You are streaming. You have your followers and viewers. You have your community. Maybe you are even partnered or affiliated. Now you want to get a sponsor, so where do you start and what should you think about?
Get into the right mindset
The first step is to get into the right mindset. A lot of people looking for sponsors are approaching it the wrong way. 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 really could use some sponsor money”. That is a losing approach.
Instead, you should look at the process as a win-win situation, and for it to be a win-win situation you need to figure out what you can bring to the table. What could you offer the brand you want to be sponsored by? How can you convince the brand that they will benefit from sponsoring you?
What can you offer the brand?
The second step is that you need to figure out what the brand you will contact is interested in. Fortunately, we can already give you the answer, they are interested in two things:
1. Sell their product/service
2. Build their brand awareness
What you can help the brand with is how and where they sell their products and build their brand awareness. It’s your job to come up with a really good offer for the brand and try to be as creative as possible.
If you have a huge number of viewers and followers you are of course in a good position, especially for brands that sell products aimed at the general consumer. Most brands want to raise their brand awareness through “cool by association”. You can, by giving the brand your pure metrics, maybe convince them that you will be able to boost their sales by exposure in your stream or social media.
However, thinking that a sponsor will be interested just because you have a huge following on social media or many viewers on your stream isn’t always enough. Your reputation is just as an important factor as your number of followers and viewers. Most brands will just not want to be associated with people that have a really bad reputation, no matter how famous they are.
For the large majority of streamers, you will not have tens of thousands of viewers, so how should you approach it? Maybe you are a niche streamer, broadcasting something that not many other people do, and there are specific products that are catering to your audience? For a brand with heavily niched products, a fewer number of viewers that are really interested in the subject are more important than thousands of viewers who have no interest at all.
Maybe you are 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, and if you stream games you could reach out to game studios, software and hardware producers etc.
There really is no limit on what brands you could reach out to if you are creative enough and can present a deal that makes sense. The important things 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.
Go to action! Reach out to the brand! If you don’t have any contacts within the brand organization you have to either 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, offer a deal with the best exposure for the brand possible, and when you get a no, politely ask what you could improve to make a future sponsorship possible. Sometimes it could be as simple as you have too few viewers or followers.
It should be obvious; it is more difficult to get a sponsor deal with a big brand since they mostly deal with those who can offer the largest exposure on a platform. That’s why it’s a good idea to look for new or younger brands that still haven’t become very big. It is also a good idea to look for brands that are not present at all on your streaming platform (such as Twitch), but who are selling products that could be interesting for your audience. Remember that a lot of brands still have no clue about the world of streaming and broadcasting and you could be the one who open their eyes and becomes their brand ambassador.
Make a great deal
A sponsorship deal can be done in many different ways. The most common arrangement is where you would get a product as payment, you would get monetary compensation, or you would get a percentage of any sales being made. Sometimes the brand’s offer will be “take it or leave it”, and with some brands, you can negotiate.
The important thing is that you will feel comfortable with the sponsorship 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.
With that being said it is still important to have realistic expectations, be smart and think long term. You will most likely not be able to be paid a lot of money on your first sponsorship deal, if any at all, since most brands will prefer to give you products or a percentage through affiliate links. But maybe it could lead to something bigger and better if you show results and you are a great partner.
Make sure that everyone is happy
The final advice is to always make sure that everyone involved is happy with the deal. When making the deal there should be clear goals and guidelines for what both you and the brand should expect from each other. There should of course also be a timeframe for how long the sponsorship is running and how you will be compensated for your work. Keep in touch with your contact at the brand’s organization and do follow ups. Usually the brand managers will keep in touch with you, since that is their job. But if you don’t hear from them for some time, reach out yourself and ask if they are satisfied.