Your business may be approached as a possible sponsor for community sports teams, television or radio broadcasts, trade shows, and other events, but have you ever thought of seeking sponsors for your small business?
Why would anyone want to sponsor you? Because you can offer them some form of visibility they see as beneficial, such as putting them in front of their potential customers. Your best prospects for sponsors will be businesses that provide a different product or service than you, but serve the same market.
Sponsorship can be obtained for many business activities. Here are some examples to get you started.
Sell advertising in your customer newsletter or online ezine, or on your Web site. You may choose to sell advertising directly to sponsors, or join a program that automatically feeds ads to your Web site, such as Google AdSense. You can learn more about AdSense here.
Speakers can obtain sponsorship for keynotes and workshops. What products or companies would like to be associated with you and your message, and get in front of your audience?
Consider obtaining sponsorship to publish a book. Although it is rare to see advertising in books, it is sometimes done. Or, your sponsors may be identified in other ways, such as in the acknowledgments or on the back cover.
Hold a contest and get sponsors to donate prizes in return for promotion during the contest. Contests often draw publicity and other interest, so sponsors will be seen by a lot of people.
You may be able to represent a business as a corporate spokesperson. The corporation would pay you a fee to represent them in personal appearances, advertising, media interviews and other public venues. These opportunities are usually available to people who are viewed as experts, such as authors or those with credentials in a specific field.
Host your own radio show and get sponsors to pay for it. You can buy blocks of broadcast time from radio stations, then sell advertising on your show. If you collect more advertising revenue than the station charges you for the air time, you make a profit. Even if you don’t, you get others to help pay for an activity that promotes you and enhances your credibility.
So how do you get sponsors? First, identify the businesses that would be most interested in reaching your audience. Then approach them with a proposal. Networking can help here. Do you know anyone who knows anyone with connections to your prospective sponsors?
Explain what sponsors will receive when they work with you. Let them know how you can help them reach their target market, and make it cost-effective for them. Show the visibility and credibility your business has in the community, and how they will benefit from association with you.
Be on the lookout for new opportunities to collect sponsorship dollars. The Internet offers possibilities such as Internet radio shows and podcasts, and you may be able to attract sponsorship if your audience is large enough or targeted enough.