Riders, quit asking people to “DONATE” – It makes you appear pathetic and you are not

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Riders, quit asking people to “DONATE” – It makes you appear pathetic and you are not

If you have the word “Donate” on your website or marketing material, as soon as you are done reading this article, DELETE that dirty little word and never use it again.

Asking someone to “Donate” to your riding career is ridiculous. People give donations to good causes and charities to help people in need and make the world a better place. You are not in need, you are choosing to participate in one of the most expensive sports on the planet.

When you are riding around on a horse worth thousands, in a saddle worth a few thousand, and carting your horse around with a truck and trailer worth thousands…Do you really think that you should be asking people to “Donate”?

Professional sports team – that is you.
It is necessary as an athlete to solicit support. Using the correct words and approach is the key to raising money for a “professional sports team.”

Regardless of what level you ride at, you can position yourself and your horses as a “professional sports team.” Team (insert your last name here) is a professional sports team that includes you, your horses, and who ever else contributes to your sporting success – grooms, farriers, vets, coaches, etc.

You must market yourself and your team. However, you need to position yourself as a solid and worthy investment when you are trying to attract owners, sponsors, or cash for a variety of reasons such as trying to fund shows outside of your geographical area.

How should you make the ask?
The words you choose are critical to setting the stage for your professional riding success. Never appear desperate. You are awesome and being part of your team will be an exciting endeavour for all who come aboard. Here are a couple of examples on how to engage prospects.

Example: Owner request
Have you ever dreamed of owning a professional sports team? Well you can. Jane Doe Eventing offers you the opportunity to own part of a professional team and with an investment of $5000 and a monthly maintenance fee of $300 you can own a share in Black Beauty.

With your investment you get to participate in the exciting sport of Eventing and cheer your horse on at all the competitions, live or online. As an owner you will get monthly updates, pictures, course walks, website presence, trailer acknowledgement, etc, etc. (Include whatever benefits you can deliver and make their experience as an owner fun.)

Example: Raise money for event travel
Have you ever dreamed of owning a professional sports team? Well you can certainly join our team and with your support, Black Beauty will make his European debut at the 2016 Badminton Horse Trials in the UK. Yes, you can be part of the team that competes overseas next year.

For your generous support, you will get a signed picture, team jacket, team status on our website, acknowledgement on our trailer, text updates throughout the competition, etc, etc. (Again, whatever benefits you can deliver to make this investor feel important.)

Appear like a winner not a whiner
Do you understand the shift in thinking and approach? Don’t sound pathetic. Sound like a winner. This is a sport and people want to be attached to achievers not whiners. People will invest in you if you demonstrate that you are a responsible professional.

Sport is fun and Eventing is an adrenaline rush that fans get excited about. Promote yourself, don’t beg. The key words to use are “Invest” and “Support.”

So go now and remove the word “Donate” and never use it with Eventing again. You are worth “Investment” and “Support” just like other professional athletes. It is up to you to promote yourself as such.

If you need professional assistance with your rider and business marketing, send me an email. We are expanding our client services at Sable Marketing with the launch of Athlete-Biz to include rider marketing programs to help riders like you create a strategy and marketing collateral to improve your success attracting owners and sponsors. I would love the opportunity to work with you and help your team achieve the professional image and success you deserve.

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