Promoting Yourself As a fighter

Ever wonder how a fighter builds himself in popularity and draws crowds of cheering fans to support him? Ever wonder why two fighters with the same record may make different pay? I will explain and show you how to help yourself not only get more fights but make money from them, even as an amateur.
Many fighters think just showing up to fight is them doing their job. That nothing else needs to go into their efforts. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Even King Of The Cage requires fighters to promote themselves and sell tickets. Any entertainment business relies on the talent to pool their own weight. As fight promoters, most of us risk tens of thousands of dollars to give fighters the opportunity to reach their goals and dreams in this fine sport and the ones who always seem to do the best are the ones who give it their all in the gym and on the streets.
Almost every major name in MMA had to hustle tickets to their fights as they were coming up. It's how you prove your value to promoters as an amateur wanting to go pro and especially how you prove your value as a pro fighter. Going from ammy to pro isn't just about you deciding if you should or are ready for a record that will stick with you. It's about building your skills along with your fan base so that a promoter will WANT to pay you.
If you can't sell your pay in tickets, you aren't worth it unless you are lucky enough to fight someone with a big enough draw to justify the cost of you fighting him in which case that isn't so good for you because chances are, he's better than you because he takes his career as a fighter much more seriously.
I know what you are thinking, you are the baddest dude in your weight class and you are worth a million dollars to fight. No you aren't. Not unless you can pack the venue on your name alone.
So, how do you build a fan base that will help you sell tickets and make promoters your best friend?
Aside from word of mouth, friends and family, you have to get out there and campaign for president!!! This is what I used to tell bands I was working with in the music business. You have to sell, sell, sell or you will go nowhere. A record label can only do so much just as a promoter can only do so much. It's your job to build your career, the promoter is giving you the vehicle to do it and will more often than not, help you. Most promoters will give you around $5 for every ticket you sell to your fights. The more you sell, the more you make and the more likely the promoter is to bring you back and take a bigger interest in marketing you more each time.

Some things you can do to help promote yourself as a fighter:

#1. Setup a Facebook account and get active on it. You can use Facebook to create a new event for each of your fights to help draw people into your world. You can message everyone and post photos, videos etc. Use Facebook to tell the world you exist and make friends. Do it!
#2. Myspace...same as Facebook but it appears to be taking a second place to Facebook nowadays and is mostly for younger people whereas FB is more focused around college age and older.
#3. Make your own flyers! You can do this cheaply and easily. As the promoter for images or graphics if you like or take stuff from their website and print off a couple hundred at kinkos! Then spread them out to everyone you know and have them pass them around with your phone number on them for tickets! Make that money!
#4. Interviews! Who said you couldn't setup your own interviews with the press and media. You are a fighter aren't you? Then get on the phone and pitch your story. Why are you interesting? Did you get out of prison 6 months ago and are eager to turn your life around in the sport? Do you have 8 kids you need to feed and this fight means the world to you? Did something drastic happen recently to change your life? Whatever your story is, tell it.
#5. Youtube - You have a camera that shoots video, somewhere. Have a friend shoot a video of you talking about your upcoming fight and make it interesting. The promoter may stick it on their site and you can link it on your facebook, myspace, email it to everyone you know etc. Let everyone know whats coming and why they should care!
If you are doing things to help promote yourself as a fighter, the promoter you are fighting for will be much more eager to help you, so ask!