There are times when I am optimistic. I have high hopes for what we can do for this sport and with this sport, as racers, promoters and fans. Some might say my hopes are too high, too optimistic.
Some might even call me naive.
And this weekend at the Dirt Classic, I had my eyes opened to how, in a way, those people would be right.
See, when I’m writing, I often imagine that when I push ‘publish’ on a blog post, it disappears from my computer and flies out into the universe, never to return. And, while I truly hope that it helps someone in their quest to improve their team or track, I don’t imagine them reading it and thinking about where it came from.
I imagine that you like the words. You appreciate the words. You take the words and make great things with them. Like race cars. And race tracks. And racing businesses.
For me, promoting a blog post is all about putting my work in front of people and what that can do to help people. It’s not about putting my face in front of people.
On Saturday, I walked up to many people that I expected to introduce myself to, only to find that they were introducing themselves to me. Or, once I said my name, they talked to me at length about my writing. Or my clients.
It was mildly terrifying, in the best possible way. If that makes sense.
The thing is – I know the numbers. I know how many people subscribe to my email list, like my Facebook page or hop onto my website every day. I’m grateful for every single one of those eyeballs, and I hope to serve every brain that they’re connected to.
But I was somewhat naive to the extent that my name and face are attached to the consumption of this work. And, for my own good, I will probably continue to be naive to that fact.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could order racing success off of a menu? Not just what size steak you want, but all of the other side dishes, too. My plate would probably look differently than others, and so would yours.
I would order: ‘building race teams and tracks’ with an equal helping of ‘promoting events’ and ‘activating marketing partners’. But please, hold the fame.
Not that I’m famous. Not by any means. But the reality is that for many of us, the ability to be a part of racing, and do it at a high level, is directly tied to our ability to promote ourselves.
Promotion = rides. Promotion = marketing partners. Promotion = fans.
Promotion = all of the things that we need to race.
Promotion, though, isn’t natural to all of us. And sometimes I forget that I’m no different – like you, my success is also tied directly to my willingness to put myself out there and have people know me. Not just my writing.
That’s why I won’t stop promoting. In fact, I’ll make an effort to do more. And do it better.
You can’t just strap into a race car and do what you love with no one watching. You can pretend the fans aren’t there while you’re racing, and I can pretend no one is reading this while I’m writing, but the reality is that, if we want to be successful, we have to have fans who know about our work.
And to know our work, often, is to know us. Thanks to everyone who reminded me of that this weekend. I truly am blessed.
Now, go tell your story. And I’ll do the same.