by Steve Harrison
My author clients often come to me for advice on how to best stretch their dollars for the marketing and promotion of their books. Especially in these troubling economic times we are all seeking the most effective ways to get our message out there, and marketing and publicity (both essential to your book’s success) can be expensive. This is why I advise my clients to seek corporate sponsorship. Wouldn’t it be great to build your platform on someone else’s dime? To have your next book tour paid for? To be promoted on a major corporations email list or website?
To hitch your wagon to companies with instant name recognition and huge infrastructures that already know how to market to their audience? Yes, believe it or not, there are numerous companies and organizations out there actively seeking to sponsor authors and entrepreneurs just like you.
Think about it, you can spend years building your lists, searching for ways to reach your audience, raising money to promote yourself, your cause, or your product or you can reach out to corporate sponsorship and achieve all your objectives more effectively and in a much shorter time frame. But why would a big company or organization want to help you achieve your dreams and what kinds of things to they sponsor? How to get a sponsor?
Below are some tips from a corporate sponsorship expert who’s mastered doing promotional partnership deals with leading companies and organizations. These tips are just a preview of what you’ll learn when you participate in my free telephone seminar with my guest who shares how to get sponsored.
Ten Types of Projects Companies and Organizations Will Sponsor
1. Book buys and book tours.
If you are an entrepreneur and an expert who has written a book whose topic ties in with their corporate marketing goals, they will potentially buy thousands of your books as giveaways to a specific audience they want to reach. They may also pick up the tab for your entire book tour from meals to travel.
2. Live events, conferences, and seminars.
These types of events require not only lots of time and effort, but considerable marketing challenges but they are also magnets for corporate sponsorship. This is because any time you can gather alike-minded audience it holds great appeal to large companies and organizations because it allows them to market/advertise to them.
3. Educational programs.
For example: you are an expert on financial education for teens. Your sponsor will pay you to create the program and for the marketing costs. An ideal sponsor in this example would be a credit card company. What’s in it for them? Good public relations for an industry very often seen as uncaring and greedy.
4. Corporate programs.
Similar to an educational program, this is ideal for an expert in leadership, sales or communication. Your host sponsor pays you to create the program and in some cases to help implement it to their employees.
5. Product buys and launches.
If you’ve done an audio or video product you realize how much goes into the marketing, creation of a website, etc. to promote and launch that product. Find a way to tie into a corporate marketing plan that wants to reach the same market as you and they will handle all those things required to launch your product.
6. Promotions, contests, and sweepstakes.
These are effective ways to get people involved and aware of your product or service but they are expensive. Find a like-minded corporate sponsor to supply the prizes. Remember they love the advertising and they love that you are doing the bulk of the work setting up the contest or promotion and they have the connections you need to make it work. This is one way to get sponsored.
7. Websites and online communities or events.
This is the same premise as #6, corporations and organizations love the hip factor of new media such as social networking and always want their brand to appear cutting edge.
Say you’re a life coach and you want to provide your services to people who really can’t afford you. A sponsor is perfect for this situation. Another example of this is Doctors without Borders, an organization that provides medical services to impoverished people. Sponsorship allows them to provide their essential services and still get a paycheck.
Corporate America loves to sponsor causes because it is invaluable PR. Companies have sponsored all sorts of causes from cancer issues to clean drinking water in the third world.
10. Tours—educational, marketing, and corporate.
Any type of tour which will hit multiple cities is prime for sponsorship.
Ten Reasons Companies And Non-Profits Do Sponsorship Deals.
So what are companies and non-profits hoping to gain from sponsoring you? Here are ten reasons they want to partner with you.
Reason 1. To complement their current marketing initiatives.
Companies are always focused on reaching specific target demographics and if your book or service corresponds with that target demographic they will often want to partner with you. This is called alignment. Here’s an example of how this would work. A company like Dove is highly focused on women’s self images of themselves, always stressing that women possess natural beauty and should love themselves as they are. If your book or project shares the same philosophy, it would be a natural fit to partner with them.
Reason 2. To complement another one of their products.
Companies will often send out informational packets outlining their services or products—and say the gist of their marketing is that using their product or service will enhance your life and make you a happier person and this dovetails with the message of your book. The company will want to bundle your book in the packet because it makes their service or product more valuable to the consumer.
Reason 3. To perk a customer and increase their brand loyalty.
Large organizations and companies already have millions of loyal consumers and the trick is obviously to keep them happy and loyal to the brand. To do this, companies will often give these loyal customers extras and if your book fits in with their corporate philosophy, you have the potential to sell them thousands of copies which will simply be giveaways to their valued customers.
Reason 4. To deliver new content to their audience.
Believe it or not, these large corporations often just flat-out run out of things to say. They need content for their newsletters and ezines (which often reach millions of people) and quite often they are using very little staff to produce them. They need you and your expertise to provide them with appropriate content.
Reason 5. To train their staff.
If you’ve written a book on sales, leadership or conflict resolution you’d be a perfect fit for this. Companies are always seeking ways to make their employees more productive and this is a golden opportunity for appropriate authors because it would constitute a major buy that could also include seminars and training programs.
Reason 6. To create awareness and visibility in a new market.
For example: the largest growing population segment in our country is Latinos, which means every major corporation is doing their best to market to this expanding group. Let’s say you’ve written a book on Latino leadership principles. Your book could now be a tool used for outreach in the Latino community.
This creates more awareness and visibility and most likely would lead to them sponsoring your speaking engagements and outreach in that community. This concept of course would apply to any demographic a corporation or organization is targeting.
Reason 7. To display their products or brand.
Companies and organizations have the means to put on their own seminars and conferences but would prefer to sponsor yours. This is because they realize people don’t attend these events to be pitched to, but to acquire learning. Content is king and they would rather you provide it as well as the audience. What they get is the opportunity to put up advertising signs or perhaps give out new products.
Reason 8. To create unique customer experiences.
In an age where it is increasing hard to break through the clutter and get your corporate message out, this has become a very popular form of sponsorship. Large companies can easily afford to advertise to get new customers but they’d prefer to give the consumer an experience they will always remember.
This might be giving away tickets to an author event or sponsoring an online contest on a social media website. The key is to give their consumers an experience they will talk about with their friends creating a viral advertising effect. Companies love this because it makes them seem current and on board with cutting edge technology.
Reason 9. To differentiate themselves from their competition.
The reality is that most companies are marketing to the same people in the same ways. They need you as an expert to do something unique on a book tour or in a seminar. They need you to come up with new ideas and they will sponsor you because you make them look different, unique, and real.
Reason 10. To showcase social responsibility.
Corporations are very conscious of their image and they always want good public relations opportunities to show they are doing good deeds for the community and world. They want to help you promote your cause if you can find a way to tie it into their product or corporate message. A real example of this premise is a teenage girl named Shauna Fleming who a few years back started a letter writing initiative called “A Million Thanks.”
Her idea was to get people to write a million letters to our troops in Iraq and overseas. She ended up with countless corporate sponsors eager to help her out, from General Motors to Jody Maroni’s Sausage Kingdom. They loved the good press and the cause. Check out Shauna’s very worthy cause at www.amillionthanks.org.
Bonus Reason 11. To generate sales.
They will partner with you to bring new attention and awareness to what they are already marketing. This could entail having you create a DVD, seminar or tour to go along with your book. For example: A company currently marketing towards African-Americans in the inner city would be interested in your book about how African-Americans can discover who they are and how to succeed in the world. They can now use you and your book to create a new affinity and generate new sales.
In closing, let me reiterate that getting sponsorship from a major company or organization is a very attainable goal. You do not need to be famous and you don’t need to be already rich or a business owner. You don’t need to be an author published by a major publisher.
All you need is: A great idea (That’s your book, event, product or service). An understanding of how that idea can help your partners and a knowledge of who to talk to, what to say, and how to pitch the deal.
That’s just a small preview of what you’ll discover on Steve Harrison’s teleseminar on how to get corporate sponsorship. Hope you can join us. NOTE: If the tele seminar has a past date just register and you’ll be notified the next times it’s given. (Which is typically soon).