How to get a sponsor for your podcast, with Stephen Woessner
Good Morning Onward Nation – I’m Stephen Woessner and welcome to Episode 460 –this week’s solocast where I will share the specific step-by-step recipe for how to get a podcast sponsorship, a lesson that I learned directly from one of today’s leading authorities on the topic of podcast sponsorships. Her name is Linda Hollander, and she is off-the-charts amazing. I’m telling you – the lesson in this solocast is going to help you monetize your content in new ways – or – if you already have a podcast sponsor – it may give you some new insights on how to sell a podcast sponsorship upwards of $100,000 per year.
Thank you for being here – thank you for all of your support – thank you for all of your daily encouragement – thank you for all of the wonderful emails sharing what you like about the show – and just as important – sharing how my team and I can get better – how we can deliver even more value to you and your teammates.
I appreciate the emails, the tweets, the Facebook posts, and all of the connection requests on LinkedIn. I want you to know how much you mean to me – how much you and what you share with us energize my team and me.
You and your feedback is the lifeblood of the show and so before we dive into today’s lesson – I want you to know how much I deeply appreciate you taking some of your precise 86,400 seconds you were blessed enough to receive today – and sharing your time – your most precious asset – and deciding to share it with me.
And because time is the most precious asset for all of us – I have invested my time in building a lesson for you today that will add value in potentially many areas of your business. But I will say – despite the value this lesson will provide you – it may make you uncomfortable. You may feel put on the spot.
You Are Worthy
As you consider the potential of executing on the ideas I share with you this morning – you may immediately begin to talk yourself out of the opportunity. You may second-guess yourself.
You may feel that you and your business are not worthy of such lofty goals.
So as we move through the lesson…as I share with you the practical and tactical of what you need to do when you work to attract a sponsor for your podcast…and you start to second-guess yourself…and begin to feel that your show or your business is not at that right level…I want you to remember the wise words of Marianne Williamson when she said…
But…how do I know this to be true?
Because Onward Nation, Marianne’s words struck me to the core the first time I read them. I was hit hard. I knew she was speaking to me and other people who felt the same way as me. In three simple sentences – she beautifully addressed head on the biggest obstacle of success that was blocking my path.
So now, instead of praying and focusing on opportunity to come my way…I have shifted the context to be more in-line with being ready to accept the abundance – to be okay in becoming the person I need to become to be the best steward possible – to be open and let the light shine in to cast out the darkness – so that I can see my full destiny unfold.
I am sharing all of this with you, in full transparency, so you have an opportunity to get your mindset right – to know you are worthy – that you are ready – that you can be more – that your business is ready for that next level – that your podcast is ready for a sponsorship – and that you are ready to apply all you learn here today.
And that I know the points where today’s lesson about attracting podcast sponsorships will make you feel uncomfortable because I have been there. I have felt the uneasiness of “not being ready” first hand. But I am telling you, Onward Nation – if you apply what I share with your this morning, you will push past the fear and leap onward to that next level.
For example, when my Predictive ROI team and I launched Onward Nation in June of 2015…some of the first questions from people closest to us had nothing to do with the tactical of how we were able to build the show from scratch and launch it in less than 30-days…or…how we were able to soar to the top of iTunes within just a few short weeks.
Oftentimes, one of the very first questions I received from those closest to me was…
“When are you going to sell a podcast sponsorship?”
This was a frequently asked question because having a podcast sponsorship was an outward sign of success – of legitimacy – that we had made it – that we were on our way to doing something special.
But here’s the truth, Onward Nation. The thought of selling a podcast sponsorship early on terrified me. I was afraid of rejection. I was afraid of sharing what might seem like small numbers for a new show.
I didn’t want to waste my time or the time of the prospective sponsors. I was afraid of being embarrassed during the process.
And the list goes on and on. But ultimately, I didn’t feel that this show – a couple of years ago – was worthy of a paid podcast sponsorship.
Why a Podcast Sponsorship Matters
But there was something else – and potentially even more paralyzing. I had no idea what to do – I didn’t know the first thing to attracting let alone selling a podcast sponsorship for our podcast. I knew zero. In fact, to say that I knew zero was to give me a compliment – I knew less than zero.
So my lack of knowledge – and my emotional insecurity around the topic of sponsorship – caused me to answer those initial questions on the topic as the opportunity of sponsorships didn’t matter as a revenue stream because we were focused on building the core business, which was true…but only a half truth.
Here’s what I have learned in the over two years of hard work since that time:
For example, let’s say you’re considering listening to Onward Nation for the first time…and you see an ad for…
“Onward Nation with Stephen Woessner.”
Versus if you happened to hear…
“Onward Nation with Stephen Woessner, brought to you by Bank of America.”
Which one sounds more credible?
Exactly! The opportunity of having a Bank of America or some other large brand connected to your brand provides you with some degree of transference of their credibility over to you and your brand.
So, I knew that I needed to figure out the strategy behind how to get a podcast sponsorship as a way to take Onward Nation to that next level. But I had no idea where to start.
And then – as is the case often in life – I got the push that I needed in order to make the change that I needed to make.
AMACOM, my publisher for my book being released in mid-September entitled “Profitable Podcasting,” asked me to write a chapter that provided insights into how to attract and sell a podcast sponsorship.
“I’m sorry, what was that?” is how I initially felt. Gulp.
I had no idea how I would provide value in an area where I had not developed mastery. However, instead of letting the fear of the assignment linger, I quickly told myself that the recipe that would result from the assignment would give me with another example to share how a podcast could be used as a tool to collect the primary research needed so the chapter — a book chapter outside of my expertise — could be done and done efficiently.
And in full transparency, doing the research, filled in a skills gap for me so I know have what I need in order to close a big sponsorship deal on behalf of Onward Nation. I will share the news toward the end of this year — but oh my — it’s exciting to think about. Game changing.
So, for today’s lesson, I will share the full recipe on how to get a podcast sponsorship. What I learned along the way, from whom I had the honor of learning, and how you can take and apply the same knowledge to attract the right sponsor for your podcast.
Doing the Research
Okay…so how did I do the research?
In order to write a great chapter for the book, I knew that I needed to interview the right expert. So my first call was to Wendy Keller, my exceptional literary agent and great friend. She orbits the distant moon of awesome – she is otherworldly. Yes, I’m kind of a big fan.
When I shared my challenge with Wendy, she quickly said to me, “Oh, I know exactly who you should interview for the chapter.”
BA-BAM. And that’s another reason why you need the right inner circle, Onward Nation. Why you need to surround yourself with the right experts, the right mentors, and friends who are moving at the same pace and tempo you want to be moving at.
Five minutes later, Wendy had connected me with Linda Hollander, one of today’s leading authorities on the topic of sponsorships. Both Inc. Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine have featured Linda as the industry leader in how to sell corporate sponsorships. Linda has over 20-years of experience as a business owner. Her clients and sponsors include Microsoft, FedEx, Citibank, Mattel, Bank of America, Marriott, Health Net, American Airlines, IBM, and Wal-Mart. Her client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in corporate sponsorship.
Just go to www.sponsorconcierge.com to find Linda.
Wendy suggested I interview Linda then transcribe the interview and turn it into a chapter for the book. Brilliant.
I followed Wendy’s blueprint — interviewed Linda — and viola — Chapter 16 with deep expertise from one of the industry’s leading experts on the topic was done.
And I was a heck of a lot smarter after having learned directly from Linda. Rock solid awesome!!
But in order for that to happen – I had to set my fear and ego aside and focus on the assignment – and let go of the fact that I didn’t know something about the world of podcasting, and much less about how to get a sponsor for your podcast. I am taking you so deep behind the green curtain here because I want you to see – everyone deals with fear – everyone has obstacles – everyone is uncomfortable from time-to-time in their business – everyone deals with the imposter syndrome.
But the true measure of greatness – is whether you will let it paralyze you – or – will you push past it and walk toward your destiny. I believe in you, Onward Nation. You are just one phone call or one interview with an expert away from finding that missing piece that will ignite your business to the next level.
Have the guts to make the calls, Onward Nation. Get out there and leverage your podcast as a tool for collecting primary research from top experts — even if your expertise lies outside the area being researched. The interviews you conduct will provide your podcast listeners and true fans with exceptional value, just as Linda did for you.
And the transcripts of your interviews can be converted into chapters for your book.
How to Get a Sponsor for Your Podcast: The Full Recipe
So here we go…let’s dig in to learn how to master a new skill…the skill of attracting the right sponsor for your podcast…a sponsor who can provide financial resources to support your show…but more importantly…a sponsor who can lend their brand to you…and in doing so…provide you and your show with additional credibility.
So you can get the full context of what I learned from Linda, I am going to share the specific questions I asked Linda – so you can model them – revise them – and then use them when you interview your industry experts.
So here we go…
For my first question, I asked Linda…
“Please take us back to the beginning and your first event so business owners reading this can have the full context of what you have accomplished.”
I asked Linda this for two reasons: 1) it is an easy, soft question that helps develop rapport at the beginning of a conversation when two people are just learning about one another. It would be inappropriate if I asked Linda to share all of her deepest and most valuable sponsorship strategies as the first question. That would be way too abrupt. So focus on building some rapport first. And 2) because I always wanted to know Linda’s backstory because it is wonderful context to know that she came from nothing – and yet – she pushed herself to be more – and despite the odds and the fear – she was successful in securing Bank of America as her first sponsor. She is amazing.
So in Linda’s words…
She had the privilege of working with some great top tier sponsors but it wasn’t always that way. Many of her clients early on in her business were women so she wanted to start the Women’s Small Business Expo to deliver even more value to clients. But she needed sponsors because putting on an event is cash intensive. Ultimately, her first sponsors were Bank of America, Wal-Mart, and IBM.
She had never done an event in her life. She had no idea how to do an event. She had no experience. She had no following. She had her parents on her email list. She put her brother-in-law on her email list, too. They weren’t going to tell her no. If she could have put her cat on there, she would have done that. But despite how she started out, she was able to attract several top tier sponsors.
And when her event attendees came, they would ask Linda, “How the heck are you getting these sponsors? We thought you had to be a big company and have all this experience and track record,” and Linda said, “Absolutely no.” Then Linda knew there was a need in the marketplace for training business owners how to attract sponsors.
She lost a lot of time and money when she first started to learn the sponsorship game. It took her six months to get her first proposal together and she lost $75,000 in the process.
Linda told me, Onward Nation that it was painful, it was excruciating.
Some people wouldn’t even talk to her because she was a micro-business. But, there were also people who said to Linda, “You know what? I’ll talk to you. I’ll help you.” Then she said to herself, “When I learn this stuff, I’m going to teach other business owners how to do it.”
Amazing backstory don’t you think, Onward Nation? Does that help push some of the fear or apprehension aside for you? She started with nothing – no following – nothing – and she went out and did it anyway. She is rock solid awesome.
Okay, let’s press on. Next I asked, Linda…
“Let’s start off with some definitions. When we hear “sponsor” that could mean different things depending upon someone’s business model. What does sponsorship mean, what does a sponsor want to sponsor, are they programs, events, or businesses?”
Linda shared that the definition of sponsorship is “Connecting a company with people who can buy things.” If you know people who can buy stuff, then you can get sponsors. Linda wants you to know that it is a lot simpler than what most business owners think.
In fact…here’s what is “sponsorable.”
- If you have a business — that could be sponsored.
- If you host a radio show
- If you host a podcast
- If you host a television show or YouTube channel, or a blog
All of that can be sponsored. And of course, if you host events like Linda, you can get sponsors because sponsors love live events.
If you’re a speaker or an author, you can get sponsored, because as a speaker and an author you have access to an audience — a fanbase of people — who know your work and know your book, and as a speaker you command the platform.
Companies don’t have people who can speak, who can command a platform, or capture the attention of an audience. So that is a huge advantage for you, Onward Nation!
At this point in my interview with Linda – I started feeling excited and actually really confident.
And the fear, you might ask? What fear? HA! Linda had me so completely energized by the possibilities I was learning from her!
The Mistakes Business Owners Make When Trying to Get a Sponsor
Next I wanted to learn about the pitfalls – the common mistakes business owners make when they head down the sponsorship path so you, Onward Nation – and me – could try to avoid the same $75,000 mistakes Linda had experienced.
So I asked Linda…
“What are some of the biggest mistakes you see business owners making time and time again as they pursue sponsorships?”
She let me know there are a few mistakes to be weary of, and she’s made all of them, so the lessons she could share were directly from her hands-on experience.
Mistake #1: The first mistake is, believe it or not, is not asking for enough money.
What?!? I thought to myself!
Linda went on to explain that asking for too little money can hurt a business owner because they are, in effect, telling a sponsor they don’t have anything of value to offer.
Linda often gets calls from business owners who are trying to sell their $500 sponsor package. They’re going to be presenting to a busy, stressed-out person inside a company, and if they see a sponsor package priced at $500, they’re going to think the business owner doesn’t have anything of value.
In the sponsorship process, you have what’s called your “Champion,” and this is the person within the sponsoring company who loves you, but they have to sell you and your program to their colleagues, their team, and their boss, and maybe the people working under them to get it approved. Onward Nation, your pricing strategy needs to communicate value in order for them to do that.
For most of Linda’s clients, what she sees them typically win is between $10,000 and $100,000 in annual sponsor fees.
If you do an event, if you have a podcast, or something else that is episode-to-episode, bundle everything together for the year and sell an annual sponsorship because you’re going to be more successful in properly positioning yourself with sponsors.
Mistake #2: The second mistake business owners make is not using an industry standard proposal.
According to Linda, your sponsor proposal is one of the most important but least understood documents. You have to use an industry standard format or you will not get funded.
Your proposal must look amazing and have the right compelling benefits.
So to recap, Onward Nation – the two biggest mistakes you need to avoid are asking for too little money and not having a good proposal.
Why You Need a Podcast Sponsorship, Not an Episode Sponsorship
Okay, I was really intrigued by what Linda was teaching me, and I knew that in order for the lessons to have the most value to you and to the readers of my book, Linda and I needed to drill in deeper on the topic of around gaining a podcast sponsorship.
So I asked Linda…
“Let’s say you’re a podcaster. Sounds like you would try to sell an annual podcast sponsorship of your show instead of weekly episodes, but you would also package in your entire platform including social media, email lists, webinars, events, etc., right?”
In Linda’s opinion, yes, you want them to sponsor your entire brand — not a single show.
It took Linda a while to figure this out because at first she started to have sponsors for her events and then thought, “Wait a minute, I’ve got a whole brand here.” When she had them sponsor her brand, she made a whole lot more money. Instead of a business owner saying, “I’m a podcaster,” you should brand yourself as a “media company” who does podcasting because sponsors are not quite in love with podcasting yet. It’s still new. It’s still cutting edge.
But if you say you’re a media company, Onward Nation then their ears are going to perk up.
Then they’re going to be interested.
Talk about your podcast, but then talk about the other things you do such as, email blasts, social media, maybe even YouTube. Talk about all of the touch points you have. Then Linda took me back to the definition of sponsorship; “Connecting a company to people who buy things.”
Onward Nation, you need to tell your prospective sponsors how you can connect them to people who could but their stuff.
At this point in the learning from Linda, I was feeling really confident about the steps, the process, the upside, and the mistakes that needed to be avoided in order to save time and cash. Then I had another spark of fear – but in full transparency – it was probably more ego than fear – when I had the thought, “Wait a minute…if I sell a podcastsponsorship for Onward Nation to a Bank of America, for example, doesn’t that diminish our own brand in some way?”
Does a Podcast Sponsorship Diminish Your Brand?
So, I took the opportunity to ask Linda because I figured if I was thinking it – and could potentially turn that into a roadblock – then maybe other business owners would be asking themselves the same question. The best way to push that aside was to ask the expert.
“Do I diminish my own brand if I go get a sponsor?”
And she put my mind at ease by letting me know that she is asked that question a lot because as business owners, we want to be independent, we don’t want to have a company influence what we’re going to say, and we don’t want the appearance that we’re biased.
Linda has never had a sponsor try to influence her content in 16-years of doing this. And if they ever did, she would just say, “Hey, that’s not part of the program.” Onward Nation, you design your program — the sponsor writes the check — that’s what goes on with sponsorships.
Also, the promotion of your sponsor does not have to be outlandish or in your face. The promotion can be elegant and understated, such as signage, banner ads, or things you put on your website. And if you do recommend a company like when Linda was working with Citibank, and she would recommend Citibank, she would disclose it by saying, “I need to disclose that Citibank is my sponsor,” and then you are in integrity by disclosing it.
So nnow Linda was removing trap door after trap door and each and every excuse I was letting creep back into my mind. I was loving this conversation and the opportunity to learn from someone who has been so successful in this arena – but for me – even more important – was that she had scraped her knees, and busted an elbow, a time or two. She had the in-the-trenches experience that I love and really value.
And if you have been listening to Onward Nation, you know I am a big fan of success secrets…those things…that if we apply them give us the ability to make stochastic jumps onward to new levels.
So I asked Linda…
“Are there any secrets to success business owners need to apply in order to be successful in attracting a podcast sponsorship?”
Linda let me know that a secret is to make your sponsor the star. Most business owners when they try to get a sponsor, they fall into the trap of talking about what their business does, they might say things like, “I’ve have this great podcast, I have this great book, I have a great business, I have a great non-profit, or event, etc.”
Business owners can sometimes talk about themselves and that’s not the way to get a sponsor.
The way to get a sponsor is to talk to the sponsor about what you can do for them. Say, “Hey, Mr., Ms. Sponsor, I’m going to educate people about your products and your services. I’m going to help you increase your product and your brand loyalty. I’m going to help you grow your customer base. I’m going to help you drive sales and traffic.”
Do you see the difference, Onward Nation?
You’re saying, “Hey, the sponsor is the star” and your prospective sponsor is going to look at that and say, “Hey, this business owner understands that it’s about me and not about them.”
You’ll tell them a little bit about what you do because they have to understand it, but mostly what you’re going to tell the sponsor is “Here’s how I’m going to benefit your company, here’s what I’m going to do for you.”
How Long Does it Take to Get a Podcast Sponsor?
Okay, Onward Nation – at this point in the interview, my confidence was soaring. I was beginning to think through the pitch and presentation – my thoughts were going to sales strategy and other ideas were firing. But, an essential component to any strategy is timing. How long would something like this take to pull together?
So I asked Linda for her help about timelines…
“Let’s talk timelines. How fast does, or maybe how long, is the sales cycle you typically see for attracting $10,000 to $100,000 sponsorships?”
Linda started by reminding me that sponsorships are a relationship business. You need time to develop relationships with companies. Here’s where it’s going to be maybe a little bit of a shock to business owners. Linda recommends eight months to a year before you need the funding to start approaching prospective sponsors. Linda went on to tell me why.
If you’re approaching Microsoft, FedEx, Staples (those are called the “Top Tier” sponsors), they have a process. You have to apply and you have to wait for them to approve it. They like to have a lot of lead time because whatever you are doing you have to talk about how you are going to work with their company, what kind of a program you are going to build together, and it takes time to develop that depth of a relationship.
It will take time to get your first sponsor.
But, Linda also shared some thoughts on how to complete the process quicker. There are “Top Tier” sponsors and then are “Second Tier” sponsors. In the banking industry (and banks are a great place to find sponsorships, by the way), Linda has worked with Bank of America and Citibank. They are top tier. But there may be a local community bank where you live, Onward Nation. There may be an up and coming player in the banking industry you might want to work with.
That won’t take as long because it’s easier to get to the decision makers and to get that process of sponsorship started.
The amazing thing about sponsorships being a relationship business is that there is something called renewals in sponsorships. And renewals are magic. Renewals are your cash machine because if a sponsor likes you, they can fund you this year, next year, and the next year. Linda has sold multi-year sponsorships with FedEx and Citibank. Her clients have had multi-year contracts with Verizon, Dole Foods, and Black and Decker just to name a few.
It’s not a quick cash strategy. It is a long-term strategy to fund your business, Onward Nation.
That’s why Linda recommends that business owners go for a one-year contract because one-year is about enough time to really analyze the relationship and if the sponsor wants to continue. If your sponsorship is from event-to-event, or episode-to-episode, a podcast sponsor is not going to see that much growth as far as return on investment, so they are less likely to renew.
3 Steps to Attracting on a Podcast Sponsorship
Now it was time to begin formalizing the recipe – I could see the individual ingredients – but I needed Linda’s master skills with the recipe to help pull it all together so I could see the result outcome she was already envisioning.
So I asked Linda…
“Let’s get tactical and think about key steps in the process, the action plan, things that are going to improve the probability of success. If you were to give business owners one, two, or three things they need to do, what would those steps be?”
Linda was kind enough to share a three-step process to attracting a sponsor.
Step #1: Write Your Sponsor Wish List
The first part is to do what she calls the “Podcast Sponsor Wish List.”
The wish list is the list of companies that you would like to have as sponsors. Remember in your sponsor wish list to include both Top Tier and the Second Tier sponsors. Most business owners when they start their wish list think only of Top Tier sponsors. Go deeper.
Since Linda and I had already talked about the banking industry, she then shifted to talk insurance.
Yes, banking and insurance may be perceived by some business owners as boring industries. Everyone wants glam sponsors like fashion, cosmetics, and accessories. But the boring companies have the money.
Let’s take the insurance category, you’re going to think of State Farm, and AFLAC, and all the ones that have paid to be top of mind. Then go a little deeper by doing some Google searches into smaller insurance companies, the up and coming brands, because the up and coming brands need you to get their name out.
Linda told me that these second tier companies are outstanding prospects because they don’t have the brand awareness of the big brands and will be more open to what you have to offer, Onward Nation.
Linda then shared a tangible example of that in practice. She worked with a company called Evolution Insurance Brokers. Nobody has ever heard of Evolution Insurance Brokers, and that is exactly why they sponsored her. They wanted to get the word out about their company. They’re not AFLAC, they’re not State Farm, they’re not the big players in the industry.
But, Onward Nation…the second tiers have money to invest. Linda was not able to disclose exactly the value of the podcast sponsorship with Evolution Insurance Brokers, but it was 5-figures.
Step #2: Prepare Your Proposal
Step two is preparing your professional proposal. Linda recommends writing what she calls an “Industry Standard Sponsor Proposal.”
The full sponsor proposal is about eight to ten pages in length and here’s what it includes:
- A description of your “property.” Onward Nation, write down the word “property” because what you do now is called the “property.” Your podcast is a property. Your book is a property. Your speaking business is a property. Your business, your event, your non-profit, whatever you are doing is called a property. You want to describe that.
- You should include your sponsor’s goals, which should be similar to what we talked about earlier in this chapter, such as increasing brand loyalty and customer base, and educating people, and driving traffic and sales, and all that.
- You should include a one-page marketing plan. It includes all the ways you’re going to get the word out about the sponsor. Sponsors are interested in this because marketing is the difference between a good idea someone has in their head and something that actually has legs and is sustainable.
- You should include your demographics. Whether your demographics are mothers, the parent market, the entrepreneurial market, the urban youth, the baby boomer market, you need to describe your demographics. Include any testimonials you have.
- You should include your sponsor fees like the ones we’ve talked about.
Step #3: Create an Emotional Connection Through Storytelling
The last thing, and here is how Linda and her team write proposals differently than anyone else in the country, is storytelling.
You want to have good storytelling inside your proposal. Linda calls it “passion points.”
Linda is able to sells sponsors because she doesn’t just put in the proposal what’s called your “pretty bio.” The pretty bio is your education, and the awards you won, and your experience. All of that is nice but what you want is to be vulnerable, you need to make a human connection, because you’re not just pitching to a faceless cooperation. You are pitching to a person, a human being, and you want to show your humanity.
In Linda’s story, she talks about how she was in the poverty trap. She talks about how she was in an abusive relationship. Her story has helped her secure sponsors because you want them to see you as a real person.
The emotional connection is important, Onward Nation. You want to put beautiful storytelling in there. If you don’t want to include your own story, put the story of someone you’ve helped through the work you do.
Be sure to include some emotion. Business owners often make the mistake of thinking, “Oh, I’m going to impress them, and I’m going to put facts, and figures, and statistics in there.” But unfortunately, that is not going help you rise above the competition. Be human.
Other Tools & Resources for How to Get a Sponsor for Your Podcast
All of the proposal ingredients from Linda really had me energized, Onward Nation. But then I started thinking about tools and other resources that I might also need to know about in order to make the process of selling a top tier sponsor as efficient as possible from a time perspective.
So I asked Linda…
“Are there any other tools, any other resources you think business owners ought to study to make this process as efficient and effective as possible?”
Linda shared that her website at www.sponsorconcierge.com includes two free gifts. One is the “Number 1 Secret to Getting Corporate Sponsors.” And the second is that she does free sponsor strategy sessions with business owners so they can book a sponsor strategy session with me. During the sessions, she takes a look at what you’re currently doing, and together, you develop a success strategy to attract the right sponsor.
To close out the interview, I asked Linda if she had any final advice that she thought we might have missed during our discussion.
Linda closed by sharing how important it was for business owners to know that they can do this. The number one question Linda is most often asked is, “Why would a sponsor want to work with little ole’ me? I’m just getting started. I’m not a big company. I don’t have a track record. I don’t have a big following.”
And Linda said to me, “Stephen, please know you can do this. You have value. You have things a sponsor is going to be attracted to. You just need to package it in the right way.”
She reinforced the point by telling me the story about how she got her first sponsor…
Linda lives in Los Angeles, California, so when she first had the idea to do her initial event, she was driving around in her clunker car and she of course was stuck in a traffic jam. She looked up and see a billboard for Bank of America and there’s a woman featured within the billboard design, so Linda thinks to herself, “Okay, they’re trying to get the women’s market.”
Immediately, she starts doing self-sabotaging and thinking, “Why the heck would they talk to me? I’m just working from my home from my kitchen table. I’m not a big company. What the heck am I going to offer Bank of America?”
But Linda’s dream and mission to help people was so strong that she couldn’t get it out of her head. So she got the courage to make a call to Bank of America and finally got the person who could greenlight the sponsorships. She finished her proposal, got everything done, and had an appointment at their office – and she was super nervous.
Then he said to Linda, “Well, let’s see your proposal,” and she handed it to him. And he said, “Okay, well we’re going to go for this level of podcast sponsorship,” and it was a five-figure podcast sponsorship.
Linda had to act like she did this all the time so she said, “Oh, great,” and then had to shake his hand but her hand was so clammy she had to wipe it off!
She got back in my car and did the happy dance right there in the parking lot! She drove home and waved to all the Bank of America branches on her way home.
You never know what’s going to happen, Onward Nation. It all starts with a thought. It starts with a dream. It starts with a vision. We’re taught to have these big dreams but we’re not taught how to finance the dreams, and dreams take money, and that’s where sponsors come in.
You can do this!
Hold your head up high. Know that you have quality and you bring value to your sponsors — and — you can fund your dreams.
So with that said, Onward Nation…
I want to thank you for taking the time to be here with me today. It is an honor to have you here — thank you for tuning in — your time is sacred and I am delighted you chose this episode to be what you listen to, study, and take with you on your morning run, or maybe Onward Nation has become part of your daily commute, or in some other way has become part of your morning routine.
Fill Your Sales Pipeline Q&A
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The Sell with Authority Podcast is for agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants who are looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality.