Just like professional athletes, artists can be sponsored by companies. In this article I want to explain to you how to get in contact with potential sponsors.
Getting sponsorships can be a practical way to be able to do what you love.
I’m going to try to break down the process of getting a sponsorship into five steps.
Also, I am going to focus on common mistakes when trying to apply for sponsorships.
A lot of people assume that sponsorship can only be obtained at a certain level of fame or significance.
I’m not proud of it at all, but I’ve partnered with more than 15 companies as a sculptor up until today.
Let me explain how it works.
Step 1. Understand why a Company should sponsor Artists.
The ultimate goal of a company is to sell a product or a service.
Different companies have different marketing strategies. Companies that support artists financially or with the frequent supply of their products use sponsorships as a form of advertising.
The people a company chooses to sponsor usually represent their target market.
Often, it may be a famous artist. Or it may be someone who is cute or cool looking. For example: tool companies obviously tend to look for artists who use materials and tools that fit their area of expertise. Try fitting their criteria, try to articulate yourself in a way in which it would only make sense for them to support you.
But it’s not easy to consider all these things if you want to, so if you don’t have it in you, you have to accept it (laughs).
Next, and more importantly, keep in mind that companies are looking for someone who can drive the sales of their products.
So even if you’re an aspiring artist without the usual CV and career path, you may still have other points of appeal maybe exactly because you differ from the rest. Find out what they are.
So, when looking for a company to sponsor you, understand what they are looking for. Imagine if your personality fits their criteria. Considering this, think of ways to purposely make yourself look more attractive.
Step 2. Prepare by Increasing your amount Social Media Followers.
It’s simple, if you don’t have a certain amount of audience there is no-one for a company to advertise to. Thus, you are less interesting for a company than someone else in a similar position might be.
Think of blogs, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, but also websites, YouTube-Channels, etc.
Other than that, probably much more important than sheer numbers is to find a language to express yourself in a way that makes it easy for you to be noticed. You didn’t wanna become an artist because you are into office-lingo – amirite?
So, find out about your target audience in order to understand your own artistic profile better. The better you have figured out about yourself, the more precise and confident you can approach companies about potential sponsorships.
Step 3. Think about what kind of sponsorship you need from which kind of companies.
There are many different types of things that companies can offer you, such as discounts on their products, tools, help with exhibition participation and travel expenses, and more. Generally speaking, the more attention an artist gets, the more they can ask for.
There is no formula, as every company does its own cost/benefit analysis to determine your value to them. Still, it’s helpful to have a goal in mind for what and how much of it you need when contacting potential sponsors.
Step 4. Think about exactly who you should contact.
Think about yourself and your fans. Which products or services do they use? It can be helpful to know the data statistics of your fans, friends and followers.
With that in mind, when you’re researching sponsors, consider small local businesses, even ones that are run by people you know personally. They understand your background better and they know how hard you are working.
Once you’ve found a few companies that seem like a good fit, think about who to contact within those companies.
Medium to large companies: medium to large companies handle sponsorships through their marketing departments or PR firms. It’s usually useless to contact their general contacts or sales people. They are likely to ignore it.
To find the right person to ask for sponsorship, you need to do thorough research. Also, unlike local companies, they won’t be considerate of personal conditions, so be careful and polite, but nevertheless make an precise and unapologetic appeal.
Most companies receive so many sponsorship requests that they won’t provide any kind of sponsorship contact. Remember, these things are frustrating, but they are never to end of your personal journey. I can tell you, confidently, that things are going to work out somehow.
Step 5. Contact them.
Once you have your research, presentation, goals, company and their contact information, you can begin to create the actual proposal.
Keep it short and to the point. Tell them who you are, how much you can spread the word to who and what you’re looking for.
Companies want to know what you can do for them and how much it will cost them. Be polite and keep it low-key, consider their position and demonstrate that you are interested in working with them, rather than just taking the money and running.
Best of luck! Let me know how it works out for you and check out other blog entries if you’re interested. Until next time.