If you thought you were juggling a lot, take a look at our latest Marketing Pros’ to-do list: TV pundit, content creator, brand ambassador, DJ, author, fitness instructor, business owner and, most recently, professional MMA fighter.
James, in action!
Former England rugby international James Haskell wears many hats, which is exactly why we wanted to talk to him. We got on the line with James to find out exactly how he juggles his commitments and how Linktree has helped him to satisfy his ever-expanding community.
Hey James, thanks for talking to us! How did you find out about Linktree?
“I found Linktree through Richie Hawtin. I follow him, I just saw this thing and clicked on it. It showed me all these links and I was like, “Oh, genius! Where do I sign up for that?”.
“I think it’s awesome, I was looking for ages for something like it. It was such hard work before and it’s the perfect solution. I use it every single day. I’m always adding stuff and switching links off. I want to get better at customizing it and utilizing all the features.”
First things first, you’re certainly keeping busy in your retirement – how do you find time for it all?
“Look, I’m a workaholic first and foremost. I spend my down time working. I truly believe you only get one chance at life, so I like to fill my time up and feel like I’m doing things, sometimes to the detriment of recovery!
“At the moment, I’ve got two or three things on every single day. I have my training, then I’m speaking at a dinner each night. I’m also promoting two or three different campaigns that require social media posts.”
Can you recall a tipping point when social media posts went from being personal to being an opportunity to support business opportunities?
“Yeah, I think about six or seven years ago I realised that the one benefit of social media was sharing information, especially for a business. If you’re not using social media for a business or to share information with like-minded people, you’re just wasting your time and inviting a load of “nutters” into your life. That’s your front door. I actually don’t even read a lot of the comments anymore and I’m always going to post what I want.”
"If you're not using social media for a business or to share information with like-minded people, you're just wasting your time” says James Haskell
“For me, it’s a portal to share information with people and to run a business. That’s why I think Linktree works really well – it adds another dimension. The old problem with Instagram was that you could only ever do one thing at a time and you’ve got to post a link in your bio. People would come to that post, head to the link and it had changed.
“With Linktree, the ability to put six or seven links into that one link, then display it in a really interesting way, is great. I also believe people go on my Linktree and think, “Oh, no way! I didn’t know he’s just done a DJ gig! He’s into BBQs!” Whatever it might be but people will discover more about me. If you look at some of my stats, I’ve got 40-50,000 clicks, so it’s picking up some momentum and showcasing more of what I do.”
We’ve touched upon some of the toxicity online and you’ve been vocal about it, how do you manage that side of things?
“I think the world is a very messed-up place. I think since the dawn of time it’s been like that. We have a 24-hour news cycle and social media. There’s no escaping how weird people are and their beliefs!
“Social media is free season for anybody with an opinion to wade in, most of it ill-informed. For me, I’m not really worried about what people think. On each post, I’ll have 1,000 people agreeing with me and two that don’t. If you’re a big business you panic and worry about those two. My thing is that common sense dictates what I’m saying to be correct and I don’t worry about offending those people.”
How has Linktree helped you to deal with all that traffic?
“Linktree is a tool to streamline what’s already happening and decongest a very congested area, where everybody’s promoting everything and everybody’s paying for posts. It’s hard to keep up with.
“People keep trying to invent other social media platforms and they keep asking me to get involved. I’m like, “listen, unless it’s something revolutionary, nobody’s going to leave these existing platforms. People are inherently lazy.” So, if you’re going to do that and it requires six clicks to get away from something, or people can’t get it straight away, then you’re struggling.
“That’s why Linktree is great because it has it all there, written out clearly. You’re like, “boom! There it is.” I think that makes a massive difference. The only link I ever use now is Linktree. After a period of time I switch links off and add new ones. You don’t want to over-congest stuff but if you’re like me, and there’s five or six different avenues, that’s what you’ve got to focus on.”
You’ve got 24 links live at the moment, was it always the plan to keep busy post-retirement?
“It seems like a lot and there can be saturation. People say it’s better to do one or two things really well, than ten things badly. That’s not my intention, everything is kind of transitory.
I’ve just done a campaign for Veet – you’ve got three videos to post and then that’s done. While that’s going on, something with AirBnB pops up. When that’s done, you’ll do the MMA content and the DJing thing is a constant. Then, it’s the fitness book. Projects come and go but they can live on through Linktree.
“I don’t want to be involved in millions of businesses and not do it very well. My sole objective is financial security and having a good time while I do it. I only ever promote stuff that I actually believe in.”
“Projects come and go but they can live on through Linktree.”
“Traeger BBQs, for example. I couldn’t cook. They gave me BBQ equipment and I loved it. I decided that I’d go for it and filmed some recipes for them. I truly believe that those BBQs can turn even the worst cook into a genius! That’s what they’ve done to me. There’s always a story behind what I commit to, but I do turn a lot of stuff down.
“Everything now is about data capture, it’s hard. It’s not just one thing. It’s going to an event, recording content, which lives on forever. It’s quite intense. I have a lot of content that I don’t even have time to post because things are so flat out.”
What’s your preferred type of content?
“The DJing stuff is definitely my most favorite to do, I actually can’t do enough of that. I think the GoPro content and some of the stuff we did with JCB is great. I also really like the content we’ve done on holiday. I’m very privileged that you can have half a day doing some crazy stuff like that and call it work!
“So, there’s been lots of kind of highlight moments for me. There is the occasional work when you’re like, “ah,” but most of the stuff I’m doing is pretty enjoyable. I like it. It might be hard but I enjoy it.”
Do you have any tips for budding online entrepreneurs?
“It’s so easy now to create a business and do anything. The hardest thing to do is sit down and actually plan, with a little bit of direction, where you’re going. You can have a genius idea, a genius product, launch and then not work out how to monetize. The hardest thing is to sit down, have a little bit of forethought and then pull the trigger. Not being frightened to adapt as you go along and learn.
“It’s the ability to compartmentalize. When people sit down to do emails they get side-tracked by social media. So switch everything else off, just sit there and do your emails. If you’re about to write something then switch your internet off and write. Look at your diary and split your day up and say, “for the next two hours I’m just going to relax, watch some Netflix, I’m going to DJ or whatever that might be.” Factor that time in your diary just as you would factor work time. I think for me that makes a massive difference.”
Great tips! Enormous thanks to James for talking us through his hectic itinerary. You can discover more of his content through his Linktree.
James’s Linktree is punchy – we dig the sharp color palette. Choosing one strong color set against white is a great way to ensure your Linktree is vibrant without so busy that it’s distracting. The name of the game here is converting to clicks!
James is helping his audience convert well with simple button text that communicate meaning very simply. He’s paired this with thumbnail imagery to link his Instagram posts very visually with his Linktree links.
James, who uses Linktree PRO, has social icons at the bottom of his Linktree, connecting his audience to his Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Soundcloud and email.