Create opportunities for people to miss out.

There is a level of scarcity attached to most things in life. There are only a certain number of hours in the day. There is only so much work you can do. There’s only so much space on a race car.

When you think about things that you spend money on that aren’t life-sustaining necessities – concert tickets, pit passes, funky t-shirts, bacon tacos (arguably not life-sustaining) – you realize that many of these things are purchased because of FOMO. The fear of missing out.

The fear of missing out isn’t just about competition or keeping up with the Joneses – it’s generally not about owning the same amazing things other people have. It’s about missing out on an experience or advantage that you could have benefited from.

If this fear is present in your audience, you can sell. Whether it’s fans buying t-shirts or marketing partners buying appearances and advertising space, when people understand that there is scarcity around something they want, they are willing to pay more for it. And they do it faster to ensure that they get it before it runs out.

The catch is: what you’re doing needs to be good. Better than average. The best, in fact, to your audience.

It’s obvious that the better your work is, the higher prices you can charge and the faster your schedule books up. I’ve experienced this first-hand – recently, I’ve been surprised by clients offering to pay more than what I normally charge just to ensure that they get the spot on my schedule that they want.

Think that would never happen in racing? Think again. That’s what inspired this blog post – hearing that a marketing partner, out of the blue, wants to pay more than asked this year to ensure that he maintained his spot on in a marketing program.

The key is that your audience has to want what you’re selling badly, and they have to know that they’re either competing with someone else for it or there’s a limited quantity available.

Have a really sick t-shirt design? Label them ‘limited edition’ and only print 100. Shooting amazing videos for race teams? You’ve only got so many time slots and race weekends. Make that clear in your marketing.

People pony up the (big) bucks when they’re afraid of missing out on getting what they want. If you’ve got something they want, own that.

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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.