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Blogger Sponsorship for Conferences Part II: Finding a Sponsor

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Finding sponsorship to help defray the cost of  attending conferences isn’t as simple as it sounds. There are a lot of steps involved, but the hardest part is finding a sponsor. Finding a brand that shares the same message at your and your blog, and, is willing to pay for you to be a spokesperson is no easy feat. Why should they send you when they have P.R., Marketing and even social media people already on staff? It’s with this is mind that you should seek out sponsors.

Ask yourself:

  1. Who is the biggest advertiser for my blog or community? Is there a person, business or brand with whom you already share a relationship? There’s a major online name I’m negotiating with for a few upcoming events. I sent a proposal to them because they’re a major advertiser and because my community benefits from their service – and vice versa. Check your blog’s advertisers first. They might surprise you and say “yes!”.
  2. Who shares the same message? Is there a brand or service promoting the same thing as you on your blog? If the advertiser thing doesn’t pan out, approach the like-minded brands first. It doesn’t make any sense to choose a sponsor who has nothing to do at all with your niche or topic. Find the folks who are the best fit.
  3. Who will best benefit my community? Choose your sponsor with your community in mind. If the brand is a product or a service your community can relate to, they’ll be more inclined to take you up on your recommendation. This will make the sponsor happy. If it’s a product or service having nothing to do with your community, there won’t be much love on either end. Remember, your sponsor is looking for a little ROI action. If they’re footing your bills, they want to get a little something-something in return.
  4. Who will best benefit from my community? See above. If a business sponsors you and your blog, how will it benefit? Are you sure your community will respond? How likely are they to invest money in this product or service? If this brand can’t benefit from your community, it’s not a good fit.
  5. Who will best benefit from my expertise? Community is important but so are you.  What brands will benefit most from your expertise? Do you have a blog with very high traffic? If so, an ad will do well. Are you a social media expert (if there really is such a thing)? Perhaps your guruosity is just what your brand needs to spread its message. Target your areas of expertise and then target the places that can benefit the most.
  6. Who needs a conference presence but doesn’t have a large staff? Maybe there are some startups that would like to have a presence at conferences but don’t have the team members or funds to invest in a booth. It might be more cost efficient for them to pay your airfare and hotel then to lose their own staff for a few days.

Once you have some idea of who or what makes an ideal sponsor for your blog, make a list. First start with advertisers or people you already have a relationship with. Then do a websearch for products, services, startups and websites that are a good match.

Next in the series: Writing up a proposal for sponsorhip.

Also see: Blogger Sponsorship for Conferences Part I: What Do You Have to Offer?

Image via John Weise’s Flickr Stream


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