- Sending over your sponsorship proposal in your introduction email. Why? There are several reasons, but the main 2 are: 1) How do you know they are the decision maker, and if they have the final sign off? 2) You don’t have confirmation on their goals for sponsorship, so how do you know what they are looking to achieve?
- Not following up. If you don’t have a follow-up strategy, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. You are way down on their to-do list.
- Sending the same Gold, Silver, and Bronze packages to all potential sponsors. You need to tailor to their needs. Gold, Silver and Bronze packages show you didn’t listen or are not interested in what they want to achieve.
- Not knowing your community. If you don’t know who your community is, your sponsors have no reason to partner with you. You will need to match your community to their target audience.
- Focusing your proposal on how great your event is going to be will not impress your sponsors. They are not interested in your amazing speaker (unless it is them), or that you have ordered these special decorations that will wow everyone there.
- Focusing your proposal on the great work that you do. Your attendees are interested, but your sponsors aren’t. Sponsors are only interested in the marketing opportunities with their target audience.
- Posting on social media that you are looking for sponsors and expecting potential sponsors to start calling straight away. This may work on a small, local level, but no major sponsors are scouring social media for sponsorship opportunities—they are trying to deal with the 100+ requests coming in daily
- Approaching sponsors the month before the event and expecting them to sign up. Now this will depend on your ask. If you are looking for a couple $100 then this is feasible, but major sponsors will require months of follow-up and prep, normally six months to a year
- Not confirming whom the decision maker is before you negotiate the deal. Nothing is worse than thinking they are about to sign off a sponsorship, only to find out that it has to go to their boss first, who has a different set of goals, and you have to start all over again
- Not doing your research to make sure the potential sponsor is a good fit for your community. A great sponsorship not only brings you funding, it also supports and adds value to your community.
Most major corporations get hundreds of requests for sponsorship daily, some even hourly. To make sure you don’t destroy your chances of success, check you don’t do ANY of the following.
4 Elements of Successful Sponsorship
Are you interested in exploring sponsorship, but not sure if you have what you need to attract sponsors? For sponsorship to be viable you will need 4 elements:
This is your community, your followers, members, subscribers, or attendees – anyone that engages with you. If you don’t have a community, it is important to develop one if you are looking to acquire sponsors. Sponsors want to see numbers so they can calculate ROI and the value they will get.
Once you have identified your reach, you need to dig deeper and paint a picture of who your community is. What do they like? What are the demographics on age, gender, income, education, etc.? What challenges do they face? The sooner you know your audience and can clearly outline them to potential sponsors, the easier the sponsor can identify their target audience/customers and see the value in what you are offering.
Your property is the big activity you are looking to get sponsorship for, such as a conference, gala, tradeshow, awards, etc. It could be an annual, multi-year agreement.
I often refer to these as your value add. These are the activities you will be doing to promote and engage with your community and sponsors, and to encourage them to participate in your property. These are also the activities you do to support your sponsor’s goals and needs to engage with your community.
To become of value to sponsors you need to identify your reach, and provide an overview of who they are and what they like to do. This is your hook and value to your sponsor. This is how you attract them to your property (your event or activity).
The property and assets are how you support your sponsor to reach their goals and engage with your community.
Look out for our next workshop where we take a deeper look at how to identify your reach and audience.
What people don't tell you about Sponsorship
Are you looking to explore sponsorship and not sure what you are getting into? Here are 5 things no-one tells you about getting sponsors.
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