This is a hot topic in the fitness industry, I get asked by so many people on how to get sponsored, but today I was having a conversation via text with my friend Nina about this topic, so the inspiration to write this article arose. I've been in the industry now for over 15 years, from owning a beverage company, bodybuilding and fitness federation, working with many amateur to professional athletes, plus learning from the best in the world and I'm looking forward in sharing strategies below that work.
1. Generate VALUE - some supplement companies will pay an athlete with a big social following to do a post to generate awareness, but this isn't a SMART long term investment. People nowadays are tired of being SOLD to and want to feel they are getting value. First key tip when approaching a company is always ask yourself: How can I generate enough VALUE to create interest in either a supplement or financial sponsorship arrangement? Whatever your asking for, you need to be generating a return back to the company for them to justify the investment. If you want a BIG YES from a company, then the return must be 3 to 5 times more than your asking or they typically won't blink an eye. The ONLY other factor that may affect a YES or NO, is that your message, image and personality has a flow with there brand.
2. Be great on VIDEO - our marketing world is shifting more and more to video, if you are good on video this is a HUGE plus. You must be comfortable talking on video, providing great content, CONTENT is king and if you can deliver this, you provide a key skill that adds tremendous value. You can do video's on training, nutrition, motivation, recipes, recovery, performance training, proper supplementation, the list goes on. If you've got a youtube channel, this is great, but I'd suggest preparing a professional high level 90 second personalized video for the company your approaching. Introduce yourself, talk clearly, what skills do you bring, why should they pick you, what makes you unique, different and valuable, what education or experience do you have, make it genuine and not tacky. A video goes a long way, as very few people go to this length nowadays.
3. Before asking for MONEY do this....do your research on the company, what is there message or vision, look at there website, IG, FB and social accounts, how big is there following, what content do they push, find gaps in there marketing that you can fill, that will generate new customers or increase sales. Do they have other athletes? If so, how many and what do they do for the company? How can you deliver more value than them? Think, how can you be a results machine for them, if you can present this and deliver, they will gladly pay. If you've got a large following, that's good, but how are you leveraging it? I've seen athletes with meagre followings CRUSH IT with companies, because they leverage more effectively, than someone who has a large following and doesn't care and just throws posts out there, that result in no long term value. Don't expect a company to just start paying you, because you think you need to get paid, if the approach is done this way, you won't get far.
4. Selling YOURSELF - being confident and understanding how to sell yourself is so IMPORTANT as there will be a time when you will have to either jump on a call, video chat or possibly face to face. First tip, is don't talk to much and get cocky!! This can ruin all your chances in closing the deal. The SECRET to selling yourself comes down to asking great questions, getting really interested and involved in listening in the conversation. There will come a time when they will ask you a question, but pay attention not to over do your answer's and talk for too long, you want to be authentic, yet to the point. I've done so many big presentations over the years with company's like Walmart, Sobeys, Safeway, Coop, Popeye's Supplements, GNC, Magnum Nutraceuticals, US Sports Management, CFL, Anytime Fitness, NAIT and others and if there is one thing I've learned is listen more, talk less, but when you talk be very clear and conscious, as to what you say and the questions you ask. People love when you ask about them. Ask questions about there business, what marketing has been successful for them, what hasn't, what inspired them to start the company, what specific results are they looking for, what are there ideas in having you involved?
You can also check this article on how to start an online business
3. Mail EVERYTHING! I learned this from two friends of mine Clark Bartram and Mike O'Hearn, as they both said if you want to get published in a magazine, mail your high res pics by way of UPS or FEDEX directly to the person in charge. Here is one step further, that I've used with my performance coaching clients, is MAIL your complete package with a hand written note to the person you want to grab attention from. If you want to get sponsored, forget FB messenger, email, linkedin, text message or any tech communication and go the OLD FASHIONED way and STAND OUT! Prepare a professional letter typed out hitting everything from introduction, why you choose there company over anyone else, what you intend to deliver in value, skills you have, basically sell yourself, then write a nice hand written note expressing your appreciation for there time, have a USB stick with your video and some high res printed pics of you. You want this package to BLOW them away and show how serious you really are, don't cheap out and put your pics on a USB stick, get them printed!!! Have at least 3 to 5 nice pics in your package that best represent you.
So to recap, you'll want a professionally typed 1 page letter, a hand written note, a USB stick with your 90 second video and 3 to 5 high resolution images of you and ensure you have it, in a nice package that is delivered by UPS, Fedex or Registered Mail. You want the package delivered with signature, very important. This ensures it doesn't get lost, forgotten or possibly delivered to wrong person and you can track it.
The above is a great starting point to get you in the door, signed and moving forward, but then comes the long term plan, this is a whole new post to ensure your successful long term. If you want to apply for a complimentary performance coaching call to discuss further - click button below. My MISSION is to help fix the gap in our industry around trainers, coaches and fitness entrepreneurs towards truly stepping into there full power, maximizing there business, clients, sales and results, as I've seen far to many highly educated coaches work so hard, yet earn only a few thousand dollars a month and can never get ahead.
Good luck and let me know how it all goes! I'd love to hear from you on either my Instagram (@mindset_matt on mobile) or Facebook page, feel free to drop me a message or any questions you have or sign up for my email list as I'm routinely sharing blog posts like this and new content to help you elevate your inner and outer game, you can sign up HERE and get my NEXT LEVEL Goal Setting Worksheet first.
Mathew Park - Mindset Coach