A man with tools (and a plan).

If Dave Despain called today and said he’d like to feature you on his show tomorrow, could you make money from that opportunity?

Most people would say ‘yes’.

But, even though thousands and thousands of people will have seen your face, your nameracing sponsorship opportunities and, hopefully, your message…the publicity itself doesn’t pay. You won’t make a penny directly from being on television with Dave Despain – or Oprah herself, for that matter.

Sure, that’s obvious to most of us. But our career or business will improve based on that publicity, right?

You have to have tools in place to capture the opportunity. Or else your television appearance will soon be a distant memory with no dollars to show for it.

One of the biggest differences between those who are already successful and those who aren’t is that they have a plan in place to capture opportunities.

Most of them have:

  • Social media accounts
  • A navigable website
  • A product, like apparel or an event ticket, and a way for people to purchase it
  • A way for potential partners to get in touch with them

And the ones that are really doing it right make all these things work together with an integrated plan.

See, opportunities (like t-shirt sales and potential sponsors) are lost if you don’t have some way to capture them in the moment.

Humor me this scenario:

When an announcer says your name over the loudspeaker, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the stands that hear it. As soon as he or she is done talking about you, people will begin to forget.

But many of them will be sitting there on their smartphones, checking to see if you have a Twitter account in between races.  If they’re inclined to a different network, they might check Facebook or Instagram. They’ll look at what they see, and decide to follow you or not follow you.

If they’re still interested, they may go home and pull up your website the next day. They’ll check out your stats, read your latest news and click through your pictures.

If they’re still interested –you’ve created a real fan – then, after a few weeks or months, they’ll look for an opportunity to support what you’re doing in a bigger way. They’ll see if they can buy your apparel, help you win a social-proof contest or sponsor your team.

See how that timeline works? Almost every deal I’ve ever personally worked on has gone done a strikingly similar path.

The key is to have those pieces in place. If you’re not on social media, they may be interested enough in you to search for your website. Or vice versa. Don’t have apparel? Don’t have a sponsorship program in place? You’re likely going to miss out on opportunities to support your dream.

It’s intimidating, whether you’re just starting out or have been in the game for a while, to create and maintain a lot of tools that don’t directly make you go faster.

So just start. 

It won’t be perfect – you’ll change it many, many times – but you have to start somewhere. And then keep building.

Xo. Kristin

P.S. Just starting out? Or just starting to build? Share what you need support for – a Twitter handle, a Facebook page, whatever you’d like – and I bet the community (and I!) can give you some love.

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About the author

Kristin Swartzlander Kristin Swartzlander is passionate about applying business sense to racing 'nonsense' in hopes of growing the sport of dirt track racing. She is a business strategist who works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them learn how to use public relations, marketing and social media to achieve their goals. Learn more about social media, marketing and racing sponsorship on the DirtyMouth blog.