Medalist Athlete Branding Guide

Learn how to build and grow your athlete brand.

How to Make Money on Instagram as an Athlete

"Dreams are free. Goals have a cost. While you can daydream for free, goals don’t come without a price. Time, Effort, Sacrifice, and Sweat. How will you pay for your goals?" - Usain Bolt

As an Athlete and fitness enthusiast you are living in a glorious time. Those gym selfies, training videos, and workout fails are valuable content that can earn you more than just Likes. They can earn you cash money! This is because businesses and brands of all types are actively seeking athletes like yourself to help them promote and grow their own business, through the use of Sponsorship and Affiliate Marketing. The best part, is that these brands realize there is value in working with you whether you have 600 or 600,000 followers. Furthermore, when you have an engaged and interested audience, you can begin to offer your own products and services to earn even more. 

Below is some more detail into some common money earning strategies for athletes.

1. Affiliate Marketing
Ideal for Athletes with any number of followers

Affiliate Marketing, Referral Programs, Brand Ambassadors, Partner Programs, the list goes on for the names given to this money earning strategy. For simplicity's sake we will say they are all the same thing, as they all involve you working directly with a company to promote their product and service which hopefully leads to sales. You do this by finding and signing up with a company, many online stores actually have a link to do this at the bottom of their website for this. Once you are signed up and accepted to the program you are given a unique Coupon Code or Link to share with your audience. Then if any of your followers click your link and make a purchase you earn some money or free product on the sale. The more followers of yours that buy the product, the more money you make!

This is one of the simplest ways to earn money through Instagram as it usually doesn't take long to setup and there are a lot of Brands offering this type of program. Below are links to a few businesses you can get started with today:
(we are in no way associated with these companies or endorse their offerings, please do your own research and make sure the Brand aligns with your own values and audience before promoting it to your followers!)

The goal of affiliate marketing is to lead the customer to eventual buy the offer, so you must be consistent, genuine and not annoying with your posts. Your audience trusts you and your opinion and will not want to buy a product they do not see you using for yourself. On a similar note, it is ethical and important that you always disclose affiliate links with your audience, if your endorsement is genuine, then they will likely be happy to help support you using your link.

To learn how to best use multiple referral links with your social media accounts to earn the most, check out this article.

2. Sponsored Posts
Ideal for Athletes with larger or very loyal followings

As you may have seen before on Instagram, many Athletes earn money through Instagram by using Sponsored Posts and Sponsored Stories. You often see a 'Paid Partnership' tag above a post, or the hashtag #sponsored when someone makes one of these posts. It is often easier to find brands willing to Sponsor Posts and Stories if you have a large following but it is not necessary. With an engaged and loyal following, you may be able to find brands to sponsor your content with as little as a few thousand followers.

Sometimes these sponsors will reach out to you directly, they may find you through your Agent or Manager or you may have to go out and find them yourself. Regardless of the ways you find each other, it is always a good idea to build a strong relationship with Sponsors and try to make a deal that involves multiple Posts. This maximizes the value for the Sponsor and maximizes your earning potential. Another great value add and a way to earn more from the sponsor is to offer to feature them on your Official Website. Don't yet have a website? Click here to create one for free in just a couple of minutes.

3. Selling Your Own Products or Services
Ideal for any Athlete, but there can be a lot of work involved so be sure it is worth your time and effort

The final strategy is Selling your own products and services. While this one can be come very profitable, it can also be very time consuming. If building your online brand as an athlete feels like you are running a business, then also trying to sell your own products will feel like you are running 3 businesses. To get started with this option, first you must decide the type of product or service you wish to offer, where you will source it if it's a product and how you will sell and deliver it to your customers. This can be overwhelming for some athletes who are busy training, but thankfully there are tools and services that can help you do this. Using strategies like 'Dropshipping' and simple website builders can help you market and sell products. 


Now that you know how other Athletes are paying for their training (and then some) through Instagram - it's time to start promoting your brand to potential sponsors and businesses to start earning some money for yourself!

The first step is strengthening your Brand with a website made specifically for Athletes - START FREE TODAY and connect to your social media accounts so it updates automatically. Sponsors will take you more seriously, and your mom will love it!
Written by
Geoff Wolfer
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