We’re only a little way into a potential season of no racing but I think we’re already going a little stir-crazy being away from the roar of race cars. At least some of you have cars to work on. I’m stuck in my home office surrounded by pictures and trophies with no prospect of seeing a real-life race car for a while yet.
But, actually, in this racecar-less time, there’s a lot of opportunity.
How many times have you put off reading Get Paid to Race because you’ve had a race car to prep? Or do you neglect your social media during the week because you have a day job to get to? Maybe you always wanted to try your hand at sim racing to improve your skill and increase reach for your sponsors.
You might be at home looking after children, or caring for vulnerable people, or you might still be at work. In which case, your days might not be as free as some people’s but you should still be able to find some time to get on with those things that often get pushed to one side when it comes to the other racecar stuff you need to do.
So whether you’re twiddling your thumbs, or just want to do something productive with your spare time, here are some things you can do while motorsport is on pause.
There’s no shortage of athletes and trainers posting home workout videos on social media. If you want to add some race-driver-specific moves into your routine, take a look at this interview with driver trainer Dean Fouache.
Research potential sponsors
It might not be the time to secure a six-figure deal but it’s certainly the time to get a headstart on finding leads and doing the research needed to come up with a compelling pitch. Try to focus on a business’ audience, its goals, and how you might be able to help.
Read a book
Whether you’re reading (or re-reading) Get Paid to Race, are picking up a book on sales, or are teaching yourself the intricacies of social media, this is a good time to get reading.
Below are some of my recommended books for racing drivers:
Four-Hour Work Week – Great for those of you looking to start a business or who just want to automate and streamline some of your sponsorship work.
You Are a Badass at Making Money – A lot of racers see money as the enemy. This book will give you a more positive outlook, something that’s really important when it comes to searching for sponsorship.
The Miracle Morning – Do you want to improve your productivity, mindset and daily routine? Read this.
Way of the Wolf – The only sales book you’ll ever need.
Take a course
If you’re quite quiet or need to find something to do with the time you usually spend pitching, working on your car or racing, it could be a good time to invest in a course.
Video editing, social media, design. There are so many options available to you.
If you’ve had your eye on one of the Racing Mentor courses, you can see the full list here.
Use the code CV19 to get 40% off Six Weeks to Success.
Phone leads and contacts
It’s important to stay in touch with your friends, prospects and existing sponsors during this time. Even though racing may have stopped for the time being, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to the people you’ve been working with.
Give existing sponsors a call to check in and see if there’s anything you can do for them.
If you’re worried about talking to sponsors in case they ask for their money back, take a look at this article.
It’s also important that you stay in touch with those businesses and people you were hoping would be sponsors one day. A phone or video call is a good way to continue to build rapport without the stress of an upcoming pitch.
It’s wise to hold off on pitching right now as the uncertainty is making most businesses more cautious than ever. Sponsorship will not be high on their list of priorities. (This is very generally speaking, if you do your research and determine that now is the perfect time for a business to sponsor you, make your case and go for it.) But even if you’re not pitching, you can still start building relationships.
Take steps to connect with business owners on social media, exchange some messages and start to build that rapport.
Refresh your website
Website looking a bit dated? Missing the latest results? Need to make it more sponsor-friendly? Now’s the time to make those edits and get it ready for when you do start racing/pitching again.
Work on your 2021 sponsorship proposal
People always ask me when the best time to start pitching is. The earlier the better. This gives you time to do your research, come up with a compelling pitch and negotiate with sponsors.
By working on your 2021 proposal now, you give yourself a massive headstart and will be able to hit the ground running when the world starts moving again.
Don’t forget, your proposal should focus on what you can do for a business. Avoid talking about yourself too much in those early pages.
Follow up on old pitches
I’m not saying you should follow up asking if a decision has been made but just following up to check in how the prospect and their business is doing at this tough time will help keep the relationship alive.
Do something creative
Quiet time during lockdown doesn’t have to be about work. Take some time to yourself to do something creative. Play an instrument, draw your dream car, pick up a paintbrush, do some writing.
Out of recession can come big things (hello Facebook, Google, Airbnb, and Uber). If you have an idea that could disrupt an industry in some way, it could be a good time to diversify. Even if you don’t have a disruptive idea, this could be a good chance to do something new that could benefit your career and your racing.
So many drivers complain that those who have a big budget only do so because they take it out of their businesses. So why don’t you start a business?
Whether you want to dabble in property, start a video agency, invent a helpful product, or write a book, now’s the time to start laying the foundations for those projects.
I know not everyone has oodles of time during lockdown but if you can get a little bit done each day, you’re putting yourself in a good position to hit the ground running once we’re allowed out again.
What are you doing to improve yourself and your sponsorship chances during this strange time? Let us know over on our Facebook community.