You’re running a podcast and you want to get sponsorships. But how do you prepare your podcast for future sponsorships or brand partnerships?
I have been learning a lot these past few months about opportunities for podcast sponsorships. The good news is there are more and more opportunities here for the podcasting industry. Before you can start pitching brands, you need to make sure your podcast is ready for them.
Here are some steps you can take now to make sure your show is in tip-top shape for future sponsorship deals.
Is sponsorship something you really want to pursue?
Before you start pitching to brands, ask yourself – do you really want to do this? Is this something that you want to pursue or not?
There are so many ways to monetize your podcast and sponsorships is a one way to do it. But you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. Always know that you are in charge. If you don’t want sponsorships then don’t get them.
It’s also important to know that sponsorships, can be a win-win for everyone, for your audience, for your brand, and for yourself. It is not a bad thing to get paid for what you do. And you can even get paid really well for creating the content that you’re creating. This is valuable stuff for your audience but also for brands. I think some sponsorships or some ads on podcasts or otherwise are quite yucky but it doesn’t have to be that way. I think it can also be really authentic. You can be genuinely excited about a product that you can promote on your podcast and get paid for it. So the point is it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Not at all, probably.
How do you want to do it?
Once you’ve decided that you want a sponsorship, the next step is considering how you want to do it? Do you want to negotiate brand deals, reach out to brands, or have brands reach out to you directly? If yes, cool. You can monetize your podcast even with a relatively small audience. That is potentially a good way to go.
However, some podcasters do this as a hobby. They don’t want to talk to brands and get on calls and report back to brands and things like that. So then another option would be to look into some tools that already exist to get sponsor sheds or ads on your podcast.
For example, I have taken a look at Podcorn. It’s like a marketplace for podcast advertisements. There are brands that post campaign ideas and podcasters can pitch them or reply to their post and say, “Hey, this is what I can do for you. This is my pricing… “, and they might choose to do a paid partnership with you. I personally never had any success with this. I think you need quite some download numbers to be successful in this or maybe my pictures are just not good enough. It could be different things, but this is something that you can consider.
Working Directly with Brands
I had the most success by working directly with brands. The only thing here is it takes more effort, more time, and more business hands, also because you probably need to be a bit good at negotiating or you need to be willing to learn.
Here are a few ideas:
Keep track of your stats
Once you have decided how exactly you want to go about it, another thing that’s really important is to keep track of your stats, basically all kinds of stats. Download numbers can be really interesting, not comparing them to other podcasts but to your own podcast.
For example, with my other podcast, I saw quite an increase in downloads that was slow but steady. I think this is awesome for brands. So when I got on a call with a brand for a potential sponsorship, I told them, “Listen, I see an increase around this percentage. This is what I expect, what I saw and what I expect to keep going. I’m planning to keep this momentum going, and I also want to do this and that to increase that even more.”
So I have a specific plan, even though my audience is quite small. Now, I show them, “Listen. This is the trend that is happening. This is the growth that I see in my audience, and this is what I’m going to do to accelerate and make it grow even more.” I think that has been really good for brands to see that I was on top of it and they also know what to expect.
Know your listeners’ demographics
Make sure you have full insight into your listeners – their demographics. This is really important stuff. Know their age, where they are, and if they’re male or female. This can be interesting for some brands. So take a good look at your stats.
Go into your hosting to see what see are and if possible, have a chat with your listeners. If someone sends me a message on Instagram, especially for my other podcast, and they say, “Oh, I love your podcast.” I say, “Cool! What do you love about it?” And then I look at their profile. I see what they do and what they post. Maybe I’ll ask specific questions as well not to be too stalky but to also get to know them a little bit because this is such good info. Brands want to know this. So make sure that you have this at least in mind. Better yet, write it down. Create some kind of document with all of this. It’s really good to have an idea of what you want to offer and also who is listening to your podcast. And then from there, you can see what brands would align with that. And if a brand approaches you, it is really good to already have all this info.
Have a podcast media kit.
once a brand approaches me, I have a media kit. It’s a template that I already have in Canva that I can always update. I will make sure that I added the newest stats, and I always add a screenshot of my overall downloads in Buzzsprout. They also have a tool that predicts how many downloads a day a new episode will get. So I always add a screenshot of that part in my media kit and when that screenshot was taken.
I always update this, but the cool thing is I have this media kit that is already there. So I can just switch out a few things and update it to the latest ads, and then it is ready to be sent off. So when a brand approaches you, you don’t have to spend hours and hours or maybe potentially even days to get back to them with a media kit or with the next steps. It’s really good to have this if you’re serious about getting sponsorships.
I hope you find these tips helpful. As I’ve said at the beginning, there are so many opportunities here and I will be sharing a bit more this season, especially about how things are going with the sponsorships that I have on my other podcast. Stay tuned for episode 99 where I’ll talk about what podcasters can learn from content creators, and episode 101, where I’ll be sharing three tips on how to pitch brands for podcast sponsorships. Make sure that you get a notification when there’s a new episode so that you don’t miss out on any of these.