You might need some cash for your small business. Not always owners head to the bank for loans, there are much easier and helpful options out there like corporate sponsorship.
Corporate sponsorship fulfills the need for extra cash and in return, the corporate brands get the additional opportunity for promoting and advertising themselves.
To land corporate sponsorship for your business, you must know how to start and what to target.
If you are new, here is everything you are going to need.
What To Know About Corporate Sponsorship?
Before you move further, you must know what is corporate sponsorship and why it’s different as compared to others.
Corporate sponsorship is given by a corporation or business to small businesses in exchange for receiving publicity or building their goodwill.
They pay for the sponsorship from their marketing budget, general profit, or philanthropy budget.
The corporation asks to get their brand name and logo on materials given in events and signage.
What Are The Benefits To Highlights For Corporate Sponsorship?
Despite all giving monetary benefits from corporate sponsorship, there are other benefits too.
When Small businesses approach the organization, there are eight benefits that they look for.
Access To Audience
Sponsors look for access to the market. They look for different ways to connect with their audience.
Sponsors also look for targeting new markets. Sponsoring small businesses helps them to access the audience as well.
The more you know about your supporter, demographic, followers, community, etc. The better you can highlight it.
Key point is to list the companies and brands which are targeting your audience.
Pro Tip: If you are communicating with the audience already through social media and channels, give access to the sponsors to have meaningful connections.
Industry Exclusive Data
In today’s business go beyond limits to have a profile for their brand in the market.
For the brands, targeting the right small business allows them to connect with the market they want to sell.
Offer them opportunities to your sponsors to market questions.
Use Trustworthy Connection
Being a small business has its own benefits, You don’t have a community, you have a family. It’s much more compact, warm, and friendly.
Organizations look for such offers where they can access the connectivity where the audience has faith and trust in the company.
It allows them to dive deeper and form a much longer-lasting relationship.
Pro Tip: Since you are using your connections, it’s crucial to focus on the image of your sponsors too. You don’t want to let anyone introduce your support.
Impacting The Buyer Behavior
Sponsorship should help the organization to impact the behavior of the buyers in purchasing.
Sponsors don’t just support the business by encouraging them. They look for your information, guidance, resources, and use it for their brand awareness.
What Material Do You Need Before Approaching Sponsherip?
Finding sponsors is going to need you to do a little bit of art and science both.
It’s important to understand the steps but also knowing the expectations and needs of the company is needed.
Before you approach, here are a few materials that can help in making you look organized. It also helps in boosting the trust of your prospects in you.
Sponsor Packet & The Benefits
The sponsor packet or detailed invitation for your prospects to show more of your idea and planning. It should be more polished and easy to look at.
Spend some time detailing the designs and making it easy to understand. It should look clean, well organized, and easy to access.
No matter if you are choosing a print or electronic form, make sure it gives a clear idea about what you are offering.
The look of your design can leave a huge impact on your prospects. It can also decide whether they will take it seriously or not.
When you get the sponsorship, you also need to say thank you to them.
It’s important to be ready with your acknowledgment plan so you won’t delay the process.
Be ready to send a thank you letter, and process the info from them.
The team is important, even if you have a small business it’s important to get some help instead of doing everything on your own.
Sponsors do not always help and sometimes they let you do the heavy work. It’s not easy to guide and manage everything at the same time.
Having a group of trusted people who can organize the work for you and give you relaxation and much effective work.
Also for sponsors, they will get an assurance that you can handle things without causing hassle.
How To Find Your Corporate Sponsors?
Now, when you are done with collecting important material to approach the sponsors. It’s time to understand how and where you can find them.
Instead of approaching every local and possible sponsor, you need to more understand how it works.
No business will approve of sponsoring you when they have no idea what you do and even if you are legit or not.
Instead of approaching everyone, here are a few points that you can consider
Get A List Ready
Listing the prospects who can help you or might help you in a previous time can be a good start.
Even though it’s common knowledge, still, lots of people skip this part. Do not forget to re-approach the sponsors you once tried but failed.
It can be possible that they were not in a position or didn’t understand your planning well at that time.
Write down the prospects you find easy to work with and have good experience in the list.
There might be more businesses around you who secured the sponsorship. You can ask them for help.
It can be much easier for you to find potential sponsorship. Also, such options can help you in knowing how to approach and what else you should know about the inside story.
Use Donor Database
If you have sponsors or still do, make sure you consider them first. Maybe you got sponsorship for a small amount last time but you can re-approach to get better help.
A good point about using your donor database is you know these sponsors already.
Also, you have a good relationship and that will help in processing further steps easier for you.
Look Around In Community
There must be businesses that have similar goals as you. You can get access to those by listing the same mission alignments.
The better connection you have, the more chances of getting sponsorship increases.
Steps To Secure Your Corporate Sponsorship
The small business needs more capital to run and to add more money sponsorships are the ideal way.
It also boosts the credibility as you are promoting your brand using already established businesses in the market.
In 2013, almost $18 billion was spent on sponsoring small business events.
To find the sponsor and to secure it is two major different things. Here are the steps that you can follow :
Step 1: Know Your Targeted Audience
The ideal reason why companies look forward to getting sponsorship or an offer one is to reach the audience they don’t have access to.
Even though there are multiple options like hiring influencers, purchasing ads on social media, traditional advertising, etc. Corporate sponsorship is a win-win solution for both parties.
But before you go forward, it’s crucial to know who you are targeting. Get a perfect picture of your audience demographic, income, gender, etc.
Also, consider the interaction with them, do you have an email list or using online groups to communicate.
Once you find the audience, now research the companies who can help you in reaching the targeted group.
Step 2: Introduce Who You are
Cold emails once in a while can’t help you in securing your sponsorship.
People don’t give money when they don’t know the person or have trust. It’s important to contact them personally.
You can use LinkedIn for listing the potential sponsors for you. Ask for a meeting, it can be 15 minutes as it’s enough to introduce yourself.
Never spend valuable time on things that don’t matter. The 15 minutes is important and you must use the best from it.
Pro tip: Do the follow up once you end the meeting.
Step 3: Identify The Benefits
Sponsorship offers different benefits that you need to consider as well.
Creating your package for approaching the corporates, make sure to add a mix of these benefits. Also, you can talk with them and look for what they want from you.
To engage and build the long last relationship with your sponsors, you are going to find the interest that can hold them for you.
The list benefits that it includes are –
- Product reviews to tell what you think about it
- Mentioning brand of products in a media interview
- Conducting contests and stuffing events for product giveaways.
- Mentioning books
- Product placement and publishing it online
- Sponsor content on your blog, podcast, etc
- Making demo or testimonial videos
- Social media mentions via tweets, stories, and posts
Step 4: Write The Compelling Proposal
Start working on making a compelling proposal that can tell about your business.
Instead of simply telling them what your business does, write a story. Make it interesting and meaningful.
When you are pitching for sponsorship, the corporate wants to know how you can help them and what kind of benefits they will get.
When you are crafting, here are some basic elements you should have in your proposal
- Start with a story
You can start with your own story or make it about the online community who contacted you after you did something for them.
Create something that can help in connecting your sponsor emotionally.
- State what you do
Include your mission statement along with why people follow your brand for what and the reason why you are working in this field.
- Make the benefit list
Create a list with genuine benefits that your business can bring for the sponsors.
- Describe your demographics
Start with using examples. Like, you have 45% male, 30 % female, 60% educated, etc engaging with your brand.
- Ask for money
State how much sponsorship you want for your event. Show your potential you got the team that will use it wisely
- Promise the deliveries
Add the deliveries along with the money it will cost. Make it in your money option.
Step 5: Ask For Money
Ask money but make sure you are asking for enough.
Lots of small businesses end up asking for less money that didn’t deliver the purpose.
Keep in mind that in return the sponsors are getting direct access to your audience.
It’s important to know that you are offering something worth the money.
Step 6: Do The Follow Up
Corporate executives might be busy responding to your emails. And reaching people is difficult and time-consuming.
Don’t give up and make sure you are doing follow-up timely. If you sent the proposal but haven’t received any response.
Dial the phone or check-in. Also, you can be left an email asking to check the messages you have sent or voicemails.
Reasons Why Your Sponsorship Is Failing Miserably
Sponsorship fails due to several reasons. Even you tried your best but still you could end up getting nothing.
It’s important to understand the details and basic points that affect the deals. Here are a few points for you to consider.
You Are Contacting the Wrong Person
Not everyone in the business is decision-makers. You can’t accept the no if the person doesn’t have the right to say yes.
Surprisingly, lots of times people waste their effort on the wrong person and even department.
Make sure who you are talking to has the right to say yes to the sponsorship. He or she is the one who takes decisions or can influence the committee to take final decisions.
You Don’t Have Value Proposition
The organizations have their radio station and everyone listens to the same thing. It’s called WII-FM, also known as ‘What’s in it for me’ radio.
You need to highlight the benefits first to get their attention. Without mentioning the value proposition, there is no deal for you.
It’s important to be as direct as you can. The sponsors should get a clear message that they are in benefits after investing.
You can use email, promo videos, social media, books, events, etc channels to promote the sponsors.
You Are Talking Too Much About Brand
The reality is harsh but your sponsor is not interested in your brand.
The sponsors want to know what you can do for them. How sponsoring you is going to benefit them and their brand.
Instead of talking about your brand, mention how much you can do, include your reach through various channels, and overall results you can deliver.
Your sponsor is interested in knowing more about the positive side that boosts their sales and helps in connecting with people more.
Pro tip: Give reasons, make the pointers to describe the reasons that can compel them to sponsor you.
You Don’t Know How To Handle Sponsorship
Even after getting sponsorship, you are going to need to manage everything. There are lots of cases where businesses ended up wasting their investments.
An effective community is a key that can decide your sponsorship is going to benefit or not.
Give them the idea about who, how, and where the sponsor support will look like.
Are you providing a phone number for getting in touch? Or personal contact?
Provide them the details about how you are going to use their content. Instead of sounding like a direct pitch, make it indulging, valuable, and shine for the audience.
You Have Poor Development In Audience
Getting the attention of the audience is hard. When you promise your sponsor to reach their audience. Make sure you believe it.
For example, If you promised to give 300 attendees but you end up delivering only 150. You might have to return their investment.
Also, you can end up losing your sponsorship for good.
It’s important to understand how far you can go and promise numbers you can deliver in reality.
Also, get your marketing plan ready and have enough budget to properly promote it.
Pro tip: You can use the affiliates to push more and achieve the numbers.
Tips For Landing Corporate Sponsorship
Landing corporate sponsorship is not that easy especially when you have so much competition in the market.
Sponsors look for companies who can help them too. The sponsorship should be beneficial for both parties to call it successful.
To make it easier for you, follow the tips.
Understand More About Prospects
Every business has its own objectives. Some are looking for better access to the audience, or better brand awareness.
Finding the objectives first can help you in planning your proposal. It should be something that directly benefits them.
The business or corporate organization surely considers sponsoring small businesses if they are helping them in achieving their goals easily.
Stay Clear About What You Need
When you are approaching the corporate, make sure you are very well aware of what you need.
You should know the difference between sponsorship and a grant. Foundations don’t offer the sponsorship that easily, instead, they fund programs or projects.
Since the corporate organization is using the sponsor money from their marketing budget, They look for better and beneficial investments.
They aim to get more attention, goodwill, and reputation in the market through sponsorship.
Stay Clear About What Others Will Get
The business deals when they know there is something for them. They won’t offer sponsorship if there is no benefit for their business.
The business invests its money to get something. If you are offering what they want then you are almost there to secure your sponsorship.
When you are approaching, make sure that you know what you are sharing. It includes
Promotion reaches through your social media, newsletter, website, etc.
Approaching the sponsors takes time and there are some cases when sponsors need lots of lead time for giving their approval.
To fit into the budget and manage the smooth flow of your work, you need to start as easily as possible.
When you offer the benefit, make sure you are approaching with something new and creative.
There are chances that some other company can offer similar results like you. But the idea and creativity are yours and it can’t be replaced.
The audience thrives for something exciting and creative. And that’s why these days businesses are opting for the creative route to impress their customers.
Track Your Budget
Tracking your budget, numbers of attendees, and impressions are important.
You can also share it with your sponsors to give them a clear idea about the whole event.
Use Media Sponsors
Using media campaigns can help you in getting the best out of your event.
As for your sponsorship, the business looks for attention, and the media is the best for such a job.
You can also approach your local tv, newspaper, and radio to become your media sponsors.
Get A Form For Signup
Get a form to sign when you are approaching the sponsors. Remember that they are not your sponsors until they sent you the payment.
The sign up can be a commitment in writing.
There will be some companies that offer their product or services instead of sponsoring you with money.
Be ready to accept in-kind sponsorship too. Ask your sponsors to get an estimate of the overall materials they are providing.
Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs) about corporate sponsorship
A corporate sponsor looks for three basic benefits i.e. Getting more customers, encouraging brand loyalty, and visibility.
When you approach, make sure to listen more so you can understand what you are looking for.
Start making an appealing story that can connect emotionally. Describe what you do, highlight the benefits, and ask for enough money.
Incorporate sponsorship, the companies pay on certain events to be the associate for promoting and advertising their brand.
The company gets benefit by targeting a new, loyal, and dedicated customer base.
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“Business, marketing, and Branding – these three words describe me the best. I am the founder of Burban Branding and Media, and a self-taught marketer with 10 years of experience. My passion lies in helping startups enhance their business through marketing, Branding, leadership, and finance. I am on a mission to assist businesses in achieving their goals.”