How to Get Authentic Sponsorship
Being able to get authentic sponsorship matters. Lack of authenticity can disrupt your message.
As a blogger, writer, marketer or anyone in business, authenticity matters. Many of us get so focused on trying to get our message out to the masses we forget our roots. Getting wrapped up in seeing what other people are doing and trying to copy them rather than separate from them. As an imitation you will be seen right through by your readers or clients. In turn the lack of authenticity will devalue your business and gather more moss than trust.
Recently I was sucked into the vacuum of trying to improve my own blog by reaching out to a couple of companies to inquire about sponsorship. First pitches that I have sent out since I have been blogging of any real substance, I was excited. The first company, has well yet to respond, not even a auto-responding email, just crickets. The second company responding pretty quickly stating they were forwarding the request to their marketing department for review. Excitement right?
A few days passed and I received a follow-up email from their marketing team. Pretty standard, “we appreciate your interest, we are not going to pursue sponsorship at this time.” However they offered to send samples of their brand for me to try. I thought to myself, well it is at least a win, I mean I get samples to try for free right? I humbly accepted my defeat and gave them my address for my samples to be sent.
When the package arrived I was impressed in the amount of samples they provided, may have even Instagramed the swag. When I tried the sample however my excitement dwindled. The image of the ‘cool’ brand that I had seen someone else promote did not live up to my expectations. I was caught in a dilemma of pride and ego. I had sold my site off in an attempt to gain sponsorship from a brand I saw someone else like. My lack of authenticity to myself, my own brand, my audience almost got sold out to the highest bidder.
Discouraged a bit with the lack of bites on the lines of sponsorship I had tossed out into the sea of businesses, I reeled my lines in. Before I approach another brand in the interest of sponsoring my site, I will do my due diligence. In order to promote or advertise a company, organization or product on my site it will need to pass the taste test so to speak.
Ways to Determine Authentic Sponsorship
Relevant – Is it in line with the message that I am sharing with the world. Does it matter not only to my readers, but to my mission as well?
Listen – “listen to the market” your audience will tell you what is authentic to them.
Your Voice – do what is right for you not for someone else. The brand needs to resonate with your voice.
Values – Does the brand align itself with the morals and values that you express? Many companies may look great on the surface, and many are.
Win Win – As with any relationship, whether business or personal, it is best to have a win win. One where both parties are in it to help one another succeed.
Once you have found the right flavor of brand(s) that your would like to add value to their marketing, then comes the ‘ask.’ Many times the ask will involve some effort on your part before actually asking. Anyone that happens to listen, read or watch Gary Vaynerchuk would be familiar with the give(jab), give(jab), give(jab) right hook(ask) theory (Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook).
In context you may need to promote the brand you want to partner with for free before asking them out on a date. Add a little romance like tweeting, doing a product review and promoting them before taking the next step.
This will add not only value and authenticity to you relationship with that brand but will also show other brands that you value their business.
I welcome your thoughts and input on how you develop your authentic sponsorship relationships whether on you blog, website or business as a whole. Look forward to your comments below on “How do you get authentic sponsorship?”
As a side-note: If you would be interested in sponsoring or advertising on this site, please contact me directly (right hook).
About Charles Johnston
Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.