Samantha Lile

3 minute read

Call them brand influencers, brand ambassadors, field staff or pro staff, we’re all familiar with big names that promote brands.

When it comes to hunting and fishing, we’ve taken note of Bill Dance’s favorite rooster tail or Jim Shockey’s preferred scope for decades now. Today, a plethora of outdoors brands create a Pro Staff team (short for Promotional Staff) to share their message with thousands upon thousands of followers.

But even if you aren’t a celebrity like Eva Shockey, your moderate influence still can be worthwhile for a company. But is it worth the effort on your part?

Brands sometimes offer discounts, gear and other perks with pro-staffers who share the hunting and fishing adventures they’re already taking with their loyal fans and followers, all while they help to promote the brand.

But why Become Pro Staff?

Obviously, one benefit of joining a brand’s pro staff is all the cool swag you can score. Right? Well, not quite. While some of the bigger names in the hunting and fishing realms offer pro staff goodies like free premium products and cameras to record their experiences, plenty of other brands can only share hats or hoodies bearing their logo or maybe gear covered in a certain pattern of camo. Those menial awards are exchanged for commitments from their pro-staffers, but that may or may not be a worthwhile investment of time.

Most companies only offer their pro-staffers discounts of varying levels. Perhaps a pro-staff member will receive 20-percent off items purchased from a certain outdoors retailer, or half off an item purchased on their website. But unless it’s a store you frequently shop, think about the monetary value that discount represents. Is it worth what you’re offering in exchange?

Anglers and hunters looking to launch their personal brands into a future venture can share their branding efforts with a partner company. By collaborating on your branding strategies, you get the benefit of your own following and that of an established brand sharing your combined message.

Shared branding is one of the most efficient ways to grow your following. And in today’s social environment, it’s practically impossible to establish a business or individual brand without fans on social media. Just be sure the partnership actually helps to satisfy your own branding strategy before you get involved.

So many hunters and anglers dream of turning their passions into a career. Who wouldn’t want to make a living showing off while fishing in a tournament or bagging a buck? Joining a pro staff is one of the best first steps toward achieving that goal.

Of course, very few pro-staffers earn actual money for promotions. Usually, they score a limited amount of free or discounted gear and promote partners in their recreation time while they hold regular jobs like anyone else. But those who find their niche and build a following potentially can launch their pro-staff experience into a sponsorship and cash later on down the road. Just be aware of how much time you might have to invest for years or longer before you see progress, if ever.

What are your thoughts? Is pro-staffing worth it? Let us know on our Facebook page.


Samantha Lile

A native of Missouri's scenic and historic Arcadia Valley, Samantha Lile is a successful web-content creator with a journalism and mass media degree from Missouri State University. She contributes to various web publications from her home in the beautiful Ozarks, where she resides with her husband, four dogs and two cats.

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