This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog written by Kristen Bowie.
Every small business- no matter if it’s a home-based micro business or a small local brick and mortar- needs revenue. While a vast majority of small businesses rely on the sales of products or services to drive that revenue and serve as the main income source, there are other ways to drive revenue and raise funds.
Developing sponsorship relationships are one way to drive revenue. Sponsorships are mutual business propositions that offer something in exchange for a financial commitment. These types of relationships have been growing in recent years- account for $65.8 billion in company spending power in 2018 alone.
So how can your business tap into this (even if you’re based at home)? Let’s explore some ways that you can tap into the power of sponsorships for your business:
Know Your Market/Audience and The Companies That Fit Into It
Every year, large companies have to get more and more creative while trying to reach new audiences that they typically don’t have at their fingertips. This is less expensive than, say, traditional media like television and radio and allows them to approach potential new customers through an intermediary that has already cultivated their audience’s attention and trust.
The first step in identifying the companies that would be a good fit for sponsoring your business is to make sure that you can articulate exactly who it is that you serve.
Are your customers male or female? How much do they make a year? Do they have kids? Are they frequent travelers? Identifying all of the characteristics of your customer base puts you in an advantageous position to start researching the companies that advertise to or want to reach your group of people.
If women with children are your target, look at where they hang out online- parenting sites, forums, and blogs and take note of the companies that are advertising on these sites- these companies are potential sponsorships.
Determine The Value You’re Offering
Sponsorship can take many forms, but some of the common forms they take include:
- Sponsored posts from the company on your blog
- Product giveaways to your audience
- Product reviews
Design a few packages that offer potential sponsors a mix of activities and options or let potential sponsors pick them separately. The goal is to build long-term relationships with sponsors, so regularly thinking of new ideas to engage your sponsors for years to come.
Have A Great Sponsor Proposal Defined
Drafting a proposal is your opportunity to tell the exciting story of your business. This is your chance to stand out and help develop the emotional connection with potential sponsor brands.
Remember, there is a person on the other side of these brands that read through these proposals. Make it your goal to develop that emotional connection with the person who will be making the decision to sponsor your business or not.
When you write a sponsorship proposal, don’t just state what you sell. Describe how you impact lives. Don’t forget- sponsorships aren’t about just your business.
The company you’re hoping to partner with will need to see value in the relationship too. Include all of the information you have about your target audience, reach, and strategic approach that you will take to help sponsors reach their targets.
Ask For What You’re Worth
Too many small businesses make the mistake of undervaluing their services. Don’t make the mistake of not asking for enough money in sponsorship proposals or pitches.
You are offering sponsors value and direct access to untapped potential customers. These companies typically have deep pockets and are used to large deals. Value the audience you’ve cultivated and charge accordingly.
Sponsorships are a great way to drive revenue and increase your business’’ bottom line while providing value to the companies that you partner with. They’re a great way to diversify your revenue stream and monetize the traffic you’ve cultivated.
About The Author
Kristen Bowie is a marketing leader, forging the path with data-driven decisions. When she’s not writing for thought leadership and creating sponsorship proposals at Qwilr, she’s hanging out with her two urban dwarf goats, painting, or watching a local band.