Photo Aug 01, 11 50 01 AM_v2

*Photo by Ben Lindbloom

 In a world full of professional athletes in all sports, it can be hard to stand out from the rest. Athletes have been constantly moving towards self-promotion on social media as a way to update their fans on their lives, interact with them on a more personal level, as well as reach out to potential new fans. Pro skier and pro mountain biker, KC Deane, was part of a group to use social media early on as a way to promote themselves …. he has built a solid following for himself with around 36,000 Instagram followers. In today’s podcast, we talk to KC about what it takes to stand out and how he balances a pro ski career, pro bike career, managing all his contracts, and squeezing in a personal life when he can. Check out a few highlights from the interview, and be sure to listen to the podcast for more juicy details on KC’s life.

M – Is social media pretty much mandatory for athletes these days, and is it incentivized or in your contract?

KC – “I think it’s for sure mandatory now. Sometimes I have incentives and other times it’s in my contract. The funny thing is that a lot of brands you represent just expect you to do social media for them now. They don’t realize that it is essentially a paid ad. You wouldn’t expect to place an ad in a magazine for free, but a lot of sponsors don’t look at it that way yet. On the other end, I have sponsors who I do unique posts for, then my other sponsors see that and ask why I am not doing unique posts for them—because they aren’t paying for them.”

M – Do you interact with your fans on social media, or is it just a push?

KC – “I think interacting with fans is one of the most important things. One thing that’s really cool about social media is that you can interact with people. Ten years ago, you watched a video that came out at the beginning of the year and that was it. There was no interaction, but social media has changed how people view athletes that they see in the films. You never had that opportunity to interact before. It’s also nice if someone asks me about the gear I am using, I can respond to them very easily.”

M – How did you transition into being a successfully sponsored mountain biker as well as a skier?

KC – “I grew up riding mountain bikes and racing cross-country. I always wanted to race downhill and freeride. I used to race motocross for a while too. And now, I ski for SCOTT Sports and they also make bikes. I wanted to start doing something again in the summer, but not necessarily race motocross. So I hit up SCOTT about a bike and bought one for cost. What kicked it off for me was I went to the Red Bull Rampage, and that got me going, after that I really started riding again. It took a couple months for things to start coming back to me, but from there I progressed pretty quickly.”        

M – You have a film project coming up, is it too soon to talk about that?

KC – “I have a bike project in the works for 2015, coming out in the summer of 2016, if things go as planned. I’m also working on a TV show right now, and all those are in their infancy right now. But if it all works out, there should be some stuff out in 2016.”

M – How do you balance your work and personal life?

KC – “For one, it’s what I want to do. If you’re doing what you want to do, I feel like it’s pretty easy to manage, but sometimes it does get pretty hectic. Injuries actually give you a lot of time to play catch-up. You go from constantly going non-stop to having plenty of time get everything lined up, so that when you’re going non-stop for the next six months, you’re all set. You have to manage your time, and I’m getting better about that now. One of my friends, TJ Schiller, is really good about that. It’s easy to get caught up when you’re hanging out with your friends, but TJ is really good about knowing when to call it. I am trying to do the same thing now.”

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