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Baseball Exposure Secrets eBook

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An in-depth introduction to getting exposure through social media to play baseball at the next level. Whether you are a player or a parent, the tips outlined in this module will get you on the right track to getting your name out there for the world to see.

Connect with Joel at info@prospectdugout.com for more info

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Baseball Exposure Secrets eBook

  1. 1. www.prospectdugout.com Baseball Exposure Secrets Module 1: Intro to Social Media Social Media Is The Next Edition Of Player Showcasing And Recruiting When I first got into the social media game, I was 100% clueless. It was through years of trial and error that Prospect Dugout has been built to be the largest showcase and exposure network for baseball players. Through this journey we have learned that not only is it possible for players to get recruited and scholarshipped off of social media, but it is actually becoming more and more normalized. As we set out on this journey of wanting to help players bridge the gap between high school and college ball that we have learned players can utilize their personal social media for this purpose. First things first, you gotta have a profile. My platform of choice is Instagram, but that doesn’t mean I’m not using Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, and LinkedIN. Regardless of your platform of choice, with a little effort and work, you can create a brand around yourself as an aspiring baseball player. Now, I’m not saying brand in the sense like you’re gonna be a celebrity. I’m talking about the ​idea​ of a brand. What’s the difference between Nike and Underarmour? Same kind of clothes (they put their spin on the design and layout) that offer the same solution. What makes you purchase one or the other ​besides​ the quality of fabric? Maybe you get hyped up for their commercials. Maybe their one-liners on their t-shirts inspire you. Maybe what they represent resonates with you. This is called branding. If they were just sitting on a shelf and you didn’t know anything about them, you wouldn’t go wrong choosing either because they are similar in quality. It took months and months of repetitive ads and marketing to make you a believer and capture you as a customer. This arduous journey of marketing and awareness is the “branding” I’m suggesting. So, step one in getting started is to create your profile​​. I say profile because if you’re reading this, then you believe in the power of digital exposure but you don’t quite know how to make it work. So we start small. Well. Not small but one at a time. Think of Instagram as the central hub, where everything goes down, or everything points back to; and think of the other platforms as extensions of the hub, not used to house the data but to point back to the main hub: Instagram. See, in the business world, we don’t see Instagram as a social network. We see our profile as a “webpage” that is easily viewed and shared with other people on the Internet. The opportunity provided by Instagram is one that I wasn’t fortunate enough to have as a high schooler trying to find a college. I was literally in the dark about everything because nothing was © 2018 Prospect Dugout, LLC
  2. 2. www.prospectdugout.com being blasted my way on a daily basis. Millions of people are using Instagram every day to get their name out there; to make their voice be heard. Celebrities share their daily life, amateur comedians make you laugh, media companies mashup the content you want to see in an attractive and amusing way (BleacherReport, Barstoolsports, Daquan, Worldstar, etc). Each person has their niche, the thing that they do well, and with that comes a particular audience. A brand like Nike or Underamour applies to a broad range of people: athletes from every sport, runners, kids, those interested in the latest fashion (shoes), moms that workout, Crossfitters, even people not engaged in any of these but they just love the inspiration the brand represents. And the list could go on. Within the brand, there are different subsets of clothing, slogans, colors, etc that are marketed to each specific type of person. A lot of time, effort, and strategy is put into many different campaigns to reach countless types of potential customers, with the purpose of having them buy the same product. In the end, it all points back to one place: the brand name. As a baseball player attending showcases and events to hopefully get college coaches to notice you, you are doing the same exact thing as Nike and Under Armour, just on a much smaller scale. Right now you’re really not utilizing all of the free tools available to you, ie social media, to get your name out there. Imagine you’re a customer in Wal-Mart looking for toothpaste. How many different brands are you gonna see on the shelf? What about shampoo? A ton right? Chips? Oh my, there are so many choices! For you, the “choices” are other players. The “brand” is you, and the “customer” is the college coach in attendance. ​What are you doing to make your brand stand out from all the other choices a customer has at a Perfect Game showcase?​​ With all the players in attendance, a coach has a tough job: not only is he looking to fill a specific need at his school, but he also has a lot of players to sift through to find the right fit. There’s a process involved in playing at the next level. I’m not going to get into that here, but I want to break it down quite simply from both the athlete’s and coach’s point of view. 1. Ability 2. Character/mental IQ 3. Grades As a player, you work to improve and perfect your ability the best you can with what you’ve got. Working out, taking extra reps, studying film, getting lessons, practicing, playing, etc. You strive to have a good attitude and show an understanding of the game. At the college level, the job of the coach is not to teach you how to play: it’s your responsibility to be able to take advice or suggestions and implement them on your own to get better. Coaches aren’t interested in recruiting a bunch of players that they have to teach how to play. They want players that understand the game to the level required to compete at their school. Finally, in order to even be on the team, there are national requirements as well as school-level requirements pertaining to your grades. Beyond athletics, the school requires a specific level of GPA and other test scores for a student to get in, and on the athletic side, a certain level of academic ability is required for not only the team but also for the national organization they belong to. © 2018 Prospect Dugout, LLC
  3. 3. www.prospectdugout.com The part that 99% of athletes neglect is the brand building. If you’re the best athlete at an event, throwing 90+ from the mound or hitting bombs in BP then it’s obvious the buzz is gonna be about you. That’s where the coaches and scouts will flock. But what about the athletes that are just average? And there’s nothing wrong with being average. I was below average and I walked-on to my college, but I still worked hard and made it to professional baseball. The average athletes are in the toughest spot because that’s where the majority of baseball players are! If there are 100 sheep and one is black, he immediately stands out even to the untrained eye. What about the 99 white sheep, the average players, attending a showcase? How do they stand out? It’s tough. It comes down to consistency and the intangibles. But it’s gonna take time for that to happen. Seriously - a coach isn’t going to look at 99 of the same ability level player one time and say, “oh he hustled” or, “he made a good play” and sign him. It’s definitely what they’re paying attention to, but they need to see it over and over and over (and over and over and over) again. This means a lot of $$$$$$ for you in registration fees, travel expenses, plus all your other expenses in your journey to improve your skills. And think about it from the coaches perspective: if you’re shopping around to different showcases filled with different coaches, how is any coach going to get that second and third, and fourth, and fifth look at your skills so they can see your consistency? A coach can’t be at every single showcase in the United States. Typically, the head coach isn’t even attending, it’s a representative from the coaching staff that’s looking for either the top player or taking notes on average players hoping to see them again to measure improvement and consistency. That is two very big problems for you. #1, you can’t possibly be seen by every coach in the country at the showcases you attend; #2, if you’re not going to the same showcase over and over coaches aren’t getting multiple looks on you. And actually, there’s a #3: what if you DO go to the same showcases (ie Perfect Game) every time but the coaches are like, “I’m gonna go somewhere else to see if I can find that diamond in the rough”. That’s just as bad as #2. Alas, problem #4, are the coaches in attendance from a school that you have the skills or projected skills to attend and play? Meaning, are you a skilled enough player to play at UF or LSU? Or are your skills more suited for an NAIA or JUCO? Are you even showcasing your skills to the right coaches? What if you can’t find a showcase appropriate for your skill level? Ahhhh the madness!!! Right? When you look at it like that it makes you wonder if it’s even worth it at all. (It is, most definitely. But it’s gonna be better once you learn how to promote yourself on social media!) And this is why you’re here. Digital exposure is the solution to all of these problems and you realize that. Through social media, your skills will be on display for coaches across the country, regardless of what showcases you or they attend, and as an average player, you will be able to show the consistency that is required for you to stand out among the 99 other players with the same skill set as you. The social platforms, which you are already accustomed to and currently using, are hidden gems when it comes to college recruiting. You control everything, right from your phone. The more serious you take it, the better your results will be. As you get © 2018 Prospect Dugout, LLC
  4. 4. www.prospectdugout.com more familiar with the process you will realize, just like I did, that it can be much more than what you intended starting out. Playing high school baseball is tough. Playing in college is much tougher. The professional level is almost impossible, statistically speaking. If we’re being realistic, most players won’t play in college and 99% won’t play at the professional level. The one thing I’m a big believer in is hard work and dedication. In everything I do I make sure to put in the effort required and to keep at it even when the going gets tough. Are you doing everything you can to achieve your dream of playing in college? Or professionally? Up until now, you thought you were, but now you realize that no one is seeing the effort you are putting in. You’re quietly striving towards your goal. If only they could see how hard you work and how much better you’ve become because of it! I’m glad you realize there’s a way to bring attention to your hard work and dedication. Based on what we talked about before, what was once impossible has now become possible, and it’s completely free! So in Module 2, we teach you how to get started. The next step is creating the content. What does that mean? Well, do you watch Netflix or YouTube? Or any kind of TV show? It’s entertainment, whatever it is. When you are putting your skills on display at a showcase, it’s a “live episode” in front of your target audience. It’s that simple of a concept. Translate that into your baseball life outside of a showcase: all of your training, workouts, games, practices, etc become your “episodes” on display through your social media profile. Remember when we talked about consistency being the only way for an average player to stand out? What better way to display how consistent of a player you are than with a platform that you control! So yeah, the content is your daily grind. You’re already putting in the work, it’s now just as simple as turning on the camera of your phone and recording it. So check this out. What stands out the most from the hundreds of players sending in videos to Prospect Dugout on Instagram is lack of quality of their videos. Not the camera quality, but how it was filmed and WHAT they filmed. A video from 200 feet away through chainlink fence doesn’t show a coach anything. And number 2, it’s not entertaining, which means it’s not going to get attention. We will get into all the camera angles, the length of the videos, and what type of stuff to record in Module 3. It’s much, much easier for someone to learn from the mistakes and trials of others than it is to be the trailblazer: the one that does it first and runs into all the problems. The trailblazer usually takes a lot more time to accomplish the goal because they don’t know from experience. Fortunately for you, we’ve spent the last 3 years posting content from players around the world and paying attention to what works and what doesn’t. What works, meaning, what gets the views and attention. So that explanation makes it seem simple. I mean, it is, but it’s not. Capturing the content with your camera is simple. But understanding the nuances of the content is the hard part. There’s long-form video, short-form video, micro-content, stories, skill measuring content, before and after content, filler content, and much, much more. We walk you through everything you need to know. What about video editing and getting rid of bad swings, errors, the stuff that © 2018 Prospect Dugout, LLC
  5. 5. www.prospectdugout.com doesn’t best represent your skills? That’s all covered too. It’s kind of fun actually because you get to be a little creative with it. In Module 4 we guide you through the steps of creating a post. This is where you take the content you’ve created with your phone, and combine it with the right caption and the proper hashtags. In this Module, we give you the blueprints of a successful post, but what you write and how you word it is up to you. This speaks volumes about you to the coaches that see your content. You are not only showing them visually what you are capable of but you are opening up to them a side of you that shows your character and knowledge of the game: the important next step in the recruiting process for any coach, regardless of level. Let’s get back into our first example of Nike vs Under Armour. It’s brand vs brand with a wide customer base with different interests, meaning they have to tailor their marketing to a wide range of customers. A lot of work, a lot of planning, and a lot of different type of content creation. I know you’re thinking that you only have one audience: college coaches. That may seem true, but it’s actually not. You have a few different “audience” types that you are targeting, but the good news is you don’t need to create specific content for each one. Your audience will typically feature the following: coaches/scouts, other players in general, other players with the same goals as you, other players with lesser skills that look up to you, and popular players that you meet at showcases that follow you to keep “tabs” on you. Wait, what do you mean? I thought I was just doing this so college coaches can see me so I can get recruited?? Yes, yes you are. BUT, as we discuss in Module 6, in order for coaches to see your content, you need engagement, awareness, and growth. Maybe you’ve tried this before and created a profile and posted a couple of videos, but only got 7 likes and 1 comment. Complete bust. Well, no. It’s not a bust, it just takes time to build the audience to gain awareness and start to see the likes and comments come in. Just like the example of college coaches whose eyes are drawn to the 90mph+ arms or the home runs, they still have to sift through the 99 sheep and find one that shows consistency and starts to stick out just a little. When you create a profile, a notification isn’t sent out to every coach in the country letting them know you’ve created a profile. You have to build your audience and start getting attention so that people begin to talk about you and spread your name. Eventually, you start to stand out. When we started Prospect Dugout on Instagram, we had ZERO followers. Slowly and steadily we have grown to nearly 300,000 followers, and we continue to come in contact with people that have never heard about us. Crazy right? Plus, how did we get to the point where college coaches contact us about the players we post? By posting with a purpose and on a schedule. This is where the “brand” idea comes into play even more. If you make it just about your skills and the idea of you playing in college, it’s not going to work very well. You’ve got to “entertain” your audience and start to make them feel like they relate to you. The coaches want to see your skills, your IQ, and your character. But in order for that to happen, you’ve got to draw into the process other people that are likeminded in order to create a buzz and a following © 2018 Prospect Dugout, LLC
  6. 6. www.prospectdugout.com around your name. There isn’t a secret formula or special trick that will make you popular on Instagram, grow your following, and get you seen by coaches. And I’m certainly ​not​​ trying to convince you of that. ​Quite the opposite.​​ Unless you’re committed to recording your training, posting frequently each week, and engaging with your followers and building your brand, this isn’t going to work. But if you’re already spending thousands of dollars on showcases, tournaments, training, and everything else, why not amplify it all by implementing these strategies on your FREE social media profile AKA your college recruiting hub?? Yes, I said frequently each week. Could even be more than that. The reality of it is, the lifecycle of an Instagram post is about 2-3 days. Meaning, if you only post once a week, it’s being seen maybe 2-3 out of 7 days, or in other words, you don’t exist. Posting quality content is definitely a key factor and holds weight when it comes to profile growth and awareness, but more important than that is the consistency of your posting. The more you can put yourself in front of the eyes of people, the more easily your name is recognized, and the faster you grow. But there’s a catch- if you’re posting bad content (not entertaining, bad angles, too long, too short, etc), then posting frequently is actually a bad thing. If you’re putting content out there that it’s obvious no one likes, they’re going to unfollow you so they don’t have to see it, and that does not help get your skills in front of coaches. That was kind of harsh, so let me explain more deeply. As important as it is to create quality content of your skills for coaches to see, it is equallyas important for you to create quality content for the non-coach audience. So by “bad content”, I don’t mean to say that your skills aren’t entertaining; what I mean is that if you are posting the same thing over and over again, while helpful and desirable for a coach, other players and the rest of your audience might think it’s “boring”. There are going to be those that think it’s “boring” but still engage with you and follow you because they appreciate the grind and they have respect for you. But for the most part, your audience is going to want entertainment value. Plus, if someone isn’t aware of you it’s going to take something interesting for them to want to follow and engage with you. Think about that personally for a second: when you’re scrolling through Instagram and you see an interesting post on explore, you might click the profile to see more, but if the rest of the content doesn’t interest you chances are you aren’t following them right? Don’t worry- before we get into all the engagement talk, we teach you how to create a posting schedule in Module 5. This is actually kinda cool right? When I started posting on Instagram for Prospect Dugout, I didn’t even know what a hashtag was. Experience has taught me well and it’s amazing the things I’ve learned that not only had I never thought of, but I can actually apply them to real life. We went from unknown to a major baseball brand that promotes players to college coaches, has its own line of merchandise, and creates content with people across the country, including current MLB players! Never did I imagine in 2015 that I would have an Instagram account with this many followers, nor did I think this journey would lead me to connect with some of the top names and brands in the sport! Through all of this not only have my social media skills improved, but I’ve learned how to create better and better content each time. © 2018 Prospect Dugout, LLC
  7. 7. www.prospectdugout.com Using this experience, you are going to learn how to create milestones both with your skills and with your social media expectations. In Module 7 we cover ways to create hype around milestones based on your skillset, plus what to expect and when to expect it when it comes to your social media “brand”. What I mean by that is, if you put in the effort, you’re going to see results. But what do those results look like and when should you start seeing them? By diving deeply into content creation and the content posting schedule, you can actually set goals for yourself in terms of follower count, number of comments, and how many likes you get. We also help you understand how to interpret the results of those expectations and goals. As this starts to happen, you’ll see your own knowledge of the social media world start to grow. You’ll learn things that you can begin applying to life, whether it’s for sports, school, friends and family, or maybe starting your own business or brand on the side! Who knows!?! In 2015 I didn’t think Prospect Dugout would be selling merchandise and equipment, nor would I be teaching high school and youth athletes how to use social media to get a scholarship for college! The reality of it is, in a couple years you could build a brand name on social media so large that you’re getting featured on TIME Magazine and Whistle Sports like Joey Erace, the 11-year-old baseball player! (@joeybaseball12) Top brands are using social media and websites to market their brand, and this course will teach you how you can do the same thing to market yourself to college coaches! There’s nothing wrong with becoming famous for your passion: baseball. You can use these tools and tips to create your own Instagram business like many other teenagers we’ve met and worked with over the years. They have created separate business profiles that allow them to make money posting videos about the game they love, unrelated to their own desire to play in college. There’s no limit to what you can do on social media, getting recruited for college just happens to be one of them! So as you dive in to this course, keep an open mind. One thing I know is that different people have different experiences in the same situation. During the course of your journey, things may stick out that we don’t mention, or maybe you understand it more from a different angle. That’s the beauty of social media! There’s not one specific way to do things, just a guideline that you create your own path with. I’m gonna go all business-geek on you for a minute. As technology advances, new markets open up. New businesses never before imagined are built, and business owners and entrepreneurs are getting younger and younger. The whole idea of college recruiting through social media still may seem like a “weird” one, but if you look at the top showcases organizations, colleges, and sports businesses you will see that they themselves are utilizing social media to capture new audiences and stay relevant in the new age of tech. The top international scout for Baseball America, Ben Badler, uses Instagram to post videos and scouting reports of players from various countries and bring attention to the top athletes from outside the USA. With over 34,000 followers he is bringing awareness to otherwise unknown players. Perfect Game USA utilizes it’s Instagram profile with over 200,000 followers to bring awareness to the top performers from their events.The same can be said for other event organizations like Prep Baseball Report, Prospect Wire, Prospect-Select, Future © 2018 Prospect Dugout, LLC
  8. 8. www.prospectdugout.com Stars Series, Baseball Factory, etc. There’s a reason why more and more organizations are implementing a social media strategy: attention. Think about it- social media platforms (Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter) are tremendously popular for the high school and youth ages. These platforms are your news networks just like CNN, FOX, and NBC are the news networks for adults and those in business. Facebook has gone from college to college social network to a global network that boasts 2.23 billion MONTHLY active users. Yes, billion with a B, and monthly active users meaning all those people are on it each month. Beyond baseball, coaches and scouts have lives and they are utilizing social networks every day. The people you are trying to reach are at your fingertips, it’s time to get their attention! Building and maintaining a profile and presence on social media is simple, but it’s also hard work. I say it’s simple because it’s not complicated. It’s hard work because it takes commitment in order to see the results you are looking for. Just like anything else, it’s not going to happen overnight. You probably, scratch that, you definitely won’t see the results you want quickly. But if you stick with it, slowly paced results will turn into faster-paced results, which could lead to a life-changing experience. After all the things I’ve learned on social media, I’m still learning more and more each day. Nothing is on auto-pilot: I am daily posting and learning and tweaking to make sure Prospect Dugout stays relevant and continues to grow. It’s this daily grind that has opened up the opportunity for us to share this information with you to help you grow your own personal brand. With time, effort, and consistency you can create awareness for your skills that will help you stand out in all the noise of the showcase environment, plus you will now have an opportunity for coaches and scouts to find you year round and see how dedicated you are and how much you are improving. Let’s move on to Module 2: Setting Up Your Profile, and get things rolling!! © 2018 Prospect Dugout, LLC