Why you need to stop begging for sponsors on social media

And what to do instead

I see a lot of posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter along the lines of:

“I’m a racing driver with lots of skills, I race a nice race car and achieved many podiums last season. This year I’m moving up to a better racing series but I need your help to get me there.

“In return for sponsorship I can offer branding on the car, VIP hospitality at race weekends and posts on social media.

“Let me know if you want to join the team.”

These posts aren’t exactly few and far between, some are good and actively talk about the benefits to these sponsors while others go on about the driver’s career so far and how they need help to get to the next level.

I find this really frustrating because there are drivers out there with great reach, going into high flying series who are going to struggle to get anywhere with this kind of approach.

No one cares

Of course, there are exceptions to this but if you operate under the assumption that the people on social media, LinkedIn especially, don’t care about your racing career and that you need to hook them in another way, then you’re onto a winner.

Stop begging

Step back from your latest Facebook post, are you begging for businesses to give you the opportunity to go racing? As Rob Hedley of Britcar said on the Racing Mentor podcast, why should someone pay for you to go racing when they could pay for themselves to get on track?

Stop begging for money and offer something more that not only makes you stand out but will pique the interest of anyone reading.

There’s a better way

Before I go into how you can improve your social posts, consider making personal contact with business people who could truly benefit from what you do. Yes, it’s more effort but you’re likely to build more personal relationships this way. Take your time to find three businesses that would get real benefit from partnering with you (maybe they’re already advertising to a similar audience, or are actively working with brand ambassadors) and do your research. Find the right person and send a winning email that addresses their goals as well as telling them a little bit about who you are and what you do.

Think about your audience

On LinkedIn, you’re no doubt connected with business people you’ve never met. In talking about yourself, you don’t give them any reason to join you for a race season, no matter how deserving of a chance you may be.

On LinkedIn you need to speak to the kind of people who use the network. These people are usually either looking for new clients or looking for ways to grow their businesses. In your posts you need to address this and offer them something they need.

On Facebook, you’re likely to have a more personal connection to the people who you’re friends with and, contrary to what I’ve said above, they do care about you. What you have to think about here is that if they just wanted to support you without any benefits to themselves they would’ve done so already. You need to give them that extra incentive, such as access to an audience that could lead to increased sales, the opportunity to network with relevant businesses at race events, or the chance to wow their favourite customers with a personalised track day.

thOK, sometimes it works

I’m not saying you’ll never get any where posting on Facebook looking for partners because sometimes it does work. Rider Tom Harrison got in touch saying he’d had success finding sponsors through his Facebook page.

This is good branding and while I’d always go for selling the benefits, people do eventually pay attention to these kinds of posts. Tom is selling himself as hardworking and knowledgeable, these are the kind of traits that businesses want in their ambassadors.

This is the kind of content that will get you hefty discounts on parts and services, especially from personal contacts keen to see you succeed.

If, however, you’re looking for big bucks, I’d make sure the business benefits are quite clear in all your posts.

The key is to find a balance that speaks to your audience and gives you the best possible chance to build a relationship that benefits you both.

Build your brand

If you’re promoting yourself on social media, it’s likely anyone who is interested in what you have to offer will check out your profiles. This is why it’s so important to build a winning brand and make sure it comes across in everything you post. I spoke to business coach Ellory Wells about branding, you can listen here.

You need to target businesses that align with your personal brand. If you come across as fun and edgy, target those kinds of businesses (drinks companies, event organisers, colourful brands) and impress them with you consistent brand image. Similarly, if you’re going for the hardworking, passionate and professional image, target those kinds of businesses (professional services, finance, energy industry).

Your posts, images, articles and comments all need to align with this brand.

 

Copy + paste these to get started

Want to boost your business and get involved in grassroots motorsport? I have opportunities available for passionate businesses looking to tap into a network of motorsport enthusiasts, increase conversions and put their brand name in front of thousands.

{Insert a line about you and what you’re racing here}

Get in touch for further details.

This is a really simple approach that should pique the interest of anyone who is already interested in what you’re doing and possibly considering putting money into sponsorship.

If you’re looking for new ways to market your brand in 2017, a partnership within motorsport can increase brand visibility and help to build an enviable social following. I can connect you with a loyal audience who trust my opinion on all things automotive. Across my social channels I have a combined following of {insert figure here}, as well as {insert subscriber figure here} email subscribers.

This year I am running in {insert your series here} and hope to add to my list of wins and podiums. Any partners coming on board will benefit from a dedicated brand ambassador who can help convert social follows into sales, VIP hospitality at races – which present plenty of opportunities to reach new clients – television coverage reaching approximately 25,000 people per day and much more. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss over coffee, my treat.

This leans on your stats being impressive. The more information you have, the better. You don’t need to put it all in a social post, you need to leave something for your prospects to find out over that coffee. (These TV stats are for Motors TV, more details here.)

Wondering how a race car can be a powerful marketing tool? It’s so much more than getting your brand in front of a captive audience at the track and on television.

I’m racing in {insert your series here} and alongside my racing credentials, podiums and social following {link to your website or racing CV}, I’m also a brand ambassador, public speaker and race instructor. My services can put your brand in front of potential customers, bring in extra revenue, increase brand exposure and offer something extra to customer and team events.

Let me know if you’re interested in stepping your business up a gear.

This hinges on being more than just a racing driver. Companies are often looking for brand ambassadors, speakers and event companies, why not offer everything.

Copy and paste these to get on the right track but don’t forget to make it all align with your brand. If you can make these even more personal to the kind of business you want to target, even better!

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