Motorsport has a certain reputation for nepotism. And it’s true – often, it’s not about what you know, but who you know. But you don’t need to have a wealthy parent or have generations of motorsport legacy behind your family name to succeed. Building beneficial relationships is the best way to ensure a successful career in motorsport and networking is crucial when it comes to expanding your commercial connections.
Thanks to Covid, we’ve all become a lot better at building relationships online. Even the biggest technophobes and the most camera-shy embraced video calling and social media to connect with the outside world. Businesses who had previously underestimated the power of social media jumped on the bandwagon to stay connected with their audience.
Social media is now one of the most powerful tools you can use for networking. And we’re not just talking about LinkedIn. Instagram, Facebook and even TikTok can be a great way to connect with businesses and individuals who can benefit your career.
Here are our top tips for using social media to network in motorsport.
Facebook for Motorsport Networking
Facebook groups are a great way to network using social media. Thousands of different groups exist within the world of motorsport, including some which have been solely created to help people find work and experience int the industry.
Pit Lane Connections is one of our favourite motorsport groups on Facebook. Teams and employers use the group to post job and experience opportunities. Industry rookies and some more experienced people also use the group to offer their services or ask for work placement opportunities.
You can also check out these other motorsport groups:
Don’t forget to make sure you Facebook profile is clean and a good representation of you as a person. Active recruiters will check it!
Twitter for Motorsport Networking
Think Twitter is dead? Think again motorsport lovers! Twitter has fallen out of favour over the last five years with people choosing video content over conversation. But motorsport is still massive on Twitter. One of the reasons that Twitter is so good for motorsport is that it’s probably the best platform for reading breaking news. Having your feed come up in chronological order means that you get your news when you want it, not if or when an algorithm thinks you need it. This makes it perfect for live timings and results in motorsport.
Twitter has also always been great for starting conversations. Trending topics attract opinions from all over the world and getting involved in some of these conversations can be a great way to network using Twitter. Start searching for content using hashtags and you’ll soon lose yourself down the rabbit hole. Next thing you know you’re spending more time on Twitter than TikTok. Who’d have thought it?
Networking on Instagram
It’s not all about how many likes you posts get these days. Social media has moved on. Instagram has changed from a like-motivated image platform into a clever tool for building authentic relationships. Start by following accounts with similar interests to you. Using the ‘Explore’ section you will find accounts, reels and posts based on your recent activity and searches. You can obviously also use the search function to search for specific people, companies and hashtags. Follow all the big motorsport brands and check out their hashtags as you can be sure others will be piggybacking off their success.
Events are another great way to find Instagram networking opportunities. People tag themselves at racetracks and race meetings so follow all the racetracks and hashtags for locations.
Search for people who are already doing your dream job and follow them. At worst you may get a proper insight into what the job really entails. At best, an industry connection who can help you learn more about the industry.
You've Found Your Target Audience...
Now start talking! This may be totally out of your comfort zone but if you’re going to use social media for networking then you’re going to need to join the conversation! Share an interesting post, tag a relevant business, comment and share your opinion. You have to get involved and make yourself heard.
Sending direct messages is another way to get in front of influential people. Tell them that you enjoyed their article. Raise a point of view about a recent post. Ask a question. They can only say no or ignore you. For every 100 DMs you send, you may receive one reply but if you don’t put yourself out there you will never know.
Peer to Peer Networking
Never underestimate the power of your peers! Networking isn’t just about connecting with people higher up the corporate ladder. Using social media to connect with your peers can help you in many ways. When you’re a student or just starting out in industry, sharing your experiences, goals and fears can help you to build your confidence.
The National Motorsport Academy’s motorsport degrees are all online. This means that our students often don’t meet one another until graduation. We actively encourage our students to network with each other outside of the course as this helps to build a support system for course related questions, as well as build relationships which could be beneficial in future.
Following other students on social media and connecting on LinkedIn means that you’re expanding your network and supporting others in the same position as you. Perhaps they are taking part in a charity race, building a new race car, starting a new job, whatever they and you are up to, it’s always nice to know you have the support of your peers.
Also, don’t forget, many job vacancies are filled by referral or recommendation so the more relationships you build, the better your chances of getting a job. The network you build as a student and at the beginning of your career may end up paying dividends in the future.
Think we've forgotten something??
The one big social platform we haven’t covered is LinkedIn. It’s probably the best platform for networking, after all, it’s pretty much what it was invented for. We’ve previously covered using LinkedIn for motorsport in two separate blogs: – LinkedIn for Motorsport – Creating a Profile and LinkedIn: Networking Your Way to a Career in Motorsport.