ASK A Blogger: Picking a sponsor is like getting Married



It is conference season and I am sure we are all looking for sponsors. I am looking for a Sponsor for Madame Deals. I think I am looking for a sponsor. You see I haven’t decided. I feel like taking a sponsor is like getting married. The internet has the ability to connect you to a company for a lifetime. I feel like I am not just a “blog” but a brand. I need to be careful who I connect my brand with.

When someone contacts me to sponsor me which has happened several times. The first thing I do is google the company. I look up past events they have done. I research their product. I then evaluate the person that I am speaking with I search them on google and I search them on Linkedin. I am so careful about who I am “dating.”You know while you are dating someone you need to get to know them. You need to decide if the way they run their business is a good fit for yours.

I make sure the product fits with my brand. Is it something I would use? Is it something my readers or fellow bloggers would be interested in? Do I have a the need to form a relationship with this company?  Did i have a relationship with them in the past? If so what had been my experience in the past. If not who can I contact to find out what their experience has been. I mean if you were on a blind date you would find out about the person.

The next thing I look at is what is the offer? I have been offered a couple of sponsorships that would cost me money to take them. What the advertiser wanted was above and beyond what I was willing to do. I have a valuable resource in my brand and site and I do not need to make a quick buck that will cost me in the long run. I will not post about you over  a year and give you advertising space because it doesn’t add up for me. I instead suggest options that are in line with my current fees.

It sounds awesome when someone wants to write you a check for $1,000 or $2,000 but what do they want in return? What will it cost you in time and resources. I had someone offer me $500 and they wanted ad space. The ad space they wanted earns me more than that a month so why would I go to a conference and talk about them while losing money? I had another brand offer to sponsor me but I just didn’t believe in their product. I knew I would not do a good job for them so I turned down the opportunity. I only accept positions that I know I will do well. I want to be known as someone who does things 100% or not at all.

You have to have a plan at the conference. What is that you want to do? What is it you are willing to do for a sponsor? What is your time worth? What is the connection between your brand and theirs worth for the long term. If you take short term cash because someone gives it to you and you sell services or ad space in exchange for the sponsorship are you hurting yourself in the long term? If you want to go to conference create a budget and set aside money so you do not have to jump on an opportunity just because you do not have an option.

Will I take a sponsor? The answer is simple if  a company I want to work approaches me or I approach them and it makes dollars not cents than yes. If not then  If it doesn’t than I will take the write off and spend the event building my brand by promoting myself exclusively. If you take a sponsor it is like taking a spouse so RESEARCH them because you will forever be associated with their company and them.

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