11 mins read
The Linktree Strategies Getting College Athletes Ahead in 2022
From building your audience to making money off your brand as an athlete, we’ve got you covered.
This year was monumental for college athletes, with the recent passing of name, image, and likeness (NIL) laws opening the door for college athletes to brand and monetize themselves online. As the new creators that brands are looking to invest in, student-athletes are finding themselves navigating a world of marketing and self-promotion to maximize potential opportunities.
This is where Linktree comes in, a platform that can be used by athletes to monetize their brand, connect with and grow their audience. With 20M total Linktree users, over 400,000 of which are in sports, athletes are turning to us to effectively market and grow their brand. And at over 1 billion views per month, according to November data, Linktree is the perfect place for you to develop your brand strategy and be discovered.
Linktree is far more than just a “link-in-bio” tool, it’s a digital business card, a place for you to build, discover, and connect with your audience. If you’re an athlete, read on to discover what Linktree can do for you.
How to monetize your brand using Linktree
With the passing of the NIL, you can finally make money off your brand as an athlete. Linktree has a range of unique features for both free and paid users to help you monetize your content:
Collect payments and donations with Commerce Links
Available to all users, Commerce Links are made for creators to collect money and donations from fans directly on their Linktree profile. You can start by setting up your payment providers, such as Paypal or Square, and then heading to your settings to enable the two types of Commerce Links outlined below.
Support Me Links allow Linktree users to directly collect money from visitors on their Linktree. You can customize their Support Me Links with a title, change the amounts displayed, and provide the option for supporters to enter a custom amount or a personalized message. See more on how to set up a Support Me Link on your account here.
Request Links are another form of Commerce Links that allow supporters to request products or services right on your Linktree. Fans could potentially ask you to record a personalized message for them, request a video how-to video in relation to your sport, or you can use this link as a way for them to buy your merchandise. The options for what you can offer as a college athlete are endless. Read more on how to add a Request Link to your profile here.
Pro track athlete Kris Kornegay-Gober uses Request Links to sell their merchandise directly on their Linktree, which includes 2021 fall gear, and logo shorts and shirts.
Amazon Influencer Integration
Linktree’s Amazon partnership has created a seamless way to connect your audience to your storefront, maximizing your ability to monetize off affiliate links. The Linktree Amazon integration enables Influencers to add their Amazon store to their Linktree and customize it with Amazon branding to stand out.
Creating opportunities for discoverability and seamless transactions as an influencer is important, so having your Amazon storefront easy to find on your Linktree will make sure your followers are able to make a purchase. In addition, make sure your Linktree is placed on all of your social media bios so you can funnel all of your fans to the one place to transact with you.
Sell more merch with our Spring store integration
Bringing an entirely new meaning to online shopping with ease, the Spring store integration enables you to embed your own Spring store right on your Linktree. Do you know what that means? An easy way for your fans to discover and purchase your merch.
As an established or emerging athlete, providing easy-to-access ways for your audience to monetizing off your brand is important, and that’s where integrations such as Spring can help you share your merch. Vancouver-based hockey goalie Nick uses Spring on his Linktree to sell a sweater featuring his catchphrase “A Coupon Can Save More.” Meanwhile, Sandi Nypaver, runner, and co-founder at coaching company Higher Running, uses Spring to sell brand merchandise on her Linktree.
Boost your sales with our Shopify Integration
We’re excited to share our latest e-commerce integration, Shopify Stores, which is available to all Linktree users who have a Shopify store. Similar to the Spring store integration, you can connect your store directly on Linktree. Alternatively, you can also log into your Shopify store and connect your Linktree account.
Adding your Shopify store to your Linktree can help increase your sales and visibility. According to Shopify research, the e-commerce industry is worth 4.8 trillion dollars globally – so what are you waiting for? Find a product that you’re passionate about and get a piece of that pie!
How to connect with and grow your audience with Linktree
Accessibility is a key ingredient to creating a strong brand persona. As a college athlete between class schedules and a demanding training regimen, it can be tougher than it appears for most. Linktree has created an assortment of tools to help create strong and lasting relationships with your audience that feels seamless and organized.
One of the more intimate ways to connect with your audience is through SMS messaging. Linktree’s SMS Signup Links allows you to collect users’ SMS phone numbers to automatically sync to your Google Sheets. This makes it super easy to keep your customers in the loop with any and everything about your brand.
Since SMS messages have a 19% click-through rate (according to telecommunication service providers SMS Comparison), it’s an important tool to maximize the use of. With SMS messaging you can send gameday reminders, invite fans to use your promo/discount codes on products, and invite them to interact with you on social media.
Email newsletters have been a steady force for brand marketing since 1977, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon. Mailchimp makes it easy for fans to sign up directly through the Linktree Email Signups button and receive a customized confirmation message from you. Once the user is signed up you can use the MailChimp integration or sync through Google Sheets. By creating a weekly or monthly newsletter you can send your subscribers unique offers such as early entry to game day promotions, insights into things you are passionate about (outside of your regular sports routine), and encourage your audience to purchase merch or donate to your endeavors.
Form links are a great way to build hype for an upcoming announcement, new product, or exclusive deal. You could create a waiting list for your new line of merch so that you’ve got a list of eager customers to share it with once it goes live. Maybe you’re holding an exclusive online event with limited numbers and you need your guest to register. Whatever it is you’re planning, Form Links are a great way to collect customers’ details and create a feeling of exclusivity for your fans.
Analytics is an essential tool for any entrepreneur that will help you gauge the success of your efforts. Linktree’s paid subscription provides you with a more comprehensive view of your analytics. You’ll be able to see which links are performing the highest and how much traffic their driving, which city or country your fans are visiting from, which social channel is driving the most traffic to your Linktree page, and how much new traffic you’re attracting vs. repeat visitors.
As your athletic profile grows and you begin creating more links, as a paid Linktree user you’lll be able to have a detailed view of what your most successful partnerships are and what your customers engage with the most.
Use Linktree to boost brand awareness
Having a strong, uniform brand aesthetic across platforms is an important part of building recognition and boosting your visibility. That’s why using Linktree to house all your platforms makes it easy for brands and fans to gain access to your channels, in one place. We have worked hard to cater to all of your social and customization needs—from YouTube to Pinterest, we’ve got you covered.
We know how important video content is in increasing engagement, that’s why our Video Embed feature is so exciting. You have the ability to display a YouTube, Vimeo, TikTok, or Facebook video right on your Linktree, just by inserting a video URL.
Video embeds can be incredibly useful for college athletes boosting their own brand through the ability to share workout videos, training schedules, or game day replays. Coach Cristo is a soccer coach who shares slow-motion training videos and meditation videos for players on his Linktree. Meanwhile, former professional basketball player Dwayne Wade uses video embeds on his Linktree to share video and TV interviews.
Customize Your Linktree
Did you know that you can customize your Linktree as both a free and a paid user? Free users have access to a range of backgrounds, fonts, and texts, while paid users have the option to upload their own background, font, or color. Have you seen pro-skateboarder Tony Hawk’s Linktree? It has been customized with a background skateboard image and bubble buttons. We are in love.
Beyond customizing design, you can use Linktree to promote your content across all platforms, especially social media. The Social Links feature lets you showcase all your social media platforms as icons on Linktree, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Soundcloud, Whatsapp, TikTok, Snapchat, Clubhouse, and Apple or Spotify streaming icons. Adding your social media links as icons keeps the page organized and leaves room for all the important stuff on the main part of your profile.
Hot tip – we’ve done the research and found that 4-5 links are the optimal amount for your profile. Think about the actions that you really want your fans to take and prioritize your links accordingly.
In addition to social links, you can also embed a range of social profiles into your Linktree, to highlight interesting posts, pictures, and more. Use Clubhouse Links to promote events, Twitter links to share your latest tweets, Twitch links to embed your live streams, and Pinterest embeds to display your latest mood boards.
For music lovers, we’ve made Linktree a music aficionado’s dream, with Music Links connecting fans with one place that showcases everywhere that an artist’s music is streaming. Convenient, right? You can also share your workout playlists or podcast directly on your Linktree by using Spotify links.
Use Linktree to stand up for a cause
Being an athlete and developing a public image means that people will begin to care more about what you have to say. As your audience grows, so does your opportunity to use your voice for social good and to share causes that you are passionate about. You can use Support Me Links to raise money for charities or fundraisers. Adding Linktree’s own Anti-Racism banner lets visitors know instantly that you support Black lives, and helps them discover educational resources, as well as places to donate.
If you choose to start your own charity or NGO, Linktree will even give you a free lifetime PRO membership!
As more brands see the value in including college athletes in their marketing strategies, the market is likely to become saturated with competition, so it is important to start building your audience early to monetize your talents.
With a range of prominent college athletes such as Bo Nix, Chloe Mitchell, and McKenzie Milton already using Linktree to promote their brand, the time is ripe for you to start strategizing your marketing game plan.