Did your middle school self ever imagine this rom-com scenario: You’re at the school dance, and even though you’ve been shy and awkward in the corner, the most popular person asks you to dance? Even though you had no confidence?
Sponsorships are not like that at all.
Turns out, confidence is a key factor in your success. This is true of lots of moments in life, but most especially when you’re asking for funding. If you’re not confident in yourself as a racer and marketer, your sponsors won’t see you as the diamond in the rough you might think you are.
Building your confidence in yourself and bringing that energy to your sponsorship meetings doesn’t have to be scary. Here are my best tips on how to be more confident when asking for funding:
Check out your stats for instant confidence
Check yourself out! Your wins, your hours committed, your Instagram followers, your engagement—you’ve got it going on. As you’re gathering your numbers for your pitch decks, remind yourself what those numbers mean. You know what you’re doing. You’ve got some hard facts to prove it!
You’ve proven that you can sell products you believe in, that you can translate hours worked into races won and dollars made, and that you can bring your audience wherever you want them to go.
As cheesy as it sounds: Believe in yourself.
Lock in your niche
When I’ve felt not-so-confident in sponsorship meetings, one of the key reasons is because I already knew that this brand and my own niche just weren’t aligned. We didn’t share the same values, my audience wasn’t exactly in their desired age bracket, or I just didn’t think the product would be a hit with my fans. The most confident I’ve grown in understanding my audience and my place in the industry, the more confident I’ve been in selling myself to potential sponsors.
Do your prep work
No one likes walking into a conversation unprepared. Winging it isn’t a great feeling. Do your due diligence to research the brand thoroughly, be proud of the presentation you create, and know what you’re going to ask when it comes to funding. You’re more in control of the meeting than you might realize. Outline your best selling points (and remember to believe them!) and keep the meeting focused on the best of you. Having a solid (yet flexible) plan for your sponsorship meeting shows a ton of confidence and professionalism, and will help you feel more settled, too.
Confidence really is key, especially when asking for funding. You have to lead others into a relationship with you; how you view yourself is how others will perceive you, too. If you bring confidence, sponsors will follow suit.