How To Land Music Sponsorships and Grow
Carlton Rolle on November 28, 2017
Looking for the right music sponsorships to grow? You may not have sold out Madison Square Garden, but with the right tools you can go just as far.
Music sponsorships are becoming more prominent in the music industry. As artists and companies discover new ways to make more marketing and money, shouldn’t you be apart of the movement? You don’t have to be a huge artist or have played at big festivals. It’s all about networking and using brands and their fans to have continuous growth.
While securing money is the ultimate goal of the connection, it shouldn’t be the major attractor. Find brands that fit with your aesthetic or lifestyle. Having a sponsor that is out of place will generally give fans the sense of being a sell-out or disconnected from their desires. The feelings that brands play off of can add nuanced emotions and actions to your fan base.
Music sponsorships come in a variety of methods depending on your style and preference. No matter the genre or age demographic, musicians are sure to find options available. Sponsorships can come from companies in alcohol, fashion, media, food and really anything that can be sold to people. Rather than waiting for a sponsor to approach you, approach them for yourself. With social media especially it’s easy to direct message a brand you’d like to work with and build your connections. Landing a sponsorship could be the difference between landing a tour and finding a part-time job.
Build a Sponsor List
Getting sponsored can be as simple as asking for a couple hundred dollars for product placement or as difficult as securing thousands of dollars and having tons of stipulations. To be successful, find a brand that matches your own musical style. What would you or your fans do while listening to your music? Don’t look at this as a daunting task as you can now find so many contacts online and email them or use social media to your advantage. Use this as a basis to search for brands that you would like to sponsor you. Be creative about who you would want to be a part of and consider what brands will make the biggest impact for your career.
Put Together a Pitch for Brands
Once you’ve got a list going, you need to submit a pitch to companies. The pitch should introduce yourself to the potential sponsor. State your goals for sponsorship and lay out the plan for making it successful. Explain your fan base, targeted audience, and the benefits that all parties will gain from the sponsorship.
Send your pitch via email, direct message or call someone that handles marketing for the company. While it’s important that they know who you are, this first interaction should revolve around the desires of the company. Find a way to hook the company into your event or performance. Consider what you can do from the brand that would make your pitch package stand out.
Large companies receive hundreds of pitches for sponsorship all the time. As an artist, you have to ensure that you stand out from the crowd of other artists looking to receive the same treatment. You’ve got to hustle to push ahead. Focus on making your pitch as effective and creative as possible.
Explain Your Fan Base and Artist Influence
Let the potential sponsor know the depth of your fan base and influence. Create profiles of your fans to help a potential sponsor understand the size and influence that you have over your fans. Get to know their interests and goals. If you know what they do outside of an event, you have a means to place them with other products or services they may use. This is what the sponsor will be most interested in. Thoroughly understand your target audience and make this known to the potential sponsor. Make sure that the target audience has an overlap with the sponsor’s audience. Statistics from social media, websites, YouTube or older events could be very helpful in proving your case.
Event Logistics and Brand Placement
Once the main points of the potential sponsorship have been outlined, explain to the sponsor the logistics and preferred brand placement. It could be wearing branded clothing, selling merchandise, online marketing or impromptu concerts at a location. Include all elements in the production of the event or tour and make sure the cost of the event is fully articulated. Not only is the potential sponsor looking at your fan base and potential money generated, but the overall skillset that you have to execute the plan. Planning can be a nightmare for a musician and logistics, production costs, marketing, and sales can take a severe toll on an artist’s ability to be focused. Make sure you do the work and stay focused. Keep in mind that putting in the hard work is only going to help create your success.
The Impact Sponsorships
The sponsorship is a two-fold for involved organizations. In order for a brand to invest in you, you’re going to have to give them something in return. For some brand’s it could be simple access to the fan base. For others, it could be a matter of marketing and promoting the brand at certain times and venues. Make sure you understand the ins-and-outs of the brand sponsorship deal.
From the organizational perspective, sponsorships show that a brand is invested in something outside of itself. For a new or struggling artist, marketing or name placement within the sponsor’s network could mean a huge boost of traffic or new listeners. Consider what’s the most important goal to you as a musician. The fans of a sponsorship theoretically win on both sides, as anything done is for the benefit of the listener and potential new consumer.
Another method to make money like music sponsorships is through using affiliate marketing. While technically not being a “sponsorship” musicians can potentially make money from working with other brands. Affiliate marketing works by promoting products and services for a brand. Anytime someone purchases an item from your special link, you receive a portion of the sale. Learn more about how musicians can use affiliate marketing to make sales from this video.
Strive for Success
There are a couple things that you can do to push your potential sponsor into your actual sponsor. First thing, make sure the sponsor knows who you are. You wouldn’t ask someone to move in with you without knowing who they are and vice versa. Take the time to foster a relationship with the organization. Be realistic and make sure that there is a definite benefit outlined for the potential sponsor. Don’t ask for too much money too soon. Don’t be vague or oversimplify your purpose. Use incentives such as VIP seating or extra tickets for the potential sponsor as positive factor. Learn what your musical niche is and craft the perfect pitch before speaking to a potential sponsor.
Once the sponsorship deal has been made official continue to keep in touch and let them know what happened during the event. Also be sure to follow-up with them once it’s over. It’s a great way to show your appreciation, but also works on building a relationship to score another sponsorship deal.
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