Using social media platforms to build and promote your personal brand.
The sponsorship game has changed over the years, and social media now plays a large role in racer funding. Learning how to utilize social media to build your personal brand can help increase your chances of attaining sponsorship for your race program.
Driver Davey Hamilton Jr. indicated that having a strong social media presence is perhaps more important than winning races when it comes to sponsorship. “Winning races is fantastic, and it certainly doesn’t hurt, but what’s more impactful to brands that want to sponsor you is showing that you are a marketable brand. Be an asset to them with an active and large reach to an audience who they can advertise and sell to.
“Many big-name female racers out there, regardless of their results on the track, have a very large social media presence and gain tons of sponsorship because they are aware of the appeal of females competing in a male-dominated sport,” he continued. “They can be role models to other young girls, and if they can look good doing it, it’s even more marketable, which goes for anybody, man or woman.”
For new racers trying to build their social media following, Hamilton recommends strong visuals and action shots, along with utilizing photographers and/or videographers who will make you look good, in and out of the race car. “It’s important to look good out of the car and take care of your appearance and your brand. Show off the exciting parts of your life and what goes on behind the scenes of your career because people are interested in that and want to see it,” he explained. “If you do these things and stay consistent with it, sponsors will want to be part of that exciting lifestyle you portray.”
Hamilton has built his following by being versatile in his life. Through racing, DJing, promoting events, etc. he has created unique and engaging content to grab people’s attention.
After you’ve started to build a following and have attained sponsorship, you then need to get creative with how you highlight those companies on your platforms. It’s important to make sure the sponsor is happy with the coverage but also that the content aligns with your personal brand. “I will post pictures wearing branded materials from my sponsors, sometimes with a humorous caption,” noted Hamilton, “such as a photo I did wearing my Impact Racing helmet designed by List Designs, juxtaposed by my long-sleeved undershirt.
“If my sponsor is a person, like artist Ron Burkhardt, I will take a photo with him in an interesting environment with a lot of activity and a nice description, tagging that person,” he added.
Develop out-of-the-box ideas to incorporate your sponsors into your social media content seamlessly, rather than just a simple product shot that potentially won’t get much engagement.
To sum things up, create a consistent image that shows off your personality. And participating in fun, exciting interests, regardless of what they are, will attract more followers and gain the attention of sponsors, Hamilton suggested. “I like to be creative and spontaneous with my posts. Diversify your posts and you’ll engage a wider audience. And don’t be afraid to be funny and be yourself so people get to know you. It becomes more personal that way and allows potential sponsors to put a personality to a name.”