More Than an Athlete: How Personal Branding Helped Her Win a Multi-Million Dollar Deal

When the story of Santia Deck’s multimillion-dollar contract with the Women’s Football League Association (WFLA) broke, people immediately knew that she made history. Such a deal was never offered to women in football, and Santia, whose contract was confirmed by WFLA to be the highest to date, is one of the chosen few to receive it. But this turn of events did not occur by coincidence. In fact, Santia has long been in the business of fitness—ever since she was in college. And this series of events began with uploading content on social media to build her personal brand over the years.

Right before her rise to fame, Santia’s following grew and grew when she started using Instagram. It was there that she created a space for her photos and videos that covered her track practice, which, rather important to note, also showed her abs. When fitness and track-and-field pages on Instagram began reblogging her content, her following rose in a steep trend. And because people took notice and envied her build, particularly her abs, Santia’s mother suggested that she mold her brand around it and take the name “Queen of Abs”.

Growing her brand and its community has been an ongoing process throughout Santia’s young adult life, culminating in what the world sees as the record-breaking win of her multimillion-dollar contract with WFLA. In an interview, Santia shares her social media strategies, which contributed to her great success today as both an athlete and businesswoman.

1. Take Advantage of Your Platform Now

“Every single dime that I’ve made came from social media,” Santia said. She recounted that, at the time she was building her brand, agents and personalities wanted to book her, have her as a guest on television shows, and interview her, all of which she attributed to the exposure she had on social media. Santia also advised that you take advantage of social media to build your personal brand while you are still active in playing your sport. Exposure and opportunity will become scarce once you are past your prime in your athletic career, she warned.

2. Protect Your Brand

This piece of advice comes down to one thing, and that is trust. To build a loyal following, Santia said one should strive to produce and upload content that is aligned with their personal brand. When you look through Santia’s Instagram and LinkedIn, you will find clips of her training and pictures of her toned body. There, you will also find partnerships with companies who have developed a kind of reassurance that Santia’s personal brand is one that can keep an authentic, consistent, and professional image. 

Additionally, Santia makes use of her LinkedIn profile to promote her services and expertise, such as public speaking and her social media consultation. But she also highlights on LinkedIn the fact that she is a disciplined athlete by including content that shows her hard at work in the gym, always training, always hustling.

3. Make Your Profile Public

Santia stressed the importance of making sure your profile is set for the public to see. “You could be getting paid $25,000 for one post,” she lamented over athletes who wanted to be known yet have their Instagrams on private, while reiterating that it was her social media presence that earned her the attention of a huge following, of various brands, and, eventually, of WFLA. 

4. Be a Consistent Uploader

Just like on LinkedIn, entrepreneurs and business owners aiming to engage and convert should be consistent uploaders on their social networking sites of choice. Being consistent, according to Santia, means uploading three or four times a day! “Think of your brand and your page as a TV show,” Santia said. “If your favorite show only came on once a month, would you continue watching that? Or would you find a new show?” She urged athletic aspirants and brand owners in general to make their audience “hungry” for their content, so much so that they instinctively anticipate the next post.

5. Invest in Your Brand

By investing in your brand, you establish who you are, what you do, and what you can offer your market. For Santia, being an athlete will not last forever, so her goal is to solidify her name in the industry in preparation for future projects that are likely to prosper because of her credentials. In the future, Santia plans to continue building her personal brand and business by doing public speaking, writing books, and creating fitness programs, when she has already retired from being an athlete. Except, by then, with a clean-cut brand and a well-established name, Santia will have built the trust and following she needs to ensure that these projects become successful. 

Get to know more about Santia Deck through her Instagram at @trackbaby001 and her LinkedIn. If you want to stay updated, check out her official website for the latest Queen of Abs news or to avail of her social media consulting services.

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