The past few years, well 20 in my case, the world of rodeo hasn’t changed much inside of the arena.  I mean, they don’t tie near as rank of goats that we did in my time.  (I listened to my mom say that to me for years.) Back when Bullfrog was more than just the name of my company.  He was the horse that helped me earn my degree.  He carried me to the National High School Finals and then again to the College Finals.  Woah!  It’s so easy for me to fall back and remember the good ol’ days…but, enough about that. 

One thing that has changed is access that each and every person, not just athlete or agent, but person has to large audiences and friend lists. 

Social media and the access that it has provided offers a leg up to every Joe Shmo.

 

Let’s talk about why you should have strong Social Media Presence-

1.Create your personal brand.

You know what a brand in our world is.  A mark that identifies ownership.  It is like creating your own brand.  What do you stand for?  What do you want to be represented by?  What do you want to be associated with?  You can establish your personal brand in your mind, on paper, or in the content you create and what you share.  For example, if your faith is an important part of who you are and you choose to share that through original content or sharing others’ posts, that becomes one part of your personal brand.  Another part would be the event you compete in.  You can share all sorts of content on that piece.

2. Increase your fan base.

Through consistent original content your fan base will begin to grow.  By posting pictures and what not, (tune in later for specific ideas to do this) you will begin to not only gain followers and likes, but you will see more engagement on your pages, too!  Interacting with your followers is crucial to building the fan base.  Rodeo fans are loyal.  And, they want to know more about you and more about your trials and tribulations.  They will be there to cheer you on and keep you going.  Use that!  And, use them to continue to build your fan base.  If they like what you post, they will share it to their audience, too!

3. Provide exposure to endorsements/sponsors.

A wrap and a hooey, brings us to our main goal- keeping you on the road to the next one and working towards that Gold Buckle.  Your personal brand is what endorsements and sponsors will want to be associated with. These pieces need to be positive to better represent who you are and who the companies you represent are.  Just like you ride for your brand, once you start accumulating patches, you ride for their brand, as well.  Further, back in the day all you had to offer sponsors in return was the benefit of using your shirt/trailer/truck as a moving billboard.  Sure, 10,000 miles a year is a lot to offer but these days, you better have a good digital reach to offer potential sponsors as well. If you already have a strong following on social media, it is likely that it is the same group of people that potential sponsors would also like to get their message in front of.  This can be used as a negotiating tool when it comes to signing contracts.

Social Media has given the modern cowboy an opportunity for edge and exposure that wasn’t there prior. 

Building an audience was, at one time, business speak.  It was a sales and marketing goal for large companies. It most certainly wasn’t part of being on the road driving to rodeos and trying to make a living.  What originated as a social tool has become an avenue for anyone to build their own personal brand at an affordable, if not free, price.  A personal brand isn’t new by any means.  Professional football players and other sports, as well as actors, actresses and music superstars across the globe have been building their personal brand for decades.  Why has it taken the sport of rodeo so long to jump on board?  Marketing for rodeo has always been the job of the local committees with a goal of getting butts in the seats. However, to better establish the sport and to help cowboys and cowgirls get down the road, building a personal brand, and thus a strong following, has become essential.  Rodeo is more than just business on the production end.  You must also run your competition and travels as a business, too.

While there are many reasons to avoid social media, personally, the benefits for your business far outweigh the negative aspects…if you limit your time browsing!  Of course, who has time to waste on facebook when you are on the road chasing Gold Buckle Dreams?  I won’t go into how much of a time sucker it can become as I am supposed to be telling you why it’s good! 

I imagine right about now you are thinking less about why you should have a strong social media presence and more about how you need to enter and plan for the next rodeo run.  Whether you are you are licking your wounds from a rough summer run or celebrating your successes, you still have a lot on your mind.  This may possibly be the last thing and more likely not even be a thing on your to do list.  However, to make your journey easier and take some ease off the financial aspect of it, your social media shouldn’t take a backseat. 

What happens #outsidethearena is just as important. 

Get it on your mind.