Have you heard about brand sponsorship? Wondering if you should get one? If you don’t know much about sponsorships yet let us introduce you to the do’s and don’ts of getting sponsored.
First, let’s clear any confusion – What exactly is brand sponsorship? Brand sponsorship is a marketing strategy in which brands either support an event, a person, an activity, or an organization. Most people think about brand sponsorship when it comes to sports games. But in recent years sponsorships and influencer marketing became more and more popular. So, if you have decent social media following you can find brands to sponsor you.
If you do it right, it will be fruitful cooperation for you and the brand. You get paid and can borrow the brand’s reputation to gain more followers. The brand, on the other hand, increases sales or brand awareness. It’s beneficial for both of you.
How can you make it successful cooperation and what should you watch out for? What are some common sponsorship pitfalls? Find our best tips for getting a brand sponsorship below.
Should You Get A Brand Sponsorship?
First, let’s look at the indicators if you should get a brand sponsorship in the first place. You might be thinking you can only find a sponsor if you have a big company or a huge social media following.
But that’s actually not true. You can already get sponsorships as a micro-influencer, all you need is a loyal fanbase. Think about it this way, you could have a million followers on Instagram, but only 1% of them like or comments on your content. Or, you could have 20.000 but they are all loyal fans who interact with you. The quality of your audience is much more important than big numbers.
So, when you want to get sponsored watch out for the quality. You also want to make sure that the sponsor fits with your message and with what you do. There’s no point in getting sponsored by someone just to find out that your audience doesn’t care.
Let’s assume you are a fashion blogger, for example, if your audience follows you for fashion advice, then getting sponsored by brand selling fridges might feel off. Your audience might not be interested in fridges and it will hurt your reputation.
Should you get a brand sponsorship? Yes, if you have a loyal following and you know what you stand for. But there’s more to watch out for…
Understand Why They Want To Sponsor You
This is one thing we want you to understand. Why does a brand want to sponsor you in the first place? It can be a number of reasons.
Maybe they straight-up want to increase the sales of a certain product and see a sponsorship with you as a good way to do so. If you build trust with your followers, then they’ll trust your recommendation and buy from the brand. Another reason could be that they want to build brand awareness. You and your audience are a way for them to get known and create a fan base.
Some brands also look into sponsorship if they want to reposition their brand. Maybe a certain brand has a reputation of being “sporty” but your social media is more elegant and sophisticated. Working with you opens up a new market for them.
Finally, brand sponsorship might be a way for the brand to win against their competition. Maybe the competition doesn’t do sponsorships and it allows your brand to dominate a whole new market.
Either way, when you agree on a sponsorship you are essentially marketing the brand’s product for them.
How To Set Yourself Up For Success
What can you do to make the sponsorship a success? As we already said, to have a successful brand sponsorship you need some kind of audience. It’s best if that audience is in some kind of niche. Maybe you are a health or travel blogger. Or maybe you run a business photography business. Whatever it is, know your niche. In the beginning, the more specific your niche the better.
To make sure that brands want to work with you, your social media presence should be consistent. If you only post content once a month and very irregularly it will be hard to build up a loyal following and brands might think that cooperating with you will give them less exposure. If you are consistent, you show them that you are serious about this.
How To Find A Sponsor
Now, you might wonder how you can find somebody to sponsor you? Essentially, there are two ways.
The first way is to ask brands directly if they would be interested in sponsoring you. Doing this is tricky, however, as it comes off as spammy and inauthentic quite fast. If you really want to approach brands about a sponsorship, make sure to only contact those which you are actually interested in working with. Don’t message everyone in the hope to get something.
You also have to understand, if you approach somebody to sponsor you they might not know you at all. They don’t know yet if they can trust you. So, it’s a good idea to show them the benefits of working with you upfront. Maybe you used their products before and your audience already knows you are a fan. Hence, cooperation makes a lot of sense. Or maybe there are other unique things you could offer a brand. We generally call this concept “value first.” Meaning, you add some value to the relationship right away.
The other way to get a brand sponsor is by waiting until you get approached. This is less predictable but usually fruitful for you and for the sponsor. You can do a few things to get noticed faster. First, you definitely want your business contact to be visible somewhere. For example, on Instagram in your bio or on YouTube in the YouTube description. If a sponsor has to search for your contacts first then they probably won’t bother.
Second, you want to openly state that you are open to sponsors. So, those brands know that contacting you makes sense for them. You can add to this by using products of the brands you enjoy and tell your audience about it. On Instagram, you can tag the brand name in your images – that can help to get you on a brand’s radar. They see you are already using their products and you have a loyal following, so they might contact you about it.
Now you know what you need to make a sponsorship successful and how to find a sponsor. But there are a few more do’s and don’ts. Let’s start with the do’s.
Develop A Relationship First
Brands are not cold logos that give you money just because you ask. Brands are run by people too. When you ask for a brand sponsorship you want to develop a relationship with them first. Especially if it’s a brand you don’t know much about but might be interesting for you.
Essentially, you want to find out what they hope to get from the sponsorship. If you are confident that you can help them achieve what they want then make it your personal mission to follow through on it. Make their needs your needs.
When your sponsorship is based on a solid relationship then the brand will likely want to work with you again. You are setting the base for a long term partnership.
If you come from the perspective and value you’ll also cut through the noise. Most brands get cold emails and messages daily asking for sponsorships. But those people offer nothing in return. So, wouldn’t it make sense to be the one person who actually cares about the brand’s needs?If you come from the perspective and value you’ll cut through the noise. Click To Tweet
Go The Extra Mile
It should be clear that you honor the sponsorship agreement and follow-through. Still, you’ll find it extra fruitful to give a bit more and go the extra mile for your sponsor. Even after the agreement is fulfilled, keep interacting, and maybe even share their content. Show that you care about their brand and that you didn’t just do it for money or to receive free products.
This is why it’s so vital that you collaborate with brands you actually like and care about. If you take one any brand sponsorship for the sake of getting sponsored than you will seem inauthentic. Inauthentic in the eyes of the brand and also for your audience. Don’t turn your social media presence into a huge promotion.
Know Your Worth
A mistake you might make in the beginning is to take on any brand sponsorship under any condition. But that might not be wise. Even if you’d love to work with a brand, make sure that the agreement is fair. Don’t undervalue yourself just to get a sponsorship.
How much you should ask for vastly depends on your niche and the form of the sponsorship. But to give you an idea here’s an example. On Instagram, the industry standard is $10 per 1,000 followers. Now, some brands might offer you to send free stuff and that’s it. They don’t even think about paying you for their efforts.
If you want to do it, it’s up to you of course. It’s no problem to start out with such sponsorship. In the long run, you probably want to get paid though. Be respectful but make them understand that creating sponsored content is work and that they need to pay you for it.
Now you are aware of some very important do’s for a successful brand sponsorship. Let’s have a look at some don’ts you want to avoid.
Don’t Focus On Your Needs
We briefly touched on this before but we want to make it clear. To find a sponsor and see it through successfully focus on their needs instead of yours. They are paying you to market their products – and that’s great. But find out why and what their ideal outcome is.
Know your worth and make requests if there are specific things you need from them to make the cooperation successful. But don’t feel entitled to getting extra service from them. They don’t owe you anything, so don’t approach it that way.
Go into the sponsorship with the mindset of forming a partnership. Ideally, both your needs should be covered.
Don’t Be Desperate
There might be an occasion where you try to work with a brand but they reject you (or don’t respond at all). Rejection can be hard to deal with but especially in such situations, you don’t want to be desperate.
Don’t spam them or try to convince them. If they say no, it’s better to accept it and move one. How you interact with sponsors creates your reputation. You never know which brands might be in contact with others. If you come off as too desperate the word spreads and you sabotage possible future partnerships.
We know you put lots of work into your online presence and put all your heart into it. Hearing a no from a brand hurts. But it’s important to treat brand sponsorship as work and to keep it professional.
Don’t take their rejection as a criticism of your personality. They might have a completely different reason why they can’t work with you right now. Maybe there is no chance later down the road. Move on and look for new opportunities, someone might be just waiting for you.
Don’t Give Up
Let’s be frank, looking for fitting sponsors can be daunting. One brand rejects you, one doesn’t reply, the next one doesn’t value your work or doesn’t fit with your message…
But we encourage you not to give up. Building relationships and partnerships take time. But it will be worth it.
Finding a brand sponsorship and marketing their products isn’t like selling a commodity. It takes time and effort. See it as a long term strategy. The moment you have one really successful sponsorship agreement other sponsors likely will get attracted to you too.
So, focus on having a really good first experience for the brand and you. Deliver a quality that you are comfortable with and create powerful partnerships.
What To Consider In Advance
Here are a few points you want to consider before you agree on a sponsorship. You really want to make sure that you are clear on what the brands want from you. Ask questions about details and don’t leave anything open to chance.
A brand might tell you they want you to mention their product in a YouTube video. But that’s very vague. Get specific details from them. Is it completely okay with them if you share your honest opinion about their product? Is there any specific logo you should use? Is there anything, in particular, they want you to say (for example current deals your followers could profit from).
Our advice is also that you actually read your contract and the campaign overview. Not reading contracts can get you into unfavorable situations – especially if something should go wrong. Also, if you talk with a sponsor on the phone, it’s a very good idea to recap the conversation in an email immediately. That helps to see if you both are on the same page about the agreement.
What’s more, always research the brand before working with them. You don’t want to agree just to find out that they have been involved in a huge scandal and would hurt your reputation too. Research them and also find out with whom they worked before. If the people they usually work with are completely different from you then you might want to evaluate if it’s a good idea. After all, you want your message and the brand message to work together.
If you consider all that you brand sponsorship has a good chance of great success.
Want To Strengthen Your Online Presence?
If you are an influencer or online business, brand sponsorship is a great way to increase business. But relying on sponsorships alone might not be enough, especially in times of recession.
A strong online presence is especially beneficial in times like now. If you take your business online then you can make money from everywhere. Many local businesses decide to go online after the shock they experienced due to the corona pandemic.
Dan Lok himself runs his businesses mostly only for years. And his social media presence allowed him to go from local businessmen to a global business owner, educator, and mentor of thousands.
If you want to go online, strengthen your current online presence, or build a larger audience to find more sponsors then the High Ticket Influencer Program might be of interest to you. It includes the exact steps that Dan Lok used to go from zero to eight figures with his business. In times like this, it might be what saves your business. Find all details about HTI here.