A little while ago, I offered a Skype session to help the End of Season Event fundraise for a great cause. The ‘offer’ was an hour’s Skype consultation to help anyone with their PR, marketing, social media, website, blogging, video production… whether they were just starting out in the industry, had an established business they needed help with or were a rider interested in how to be more attractive to sponsors. The lot was won and I’m looking forward to helping the lady who bagged the session…but it got me thinking…is this kind of service something that riders could benefit from?
I’ve written a couple of blogs about sponsorship and sponsored riders, both of which were based on my personal experiences. I stand by everything that I said in these blogs. I truly believe it’s the rider’s job to be attractive to the company…and it annoys and disappoints me each time I receive a Facebook message on a page I admin with the SAME recycled copied and pasted information that has about as much appeal as a gone off tuna sandwich (I don’t like tuna anyway, so gone off tuna is a whole lot worse!). Now, don’t get me wrong, I do work with some good sponsored riders who seem to get it. They have a website, they come to ME with ideas (I love that, it makes me very, very happy), they send me information that I can use on social media for my clients, they respond promptly. The key aspect here is that we work together. I know what my clients want to achieve and I work with a rider to make this happen. The emphasis is on them though. I’ll do my best to keep everything ticking along, but I’m not planning to write up a blog for someone when they should have done it. Why should I? I’ll edit it, I’ll pop in the links, I’ll sort out the images, I’ll do all the work for my client, but I should NOT be creating the content too…that’s the job of the sponsored rider. I work with a number of different brands and a number of different riders (and have worked with many more!) and feel that presenting yourself correctly, doing what you say and knowing what the company is looking for is not just important, it’s essential. But, how would someone who hasn’t been on this side of the fence know all those things? The chances are they wouldn’t…so what can they do?
The answer is to learn. If you want to drive a car, you go for lessons. If you want sponsorship, you need to learn how it works. Most riders can’t afford a PR to hold their hand at every step of the way, but they can afford something like a Skype consultation to chat about their situation, their USP, people they could target and how they can approach them. Of course, the emphasis is, again, on the rider…but so it should be. Hand holding is fine and, let’s be honest, that’s how we all start in whatever job or hobby we do…it’s almost like the lead rein part before the real fun begins. So, here’s my idea. Would a service that provides riders looking for sponsorship with the info they need to get started be of use? I’ll be honest, I’ve toyed with this idea before, but I was chatting to someone a little while ago who said ‘yes, that’s a great idea and very much needed’, and I’ve been letting the idea…what’s the word…percolate…for a while. So, here’s my offer. If you’re a rider, producer, event, yard or similar looking at how to make yourself and your business more appealing, I’d like to hear from you. I’m thinking about pricing and exactly what a package would involve/need to involve…but your input would be very, very useful…and there might even be a discount in it for you…please drop me an email at email@example.com and let’s get chatting!