Get a sponsor for your podcast… go ahead, I dare you!
As you probably know by now, getting a sponsor for your show is not such a simple thing to do.
- There are tons of shows
- The competition is getting tougher
- Not all potential advertisers have bought into podcasting as an advertising medium – yet
- Not all advertisers will fit your niche audience
- You have to have a show worth advertising on
And on top of all of that… how do you actually get in touch with the actual decision-maker who can actually pull the trigger to sponsor your show?
In this post I’m going to walk you through an idea I had about how anyone can take their best shot at getting a sponsor for their podcast
ONE DISCLAIMER FIRST:
I’ve dreamed up the scheme you’re about to read. I have not tried it.
But given the many clients I’ve worked with and the stories they tell about getting sponsors, I believe with all my heart this idea will work.
And it’s not for the “faint of heart” who aren’t willing to take risks. How about it, are you game?
If you decide to try this approach, I’d love to hear from you.
The “get a sponsor for my podcast” experiment:
1 Have a show worth sponsoring
It should go without saying, but it doesn’t – so I’ll say it.
If your show quality is below average you don’t have a hope of getting a sponsor.
A quick check-list to ensure your show has quality standards that any sponsor-to-be would be proud to endorse:
- You use a good quality microphone ** (they don’t have to cost a lot).
- No excessive background noise or harsh “S” and “P” sounds (these are called “plosives“… really, they are).
- Music and spoken word segments are balanced and easy to listen to.
- Your audio levels are, well, level. That means you’ve done appropriate loudness normalization (to industry standards… my service includes this at no extra charge).
- You know how to talk, speak, interview, explain without boring your audience to tears.
- Your content is good stuff, relevant to your specific niche.
2 Pick a company you’d like to see sponsor your podcast
Go ahead, dream!
This is your podcast we’re talking about so aim high and choose a sponsor that would be the ideal, perfect, best-fit for your show.
Make it an industry leader who would put a powerful stamp of approval on what you’re adding to the market.
Other than that, there are only a few “make sure”s I’d suggest:
- Make sure they have a product that fits your niche audience.
- Make sure that product is truly beneficial to your listeners.
- Make sure that you use the product yourself to know the pros, cons, bugs, and best practices.
- Make sure they are a company your listeners think well of and would be happy to buy from.
3 Create your own “advertisement” for that company’s product
You may need to learn a bit about copywriting for this piece, but it will be well worth your time.
You’ll be creating your very own advertising for the potential sponsor’s product that you’ve identified.
Yep. You will. I’m not crazy, just convinced.
Here are some well-considered tips for how to go about it:
- Make sure everything you say about the product is absolutely true. (Do your homework/research).
- Consider using a variation of the advertising copy the company itself uses (That way you don’t have to worry about the first point).
- Never make claims about what results to expect (You don’t want to imply that the company makes those guarantees).
- Tell your own story about using the product. (But make sure it’s clear that it’s YOUR story and not a guarantee).
- Create 2 or more versions of the sponsor ad.
You are going to write this out, like it’s ad-copy your perfect sponsor gave you.
And you’re going to read it on your show (in a few steps).
Seriously. You’re going to advertise their primo product for free (for a limited time… and for an AMAZING reason).
4 Create a “pretty link” that is easy to speak and gives you analytics of click-throughs
“Pretty link” is a free plugin that you can set up on your blog that creates an easier-to-remember link that goes to a webpage you designate. It will also provide you a limited but adequate of set of statistics on how many times the link has been clicked.
Let’s walk through an example using one of my products and my website…
Let’s say I want to send a person who clicks the link to the product page here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VU6XGHC/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d2_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-1&pf_rd_r=1W6SNB50R512F37PTACR&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=2079475242&pf_rd_i=desktop **
You can do that in a much prettier and simpler way by using a Pretty Link that looks like this: http://www.PodcastFastTrack.com/greatproduct **
So you’ll create your Pretty Link, target it to your potential sponsor’s product, and mention it in your advertisement.
For an easy-to-follow and short tutorial on how to set up a Pretty Link plugin to do this, check out the video below.
How to set up a pretty link
5 Begin running your “sponsor” advertisement on your podcast episodes.
This is pretty simple.
You’ve heard sponsor spots run on other podcasts.
You’re just going to do the same thing on your show using the ad copy you created.
- Choose the length of time you’re going to run the “ad” for your podcast sponsor (I recommend a pretty substantial length of time… maybe 5 months?)
- Don’t call the company a “sponsor” of your show. Just tell your listeners that you have a great resource you want to tell them about. (Avoid potential legal trouble)
- Be sure to include the easy-to-remember Pretty Link you created for their product.
- For the sake of integrity, don’t send the listeners through your own affiliate link. (I don’t have anything against affliate links, I just think that when you contact your potential sponsor, it will look more genuine if you don’t use an affiliate link).
- Be patient. It’s going to take a while, and you may have to do it all over again if it doesn’t prove to be a good sponsor-podcast fit.
- After the trial period, review your click-through stats to assess the experiment.
6 ASSESS the analytics you get from this experiment – HONESTLY.
A company will only be interested in sponsoring your show if the DATA shows that there is sufficient ROI (return on investment).
That means they won’t spend money advertising on your show if there’s not a reasonable hope that they’ll make more than they spend.
So be honest. You need to look at the number of click-throughs soberly.
Most click-throughs DO NOT result in a sale. About 3% of them will. So figure out what that number is given the data you’ve accumulated.
- If – in your estimation – the numbers DO validate that your show would be a good fit for that sponsor, you’ll go on to the next step.
- If – in your estimation – the numbers DO NOT verify that your ideal sponsor would earn income from advertising on your show, run the experiment again targeting a different company.
7 Contact your dream sponsor about the possibility of sponsoring your show.
And don’t go empty-handed (like many podcasters do).
That’s the point of this entire experiment.
You’re going to be able to show the potential sponsor, in a respectful, data-driven way, that your show may be a good investment of their advertising dollars.
When you contact the “ideal sponsor” you’ve targeted, you’ll include:
- A description of your show, it’s target audience, and how long you’ve been publishing it.
- Data regarding number of downloads, reach, etc. your show has. You can get this info. from your media host.
- A clear description of the experiment you did, featuring their product.
- Why you chose their product for your experiment (it’s fit with your audience, etc.)
- The data you’ve gathered regarding your experiment.
- Mention the time-frame through which you did your experiment. They’ll have data of their own sales and may be able to make the correlation between your advertisements and their sales.
- Why you’d like them to be a sponsor of your podcast.
Do you see what you’re doing?
This method ensures you’re approaching a podcast sponsor in a way that appeals to them.
So how’s that for a strategic plan to find your ideal podcast sponsor?
If you’re interested in reading more about podcast sponsorship and how John Lee Dumas looks at the issue of sponsorship, you can find his article on the subject here.
** Affiliate link or my personal product