27.02 2017 09:33h

Approaching Sponsors The Way The Pros Do

Whoever you meet, here's how to get what you want
Sponsors, Influencer Marketing, Influencers, Advertising

Being fairly new to entrepreneurship those corporate suits (or chinos) can be quite daunting to approach, especially when negotiating budgets. That is…until you’re done with this article.

Here’s everything you need to have as part of your very own personal ‘media kit’, before walking into that meeting room.

1. Show a Strong Bio

Give them a glimpse of the man/women that your audience admires so much. Talk about your backstory, qualifications (in and out of your field) and everything else that makes you such a compelling persona.

2. Have a Professional Presentation

You’ve invested a ton of time into building that presence, what’s a little bit more to ensure all of the below is presented in the most visually striking and clear manner possible. Or if you have a bit of time, visit Coursera or Udemy and pick up a PPT design course. Pair it with one on photoshop or another design software to compliment it with some kickass imagery.

Give yourself the best chance to succeed…cover all bases and leave no room for criticism.

3. Offer Advertising Opportunities

Be aware of all the options you have available

 Display Advertising: Where they’re placed and for how long play key roles.

  • Site
  • Newsletter Ads
  • Social Media Promotion

Sponsored Content: The more popular and impactful form of advertising. Also known as native advertising, where you’d write a piece that would indirectly promote the brand. These are of course priced at a higher rate, about 2-3x the value of display advertising, owing to their being more genuine and opinionated, not to mention time consuming on your part.

When it comes to sponsored content, make sure to bring content ideas to the table as well, like we said, the easier for them to buy in the better. Also, you don’t want to be caught having a blank moment if asked.

4. Have A Rate Card

While the sponsored content can be priced ad-hoc depending on the amount of time investment, the expected coverage, where you plan to place them; your display ads can and should be consistent. As mentioned, where they’re placed i.e. above the fold, side panel, etc should help determine the list price.

To close a deal, maybe consider offering discounts for longer bookings that extend a quarter or above.

If you’re scratching you’re head about how to price these appropriately, be sure to check out our article on ‘’How to Make Money From Your Content’’.

5. Know Your Starting and Walk Away Rates

Bringing us to our next point, for the more negotiable items like the sponsored articles, you need to know what your walk away rates are, that is the lowest your willing to go. The general rule as you’ve probably heard a million times is start high and taper down, and you can be assured they’ll try and do the exact opposite on their end.  

Realistically though, this depends on: 1. How confident you are in acquiring sponsors for that rate, 2. How confident they are in acquiring coverage for the same. In other words is there competition out there selling at a lower price than you.

Is your rate justified? If higher than the norm, is it because you have stronger engagement numbers? Is your blog more respected? If so, and you have the numbers to back it up, you should have no trouble securing those rates.

6. Have Stats Coming Out Your Eyeballs

I mean, it’s only what they’re there for right…?

Which means getting the numbers on your blog (acquired through Google Analytics/Webmaster Tools), your YouTube and your social media (acquired through platform dedicated tools or Hootsuite/Sproutsocial/Buffer) all sorted and available to quote.

Where possible, always make and highlight positive comparisons with competition. Not all sponsors are alike; they may place little or more value on certain stats. Be prepared for all possible scenarios.


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