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Race Drivers: Overcoming The Fear Of Marketing Yourself
Fear can be a very ineffective and harmful thing. I have experienced this many times in my life and in my career. Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of ridicule or ridicule. Fear of failure. Fear of doing something new on your own. Fear of not doing something right. Fear of rejection.
As a race driver, you’re stuck in a very powerful machine going at high speeds against other determined drivers with powerful machines — and can crash, overturn, catch fire, and possibly get injured at any time. People who don’t understand sometimes think they’re crazy, don’t they? But you can put that fear out of your mind every week and take action – why? Because you like race. It’s your passion. You put fear out of your mind because you are confident in what you do and you are determined to win.
When it comes to marketing and promotion, a lot of race drivers tell me they don’t want to do it because they just get rejected and get rejected by potential sponsors, so they give up. Or they hire people to do it for them with little or no results. Or they don’t know how. This leads to a constant struggle financially to keep running every week. Then your emotions can sometimes be stressful and frustrating.
I understand where you are coming from! I know what it’s like to have a passion for something and you want to continue it or move on to the next step – but you’re just stuck – and afraid that if you try and fail, you’re going to be worse than before. That is fear. Fear is what keeps us from succeeding in anything.
As you market and promote yourself as a driver to fans and sponsors in an effort to attract funding for your racing – ask yourself these questions:
Who or what is holding you back?
Not sure how to start?
Afraid of failing?
Don’t understand how marketing works?
Why can’t I just run and sponsors find me?
Or is this you:
I just love driving and I’m not interested in marketing.
Even when I try to preach I don’t really get anywhere.
I’m too busy to market and promote – maybe I can find someone to do it for me.
I am very shy and not the outgoing type. I’ll leave the marketing to other people.
I don’t like looking like I’m asking for handouts.
I don’t like to promote myself it makes me look arrogant.
I’m afraid to ask for help because I might look incompetent.
Marketing costs money – I have to put everything I’ve got into my race car.
I don’t have enough faith in my abilities and no one wants to sponsor me.
This fear is talking to you. working against you. Stopping you from moving forward. You have to change your mindset. Just like you strap on that race car to go for the win and you put fear out of your mind – you must do the same in marketing. Approach it the same way you do your racing.
Open your mind to learning – making changes, asking for help – integrating yourself into the community and connecting more with fans – you’ll be surprised at how much comes back to you!
You can’t do what you fear and you can’t do what you don’t know. You know you need money to race. You know it takes good sponsors and souvenir sales to have a big fanbase. But how do you get it? How do you start and follow it?
1.) Change your mindset – approach marketing like you would when you enter a competition – focus on winning and don’t give up. If you have a failure, fix the problem and go for it again. Once you land that first sponsor – you get the same euphoria you get when you win a race and it motivates you to keep going.
2.) Educate yourself. Learn what you can about marketing and promotion, just like building a good shock or setting up a good race car, get ahead of the competition, get your marketing edge!
3.) Seek Mentors – Seek out other drivers who have been successful in their marketing and ask for advice, just as you would from those who are doing well at a particular track or series.
4.) Step away from the racing toolbox a few days a week and use your marketing toolbox like phone, email, social networks and actual face-to-face networking.
5.) Eliminate negativity and outdated ideas about marketing, promotion and acquiring sponsorships – approach it with a positive attitude. Erase the old stuff from your brain and start fresh.
6.) Just do it. Jump in with both feet – cold water will eventually become comfortable! The more you do it the more it becomes part of you and it’s easy to do if you make it a routine.
7.) Be creative. You know the things you enjoy as part of your marketing. Host a charity golf game with local business owners, or take a hunting trip For young racers, set up a group trip with kids and parents or kid-friendly businesses in your community to go karting or even throw a big pizza party at one of your races. For female drivers you could do something with female business owners, like a charity fashion show.
8.) Get more help with your race car so you can spend more time marketing and promoting yourself and your race team. Find local mechanics or high school students at a vocational school for mechanics or automotive and see if they want to volunteer on a race team – give them a crew shirt and pit pass, race tickets for their families. You’d be surprised who will be willing to help just for the experience!
9.) Have some fun with your marketing and you’ll enjoy doing it! Get your good friends involved and make it part of your social life. You’ll be surprised how many more friends you’ll make, fans you’ll get, and sponsors will start seeking you out if they see that their customers have an enjoyable experience being around you! Before you know it you will be enjoying marketing and promotion and you will find it rewarding and fun!
10.) Fear? what fear Race drivers are fearless. Go for it! You can do it!
Some of my favorite quotes about fear:
“The only thing to fear is fear itself” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Fear is educated in us, and we can be educated if we will”.
– Carl Augustus Menninger
“Fear is as deep as the mind allows”.
– Japanese proverb
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience where you really stop to fear in the face. You must do what you think you can’t do”.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit at home and worry about it. Go out and get busy”.
– Dale Carnegie
“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built ships, professionals built the Titanic”.
“Faith and fear cannot coexist.” – Jackie Pegram (my mentor and Bible study teacher)
I had to face my own fears in my PR and marketing career. When I was new to the NASCAR scene in the early 90’s – I was able to find mentors and learn from the best who were willing to help you learn the ropes. It gave me the confidence I needed to do a good job for my drivers, sponsors and the team.
I am here to tell you that I have conquered many fears. I have been in your shoes. I have consistently conquered my fears so that I can grow and move towards more success.
I will not let anything stop me from my dreams and goals. Many tried to hold me, tried to push me. I have also experienced heartbreak, failure, sadness and rejection many times over the years in my career. I cross them and erase all negativity from my mind. I learned to change my mindset. I will just keep my eyes on my goal and not be held back by fear or insecurity. My goal is to share my knowledge, life and career lessons, my successes, my experience and passion for marketing with all of you. I am dedicated to helping racers reach their dreams and goals – helping you overcome your fears and find success through marketing. Your success is my success. Eliminate fear, dispel old myths, ignore external or internal negativity – and let’s make it happen! I’m with you all the way!
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