You’re streaming and you have followers and viewers. You have your community and maybe you’re even partnered or affiliated. Now you want to get a sponsor, so where do you start and what should you consider?
Getting into the right mindset
The first step is getting into the right mindset. A lot of people looking for sponsors are approaching it wrong. They think selfishly, and their approach is “what can this brand offer me”, “I would like to have that gaming chair for free” or “I could use some sponsor money”. That is a losing approach.
Instead, you should look at the process as a win-win situation for both you and the sponsor. For it to be a win-win situation, you need to figure out what you can bring to the table. What can you offer the brand? How can you convince the brand that they will benefit from sponsoring you?
What can you offer the brand?
The second step is figuring out what the brand is interested in. Fortunately, we can already give you the answer. The brand is interested in making sales and building brand awareness.
It’s your job to come up with a really good offer for the brand by being as creative as possible. It’s up to you to figure out how to help the brand selling its products and building brand awareness.
If you have a large number of viewers and followers, you’re of course in a great position. Especially brands that sell products aimed at the general consumer are looking for broad exposure. Many brands want to build brand awareness by being cool by association. If you have great social media metrics, you can try to convince the brand that you will be able to boost their sales by exposure to your audience.
However, thinking that a sponsor will be interested just because you have a huge following on social media or many viewers in your stream isn’t always enough. Your reputation is just as an important factor as your number of followers and viewers. Most brands will not be associated with people that have a bad reputation, no matter how famous that person is.
For the large majority of streamers, you will not have tens of thousands of viewers, so how should you approach a potential sponsor? Maybe you’re a niche streamer, broadcasting something that not many others do. For a brand with niched products, a fewer number of viewers that are really interested in a certain topic are more important than thousands of viewers having no interest at all.
Maybe you’re a creative streamer and you can incorporate the brand in some way over several streams and on all your social media platforms. For instance, if you stream cooking, you could reach out to a food or kitchen supply brand. If you stream traditional art, you could reach out to an art supplier. If you stream games, you could reach out to game studios or software or hardware producers.
There is no limit on what brands you could reach out to if you are creative enough, and if you can present a deal that makes sense. The important thing to always keep in mind is, “will this setup sell more products for the brand or create more brand awareness”? If the answer is no, you will have a difficult time convincing a brand to sponsor you.
The next step is reaching out to the brand. If you don’t have any contacts within the brand organization, you can e-mail, phone or tag them on social media. Don’t be afraid to reach out, and be mentally prepared to get a no the first time. Actually, be prepared to get a no 99% of the time. But keep on being persistent, and offer a deal with the best exposure for the brand possible. If and when you get a no, politely ask what you could improve to make a future sponsorship possible. Sometimes, the explanation could be as simple as having too few viewers and followers.
It’s more difficult to get a sponsor deal with a big brand since they often only deal with those who can offer large exposure. That’s why it’s a good idea to look for newer and younger brands. It’s also a good idea to look for brands that are not present at all on your streaming platform. Remember that a lot of brands still have no clue about the world of streaming. You could be the one who opens their eyes and becomes their brand ambassador.
Make a great deal
A sponsorship deal can be done in many different ways. The most common arrangements are where you get a product as payment, monetary compensation, or where you would get a percentage of sales. Often, the brand’s offer will be a “take it or leave it” deal, but with some brands, you will be able to negotiate.
The important thing is that you will feel comfortable with the deal. Don’t be afraid to walk away from something that just doesn’t feel right. Sometimes, no deal is better than a bad deal.
However, it’s still important to have realistic expectations, be smart, and think long term. You will most likely not be paid a lot of money on your first sponsorship deal. Most brands prefer to give products or a percentage of sales through affiliate links. If that’s the case, it’s up to you to decide if you think it could lead to something bigger and better.
Make sure that everyone is happy
The final step is to always make sure that everyone involved is doing their part and honoring the deal. When making the deal, there should be clear goals and guidelines for what you and the brand should expect from each other. There should always be a timeframe for how long the sponsorship is running, and how you will be compensated for your work. As with any agreement, it should also be clearly stated how the deal will be terminated.
Keep in touch with your contact at the brand’s organization and do follow-ups. Usually, the brand manager will keep in touch with you since that’s their job. If you don’t hear from them for some time, we suggest you reach out and ask if they are satisfied.