What people don't tell you about Sponsorship
- Time: Finding sponsors takes time. Sponsorship is about building partnerships; you need to build trust, respect, and commitment on both sides. As in any new relationship, this takes time to build. Otherwise, it’s like asking someone to marry you on a first date!
- Consistency: When seeking new partnerships with potential sponsors, consistency is key. If you want that relationship to grow, it needs consistent attention, so build that into the sponsorship process. It’s just like when you grow seeds and plants; you need to consistently give them light and water.
- Rewards: This is why I love sponsorship so much: the rewards are way more than extra income or services in kind. Well aligned sponsors can elevate your brand perception in the market and open new doors for you. Sponsors are like references. They can also bring added value to the community or event, by bringing products, services and/or education that you don’t have the resources to provide.
- Teamwork: Sponsors should become part of your team and you want to become part of theirs. The amount will vary for each sponsor, but you can achieve so much together when you identify each other’s goals, and how you can support one another.
- Management: For small businesses, this is the one that most people miss. If you don’t manage your sponsor’s expectations and keep them updated, you are going to end up with the sponsor from hell, who will hound you, question everything and complain non-stop! Sponsors are your partners; treat them that way. Record the results of everything you do, good and bad, and be transparent. If something isn’t working, let them know, give them a solution, get their feedback, then change things up.
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