*This article was originally published on Smarta
Sponsorship isn’t just for Premier League football clubs – and despite what the front covers of newspapers might tell you, it can actually be more impactful for small businesses if you do it well. Jackie Fast, founder of Slingshot Sponsorship, has worked with big brands across the globe and the entrepreneur gives her 5 tips for securing sponsorship this year.
The benefit of being a small business in 2015 is that you have many more sponsorship assets that you can work with than ever previously, allowing you to create more sponsorship packages, additional value, and ultimately driving more revenue to your bottom line.
Here are my top 5 tips for securing sponsorship successful in 2015:
1. Don’t Just Think Money
There is a big misconception that sponsorship is a cash transaction. However, a lot of sponsorship is done through contra agreements or value-in-kind. You can significantly decrease expenses by partnering with experts in the form of Venue Sponsors, Photography Sponsors, Branding Sponsors, PR Agency Sponsors, etc. Have a look at what is costing you the most and if your audience is of value, then there is an opportunity to work more collaboratively with your suppliers.
2. Think Outside of the Box for Contra Deals
Sponsorship can also expand activity you are doing, which may lead to an increase in sponsorship. For example, many smaller businesses do not have the expertise, resource, or money to be as digitally savvy as they wish they were. However, by partnering with other digital firms or technology products, you may be able to incorporate more digital based services or products which may help increase your core revenue stream.
3. Consider Being A Sponsor
Most small businesses rarely consider sponsorship as part of their marketing mix as they feel that sponsorship is only for big business. However, securing sponsorship rights can also be done on a contra deal and can greatly increase your marketing activity with minimal cost.
4. Don’t Forget Your Audience
Sponsorship isn’t just about money, sponsorship is about creating a partnership which provides mutual benefits for both parties. You need to understand your audience as well as the audience you are going after before you start considering how to create a partnership. The better understanding of audiences and how those businesses can work together, the stronger and more sustainable your sponsorship will be.
5. Get Help
Sponsorship isn’t rocket science, but it also requires more than just going out and doing it. You don’t want to burn bridges and equally you don’t want to waste time, so some advice can help you get there much quicker than going it alone. Read blogs and articles, attend sponsorship conferences and events, or get training (check out Slingshot’s Bootcamp or Sponsorship Sessions!).
You can network with Jackie by following her on Twitter