I will be the first to admit that I have a different approach to seeking a conference sponsor. While I am not saying that others are wrong in their approach to sponsorships, I just have this fear… I never want ANYONE to say of me that they did not get a good return on their investment.
So, with that in mind, I am going to guide you through how I seek sponsors who will be a perfect match for me.
Identify your strengths
You have special talents, whether you realize it or not, and you need to find them.
Maybe it is blog numbers. Maybe it is something completely different like a penchant for vlogs. Do you enjoy researching? Could you write guest posts about a particular product you love? Do you enjoy Instagram, Vine, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and have a unique understanding of how to maximize that social media platform? Think outside the box and make your list.
Make a list of potential sponsors
Start with a list of all your favorite products. Have you mentioned using a particular product on your blog or social media? Is there something that you use daily in your home and could not live without? Look around your desk, your sink, and your child’s room. Add all the makers of all your favorite products to your list.
Then, add to your list with the companies think you would like to work. Perhaps it is a product you saw mentioned on another blog or in a commercial. Maybe you are just passionate about their mission statement. Add those companies to your list.
Also on your list, write down the names of the companies following you on Twitter and those following your page on Facebook. If they have already expressed an interest in what you do by following you in social media, they might also be interested in getting to know you better.
Fill in the gaps
Look at your list of strengths and then look at the list of companies you have made. Would any of your strengths fill a need for any of those companies?
Social Media is a BIG deal for companies. Could you start an Instagram or Vine account for a company and maintain it for them for six months? Do they need an admin on Facebook? Could you organize a series of guest posts where you write about their product on different blogs? Get creative. Match your strengths to their weaknesses.
Write your pitch
Comparing your skills with the list of your favorite company’s needs, decide what you have to offer them and write it down. Do not let your numbers (or lack thereof) hold you back from approaching a company. Brands are not just interested in numbers. They also want originality and passion.
If you love their product, tell them.
If you have a great idea, tell them.
Be very clear about what you want to offer the company and focus on their needs.
If you sent your pitches and have not heard from the company after a week or two, send a little note that says, “Hi! Just wanted to verify that you received my partnership proposal since sometimes I accidentally end up in the spam box. I am really looking forward to working with you. Thanks again for your consideration.”
Face the two-letter word
What is the worse thing that could happen? The company you writes says “no.”
So what? Does that make you less of a blogger? No. Just means you can proceed with your idea without their sponsorship or can go a different direction.
A “no” or a “wait” can be a blessing in disguise. Do not fear rejection. Just use it as a sign to keep looking for that perfect match.
What tips can you share for finding a conference sponsorship?