Let’s face it; selling sponsorship to a potential client is not an easy task because a lot of small businesses these days don’t really have a marketing budget.
In a nutshell, getting sponsors boils down to two things: offering something of value and building rapport.
So what are some crucial mistakes a lot of website owners make when it comes to selling sponsorship? Read on and find out.
1. Not contacting the right person
It’s quite obvious that if you want to sell sponsorship to a company you need to find the right person to talk to – the decision-maker.
Think about it, why would you bother pitching your offer to the receptionist when that person wouldn’t know what to do with your proposal??
If you’re pitching your blog/website to a company, you need to reach out to the head of the marketing department or possibly even the brand manager. Approaching the CEO or managing director directly may not be the best idea either because most of the time those guys are extremely busy.
2. Antagonizing Potential Sponsors
A lot of entrepreneurs think that antagonizing is an excellent way to seal the deal with a potential sponsor.
Don’t ever create a sense of urgency if there’s no sense of urgency.
Spitting out a line like “Hi Tony, the website sponsorship deal I’m offering you is for a limited time only, if you don’t take it now I would have to give it to someone else” is an epic FAIL.
First of all, keep in mind that you’re the one that needs their business not the other way around. Secondly, if you’re talking to the CEO or the marketing manager, you have to assume that this person is smart so they’ll probably end up laughing off your bullying tactics.
Just be courteous when you’re presenting your pitch, building rapport and lasting relationship go a long a way.
3. Allowing the Potential Sponsor to dictate the price
Most entrepreneurs and marketing managers are very savvy when it comes to getting value for their money. They want to milk any deal as much as they can for as low as they possibly can.
Don’t let a savvy CEO talk you into lowering down your offer to the point that the offer is just plain ridiculous.
It’s quite fine to negotiate and give a bit of a discount, but you need to put your foot down at some point otherwise if the word gets around, other businesses would want to get the same deal from you which could be very bad for business.
Try and price your packages above your actual price as well so that you have room for negotiations and to give potential sponsors the illusion that you’re offering a huge discount.
4. Pricing your offer too Low
If you’re pricing your offer a lot lower than what it costs to maintain your website, then it’s either you’re on crack, or you’re living in la-la land.
If you’re spending $500 a month to hire writers for your website, it’s pretty silly to start selling sponsorship space on your site for a measly $50.
Do your maths. Sort out your budget first before you start negotiating with other businesses. Having a clear indication of your expenses goes a long way.
5. Failing to give potential sponsors sufficient time
Setting deadlines are always smart, but you need to take into account that the bigger the company is, the harder it is to request sponsorship and funding as the money has to go through a lot of channels.
Corporate sponsors usually take time to get the funding sorted and are traditionally quite delayed with payment because the funding has to go through a lot of hands and approvals.
Make sure you allocate enough time for your sponsors to come up with the money and be courteous when you’re chasing payment. No one likes to deal with someone who sounds straight out of a debt collecting agency.
6. Not offering long-term contracts
Offering just a one-off sponsorship for your blog or website is not the way to go.
Why secure a one-time sponsorship when you can secure residual income for the next 2 to 3 years?
When you start designing your sponsorship packages, try to come up with a one-year and even two or three-year contracts.
This is a guarantee that there’s going to be funding for your website in the next two to three years.
7. Giving up
Did a potential sponsor just shut you down?
Don’t fret; it happens to the best of us. Don’t burn any bridges though; there’s no harm in calling your contact again and touching base – maybe telling them later that you have a great deal they might be interested in? You never know what can happen. Just make sure you give plenty of time in between these requests.
Don’t be that person who still follows up every week even though the business head has already said no. You’ll sound like one of those annoying lead generation telemarketers who keep calling until you give in.
8. Not doing your research
The dumbest thing you can ever do when you’re pitching something to a prospective client is not researching them.
How can you try to pitch something to a potential sponsor when you don’t even know what their business is all about??
I recommend going through their website and social media pages and learning more about their business.
Who’s their target market?
Is their website or social media pages lacking anything?
How can you improve their website and their business?
What value can you provide this business to get them to sign with you?
You need to study a business thoroughly and tailor a package that’ll suit their needs. You can point out what’s lacking in their business and offer an actionable solution.
Maybe their website is not optimized?
Maybe no one is managing their social media pages properly?
You need to explain to the potential sponsor why they need your business and what value you can provide.
9. lame marketing materials
Another stupid thing you can do is approach a potential client with a dumbass looking proposal.
Do you think you can secure a deal with a marketing material that looks like it was designed by a 10-year-old and has grammar and spelling errors everywhere??
Or can you really see your blog getting sponsors even though it looks like it came straight out of the 50’s?
Get outta here!
If you want to secure high-end sponsors, then you need a decent looking blog and topnotch looking marketing materials – it’s as simple as that. The more professional you look, the more they’ll trust you with their money.
10. Failing to discuss expectations
Once you’ve signed a sponsor, it doesn’t mean you can drop the ball and neglect them since they’re already on board.
Once you’ve signed them, you have to do everything in your power to make them feel like a VIP so that they end up sponsoring your blog over and over again.
Make sure you keep the sponsor in the loop and exceed their expectations. You don’t want to lose a significant sponsor just because you failed to meet their expectations.