Saturday, March 26, 2011

How to Get Sponsored for a Blog Conference - Guest Post by Shash

Pin It The other night the amazing ladies of Blissdom announced the location for this year's Blissdom Canada conference. It will be October 2011 in Toronto. The exact dates haven't been published but Twitter is already buzzing with #blissdomcanada chat!

My bloggy bff Shash and I went together last year and we are even on the front page of the Blissdom Canada website right now...

(CL Buchanan Photography - Blissdom Canada 2010)

If you would like to see Shash and I meeting in real life for the first time last year you can see a video of it on my Blissdom Canada 2010 post. It was truly a beautiful thing and makes me smile to think about even still. You can see some of the highlights on my 13 Things I Learned post.

I was sponsored by several different sources for the conference last year and this year I will be searching for sponsors once again!

Shash has agreed to share her sponsor-getting wisdom with us today...

It's never too early to start planning for sponsors, there's a lot of behind the scenes to do, the more you prepare in advance, the less running around you'll have to do later.  Remember the saying  "poor planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on mine".

Here are some tips for getting sponsorship:

  1. Put together a "Media Kit" or press/pr kit. Here are a couple of samples: mine at Shasher's Life and Lynette's from My Wee View . It should list a description of your blog, your stats, samples of what you've done, companies you've worked with and of course the reason others should work with you. 
  2. Don't just leave it there. Start reaching out to brands! As Adria from GM Canada said in my interview with her a couple of months ago. Send them an email, give them a call... send them a vlog - make an appointment to meet them! Be proactive and do something.
  3. Consider partial sponsorships from multiple brands/companies. I had more than one company help me get to Blissdom Canada 2010. They each covered a portion of a need I had. And don't just think "BIG"! I've had more success with smaller, local businesses that need the social share lift and friendly PR. Here's a list of sponsors I had from an event I just recently put on, "Total Woman" retreat. If there is a company that you seem to have a very special relationship with then ask them first!
  4. Consider partnering up with another blogger! Have you heard the saying, one is a lonely number?! :) If you're just getting started, this may benefit you big time. Tara's View of the World and I teamed up and put our combined stats, social influence, experience and skills to work. We were able to go to brands as a team and both get to Blissdom Canada 2010.
  5. Along with your Media Kit... send them a "Sponsorship Package". Tara and I did this very well. We put together a powerpoint presentation with various tiered "packages" that a business could "partner" with & left room for some bonuses like clothing for our "red carpet" moments. The amount of PR coverage and work was determined by the level of business the brand/business was willing to pay for. **If you promise it.... DELIVER it!** If you don't follow through with what they're expecting, you'll ruin it for the rest of us.
  6. Follow up a few weeks after you send your pitch off! It's a good way to remind them who you are and why they should respond but don't stalk them! Brands are busy so be patient and kind! Remember... you're basically applying for a job/position within their company.
  7. If you're turned down, don't get nasty! Send them a "Thank You" note either way - always leave a good impression. You never know what the future may hold.
  8. Be positive! The old saying goes, "You can get more bees with honey than vinegar!". If you're looking for sponsorship, watch what you say online! Don't be negative, a nag or a grump all the time. 
  9. After the event is over and you've done the work that you promised... send your sponsors a link to the posts or even better... put together a presentation of the event with screen shots of the responses you got from it. They'll love it!
  10. Have fun! Never take yourself too serious or think more highly of yourself than you ought! :)
You have 7 months until Blissdom Canada 2011 comes to the Hilton Toronto - probably about 5 months until registration opens and money is needed so you better get started today! *Most brands or companies may require you to pay up front and send in your receipts for reimbursement so be prepared for that.

Getting sponsored for a blog conference takes a "Can-Do" attitude, a bit of creativity and good budgeting skills! What are you willing to do to get there?!

Good Luck - I hope I'll see you there!
-Shash



Thanks for guest posting on my blog Shash! You know I love you :)


(Shash and I at Blissdom Canada 2010 at the costume party)

* If you would like to sponsor Shash and I to go to Blissdom Canada please contact us! *

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