past coaches have had while working with you.
This, in turn, increases the coaches trust as they review your profile, along with boosting your credibility of being an athlete at an NCAA college.
6. Pick an Actionable Call-to-Action (CTA)
A call-to-action button draws the attention of a coach to the next step you want them to take. When it comes to creating an effective CTA, make sure that you use large fonts and bright colours that catches attention instantly.
Place it above the fold and at the bottom of your page, with brief yet actionable text like “Contact Me Now” or “CONTACT ATHLETE NAME”
7. Measure your results
If you don’t measure the results of your online recruiting profile, you have no real way of understanding whether or not it is working for you.
Use Google Analytics to measure how many coaches/visitors came to your profile page and converted by emailing you back.
When looking at the effectiveness of your profile page, consider your bounce rate. Your bounce rate is the number of coaches who landed on your profile page and didn’t contact you.
If your bounce rate is low it could mean one of the following things: You aren’t using the right message. The design on your profile page is poor.
Consider how often a coach spends on your profile page. If it doesn’t follow a logical flow or is too confusing, they’re more than likely going to bounce.
Your profile page has one job, and one job only: To get coaches to contact you.
So why are you not doing everything you can to encourage coaches to take your desired action?
It all begins with planning. But the planning begins even before you start thinking about what you will have on your profile page.
If you want it to be successful, you have to know what coaches are looking for.
Once you know that, you’ll determine what words, images, videos, CTA’s and reasoning resonate most with them. And once you do this, your contact rates are going to increase.
But, with everything in marketing, there is no one size fits all. Follow the best practices listed in this post and develop your understanding of the coaches you want to reach out to, and you’ll be able to create a winning online recruiting profile for coaches to view.
What strategies do you plan to use to improve your online recruiting profile?