In this world of social media influencers and big brands looking for the next creative marketing campaign, there are some people who have sponsorship figured out and many who don’t. This advice applies across motorsports, video game streamers, Instagram influencers, YouTube product reviewers or any other industry where you hope to get product or money in exchange for providing exposure for a company.
Here are four simple steps to help you get sponsorships.
1. Understand The Business
From getting a free cup of coffee from the local coffee shop in exchange for a social media post to getting a seven-figure sponsorship deal from a leading manufacturer to race a car, you need to understand the business. If there is a local coffee shop with only one location, the business only needs exposure in a small area — specifically, to people looking to go to a coffee shop. On the flip side, a vehicle manufacturer is looking for widespread exposure if it is going to support racing efforts.
2. Understand Its Marketing Goals
Once you understand the business, you need to understand its marketing goals. You can gather a lot of data from a company’s past marketing programs. What does it put on its social media? Does it do any print ads? Does it boost a specific Instagram post? Don’t be afraid to try to directly ask the company about its marketing goals. Using LinkedIn is a great tool to find someone you can speak to at that company. If it’s a small, local company, just walk in and ask to speak with the manager. You can say something like, “I’m interested in giving you a marketing proposal, but I’d like to understand your marketing goals first so I don’t waste your time”
3. Develop Your Ask
Now that you understand the business and its marketing goals, it’s time for you to ask for something. Most companies you want to work with probably have hundreds to thousands of requests for sponsorship. You need to work hard to become creative on behalf of the company you are trying to pitch. It all boils down to money. If you can build your ask by giving the company a way to make five times more money than it gives you, your pitch will be better than most, if not all, other requests that come in. Going back to understanding marketing, you need to build a pitch where the company gets way more in return than it is giving you. Otherwise, why would it give you something?
4. Commit To Getting Sponsors
Getting sponsors is hard work, and it takes tons of time and personal investment prior to ever seeing anything. Expect lots of rejection and to get ghosted by your points of contact. Then, if you do get sponsored, it will probably be for less than you were hoping for in exchange for more than you were hoping to give. Once you get a sponsor, you need to justify their investment and prove your value is above what you are receiving. You may get lucky on a one-off deal from time to time that will then disappear. However, if you want to be sponsored, you need to commit time to these steps.
If you get the opportunity to pitch yourself, keep the conversation focused on what you can do for the company and not what the company can do for you.