There are so many fighters that get discouraged by the sponsorship game. Many just give up because they don’t know how to use social media. How many times have you heard the “If they don’t respect me for what I do in the cage then I just don’t care” quote? As an athlete you have to realize you need a way to stand-out above the rest. You may be a great fighter but let’s be honest, not even the best fighter achieves “fight of the night” every time he or she competes. If that is you, then keep up the good work. For the rest of you, you need to utilize what you have. Use your fan base to help create a desire for people to see what you have to say. And keep in mind, you expect support from sponsors at all times. Put yourself in their shoes. You only show them your support when you stand in that ring and give them a quick shout out. You need to use social media to be proactive and help your sponsors. Below are 5 things that you should be doing.
1. Be Everywhere
You may not think it is crucial for you to be active and everywhere you can be. But there are fans everywhere and they aren’t always your friends.
- Have a Facebook fan page. This is a great place to start. Fan pages are easy to control the content going in and out, and you don’t always want to be sharing the same thing with your fight fans as you do your friends and family do you?
- Utilize Twitter! I hear it all the time, “I don’t understand twitter”, “I don’t get it”. That is still okay. You can still use twitterif you set your FB up to post to it. Also, make an active attempt to find a way to make it work for you. Make sure you get Twitter-handle that best represents YOU as a fan sees you.
- Be on Sqor. This is newer, you’ve probably seen it from the bigger UFC athlete, it may die, but right now they want to PAY athletes to use it. Become one of them.
- Create a Youtube Channel. This may seem strange, but guess what? Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world, use it to your advantage.
- Have an Instagram. With the world of snapchat people don’t use this enough, get one, link it and use it!
2. The 80/20 rule
Lets keep in mind, all of these are ways for you to interact with your fans. But also a way for you to push your sponsors merchandise or services. Live by the theory that 80% of the content you post should be original to you, but the other 20% should be promoting one of your sponsors.
3. Follow and Share your Sponsors Stuff
Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to share everything your sponsor posts, but hey, if one of your sponsors is a nutrition supply company, and they are having a sale that you think is a good deal, share it! And share it everywhere!
4. Post, Post, Post
I see way too often that fighters aren’t posting enough, this should be easy content. Take an instagram video of your workout today, maybe a picture of a meal. Group training pictures, talk about a training partner, something you are passionate about. Record a video of your cardio and put it on youtube. Whatever it is POST POST POST! Remember your fans are fans of you and they want to know what you are doing, keep them engaged. It also doesn’t help to show your sponsors their investment isn’t going towards burgers and Snickers 😉
I can’t stress this enough; if someone sends you a message on your fan page asking “Hey how do I get into MMA?” Respond to them, remember you were that kid at one point. I understand you get lots of crap messages, but respond to as many as you can. Respond to tweets on twitter, that person may be your biggest fan and you may have the opportunity to make their day. Respond to comments on youtube and, make comments on youtube. The more you put yourself out there the bigger your fan base grows and the more possible sponsorships you will be afforded.
In the coming weeks I will break down each one of these individually and give you some better examples of why and how.