Corporate sponsorships are when large companies partner with smaller businesses or influencers to reach their target audience. If you’re a small business owner looking for additional streams of revenue, this is a viable avenue to consider. When you understand how corporate sponsorships work, you can position your business in a way to attract corporate sponsorships. This article will get you started.
Corporate Sponsorships: The Basics
First things first… I caution you not to think of corporate sponsorships as ‘free money.’ Major corporations only do a sponsorship if they believe they will get a return on their investment. Therefore, they are selective in who they choose, and you will have work to do.
Next, it’s important to understand that there are a lot of different corporate sponsorship deals. For example:
- Contributing blog content on their website as a ‘residential expert’ and sharing it with your audience.
- Publishing sponsored blog posts on your own business blog so that the sponsor can reach your audience.
- Engaging in a social media campaign where you talk about the brand’s product launch or contest.
- Hosting product giveaways through your social media channels.
- Displaying advertisements from corporate sponsors on your website.
- Representing the brand as a speaker at industry events.
When you work with a corporation, you may even create a package that includes several options.
Before you sign any contract, make sure you understand clearly what is expected of you, and then be committed to providing what they ask for. Some things to consider are when deliverables are due, how you’ll be paid, and how long they can use your content and likeness in connection with their brand.
Finally, my advice for small businesses engaging in corporate sponsorships is to know your worth. Sometimes, as entrepreneurs, we are shy about charging what we are worth. A huge corporation that can pay you triple what you are asking will not tell you that you are undercharging. It’s up to you to quote a good price – one that makes you feel just a little uncomfortable but still is reasonable.
Now that you understand the basics, let’s continue to what you can do to position yourself to attract corporate sponsorships.
How to Attract Corporate Sponsorships
Corporations are always looking for ways to reach their target customer—and if they can do that through you, they will be willing to pay. So, check out this list of ideas to help you attract corporate sponsorships and position yourself as a great brand partner.
1. Grow Your Social Media Following
Social media is often a big part of any corporate sponsor campaign. When a brand considers investing in you, they’ll want to see that you have a large following (tens of thousands of followers) across major social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
2. Boost Social Media Engagement
Don’t have tens of thousands of followers yet? You still may attract corporate sponsorships if you have a particularly engaged audience. If a corporation can see that your posts are getting tons of likes, comments, and shares, they will be interested in your community, particularly if they see you interacting with your followers and can spot that you have built a solid relationship.
3. Post Consistently
Posting consistently is the key to growing a large, engaged following. Corporate sponsors will want to see that you are posting consistently on your blog and your social media channels without a long period of going quiet. They will want their brand messages to mix with the quality content you are already putting out there regularly.
4. Choose a Niche
What are you known for? For me, as the SmallBizLady, it’s clear that I have gone all-in on helping small business owners get started and grow their businesses. Because of this, I tend to attract corporations looking to connect with the small business community. This is important because corporations want to make sure their work with you is targeted to a specific audience. Therefore, you can attract corporate sponsorships when you define who you are and dig into a specific niche.
5. Understand Your Value
Why would a corporation benefit from working with you? It’s worth considering if you want to attract corporate sponsorships. There are many experts in every niche, so the more you can let your specific value shine, the more likely corporations will see it and want to partner with you.
6. Include Contact Info
It seems like a simple thing, but to attract corporate sponsors, you’ll also want to make sure it is simple for them to contact you. There are too many brands out there for them to spend a long time trying to dig up your contact details. So, make sure it is easy to find on your website and in all of your social media profiles.
7. Reach Out
Instead of standing back and waiting for corporations to find you, you may want to try to pitch a paid sponsorship to a brand. Remember, it’s okay to start small. Curate a list of possible brands that might fit with your own, then begin to reach out. For tips on building a relationship and delivering a pitch for corporate sponsorships, check out this article.
Corporate sponsorships can add a new revenue stream to your business and allow you to engage in some incredible partnerships with big brands. Make sure to select brands that you feel comfortable standing behind. Don’t promote what you wouldn’t buy or use, or else you risk losing trust with your audience. Also, always look for larger business opportunities. While a single blog giveaway is nice, when you start to attract corporate sponsors, you should be looking to establish ongoing long-term relationships.
Do you have additional advice on how to attract corporate sponsorships? Let us know in the comments below!