You’re probably used to thinking LinkedIn is a social media platform for business professionals, which is exactly why every motocross rider who’s seeking sponsorship should actively be on it.
I’ve been using LinkedIn for the better part of the last six years, and during that time I’ve noticed one of the best opportunities for motocross riders to separate themselves from everyone else, and get on the radar of the people making decisions at the brands and businesses you want to be sponsored by.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE USING LINKEDIN
One of the most challenging aspects of sponsorship is getting your foot in the door with companies - if you can’t get past the first initial contact, then your chance of showing that company of why you're worth their time (and money!) is over.
That’s why the opportunity for motocross riders using on LinkedIn is so great.
LinkedIn is typically for business people looking to connect with other business people - everyone from owners, marketing managers and brand managers, to sales reps and storeman, are using the platform looking for opportunities.
Some of these roles include people who make the decisions on sponsorship, and you could be putting yourself right in front of their eyes by using the platform strategically.
It’s a chance to make yourself known to the companies you want to be sponsored by, so when you contact them, they already know who you are and that you're worth their time even looking at your sponsorship proposal.
Standing out in front of the ‘decision-makers’ on Facebook and Instagram is extremely difficult as these platforms are saturated with riders doing the same things, and these people aren't necessarily using these platforms in a personal sense to look for opportunities to grow their brand as they do on LinkedIn.
Only a handful of riders are on LinkedIn, and almost all of them are not actively using it.
This is your opportunity to get a leg up on them.
HOW TO USE LINKEDIN FOR MX RIDERS
So I’ve told you why you should be using LinkedIn, and now I’m going to share how you should be using it.
The most important thing before getting started is that you need to be regularly active - you can’t just post every now and then and expect results - you need to be posting at least 1-2 times a week to make yourself known and be a familiar face to the ‘decision-makers’.
It’s also important not to replicate the content you’re posting to Facebook and Instagram - the context of LinkedIn is different, so you can still use the same images and video, but the text caption needs be tailored for the platform.
The key is to showcase the why and how - why did you make this post on Facebook/Instagram, newsletter, or media feature, why and how did it reach X amount of people, and how did it serve a purpose
Showing the process of why and how you go about your content, website, newsletter, or getting featured in the media, provides an insight on the lengths and effort you’re going to build your profile and/or represent your current sponsors.
Which, speaking of, is something you should also be showcasing on LinkedIn. It’s the perfect platform to display how you’re serving your current sponsors, how you’re providing them value, how you’re engaging with them and their customers, and how you’re going above and beyond to ensure they benefit from the partnership.
Here’s an Instagram post example:
Using the same video, here’s how I would word the caption for LinkedIn:
"This is a how-to video where I engaged long-time sponsor Westeffex. My bike was due for a fresh look, and I saw it as the perfect opportunity for my followers to learn about the brand, as well as getting some valuable advice on installing a graphics kit.
"The video has now recorded 841 views on IGTV and over 2700 views on YouTube. They’ve benefited from the extended reach with over 100 direct link clicks to their website, and they’ve also been able to use the video as content on their own website and social media channels."
This strategy will start to plant ideas in other brands and companies - if they’re seeing that you’re doing something unique to serve a sponsor, they could be seeing opportunities of how it could work for their business as well.
You might think this comes across as boasting or tooting your own horn, although this type of content is common and ‘accepted’ on LinkedIn.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF USING LINKEDIN
The ultimate goal of using LinkedIn to strengthen your sponsorship campaign is to put yourself in front of the eyes of the people who are making decisions at the brands and businesses you want support from.
It’s not about reaching more people, it’s about reaching the right people.