Check this brand ambassador out!
Dizclaimer: This is what Ive found works for me and is in no way a definitive primer on how to secure sponsorship. Please to share your experiences in the comments so we might git closer to that aforementioned primer. We’re a tribe. A team. Lets help each other out.
At least once a week I get a phone call, text, email or tweet asking me about sponsorships.
Ive resisted blogging about this topic *not* because I want to keep the proverbial cards close to my (lack of ) vest –but because Im no expert in this arena.
All I know is what Ive tried and what Ive found success with.
In addition, by virtue of your emails/tweets/calls/texts, Ive learned that tactics which did not work for me resulted in sponsorship for some of you.
So I ask, as always, you view this post as only the launchpad for our COMMENTversation.
My thoughts here. Yours down there. Ill be joining you.
When it comes to life conference sponsorship Im a firm believer if you dont ask there’s zero chance youll get what you want.
So I ask.
But I ask in a careful, pre-planned, tactical way.
Who do I approach?
- P.R. reps with whom I already have a relationship or companies with whom Ive worked before. While this does NOT preclude the fact I need to remind them of my “reach” or influence I do at least know Im on their radar. These relationships arent necessarily “deep” (it can be a company with whom Ive merely exchanged tweets), but 99.9% of the time the first contact I have with a company is not a request for money/product. Part of MizFit’s mission statement is forging bonds/netoworking with like minded brands. This ‘connecting’ has nothing to do with money changing hands.
- Brands or companies whose overall mission statements are in alignment with mine. These individuals frequently have no idea who I am (yet), but the fact their brand is a good fit for my blog is always readily apparent to us both. Think about what immediately comes to mind when you think about your brand (fitness, weight training, yoga, foodie, parenting, personal development, healthy living etc) & seek out companies whose products/missions match those words.
How do I approach them?
- Twitter. I do not tweet out the general Hey companies! Want to sponsor me for XYZ conference?? DM me!! Ive nothing against the approach it simply does not work for me. I will, however, direct message companies inquiring about contact names or, if they do not follow me, I will tweet at them please follow me back so I can direct message you. I have a question and wait to see if they respond.
- Email. This is the approach which works best for me & I always keep the first contact short. I tell the company briefly about the conference (links can work best) and why I believe know it would be beneficial for them to sponsor me. If I do not have a previous relationship with the company I typically use the main email address listed on the website and wait at least two weeks to follow up.
What do I include in my contact email?
- Information on my brand. Even if we’ve worked together before I pretend the company knows nothing about MizFit (& if it has been while since we worked together frequently things have changed). I attach a brief bio and my blog one-sheet (this contains information regarding my social media reach/platform, where you can find me, speaking engagements, blog-accolades etc). For some bloggers this might take the form of a resume or media kit.
- What Id love to do for their brand pre, during and post-event. This is your chance to get creative. Think about the company. Mull their product(s). Ponder what YOU love about their product/brand. How might you best spread the word about them given the venue (what kind of conference do you want to attend? what sort of sponsor limitations are there? etc)? This is your opportunity to show companies the uniqueness of your brand.
What dont I include?
- Money. I never seek a specific dollar amount in the first contact. This is about a relationship for me. Once we’ve established there will, indeed, be a relationship forming then we can talk money-specifics. How much? This is up to you & also depends on the size of the company. Be realistic but dont undersell yourself. For me it is never about making money —-only about seeking sponsors I already love to help me cover some of my costs.
What do I do next? (or I have a sponsor–now what?)
- I remember Im acting as brand ambassador from sponsorship announcement to conclusion of the event. Im opinionated on this one. Im a woman who, if I offer to do XYZ for a company, tends to do everything I promised and much much more. (another reason it is crucial you authentically adore a company whom you agree to represent)
- I learn as much as I can about the company. Dont forget they are paying you to act as their representative at the conference. Be prepared for questions from conference-attendees. For a few weeks (or whatever youve agreed upon) this brand is now part of your blogging-job.
- I follow through on my commitment. To the very end. Id like to imagine this goes without saying yet am certain at least once a company has sponsored a blogger who started strong (with that pre-event post) & fizzled out (follow up. post-event blog or simply sending a thank you email to the company).
**mops brow & runs to the kitchen for a protein-rich snack and some water**
(and yeah. that was the short version!)
I know many of you out there have employed different tactics & found them to work.
I also know many of you out there STILL have questions (I edited out some stuff which addressed emails youd sent).
Please to hit the TRIBE up in the comments—Ill meet you there.