One of the biggest concepts that seems to have taken hold after our successful "Building a Winning Recruiting Message" workshop here in California over the weekend is the value of coaches writing a blog.
We detailed lots of strategies for coaches to pump up the effectiveness of their recruiting message out to their prospects. Better letters…more effective e-mails…interacting with parents. Lots and lots of ideas.
But the one that seemed to hit home with so many in attendance is the idea of posting a blog on the Internet. What’s a "blog"? It’s short for "weblog" and it’s basically an online journal. It’s a place where you can write about anything (including the sport and team you coach) and post pictures.
Why is writing a blog such a good idea for college coaches? It boosts the potential for you to get the attention of prospects you want to communicate with. Here are seven reasons why:
- Getting seen on Google. And Yahoo, MSN and any other search engine that your recruits are looking at on a regular basis. Every time you write about a topic, that gets seen by the search engines. For example, anytime someone Googles "college recruiting objections", my articles show up as the #2 and #7 search results on the first page. There’s nothing magic or special that I did, other than write on a subject and title it appropriately for search engines to find it. You can have the same exposure benefits if you start writing a blog.
- Direct communication with your prospect. No filters, no danger of being misinterpreted or mis-quoted. It’s you talking directly with your prospect. Your voice, your personality, your content. Isn’t that the point of a good recruiting relationship?
- More chances to develop your "brand". Want to set yourself apart from your recruiting competition? Develop your reputation, or "brand", directly with your prospects. Blogging is a great way for people to learn about you and what you’re all about as a coach.
- Be different than your competition. Blogs can give coaches a huge competitive advantage over their competitors. It allows you to stand out and provide another channel directly to your prospect. The NCAA says you can only make one phone call a week to a prospect. However, you can write blog entries as often as you want and have them seen daily by your prospects. So, is that something that you or your competitor should be doing?
- Build trust. When your prospect sees you open up and communicate with them honestly and directly, a real trust develops. It’s easier to develop trust through daily blogging than sending out letters, right? The coach who earns the trust of their prospect probably has a great chance of signing that prospect. Blogs can help you do that.
- Become the best within your niche. Want to position yourself as the best D2 baseball program in the Southeast? Looking to make the case for why you’d be the best place for a pole vaulter in North Carolina? Blogs let you do that by focusing on your special niche…that special something that you can present to an athlete as the reason they would want to come and compete for you rather than your competitor.
- You get more PR. "Public Relations", that is. In a sense, you’re becoming a media outlet for yourself and your program. You don’t have to rely on the media getting your story out. You are getting your story out, and doing so exactly the way you want it. You are the writer, editor and publisher of your story. The more you write, the more great PR you can expect to get.
By the way, if you’re a SFC Premium Member I’ll be explaining more on how to blog effectively and give you three more reasons blogging is a no-brainer for coaches who want more exposure for their program. Stay tuned for that, Members!