Creating Yourself Into a Outdoor Industry Brand | Bone Collector Style
Jobs In the Hunting, Fishing, and Outdoor Industry | Creating Yourself Into A Brand
Getting a job with an existing company, is obviously the easiest way to get into the industry full time. Even if you have a great new hunting or fishing show, odds are not in your favor to jump into the industry full time…at least if you still plan on putting food on the table and a roof over your head. But eventually the stars can align and you could have a successful show, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a career in the industry. For many of the biggest names in Outdoor TV, it comes down to individual endorsements in order to call the hunting and fishing industry a full time job. Though their show or shows may have a large effect on their endorsements, it is also about how the individual adds value to a company, brand, or product. If you plan to run with a new outdoor show, and you want to do it full time, you will need sponsors to also offer you individual endorsements. This means that you are your own strongest brand and asset. So how do you turn that into actual dollars?
Be True to Yourself, and Your Sponsors
The worst thing you can do is fake your passion and commitment to a sponsor or product. This can be extremely hard at the beginning, when cash is tight, but in the long run it will pay off. The consumer is getting smarter, and if they can tell you are not fully dedicated to a product, it won’t just hurt your personal brand, but will likely negatively impact the person paying you to promote it.
Look for long-term relationships, even if you have to start off on Pro Staff and work your way up, if you believe in what you are preaching you are much more likely to become monetarily endorsed. There will be meetings, products, and cash you will walk away from in your search for the right partners, but people will look at you a lot stronger as a brand than if you jumped on the first cash flashed at you. This doesn’t mean you can only work with the “largest companies” in the industry, just the ones you believe in.
It is also critical to stick by your sponsors. Far too often you see people jump around, some of this is for good reason. But if it’s just because there was a larger offer on the table, that may not be good enough. If you are a diehard user of a specific broadhead from a smaller company, and a larger company offers you more money to use theirs, you have to ask yourself if you will feel as passionate about their product. If you just murmured “yes, because they will pay me more money” then you don’t belong in this business. Loyalty goes further than almost anything else in this business, and sponsors will look for that out of you.
Be a 2:1 Type of Brand
The best way to ensure you will have a recurring partnership with a company, is to give them a return on their investment…which is you. A great rule of thumb is be a 2:1 type of brand. This means give the company 2-times the revenue that they pay you. In some cases, this is difficult to track. But with the advent of many online systems, like Google Analytics, you can show them direct traffic to their website from your website and social media platforms.
For instance, if company “Hunt” invests $5,000 into you to promote their products, then set your goal at $10,000 in return. That doesn’t mean $10,000 in product sales necessarily, as a visitor to a site or email captured by company “Hunt” is worth something. Your goal should be to bring them their ROI in a variety of ways. Be able to justify and explain this to them when you sit down to discuss next year’s “renewal.” Bring hard stats from your platforms to theirs, and make sure the numbers are factual and not inflated (they are too smart for that).
Creating yourself into a brand in the outdoor industry is not easy, but you know your strengths better than anyone else. Be truthful and loyal, and make sure you show the company a ROI. If you do this, then you are on your way to making a career out of your passion, hunting or fishing.
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