I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half. I’m no blogging expert, but I enjoy writing and I have a marketing and sales background, so I get by. That being said, if you’re planning on finding (or begging) for a sponsor (or sponsors) for a blogging event, remember one thing; the only things they really want to know is what’s in it for them.
It sounds bad to say that, but every well-to-do business didn’t get there by throwing their money away. Companies thrive on the what-can-you-do-for-me foundation, from their employees to their PR and, yes, their sponsorships. Just like sales, it’s a numbers game, but you also need to remember, when you’re pitching companies for a sponsorship, the what-can-you-do-for-me foundation applies to you, as well. If you’re a ‘mom blogger’ then you have no business pitching a men’s suit company. There’s nothing you can do for them, so you’ll end up looking like, well, a sponsorship whore.
Again, let me stress that I’m no expert. In fact, BlogHer will be my first blogging convention but if you have no idea where to even start, I hope I can help. First, make an A, B, C list.List A should be the list of companies, direct and PR, with which you’ve worked most often or with which you have a long-standing relationship. Your B list will be companies that you’ve worked with a few times, or with which you’ve exchanged fewer emails, but still enjoyed working with. Your C list are companies you’ve posted for before, and that you think would be a good fit for a sponsorship, but might be a long-shot.
Next, put together a few ‘packages’. Figure out how much you need for the event or conference. Make a list of these expenses, including airfare, rental and gas if you’re driving, ticket(s), meals, and other expenses. Then, using those figures, create a tiered list of packages from which your potential sponsor can choose. I have four; a Platinum (full cost), a Gold (three-quarters cost), a Silver (half cost) and a Bronze (a quarter cost). Within each package, list the benefits that accompany each, increasing benefit with each increasing tier. This may include posting on Facebook, posting on Twitter, including a sidebar ad on your blog and so forth. Some bloggers make theirs public, others don’t. I make mine public but request that no one uses it. Make sure to create your own tiers with your own ideas, and make sure they’re promises you can keep.