Valuing Your Time & Reach



 

I have had this conversation with many...do you accurately attach value to your brand/business?
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When I think back to growing up as an athlete in my early 20's, I definitely wanted to win, but I also wanted to look the part. You know... logo's on the chest, looking Professional, sponsored, fast....awesome! Great for a poster on the wall, or a picture in a frame. We all dreamt about it and most still do!!
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I didn't realize it in 2004 and although we didn't have social media, it was a no brainer for a business to offer some sort of free product or a moderate discount in exchange for exposure through a big company billboard on our chest and a seminar or two.
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Today, with the cost of buying advertisement on social media or hiring someone to do the work to promote a brand, it's even more of a no brainer to offer a discount to athletes, teams and coaches.
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We see this magnified with the Ambassador and Elite Teams. Athletes get a kit, some product to try or buy at a discount, and a code to share. The athlete then must convert their social media channels to market the company, wear the brand and post regularly.... The team managers then market the number of views, likes and click-through's to partner company's in exchange for $$ and those samples/discounts, while taking a cut along the way. It's successful!
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So why post about all this?
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Although this sport is a passion for all of us, it's also a business and I wish I would have had a business mentor with me along the way. I am now coaching athletes who are getting to this point in their career and BBMC is a great captive audience for business' to sell great products.
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If you are an athlete chasing the dream, a coach, or a team with sponsors, make sure you value your time and your reach. This doesn't mean you don't give your time/reach away sometimes, it means you don't give your time/reach away, all the time.
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Partner with those who add value and with whom you see a long lasting relationship. Be careful about putting logo's on your kits, tents and other items if they are going to be used for more than a season.
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Get a company to see the value in you. In addition to logos and social media, consider how else you can add value and get creative (set yourself apart!)... remember that when you are talking to a company, you are a marketing tool to sell product or service. Believe in what you do and ask for a fair exchange for what you have built. My personal opinion is that when one does better, everyone should do better.
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The last part of this is if one piece of your business is professional, make sure everything else is as well. Image matters, the details matter and put yourself in the shoes of everyone you impact and reach. If you are an athlete posting to IG about your racing, health, training and products on Thursday and then you post about shenanigans on Friday, it doesn't look good. Choose how you want to use your social media and consider the image/impact.
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I hope this unsolicited advice is useful. Everyone's situation is different and I think that having a business sense can go a long ways in building a sustainable career in racing, coaching or a managing a team!
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Good luck!

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