The most important way to take advantage of what the Internet can provide is by establishing a personal website. With competition for corporate sponsorship so intense today, having a presence on the worldwide web is something every serious career-oriented fisherman will have to consider in the near future.
If you already have a website, or if you do plan to create one, consider these factors to make it more effective.
Create a Professional Image of Yourself
What message does your website send to visitors? You want it to be one of professionalism, one that creates a lasting impression immediately. Make it easy to navigate from topic to topic, and use professional photography to create interest.
Photos not only mean exposure for your sponsors, but they can also influence the purchasing habits of your fans, since they’ll see product logos on your clothing.
With the Internet spanning the world, you never know what potential sponsor may look at your website. Make sure your site portrays not only a positive image of yourself, but does so innovatively. Out-of-sport sponsors, especially, may have only a vague concept of professional bass fishing, but a well-designed website can give them a much better understanding of the sport.
Promote Your Current Sponsors
Include some details describing your present sponsors and provide links to their sites. If a sponsor has received some industry award or reached an impressive milestone in sales or production, put the details on your website. List your own promotional appearance schedule for these sponsors, as it will show others of your willingness to work for them.
Link With your Sponsors for Added Exposure
Not only should you provide a direct link to the websites of your sponsors, ask them to link directly back to you, too. This will create a greater awareness to the public and give your fan base more reasons to re-visit your site.
Use a Good Design Company
Most bass fishermen don’t have the time to learn the intricacies of website design, so don’t hesitate to hire a professional website design firm. Ask top pros if they have sites, visit them, and contact their designers. Then ask those designers for a list of additional clients, and study their sites, too.
A good web designer will not only produce a quality site initially, but also maintain the site for you, which is critical to the site’s long-term success. A designer will also submit your site to the international search engines (such as Google and Yahoo) so others can find them easily.
Make it Personal
One of the great advantages of a website is that it allows you to provide a personal touch to every site visitor. Consider writing a short note every couple of weeks detailing your fishing experiences, or perhaps you might offer a weekly fishing tip – these could be written 5 or 10 at a time, then sent to your site designer for posting at prescribed intervals.
When a potential sponsorship opportunity arises, make every effort to show them the advantages your site can offer with this personal touch. The bottom line in any sponsorship arrangement is selling a company’s products, and using a personal touch is one of the best ways to do this.