Our no BS take on this subject. A 10 minute worthy read. This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with BKB Bikini Mama.
We get the question, “How do I become a sponsored athlete with Buff Bombshell?” And the honest truth is we take our sponsorships so seriously that we have to really know you as a person. But we wanted to create this post on how you can be a sponsored athlete within the fitness and bodybuilding industry and hopefully give you some tips to implement into your everyday socials for attracting and retaining the right sponsorship for you.
So what does it mean to be a sponsored athlete? Ultimately, it’s about selling products or services and promoting a brand. Some sponsorships will provide free goods to athletes in exchange for market promotion and bigger companies may even provide the sponsored athletes with a salary based on commission per sale or if you hit the jack-pot, you may even get a monthly income and products to promote. But the latter only comes from bigger companies and rules for sponsorship will vary in each company.
In bodybuilding, sponsorships have decreased over the last decade. Why? Well, with the popularity of social media, it appears that anyone can become an influencer with even as little as having 1K followers. This makes it harder for brands to pick the right person for the role. In the 90’s bodybuilders were expected to compete and their earnings were secured by the wins they obtained, that is why so many bodybuilders would compete in multiple shows. Nowadays, we can see sponsored athletes taking a year or two out before entering the stage and it because their earnings are not necessarily secured by competing but by the large followings of over 50K or 100K that they have amassed on social media.
So now you might be asking yourself, “How do I become a sponsored athlete if I don’t have 100K + followers?”. We have compiled a little chart below to show you where you may fall in the influential realm of social media giant known as Instagram. Stop playing girl, we know you have this brand tool so take note.
So now you know where you are placed within the influential realm, but how can you turn your passion into getting paid or known for what you love to do? Read on.
1. Understand Why Companies Want to Sponsor You
We hate to say the F word but it comes down to Financials. Yep. The bottom line is companies will look at athletes who can sell and promote their brand to their target market. Good companies will find athletes who can represent their brand and represent their core values too which allows for both parties to strategically align, which let’s face it, is mutually beneficial if done in the correct way. Companies will perform their own cost/benefit analysis of an athlete to secure representation in what should be mutually beneficial.
2. Your Audience and Following
Simply having a pretty face and image is not enough for Buff Bombshell. You are real person with an online presence and some companies like us will value this authenticity even if you are micro-influencer. Put your best self online, don’t be fake, be raw and real. Vulnerability is in. Filters are out. But do figure out what it is you do, your niche and who you are.
However, some companies put more stock into your base following and will have influential restriction meaning that following counts. The more followers you have, equals more sales and you get the point.
If you have a large audience then great, you are clearly popular online and have a developed a social presence. If you are still working on growing your audience then do not be discouraged, our top tip is to be your authentic self and to work on your brand as best as you can through various channels. One I thing will say is to, NEVER PURCHASE YOUR FOLLOWERS. This will only hinder your organic growth online even if it makes you look popular online.
3. Show Up
If you want to be seen then show up online. Basically, creating consistent, engaging, niche content online will help you to be seen. Brands are less likely to sponsor individuals to represent their brand when posts are posted every few weeks or say, six days. More to come on this.
And if your sponsored, show up for your companies. Basically, please post content as per your contract or show up to events or photoshoots as stated. It goes both ways. See our athletes below whom we have worked with for a year now.
3. Know Your Worth. Not All Sponsorships Are Created Equal
We mentioned above about sponsorships but one thing we see is the target of discount code mania. Have you ever received a random message from a clothing company or other asking you to DM another page to secure a discount code by purchasing X items? THIS IS NOT A SPONSORSHIP. You are technically a CUSTOMER. If you do not actually believe in or know about the brand and you do this, then you need to set yourself up for a sponsorship intervention talk stat!
Figure out what you will accept as either an click-bait target DM search, an ambassador or a sponsored athlete.
Buff Bombshell actually does have an ambassador programme, where you do get a discount code, but we select our ambassadors based on who we think will represent the brand and earn a sponsorship position for 2023. We do not force you to purchase items from us – this is not our goal – rather, we want to know if we can work with you. Our ambassador programme is now open for 2022 and we invite you to apply here.
4. Reach Out
If you know about a brand that you enjoy seeing posts from and you believe in their message and service then reach out to them. Or even reach out to a current sponsored athlete and get more information on the brand.
If you do reach out, please don’t just ask to be sponsored as most companies will not see value in this request, instead, our top tip is to have the following answers prepared in about 200 words when reaching out:
- What is your audience and who do you influence?
- What is your goal for 2022?
- How can you help the brand?
- How do you think the brand can help you?
- How can the brand contact you? Include an email and phone number.
Do not dismiss the small brands and reach out to the super giants too. There is no harm in trying. After all, how many job applications have you sent out only to receive a no, maybe, etc. It all takes time so please be patient with a brand who is not yet ready to take you on-board. And always be courteous with your reply, brands will remember ‘difficult’ conversations.
Our last tip is to find people online you can collaborate with in your niche area of expertise and create your own opportunities. If you appear to be seen as team member then companies will be more likely to consider you for future opportunities. You might enjoy doing things by yourself by yourself for now but people are what make companies flourish.
We hope you enjoyed this post and if you did, please make sure to give us a follow, a like and check out some more of our free resources on Buff Bombshell! This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with BKB Bikini Mama (see what we did there – hint hint – get collaborating!).