It’s no secret that times are tough economically. Companies are having issues with inventory and the supply chain. Along with that there are more and more anglers competing for sponsorship dollars. And there are only a handful of anglers who can earn a living from tournament winnings. The rest of us make our money with offseason jobs or by representing sponsors and promoting their products.
For those anglers — and that includes me — who go the sponsorship route there are ways you can increase your value to sponsors and make more money without launching your boat or making a cast. Here are some of them.
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Talk to writers
It’s beyond my understanding why some anglers don’t return writers’ phone calls. It doesn’t take that long to talk to one, and it’ll get you free publicity that will help you brand yourself. Let your sponsors know you’re doing what they’re paying you to do.
We all know that some publications are more prestigious than others. Nevertheless, they all have some value. When it comes to B.A.S.S., though, there isn’t anything out there that’s any better. Yet I have B.A.S.S. writers tell me they have trouble getting in touch with some Elite Series anglers.
The other thing about returning phone calls and cooperating is that it feeds on itself. Publicity generates more publicity. If you are the guy who’s good on short notice, who do you think they’ll call next time they’re up against a deadline?
Work social media
I’m not going to mention any one outlet in particular. They all have their place. Post regularly so it looks like you’re active. But you don’t always have to be the primary source. You can comment on other posts. That will be just as good.
Make sure you mention products when you post. That’s what you’re being paid to do, so do it. You can’t always mention a lot of products in articles or columns, but you sure can do it on social media. Take advantage of that.
One last thing: Keep your posts positive. If you’re angry or frustrated, don’t post. When you say something rude or hateful it stays around forever. And never post about politics or social issues. Your opinion about fishing might matter. Your opinion about politics or social matters doesn’t. Stay in your lane.
One other last thing: Keep you language clean and respectful. For some reason filthy language has become fashionable recently — fashionable with some people anyway. With others, however, it’s a turnoff. That group will think a lot less of you and the companies you represent.
Go the extra mile
When you’re doing a seminar or at a show make sure your clothes are clean and pressed. Help set up the displays and help take them down. You’re not above that.
Wash your boat and always take a minute for an autograph or photo. You’re tired, but the kid who’s alongside you isn’t. He or she is excited. They may only have one chance to meet their hero. Don’t disappoint them. They’ll remember it forever.
Use a media service
I use Advanced Media by Advancedangler.com, and they’re worth every penny I pay them.
They put together monthly numbers that show how many mentions I get, what products I mentioned and where it was all at — print, TV, internet.
That information gives me accurate and honest data to use when I negotiate with my sponsors, and the numbers tell me if I’m leaving one of them out. That lets me fix the issue by mentioning them more often in the immediate future.
It’s very important, however, that the information I get be accurate and timely. Advanced Media does that for me. When I quote a number I’m confident that it’s accurate. What I pay them is not an expense. It’s an investment in my future that pays huge dividends.
The bottom line is you should do what’s necessary to build and keep a successful career. A ticket to the Bassmaster Elite Series is a prestigious thing. Take advantage of it.