Why you need to stop talking about yourself

and start talking about the business you're pitching to

So many racing drivers make the mistake of launching into an email pitch with 15 paragraphs about themselves.

Your experience and history are important but not yet!

Business owners and decision markers get so many sales pitches that it’s not always possible to read through every one. They’ll read the first line and decide if they want to continue so this is where you need to hook them.

Tell them why they’ll benefit.

Tell them how you’ll help them reach their goals.

Make it clear that working with you is a good choice. Once you’ve been able to do this, give them a brief bio, perhaps even a bullet point list of your achievements. If they’re hooked, you can go into more detail later.

Sorry, no one cares

It’s great that you won a championship, built your own car and have been passionate about cars since you were a child but It’s likely every racer has a similar story. If your story reads just like anyone else’s, a potential sponsor isn’t going to care.

Not until you give them a reason to.

Mention that you were the youngest automotive influence on YouTube for a while and your early-age passion for cars becomes all the more relevant.

Offer to do talks on leadership and your experience in a corporate work environment Is suddenly more relevant.

What is your USP?

Now we know that most racers have a similar story, the need for a unique selling point (USP) becomes all the more imp­ortant.

What sets you apart from other drivers? It might be:

  • Your column in the local paper
  • Your award-winning motorsport photography
  • Your hobbies of mountain climbing and cricket
  • Your film degree and popular YT channel.
  • Your children and how involved they are in your racing
  • How you’re carbon offsetting your entire race season
  • Your popular fitness blog

If you don’t have that USP just yet, get out there and create it.

Task: Take some time to brainstorm things that could be your USP. Look at where you live, your hobbies, what you do for work, your family situation, any voluntary work and so on.

This is important because it’ll help you form the hook that will help you sell yourself.

What needs to go into a bio

You’ll probably know by now that although I like to tell people where they’re going wrong, I also like to provide solutions.

Establishing your niche is part one but you also need to make your bio engaging too.

In the first communication to a potential sponsor, you need the bare minimum about who you are and all of it must be relevant to what you can do for the business.

Usually, a bullet point list of achievements is enough here. For example:

  • Two-time Mini Challenge Cooper S champion
  • Working towards a Le Mans drive in 2021
  • Qualified physiotherapist working within sport
  • Run a popular health blog with a small team of writers
  • Currently researching human performance within motorsport
  • Have completed three marathons and on triathlon

You might look at this and think that you haven’t done anything as varied and cool. Well, now’s the time to start carving out your niche.

This is fictional driver clearly has a health slant to his or her work so would probably be best suited to pitching to a health company where their expertise is most relevant.

It’s also good to link back to a website with a more detailed bio in case the potential sponsor is interested in finding out more.

What to do with your niche

Once you have a niche (parent, fashionista, city worker, car designer, filmmaker, health nut, foodie, etc.), you need to capitalise on it.

Go out and target relevant businesses. No more blanket emailing everyone in your local area, OK?

It’s likely that the people who follow you are interested in your niche, which mean they’ll be interested in what a relevant sponsor has to offer too.

What’s your niche?

Related content

Get Paid to Race workshop to take place at Estoril Circuit

Racing Mentor founder Jess Shanahan will be leading a sponsorship workshop on the afternoon of Friday, April 12, at the Circuit of Estoril. Lasting five hours, this exclusive training session will cover topics including sponsorship and branding, among others, to help racing drivers develop sustainable sports careers.

20 things to blog about as a racing driver

Your blog needs to be so much more than race reports. It needs to show who you are and why you’re special. It’ll be a touchpoint for potential sponsors who want to know more about you and what you can offer.

Best places to look for product sponsorship

While monetary sponsorship is the holy grail, don’t sniff at a product-only deal because anything you don’t have to spend to get ready to race can be spent on entry fees, car improvements and further coaching to improve your race craft.

Find out more about pitching in Get Paid to Race

If you’d like to find out more about how to build your profile, research potential sponsors and write a winning pitch, check out Get Paid to Race.