Want to get a sponsor for your podcast but don’t think you have the download numbers to do it? Think again! You can create a revenue stream from your podcast even with a small audience. With these savvy strategies for successful pitching, you’ll get your next sponsor in no time. Here's everything you need to know about how to pitch a sponsor for your podcast even with a small audience.
How to Pitch a Sponsor for Your Podcast Even with a Small Audience
Too many podcasters wait and wait and wait until they think they *finally* have a big enough audience to pitch a sponsor. Why wait, podcasting friends?
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You don’t need 4,000 downloads per episode to book a sponsorship like the industry standards would have you believe. In fact, you can book a sponsor with just a couple hundred downloads per episode!
It’s time to think beyond the numbers and embrace everything you bring to the table when looking for a sponsor. Utilize these strategies to pitch a sponsor for your podcast even with a small audience and you’ll be prepared to negotiate a win-win deal without waiting until you grow your audience.
1. Tout Your Testimonial
What’s more compelling to your audience than a 30-second ad? Your honest and authentic testimonial! Sponsors aren’t just looking for a podcaster to read their ad. They want to partner with podcasters who can speak to their own experiences and share that product or service in a compelling way.
Offering your endorsement and authentic testimonial provides far more value and converts sales much better than reading an ad. Studies show that consumers who read testimonials are more likely to trust a brand, feel comfortable buying a product and end up more satisfied with their purchase. Even if you don’t have a large audience to offer a sponsor, your testimony can be powerful for conversions.
Pro Tip: Instead of looking at advertisers who are spending money on other podcasts, look at where you’re spending your money. What products and services do you already use and enjoy? What are you constantly recommending to your friends, family and peers? What brands are coming up naturally as you record podcast episodes? Your personal experience makes you uniquely qualified to advertise a sponsor. Mention in your pitch how long you’ve been using their product or service and what results you’ve seen from it. You are a living, breathing testimonial and that is a huge benefit to a potential sponsor.
2. Match Their Niche Needs
Many brands would rather get in front of a small, niche audience than try and sell to a small percentage of a broad audience. If you focus on who a sponsor wants to get in front of, you can meet their needs even better than a larger podcast with a broader audience might be able to do.
For example, popular podcasts may be able to advertise a sponsor to a large audience of women. Your niched podcast, on the other hand, could get a sponsor in front of women entrepreneurs who work from home.
The idea is this — if your podcast is local, get a local sponsor. If your podcast audience is full of photographers, pitch brands who want to get in front of photographers. Your niche could be tied to the topic of your podcast or it could just be something a lot of your audience members have in common. Tease out that niche and brainstorm brands that would value it.
Pro Tip: Before you can match the niche needs of a sponsor, you need to know the needs of your audience. Do the surveys, ask questions and keep your eyes open to discover the demographics and psychographics of your audience. Knowing their age, income, relationship status and more in addition to their beliefs, fears and problems will help you match your audience to the perfect sponsor and vice versa.
3. Leverage Your Entire Platform
Your platform is more than your podcast. By sharing your social media following, email list and entire community with a sponsor, you can more than make up for a small audience. Podcasts of any size can use this tactic to charge exponentially more than the standard industry rate for sponsorships. I’m talking double, triple, even 20x the industry standard rate, all because you’re leveraging the value of your community on multiple touchpoints.
How are you connecting with your community? From livestreams to in-person events, you can offer sponsors the opportunity to advertise on these platforms to help them connect with your audience in a number of ways. Marketing expert Dr. Jeffrey Lant teaches that people need to make contact with your brand at least seven times before they take conscious action (and I think it’s more!). By offering a multi-touch advertising opportunity, you’re helping sponsors reach your audience enough times to actually make those conversions.
Pro Tip: Paint a full picture of your community when you’re pitching to a sponsor. Go beyond the numbers and share the human side of your audience. How have they engaged with you? What have you accomplished together? Show potential sponsors the impact and engagement your community has across platforms and you’ll show your worth.
Go Forth and Negotiate
With these tips in mind, you’re ready to pitch a sponsor for your podcast even if you have a small audience. But before I let you go, I’m going to share one more piece of advice.
Don’t be surprised if sponsors don’t come back with an automatic yes. And if a sponsor gives you a quote, expect there to be some room for negotiation. Most of the time, you’ll end up negotiating – and it’s not a bad thing. It’s just part of the process. It is your job to confidently and creatively illustrate the value you bring to the sponsor to come up with a package that’s a win-win for everyone. Don’t be intimidated by big brands. Get out there and show them what you’ve got!