|Carolina Granados (pictured) runs an awesome website:|
You're selling yourself. In order to be a success, you need to set out realistic goals, and then you need to get started on realizing them. This type of commitment holds true for your improving your physique, as well as for reaching business and personal goals (e.g. romantic relationships, friendship, and dispute resolution). Remember that you need to be pro-active, and that with the assistance of internet, you have access to some of the most effective social media tools anywhere. Furthermore, many of the most effective tools are free. So while many of you may want to know how to get sponsored, many of you should know not to put the cart before the horse. Before anyone sponsors (or hires you), they'll want to know you have a fanbase and a strong track record in getting your name out there.
Take nationally-ranked NPC Figure star Ashley Lemmons, for example. She's built a wonderful website, which amongst other things includes videos like the one featured in this post. When you make a site, don't just try to dazzle your audience with your contest record or how many degrees you have - PERSONALIZE THE EXPERIENCE. Youtube is free -- and highly effective.
Start a youtube account. Start vlogging and/or make a video that will jumpstart your website. One star, whose physique I love, is Krissy Chin. She's registered her name for the url (something all competitors should do -- whether you intend to start a site or just hold the name [as cheap at $5yr]). Unlike Ashley, Krissy's page (http://www.krissychin.com) initially looks like a full-fledged site, but it's merely one giant link to an official facebook page. I don't know about you, but this type of "website" does not appeal to me. It doesn't show much work and it's not very interactive for the fans. However, Krissy is a Pro Competitor with a great sponsor. She's made it.
Should you stop workin it once you've made it? That's debatable. I, for one, think that once you've achieved a certain level of notoriety, you'd only want more and more and more. I don't think Jamie Eason or Ava Cowan ever felt they had reached a point where they were famous enough.
If you're serious about your training, then you should be equally serious about marketing yourself. It's rather shocking, but if you go to the IFBB's Rankings (either at GetBig.com or published monthly in Muscle Mag and you cross-reference those names on google for websites, I'd say only about one in four have currently functioning, regularly updated websites -- and these are the PROFESSIONALS!
It's a different age. The business savvy stars will still take a gig posing with someone else's protein powder for a few fractions of a cent on the dollar, but that's only because they're already making buku bucks on their own. The business savvy competitor earns income from a variety of sources, in a variety of ways. However, there is a pecking order.
Money talks - and given all that's been said, YOU have all the tools you need to effectively and affordably MARKET YOURSELF and make YOUR MONEY. I'd be happy to hype you up (if your physique and drive warrant it), but 'getting sponsored' is yesterday's lingo, it's yesterday's goals. Don't sit around waiting for a $20k contract that will work you like a slave. If you want to make $20k get a couple jobs at Burger King and McDonalds, no scratch that...two of those jobs and you'll make more!
There's tons of money in figure and bikini -- for the promoters! Your prize money only goes so far (assuming you're pro; no prize money in the amateur division!), and the sponsorships for figure and bikini stars (for example) pale in comparison to Jay's payday at MuscleTech or Ronnie's BSN contract. Getting sponsored isn't going to take you from rags to riches. It's a different time. You can reap all the benefits from your hard work, but you have to make marketing yourself a daily activity - no vacation. Do you want to stop loving yourself 52 weekends a year? Do you ever want to take a break from trying to reach your goals? There's the hungry that eat, and there's the hungry that sit and wait for Gaspari to call them one day and sponsor them, lol.