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How to get sponsored by a company?

Two men are standing and shaking hands in a meeting to get sponsored by a company
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It’s no secret that these days, the internet is completely flooded with piles of content. Many channels for content discovery are bloated with millions of blog posts being written and published daily. As such, there’s essentially a content surplus in the market, making it even more challenging for companies to get their products seen. This is where brand-sponsored come in, with companies spending more cash on sponsorships every year – even in such a fragile economy. Why? Because reputation is everything.

These days people want to buy products and associate themselves with brands that consistently show they care.

In other words, companies invest in brands or individuals that help them showcase their unique values and make them appear more personal and relatable.

In fact, for those looking to learn how how to get sponsored, you should be aware that nowadays, sponsorships are giving companies better returns than traditional advertising.

Moreover, there are so many companies looking to sponsor people because association with the said publication or influencer and exposure to their audience drives significant awareness, traffic, conversions, and leads.

It’s important to note that sponsored content is not considered as an advertisement.

This is because it is created for an enhanced level of engagement and aimed at keeping viewers hooked on the content for an extended period.

It is a great promotional tool as the restrictions are limited, and through this.

Potential sponsors can help increase your revenue stream in exchange for marketing their brand.

At this point, you may be asking yourself questions like; is it possible for potential sponsors to fund me as well?

And how do I find a sponsor?

Well, they tend to finance prospects with a good following, be it YouTubers, Instagram influencers, podcasters, bloggers, etc.

Anyone who has even a small but significant niche market surrounding them.

And their content can add value to these companies and brands is a prospect and can qualify for potential sponsorship.

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As such, you should be aware of some of the most popular/basic kinds of brand/corporate sponsorships.

Types of sponsorship

There are several kinds of corporate sponsorships, and each one of them is different.

Here are three of the most common examples of potential sponsorships that prospects tend to get into:

Content Campaigns

This type of business sponsorship is the most popular and common, especially among social media influencers.

It involves a contract where the company pays the prospect in exchange for brand recognition.

And exposure by showcasing their products on its YouTube channel, social media, etc.

These partnerships tend to be more like investments on the company’s part as they usually expect a good return on investment in some fashion.

And be it for selling more products, improving the company’s overall public image, or simply growing their social media audience numbers.

At the end of it, they enter the relationship expecting to achieve a certain goal in exchange for their funding.

Partnership

This usually involves the prospect collaborating with the respective company on a product or service and receiving a share of the profits.

Affiliate programs

These typically don’t come with an upfront payment but can include free products and commission from sales the prospect produces.

All three can be valuable while the expectations and type of payment you receive varies depending on the company’s needs.

And your ability to deliver in terms of views, impressions, sales, or overall hype.

The more you prove yourself valuable to potential sponsors, the quicker and easier it becomes to score even more lucrative business deals as you increase your influence.

Why is getting a sponsorship so important?

Attaining a sponsorship can be the difference between establishing a thriving business/brand or becoming just another forgotten start-up venture.

The fact remains that every business, be it big or small, needs income.

And despite the fact that most brands rely on product sales for income, there are more ways than one for you to make money.

Even with every kind of sponsorship being different, the goal is the same, as it all comes down to getting money from a bigger brand.

It is crucial to remember that when a prospect is trying to get a potential sponsor on board.

The first thing they should know is that the potential sponsor isn’t just someone who is donating money to their cause.

There’s a give and take about it, and that what makes it a mutual business proposition to put it simply.

In other words, while they may give you support in the form of money, every prospect has to give them something in return.

That’s why one of the best methods to which a potential prospect can build a good rapport with a potential sponsor from the start is to have a recognizable brand and an audience of your own.

This way, you’re on somewhat level ground with them and can dictate your payment terms.

Fortunately, with so much content flooding the online market nowadays, all a prospect needs to do is generate a brand image that demonstrates the same values as your chosen sponsored.

That might just be enough to get the finances you need.

Apart from creating a potential market ready to go for your potential sponsor, having a recognizable brand gives you instant and independent credibility.

Enough so that you may be able to convince potential sponsored to support your business, all so that they can say that they are associated with you.

And a prospect can prove their value to them by simply showing them how they interact with their audience.

It’s also worth mentioning that trying to successfully get sponsorship isn’t just a great way to improve the prospect’s chances of making money as, besides that, sponsorship also helps in:

  • Emphasizing a stronger brand image: As mentioned before, reputation is crucial in today’s world. While most companies will reach out to you to enhance their image. You can also benefit from being associated with high-level brands.
  • Improving brand awareness: Being tied to a bigger, better-known company is sure to help you develop brand awareness. If your sponsor has a stable position in your market, that will reflect well on you and help you grow your influence and notability.
  • Increasing market reach: Potential sponsors give you the opportunity to reach out to new customers from different backgrounds. The more potential sponsors, the better as your potential audience base keeps on growing as well.

What do sponsors usually expect in return?

Usually, what a potential sponsor wants from a prospect is pretty simple and straightforward.

They want to see evidence that their investment in you and your brand is coming back to them somehow.

This normally translates into seeing an improvement in their Instagram or Twitter following, website traffic, or simply an improvement of their brand reputation, for instance.

To best prove to them how you can be of value to them in achieving their goals.

Be it short-term or long-term, you should first complete a personal analysis that pinpoints what they are looking for.

RELATED: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MAKING A PERSONAL SWOT ANALYSIS

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What are they aiming to gain from the partnership?
  • What goals and objectives are involved?
  • Through what means will they determine if the sponsorship is a success or failure?
  • What can you provide that create a good return of investment?

Beyond your interests and the usage of their name and funds, this will once again give you a good analysis of numerical goals for brand visibility and potential for exposure.

Before pursuing sponsorship, you first need brand self-awareness:

Once you have an idea of the kind of sponsorship you want, the next thing for any prospect is to have a deep understanding of your organization, capacity, and mission.

This will help any prospect to eventually prepare a relevant and clear value proposition for a potential sponsor that will help them get sponsored successfully.

First things first, though, there are some important factors you need to take into account:

1. Grow your followers/brand audience first

To cultivate sponsorship deals with companies, the prospect first needs to
cultivate an audience if it hasn’t already.

Your social channels should demonstrate something you are passionate about with creative, engaging, and unique content.

Moreover, whether you decide to build your audience on Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube, it is relatively the same.

For instance, on Instagram, a prospect can track their engagement analytics if they have a business account.

Analyze what content your followers are engaging with most and use this knowledge to plan your content calendar.

Some important tips that you can take into account to further your audience size, especially on Instagram, include the following:

  • Finding a niche, whether it’s fashion, art, music, travel, photography, etc. and stick with it. It’s important to try and present a consistent message.
  • Making sure your Instagram highlights the best showcase of the kind of content you make.
  • Having a consistent aesthetic in your feed and across all social channels.
  • Featuring products relevant to your Instagram that you genuinely like.
  • Figuring out what’s your influencer tone of voice is. In other words, how do you communicate engagingly with your followers?
  • Knowing how often you should post depending on your audience’s activity, but once or twice a day at peak, posting time is usually the key.

2. Your Core Values, Brand Culture, and Image

A major key to a fruitful sponsorship relies on the alignment of core brand values, culture, and brand image.

That successfully locates brands that suit you best; these details must easily compared to your potential sponsors.

If you and your team have never had any formal discussions about your core values and brand culture, you must address that lack of communication quickly.

By discussing how you all define your brand culture and what ideas you each have for the brand in the future.

It should reveal any surprises, allowing you to effectively course-correct.

3. Your Target Demographic and Reach

Your brand’s audience/followers are one of its most valuable assets as it is to any potential sponsor.

If you can define what your audience is and who they primarily are, then it makes it easier to explain their value to potential sponsors.

A prospect must know as much information about them before seeking out a partnership. This includes:

  • Your audience size in terms of email, social media numbers.
  • Summary of the rate of participation of your previous campaigns, in other words, a projected attendance rate.
  • A relatively accurate summary of your main audience demographic: gender, nationality, age, locality, etc.

When you can easily communicate the details that make you unique and worth partnering with, you will strengthen your offering to a potential sponsor.

Getting on the right path to a successful sponsorship:

1. Picking the right sponsor

Once the prospect (you) in question has taken the time to fully comprehend what their position and value is as a brand.

The next step is to search for potential companies to approach for sponsorships.

Successfully learning how to get sponsored means you need to consider brands and companies with a similar market audience that share similar values and goals to secure a long-lasting relationship.

You should also always keep the following things in mind;

  • Does the brand match with my identity?

Authenticity is key! If the company or its products aren’t something you genuinely like, then your audience will notice.

  • Don’t go to the biggest brand/company first.

You need to be more open with your thinking.

It’s better to search for small or mid-size brand sponsorships in the beginning.

It’s easier, anyway.

If there’s a product you like, there can be a potential sponsor there.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a big or small brand.

  • Consider leveraging existing relationships.

This includes partnering with friends who have brands of their own.

Some connections will be easier to draw than others, but you shouldn’t stop at the obvious.

You need to be patient and fully assess as many different types of brands and companies as possible, to avoid leaving potential sponsorships on the table.

When a prospect patiently searches for the right fit, they can make their proposal more attractive and ensure their reputation remains intact.

So, while it can be tempting to pursue any and every brand possible, the best thing for you and your brand is dependent on your supporters and suitable for them.

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A bad pairing could damage your brand’s public image in the long-term and have negative repercussions.

Moreover, there is an opportunity that comes with a prospect partnering with the right brand for enhanced exposure and growth.

So, to protect and nurture your reputation, carefully consider which brands best align with your core identity and future goals.

They will also likely be the ones most willing to partner up with you.

2. Research and Networking

When getting to know how to get sponsored as mentioned before, it is crucial for a prospect.

Also to explore their private connections and build any existing relationships with brands or companies they are familiar with.

After all, they can be potential sponsors as well.

But even more so, you should also keep a close watch on the latest industry news and trends.

This will ensure that you are better prepared to approach the right companies and potential sponsors.

In-depth research and assessment give you the advantage of being well informed of any potential sponsor and their interests, increasing your chances for a successful sponsorship.

Also, as you create your list of potential sponsored, don’t neglect seeking sponsorships from brands/companies in your immediate vicinity.

3. Outreach

For those starting out and still figuring out how to get sponsored, it can be a rather daunting yet confusing thing to try and figure out how to reach potential sponsors.

Luckily, those prospects wonder how to get sponsored on Instagram or how to get sponsored on youtube.

There are a few ways to get sponsorships online.

Some of these websites that offer sponsorship opportunities include:

  • GrapeVine

Advertised to YouTubers, the site facilitates potential sponsorship deals between YouTubers and interested companies.

The bigger channels also utilize the platform but mostly markets itself to small & medium size channels.

This makes it a fantastic choice if you’re just getting into the game.

They normally deal with two kinds of sponsorships: product packages in exchange for reviews and paid sponsorships.

  • Content BLVD

This is a good marketing and review platform that solely caters to YouTubers.

They focus mostly on offering product packages for reviews to require those who get free products to reveal it on their channel.

It’s a great place for product placements and to get sponsored.

  • FameBit

This is an easy to use sponsorship platform for both Instagram users and YouTubers, who are new to sponsorships.

It’s easy to signup

At which point you can browse the website for advertisements from companies you’re interested in and just go ahead and bid for that project.

However, keep in mind that sometimes the best way to reach out is by pitching to the brands/companies directly.

However, it’s common practice that standard communication tends to evolve in the following order:

  • Initial email or call
  • Pitch deck/value proposition submission
  • In-person or virtual meeting/presentation
  • Submission of a full proposal
  • Follow-up

Prospects can normally find the brand/company’s email address by:

  • Heading to their Instagram page, hitting the “email” button.
  • Heading to the brand’s website and checking to see if there’s an email that influencers and bloggers should use. If there isn’t an email for bloggers, you can use their generic email message.
  • You can also google the brand name and proceed to email the public relations contact for that company.
  • You can also search on LinkedIn for the company’s “social media marketing managers” or “social media directors,” so you know who you are reaching out to directly.

Also, keep in mind that it’s important for prospects not to waste their time on people without authority.

The prospect should just go straight to the source and present their initial sponsorship proposal with confidence.

The key to reaching out to a potential sponsor is to remember that you are coming to them with a business opportunity.

Ask for what you want and explain how you can help them, and then give them time to decide.

Additionally, when learning how to get sponsored, remember to be more flexible when pitching.

Don’t offer different potential sponsors/brands the same deal, even those in the same space will differ.

Remember that influencer marketing is all about meaningful relationships, so don’t undercut your efforts by sending cold, batches of sponsorship pitches out.

4. Sponsorship proposal

Once you advance beyond a discovery call and receive positive feedback from them.

It’s important to remember when figuring out how to get sponsored, that you are proposing to a business.

You should continue to communicate in a way that resonates with them.

They’re accustomed to pitches from prospects that are result-driven.

Keep in mind that you initiated this proposal, which means it’s the sponsor’s time you can’t afford to waste

So you need to ensure that you clearly articulate why this partnership can be fruitful for both parties.

By doing thorough research on each potential sponsor, you will be able to make an informed proposal that focusses on them instead of just yourself even though a good portion of your proposal will inherently involve speaking about your brand.

As such, prospects should strive to tell their story in a way that sparks emotion and conveys value.

Remember that the sponsors in question want a good return on their money investment.

The more informed the prospect is about their goals and long-term vision, the better they can convince them that they are worth the money and are important to their plans.

Drafting a successful sponsorship proposal

Help to focus on the corporation’s goals and results, prospects should include the following in your proposal:

Value proposition

A good business value proposition clearly explains what makes you and your brand such an important and valuable sponsorship investment for them.

Once again, this is where it should fully answer these three prominent things we mentioned earlier:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • Why should they sponsor you and give you money?

The final question is the most important, as it explains what kind of returns the business can expect if they were to sink in any money into your venture.

The more precise and detailed you can be when explaining how good the sponsor’s return on investment will be, the better.

Marketing

You need to present a projective image of how a partnership with you could benefit the company’s visibility.

One of the best ways of doing so is by providing past, proven examples.

If you’ve had a previous brand collaboration in the past, demonstrate how well you benefited them and show the kind of returns they made by working with you.

You can be as detailed here as possible by showing the:

  • Number of people exposed to the brand
  • Number of products/services/brand paraphernalia distributed
  • Social media engagement
  • Increased email subscription list

Don’t forget to also plan out your sponsorship proposal by defining the amount of financial assistance you need and what the potential sponsored will receive in exchange.

Once you have a clear sense of what is important to the corporation, you can create a personalized presentation/proposal specific to their goals.

Your potential sponsor will also want to see that you can effectively utilize the amount of money they give you to build more exposure and interest in their company successfully.

You may need to create & include marketing data materials designed with their goals in mind.

This could mean drafting a special marketing campaign plan that shows how you can direct your followers towards your new partner.

The best thing a prospect can do is show the innate desire to work together on a goal that will benefit both you and, most especially, them.

By the end, the corporation should have an understanding of what exactly the prospect wants and feel satisfied that they have sufficient information to make a conclusive sponsored decision.

How sponsors tend to measure their ROI nowadays?

Brand Awareness

For instance, if you asked your followers to do something and encourage them to use a hashtag, you can estimate just how many people took part.

If you published a video on YouTube, then the number of viewers can be easily tracked.

If you posted an Instagram story, you could track the number of actions taken.

Link Tracking

In this regard, bloggers can easily track the number of comments on their posts or emails they’ve received from readers afterward.

If you included links on your blog back to the brand’s website, clicks could track with a customized link.

SEO Ranking

If their SEO ranking improved, then they will be in a position to monitor that well.

Audience/Follower Growth

If their total audience numbers went up after a sponsorship with you, that could be easily proven.

A popular way to do this is to carry out a product giveaway and tell your audience that following the potential sponsored in question is a requirement for winning.

In this case, you should also consider keeping photos of winners as evidence for future reference.

Damage Control

If the chaos the brand was experiencing started settling after your post because you put the rumors to rest, that isn’t trackable per se, but they can feel it, and that is a result.

User-Generated Content

If you made content/images with the brand’s products, you could track the increase in engagement through likes and comments.

Sales Increase

If you manage to make them money by selling a large number of their products through an affiliate link, you can also keep track of this with the custom link indicating just how much you improved their sales numbers.

Conclusion:

When trying to learn how to get sponsored by a business, it’s crucial to keep in mind that dedication to a strategic corporate sponsorship approach will ensure a higher success rate as you seek out these high-value relationships.

Nurture your relationships with companies with a similar vision and brand culture.

You will have the potential to work with partners in the long-term, which will inevitably net you significant money.

If you can enter a mutually beneficial arrangement with them, this can be a huge opportunity for both of you to enter into a profitable long term sponsorship.

This will also save time and energy, always having to search for new brands/companies to work with.

If the prospect can prove that they are not only deserving of sponsorship money but also understand how these relationships impact both sides of the coin, they can successfully and expediently move on to the next level and make good money.

Also remember that you, the prospect, not the potential sponsor, is responsible for driving the relationship forward, so take the initiative and keep trying even if you don’t succeed at first.

If you can start small and successfully grow a good sponsorship network by delivering on your commitments for small businesses, you will be able to convince even bigger potential sponsors why you are worth investing.

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